LAST MAJOR HURDLE OVERCOME AS BOILER FOR TORNADO ARRIVES IN DARLINGTON

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that is building the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for over 40 years, has announced that the completed boiler for No. 60163 Tornado was unloaded in Darlington today (Sunday 16th July 2006) following its journey from Germany. It was taken off the low-loader using a 200 ton crane and moved inside Darlington Locomotive Works in Hopetown Lane, Darlington, joining the rest of the part- finished locomotive, now 75% complete. The boiler will be mounted on Tornado’s frames in April next year.

Crucial moment in the hydraulic test of Tornado's boiler at Werk Meiningen
Crucial moment in the hydraulic test of Tornado’s boiler at Werk Meiningen

CW certification plate affixed to boiler after the successful hydraulic test at Meiningen
CW certification plate affixed to boiler after the successful hydraulic test at Meiningen

The boiler was manufactured by Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Steam Locomotive Works Meiningen), a workshop of the Deutsche Bahn (the German Federal Railway), to a modified version of the original LNER Diagram 118 boiler incorporating modern materials, welded construction and a steel rather than copper firebox. The boiler was completed on time and to budget and passed its hydraulic test on Monday witnessed by German and British certification authorities before beginning its journey to the UK on Thursday.

The A1 Trust is building Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado at its Darlington Locomotive Works and when complete at the end of 2007, and certified for mainline use by May 2008, it will be used on charter trains operating on Network Rail. To enable the Trust to achieve this target only another £195,000 of a total cost of £2.56m needs to be raised in addition to what has already been donated and pledged.

The boiler arrives on Allelly's low-loader at Darlington Locomotive Works.
The boiler arrives on Allelly’s low-loader at Darlington Locomotive Works.

The lift into Darlington Locomotive Works commences.
The lift into Darlington Locomotive Works commences.

Mark Allatt, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented: “The completion of the boiler is tremendous news for Tornado and the future of mainline steam in Britain. The boiler is the single most expensive component of Tornado and its completion marks the overcoming of the last major engineering hurdle in the construction programme. When this project was launched in 1990 many people said that it could not be done. The delivery of Tornado’s boiler proves the doubters wrong and means that there is only £195,000 and 100 weeks between now and Tornado’s mainline début.

With the boiler delivered, it is now a matter of when, not if, Tornado will be completed and the achievement of our end of 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 making a donation, sponsoring a component, taking part in our covenant scheme and/or our £500,000 bond issue. 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!”