A NEW HOME FOR No. 60163

Hopetown Carriage Works – With the awarding of £300,000 in grants for the building from the European Regional Development Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Darlington Council, 1997 saw the old Hopetown Carriage Works converted from a neglected, redundant liability into a new home for the construction of No. 60163.

1997-darlo_works

The solid structure would provide a secure, dry environment in which the final assembly could be undertaken with a full length pit, stores and room for machine tools providing the necessary facilities to do so.  Phase one comprised the restoration of the south wing of the former Carriage Works, including repairs to the roof and walls, replacement windows, lowering of the floor and installation of pits and securing the site. Tenders for the work were let in December 1996 with completion of phase one due by May 1997, although it was the end of the summer before the work was actually finished.

1996-keys

Dorothy Mather receives the keys to Hopetown Works

Frames completed – Following completion of the main frames at Tyseley including the fitting of the inside cylinder and six hornblocks, Tornado (which could now be considered to exist since the frames were a complete unit) travelled to the National Railway Museum.  She arrived at York on 12th March, courtesy of an EWS freight wagon, having become the first A1 to traverse the East Coast Main Line for over 30 years!  Following exhibition at York, the locomotive’s frames were returned to Tyseley for continuation of the work that the team there had been contracted to fulfil.  Once back in Birmingham the outside cylinders were bolted on and the cab structure attached.

Roller bearings – British Timken, manufacturers of tapered roller journal bearings (including those for the original Peppercorn Class A1s so fitted) came on board to supply the Trust with new bearings at very preferential rates.  In addition to supplying the bearings the company also offered engineering support as required, without charge, to assist and advise with the fitting and operation of the bearings.

Tornado arrives in Darlington – On Thursday 25th September the locomotive’s frames arrived in Hopetown Lane from Birmingham and were craned into the newly restored Carriage Works.  On Saturday 27th September Covenantors attending the annual gathering were treated to the sight of the frames being unveiled with great pomp and ceremony in the new ‘Darlington Locomotive Works’.