Pledges pass £3m, Mikado Club now complete!

The Mikado Club to fund the wheeling reaches 200 members target

We are thrilled to announce that pledges to the project have now passed £3m – over 60% of the £5m needed to complete the locomotiveThis coincides with the 200th member signing up for The Mikado Club which was launched in March 2016 to raise £200,000 from 160 members to wheel the engine and was extended in May 2017 to 200 members and £250,000 to also wheel the tender.

Last month the Trust launched The Motion Club, established to fund the manufacture of the heavy motion for No. 2007, setting the challenge of raising £210,000 from 175 supporters each donating £1,000 plus Gift Aid. In just three weeks the Trust had already signed up 36 members of The Motion Club, potentially worth £45,000 including Gift Aid – a remarkable achievement thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

Driving wheelsets in the process of assembly at SDR(E) – David Elliott

Completed wheelsets at Buckfastleigh – David Elliott

The work involved wheeling the engine to create the first British standard gauge ‘Mikado’ since 1945 includes:

•      Machining axle and cannon box castings, manufacturing roller bearing details

•      Boring eight coupled wheel bosses to finished size

•      Assembling bearings and cannon box onto pony truck axle

•      Assembling bearings, cannon and axle boxes onto plain coupled axles

•      Trial fitting coupled axles to frame

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

•      Pressing plain coupled wheels onto axles, fitting and machining tyres

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

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

•      Trial fitting wheelsets to frames at DLW.

We are confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in summer 2018 and have recently ordered all the coupling and connect rods.  Thus far over £1.7m (over 34% of the total required) has been converted into metal, more than £2.1m (over 42%) has already been donated and over £3m (60%) has been pledged.

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 with over £1.7m spent so far on construction and over £2.1m donated and more than £3m by our supporters.

“We are now confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in summer 2018 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. Last financial year we more than achieved our budget of £500,000 and this new financial year we have set a fundraising budget of £700,000.

“We would encourage all our supporters 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, joining The Boiler Club, becoming a member of The Motion Club or taking out a Dedicated Donation. It’s time to get on-board!”