The roller bearings for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales have been ordered from Timken and are expected to be delivered in mid 2015.

Following the success and reliability that Tornado has demonstrated, in no small part due to the use of roller bearings, the decision was made at an early stage of the definition of the new class P2 locomotive Prince of Wales to use the Tornado roller bearing axle design instead of the original plain white metal bearings fitted to the original class P2s locomotives.

The Timken Company which engineers, manufactures and markets Timken® bearings, will provide all the axle bearings for the new locomotive and tender on advantageous terms as well as the essential engineering support to fit them. Timken was a sponsor of No. 60163 Tornado which was completed in 2008 by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and was the first new steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost 50 years. The company provided all of the roller bearings for Tornado which have performed faultlessly In return, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust will provide Timken with appropriate publicity and access as accords a sponsor of No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The Trust estimates that the roller bearings would normally have cost in excess of £40,000.

Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The Timken Company played a vital role in the construction of No. 60163 Tornado as a major 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 Timken is giving us in providing the roller bearings for No. 2007, we are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for the new Gresley class P2 towards the end of next year and that we are on-track for completing the locomotive in 2021.”

A1 Cartazzi Timken

A Timken roller bearing is pressed onto Tornado’s Cartazzi axle – identical to that on No. 2007 – P2SLC

Paul Sanders, Regional Sales Manager, The Timken Company, added, “Timken is 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 roller bearings on advantageous terms and associated engineering support 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 Timken products.”

“This is a sponsorship arrangement that will enable us to demonstrate again the variety of uses to which Timken roller bearings can be put and one that demonstrates that The Timken Company is still the world’s leading authority on tapered roller bearings. We look forward to working with the Trust on the locomotive’s construction.”

Mark Allatt concluded, “With the ordering of the roller bearings from The Timken Company and the dedication of No. 2007’s frames in July, 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.”