The project to build new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales is delighted to announce that Cambridgeshire-based Craftmaster Paints Ltd, the leading traditional paint supplier to the UK’s heritage restoration & inland waterways markets, is supply the paints for the new locomotive.

The class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.  Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt in 1943/44 and scrapped by 1961.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (registered charity, builders and operators of famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class over seven years at an estimated cost of £5m. The project 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 hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

Craftmaster Paints has been a sponsor of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust for almost a decade, providing free-of-charge the works grey paint for No. 60163’s unveiling in August 2008, the LNER Apple Green paint for Tornado’s main line debut and naming in February 2009, the British Railways Brunswick Green paint in May 2011 and British Railways Express Passenger Blue in November 2012. With the support of Craftmaster Paints, Tornado reappeared post overhaul in her iconic Apple Green livery in June 2015.

Craftmaster Paints has kindly agreed to supply the paints required for No. 2007 Prince of Wales on the same basis as those for No. 60163 Tornado, with the primers and undercoats at substantial discount and the top coats of LNER Apple Green and varnish free-of-charge. It is estimated that painting the new Gresley class P2 will require up to 14 gallons (60 litres) of each of the primer, undercoat and top coat.

Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and well over 830 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 addition to this core scheme, funds have been raised through The Founders Club (over 360 people have donated £1,000 each – target 100 people, now closed), The Boiler Club (over 120 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people), The Mikado Club (over 160 people have pledged £1,000 each – target now raised from160 to 200 people and £200,000 to £250,000), Dedicated Donations (over £200,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components) and the sponsorship of the locomotive’s distinctive front-end by The Gresley Society Trust. This means that the project has already received pledges of almost 50% (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed to complete the new locomotive by 2021.

Other recent progress includes:

  • Wheelsets: assembly of the crank axle has been completed by South Devon Railway Engineering (SDRE) and is in the process of finish machining by Unilathe of Stoke on Trent;  The Cartazzi axle, wheels and tyres are with SDRE  for assembly
  • Smokebox: the smoke lifting screen beading is now fully fitted.
  • Sandboxes: the original class P2 locomotives were fitted with gravity sanders for the leading coupled wheels and steam operated forward sanders for the driving coupled wheels. No backward sanders were fitted. No. 2007 is likely to do significant work in reverse, mostly on heritage railways, but from time to time hauling substantial loads over significant gradients on the main line running tender first. The leading and forward driving sanders have been altered for air operation (as perTornado) and new backward sandboxes and fillers have been designed. All six sandboxes and fillers have been assembled and fitted to the frames
  • Fittings: the superheater header has arrived at Darlington Locomotive Works
  • Brake & spring gear: orders have been placed with I D Howitt Ltd at Crofton for brake hangers and spring gear details
  • Boiler Cladding: The boiler cladding has been modified from the original design to reflect minor changes in the specification of No. 2007, including reducing the overall height of the locomotive by one inch to comply with the “go anywhere” national network loading gauge. A skeleton frame is being manufactured to enable the cladding to be made prior to delivery of the boiler. This enables the Trust to put off ordering the boiler by six months and still maintain the anticipated completion date.

Clive Brown, Managing Director of Craftmaster Paints Ltd, commented:

“Craftmaster Paints is the leading traditional paint supplier to the UK’s heritage restoration and inland waterways markets. We are extremely proud of our association with The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and Tornado. We are pleased to continue to support the Trust’s activities through the supply of our high quality, colour-matched paints for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales and hope to continue our association for years to come.”

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added:

“We are very pleased to be continuing our special relationship with Craftmaster Paints. Their outstanding products have ensured that we are able to turn out Tornado to the very high standard that our supporters expect and we look forward to our first sight of our gleaming new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales in its glorious Apple Green livery.”

“We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since construction started only three years ago. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, well over £1m has been spent on construction, over £1.5m donated and almost £2.5m pledged. We are confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in winter 2017/18 having already reached 100% of our initial fundraising target for The Mikado Club and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021.

“However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to raise more than £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes. We would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a monthly covenantor or joining The Mikado Club. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007Prince of Wales continues to gather pace.”