It is with considerable regret that we have to announce that the ‘The North Briton’ on Saturday 9th February from the East Midlands to Carlisle via the Settle & Carlisle Railway has had to be postponed and re-dated to September 2019 – we are hoping to have confirmation of the precise date within a few days.
Following its test run earlier this month it was identified that No. 60163 Tornado had suffered some damage to a motion bush as a result of a minor deflection to the combination lever on the driver’s side. During the test run, Trust personnel had noticed that Tornado was slightly off-beat – something impossible to detect until the locomotive had left the 25mph Nene Valley Railway and picked up speed on the Network Rail main line. Investigations to-date lead us to believe that this damage was caused during a priming (water carry over) incident whilst operating a photo charter train on the Nene Valley Railway during our last couple of weeks of operations. It was, however, not possible to identify the cause of the damage to the motion bush without significant dismantling of the engine. After work to rectify this issue, and a thorough C exam including a piston and valve inspection, the engine has been reassembled and Tornado is currently in the middle of her annual recertification prior to returning to the main line.
Despite best efforts by our Director of Engineering and his team of staff and contractors, we have been advised by our operator DB Cargo that they now have insufficient time to complete the necessary processes and procedures, both internal and industry, to facilitate the necessary test run to enable Tornado to haul ‘The North Briton’ on Saturday 9th February.
After so much hard work and dedication by the team who worked to get Tornado and her support coach ready for the first test run and the additional effort over the last fortnight, this is a bitter blow. We recognise this will also be a great disappointment for all those who support the locomotive and we seek your further patience and support whilst we clear the remaining hurdles to Tornado’s imminent return to main line service.
We will be running a further ‘The North Briton’ from the East Midlands and South Yorkshire in September 2019. We are awaiting the exact date to be confirmed, if you are booked on this tour, our booking agents (UK Railtours) will be in contact when the date is confirmed.