Tornado carries a plaque bearing the following message:

This locomotive was built and paid for by people who shared a vision and were determined to turn it into reality


A project volunteer prepares Tornado for operation

Tornado was built by the Locomotive Construction Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. At 1990s prices, the projected cost of the project was £1.6 million.

The trust has used Deeds of Covenant since the start of the project in 1990, marketed under the slogan 'build a main line loco for the price of a pint of beer a week!'. Covenantors can wear a special A1 Trust tie. Covenantors pay a fixed amount monthly by standing order, and for this they receive honour roll recognition, event and viewing priority, regular trust publications and the right to attend the annual conventions.

In September 1996, the concept of dedicated covenants was launched. Now renamed dedicated donations, these were one off payments of £25 to £25,000 to sponsor a particular part. As with regular covenantors, dedicated donors receive recognition, and an engineering drawing of the component they sponsored.

In October 1999 a £250,000 appeal was launched to fund the boiler, whose absence was now noticeable with Tornado now comprising a wheeled frame with completed cab and smokebox. As Tornado began to look like a locomotive with the mating of the frame with the wheelset in the Autumn of 2000, fundraising progress increased breaking previous records recruiting 100 new covenantors in 2 months, By 2005, the trust had raised over £1.5m.

Completion of the boiler was achieved through a half million pound bond issue. Following securing the boiler funding, the last major part, the tender, was achieved with a £200,000 single sponsor donation.

As of May 2008, £2.5m had been raised and spent, and the gap to the required £3m had been raised to complete Tornado, however, due to the Chinese economic boom causing raw material cost increases, and increased certification costs, a further £50,000 appeal was required to be launched if the main line running was to be achieved by September.

As of the end of September 2008, the Trust still needed to raise £66,000 to pay for tests and trials to allow main line operation. While at the GCR, the project costs were running at the rate of £10,000 a month, rising to a "six-figure bills" for certification in the months up to January 2009.

Launched in 2004, as of January 2009, £100,000 of the Trust's half million pound bond issue offering 4% returns remained unsubscribed.


The A1 Trust headboard, locomotive number 60163 and shed code 51 A

In 1994 the A1 trust gained its first major sponsor, a major steel company. In 1997, Great North Eastern Railway (GNER), the then operator on the East Coast Main Line, became a sponsor, and decorated Darlington station for the event, as well as offering free travel for trust workers. The trust gained Rolls-Royce as a sponsor in Spring 1998. The trust's principal sponsor is a metal casting company, which initially cast the driving wheels on "very advantageous terms", and later assisted with all the wheels and almost all other steel castings. As with GNER, Tornado's links to the East Coast Main Line brought with it support from the next incumbent operator, National Express, with sponsorship of the third main line test run to Newcastle. Significant savings were made through industrial sponsorship; by 1998 this was keeping costs at 40% of normal. Some components, such as the smokebox door, were even obtained free of charge.


Cost savings of a third of the original were possible in some manufacturing cases, where the building of one locomotive allowed for cheaper construction methods, such as using one-off polystyrene cast patterns. Several other events and fund-raising drives have assisted in funding the project, including a Land's End to John O'Groats bike ride.

The Trust would also receive proceeds from the sale of limited edition models of Tornado in works grey livery. The model would be a customised product from The Model Centre (TMC), based on the Bachmann OO scale models of the Peppercorn A1 class.

Another Grey works Tornado was to be made by TMC but with National Express on her tender from her 18 November Mainline Test run.

Bachmann are releasing another Tornado model in her BR Apple Green liviery that is expected to be released in late 2009. Bachmann had earlier released a Tornado model in her BR Brunswick Green liviery with late BR Crest which she will wear at some point in her first 10 years.

To recoup the cost of the project and service the debt, once operational, Tornado would take over haulage duties on the Trustís own Talisman railtours, and be offered for hire to heritage railways and other railtour and charter train operators. Whilst at heritage railways, the Trust would also offer driver courses at the controls of Tornado.