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The work on Tornado continues in Loughborough and Darlington. At LMS's works, we are now on the final straight ahead of rewheeling the frames. During the overhaul we were aware of a minor alignment issue with the Cartazzi which needed to be resolved during the work. This has now been well advanced and final alignment checks are being completed on the frames and cannon boxes before rewheeling. The pipework on the locomotive frames is now all but complete, with some tasks only possible once the boiler is refitted. The current easier access means all the more difficult work has been completed without the need for our team to discover their inner contortionist, leading to a better quality outcome. It is planned to rewheel the locomotive during the last week of April using the Mattinson jacks, moved down from Darlington for the task.
The motion is being fully refurbished at the Severn Valley Railway and the work is progressing well. This will allow swift installation on the locomotive soon after the rewheeling when Tornado will become a pacific once again. Final fitting up of pipework and other smaller components can then be completed to give an almost complete rolling chassis ahead of the boiler being put into place.
Refurbishment of the boiler has not been the usual stress free task that we are used to, as we have reported before. As previously communicated, the small tubes needed to be replaced but our Boiler Inspector also asked us to consider the replacement of the flue tubes to mitigate any similar risk that testing had could not discover. To that end all the tubes have been removed and a full new set of small tubes and flues is scheduled to arrive in the UK and be delivered to Darlington this week. The team is ready to begin the work of installing the tubes in the coming days so as to move as swiftly as possible to a hydraulic test, and then a steam test at Darlington. During the plans for the refurbishment a number of stay replacements to avoid potential reliability issues was planned. Not all were completed at DB Meiningen, so they are being completed at Darlington. These particularly affect the locomotive as replacement would need the cab to be removed, so by installing new material now it should significantly mitigate this risk.
We are not where we want to be time wise with Tornado, but the team is fully focussed on getting the locomotive into traffic as rapidly as possible. This means that sadly we have had to advise the North Norfolk Railway that we cannot meet the planned dates in May but we are discussing with them the potential of a future visit. At present, despite recent bridge works, Network Rail has advised us that large locomotives cannot traverse the Sheringham branch so we will be working with the NNR to try and overcome this problem.
The ETCS installation also continues to progress. In the coming weeks it is intended to switch the main parts of the system on for the first time, a key milestone for this part of the project.