We want to apologise to Belmond and their customers for the fact that Clan Line was not able to take the Belmond British Pullmans on The Golden Age of Travel recently.
We were preparing the engine for the trip, and that includes a Fitness To Run examination, which is carried out by a DB Cargo representative. As part of this, we had taken the locomotive outside to test the safety valves. All had gone well, and we came back into the shed to load the coal into the tender. As the fire was dying down, and the boiler was cooling, some of the firebox stays started leaking badly. We decided that we couldn't run like that, and there wasn't time to get in the firebox and repair them, so the only option was to pull the engine from the trip.
(A firebox stay is a threaded bar of metal that connects the inner firebox to the outer firebox. They are needed to stop the boiler plate from distorting under pressure. We have several thousand of them in the firebox.)
We have already been in contact with our official boiler inspector, and are agreeing a plan of action. We will do all we can to ensure that Clan Line is available for its next booked trip.
We are all devasted by this - the last thing that we want to do is to let down our customers.