ANNUAL EXPENDITURE ON BUILDING NEW PEPPERCORN CLASS A1 REACHES £¼ MILLION
Enough to restore more than one Barry wreck per year!
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that is building the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for almost 40 years, today announced that its annual expenditure on the construction of No. 60163 Tornado has reached £¼ million for the first time. This is enough to completely restore from scrapyard to mainline condition a similar sized locomotive each year.
David Champion, chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “Over the past 30 years the railway preservation movement has achieved many ‘impossible’ dreams – No. 60163 Tornado is simply the next major step forward. However, most railway enthusiasts still do not recognise the step change that differentiates new steam locomotive construction from even the most thorough and complex restorations and overhauls, such as the
re-building of No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester. Tornado will be on its wheels in time for its Annual Convention in October. This will be the first time that a new mainline steam locomotive has been wheeled since the completion of British Railways last steam locomotive in 1960.”
The steel tyres have already been fitted to the two 3ft 8in Cartazzi (trailing) wheels by the Trust’s contractor, Ian Riley of Riley & Son (Electromech) Ltd of Bury and tyre turning is now in progress. This will be followed by the four 3ft 2in front bogie wheels.
Performing a similar operation on Tornado’s six 6ft 8in driving wheels is more complicated due to their size. The demise of steam on British Railways over 30 years ago has left few workshops able to machine such large wheels – modern diesel and electric locomotive’s wheels are much smaller. Tornado’s six 6ft 8in driving wheels will therefore have to be moved from Bury to the Severn Valley Railway’s workshops at Bridgnorth for turning, returning to Bury for the tyres to be fitted, before again visiting the SVR for the newly fitted tyres to be turned.
David Elliott, technical director of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added: “The building of Tornado has meant the rediscovery of many old skills and new applications for the latest technologies. However, the wheeling of Tornado has proved to be the Trust’s most complicated logistics exercise to-date involving specialist suppliers from across the UK and one in Belgium. 40 years ago all of these processes could have been carried out under one roof at the then
Darlington Works where 23/26 of the original A1s were built.”
Before the wheels are fitted to Tornado, each of the locomotive’s six wheelsets have to be equipped with roller bearings. This involves the fitting of 42 different spacer, abutment and adjustment rings, cannon boxes machined by Ufone and 64 manganese steel liners from Aurora Metals of Sheffield.
Annual Convention – The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s 6th Annual Convention will take place at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington on Saturday 9 October 1999. The centrepiece of the day will be the unveiling of the wheeled locomotive chassis at Darlington Locomotive Works for the first time. This will be preceded by a progress update by the Trust’s board of directors.
Tornado on TV – The project to build Tornado was featured on BBC2’s One Foot in the Past programme on the
future of steam due to be shown on the evening of Saturday 29th May 1999. The programme showed Tornado under construction at Darlington Locomotive Works and featured a number of the Trust’s volunteers. This programme has resulted in a significant number of enquiries to the Trust.
Engineering Update – As well as work on the wheelsets, considerable progress continues to be made on other aspects of the locomotive’s construction:
- Motion: the first batch of motion components – the upper slide bars and the right hand reversing arm – have been sent to Ufone for machining. They are due for delivery to Darlington in August and are still available as Dedicated Covenants (see below). The patterns have been ordered for the piston crossheads, three spindle crosshead guides and the cylinder covers.
- Bogie: the bogies bottom centre, end stretchers and crosshead castings have also been dispatched to Ufone for machining. They are also due in Darlington in August.
- Boiler: the most complicated pattern needed for the construction of Tornado has been ordered from Kingsheath Patterns of Kingswinford. The pattern for the superheater header will cost around £9,000. The blast pipe and chimney patterns are with Charles W Taylor for casting with the remaining steam pipe patterns to be delivered to them in July.
Dedicated Covenants – The Trust’s Dedicated Covenant scheme continues to be highly successful, with existing
Covenantors having already funded most of the items so far made available. The latest batch of motion components are:
- Upper slide bars: an additional covenant of £8.33 per month, or a donation of £500, is needed for each of three of these vital motion components.
- Union links: an additional covenant of £5 per month, or a donation of £300, is needed to fund each of three of these motion parts.
- Outside eccentric rod: an additional covenant of £10 per month, or a donation of £600 is needed for the purchase each of two of these very visible parts of the locomotive.
- Right hand reversing arm: an additional covenant of £5 per month, or a donation of £300 is needed to complete this part.