On the 6th October 2012 the steam locomotive 60163 Tornado passed through Benfleet Station heading The Cathedrals Express on a journey from Southend Central to Canterbury West.
A Remarkable Feat of Construction
The Tornado is a newly built Peppercorn class ‘A1’ steam locomotive. Following an unsuccessful attempt to save the last ‘A1’ locomotive in 1966 the Peppercorn ‘A1’ class became extinct until, in 1990, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust was formed with the intention of constructing a brand new Peppercorn A1 Pacific. After 19 years the Tornado moved under its own steam in 2008.
Further information about the Tornado can be found on the website http://www.a1steam.com/
Last Across the Bridge
Whilst passing through Benfleet Station the Tornado had the privilege of being the last steam locomotive to cross the existing rail bridge that carries the Southend to London line over the B1014 road to Canvey Island. This came about due to the planned replacement of the 100 year old bridge in the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 2012. Following a reader’s comment at the bottom of this page, see update.