On Saturday 12 April 2014 we decided on a trip out to the East Coast Main Line to see 60163 Tornado in action with the The White Rose tour from London Kings Cross to York and return.
I still haven't found a good spot on the ECML for photography. The railway heads north through mainly flat agricultural land. The weather wasn't particularly good either as it was cloudy and windy.
We decided on a spot we've used before near Temple Hirst Junction between Doncaster and York. It's about the nearest location for us to the ECML. For anyone who doesn't know there are ways to follow the progress of most trains operating in real time so there isn't a need to arrive at a location long before a train arrives. The on line schedule for 60163 on Saturday looked like this, well the portion of the route we were interested in did.
The first time after the location name is the planned time of arrival with the actual time given next to it. At Temple Hirst Junction Tornado was due to arrive at 12:53 but actually arrived at 12:54 a minute late. The Real Time Trains web site can be found here.
This web site has saved us a few trips to photograph trains which have run very early or alerted us to trains running very late.
With this little App we didn't have long to wait for Tornado to arrive. The windy weather resulted in any exhaust smoke blowing away from the locomotive and over adjacent fields but at least we'd chosen the side where the train didn't disappear in the smoke.
I'd still like to get some better pictures of 60163 Tornado but I think the best opportunity will be when the locomotive is making an appearance on a Heritage Railway line rather than operating a main line tour. That might be when Tornado is scheduled to appear at the Nene Valley Railway in September.
More details regarding 60163 Tornado can be found on the A1 Steam Locomotive web site.