Skip to main content

Tornado's Overhaul 2022

No. 60163 Tornado enters a scheduled maintenance period in the first half of 2022.

In six months, the engineering team working on refreshing the locomotive will renew and replace many worn elements. As you will read below, there is much work to be done.

Progress to date

Click on the dates below for progress updates:

  • 11th March
  • 25th February
  • 11th February – The Boiler
  • 11th February
  • 27th January

What needs to be done

  • New tyres for driving wheels and the tender

The tender tyres are life expired and need to be replaced now.  Although the driving tyres could be reprofiled, they would then be at the permitted limit and any subsequent damage would require them to be replaced.  We have therefore taken the strategic decision to retyre them now to avoid a potential issue after the loco returns to traffic next year.

We have tender and driving wheel tyres ready to be fitted by South Devon Railway Engineering.  Once the boiler has been removed, the tender and loco frames will be lifted and the wheelsets moved by road to Buckfastleigh.  This will require all the motion and brake rigging to be removed and this will all be refurbished.  Key components will be subject to Non-Destructive Testing to ensure no fatigue cracks are present before being placed into store.  As part of the overhaul, we will  purchase 2 shipping containers to store parts removed from the locomotive and tender.

  • Machining and fitting of new cylinder liners

The cylinder and valve liners will be checked and measured, but we anticipate the need for them to be replaced. This will be completed for us by Metalok who have the knowledge, experience and equipment to remove and fit new liners. The new liners will need to be shrunk in liquid nitrogen before being fitted into the cylinder block casting.  Once in place they will then be bored to the final size and carefully measured to confirm they are correct in all dimensions and armed with the final sizes, the piston and valve heads will then be machined to fit the new bores and new rings ordered for the pistons and valves.

  • Preparation for fitment of European Train Control System

Whilst the boiler and wheels are removed, new electrical conduits will be fitted to both the loco and tender in preparation for the fitment of the new European Train Control System.  This also requires the construction of a new locker space on the tender to incorporate the ETCS computer racking and control equipment.  To facilitate this and access to air tanks under the tender, the tender tank will be removed from the frame.  This will allow new conduits to be fitted to the tender and at the same time new sensors and control gear will be installed in the loco and tender brake system.

To meet the ETCS additional power demands, we will fit a second turbo generator behind the left hand smoke deflector on the driver’s side of the smoke box matching the existing one on the left.  This will require additional steam supply from the cab and conduits to take the output back to the cab.

  • Ancillary Systems

Further attention will also be given to the rest of the locomotive with a range of tasks such as flushing and checking the lubrication system, overhaul of the steam valves, fittings, injectors and water valves. Key items of the air brake system will be inspected or sent for calibration and all the air receivers will receive mandatory inspection. A steam heat regulating valve will also be fitted which will prevent the need for the fireman to manually regulate the steam heat pressure dependant on the boiler pressure and the consequential number of leaks in the steam heat pipework on the coaching stock!

How you can help

Whilst Tornado generates funds to pay for much of its own maintenance, we rely on the generosity of our regular donators (Covenantors) to top up the pot and help maintain income while the locomotive is receiving attention from the engineers.

In addition, we have launched The Overhaul Club to bridge the gap of lost earnings caused by the pandemic, and early withdrawal from service. Find out how you can help return Tornado to tip-top condition here.