MANUFACTURERS INVITED TO TENDER FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BOILER FOR BRITAIN’S MOST POWERFUL STEAM LOCOMOTIVE

Images Courtesy Many Grant & David Elliott.

The project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales is seeking expressions of interest in the manufacture of the locomotive’s boiler. The boiler for No. 2007 will be similar to that which was built by DB Dampflokwerk Meiningen, Germany for new Peppercorn A1 class No. 60163 Tornado in 2006/7, being a fully welded design with a steel firebox. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust owns the design rights to the boiler and it is intended that a number of minor modifications that have been applied to Tornado’s boiler since it was originally built will be incorporated into this design. The Trust has already sent the arrangement drawing to ten potential manufacturers in the UK and overseas but is still open to approaches by other interested parties.

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 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163Tornado) 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.

P2SLC Images.

The boiler for the new class P2 locomotive is intended to be directly interchangeable with the diagram 118A boiler fitted to Tornado and the constructor of the new boiler should be able to demonstrate fulfilment of the following requirements:

  1. To have a track record in construction of new boilers and/or major repairs to existing boilers of a similar size as the boiler of the new Gresley class P2.
  2. To have facilities and equipment large enough to adequately handle a boiler of this size.
  3. To operate a quality management system (QMS), which shall as a minimum include ISO 9000 and which clearly demonstrates adequate control of critical processes including material specification and traceability, weld procedures and welder qualifications.
  4. Have a clear relationship with a mutually agreed notified body to facilitate certification of the boiler to the appropriate National and European Standards.
  5. Ability to deliver on time to an agreed schedule.

The Trust has requested that potential suppliers provide an indicative price for a boiler to the standard defined in the drawings supplied. The anticipated schedule is:

  • Selection of supplier end 2018
  • Negotiations and finalisation of technical specification quarters one and two 2019
  • Firm order placed June 2019
  • Delivery required January 2021

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 has been extended within the cladding
  • 250psi of No. 60163’s boiler will be retained to improve economy and increase maximum power

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 decided to establish The Boiler Club to fund the construction of Prince of Wales’s 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.

The Trust is delighted that over half of the required 300 members have joined The Boiler Club fundraising campaign. Launched in October 2014 to raise the £600,000 needed pay for the manufacture of the boiler, The Boiler Club now has almost 160 members who have each donated or pledged £2,000 (plus Gift Aid) meaning almost £400,000 (including Gift Aid) has been pledged so far for the boiler.

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

Mark Allatt

“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 2019 for delivery in 2021.

“Passing the half-way point in the membership of 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’s boiler.

“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 (now closed) each having given £1,000, over 860 people have already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month) Covenant scheme, over 100 members of The Cylinder Club (now closed) each donating £1,000 towards the casting of the cylinders, over 200 members of The Mikado Club (now closed) each giving £1,000 towards the wheeling of the engine and tender, almost 50 members of The Motion Club (launched April 2018 – target 175 members) each donating £1,000 towards the manufacture of the motion and over £225,000 raised through the Dedicated Donations component sponsorship scheme.  This means that the project has already received pledges of over £3m of the £5m needed to complete the new locomotive.

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