The Pony (Truck) Club is launched!

STEERING NO. 2007 PRINCE OF WALES TO COMPLETION WITH THE PONY (TRUCK) CLUB

New fundraising initiative launched to help complete Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive

Today we are announcing a new £20,000 appeal – The Pony (Truck) Club – to fund the construction of the leading pony truck for No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The pony truck is a single-axle bogie which pivots towards the centre of a steam locomotive to enable it to negotiate curves more easily.

The construction of the pony truck has made significant progress over the past few months at several sites across the UK. The wheelsets were assembled – using two 3ft 2in wheels cast by the Trust’s principal sponsor William Cook Cast Products Ltd of Sheffield – by South Devon Railway Engineering at Buckfastleigh and delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works in September 2018. Since their arrival, the wheels have been filled, painted and polished in preparation for the fitting the cannonbox.

Progress on the construction of the new Gresley class P2 ‘Mikado’ is moving forward rapidly. The engine has reached the condition where it is recognisably a class P2 and the structurally complete tender tank and tender wheelsets are now at Darlington Locomotive Works. Construction and assembly work continues on all fronts, including boiler, wheelsets, tender frames, heavy motion, pipework and electricals. Design work for the extensively modified and improved cylinder block is complete, with the focus now turned to adaptation of the Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear to overcome deficiencies in the original design.

The project’s fundraising is also moving forward. The Founders Club had a target of 100 members but thanks to the enthusiasm of our supporters we recruited over 360. The monthly ‘P2 for the price of a pint’ Covenant scheme has already attracted over 930 Covenantors. Our Dedicated Donation scheme has raised over £400,000, The Boiler Club has already recruited 189 people of its 300 member target, The Mikado Club and The Cylinder Club are now closed having reached their target and raising over £375,000 combined! The Motion Club is still open with just 13 places remaining to hit the 175 member target and The Tender Club has already reached 65 members, of its 250 membership, just one year from launch. Altogether this means that the project has received pledges of over £3.5m of the required £5m over the planned seven-year build if Gift Aid is included. However, to succeed we must raise at least £700,000 every year.

No. 2007 will incorporate a modified leading pony truck to avoid the issues that afflicted the original P2s in this area.  The LNER solved a similar problem with the Gresley class V2s using its experience from building Stanier 8F 2-8-0s at Doncaster Works during WWII. The Trust therefore commissioned DeltaRail to use Vampire® software to construct a ‘virtual’ P2 and analyse the performance of the original Gresley swing link suspension design and modified pony truck using side control springs. Our design team then used the results of the Vampire® modelling and the revised class V2 arrangement to redesign the pony truck for our new class P2 using side control springs and incorporating roller bearings.

In order to keep on schedule to complete No. 2007 in 2022, we need to have the redesigned pony truck frame delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works in 2020. Given the generosity of our supporters, we have confidently placed the order for the manufacture of the pony truck frame with North View Engineering Solutions in Darlington.

It is our desire to leave No. 2007 debt free and therefore our aim is to raise £20,000 with The Pony (Truck) Club from 20 supporters each donating £1,000 plus Gift Aid (in up to four payments of £250). Members receive the following special benefits:

  • Exclusive Pony (Truck) Club rosette
  • Opportunity to buy ticket (seat already reserved) on one of the first trains hauled by No. 2007 Prince of Wales
  • Reasonable access to No. 2007 at all times (DLW is currently closed to visitors due to the coronavirus)
  • First choice of components to sponsor as a Dedicated Donations
  • Special supporters’ day with Tornado
  • Exclusive Pony Truck Frame engineering drawing signed by David Elliott and Daniela Filová, the design team
  • Invitation to witness the fitting of the pony truck to the engine.

Full details of The Pony (Truck) Club can be found here.

Mark Allatt, 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 £3.5m has now been donated or pledged – 70% of the required £5m.

“We recently turned our attention to the pony truck which has been an area of major redesign. Significant progress has been made with both the wheelsets and the frames. We now need to raise a further £20,000 through The Pony (Truck) Club over the next few months. This will allow us to remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive within the next three years. We are following Government guidelines with regards to the coronavirus and, whilst our office-based staff are now working from home, our workshop staff are contining to work at Darlington Locomotive Works where they are taking all necessary precautions. However, as many of our supporters and volunteers are from vulnerable groups, the Works is currently closed to non-essential staff.

“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 Pony (Truck) Club or a ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ Covenantor. It’s time to get on board!”

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is raising funds for the manufacture of the pony truck for the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. If there are surplus funds left over following the manufacture of the pony truck, we will use the money to buy other components for the Gresley class P2 that the charity would not otherwise have.

To become a member of The Pony (Truck) Club, email , call 01325 460163 or visit www.p2steam.com for more information.