Coupling Rods and Motion – At the start of the year the rear coupling rods had the machining completed by Ufone, meanwhile the machining of further rods was underway. The crosshead machining had also started in preparation for welding on the crosshead arms, which drive the drag links that are connected to the combination levers.
Wheelsets – Work continued at DLW to fit the manganese steel liners to the hornblocks to enable the wheelsets to be located in the frames. Serco Railtest conducted the mandatory ultrasonic inspection of the axles and crank pins to confirm their metallurgical integrity and to provide reference traces against which future scans could be compared. Machining of the roller bearing axle cannon boxes for the intermediate and trailing driving wheelsets was also completed at Ufone.
Cannon boxes ready for machining
The bogie with its wheelsets in place
Smokebox – The smokebox was removed from the locomotive following its trial fit. This was to enable further work to be done including welding the stiffening plates into the bottom of the box, fitting the blast pipe and steam pipe extensions, fitting the chimney and liner assembly and tidying up the remaining platework.
Darlington Locomotive Works – The development of Darlington Locomotive Works, home of Tornado, continued to accelerate. Recent equipment acquisitions included a new 6m x 6m five tonne overhead crane funded by a £10,000 grant from Darlington Borough Council. In addition to enabling DLW to take delivery of the 6ft 8in driving wheelsets without complication, it was invaluable in both production tasks, such as the drilling of the bogie, and material handling. It was also been used to lift the smokebox and cab off Tornado to enable the frames to be lifted and the wheelsets fitted. The long-term loan of a set of Matterson jacks from the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) further boosted progress at the works. Initial investigations indicated that the jacks were mechanically sound but required a complete rewire. A representative of Matterson worked with the Locomotive Construction Company Ltd (LCC – the subsidiary of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust that is assembling Tornado) to bring the jacks up to full working order. In addition Matterson’s produced drawings of jacking brackets – for the LCC to fabricate – to enable a straight “in one go” lift. The existing beams would require two lifts. The jacks were restored by the LCC and put into service.