Media contact
All media enquiries should be made to Mark Allatt at mark.allatt@p2steam.com or on 07710 878979.
Please note that this is not a general enquiries number and is for press use only. The general enquiries number is 01325 460163.

Assistant Engineer appointed at Darlington Locomotive Works

It has become increasingly apparent that with such impressive fundraising results for the new P2, the engineering function was struggling to produce manufacturing drawings fast enough to maintain progress. It had been anticipated at the outset that extra resources would be required as the build developed. The decision was taken last September to seek an Assistant Engineer to expedite production of drawings and, following a recruitment process carried out in collaboration with Teesside University, we are pleased to welcome Daniela Filova, from the Czech Republic, who started with us on 17th January 2018. For the last ten years Daniela ran her own live steam engineering and foundry business, producing small scale steam engines and historic electrical generators as well as aluminium, brass and bronze castings.  Assisting David Elliott, Daniela is making good progress with the manufacturing drawing for the cylinder covers and has also proved useful on the shop floor!

Daniela drives the Matterson jacks during the recent frame lift – David Elliott

Progress with the cylinder block CAD showing the valves in place – David Elliott

The block with the Kylchap blastpipes and cowls in place – David Elliott

Up, up and away!

In preparation for wheeling the locomotive, No. 2007’s frames were trial lifted by the Matterson jacks at Darlington Locomotive Works.  The lift was successfully achieved proving the integrity and rigidity of the frames.

The view from underneath, from the pony truck pintle backwards – David Elliott

Some idea of the height of the lift can be seen here – David Elliott

Full steam ahead for No. 2007

£100,000 appeal for the cylinder block for new Gresley Class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales reaches two-thirds in just three months

We are delighted to say that the £100,000 appeal to make the cylinder block for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales has reached two-thirds of its target in just three months. If the project is to remain on schedule for completion by 2021, the first components of the cylinder block have to be ordered in early 2018. At its annual convention on 30thSeptember 2017, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust set itself the challenge of raising £100,000 through The Cylinder Club from 100 supporters each donating £1,000 (plus Gift Aid) to the project in up to eight payments of £125 by standing order.

Following the success of The Founders Club (to get the project to the point of cutting the frames), The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler) and The Mikado Club (to wheel the locomotive), the Trust decided to establish The Cylinder Club to raise an estimated £100,000 required to make No. 2007’s cylinder block.

In return for supporting this appeal, special benefits for members of The Cylinder Club include:

  • Opportunity to buy tickets (seat already reserved) on one of the first trains hauled by No. 2007 Prince of Wales
  • Reasonable access to No. 2007 at all times
  • Opportunity to buy exclusive Cylinder Club badge
  • Opportunity to join one of the teams building No. 2007
  • First choice of other components to sponsor
  • Special Cylinder Club day with Tornado
  • Special signed/numbered print of John Wigston’s new painting of No. 2007 Prince of Wales alongside No. 2001 Cock o’ the North and No. 2002 Earl Marischal.

Artist John Wigston has been an active supporter of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust since its launch in 1990, producing the first painting No. 60163 Tornado called ‘The return of an A1’ of which many supporters have a print. John has donated the original artwork for his new painting of No. 2007 Prince of Wales alongside No. 2001 Cock o’ the North and No. 2002 Earl Marischal to the Trust to raise funds for the project.

The work involved in designing the new cylinder block includes:

  • Convert the original P2 class one-piece casting into a welded fabrication including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to check for structural integrity
  • Improve the layout of the valves to reduce the clearance volume (affects cylinder efficiency)
  • Re-route the steam and exhaust passages to physically separate them to prevent incoming steam from heating the outgoing exhaust
  • Increase the size and improve internal streamlining of steam passages along Chapelon lines to increase maximum power and improve economy
  • Reduce the overall width of the cylinder block to provide Prince of Wales with the widest possible route availability on the main line.

Manufacture of the cylinder block including:

  • Producing the welded fabrication
  • Stress relieving
  • Grit blasting and painting with high temperature paint
  • Machining
  • Fitting cylinder liners and valve seats
  • Manufacturing and fitting cylinder and valve covers
  • Hydraulic testing the assembly.

