February news

This winter Tornado is her undergoing routine maintenance in the engine shed at Leeming Bar, Wensleydale Railway.  During this period the focus is on preparing the locomotive for another season of operations and carrying out its annual ‘MOT’. (Photos by Richard Pearson)

A summary of the work to date:

  • we have carried out a full piston and valve examination, which has involved renewing the piston rings
  • critical areas of the coupling and connecting rods have been subjected to Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) crack detection and inspecting all coupling and connecting rod bushes with renewal of white metalling where necessary
  • on inspection of the boiler, two firebox stays were found to be leaking which has necessitated removal of the cab to gain access to them. Whilst the cab is off, the opportunity has been taken to replace a number of rigid boiler stays and welding repairs have also been carried out to foundation ring corners
  • whilst the grate has been removed to facilitate firebox repairs, the side and middle carrier bars have been renewed as the old ones were becoming tired
  • repairs have also been made to the self-cleaning plates and screens in the smokebox
  • injectors have been overhauled
  • all gauges have been sent away for their annual re-calibration
  • some additional work, over and above that to renew No. 60163’s certificate, has been undertaken to reduce the likelihood of significant repairs being required during the forth coming running season.

Still to complete:

  • refitting and connecting injectors
  • refitting the coupling and connecting rods
  • replacing cladding and cab
  • examination of the locomotive in steam by our boiler inspector and inspection party which will issue the new engineering acceptance certificate.

In order to ensure we have the funds available for No. 60163 Tornado’s overhauls we need to raise in excess of £250,000 each year. Our Covenantor scheme – an A1 for the price of a pint of beer a week – raised the funds to build Tornado and now provides the essential support to keep our locomotive in tip-top condition. If you are not already a Covenantor, we would be delighted to welcome you on-board, from as little as £2.50 each week, to ensure we keep Tornado on the main line where she belongs. Our Covenantor forms can be found here including a registration form (including a Gift Aid declaration) and a standing order form which can be completed and returned to Darlington Locomotive Works.

Following removal of the cab, the fire grate was removed – this was to allow access to the broken stays. David Wright and Huw Parker take a minute before removing the last of the very heavy rocking bars!

The main central fire grate carrier will be replaced. The picture shows the old and new central carriers; the bend in the old carrier – which is the reason for replacement – can be clearly seen

The work of welding in the new stays has been completed

Oceaneering International Services Ltd carried out MPI crack detection work on the engines coupling and connecting rods