THE GRESLEY SOCIETY TRUST TO SPONSOR NEW GRESLEY CLASS P2 No. 2007 PRINCE OF WALES’S UNIQUE SMOKEBOX ‘FACE’

The Gresley Society Trust, established in 1963 to sustain the legacy of Sir Nigel Gresley, is to sponsor the construction of the distinctive smokebox for new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales.  The sponsorship by The Gresley Society Trust includes:

  • Design changes, rolling and assembly of smokebox barrel
  • Smokebox/boiler and smokebox front rings
  • Smokebox door and most fittings (hinges, dart, etc)
  • Cross bar, ribs and crinolines
  • Fairing around chimney and smoke lifting sheets
  • Whistle bracket and most handrails and knobs

Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and over 670 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.

Copy of RAS 929

The unique Gresley front end to No. 2001 Cock o’ the North – Rail Archive Stephenson

Other 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 6ft2in driving wheels proof machined; engine tyres delivered
  • 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!

David McIntosh, chairman, The Gresley Society Trust, commented, “The class P2s were Sir Nigel Gresley’s equivalent of Sir Edward Elgar’s ‘Enigma Variations’ – each of the six built were slightly different to one another but to an original theme. The seventh P2 will complete the development work started in 1934 but unfinished due to other projects and the Second World War. Only ten locomotives designed by Gresley survived dieselisation in the 1960s and The Gresley Society Trust, owners of the oldest surviving Gresley locomotive, is delighted to be able to support the construction of the newest and most powerful – No. 2007 Prince of Wales.”

Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added, “We are delighted that The Gresley Society Trust is to sponsor No. 2007 Prince of Wales’s distinctive front-end, giving the locomotive its unique ‘face’ for the first time. We look forward to working closely with the Society throughout the new P2’s construction and when it enters main line service in 2021.

“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.”