Progress building Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive continues at Darlington Locomotive Works and includes:

  • Frame plates for engine and tender rolled and profiled; engine’s frames erected at Darlington Locomotive Works; all major engine frame stays, brackets, horn blocks, axle boxes and buffers cast (44 in total); over 1,000 fitted and driven bolts ordered and delivered, approximately 800 now fitted to the frames
  • All 20 wheels for engine and tender cast and proof machined; roller bearings for all engine and tender wheelsets and engine axles (including crank axle), tyres and crank pins delivered, tender axles, tyres ordered and first wheelset complete
  • Preliminary discussions held with boiler manufacturers and forged foundation ring corners manufactured and machined; start made on boiler fittings with castings for combined injector steam and delivery valves
  • Study into ride and suspension completed using rail industry standard Vampire® software; finite Element Analysis completed on re-designed crank axle to ensure locomotive complies with modern standards; assessment and notified body appointed to oversee certification – first site visit made
  • Cab erected and cab side window frames fitted; engine footplating and splasher kits delivered and permanently fitted to frames
  • Smokebox door pressed details made and door completed, door frame manufactured, smokebox delivered and erected; chimney cast and fitted
  • Crosshead castings ordered
  • Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets procured, rolled and being fitting to the jig
  • Tender frame construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings ordered from William Cook Cast Products
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
  • Over £1.3m spent, £1.7m raised and £2.7m pledged of the required £5m.

The project’s objectives for 2018 are to:

  • Complete No. 2007’s wheelsets
  • Continue the boiler procurement
  • Order the cylinder block
  • Design and order the first motion parts
  • Progress work on the tender
  • Commence the electrical design.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £2.7m has now been donated or pledged. Our team at Darlington Locomotive Works has been focused on creating and assembling the boiler cladding and fitting the roller bearings and cannon boxes to the axles over the past few weeks.

“We have now turned our attention to the cylinder block which is our next major design and manufacturing challenge. If we can raise £100,000 through The Cylinder Club over the next few months we are confident that we will be able to place the order for the cylinder block for No. 2007Prince of Wales in the first quarter of 2018 and remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. Achieving pledges of over two-thirds of our target within the three months means that we are well on the way towards achieving this.

“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 member of The Cylinder Club or a monthly ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor. 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.”

To become a member of The Cylinder Club, email enquiries@p2steam.com, call 01325 460163 or visit www.p2steam.com for more information.

Prince of Wales ready for wheeling in spring 2018

Three new plain coupled axles for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales are expected to arrive at Darlington Locomotive Works from South Africa via Unilathe (where they have been finish machined) in early January; they are the replacements for those which were manufactured in early 2017, but had their keyways machined incorrectly by the supplier.

The assembled crank axle is already at Darlington, along with all of the engine’s axleboxes. The final frame stay consisting four spring brackets has also recently been delivered and permanently fitted, paving the way for the wheeling of the frames in the spring. 

In a modification to the original class P2 design, the new locomotive is to receive roller bearing axleboxes as fitted to No. 60163 Tornado. However, unlike No. 60163 whose wheelsets were complete before they were placed under the frames, the opportunity will be taken to trial-fit the axles and axleboxes into the horn guides to check clearances, before the axles are sent to South Devon Railway Engineering for the wheels to be pressed on.

The trailing Cartazzi wheelset has already been assembled by SDRE and is at Darlington Locomotive Works along with the pony truck axle, while the tender axles have been manufactured by Firth Rixon of Rotherham and delivered to Unilathe at Stoke on Trent for machining. A representative of Timkin is expected in DLW on 3rd January to oversee the fitting of the axleboxes to the bearings on crank axle and the bearings and axleboxes to cartazzi axle. The tender tyres have been delivered from Ringrollers in South Africa and all of the tender castings including axleboxes have now been completed and are expected to be delivered in the next week.

Two Finnish air pumps of a similar type to the German and Swedish ones on Tornado have also recently been acquired as part of a batch of components sourced from David Buck which includes a set of Gresley class V4 tyres for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s proposed third new build project. These air pumps were obtained from stock in Finland and have not suffered the deterioration experienced with pumps removed from locomotives in scrapyards. They will be sent to Meiningen for overhaul in the near future and on their return, they will be part of a pool of air pumps used on all of the Trust’s locomotives.

Fundraising for No. 2007 Prince of Wales continues to make good progress, with 840 ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantors now on-board. The Mikado Club fundraising campaign to raise £200,000 for the wheeling of the engine and tender has now reached 180 of its 200 members target with each member pledging £1,000 plus Gift Aid. The Cylinder Club, launched at the Trust’s 2017 convention to raise £100,000 to pay for the new cylinder block, has already reached two-thirds of its 100 members target (with each member pledging £1,000 plus Gift Aid) and the order for the first components for the cylinder block is expected to be placed in the first week of January 2018. To date, over £1.3m has been spent, £1.7m raised and £2.7m pledged of the required £5m to complete No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

The project’s objectives for 2018 are to:

  • Complete No. 2007’s wheelsets
  • Continue the boiler procurement
  • Order the cylinder block
  • Design and order the first motion parts
  • Progress work on the tender
  • Commence the electrical design.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The past four 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 nine years into the project. We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £2.7m has now been donated or pledged. 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 ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor or supporting one of our targeted fundraising clubs. It’s time to get on board! 2018 will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”