returned to her birthplace in Darlington on 28th October for the first time since she was completed and unveiled to the world's press in August 2008. Tornado
will be at Darlington Locomotive Works until May 2015 undergoing her intermediate overhaul having completed 80,000 miles over the past six years.
The initial dismantling of Tornado
took place at Barrow Hill Roundhouse following her last appearance in steam and in her blue livery at the annual convention of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust on Saturday 4th October 2014. Her boiler was lifted from her frames and dispatched to DB Meiningen Locomotive Works, Germany, where it was built, for overhaul. Tornado's
frames left Barrow Hill on the 27th October and her tender will follow in the New Year. Her support coach will move to Locomotion, NRM Shildon, in due course.
In addition to being the first time that Tornado
has returned to Darlington Locomotive Works since she was completed in 2008, it is the first time ever that a Peppercorn class A1 'Pacific' and Gresley class P2 'Mikado' have sat side-by-side. The last class P2 was rebuilt from a 2-8-2 to 4-6-2 wheel arrangement class A2 'Pacific' in 1944, four years before the first Peppercorn class A1 was completed. Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales
(Britain's most powerful steam locomotive) is under construction at DLW with a planned completion date of 2021.
The main item of work during Tornado's
intermediate overhaul will be a full internal inspection of her boiler, requiring the removal of all of the tubes, as the boiler first steamed in January 2008. As a precaution the firebox foundation ring corners will be renewed and a significant number of stays replaced. The boiler and smokebox have been sent to DB Meiningen to carry out this work in order complete it in the shortest possible time. The boiler is expected back from DB Meiningen at the end of January 2015.
Work on the engine frames include re-setting of hornblock/axlebox clearance, which requires all coupled wheels out at once; a thorough check for frame cracks using non-destructive testing (NDT); a thorough inspection of all bolted/riveted joints; and improvements to pipework and installation of air pumps to speed removal and refitting. The engine will be re-assembled during February/early March 2015. Tornado's tender will receive a general inspection, clean out and if necessary repairs to the tank as well as possibly preliminary work for the fitting of ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System which starts to come into use in 2016).
Tornado and Prince of Wales at Darlington Locomotive Works - David Elliott
will be steam tested at Darlington Locomotive Works where she will receive a full re-paint into the LNER apple green livery that she carried when named by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in 2009. It is planned to hold a number of events in Darlington with No. 60163 Tornado
and the frames of No. 2007 Prince of Wales
in April 2015 before she is re-united with her support coach at Locomotion and re-enters main line service in May 2015 with a further seven year certificate.
Mark Allatt, Chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, "After six years of hard work on the Network Rail main line and heritage railways the length and breadth of Great Britain, No. 60163 Tornado has covered 80,000 miles since she was unveiled to the worlds press at Darlington Locomotive Work. In that time she has hauled the Royal Train three times, starred in BBC Top Gear's 'Race to the North' and brought a smile to the faces of thousands of onlookers. Now she has come back to her birthplace to be overhauled and returned to as-new condition so that she can continue to delight the public and introduce new generations to the awesome sight and sound of a steam locomotive at speed on the main line."
"The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust would like to thank all of its supporters for their on-going generosity without whose support Tornado
would not be able to continue her main line career."
Why not visit No. 60163 Tornado
under overhaul and No. 2007 Prince of Wales
under construction? Darlington Locomotive Works is open from 11:00hrs to 16:00hrs on the third Saturday each month.