Saturday, 20 June 2015

A1 Tornado Live Again




A1 Tornado has returned to service following the completion of her eight month, £400,000 overhaul at Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW). 










Tornado’s overhaul included:
  • Full internal inspection of boiler, replacement of tubes, renewal of foundation ring corners and stay replacement including increasing the number of flexible stays to enhance reliability - by DB Meiningen
  • Re-setting of hornblock/axlebox clearance, requiring all coupled wheels out at once
  • Thorough check for frame cracks using NDT and inspection of all bolted/riveted joints
  • Splitting and inspection of roller bearing axle/cannonboxes and repairs as necessary
  • Improvements to pipework and installation of air pumps to speed removal and refitting
  • Clean out and repair tender tank
  • Full re-paint in LNER apple green
 Seen soon after completion in 2008 Tornado being tested
on the GCR

The £3m locomotive was originally completed at DLW in 2008 after 18 years of construction and fundraising and named by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall the following year. 
During 2015, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is celebrating its Silver Jubilee – 25 years since the project to build a new ex-LNER Peppercorn class A1 was launched in 1990.




Newly repainted into her glorious apple green livery, Tornado steamed at Darlington Locomotive Works on Wednesday 10th June undergoing tests before moving by road to Locomotion – The National Railway Museum at Shildon on Friday 12th June for commissioning and mileage accumulation. On Wednesday 17th June No. 60163 Tornado carried out her main line test run and travelled from Shildon in County Durham to Millerhill depot near Edinburgh in preparation for a series of trains in Scotland.

Tornado’s packed main line and heritage railway diary for the rest of 2015 includes (see www.a1steam.com for details):
  • 20th June – 'The Highland Rambler' – Stirling to Inverness – Scotrail/Steam Dreams
  • 21st June (Father's Day!)  – 'The Seaforth Highlander' – Inverness to Brora and return – Scotrail/Steam Dreams
  • 22nd June – 'The Highland Caledonian' – Inverness to Stirling – Scotrail/Steam Dreams
  • 27th June – ‘The Border Reiver’ – Carlisle to Glasgow and return - Scotrail/Steam Dreams
  • 7th July (new date)  - 'The White Rose' King's Cross to York with D9009 Alycidon and return with No. 60163 Tornado - A1SLT booking through UK Railtours
  • 12th July - 'The Torbay Express' - Bristol to Kingswear and return - Torbay Express
  • 26th July - 'The Torbay Express' - Bristol to Kingswear and return - Torbay Express
  • 2nd August - 'The Torbay Express' - Bristol to Kingswear and return - Torbay Express
  • 8th August – The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
  • 11th August – 2nd September – Nene Valley Railway, Peterborough
  • 11th September – The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
  • 23rd September – London Victoria to Bristol and return – Belmond British Pullman
  • 26th September - 'The Silver Jubilee Talisman' London to York, Darlington and Newcastle - A1SLT booking through UK Railtours
  • 6th November - The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
  • 8th December – Christmas Lunch – Belmond British Pullman
  • 12th December – Christmas Lunch – Belmond British Pullman
  • 31st December – 'St. Mungo Anniversary Tour' – York to Newcastle and return – A1SLT (details tbc)

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