The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that significant progress has been made on two new boilers for A1 No. 60163 Tornado and 2007 Prince of Wales.
Back in June 2019, the Trust placed an order with Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Steam Locomotive Works Meiningen) worth £1m for two new Diagram 118 boilers. The order will supply a new boiler for Gresley P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales, and a spare boiler for 2007 and 60163 ‘Tornado’.
This order will allow the Trust to rotate three identical boilers between its two locomotives, with two operational boilers and one spare undergoing overhaul.
This move by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust will reduce the time out of traffic for 2007/60163 by around four months and will increase the revenue earned by each locomotive. By having two boilers on one order, the A1SLT has saved a six-figure sum that would have been spent if they had boilers produced separately.
The first boiler will be fitted to 60163 Tornado during its next overhaul, believed to be completed towards the end 2021, with the boiler arriving towards the end of 2020. The second boiler will be delivered before the end of 2021 and will be fitted to 2007 Prince of Wales.
Just one year after the announcement of the order, DB Meiningen is making good progress with the major components of the boilers.
The boiler barrel has been rolled and welded, and the dome covers have been pressed and machined. The firebox tube plates have been drilled; the foundation ring sections have been forged, with the foundation rings themselves being welded together.
The first of the barrels is being tacked together and will be connected to the inner firebox. Included in the order was two sets of superheater elements, and the first of these have been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works as a spare in case there is a problem with Tornado’s before its next overhaul.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has a number of fundraising appeals to support the manufacturing of the two boilers. The funding of the boiler for Prince of Wales, and the contribution towards the spare is coming from The Boiler Club, launched in October 2016. The funding of Tornado’s contribution has come from the I ❤️ Tornado campaign, which has now been closed.
Graeme Bunker-James, Commercial Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented: “We are delighted with the progress being made by DB Meiningen on our two new boilers. With all of the major pressings produced and boiler barrel sections rolled we are now starting to see assembly of the first boiler’s firebox shell and boiler barrel.
“The decision to procure two new boilers – one for the ‘heir’ Prince of Wales and the second a ‘spare’ for both No. 2007 and Tornado – is a major strategic move by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and fulfils a long-held desire to have three boilers for our two locomotives in order to reduce their time out of traffic during overhauls and act as an insurance policy. Having a ‘spare’ boiler will greatly assist with the delivery of regular itinerary tours and ensure that we are a reliable provider of locomotives to our customers as well as our direct passengers.
“The start of construction of the boiler for No. 2007 Prince of Wales is the next major milestone in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive and its delivery in 2021 keeps the project on-track for completion within the next three years.
“The Trust was only able to make such a bold move due to the loyalty and generosity of its supporters of both locomotives. We therefore urge those not yet on-board to join us as ‘price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantors for both locomotives and as a member of The Boiler Club for Prince of Wales.”
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