COME ON, COME ON, DO THE LOCO-MOTION WITH ME!.(A1SLT)

All images courtesy: A1SLT

£210,000 appeal launched to manufacture the motion for new Gresley Class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales

The project to build Britain’s most powerful express passenger steam locomotive today announced a new £210,000 appeal to manufacture the motion for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has therefore set itself the challenge of raising £210,000 through The Motion Club from 175 supporters each donating £1,000 (plus Gift Aid) to the project in up to eight payments of £125 by standing order.

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 100mph 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.

If the project is to remain on schedule to complete No. 2007 by 2021, the Trust needs to order the motion in 2018. Following the success of The Founders Club (to get the project to the point of cutting the frames), The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler) and The Mikado Club (to wheel the locomotive), The Cylinder Club (to make the cylinder block), the Trust has decided to establish The Motion Club to raise an estimated £210,000 required to manufacture No. 2007’s motion.

2007 Outside Motion and Loco. assembly progress. (A1SLT Images)

In return for supporting this appeal, special benefits for members of The Motion Club include:

  • Opportunity to buy ticket (seat already reserved) on one of the first trains hauled by No. 2007 Prince of Wales
  • Reasonable access to No. 2007 at all times
  • Opportunity to buy exclusive Motion Club badge
  • Opportunity to join one of the teams building No. 2007
  • First choice of other components to sponsor
  • Special Motion Club day with Tornado
  • Special limited-edition version (signed/numbered) of Stuart Black’s drawing of No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

The work involved in designing and manufacturing the motion includes:

  • Redesign of coupling and connecting rods to use modern material (pre-war nickel chrome steel alloy proved prone to fracture
  • Incorporation of late-pattern BR-type continuous white metal lined crank pin bearing bushes
  • Use of the late-A1 design of inside connecting rod which overcame the tendency for the original design of inside connecting rods on LNER ‘Pacifics’ to big-end failure
  • Open die forging of six coupling rods, two outside connecting rods and the inside connecting rod and strap
  • CNC machining of all rods
  • Manufacture of oil box lids, coupling rod knuckle pins, nuts and washers and bearing bush keys
  • Casting of leaded gunmetal and phosphor bronze castings of crank pin bearing bushes
  • Machining and white metalling of bearing bushes
  • Fitting oil box tops
  • Assembly of bearing bushes to rods
  • Polishing rods.

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 received
  • Boiler cladding assembly jog 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 £1.6m spent, £1.9m raised and £2.9m pledged of the required £5m.

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

“We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £2.9m has now been donated or pledged. Recently we have been focused on preparing to wheel No. 2007.

“We now want to turn our attention to the motion which is our next major design and manufacturing challenge. If we can raise £210,000 through The Motion Club over the next few months we are confident that we will be able to place order for the motion on No. 2007 Prince of Wales by the end of 2018 and remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021.

“I would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a member of The Motion Club or a monthly ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Walesgathers pace.”

To become a member of The Motion Club, email enquiries@p2steam.com, call 01325 460163 or visit www.p2steam.com for more information.