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HuwG BS: Tornado!/Newly Built Class A1 Steam Loco (133* d) RE: BS: Tornado!/Newly Built Class A1 Steam Loco 07 Feb 09

My two penn'orth. One; she's a beauty. I'm glad they replaced the awful blue primer she first appeared in with the old LNER apple green.

I'm puzzled about the whistle. The whistle on the LNER A4 "Pacifics" ("Mallars", "Golden Fleece" etc.) had a lovely mellow tone, because the steam for them was tapped directly from the boiler. The same whistle, applied to other classes, was mounted at the end of long taps from exhaust steam pickups, and sounded anaemic to awful. I don't know quite why they seem to have reproduced the fault on "Tornado".

Thirteen carriages is quite a lot, and "Tornado" is producing some impressive power. However, it is ironic that only since the end of the age of steam, have some of the designs (and operating procedures) been perfected, or improved. For example, it was only in recent years that they fixed the valve event problems on the solitary BR "Duke of Gloucester", and a reconditioned "Evening Star" started a special train weighing 2,500 tons; a record for any type of traction in Britain.

I am all in favour of "Tornado". There were indeed endemic problems with steam (smoke, grime, lineside fires), but complaining about *one* locomotive seems unnecessarily sour. I do indeed remember the final days of steam in Britain, with all its drawbacks, but I still think much of character and pride was lost when the engine became merely a rectangular box.

I don't hear similar complaints over reconstructing Drake's "Golden Hind" (sailing ship) for example, or recovering B29 bombers from lakes, or recreating mediaeval settlements or whatever.

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