James May, TV presenter, media celebrity and self confessed steam enthusiast has agreed to make the first part of what will be the most powerful steam locomotive to operate in Great Britain; new build steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales.  James applied his engineering prowess in crafting Prince of Wales’s smoke box door dart, the component at the front of the locomotive that secures the smoke box door shut (resembling the hands on a clock). Using materials and tools at Darlington Locomotive Works, already famous as the location where new steam locomotive Peppercorn A1 No. 60163 Tornado was built and completed in 2008, James created the first piece of this iconic locomotive.

James May commented, “Not many man made machines stir the soul, but a full blown steam locomotive is right up there, and we invented it. However, over the decades we’ve lost so much of the talent, skill and knowledge needed to build them. That’s why its such a thrill to work alongside the team building No. 2007 Prince of Wales, determined to not only resurrect this monster from the past, but to improve it using modern wizardry to do so. It’s a real privilege to know that when Prince of Wales eventually roars past me at a station, I can proudly say along with many others that I helped build that….. and it works!”

02211401James May creating Prince of Waless smokebox dart using the lathe inside Darlington Locomotive Works

James May concentrating on the lathe – Tim Beere