Shropshire Star

Confirmed: First steam loco to run west of Shrewsbury since 2010 in overnight tests this spring

The sights, sounds and smells of a steam locomotive will again run west of Shrewsbury this year, for the first time since 2010.

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Steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado will be running from Shrewsbury to Newtown this spring

Britain's newest mainline steam engine, A1 Class No. 60163 Tornado, completed in 2008, will run along the Cambrian Line between Shropshire's county town and Newtown, in mid Wales, this spring.

However, anyone wishing to see the apple green express loco will only be able to catch a glimpse of it after dark once regular passenger services have ended for the day.

Tornado will be used to test an on-board signalling equipment that controls trains along the line - removing the need for traditional signals by the lineside. It is a system which has prohibited any steam loco from pulling trains into mid Wales for 13 years as they have not been fitted with the apparatus.

The system, called European Train Control System (ETCS), is now set to be rolled out elsewhere by Network Rail, prompting the test to help ensure steam locomotives can operate on routes where trains are controlled in this manner.