The first steam locomotive built in Britain since 1960 will rumble through many Surrey stations next month, hauling one of the most luxurious trains in the world.
Number 60163, called “Tornado”, will be paired with the 1930s-style Pullman cars of the Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express group.
It took 14 years and around £3million in private donations to build the green-painted Tornado in Darlington.
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The journey will commemorate the inaugural run of the famous Bournemouth Belle Express on July 5, 1931, and the train will stop at Woking station to pick up passengers.
While a ticket to the South Coast cost just six shillings – or 30 pence in today’s money – at the time, this time passengers will have to shell out £399 to travel by locomotive.
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However, for that price they will be welcomed on board with a glass of champagne before enjoying a three-course brunch on the way to Bournemouth.
On the way back there will be another champagne reception followed by a five course dinner with wine.
Northern Belle spokesman Howard Barclay said: “Passengers will be pampered from the minute they board until the moment they leave. Nothing is too good for our guests.
“We have mouth-watering dishes, delicious wines, aperitifs, cocktails and champagnes – even our own special Rail Ale beer from an award-winning brewery.”
Fewer than 50 seats remain on the train, which will depart London Victoria at 8.45am on Monday July 5, then Woking at 10.07am. It is scheduled to return to Woking at 8.45pm.
Mr Barclay added: “This coupling of Tornado and Northern Belle is a once-in-a-lifetime journey so we expect it will sell out. After all, miss that steam train to Bournemouth and you may have to wait another 90 years for the next one!”
Where can we see the locomotive?
Trainspotters will be able to see Tornado and Northern Belle at the following stations and times on July 5:
For more information, see the Northern Belle website here.