The last week of August has seen some big milestones hit in Tornado's overhaul. In Loughborough, the driving wheels have been returned to the frames: a significant step fowards! The boiler is now complete; following successful hydraulic and steam tests last month, the Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) team have replaced fixtures including the full set of superheater elements, and painting is almost complete!
After months of hard work re-assembling mainly smaller components to the locomotive, in a huge milestone for this overhaul, Tornado's frames were lifted to receive the driving wheel sets. We are pleased to report that the process went smoothly and the driving wheels are now in place. Installation of the hornstays and spring gear are now being finalised, before moving on to fitting the inside valve gear, pipework and sanders in the coming days. The bogie and cartazzi have been left out initially to aid fitting springs and other remaining equipment to the frames, so as not to restrict access. The frames will then be lifted again to receive these wheelsets.
August has also seen the safety valve pads machined on the top of the boiler in Darlington. The surface finish on the valve pad was past its best and needed machining to restore the finish and improve the reliability of the jointing face going forward.
DLW Workshop Volunteer, George Bee, has been busy over the last couple of weeks testing each of the superheater elements before they were installed within the boiler tubes. After 2 hours at 250psi, the hydraulic test successfully demonstrated that the system is tight. This was the final step for our engineers before handing the boiler over for painting.
The boiler cladding was already in green undercoat and Ian Matthews, Contractor, was able to quickly transform the boiler using high gloss apple green paint. The first strokes went on the morning of Tuesday 22nd August, and by Thursday afternoon the backhead was painted in black with the lining starting to take shape. Once the gloss has dried, varnish will be applied to protect the paint out on the railway and during the transfer to the frames.
Additional work at LMS is continuing on a variety of smaller items as the ETCS installation reaches its conclusion.