We are delighted to announce that the P2 Steam Locomotive Company has placed a £142,500 order with I D Howitt Ltd of Crofton, West Yorkshire, for the assembly of the locomotive’s tender frames. Ian Howitt was a major contractor during the construction of No. 60163 Tornado, working both at Darlington Locomotive Works and in his own workshops and was responsible for the assembly of the almost identical tender frames for Tornado from 2005 to 2007. Once Ian Howitt has made progress with manufacturing the fabricated drag boxes and has machined the castings, the fully machined tender frame plates (presently in store at Darlington Locomotive Works) will be moved to Crofton for assembly. It is expected that the frames will be delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works in late 2018.
Tornado’s tender frames are seen at Ian Howitt’s workshop in 2007 – Nigel Facer
In parallel with the assembly of No. 2007’s tender frames, the Trust has started work on the distinctive boiler cladding for the new locomotive. In contrast to the method used to assemble Tornado’s boiler cladding, this will be done by building a ‘skeleton’ which will enable the Trust to make the entire cladding before the actual boiler is delivered. This postpones the need for the boiler to be at Darlington Locomotive Works by at least six months. Once the boiler cladding is finished and primed, it will be dismantled and stored pending fitting to the boiler in 2020.
We continue to promote the P2 Project as widely as possible and have already held four P2 Roadshows in London, Peterborough, Doncaster and York. All were very well attended and resulted in substantial donations and sign-ups on the day, with more coming in over the following weeks. The presentations run from 11:00hrs to 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below, no booking is required, admission is free and open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:
- 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.
These presentations are open to anyone wanting to know more about the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.
Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“The order for the tender frames and the starting on the boiler cladding for No. 2007 Prince of Wales mark two significant milestones in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since construction started only three years ago. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, well over £1m has been spent on construction, over £1.3m donated and over £2.3m pledged.
“We are confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in 2017 having reached over 80% of our fundraising target for The Mikado Club and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to raise more than £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes. We 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 Mikado 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.”