It seems like every other month brings another wave of obstacles and difficulties delaying Tornado's return to steam. Following the jubilation on the repatriation of the A1's refurbished boiler, it was hoped that a hydraulic and steam test would go smoothly and it would be reunited with the frames soon after. Alas, this has not been the case.
On arrival in the U.K., and following inspection by British Engineering Services, there has been a concern around the quality and installation of the small tubes in Tornado's boiler. At present we are not able to confirm if this is a material or welding issue so all parties (A1SLT, DB Meiningen and BES) have agreed that the most expeditious action is to replace the small tubes whilst we investigate the issue. This approach will not only ensure continued quality and reliability but will be the fastest route to complete the boiler ready for installation on the frames.
Whilst we are obviously disappointed that there is additional work required in this area, we are working hard to return Tornado to the rails as soon as possible. Our focus now is on completing the locomotive ahead of its planned visit to the North Norfolk Railway, ETCS testing at RIDC (near Melton Mowbray) and we remain committed to running the first of the Aberdonian trains on 20th July 2023.
The re-tubing itself will be covered by the boiler's warranty, however Tornado has been away from the main line longer than anticipated, which is having an impact on our earning capability. If you are able to help us at this time by making a donation, it will go directly towards the wider overhaul, returning Tornado to the rails in top condition.