Whilst we look forward to updating you all with the news that our flagship locomotive, Tornado, is finally back on the rails, unfortunately that day is a little further away than any of us would ideally like. The overhaul has in part been delayed by the late return of Tornado’s boiler, not reaching Darlington until December. The boiler passed its hydraulic test on arrival at the Works, however some light remedial work is nevertheless still required to be undertaken in the coming days before the steam test in two weeks’ time.
Work on the ETCS project, installing the digital signalling equipment, has also impacted on the overhaul as our workforce has had to simultaneously deal with the conflicting demands of the locomotive and the new signalling system. As a result of this, the detailed scope of work now sees the locomotive returning to service in the spring, rather than late winter as we had hoped.
Consequently, and with deep regret, we have now rescheduled ‘The South Devon Express’, ‘The Cornishman’ and ‘The Yorkshire Pullman’ to the summer, with the new dates to be confirmed later this month. ‘The Aberdonian’ on 27th April and ‘The Clyde Aberdonian’ on 4th May have also been cancelled. At the time of designing the railtour programme there was every confidence that the overhaul would proceed according to plan but as afore mentioned, multiple factors have conspired against us to push back Tornado’s return to traffic. If you were due to travel on these trains or were planning to simply come out and witness the spectacle, we thank you for your understanding.
The Trust is absolutely focused on having the locomotive completed as soon as possible. This overhaul has undoubtedly taught us many lessons, as these processes always do, however we are confident that the hard work, high standards and attention to detail applied these last 12 months will be worth the effort.
To help support our work on Tornado, you can become a regular donor, join The Overhaul Club or make a one-off donation.