Use your loaf to support Tornado

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, which built and operates new steam locomotive 60163 Tornado, has launched a fundraising scheme to provide Tornado with a dedicated support coach.

A support coach and crew are needed for the long distance operation of steam locomotives on the modern railway. The support crew prepares the locomotive for operation and then services it at stops for coal and/or water. Support coaches are usually passenger brake coaches of the British Railways Mark 1 era. One part of the former guards/parcels van space is converted to a storage and workshop area, another serves as the mess room, while the passenger area provides seating and sleeping accommodation for the crew. The support coach will invariably be the first vehicle in the rake of coaches, immediately behind the locomotive.

The support coach currently being used with Tornado is normally to be seen with Thompson B1 61264, which is due to return to traffic after overhaul later this year.

A replacement, Mk 1 Brake Corridor Composite (BCK) 21249, has been donated to the Trust and is being overhauled and converted at its Darlington works. The coach will eventually be painted Crimson Lake and Cream, the combination often referred to colloquially as "blood and custard".

The Trustees have set a target of completing the work for under £100,000. Following the success of the original Tornado donation scheme, 'an A1 for the price of a pint', the new campaign aims to raise the 'bread' under the slogan 'use your loaf'.

The coach is 63ft 6in in length – 762 inches – or 1524 ‘slices’ at ½ inch each. Each slice can be sponsored for £50; £100 for a ‘doorstep’; £1,000 for ‘half a loaf’; and £2,000 for a ‘loaf’. If all are sponsored, it would raise £76,200; if 80 per cent of the donations come with Gift Aid tax relief the sum rises to over £93,000.

Donors will receive a certificate and a copy of a drawing of the coach noting which slice(s) have been sponsored, and will have their names inscribed on a roll of honour carried on the coach.

www.a1steam.com

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