We can now unfortunately confirm that 6940 has suffered a fractured liner plate on the A side of No 2 end bogie. These thin plates are welded inbetween the horn guide and bearing sides to provide a wear surface and are made from a manganese alloy. They are designed to wear in preference to the neighbouring surfaces and are prone to failure from corrosion and fatigue as they wear and age. Detailed inspection has found in cracks of 5 of the 11 other plates on this bogie, which was replaced when the loco was first returned to traffic back in 2003, so is not one of the original pair. The locomotive is therefore stopped until further notice.
This is another major setback for 6940, which has now been dogged by a series of frustrating and unrelated failures over the last 5 years. Repair of the bogie will require it to be removed and fully stripped, meaning the locomotive must be lifted – a major operation. The Group are currently giving careful consideration to how we can deal with this complex, difficult and expensive problem. Although no timescale for repair is available at present, we can confirm that 6940 is likely to be out of traffic for some time unless a replacement or loan operational bogie can be sourced for swapping with the defective one when the locomotive is lifted.