The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity behind new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, and the Royal Air Force are delighted to announce the affiliation of the locomotive with RAF Marham as part of the station’s centenary celebrations. To mark the affiliation, Tornado now carries the RAF Marham crest on the fireman’s side nameplate. RAF Marham is the home of the RAF’s Tornado GR4 two-seat, all-weather, day/night attack and reconnaissance aircraft.
On Friday 26th August the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) at Wansford, Cambridgeshire, hosted the rededication of No. 60163 Tornado and its affiliation with RAF Marham as part of the station’s 100th birthday celebrations. Following a briefing on the building and operation of the locomotive by Trust chairman Mark Allatt, representatives of the stations military and civilian staff witnessed the unveiling of Tornado’s nameplate bearing the RAF Marham crest by Station Commander Group Captain Rich Davies ADC MA RAF and Trust President David Champion. This was followed by a blessing by station Padre Reverend Geoffrey Firth.
Group Captain Rich Davies commented:
“We are delighted to affiliate RAF Marham in our centenary year with the magnificent achievement that No. 60163 Tornado represents. It’s sheer power and presence is reflective of that of the Tornado aircraft that operate from RAF Marham and have been the backbone of the RAF for the past 30 years.”
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added:
"It’s a great privilege for No. 60163 Tornado to be affiliated with RAF Marham as it celebrates its 100th birthday. The locomotive was named in honour of the RAF aircrews who fought in the first Gulf War and in many other subsequent conflicts. We are delighted to be re-invigorating our relationship with the RAF and look forward to future collaborations."
Following the dedication ceremony those present were given the opportunity to drive Tornado under supervision and later that evening the station hosted a ‘dining in’ night on the railway’s dining train also hauled by Tornado. It is hoped that No. 60163 Tornado will play a role in the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations in 2018.
No.60163 Tornado was named after the RAF Tornado aircraft of the same name which were on active service in the middle east during the first Gulf War when the project to build the new Peppercorn class A1 Pacific was in its infancy. The nameplates were originally presented to The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in a ceremony at Birmingham Railway Museum in 1995 and bore the crests of the then RAF Cottesmore and its Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) which trained British, German and Italian aircrews to operate the aircraft. With The Trust’s establishment of its permanent base at Darlington Locomotive Works in 1997 and the dissolution of the TTTE in 1999, the crest on the latter plate was replaced by that of nearby RAF Leeming (then an RAF Tornado station). This was the nameplate unveiled by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall when Tornado was formally named at York station on 19th February 2009. Coincidentally, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is the Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming.
Images ©A1SLT Image of David Champion and RAF representative Crown Copyright