AN AUDIENCE WITH THE PRINCE OF WALES COMING TO LONDON – Update on the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive.
The project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive will be holding the first in a series of roadshows at the London Transport Museum on Saturday 14th January 2017. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that it will be holding a number of presentations on the project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales along the route of the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh and all the way to Aberdeen during 2017.
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 (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. The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.
The first Roadshow is at The London Transport Museum, where all attendees will receive complimentary access to the Museum Galleries on the day. Each presentation will feature key Trust personnel including Mark Allatt (Chairman) and David Elliott (Director of Engineering) and will cover the background to the project, progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. The presentations will run from 11:00hrs to 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below and are open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:
• Saturday 14th January 2017 – The London Transport Museum, London
• Saturday 18th February 2017 – The Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough
• Saturday 18th March 2017 – Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, Doncaster
• Saturday 22nd April 2017 – York Railway Institute, York
• Saturday 13th May 2017 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
• Saturday 17th June 2017 – Newcastle Mining Institute, Newcastle
• Saturday 1st July 2017 – Edinburgh Jury’s Inn, Edinburgh
• Saturday 14th October 2017 – Dundee Heritage Trust Discovery Point, Dundee
• Saturday 25th November 2017 – Aberdeen Jury’s Inn, Aberdeen.
Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and 790 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. 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 (well over 110 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people), The Mikado Club (105 people have pledged £1,000 each – target 160 people/£200,000), Dedicated Donations (over £180,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components) and the sponsorship of the locomotive’s distinctive front-end by The Gresley Society Trust. This means that the project has already received pledges almost 50% (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed to complete the new locomotive by 2021.
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The past three years have seen dramatic progress toward our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021. No. 2007 is already at the stage Tornado was eight years into the project. We are holding a series of free roadshow presentations in 2017, starting in London at the London Transport Museum, to promote the £5m project and at each we will cover the background to the project, our progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. These presentations are open to anyone interested in the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.”
“Now is the time to get on board this ground breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5 million needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”