More progress


The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that is building, Tornado, the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for 40 years today announced that it was continuing to make good progress towards the locomotive’s final wheeling in October at its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW):

  • Hornblock liners completed to enable final fitting of axleboxes for the six 6ft8in driving wheels
  • Bogie horn liners and hornsatays being fitted to enable bogie cannonboxes to be finally fitted
  • The forgings for the remainder of the motion, the value gear, have been ordered. This includes the eccentric rods, expansion links, radius rods, combination levers, union links and valve spindles.
  • Rear steam chest covers (patterns, castings and machining) ordered from Kings Heath Patterns at Birmingham.
  • Production of “as built” frame arrangement drawing on CAD well underway to enable detailed stress calculations to be carried out on frame modifications (two-piece to one-piece frames) as part of certification process.
  • New lifting beam ordered to attach to rear of engine to allow wheels to be rolled in under engine with a single lift
  • Matterson jacks and lifting beams being proof load tested to 25% overload as part of routine certification of lifting gear.
  • New structural floor over offices at DLW are nearing completion. It will create a safe and dry storage area for the Trust’s patterns. This will allow space for a formally organised store at ground level for new components and for construction of other major components for the locomotive.
  • The coupling rods have had their knuckle pin bushes machined and fitted; the fettling of one rod is now complete, with the other due to be completed by October.
  • Work on reducing the height of the cab to the new Railtrack standard of 13ft continues with the arrival of replacement cab sides.

Considerable progress has been made towards selecting a supplier for the boiler. As a part of the pre-qualification process, the visit to the locomotive works at Meiningen in Germany with the Trust’s VAB (vehicle acceptance body) in January was followed by one to Interlok at Pila, Poland in July. Other visits may be arranged if organisations reach this stage in the pre- qualification process.

The Trust has continued to fill a number of new voluntary positions as it works to accelerate the project. Volunteer Bernie Brooks has taken on the role of Document Controller. The Trust is still seeking volunteers in administration, marketing and engineering. Mark Allatt, Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented: “The final precise work to wheel Tornado is now reaching its climax. For such progress to be maintained and we need many more people to become involved with the project as covenantors and volunteers.”