The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has sent the Tornado’s boiler back to its manufacturer, DB Meiningen, in Germany for repairs.
The firebox needs more extensive repairs than originally anticipated when winter maintenance was planned. The locomotive has been in intensive use for two and a half years as Tornado has operated across Britain on main line charters and heritage railways.
The boiler and firebox usage is similar to that which would be expected between heavy general overhauls in the 1950s on British Railways. The scope of work will enable Tornado to return to traffic in early May and take up a comprehensive programme of tours and heritage line visits in diverse locations from Edinburgh to Plymouth and Carlisle to Canterbury.
In the meantime work has continued with routine maintenance of the rest of the locomotive. Says Mark Allatt, chairman, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, ‘Although these problems with Tornado’s firebox are part of learning about the locomotive in today’s operational environment, they are a source of great disappointment to all of Tornado’s supporters and customers and our customers’ passengers.
As a part of our commitment to get Tornado back on the main line as soon as possible the Trust decided that the most appropriate course of action was to return the boiler to its manufacturers. We are working as hard as we can to bring Tornado back to full health and onto the main line at the end of April.’