Cylinders and Valves – North View Engineering made progress on the valve heads and spindles. Steve Wood completed machining valve spindle crosshead guides in February and started on Cartazzi spring hanger brackets. Ufone restarted work on the replacement inside piston. During the autumn the Trust was making great progress with the valve gear and motion components. The valve heads and spindles were now completed and in the works in Darlington. The oil box tops for the crosshead drop arm boxes and machining of the valve spindle crossheads were completed. and the cross heads white metalled.
The valve spindles and heads were completed at North View, in the mean time Ian Howitt made the bronze bushes for the front valve chest covers and temporary steel bushes for the rear covers to support a parallel bar to enable final setting of the valve spindle crosshead guides to be done by Steve Wood under Ian’s supervision. The inside top slide bar had been final fitted to the inside cylinder. The order for machining of the valve spindle crossheads was placed with Multi-Tech at Featherstone.
Motion – Eccentric rods were brought from Ufone for finishing elsewhere. In mid-February, the remaining outside motion parts went to Holts Bros, Halifax for hardening. By the summer the last of the outside valve gear had been returned with the working surfaces case hardened. The inside eccentric was fitted to the leading driving axle and the already forged inside motion parts machined. By June the last of the outside valve gear had been returned with the working surfaces case hardened and the inside eccentric was being fitted to the leading driving axle.
Pipework – Ian Howitt had completed the exhaust injector steam pipe. Following hydraulic testing and the fitting of clips,it was positioned on the engine. The driving wheels were removed to facilitate fitting of the injector pipe clips. Pipe was acquired to enable the vacuum train pipe to be installed. By the summer installation of the vacuum train pipe was complete from the front almost to the rear of the engine. The pipework efforts were being directed to that which had to be installed before the boiler could be fitted. Work continued on grinding the outside motion and the radius link die blocks. Various jigs to assist on assembly of the radius links had also been made. Two test specimens of BS570 070M55 (EN9) motion pins were made and then induction hardened and subjected to sectioning and hardness testing by Keighley Laboratories. This confirmed that the hardness and penetration of the hardened case was satisfactory, and that the core material remained soft and ductile as required. The results were presented to the VAB who indicated agreement to the change. The pins were now manufactured.
Sanders – of the Class 86 gear from Shoeburyness, (stripped and cleaned by the volunteers) only the sand traps were usable. Volunteers made adaptors to allow them to fit Tornado’s sand boxes. The traps needed new air strainers. The ejector layout differs from the A1 type making mounting and pipework more complex. The East Anglia Group made 6 new ones to the later fabricated design. Tubing for these and the sand pipes was acquired and collected from Darlington in April. Six flame cut blanks for sand box lids were taken to the Group.
Boiler – Meiningen asked to move the mounting blocks for water gauges and blower outboard by 1.57″ to allow the internal injector delivery pipes to clear the crown stays. Drawings showing the extent of the changes elicited no significant objections so Meiningen was authorised to make the change. An order was placed for machining and fitting the regulator mechanism. The pallet of components including front boiler support, regulator castings, regulator stuffing box, water gauge assemblies, fusible and washout plugs, and one blow down valve was despatched to Meiningen by M Machine on Tuesday 14th February. The rocking grate mechanism was ordered from North View Engineering. Grate patterns from Elsfield Patterns were taken to South Lincs Patterns who made the castings. They finished casting the firebars. South Lincs Foundry of Spalding delivered the 165 cast iron firebars and carriers and North View Engineering Ltd in Darlington completed the carriers and rocking mechanism. The safety valves were tested on No. 60009 Union of South Africa prior to CE marking. This was completed by mid June at which point they were sent to Meiningen for fitting to the boiler
Summer 2006 – The boiler arrived! Following a successful hydraulic testing in Meiningen, witnessed by all the required approval bodies, Tornado’s boiler was given the confirmatory CE marking. After some very careful – and somewhat euphoric – inspection, the whole unit was parked overnight on the field behind the Locomotive Works. Sunday morning saw the early arrival of a large crane plus other lorry loads of associated equipment. The boiler was soon swinging gently from the crane ready to be lowered into the works.
Other fittings – The Severn Valley Railway will carry out our safety valve testing on No. 60009 Union of South Africa in early May in time for delivery for our boiler’s steam test in June. We procured water gauge glasses and gauge protector glasses from J B Treasure of Liverpool (use of the gauge glasses in the Trust collection was abandoned: they are all subtly different, the glass did not comply with the current British Standard and the rear doors were unuseable). New doors were laser profiled and, with the help of Dennis Pearson of DPS Screenprint Co, we sourced vitreous enamelling for the black and white diagonal stripes on the doors.
Brake system – The Trust ordered two air pumps from Meiningen. Installation of the vacuum train pipe was completed from the front almost to the rear of the engine. The pipework efforts were all being directed to that which had to be installed before the boiler was fitted.
Tender – The tender for Tornado was the subject of a major sponsorship deal with The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s principal sponsor, William Cook Cast Products Limited. The actual construction of the tender will be done by I D Howitt Ltd. By the summer of 2006 Ian Howitt was making good progress fitting hornblocks and other castings to the frame plates. The driven bolt work was largely complete by the spring. North view Engineering completed the welding of the drag boxes, and delivery of the fully machined parts was due by the end of March. The detailed design of the revised tender tank was circulated for comment by the VAB. The basic frame structure was nearing completion at Ian Howitt’s works at Crofton with the fitting of the front and back drag boxes. Because the Trust was unable to source disc wheels at a realistic price it was decided to use spoked wheels – at least three A1s ran with them. The redesign of the tender tank to increase water capacity to 6000 gallons at the expense of a slight reduction in coal space was completed. The new design was fully welded. By June the basic frame structure was nearing completion at Ian Howitt’s works at Crofton with the fitting of the front and back drag boxes. Because we were unable to source disc wheels at a realistic price we opted for spoked wheels – at least three A1s ran with them. By the autumn a dimensional survey indicated that the frame was correct within tolerance in length, distance between frame plates and squareness. The horn faces still required trueing up, but this could await completion of the axleboxes in case any problems with them required a concession on the final dimensions of the hornblocks. The wheel and axlebox design was subjected to preliminary scrutiny by the VAB and approved for patterns and casting. Work on finalising the tank drawings was completed and a revised layout was schemed for the brake actuating gear to facilitate conversion to air brakes from the original steam operation. The redesigned brake cross shaft and hand brake arrangement were detailed and the associated stress calculations made.