First boiler components delivered for new Gresley class P2 2-8-2.

Funding pledges for new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales have reached one third of the £5m required to complete Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive by 2021. In only 12 months since the launch of the project’s ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ (£10 per month) regular donation – or covenant – scheme, funds either already donated or pledged by Standing Order have already passed £1.7m.

Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and over 650 people have already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month or more) covenant scheme since its launch a year ago. In addition to this core scheme, funds have been raised through The Founders Club (over 360 people have donated £1,000 each – target 100 people, now closed), The Boiler Club (over 60 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people) and Dedicated Donations (£100,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components). This means that the project has already received pledges of over £1.7m (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed over the next seven years.

Construction progress to-date includes:

  • Frame plates for engine and tender rolled and profiled
  • Engine’s frames erected at Darlington Locomotive Works
  • All 20 wheels for engine and tender cast; eight 6ft 2in driving wheels proof machined
  • All major engine frame stays, brackets and horn blocks cast and machined – 26 in total; further 16 axle box and buffer castings underway
  • Roller bearings for all engine and tender wheelsets and engine tyres, axles and crank pins ordered
  • Over 1,000 fitted and driven bolts ordered
  • Preliminary discussions held with boiler manufacturers and forged foundation ring corners manufactured and machined
  • Vampire study into ride and suspension completed and Finite Element Analysis of crank axle underway to ensure locomotive complies with modern standards
  • Assessment and notified body appointed to oversee certification
  • Nameplates delivered and chime whistle ordered!

Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:

“We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity over £1.7m has now been donated or pledged.

“We are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales next winter and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to continue to raise in excess of £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes.

“I would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a monthly covenantor or joining The Boiler Club. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”

03171501Frame assembly 2007

The latest CAD rendering shows the cylinders, set up for Lentz/Franklin valve gear – David Elliott