Tornado hauls the Torbay Express this July

PUBLISHED: 13:12 14 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 20 February 2013

Tornado hauls the Torbay Express this July

Tornado hauls the Torbay Express this July

Escape World Cup Footie Fever with the romance of steam.

For football fans the World Cup Final on Sunday 11th July 2010 will be the most exciting and eagerly awaited day of the year. But many non-football fans are dreading the seemingly wall-to-wall coverage of the match and are seeking ways to escape. The romance of steam is the perfect antidote to the beautiful game. So, on Sunday 11th July Tornado, the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years, will be hauling the Torbay Express from Bristol to Paignton and Kingswear and back, with a 4 hour stop-over in glorious Devon.

The Torbay Express is the ideal way to avoid the days football. The train, consisting of 1960s vintage carriages, offers full silver service dining in Premier Class and at-seat light meals in First Class, as well as its established traditional Devon cream teas. Off-train options include visits to the National Trusts Greenway House (the former holiday home of Agatha Christie) and the beautiful house and gardens of Coleton Fishacre, as well as a River Dart harbour cruise and a guided walking tour of historic Dartmouth. And not a football in sight.

Tornado will be hauling the Torbay Express from Bristol to Paignton and Kingswear (Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway) and return every Sunday for four weeks from 4th July to 25th July inclusive. The Torbay Express is the perfect way to experience the true majesty and romance of steam, whisking its passengers across the flat Somerset levels to Taunton, charging through the Blackdown Hills and down the Exe Valley to Exeter, then alongside the sea-wall from Dawlish Warren to Teignmouth and finally through the delightful wooded estate once owned by Agatha Christie and down into the old riverside terminus station at Kingswear.

Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:

There can be no more perfect way to escape the World Cup final than to experience the romance of steam with Tornado hauling the Torbay Express from Bristol to glorious Devon.

Starting at Brunel's famous Bristol Temple Meads station at 09:15hrs and stopping to pick up passengers at Weston-super-Mare (09:40hrs), Taunton (10:40hrs) and Exeter St Davids (11:15hrs), the Torbay Express' takes the spectacular coastal route via Dawlish, Torquay and Paignton, then onward via the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway, with stops at both Paignton (12:05hrs) and Kingswear (12:55hrs, for Dartmouth) to set down passengers for an afternoon on the delightful South Devon Riviera. The return train departs Kingswear at 16.45hrs, calling at Paignton (17.15hrs), Exeter St Davids (18:07hrs), Taunton (20:03hrs) and Weston-super-Mare (20.03hrs), arriving at Bristol Temple Meads at 20.38hrs

Prices for travelling on the Torbay Express are Standard Class (adult 75.00; junior 65.00), First Class (109.00) and Premier Dining from Bristol & Weston-super-Mare 175.00. Additionally, a small number of table for two seats in First Class may still be available on certain dates at a supplement of 25 per person and cream teas at 7.50 per person. The 2010 season will see The Torbay Express running 25% more trains, starting on Sunday 30th May 2010 and running every Sunday (with a couple of exceptions) until 26th September. The trains are being promoted by Torbay Express Limited and seats can be booked via telephone (01453 834477), Web ( or email (

Tornado starred in the first episode of the last series of the BBCs Top Gear programme on Sunday 21st June 2009 racing a Jaguar XK120 car and Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle from London to Edinburgh, with presenter Jeremy Clarkson on-board. The first showing of the programme was watched by over seven million people. The locomotive was also chosen to haul the British leg of The Winton Train from Harwich Parkeston Quay (International) to Londons Liverpool Street station on Friday 4th September 2009. The new 3m Peppercorn class A1 pacific steam locomotive was built over almost 20 years by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, at its Darlington Locomotive Works in Darlington, Country Durham. Frequently headlined in the national and international press and on TV and radio, No. 60163 Tornado was the subject of a BBC documentary Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built a Steam Engine broadcast on Christmas Eve 2008 on BBC2. The locomotive was officially named Tornado by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in February 2009 and has since entered regular service on excursion trains on the Network Rail main line.

A variety of gifts featuring Tornado, ranging from models of the locomotive to DVDs and books about her construction are available from the Trusts on-line shop at

The Trust respectfully requests that anyone wanting to see Tornado's main line passenger trains follows the rules of the railway and only goes where permitted.

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