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, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has therefore decided to set itself 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. The fundraising for the project got off to a racing start with the launch of The Founders Club in September 2013, beating its target by over 350% by the time it closed in July 2014. As with Tornado, funds will be raised for Prince of Wales through regular ‘a P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ donations from as little as £2.50 per week. In addition, specific workstreams for the new locomotive will be financed through The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler), The Mikado Motion (to fund forging and machining of the heavy motion) Club, The Cylinder Tender Club (recently launched to fund the construction the tender), Dedicated Donations (to fund specific components) and commercial sponsorship. The Founders Club (to get the project to the point of assembling the frames), The Mikado Club (to wheel the locomotive) and The Cylinder Club (to fund the design and manufacture the cylinder block) have all now closed having reached or exceeded their targets.

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

CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS TO DATE:

  • Engine’s frames erected; all major engine frame stays, brackets, horn blocks, axle boxes and buffers cast; around 1,000 driven bolts fitted to the frames
  • All engine wheelsets complete; materials for tender wheelsets delivered
  • Boiler design study commissioned, and forged foundation ring corners manufactured and machined; start made on boiler fittings with castings for combined injector steam and delivery valves; regulator castings delivered; superheater header cast and machined; boiler cladding manufactured and trial fitted to frames; boiler order (for an heir and a spare) placed with DB Meiningen for delivery in July 2021
  • 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
  • Cab erected and cab side and spectacle window frames fitted; engine footplating and splasher kits delivered and permanently fitted to frames
  • Smokebox assembled and trial fitted to the frames; chimney cast and fitted
  • Tender tank and frames construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings produced by William Cook Cast Products
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
  • Significant progress on design and manufacture of pipework and electrical system
  • Many non-ferrous fittings are being cast and machined

FUNDRAISING

FUNDRAISING PROGRESS TO DATE (last updated 1st August 2019):

Over £2m spent, £2.6m raised and £3.3m pledged of the required £5m.

  • We have over 930 covenantors donating over £205,000 per annum including Gift Aid (over £17 per person per month)
  • The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler through 300 supporters each donating £2,000) has reached 178 members with almost £450,000 donated
  • The Motion Club (to fund forging and machining of the heavy motion through 175 supporters each donating £1,000) has reached 141 members with over £175,000 donated
  • The Tender Club (recently launched to fund the construction the tender through 250 supporters each donating £1,500) has reached 25 members with almost £50,000 donated
  • The Dedicated Donations scheme (to fund numerous components) has raised around £350,000 to-date with new parts being frequently made available for sponsorship
  • The Founders Club (to get the project to the point of assembling the frames raised £450,000 from 350 supporters), The Mikado Club (to wheel the locomotive raised £250,000 from 200 supporters and The Cylinder Club (to fund the design and manufacture the cylinder block raised £120,000 from 100 supporters) have all now closed having reached or exceeded their targets.