New bond between steam and ship Prince of Wales

WHAT will be Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has been ‘twinned’ with the country’s largest warship.

A ‘bond of friendship’ between new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and new Gresley P2 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales has been forged between builder The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the Royal Navy.

Lt Cdr David Wright (right) receives the painting of Britain’s newest main line steam locomotives from David Champion (left). MANDY GRANT

HMS Prince of Wales is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier under construction for the navy, and is is the seventh Royal Navy ship to have been given the name.

Construction of the ship began in 2011, and it was formally named on September 8, 2017 at Rosyth Dockyard by the Duchess of Rothesay (the Duchess of Cornwall).

The ship will be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2019 and will be fully ready for frontline duties from 2023.

Along with sister-ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Prince of Wales is the largest ship to be built for the Royal Navy, with a displacement of around 65,000 tonnes and length of 920 feet.

The ship will carry a crew of up to 1600 and up to 40 aircraft, including the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter.

The six P2s were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600-ton trains on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.

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