After months of frustration and hard work on Tornado's boiler, we are delighted to report that following a successful hydraulic text last week, the boiler today passed its steam test. BES Boiler Inspector Peter Cairns shook hands with Richard Pearson, Locomotive Manager, following the news this morning. This milestone is a huge step towards Tornado's triumphant return to the rails!
On the morning of Wednesday 12th July, Tornado's boiler was put to the test. The team had gently nursed the fire over the weekend to ensure that the boiler was warmed through, slowly building steam as the week began. Buoyed by bacon sandwiches from the shovel, and no signs of defects under pressure, the boiler inspector was called for a midweek appointment. We are now delighted to report that the inspector was pleased with what he saw, and the boiler passes without issue.
The boiler will now be ensconced in its cladding whilst in Darlington, before moving swiftly after to be reunited with the soon-to-be wheeled frames at LMS in Loughborough. It won't be long now until our fine locomotive is back on the rails!
It has been a long journey to get to this point, not only with additional work required around the ETCS project and other components overhauled in Loughborough, but with a protracted course of action required to return the boiler to steam. Since delivery at Christmas, and facing challenges around materials quality, the team from Northern Steam have worked with the staff, contractors and volunteers at Darlington Locomotive Works (old and new!) to remove, replace, secure and weld the tubes. A great team effort has led us to today's milestone.
We thank all of our Covenantors and Club Members for their patience and continued support during this major overhaul. Whilst much of the cost is being recovered for the work required, there's no doubt that time away from the main line is impacting our ability to fundraise for this record breaking locomotive. Therefore, we ask you to show your love for Tornado, and if possible, make a donation today.