P2 will be wheeled in 2017 despite axles setback – trust

THE £5 million project to build the seventh Gresley P2 2-8-2 continues to make rapid progress at Darlington Locomotive Works, despite a setback with the axles.

On extracting the plain coupled axles from the packing crates in which they were transported from South Africa, they were inspected by Unilathe at Stoke-on-Trent, and found to have the keyways machined incorrectly.

Machining started on the forward brake hanger profile on March 11. IAN HOWITT/A1SLT

As a result they are being returned to the supplier which is providing replacement axles, but this will delay the eagerly-awaited wheeling of the locomotive for at least three months.

Crank axle assembly

Meanwhile, the assembly of the crank axle has started at South Devon Railway Engineering, and the finished pony truck and Cartazzi axles were on their way to Darlington. Unilathe has also finished most of the crank pins.

Elsewhere, further work has been undertaken to permanently attach the running plates.

The footplating under the cab has been removed to allow its underside, the dragbox and the inside of the frames to be finish painted in black. The footplate is now permanently bolted down.

Read more in Issue 227 of HR – on sale now!

Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.