NEW STEAM LOCOMOTIVE APPRENTICES FOR 21ST CENTURY
First outside contract for Darlington Locomotive Works
New steam locomotive apprentices are being hired to build new steam locomotives forthe first time in over 40 years. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that is building the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for almost 40 years at a cost of over £1.6 million, today announced that its engineering subsidiary, the
Locomotive Construction Company Limited (LCC), would be taking on its first apprentice, Edward Farms, and its first undergraduate trainee, Jennifer Cox (before going to university to read mechanical engineering), in June 2000.
Bill Brown, Works Manager, commented: “In addition to keeping steam alive in the 21st Century by building new locomotives, we are now training the steam locomotive engineers of the future. At the LCC we seek to apply the best of both modern and traditional engineering methods, processes and technology, enabling the new construction and overhaul work done at Darlington Locomotive Works to be of a higher standard than when steam was in its heyday.”
In addition to the apprentice programme, Darlington Locomotive Works recently hired Damian Brown to assist the works manager. Damian has been involved with railway engineering since he was six, working on BR Standard 2MT No. 78018 at Darlington. Now 24, he has worked on many locomotives, including Merchant Navy Class No. 35005 Canadian Pacific, A4 Class No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, Peppercorn Class A2 No. 60532 Blue Peter and K1 Class No. 62005 on the Fort William- Mallaig steam.
First Outside Contract - The LCC has recently received its first outside contract, to convert an old Gresley Class
V2 tender chassis into a chassis for the second water-only tender for BR Standard 8P No. 71000 Duke of Gloucester. As the new tender will be fitted with air brakes and roller bearings, the work involves replacing the old vacuum brakes with a new air brake system and the plain bearing wheels with roller bearing wheels, with some of the parts being made at Darlington Locomotive Works. The V2 chassis has already been stripped of all parts and is ready for shot blasting before the total overhaul can begin. Once this contract is completed, the LCC may also be involved in the construction of the new tender tank.
Darlington Works Development - The Machine Shop has been wired in under the expert supervision of covenantor Keith Bottomley from Holmfirth. The newly commissioned CNC turning centre will soon be producing boiler stays for locomotives from across the UK as well as components for the new Peppercorn Class A1 No. 60163 Tornado. Ian Cox of Darlington College has surveyed the site of Darlington Locomotive Works and is producing an architectural model of the whole works site as part of a college project with his students.