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

(David Elliott)

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 neither ‘P2 for the price of a pint’ monthly Covenantors or other registered supporters. 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 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 100mph 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.

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 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.

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 exhaust steam injector at £15,000
  • 2nd day of Christmas – two pony truck tyres at £1,200 each
  • 3rd day of Christmas – three piston crosshead cotters at £300 each
  • 4th day of Christmas – four pony truck adjustment ring halves at £250 each
  • 5th day of Christmas – five foundation ring wash out door escutcheons at £70 each
  • 6th day of Christmas – six inlet valves from £1,200 – £1,800 each
  • 7th day of Christmas – seven upper superheater elements at £900 each
  • 8th day of Christmas – eight footplate brackets from £350 – £700 each
  • 9th day of Christmas – nine buffer springs (rear LH buffer) from £65 to £170 each
  • 10th day of Christmas – ten hornstay 1in BSW driven bolts & slotted nuts at £30 each
  • 11th day of Christmas – eleven frame stays from £300 – £6,900 each
  • 12th day of Christmas – twelve valve cover castings at £100 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 an exhaust steam injector for a P2. On the Second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two pony truck tyres. On the Third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three piston crosshead cotters. On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four pony truck adjustment ring halves. On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five foundation ring wash out door escutcheons. On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six inlet valves lifting. 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 footplate brackets holding. On the Ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine buffer springs a bouncing. On the Tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten hornstay bolts and nuts a gripping. On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven frame stays separating. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve valve covers sealing… and an exhaust steam injector for a P2.”

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

12 Days of Christmas 2018