CYLINDERS FOR NEW STEAM LOCOMOTIVE TO BE CAST BY BRITISH STEEL ENGINEERING
Inside cylinder to be cast in June
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, which is building the first new mainline steam locomotive to be built in Britain since 1960, today announced that British Steel Engineering, a part of the British Steel Group, will be casting the new locomotive’s three cylinders. This is the first time a full set of cylinders has been cast for a new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for 35 years. The new ex-LNER Peppercorn Class A1 Pacific, No. 60163 Tornado, is being built from the original 1940s drawings by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity.
British Steel Engineering’s Renishaw Foundry of Renishaw, Sheffield, specialises in complex general engineering castings. It is also the only foundry in the UK with recent experience of casting new mainline steam locomotive cylinders, having cast two new cylinders for the heavily restored No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester in 1980. British Steel Engineering is providing the three new cylinder castings to the Trust at a very substantial discount. The Trust estimates that the three cylinder castings would normally have cost around £25,000.
David Champion, Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted that such a world leading and technically advanced company as British Steel Engineering is to cast our new locomotive’s three cylinders. The work could not be in more experienced and capable hands. Thanks to the help that the company is giving us in producing he cylinders for Tornado, we are confident that we are on-track for completing the locomotive
Glyn Mason, Group Sales Manager, British Steel Engineering, added, “British Steel Engineering is delighted to be associated with such a splendid project as the one to build a brand new mainline steel locomotive in the 1990s. Our agreement is one of great benefit to both parties. The finished locomotive will be a tribute both to the dedication and vision of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the quality of the products of British Steel Engineering and other parts of British Steel.
“This agreement will enable us to demonstrate the variety of uses to which our precision castings can be put and shows that the UK still leads the world in this branch of iron and steel technology. We look forward to working with the Trust on this and other aspects of the locomotive’s construction.”
David Champion concluded, “The addition of British Steel Engineering to our growing list of sponsors, which already
includes BSD (the steel services division of British Steel), Macreadys, William Cook plc and Darlington Borough Council, is a major advance for the Trust. With the laying of Tornado’s frames in January, the casting of 14 frame stretchers and all six 6′ 8″ driving wheels, and the agreement over the new `Darlington Steam Locomotive Works’ in March, no-one can now doubt that we really mean business. 1995 will see further major announcements as the construction of the locomotive gathers pace. In order to maintain this impressive rate of progress, more funds are
urgently needed. We are now appealing to those who want to be a part of this exciting project to become covenantors, sponsors and volunteers to help us maintain this momentum.”
The 3 ton inside cylinder will be cast in mid-June from grade 450/10 spheroidal graphite cast iron. This will be followed by the casting of the left and right-hand cylinders in August. Each cylinder casting will be produced from around 30 individual hand carved patterns and core boxes, weighing over one ton for each cylinder. The patterns were supplied on advantageous terms by Kings Heath Patterns of Cotteridge, Birmingham, the leading supplier of specialist one- off intricate patterns, and each took around four months to produce. The completed castings will
require extensive machining before they can be fitted to the locomotive’s frames and by this time around £200,000 will have been spent on the cylinders, pistons, valves and associated items by the Trust.