Sponsor a component and help to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive

As funding pledges for the project to build new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales pass the £1.8m point only 20 months after its launch, a new batch of components has been released for sponsorship by supporters in time for Father’s Day on Sunday 21st June 2015.

The class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, 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 in 1943/44 and scrapped by 1961.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (a registered charity and builders of famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class over seven years at an estimated cost of £5m through its P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary. The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design and modelling techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

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 80 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people) and Dedicated Donations (£120,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components). This means that the project has already received pledges of over £1.8m (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed over the next seven years.

03171501Frame assembly 2007

Dedicated Donations are currently only available to members of The Founders Club and existing Covenantors.  In addition to being able to sponsor one or more of the 18 spokes of the 6ft2in driving wheels for either £600 (or £25pm for 24 months), other components now available for sponsorship range from a ‘handrail knob’ at £75 and a ‘boiler band’ at £120 to a ‘cab side window wood frame’ at £400 (or £20 pm for 20 months) and a ‘6ft 2in driving wheel casting and proof machining’ at £12,000 (or £200pm for 60 months). Supporters who subscribe to the scheme will have their names inscribed on the official roll of honour at Darlington Locomotive Works listing the components sponsored, receive a certificate recording the sponsorship and copy of the drawing of the component. New components available for sponsorship will become available as construction progresses.  Visit the Dedicated Donations page here.

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 20 months ago, with over £1.8m of the required £5m pledged to-date. 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 in 2021. However, to maintain this progress we need to continue to raise in excess of £700,000 per year. We are therefore taking the opportunity of Father’s Day to give the Dedicated Donation scheme a boost.

“This initiative is a unique opportunity for supporters to have their father or grandfather’s name associated with a component of No. 2007 and the funds raised will help to ensure that Prince of Wales will be completed within the next seven years. Just as with the similar scheme that helped to fund the construction of Tornado, supporters who subscribe to the scheme will have the satisfaction of pointing to the part of the locomotive they paid for when No. 2007 enters service.

“No-one can now doubt that we really mean business. 2015 will see further major announcements as the construction of Prince of Wales gathers pace.”