No. 2007 Prince of Wales one-third complete less than two years since launch

Our new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales is already over one-third (34%) complete by weight following the delivery of the engine’s 12 tyres less than two years since the launch of the project in September 2013. This rapid construction has been fuelled by the project’s successful fundraising campaigns which have seen pledges of 38% of the £5m required to complete Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive by 2021. In only 18 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 reached £1.9m.

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’s 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!

The project’s use of the latest Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology means that the weight of all of the components now in existence can easily be calculated. The weight of the engine parts now in existence stands at 37.2 tons (39% of an estimated completed empty weight of 96 ton) and the tender at 4.8 tons (17% of an estimated completed empty weight of 28.4 tons) giving a figure of 34% for the whole locomotive by weight.

07151508 P2 Overview of Rear Frames

Rapid progress is being made assembling the locomotive such as the Cartazzi frames – David Elliott

With No. 60163 Tornado’s overhaul now complete, our team at Darlington Locomotive Works has now resumed the erection of No. 2007 Prince of Wales’s frames, fitting the frame stretchers, horn guides and other components manufactured by external contractors over the past few months. The Trust is still 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.