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Tornado

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Leander's Shovel, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Nah, but it does look odd!
     
  2. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Sir, if you enjoyed yourself then that’s fair enough :)
     
  3. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I met Michael Portillo and the late Sir William McAlpine. I had champagne - literally - with breakfast, a fried bacon bap (back in the days before it was haram for me!), I chatted with other passengers, we all took photographs, we were in beautifully kept Mk1 coaches, Scotsman ran well, I spoke to BBC Radio Kent, even got in the cab for a few photos. I met a few friends I hadn't seen in years and had drinks with them at the NRM. The return trip back to London was just as fabulous.

    That day sticks out, not because of the trespass, though that was hugely irritating, but because of how many happy and excited people I met on the day. It was one of those days out that etches into the memory.
     
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  4. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    It really was a good day. Through complete quirk of fate I managed to see Scotsman arrive at Kings X with its stock in the morning, before heading up North for work, and then was able to dive over to York to see it (and Portillo and associated throng) outside the NRM. I think it was the first time I'd seen Scotsman in one piece in almost 40 years.

    Simon
     
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  5. clinker

    clinker Member

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    I had a run like that back in St Pancras days, (1983?) surrounded by 'Road Steam Royalty' loads of drink, met up with Alan Peglar, Who seemed a genuinley decent sort of bloke, chatted with every-one, and then the return run was the drivers last before retirement, managed to hold the train up for as long as possible, had engineering works delays and there is just a remote possibility that We may have just exceeded the 60 mph speed limit of those days. It was during the week between Christmas and New Year when the 'City Gents', soon to be ousted by the 'Yuppies' went into work and were waiting in Banbury station as We went through, what a sight. The then Mayor of Saffron Walden, Steve Neville went all along the train making a collection for the crew, think that it was £135 and a bottle of Moet, and arrived at St Pancras ahead of time, great days and all with a single chimney (Gosh, this is the Tornado thread how dare I post about Flying Scotsman)
     
  6. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    Dates for the Aberdonian this summer have been announced, but The Yorkshire Pullman and South Devon Express are gone from the 21st Century Steam website. Have they been fully cancelled or still awaiting a new date?
     
  7. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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  8. Sheff

    Sheff Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well I find the resounding silence on here, in reaction to this latest postponement of Tornado’s return, more than a little concerning.

    The loco had an avid following not so very long ago, including by myself, but now no one seems to raise an eyebrow in surprise as yet another hire-in customer is let down.

    What is going on at Darlington?

    Remember the loco was supposed to be back on the main line in June 2022 after a 6 month overhaul.

    The annual accounts to the Charities Commission are now 6 weeks overdue.

    Grahame Bunker and Huw Parker are no longer Trustees, but their departure goes unreported to us Covenantors.

    There’s no Workshop Manager and they’ve been looking for a replacement Finance Director for many months.

    The latest news letter shows the cab off again, though it was fitted during the tyre turning at Toton.

    Slightly off topic, progress on the P2 seems minimal. Still no boiler and the cylinder block has been sat on the ground next to the frames for almost half a year.

    Hopefully the accounts will appear very shortly so we can get a better picture of the underlying position.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    We can simply offer our greatest sympathy to the A1ST. Best laid plans..and all that.
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's one option. However - from this outsider's perspective - historically the A1 Trust has always seemed to be very surefooted both in communications terms and in their general operational and project planning. So I think it is legitimate - particularly for those like @Sheff who have been long-term supporters - to ask why things appear to be slipping in those areas.

    Just as a hunch - my own view is that building requires different skills to maintaining and operating. Some people just seem temperamentally better suited to one side of that equation than the other. I just wonder if the upper echelons of the A1 Trust are struggling with that transition from being a business primarily focused on building something to one focused on operating it. That is offered as an observation, not a criticism - there are many cases in business where entrepreneurs who are skilled at taking a novel idea and turning it into a new business turn out not to be well suited to the entirely different challenge of running that business day-to-day.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2024
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  11. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I wonder what the business model is. Assuming 2024 is a proving year running the Aberdonian, will Tornado be signed to WCRC to head up the Northern Belle next year? In the current world of TOCs with their in house locos ( the six at LSL, the WCR pool plus Bahamas) where is the baseload guaranteed work going to be for Tornado, never mind the P2?
     
