The project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales is delighted to announced that pledges made to The Boiler Club fundraising campaign have already passed the half-way point. Launched in October 2014 to raise the £600,000 needed pay for the manufacture of the boiler, The Boiler Club now has over 130 members who have each donated or pledged £2,000 (plus Gift Aid) meaning that almost £330,000 has been raised so far for the boiler.
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 and builders of famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class over seven to ten 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.
Following the success of The Founders Club, which was designed to get to the P2 Project to the point of cutting No. 2007’s frames, the Trust has decided to establish The Boiler Club to fund the construction of Prince of Wales’ boiler. The Trust set an initial target for The Founders Club of at least £100,000 from 100 ‘Founders’ but due to the overwhelming generosity of its supporters actually raised £450,000 (including gift aid) from over 360 donors. It is the Trust’s desire to leave No. 2007 Prince of Wales debt free upon completion and therefore its aim is to raise at least £600,000 for The Boiler Club from 300 supporters each donating £2,000 to the project (in up to 40 payments of £50 by standing order). In return for this commitment, members of The Boiler Club receive these special benefits:
- Opportunity to buy ticket (seat already reserved) on No. 2007’s first main line train
- Reasonable access to No. 2007 at all times
- Opportunity to buy exclusive Boiler Club badge
- Opportunity to join one of the teams building No. 2007
- First choice of other components to sponsor
- Special limited edition version (signed/numbered) of the first official painting of No. 2007 Prince of Wales with No. 60163 Tornado – ‘Dream Team’ by renowned railway artist Chris Ludlow
- Special Boiler Club day with Tornado.
Mark Allatt, Trustee and P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“Reaching the half-way point in the funding of No. 2007 Prince of Wales’ boiler through The Boiler Club marks a significant milestone in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. It is our desire if possible to complete No. 2007 debt-free and so we launched The Boiler Club in October 2014 to raise £600,000 to fund Prince of Wales’ boiler.
“The boiler is the beating heart of a steam locomotive and to keep the construction of No. 2007 Prince of Wales on schedule for completion in 2021 we need to place the order for the boiler in 2018 for delivery in 2020. With this latest announcement, no-one can now doubt that we really mean business. The next few months will see further major announcements as the construction of the locomotive gathers pace. We are now appealing to those who want to be a part of this exciting project to become covenantors, sponsors and volunteers to help us maintain this momentum.”
Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive become a reality sooner rather than later is high, with over 360 members of The Founders Club each having given £1,000 and over 830 people already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month) covenant scheme. This means that the project has already received pledges of over £2.6m of the £5m needed to complete the new locomotive.
No. 2007’s boiler in detail:
- Use of diagram 118A Tornado boiler with detailed modifications to improve overhaul life
- Interchangeable with Tornado boiler
- Tornado boiler is 17in shorter than P2 boiler – No. 2007’s smoke box will be extended within the cladding
- 250psi of No. 60163’s boiler will be retained to improve economy and increase maximum power.
(Courtesy: David Elliott)