An audience with Prince of Wales in Darlington

Update on the project to build Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales – Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive

We are holding a series of roadshows across Great Britain in 2019, with the next one being held at Darlington Locomotive Works on Saturday 2nd November 2019. This is an ideal chance to learn all the latest news, much of which was held back for the Trust’s 2019 Convention on 12th October.  Entry into each roadshow is free. 

The ninth 2019 Roadshow is at Darlington Locomotive Works, Hopetown Lane, Darlington, DL3 6RQ. 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 presentation will start promptly at 11:00hrs until 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below and are open to existing supporters and interested members of the public: 

  • Saturday 2nd November 2019 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
  • Saturday 7th December 2019 – Pendulum Hotel (Manchester Conference Centre), Manchester.

We also have Open Days at Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington on the first and third Saturday of every month, from 11:00 – 16:00hrs.

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

  • Frames: engine’s frames erected; all frame stays, brackets, horn blocks, axle boxes & buffers cast and fitted; cab erected and cab side & spectacle window frames fitted; footplating & splasher kits fitted to frames
  • Cylinders & valves: design studies into cylinder block manufacture and selection of valve gear complete; 3D CAD design of the cylinder block and valve gear substantially complete; weld details and assembly order being finalised.
  • Smoke box & fittings: smokebox assembled and trial fitted to the frames; chimney cast and fitted
  • Boiler: boiler design study completed; forged foundation ring corners manufactured & machined; regulator castings delivered; superheater header cast & machined; boiler cladding manufactured, trial fitted to frames and now in storage; boiler order placed with DB Meiningen for delivery in July 202; foundation ring forgings and regulator castings despatched to Meiningen; the minor re-design of the banjo dome to suit the P2 cladding by has been completed by DB Meiningen
  • Fittings: many non-ferrous fittings are being cast and machined.
  • Brakes: work well advanced on manufacture of brake rigging
  • Wheelsets: study into ride & suspension completed using Vampire® software; crank axle re-designed to comply with modern standards, approved and manufactured; all engine wheelsets complete and fitted to engine
  • Motion: all heavy motion ordered from order with Stephenson Engineering Ltd of Atherton, Manchester; work started with first delivery due in autumn
  • Valve gear: updated poppet valve gear design almost complete; first components in manufacture
  • Pipework: design well advanced and installation under way
  • Electricals: significant progress on design and manufacture of electrical system; belt driven tender alternator nearing completion; turbine wheel for steam turbo alternator manufactured
  • Tender: axlebox and other tender castings produced by William Cook Cast Products; frames being assembled by ID Howitt, Crofton; tank construction under way by North View Engineering Solutions, Darlington; South Devon Railway Engineering have completed pressing the wheels and tender alternator drive pulley onto the axles and are in the process of machining the wheel rims and tyres; the tender tank base plate has been pre-fitted to the tender frames
  • Finishing: nameplates and chime whistle delivered.
  • Over £2.1m spent, £2.7m raised and £3.4m pledged of the required £5m.

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

  • Complete the pony truck
  • Make substantial progress on the tender tank and frames
  • Finish the detailed design of the electrical system
  • 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, “The past five years have seen dramatic progress towards our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021. We are holding a series of free roadshow presentations in 2019, with the seventh in our Darlington Works (where the build can be viewed first hand) to promote the £5m project and at each we will cover the background to the project, our progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. These presentations are open to anyone interested in the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.”

“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.”