‘The White Rose’ will run from London King’s Cross picking up at Potters Bar and Peterborough to Leeds, Harrogate and York on Saturday 27th April 2019.
Since completion in Darlington in 2008, new Peppercorn class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado has covered over 100,000 miles and seen service on the Network Rail main line and heritage railways right across Great Britain.
In its original incarnation, ‘The White Rose’ express ran from London King’s Cross to Leeds Central and Bradford Exchange stations. It was frequently hauled by Peppercorn class A1s as well as other former LNER express passenger steam locomotives and even the iconic prototype Deltic diesel locomotive. The train ran from 23rd May 1949 to 13th June 1964 when it was replaced by ‘The White Rose Pullman’ which was withdrawn on 4th March 1967. Between 2001 and 2005, ‘The White Rose’ was briefly revived by Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) using three former Regional Eurostar trains sets. Initially the GNER ‘White Rose’ services ran between London King's Cross and York, then, after clearance was given, between London and Leeds.
Tornado’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the first run of ‘The White Rose’ will be on Saturday 27th April 2019 – with three attractive Yorkshire destinations in one train. No. 60163 Tornado will be at home heading north from London King’s Cross along the East Coast Main Line (ECML). The train continues north through Grantham and Doncaster, the latter where the Peppercorn class A1s were designed and 26 of the original 49 constructed, before leaving the ECML at Hambleton Junction to head west. Tornado then climbs Micklefield bank and descends into Leeds where passengers can choose to alight and explore the city for around five hours.
Tornado then takes ‘The White Rose’ north through the suburban scenery and out into the Yorkshire countryside towards the spa town of Harrogate - a first visit for the locomotive - where passengers have around four hours to explore. The train then departs from Harrogate and heads to York where passengers will have around three hours to visit the city as Tornado is turned and serviced for the return journey.
Tornado will then retrace her steps from York via Hammerton and Knaresborough to pick up passengers from Harrogate. ‘The White Rose’ will then head through Horsforth and Headingley before arriving into Leeds station. From here Tornado will steam east as far as Doncaster where our steam locomotive will be replaced by an electric locomotive to return ‘The White Rose’ via the ECML to London King’s Cross.
Graeme Bunker-James, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“We are delighted to announce ‘The White Rose’ special steam-hauled train from London King’s Cross to three destinations in Yorkshire in celebration of the train’s 70th anniversary. Hauled by our famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, the train will travel at high speed along the East Coast Main Line and on to Leeds, Harrogate and York - an unforgettable day out for all who travel. There is even the option to dine on-board and enjoy fabulous dishes using the very best Yorkshire ingredients prepared by our on-board chefs.”