Building the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales

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 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 4-6-2s in 1943/4, and scrapped by 1961.

As the builders of new main line steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, we have therefore decided to set ourselves a new challenge: to develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use.

We will use the latest computer aided design and modelling techniques to realise the potential of the original design and estimate that No. 2007 Prince of Wales will cost around £5m to build over a 7-10 year period. As with Tornado, funds will be raised through regular monthly donations, donations dedicated to specific components, The Boiler Club, The Mikado Club, The Cylinder Club and commercial sponsorship.

We have the expertise, the track record and a plan…. But this can’t happen without you.

Prince of Wales on its wheels – Mandy Grant

ENGINEERING PROGRESS TO DATE:

  • 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 order, tyres delivered. All components for engine wheelsets assembled at South Devon Railway Engineering, returned to DLW and trial-fitted under the locomotive
  • 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, boiler tender issued
  • 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, first motion components ordered
  • Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets procured, rolled and fitted to the jig, trial fitted to the locomotive
  • Tender frame construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings ordered from William Cook Cast Products
  • Electrical equipment order placed
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered

It’s that man again!  Unable to stay away from Darlington Locomotive Works, James May returned to Darlington Locomotive Works to fabricate another component for what he describes as a ‘whopper’ of a locomotive!  You can read the full story here.