ROLLS-ROYCE TO SPONSOR NEW STEAM LOCOMOTIVE NAMED TORNADO
Smokebox delivered to Works
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 Rolls-Royce plc has joined its growing list of sponsor-partners. The Trust is raising £1.6 million to build a new ex-LNER Peppercorn Class A1 No. 60163 Tornado, named after the RAF fighter-bombers used in the 1990/91 Gulf War. Coincidentally, Rolls-Royce builds the RB199 jet engines that power the Tornado jet.
Rolls-Royce will be helping the Trust by machining parts of the new locomotive’s three sets of motion at its Hebburn works. The motion is the metal rods that connect the locomotive’s three cylinders to its six 6’8” driving wheels. The Trust estimates that when completed, Tornado’s motion will have cost around £190,000 at full commercial rates.
In addition, Rolls-Royce will be seconding a graduate trainee to the Trust to develop an apprentice training programme for implementation jointly with the Darlington Partnerships at the Trust’s ‘Darlington Locomotive Works’. Rolls-Royce will also be donating surplus machinery to the Trust for use in the Works.
Philip Clifton, Operations Director of Rolls-Royce Transmission and Distribution, commented, “We are delighted to be able to support such an ambitious project as that to build a new steam locomotive in the 1990s. Like Rolls-Royce, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust prides itself on being the Best of British Engineering. We are pleased to be able to help the Trust with its machining requirements and to help train the engineers of the future in the North East. We look forward to working with the Trust over the coming years.”
David Champion, Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added, “Rolls-Royce is recognised as the cream of engineering in the North East. The Trust couldn’t wish for a better sponsor-partner to work with on the machining of Tornado’s motion and the development of the Works’ apprentice training programme. We are actively seeking additional sponsors and covenantors to enable the locomotive to be completed by 2000.”
Smokebox Delivered to Works
The smokebox barrel of the new steam locomotive, the first part of its boiler, was delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works on Tuesday 24th March 1998 for fitting to the locomotive’s frames. The smokebox door is currently being manufactured by pioneer covenantor Ian Howitt. The door’s fittings were paid for through the Trust’s dedicated covenants scheme.