LAST MAJOR HURDLE OVERCOME AS BOILER ORDERED FOR NEW STEAM LOCOMOTIVE

Future of mainline steam secure as boiler for No. 60163 Tornado to be completed in June 2006

Deutsch Bahn's Werk Meiningen
Deutsch Bahn’s Werk Meiningen

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that is building the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for over 40 years, today announced that it had ordered the boiler for No. 60163 Tornado. The contract is with Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Steam Locomotive Works Meiningen), a workshop of the Deutsche Bahn (the German Federal Railway) , through its subsidiary DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH (DB Rolling Stock Maintenance Company), and follows on from an initial order for the redesign of the original LNER Diagram 118 boiler for the 21st century. This order comes as the culmination of over three years of exhaustive discussions with a number of possible suppliers in the UK and continental Europe as well as with the authorities on certification and quality matters. The boiler is due to be completed in June 2006.

The A1 Trust is building Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado at its Darlington Locomotive Works and when complete it will be used on charter trains operating on Network Rail. Significant progress has been made on the construction of Tornado, with £1.3m raised to-date through deeds of covenant and commercial sponsorship and through a bond issue. In order that work can continue on other parts of Tornado whilst the boiler is being constructed, the Trust needs to raise the remaining £220k of its £500k bond issue.

Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented: “This announcement is tremendous news for Tornado and the future of mainline steam in Britain. The boiler is the single most expensive component of Tornado left to manufacture and this order marks the overcoming of the last major engineering hurdle in the construction programme and one for which our many supporters have been awaiting for some time. The first contract issued was to redesign the original Diagram 118 boiler to incorporate modern materials, welded construction and a steel rather than copper firebox. This is expected to be completed August 2005 with construction of the boiler commencing in October 2005.

“With the boiler ordered, it is now a matter of when, not if, Tornado will be completed – and the achievement of our November 2007 target is simply down to how much money we can raise. We are now looking to railway enthusiasts throughout the country to help us complete Tornado through taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our £500,000 bond issue, which is well over 50% subscribed. It’s time those who have been waiting for final proof that this project WILL succeed to help us to finish the job – there are no more excuses left!”

Herr Jürgen Eichhorn, Works Manager, Dampflokwerk Meiningen, commented: “After over three years of negotiation we are delighted and feel very honoured to have received the order for Tornado’s boiler from The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. We feel this might be a significant step into the British market which we consider to be most important for us in the future. We are all looking forward to a pleasant business relationship.”

SOME ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BOILER AT WERK MEININGEN

Rolling the front barrel ring
Rolling the front barrel ring

Drilling the front tubeplate
Drilling the front tubeplate

Discussing the banjo dome
Discussing the banjo dome

Welding the firebox to the boiler barrel
Welding the firebox to the boiler barrel

Fitting the firebox door
Fitting the firebox door

Affixing the CE plate after the successful tests
Affixing the CE plate after the successful tests