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  12. Romsey

    Romsey Part of the furniture

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    I agree completely with Tom. Some people are operators and some are engineers. Occasionally there is someone who understands both groups and can manage them.
    Having been a volunteer with a small group going through an extensive overhaul of a large loco, the change to operation on the main line was eventually too much of a change of culture. There was experience in the group from mainline operations ten years before, but the ground rules had changed and it was a game of catch up which eventually failed.

    There are still people around who bear the scars of that period, so I will not name the group nor locomotive involved.

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  13. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    Setting aside the current problems with CDL West Coast have a fleet of their own engines so understandably they will not want to pay a steaming fee to third party owners. It’s why Bahamas has to go south in the spring/summer to earn its keep, a big commitment from support crews who are largely northern based. Tornado is registered with both DB and WC as is the Duchess so when they are back in operation they will be in great demand as both are air braked.
     
  14. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    Tornado has been operating since 2008, so the Trust has been operating her for far longer than people actually think, but there could be some truth in that thought.
    I think though that a number of things have all happened in one go that has caused a perfect storm: call it the difficult second album... / overhaul! Her first one was easy, new loco, new boiler - quick turnaround. They thought they could replicate by fitting another new boiler, but that got scuppered. They then got hit with the reality of a loco that has actually covered 100, 000 miles since being built and entered the real world of being a steam loco owner.
    This has coincided with new people coming in, a base move and trying to complete the P2 - all big challenges on their own and never planned to be completed at the same time. Oh and the fitting of an entirely new signalling system!
    I am not going to be critical, the trust will know there are many learning points and I very much doubt they will plan another sub 12 month overhaul. What we all need is an operating Tornado, we mustn't forget what a remarkable achievement it was in the first place.
     
  15. osprey

    osprey Resident of Nat Pres

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    We're also forgetting Covid which has had an awful impact on all aspects of our lives.... I think it is very overlooked...
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Indeed, as others have indicated, it's a different world now for mainline steam operators, and there are always new hurdles to be jumped, designing and fitting a complete new untested, on a steam loco signaling system can only make things harder, over time skills get lost, people come and go, bringing new skills, but at the same time, your losing old wise heads, and once gone, so is that knowledge, I take the view of it will be ready, when its ready, if anything, its been a perfect storm for the group, with lots of problems some linked, some not, effecting the timescale, she won't be long now, a few months, hopefully, already, its been an very uncertain year for mainline steam, the CDL issue with WCRC, the shortage of available stock because of it, I would think that due to the stock problem, Tornado will be able to find work until Carnforth can work though what needs to be done, if it goes on through the main summer season, with a shortage of air braked locos, and only having air braked coaches available, Tornado might well find its self in demand.
     
  17. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    There will be no shortage of work for Tornado - a powerful, fairly gauge friendly loco that can haul any stock & is registered with both West Coast and DB - the industry is crying out for it atm.
    Will also be welcome revenue for the trust, they have always said all income (including P2) is directly related to Tornado operating successfully. It's their best advert.
     
  18. blink bonny

    blink bonny Member

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    It's a sobering thought that in a couple of months, Tornado will have reached the average age since entering service of the A1 class when they went to the torch. 15 Years, 10 months, 3 weeks.

    At the moment it's older than the age 24 of the original Peppercorns attained.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
  19. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I'll preface this comment by simply saying that it's a view, nothing more.

    The A1ST has always tried to be a high profile set-up with an, at times, heady media presence especially in terms of the various events that the loco has been involved in. This has not always resulted in an easy relationship across the main line movement as its 'sharp elbows' have at times bumped up against the more considered behaviour of other operators and loco owners. More recently the stark reality of putting yourself out there has come home with a catalogue of failed promises. That's sad for the Trust but simply the way it is, as often happens across the preservation movement.

    When you are a pioneer, you have to accept that sometimes things will not go smoothly. Let's hope that this particular chapter in the history of Tornado has turned the corner.
     
  20. Sam 60103

    Sam 60103 Member

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    I look forward hugely to seeing Tornado haul the Aberdonians summer with no other steam scheduled past my house this year. I must say that there is a lot of uncertainty:
    1. Who will be operating it? DB contract signed in summer 2022 but unlikely to be fulfilled and suspect West Coast may step in.
    2. Coaching Stock? SRPS coaching stock used in 2019 and 2021 but there is major doubt that it will be available. What state will West Coast be in with regards to stock come the summer is not known.

    I wish the A1SLT all the best in the finishing of Tornado's overhaul and the running in of the locomotive including all the vital ETRMS testing which will hopefully help protect mainline steam in the future and can be done with other locos too. I also wish the SRPS all the best in their endeavours this summer and in the future.
     
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