The project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales is delighted to announced that it has placed a £50,000 with DB Meiningen for the design work on the new steam locomotive’s boiler. The changes and improvements to the boiler, to be designated diagram 118B, are as a result of operating new Peppercorn class A1 No. 60163 Tornado over the past 10 years on the Network Rail main line and heritage railways. The Trust issued an invitation to tender to manufacture Prince of Wales’  boiler to over ten organisations in the UK and overseas and has received several proposals and expressions of interests. Over the next few months the Trust will review the proposals received with the intention of selecting a preferred supplier by December 2018 and placing the order in June 2019 for delivery in January 2021.

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.

No 2007…and Tornado’s Boler.(David Elliott Images)

The redesign work to Tornado’s diagram 118A boiler commissioned from DB Meiningen includes:

  • Two additional washout doors in the front upper area of the boiler barrel
  • Additional blow down valve flange to suit Everlasting Valve Company blow down valve
  • Deleted boss on the dome (originally fitted to secure the dome cover)
  • Increased thickness of the bottom of the foundation ring from 35mm to 40mm and use of forged foundation ring corners
  • Stay holes will to be a cone of 15 degrees included angle on water side to prevent contact with stay shanks as firebox heats up
  • Reduced height of dome by 1in (25.4 mm) and re-profiling of dome to clear boiler cladding on P2
  • P (pressure vessel) grade steel used throughout
  • Diameter of roof stays 25mm
  • Washout doors with metric threads
  • Stay welded with fillet weld
  • Number of flexible stays increased
  • Two additional steam take-offs on RH side of front of boiler barrel (for lubrication atomisers and whistle)
  • Modified boss layout boiler cladding to suit both A1 and P2 locomotives
  • Design according to PED, TRD and AD2000 with maximum allowable working pressure 17.25 bar (250 psi)
  • Finite Element Analysis Stress and boiler calculations for modified dome
  • Review and approval of design by TÜV (Notified Body)

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust owns the existing diagram 118A design and will also retain the intellectual property from this exercise in order that the manufacturing contract can be competitive.

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 16.5in 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

The Trust established The Boiler Club to fund the construction of Prince of Wales’ boiler. 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.

Pledges made to The Boiler Club fundraising campaign have already passed the two-thirds point. Launched in October 2014, to raise the estimated £600,000 needed pay for the manufacture of the boiler, The Boiler Club now has over 160 members who have each donated or pledged £2,000 (plus Gift Aid) meaning that over £400,000 has been raised so far for the boiler.

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 delivered, Cartazzi, pony truck and coupled wheelsets complete
  • Preliminary discussions held with boiler manufacturers; forged foundation ring corners manufactured; start made on boiler fittings with castings for combined injector steam and delivery valves, steam stand and valves, superheater header
  • 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
  • Smokebox and cab substantially complete and boiler cladding trial fitted to engine frames
  • Crosshead castings received, cylinder cover pattern made and castings delivered, detailed design of cylinder block and valve gear nearing completion
  • Tender frame construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings delivered from William Cook Cast Products. I D Howitt Ltd of Crofton near Wakefield commissioned to erect tender frame – many detailed parts made including front drag box and brake linkage, castings being machined
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
  • Over £2m spent, £2.4m raised and £3.1m pledged of the required £5m.

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

“Placing the order for the improvements to No. 2007 Prince of Wales’ boiler marks a significant milestone in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. 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 before the end of 2021 we need to place the order for the boiler in June 2019 for delivery in January 2021.

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 and we are already two-thirds of the way there. 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, members of The Boiler Club and The Motion Club, sponsors and volunteers to help us maintain this momentum.”