Hornby R3070 Tornado Special Edition

Hornby has added not one, but three fantastic versions of the newest steam locomotive ever to be built, the Peppercorn A1 4-6-2 60163 Tornado:

  • R3070 A1 Tornado in LNER lined Doncaster Green – Limited Edition Model
  • R3059 A1 Tornado Express Train Pack – Modelled in its current condition with three maroon coaches
  • R3060 A1 Tornado Hornby Railroad – A more affordable budget version

This all new release from Hornby is a real breath of fresh air. Even in its most expensive form the Hornby OO gauge A1 Tornado retails at only £92.99 as a solo locomotive. To do this, Hornby have adopted a completely different approach to their other new releases. Locomotives such as the Hornby GWR 28XX and LNER L1 have really raised the bar in terms of quality and detailing, but the Tornado has been designed to be affordable to all railway modellers. This has primarily been achieved through the use of a three-pole motor instead of a 5 pole motor used on more expensive models, and the use of moulded details instead of separate fittings.

The Hornby Tornado – An In-Depth Look

On initially opening the box, it’s difficult to tell this model apart from any of the Hornby Super Detail models. The overall look and feel of the loco is absolutely spot on. It has been created using the true dimensions of the real locomotive rather than the productions versions of the A1’s from back in the late 1940s. The front end has just the right look and the boiler profile is very accurately shaped too. Likewise the shape of the frames, cab profile and tender have been faithfully reproduced by Hornby.

Looking at the details, you start to see where the model differs from the more expensive models though. For example, while the boiler handrails are made using separate fittings, the hand rails on the smoke deflectors are moulded on. The electric lamps/lamp irons for the front footplate are separate fittings that are supplied in a detailing pack. The buffers on the Tornado are solid too rather than sprung, and there’s no glazing in the cab windows either. When looking closely though, all these things are easily visible, but on the track none of these things are visible to the average modeller, and at the end of the day, this is where the model is supposed to be, on the track!

Hornby R3059 Tornado Express Train Pack

Looking inside the cab, the boiler backhead is very detailed, but unlike more expensive models, this has not been detailed with any paintwork.

A quick look around the tender and we can see that the exterior design has been followed faithfully including the profile of the water tank, spoked wheels and roller bearing axleboxes. The coal load is moulded to help cut costs, but the spring detail and brake rigging is just superb.

Hornby Railroad R3060 Tornado Budget Version

As mentioned above, the Tornado comes in three versions. A solo model in British Railways Lined Apple Green as a special limited edition which also includes a set of etched name plates. As a train pack entitled the “Tornado Express” which features the 60163 in BR lined green with early crest to match its latest finish, along with three BR Mk1 coaches. Lastly, and most notably as a budget Hornby Railroad model in British Railway lined Apple Green but with an overall lower level of detail which excludes such detail as the lining on the cab side and wheels.

Livery application on all three models is excellent with numbers, nameplates and shed plates showing an excellent standard of finish all round…

Cat No:R3059 Tornado Express Train Pack
Description:A1 60163 Tornado, BR lined green and three BR maroon Mk1 coaches
Cat No:R3060 Hornby Railroad Tornado
Description:A1 60163 Tornado, British Railways Apple Green
Cat No:R3070 Tornado Special Edition
Description:A1 60163 Tornado in British Railway Green
Retail Price:£163.99 (R3059), £76.99 (R3060), £92.99 (R3070)
DCC:DCC Ready with 8 pin socket in Smoke Box
Couplings:Hornby Tension Lock Couplings in NEM pockets

On Track Performance

It’s essential that for any model to be a success it has to perform well on the track, and that’s certainly the case with all three Tornado versions reviewed here. Each one performed quietly and smoothly, straight out of the box, with great slow running performance, aided in part by the large brass flywheel on the motor.

Haulage capacity was again impressive, each handling a rake of up to 10 coaches with ease, its heavy die-cast chassis block help traction here no doubt.

Another point worth noting is that the DCC Decoder socket has been mounted inside the boiler on the Tornado, avoiding the usual wires between the locomotive and tender. An 8 pin socket being provided in the smoke box with ample room for the decoder itself in the boiler.

Our Verdict

This new release from Hornby is something that’s very different from what we’ve come to expect, but it’s a refreshing change to say the least. The slightly stripped down version is what makes the Tornado special. This definitely isn’t a pure budget model in any respect, and it indeed fits somewhere in between the basic Hornby Railroad range and the high end Super-Detail models.

It ticks all the right boxes though, that’s for certain, and it wouldn’t be hard to add in the extra details to bring it up to the standard of the higher value models in the Hornby range should you so wish. Overall, the Tornado is a fantastic, affordable model, and one that should feature in every Steam enthusiasts collection… No, not collection… it should be on the track!

Where Can I Buy One?

There’s no doubt about it, even having only just been released, the Tornado is proving to be an incredibly popular model, so it’s a case of getting one as soon a possible, while stocks last!


HORNBY RailRoad 4-6-2 Tornado Peppercorn Class A1 - R3060 New in Box DCC ready

HORNBY RailRoad 4-6-2 Tornado Peppercorn Class A1 - R3060 New in Box DCC ready
Current price:
Ends in:
0d 2h 58m
Seller: eBay

X6331 Hornby Spare Motor, Retainer & Flywheel for Tornado Loco

X6331 Hornby Spare Motor, Retainer & Flywheel for Tornado Loco
Current price:
Ends in:
1d 14h 30m
Seller: eBay


Current price:
Ends in:
1d 15h 37m
Seller: eBay

Hornby X10793 Tornado Accessory Bag / Pack

Hornby X10793 Tornado Accessory Bag / Pack
Current price:
Ends in:
1d 16h 35m
Seller: eBay

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