The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust today announced that Tornado’s boiler would be returning to its manufacturer, DB Meiningen, in Germany, following the discovery that more extensive repairs to Tornado’s firebox were needed than originally anticipated when the winter maintenance was planned. Although the full extent of the repairs has yet to be agreed with DB Meiningen, they will include the replacement of several hundred fixed stays and a number of flexible stays as well as repairs to cracks in the two back and two front corners of the foundation ring. Only a very small number of weeping stays were identified out of the more that 2,000 in the firebox and therefore the overwhelming majority of the firebox stay replacements are precautionary to prevent further unplanned work during periods in traffic. The boiler will be lifted from Tornado’s frames later this week at the NRM, York, and sent by road and ferry to Germany where a full assessment of the required work will be made and a rectification plan agreed with Trust engineers. The Trust decided to return the boiler to its manufacturers due to their intimate knowledge of the construction of this type of firebox and the resources they have available to rapidly effect the agreed repairs. The firebox has already been inspected by the Trust’s boiler inspector and representatives from its VAB, insurance company and operators.
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
"Although these problems with Tornado’s firebox are part of learning about the locomotive in today’s operational environment, they are a source of great disappointment to all of Tornado's supporters and customers and our customers' passengers. As a part of our commitment to get Tornado back on the main line as soon as possible the Trust decided that the most appropriate course of action was to return the boiler to its manufacturers. We are working as hard as we can to bring Tornado back to full health and onto the main line at the end of April."
Progress with the work can be viewed here and here and here!
Tornado's boiler is now en-route to DB Meiningen, Germany. Upon arrival early next week it will be inspected and a plan of repair work to the firebox agreed with A1SLT engineers.
The operation to remove the boiler can be seen here
Its examination at Meiningen can be viewed here