December construction update

NEW YEAR COMMITMENTS – We have set the following targets for 2019 which will see the project move on significantly.

  • Pony truck complete
  • Boiler ordered
  • Tender tank and frames substantially complete
  • Electrical trunking designed
  • Two air pumps overhauled for fitment
  • Pipework layout designed
  • Heavy motion partially delivered
  • Cylinder block design complete and under construction
  • Valve gear in manufacture

FRAMES – The order is being placed for the outside motion brackets with North View Engineering Solutions in Darlington with delivery expected late February/early March. Daniela Filová has started FEA (Finite Element Analysis) work on the pony truck frames to support a submission to our certification Body Ricardo Rail

WHEELSETS – Ian Matthews has completed the filling of the coupled wheel spokes as far as he can. He has to leave the area round the balance weights until the balancing is complete as the heat from the molten lead alloy which is to be poured into the weight plates between the spokes will burn paint and filler. The rest has been primed in grey followed by a rather fetching shade of blue undercoat to act as a marker layer to help with the final rub down – high spots will revert to the grey primer without breaking through to the filler.

Ian Matthews preparing the wheelsets – David Elliott

AIR PUMPS – An order has been placed on Meiningen for the 2nd Finnish air pump which we acquired last year to be overhauled.

BOILER – David Elliott has completed the revised dome profile 3D model to enable Meiningen to incorporate this is into the updated boiler design as the Tornado dome studs were found to poke through the cladding on the P2! The section on the image below shows the re-profiled dome with the regulator fully open.

Meetings have now been held to discuss the manufacture of the boiler with the companies that have responded to our earlier request for expressions of interest. Once the updated boiler design is available, we expect to be in a position to select a manufacturer and place the order in the first quarter of 2019. The requested delivery date is December 2020.

Re-profiled dome with the regulator fully open – David Elliott/A1SLT

MAJOR BOILER FITTINGS – The machining of the superheater header is under way at Multi-Tech Engineering at Ferrybridge.  Following responses to requests for quotation (RFQ) for the regulator castings we expect to place an order shortly.

CYLINDERS – Daniela Filová has conducted FEA on the castings for the steam passages/valve chambers including incorporating mid-feathers to reduce the maximum stress to an acceptable value. The sectioned casting model shows the mid feather in the steam passage on one of the castings for the inside cylinder. Quotes are being sought to manufacture these items.

Mid feather in the steam passage on one of the castings for the inside cylinder – Daniela Filová/A1SLT

TENDER – I D Howitt Ltd continue to make progress with fabrications and machining castings for the tender frames.  We have received three quotes for constructing the tender tank and are near to a decision on which company to use and expect to place an order in the New Year.

ELECTRICAL – Arrangements are in hand to balance the new turbo-generator turbine wheel, after which it can be tested by replacing a heavily worn turbine wheel on the turbo-generator presently in use Tornado.  Quotes are being sought to manufacture the casing and details for the newly designed axle driven alternator which is required to replace the elderly and scarce Stones Altonum alternators presently used on Tornado and our support coach. These are expensive to maintain and overhaul and use an increasingly unreliable 1960s transistor design of regulator. The new design uses a 180amp truck/bus alternator which is readily available both new and overhauled, is relatively cheap and has the regulator built in.

ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT – We are pleased to welcome Richard Pearson who has joined us recently from a similar role at Locomotion at Shildon. As Engineering and Workshop Manager he will oversee day to day activities in Darlington Locomotive Works and to beef up our engineering capacity to maintain Tornado. Richard’s leaving gift from Locomotion was a sponsored component on Prince of Wales of 1” BSW driving bolt and nut, specifically, bolt and nut 7 that holds the intermediate RH hornblock onto the frames – we couldn’t think of a more appropriate leaving gift!

TRACKWORK – As you may have noticed, Prince of Wales is being built facing the opposite way to Tornado. This will assist at the end of the build when we are steam testing as it will be possible to have most of the locomotive in the shed with only the chimney outside. It also provides more exciting photographic opportunities with the front of the engine emerging from the Works. However it does introduce a logistical problem when the tender arrives, in that it will be at the wrong end of the engine! For space and access reasons during the build, the engine needs to be at the street entrance end of the works, as the mess-room and store prevent the use of the fork lift truck on the west side of the building when a vehicle is parked next to them. This is less of problem for the tender where there is little need for a fork lift to fit and remove components.

To remove the requirement for crane or skate shunting, we have made use of the turnout that was built into the trackwork outside the works when Tornado was approaching completion to install a short siding. This will facilitate swapping over the vehicles from time to time.