Steam train hits 100mph for first time in 50 years in South Yorkshire

Tornado in action.
Tornado in action.
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A steam train has reached 100mph on Britain's mainline rail network near Doncaster for the first time in 50 years.

The Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive Tornado clocked the speed during a test run on the East Coast Main Line between Doncaster and Newcastle in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The trip was part of a bid to raise Tornado's speed limit for passenger trips from 75mph to 90mph by the end of the year.

It operated at 10 per cent above the maximum to demonstrate a sufficient safety margin. Tornado was the first steam locomotive to be built in the UK for almost half a century when it was completed in Darlington in 2008.

Graeme Bunker-James, operations director for the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: "We are delighted to have completed the test runs that move us one step closer to 90mph operations with Tornado.

"This will allow us to ensure that the locomotive continues to haul trains on the busiest parts of the UK network, allowing as many people as possible to enjoy travelling with Tornado.

"As part of these tests, the locomotive operated at 90mph for a sustained period and also achieved 100mph under these special conditions and running with clear signals."

Thousands of people turned out to watch Tornado when it operated regular services between Appleby in Cumbria and Skipton in North Yorkshire, along the famous Settle to Carlisle line, for three days in February.