Crank Axle Delivered

The Mikado Club funding the wheeling of No. 2007 Prince of Wales reaches 90% of extended £250,000 target

We are delighted to announce the achievement of significant milestones both in construction and fundraising. The crank axle has been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) following its assembly by South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd at Buckfastleigh, Devon and finish machining by Unilathe at Stoke on Trent. In addition, The Mikado Club fundraising initiative to pay for the wheeling of the engine and tender has reached 90% of its revised target of £250,000 pledged almost three months earlier than anticipated.

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, builders and operators of famous new 100mph 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 delivery of the crank axle is a critical milestone for the project being the culmination of a long and expensive process including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) carried out by the railway engineering consultants, Mott MacDonald at Derby to eliminate a weakness in the original design that resulted in fracturing of the crank axle. It is anticipated that the fitting of wheels and tyres will take place in March which will complete the wheelset. It is hoped to have the engine wheeled by spring 2018.

The Mikado Club was launched at the end of March 2016 to raise £200,000 from 160 members to wheel the engine and was extended in June 2017 to 200 members and £240,000 to also wheel the tender. The work involved wheeling the engine to create the first standard gauge ‘Mikado’ since 1945 includes:

1.                Machining axle and cannon box castings, manufacturing roller bearing details

2.                Boring eight coupled wheel bosses to finished size

3.                Assembling bearings and cannon box onto pony truck axle

4.                Assembling bearings, cannon and axle boxes onto plain coupled axles

5.                Trial fitting coupled axles to frame

6.                Pressing Cartazzi wheels onto axle, fitting & machining tyres and fitting bearings & axleboxes

7.                Pressing plain coupled wheels onto axles, fitting and machining tyres

8.                Assembling crank axle, fitting bearings & axleboxes, pressing wheels onto crank axle, fitting and machining tyres

9.                Finish machining crank bosses & boring crank pin holes and machining & fitting all crank pins

10.             Trial fitting wheelsets to frames at DLW.