Shropshire Star

Tornado could become first steam loco in 13 years to run west of Shrewsbury into mid Wales

It's been 13 years since a steam locomotive last ran west of Shrewsbury along the Cambrian Line towards mid Wales.

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A1 class locomotive No. 60163 Tornado could be running between Shrewsbury and mid Wales later this year

But that could all change this spring if Britain's newest express passenger engine operates along part of the route, albeit under the cover of darkness.

Network Rail is wanting to use a steam locomotive to test an on-board signalling system called European Train Control System which, for the past decade, has been unique to the Cambrian Line - something that has prohibited the use of heritage steam locomotives as they have not been fitted with the necessary equipment.

However, with the system now set to be rolled out on the East Coast Main Line out of London King's Cross - a route which is used several times a year by steam locomotives pulling private excursion trains - Network Rail wants to test it on a steam engine to see if they're compatible.