First P2 cylinder components delivered

We are delighted to announce that the first components for the cylinder block for No. 2007 Prince of Wales have been delivered. The three cylinder cover castings which were made from Spheriodal Graphite Iron were produced by H. Downs & Sons foundry in Huddersfield from a pattern produced by John Hazlehurst of Swineshead near Boston. In the meantime, work continues on the redesign of the original Gresley class P2 No. 2001 Cock o’ the North’s monobloc cylinder casting to a welded fabrication incorporating the improved version of the Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear developed by the Franklin Company in the USA in the mid-1940s. No. 2007’s cylinder block design will also include improvements along the lines of famous French railway engineer André Chapelon to increase maximum power and improve economy.

The work involved in designing and manufacturing No. 2007’s new cylinder block includes:

  • Converting the original class P2 one-piece casting into a welded fabrication including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to check for structural integrity
  • Improving the layout of the valves to reduce the clearance volume (which affects cylinder efficiency)
  • Re-routing the steam and exhaust passages to physically separate them to prevent incoming steam from heating the outgoing exhaust
  • Increasing the size and improving internal streamlining of steam passages along Chapelon lines to increase maximum power and improve economy
  • Reducing 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 new cylinder block includes:

  • 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.

To date the Trust has completed the conceptual design of the cylinder block and it is expected that an order will be placed for its fabrication in the first quarter of 2019 for delivery before the end of 2019.  The delivery of the three cylinder cover castings coincides with the money spent to-date on the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007Prince of Wales passing the £2.1 million mark – 42% of the estimated £5m total required. In March 2018, the Trust announced that The Cylinder Club, established to pay for the cylinder block, had reached its 100 members target and pledges of £100,000 plus Gift Aid. The funding of the cylinder block will help to ensure that the project remains on schedule for completion in 2021.

The original Gresley design for the cylinder casting

A CAD rendering of the new cylinder block – David Elliott

 Over the next 12 months, the Darlington-based team aims to:

  • Complete the pony truck
  • Select the manufacturer and place the order for the boiler
  • Make substantial progress on the tender tank and frames
  • Finish the detailed design of the electrical system
  • Complete the overhaul of and fit two steam driven air pumps
  • Manufacture and take delivery of most of the coupling and connecting rods
  • Complete the cylinder block design with construction nearing completion
  • Start manufacture of the valve gear.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted to announce that the first cylinder components for No. 2007 Prince of Wales, in the shape of the three cylinder cover castings, have been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works having been cast by H. Downs & Sons Ltd of Huddesfield. This follows on from our announcement in March 2018 that The Cylinder Club, founded to pay for the cylinder block, had reached its 100 members target two months early. This meant that this critical part of No. 2007 Prince of Wales is now fully funded through the £100,000 plus Gift Aid donated by our supporters. Our engineering team continues to work on the technical design of the cylinder block with the intention for placing an order for the fabrication in the first quarter of 2019 for delivery towards the end of 2019.

 “Now is the time to get on board this ground-breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5m needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is holding a series of roadshows about the project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales across the UK in 2018. Each presentation will feature key Trust personnel including Mark Allatt (P2 Project Director) and/or 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 start promptly at 11:00hrs and run until 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below and are open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:

  • Saturday 3rd November 2018 – Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
  • Saturday 8th December 2018 – Hilton Leeds City Hotel, Leeds.