Virgin apprentices at Darlington

A second group of engineering apprentices from Virgin Trains has joined the team in Darlington Locomotive Works to help with the construction of Prince of Wales.
As part of a sponsorship agreement with Virgin Trains, apprentices are being given the opportunity to experience a different railway environment at The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s Darlington Locomotive Works where Peppercorn class A1 No. 60163 Tornado was completed in 2008 and No. 2007 Prince of Wales is now under construction.
The second two apprentices, Scott Henderson and Andrew Patterson from Virgin Trains’ Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh, have just completed a week-long stint with the Trust at DLW working on No. 2007 Prince of Wales. Over this period, they have worked with A1SLT staff, helping with the shaping and fabrication of the locomotive’s distinctive boiler cladding using the dinosaur-like former nick-named ‘Craig the Cretaceous’. More apprentices are expected to follow in the coming months.
Speaking of the arrangement, John Doughty, Engineering Director for Virgin Trains on its east coast route, said, “While we look forward to introducing our new Virgin Azuma train fleet from 2018, it’s important to promote and preserve the history and heritage of our east coast route. Our sponsorship of the Trust gives our apprentices the opportunity to experience a very valuable taste of the heavier side of railway mechanical engineering.”
VTEC apprentices Scott Henderson and Andrew Patterson bending cladding supports – David Elliott