New P2 donations pass £2 million

DONATIONS towards the world’s fastest-moving new-build main line steam project – Gresley P2 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales – have now passed the £2 million mark.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s £5 million project is now 40% funded just four years after being launched and it is on target to meet the completion date of 2021.

Furthermore, pledges towards building the locomotive are rapidly approaching £3 million.

The frames for Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive were rolled at British Steel’s Scunthorpe works exactly four years ago on St George’s Day 2014.

The boiler cladding for the new P2 Prince of Wales at Darlington Locomotive Works on March 4. MANDY GRANT/A1SLT

The P2 2-8-2 Mikados were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed to haul 600-tonne trains on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Sadly, Gresley’s successor Edward Thompson ordered the six P2s to be rebuilt in 1943/44 and BR scrapped them in 1961.

The project to create the seventh member of this class will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential in hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

The trust has for long been widely praised for the organisation and success of its fundraising. A total of 860 people have 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 in March 2014.

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