The project to build Gresley P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales has raised £2.5m of the required £5m.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust – also the builders, owners and operators of No. 60163 Tornado – has now spent over £2m on construction of the new locomotive and received over £2.5m in donations with over £3.1m pledged.
Public interest in seeing a new P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high with almost 900 people having already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month or more) Covenant scheme since its launch – and more than 165 people have pledged £2,000 each for The Boiler Club – the target being 300 people.
Progress to date
Progress building Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive continues at Darlington Locomotive Works and includes:
- Frame plates for engine and tender rolled and profiled; engine’s frames erected at Darlington Locomotive Works; all major engine frame stays, brackets, horn blocks, axleboxes and buffers cast (44 in total); over 1,000 fitted and driven bolts ordered and delivered, approximately 800 now fitted to the frames
- All 20 wheels for engine and tender cast and proof machined; engine wheelset assembly complete, balance weights manufactured and fitted, tender axles delivered
- Preliminary discussions held with boiler manufacturers and forged foundation ring corners manufactured and machined; start made on boiler fittings with castings for combined injector steam and delivery valves; order placed with DB Dampflokwerk Meiningen to update the design to incorporate modifications and improvements fitted to Tornado’s boiler over the last 10 years
- Study into ride and suspension completed using rail industry standard Vampire® software; Finite Element Analysis completed on re-designed crank axle to ensure it complies with modern standards; assessment and notified body appointed to oversee certification – first site visit made
- Cab erected and cab side window frames fitted; engine footplating and splasher kits delivered and permanently fitted to frames
- Smokebox door pressed, details made and door completed; door frame manufactured, smokebox delivered and erected; chimney cast and fitted
- Crosshead castings delivered; connecting and coupling rods ordered and manufacture started
- Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets made and trial fitted to the engine’s frame
- Tender frame construction under way, axleboxes and other tender castings delivered from William Cook Cast Products; tender tank procurement process underway
- Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
- Over £2m spent, £2.5m donated and over £3.1m pledged.
The year ahead
Over the next 12 months, the Darlington-based team aims to:
- Complete the pony truck
- Select the manufacturer and place the order for the boiler
- Make substantial progress on the tender tank and frames
- Finish the detailed design of the electrical system
- Complete the overhaul of and fit two steam driven air pumps
- Manufacture and take delivery of most of the coupling and connecting rods
- Complete the cylinder block design with construction nearing completion
- Start manufacture of the valve gear.
Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented: “The past five years have seen dramatic progress towards our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021 and there could be no more appropriate occasion than HRH The Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday to announce that our fundraising has passed the halfway point. Now is the time to get on-board this ground-breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5m needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”