The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity that is building, Tornado, the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain for 40 years at a cost of over £1.7 million, today announced that the project was continuing to make steady progress.
Following the completion of the optical alignment survey of the frames by staff from the Severn Valley Railway, the middle and rear cannon boxes for the driving wheels of the roller bearing- fitted locomotive are now in position. The front cannon box will be in position by the end of June. The fitting involves working to clearances of less than 0.002in due to the roller bearings, compared with 0.02in on a conventional plain bearing locomotive.
The coupling rods have had their knuckle pin bushes machined and fitted; the fettling of one rod is now complete, with the other due to be completed by October. The forgings for the remainder of the motion, the value gear, will be ordered shortly. This includes the eccentric rods, expansion links, radius rods, combination levers, union links and
Work on reducing the height of the cab to the new Railtrack standard of 13ft continues and Darlington Locomotive Works now has a functioning Bridgeport milling machine. Considerable progress has also been made towards selecting a supplier for the boiler. As a part of the pre-qualification process, a visit to the locomotive works at Meiningen in Germany with the Trust’s VAB (vehicle acceptance body) took place in January and one is currently being organised to Interlok at Pila in Poland. Other visits may be arranged if organisations reach this stage in the pre-qualification process.
Engineering Link, the Trust’s VAB, paid a visit to Darlington Locomotive Works on 28th May 2002 as part of their on-going certification process for the locomotive. The Trust has continued to fill a number of new voluntary positions as it works to accelerate the project. Alan Lusby, a covenantor and Section Manager Quality, Design & Manufacturing at Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge is the new Quality manager. Alan will work with Graham
Nicholas, another covenantor and Vehicle Acceptance & Standards Engineer at English, Welsh & Scottish Railways, who joins the project as Railway Quality Consultant.
The Trust has changed the opening hours of its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) to allow more voluntary work to be done on the locomotive. DLW will now open to the general public from 11am to 4pm on the 2nd Saturday of every month from August 2002. Access to DLW is via Darlington Railway Centre & Museum, for which a ticket should be purchased. Parties are welcome at the works at other times by prior arrangement (subject to availability) and, as before, the Trust will make every effort to enable covenantors to view Tornado when they are in the area.
Mark Allatt, Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust commented: “The Trust’s income was up by 14% during the past year and the final precise work to wheel Tornado is reaching its climax. For such progress to be maintained, we need many more people to become involved with the project as covenantors and volunteers.”