2007 Prince of Wales.(P2SLC Image)

Opportunity to sponsor a component throughout the twelve days of Christmas and help to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive

 This Christmas members of the public will once again be able to sponsor a component on Britain’s newest and most powerful express passenger steam locomotive. For a limited time only, parts for giant new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales will be available for sponsorship to people who are not members of The Founders Club, which funded the project’s dramatic racing-start, or its ‘P2 for the price of a pint’ monthly covenantors. Components sponsored through the Dedicated Donations Scheme range in price from one of over 1,000 driven bolts & nuts for £25 to the complete exhaust steam injector for £15,000 – an ideal Christmas present for the railway enthusiast in your family.

People who subscribe to the Dedicated Donations Scheme will have their names (or that of the gift’s recipient) inscribed on the official roll of honour at Darlington Locomotive Works listing the components sponsored, receive a certificate recording the sponsorship and a copy of the drawing of the component. New components for sponsorship will become available as construction progresses.

The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson into ungainly class A2/2 4-6-2 ‘Pacifics’ in 1943/4, and scrapped by 1961. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1SLT – registered charity and builders of famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class at its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) over seven years, at an estimated cost of £5m through its P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary. 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.

Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and almost 840 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 a year ago.  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 130 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people), The Mikado Club (180 people have pledged £1,000 each – target of 200 people), The Cylinder Club (59 people have pledged £1,000 each – target of 100 people), Dedicated Donations (£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 £2.7m (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed in just four years since the launch of the project.

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, axle boxes 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; roller bearings for all engine and tender wheelsets and engine axles (including crank axle), tyres and crank pins delivered, tender axles, tyres ordered and first wheelset complete
  • 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
  • Study into ride and suspension completed using rail industry standard Vampire® software; finite Element Analysis completed on re-designed crank axle to ensure locomotive 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 ordered
  • Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets procured, rolled and being fitting to the jig
  • Tender frame construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings ordered from William Cook Cast Products
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
  • Over £1.3m spent, £1.7m raised and £2.7m pledged of the required £5m.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:

“This Christmas you can buy a part of giant new steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales for the railway enthusiast in your family before it is completed; what could be a more appropriate present than helping to recreate the lost days of the steam age? One of the key ways in which we are raising funds for the new locomotive is through supporters sponsoring particular components either on their own behalf, or as a gift for others.”

The lucky recipient of this gift will receive an A4 copy drawing of the component sponsored and a certificate recognising the sponsorship with the dedication worded however the giver wishes. The recipient will have the satisfaction of pointing to the component they have sponsored when the locomotive enters service on Britain’s main line railway in 2021. We have many parts on offer, from individual nuts and bolts to the wheels and chimney, ranging in price from £25 to £15,000.”

Components available for sponsorship for the twelve days of Christmas include:


  • 1st day of Christmas – one Pony truck axle at £4,440
  • 2nd day of Christmas – two buffer spring casings cowls at £1,200 each
  • 3rd day of Christmas – three cylinder crossheads complete at £3,700 each
  • 4th day of Christmas – four Cartazzi wheelset roller bearings at £1,590 each
  • 5th day of Christmas – five kilometres of electrical cable at £2,750
  • 6th day of Christmas – six lubricator atomisers at £350 each
  • 7th day of Christmas – seven upper superheater elements at £900 each
  • 8th day of Christmas – eight 6ft 2in driving wheels cast and proof machined for £12,000 each
  • 9th day of Christmas – nine cylinder slide bars from £900 to £1,700 each
  • 10th day of Christmas – ten hornblock oil boxes from £600 to £800 each
  • 11th day of Christmas – eleven firebox cladding sheets from £400 – £900
  • 12th day of Christmas – twelve engine wheel tyres from £1,200 to £1,900 each

…with other parts at prices to suit all pockets, however deep.


Mark Allatt added:

“On the First day of Christmas my true love gave to me a pony truck axle for a P2. On the Second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two buffer spring casings. On the Third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three piston crossheads. On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four Cartazzi wheelset roller bearings. On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five kilometres of electrical cable. On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six lubricator atomisers spraying. On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven upper superheater elements drying. On the Eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight 6ft 2in driving wheels a rolling. On the Ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine cylinder slide bars guiding. On the Tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten hornblock oil boxes oiling. On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven cladding sheets warming. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve tyres a turning… and a pony truck axle for a P2.”


To sponsor a P2 component this Christmas email for further information.