William Cook Cast Products Ltd, whose plants specialise in the design and manufacture of steel castings for all industrial purposes, will make the pattern equipment, cast and machine Prince of Wales‘ eight 6ft 2in diameter driving wheels on very advantageous terms. WCCP is the principal sponsor of No. 60163 Tornado. The company provided all of the steel castings for Tornado and leases her tender to the Trust. In return, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust will continue to provide William Cook Cast Products with appropriate publicity and access as accords a major sponsor of No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The commercial price for the eight driving wheels is in excess of £100,000.

Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “William Cook Cast Products played a vital role in the construction of No. 60163 Tornado as our Principal Sponsor and we are delighted to have them on board working with us on the construction of No. 2007 Prince of Wales, Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive.  Thanks to the help that such a world leading and technologically advanced company as William Cook Cast Products is giving us in producing the driving wheels for No. 2007, we are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for the new Gresley class P2 towards the end of early next year and that we are on-track for completing the locomotive in 2021.”

Andrew Cook CBE, Chairman, William Cook Cast Products Ltd added, “William Cook Cast Products was proud to be associated with the successful project to build brand new main line steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado and is delighted to be continuing that association with the building of No.2007 Prince of Wales, Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. Our agreement to provide the complete driving wheels on advantageous terms is one that is of great benefit to both parties. As with Tornado, the finished locomotive will be a tribute both to the dedication and vision of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the quality of the products of William Cook Cast Products.”

“This is a sponsorship arrangement that will enable us to demonstrate again the variety of uses to which our castings can be put and one that demonstrates that the UK still leads the world in this branch of steel technology. We look forward to working with the Trust on this and other aspects of the locomotive’s construction.”

Driving coupled wheel for pattern making

Mark Allatt concluded, “With the ordering of the driving wheels from William Cook Cast Products and the profiling of No. 2007’s frames in May, no-one can now doubt that we really mean business. 2014 will see further major announcements as the construction of the locomotive gathers pace. We are now appealing to those who want to be a part of this exciting project to become covenantors, sponsors and volunteers to help us maintain this momentum.”

Public interest in seeing the new locomotive become a reality sooner rather than later is high, with well over 300 members of The Founders Club each having given £1,000 and 425 people already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month) covenant scheme since its launch three months ago. This means that the project has already received pledges of £850,000 of the £5m needed over the next seven years.