Steam to the rescue as high speed rail fails

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The Independent Travel

Stranded rail passengers in the UK were given a helping hand this week -- by a steam locomotive.

(Relaxnews) -

Stranded rail passengers in the UK were given a helping hand this week - by a steam locomotive.

As heavy snow and freezing conditions brought much of Europe's rail network to a standstill, including the high-speed international Eurostar service, the Tornado steam train managed to complete the route from London Victoria and Dover twice on Monday 20, carrying commuters left stranded by modern electric trains.

The Tornado is a Peppercorn Class A1 steam train, the final class of steam trains to be withdrawn from service in Britain in the 1960s. It now operates excursion tours and took a group of enthusiasts almost 20 years to build, the first steam train to be built in Britain for almost 50 years.

Despite the engine being designed in the 1940s, it was unaffected by the freezing weather and dropped passengers at various stations along the Network Rail main line.

"Not only are we delighted that she was able to brave the arctic weather to haul two of the few trains to run in Kent on Monday but we were pleased to be able to help some of London's stranded commuters to get home in style," said Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust.

Steam locomotives were withdrawn from use in favor of diesel and electric for almost all passenger operations around the world during the later half of the 20th century. Replica locomotives such as the Tornado are now popular tourist attractions in the UK, the US and Germany in particular.

http://www.a1steam.com/

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