Winter maintenance update

Our last update saw Tornado just after the locomotive had been repainted in West Coast Railway’s paint shop.  On Tuesday 1st September, the day we had been waiting for eventually arrived and No. 60163 was pulled out of the paint shop into the sunshine. This then allowed the team to see and inspect things in daylight, and from this they produced a snagging list of items which had been missed or just needed a second coat of paint.  Inside the cab, the cab sides were repainted, the cab roof thoroughly cleaned and polished, the boiler backhead cleaned and degreased and, where required, repainted.  The nameplates were restored by the painting team at RAF Leeming and a small Trust team went to RAF Leeming to collect them.  Their restoration involved sand blasting to remove all the old paint from the nameplates and the badge plates. Everything was then repainted ready for new badges to be fitted.  However, due to workload the team at RAF Marham hadn’t been able to paint and despatch their badge to Leeming to meet our timescales – so for ‘The Queen of Scots’ the nameplate on the fireman’s side didn’t carry the proper badge, but instead we used a stand-in aluminium RAF Marham badge plate borrowed from DLW – did anyone notice?  One of the last livery details to be added to No. 60163 were the route availability numbers, Ian Greenan having fun applying the water slide transfers.  Numerous small tasks were also tackled including the acquisition of new “DO NOT MOVE” boards with rubber feet (which hopefully won’t scratch the new paintwork!), a full oil level survey, painting the locomotive’s chocks and painting some further cab fittings, the recovered driver’s and fireman’s seats also returned from the upholsterer look very smart.  The spectacle wind shields also had a thorough clean and polish, as did the chime whistle, and we continued to clean and paint tools as time has allowed.

Tornado, reunited with her nameplates, gleams in the sunshine at Carnforth. – Richard Pearson 

Finishing touches!  One of the Carnforth painting team paints the hose cocks. – Richard Pearson

Cleaning Tornado’s cab of spray dust. – Richard Pearson

Ian Greenan applies the RA number to the cabside. – Richard Pearson

A socially-distanced group at the handover of the refreshed nameplates at RAF Leeming. – RAF

Graeme Bunker-James and Steve Davies with one of the repainted plates. – RAF

The opportunity to refresh the support coach also presented itself and it was No. 21249’s turn to receive a bit of TLC when it was moved it to the paint shop for a repaint.  Within a couple of days the coach had received two coats of gloss. The roof was also be painted, and the frames and bogies received a black ‘wash over’.  Axlebox covers, springs and dampers were also be painted in their appropriate colours, and lining and numbers added.  Additional repairs over the following weeks included a roof ventilator, adjusting the brakes and (disaster!) the need to replace the tea boiler!

The support coach is rubbed down in the Carnforth paintshop. – Richard Pearson

The coach receives its first coats of gloss paint. – Richard Pearson

The finished result, carrying BR maroon livery for the first time since its overhaul at DLW. – Richard Pearson

Tornado had a light engine move for ‘The Queen of Scots’ as a shake-down and following the tour there were few items on the ‘snag list’ that needed attending to, the most serious of which was the need to replace a broken left-hand trailing driving wheel spring.  We don’t keep spare springs in the coach as they are too big and heavy, so after setting up a method of work for the spring’s removal and agreeing the next steps with Ian Greenan and Nik Proctor, Richard Pearson then returned to Darlington to collect a spare from DLW. By the time he got back to York, Ian and Nik had finished removing the spring, and had cleaned all the spring hanger bolts ready for refitting. The team then worked into the evening to fit the new spring.  Spring changes can often be long and difficult jobs, but this one went smoothly and they eventually got finished at around 21:30hrs.

Following ‘The Ticket to Ride’ tour and the Stockton & Darlington 195 private charter, the locomotive subsequently needed attention to the shriek whistle and one air pump, as well as continuing research into oil pots and corks sizes, aiming to eventually standardise the corks used on No. 60163.  This will also help David Elliott modify and improve the oil pots on No. 2007, making them all with removeable caps just like the inside motion on Tornado – it is far easier to remove water and any other unwanted debris from the oil pots if you are able to access them properly via a removeable cap.  During the third week in October the locomotive had its boiler washed-out although further plans for No. 60163 will depend on the resumption of railtours, all of which were cancelled following the announcement of the new lockdown.