18th November 2008
Tornado hauled her final test train on the Network Rail main line from York to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and return on Tuesday 18th November 2008. This test train, sponsored by National Express East Coast, consisted of 10 carriages plus a class 67 diesel locomotive, equating to about 550 tons, and ran at up to 75mph. The new £3 million Peppercorn class A1 60163 Tornado wore National Express livery for the test train as the train operator is the modern-day inheritor of the routes the class A1s were designed to work on.
4th November 2008
60163 Tornado made her first main line test run with support coach from York to Scarborough and return on Tuesday 4th November 2008.
Tornado’s Network Rail main line trials were only possible due to the locomotive being issued with her Engineering Acceptance (EA) certificate on Friday 31st October by Delta Rail and her Route Acceptance certificate on Monday 3rd November by Network Rail. This meant that the locomotive was considered fit from an engineering and operating perspective to undertake testing on Network Rail tracks. These certificates represent a year's continuous work by Graham Nicholas, the Trust’s quality & certification director and his team, compiling the necessary documentation to be presented to Delta Rail Vehicle Acceptance Body in support of their scrutiny process that has led to them issuing the certificate.This was the first time that a new main line steam locomotive had steamed on Network Rail since 1960 and the first Peppercorn class A1 since the last surviving original Peppercorn class A1 60145 Saint Mungo was scrapped in 1966.
Tornado was based at the National Railway Museum (NRM), York, until February 2009. During her stay Tornado undertook her main line tests and trials before completing the certification process and receiving the go-ahead to operate on Network Rail. Tornado’s test runs will took place on Tuesday 4th (locomotive and support coach from York to Scarborough and return), Thursday 6th (locomotive and train to 60mph from York to Barrow Hill, Chesterfield and return) and Tuesday 18th November (locomotive and train to 75mph from York to Newcastle and return). When not undergoing engineering work and preparation for her trials Tornado was on display at the museum.
11th September 2008
Some pictures of the TPWS first in class testing by Thales at Loughborough
Tornado has been loaded onto TOPS under painted number 60163/TOPS number 98863.
27th May 2008
Delta Rail is well underway with its review of changes made to the original Peppercorn design – where the design hasn’t been changed, verification is on the basis of the A1s previous service history. They have also audited the manufacturing processes against the quality management system in order to give them confidence that the locomotive has been constructed in accordance with the agreed design. This audit was successful and no remedial work is required in this area. Frequent discussions have been held with the ORR (Office of the Rail Regulator – formerly known as Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate), most recently on 2nd April, with a further visit on 13th May which has completed their ‘cold’ inspection on the locomotive. This coupled with an interim certification statement from Delta Rail and completion of the agreed testing plan will pave the way for testing and use of Tornado at the GCR. The Route Acceptance Strategy is subject to a number of activities being progressed to support the operation of the locomotive on the main line, the most significant being the now agreed track force testing programme which involves a mixture of testing at the GCR at 60mph, followed by main line testing at 75mph and ultimately 90mph to prove that the locomotive behaves as is expected in comparison with other steam locomotives. This will include instrumentation being placed on the locomotive to measure its dynamic behaviour, similar to the acceptance of modern rolling stock. Tornado is the first steam locomotive this will have been done to.
22nd April 2008Over a one week period at the end of March/ early April, we had three certification visits. The NoBo audit on 26/27th March, VAB construction scrutiny visit on 31st March and the ORR/VAB/NR visit on 2nd April were all successful. On 17th April Tony Broughton visited to collect information to produce the design conformity documentation for the tender.
The Trust intends that Tornado will run on the main line at speeds compatible with today's traffic. It is vital therefore that full certification is obtained.
In 2006, the Regulations covering the approval of new items of railway equipment in the UK were updated to comply with the European Railway Interoperability and Safety Directives. Clarification regarding this has been obtained from the Department for Transport and the Trust is required to comply with this new regime. However, there are no applicable European standards to be concerned with, hence the existing Railway Group Standards (now referred to as 'National Notified Technical Rules') are still applicable. The certification programme is being managed by Delta Rail, as the Trust's appointed Notified Body [NoBo] under the new Regulations.
The derogation (no 05/0150/DGN) that was issued in 2006 exempting Tornado from the need to comply with a range of Railway Group Standard requirements remains valid. Many of these exemptions are similar to those granted for existing steam locomotives approved to run on the network and include such things as exemption from the need for a front end yellow warning panel or a crash-worthy ‘crumple zone’. Issue of the derogation allows the process of design certification to be completed, confirming the locomotive complies by design with the remaining applicable Railway Group Standard requirements.
This, together with a full review of the manufacturing processes and records for locomotive, as well as scrutiny of the proposed maintenance regime, will result in the compilation of the Technical File and NoBo certificate for the locomotive. Concurrently, the Trust has been in discussions with Network Rail to agree a suitable route acceptance strategy to allow the locomotive to be tested and subsequently enter service on the UK main line network.
Overall approval for the locomotive to enter service will be granted by ORR (formery HMRI). This will be in 2 parts: acceptance under the existing ROTS regulations (provided the locomotive is complete by 31 August 2008!) for use on preserved lines (this will cover use in passenger service at the Great Central Railway); and approval as an 'Interoperable' locomotive under the new Regulations for use on the UK mainline network.
By being 'up front' and pro-active in discussions with the railway regulatory authorities, the Trust has found all parties to be encouraging and supportive towards the project, whilst maintaining a thoroughly professional service to ensure that the approval process supports the delivery of a safe and reliable locomotive to the UK preserved and mainline railways.