Update on the project to build Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales – Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive
No 2007 Progress.(C) David Elliot
The project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive will be holding a series of roadshows across Great Britain in 2019. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, also the builders, owners and operators of 100mph famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, has announced that it will again be holding a number of presentations on the project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales in 2019. Entry into each roadshow is free with the first at the Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough on Saturday 12th January 2019.
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 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.
The first Roadshow is at the Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough. Each presentation will feature key Trust personnel including Mark Allatt (P2 Project Director) and/or David Elliott (Director of Engineering) and will cover the background to the project, progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. The presentation will start promptly at 11:00hrs until 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below and are open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:
- Saturday 12th January 2019 – Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough
- Saturday 9th February 2019 – London Transport Museum, London
- Saturday 2nd March 2019 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
- Saturday 6th April 2019 – York – venue to be confirmed
- Saturday 1st June 2019 – Dundee – venue to be confirmed
- Saturday 8th June 2019 – Newcastle – venue to be confirmed
- Saturday 6th July 2019 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
- Saturday 14th September 2019 – Leeds – venue to be confirmed
- Saturday 2nd November 2019 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
- Saturday 7th December 2019 – Manchester – venue to be confirmed.
Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high with almost 900 people having 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. In addition, funds have been raised through The Founders Club (over 360 people have donated £1,000 each – target 100 people, now closed), The Cylinder Club (the target of 100 people to each pledge £1,000 each achieved – now closed), The Boiler Club (over 165 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people), The Mikado Club (the target of 200 people to each pledge £1,000 reached – now closed), Dedicated Donations (over £315,000 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 raised – including Gift Aid – £2.5m and received pledges of £3.1m of the required £5m.
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, axleboxes 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; engine wheelset assembly complete, balance weights manufactured and fitted, tender axles delivered
- 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; order placed with DB Dampflokwerk Meiningen to update the design to incorporate modifications and improvements fitted to Tornado’s boiler over the last 10 years
- Study into ride and suspension completed using rail industry standard Vampire® software; Finite Element Analysis completed on re-designed crank axle to ensure it 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 delivered; connecting and coupling rods ordered and manufacture started
- Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets made and trial fitted to the engine’s frame
- Tender frame construction under way, axleboxes and other tender castings delivered from William Cook Cast Products; tender tank procurement process underway
- Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
- Over £2m spent, £2.5m donated and over £3.1m pledged.
Over the next 12 months, the Darlington based team aims to:
- Complete the pony truck
- Select the manufacturer and place the order for the boiler
- Make substantial progress on the tender tank and frames
- Finish the detailed design of the electrical system
- Complete the overhaul of and fit two steam driven air pumps
- Manufacture and take delivery of most of the coupling and connecting rods
- Complete the cylinder block design with construction nearing completion
- Start manufacture of the valve gear.
Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“The past five years have seen dramatic progress towards our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021. We are holding a series of free roadshow presentations in 2019, starting in Peterborough at the Great Northern Hotel, to promote the £5m project and at each we will cover the background to the project, our progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. These presentations are open to anyone interested in the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.”
“Now is the time to get on board this ground-breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5m needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”