Wheels of Steel!


Sponsor a wheel and help to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive this Father’s Day

As the project to build new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales prepares for the delivery of the first heavy motion, only six years after its launch, a batch of wheel-related components has been released for sponsorship in time for Father’s Day on Sunday 21st June 2020.

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 DLW. Construction and assembly work continues on all fronts, including boiler, wheelsets, tender frames, pony truck, heavy motion, pipework and electricals. Design work for the extensively modified and improved cylinder block is complete, with the focus has 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. Our ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ Covenant scheme has already attracted over 930 regular donors. Our Dedicated Donation scheme has raised over £400,000, The Boiler Club has already recruited over 190 people of its 300 members 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 11 places remaining to hit the 175 member target and The Tender Club has already reached 65 members, of its 250 membership, just over one year from launch. And The Pony (Truck) Club launched only a month ago has already reached its initial target. Altogether this means that the project has received pledges of almost £3.75m of the required £5m over the planned seven to ten year build if Gift Aid is included. However, to succeed we must raise at least £700,000 every year.

Dedicated Donations are generally only available to existing supporters but are being made specially available in the run up to Father’s Day.  In addition to being able to sponsor one of the ‘18 spokes of the 6ft 2in driving wheels’ for £600 (or £25pm for 24 months) or even a whole driving wheel for £12,000 (or £250pm for 48 months), other components are now available for sponsorship ranging from a pony truck castellated nut for £20, a Cartazzi Axlebox Manganese Steel Liner for £36, a leading coupled axlebox locomotive bolt for £74 or the pony truck axle at £4,440 (or £74 per month for 60 months). People who subscribe to the scheme will have their names (or the name of the person the gift is for) inscribed on the official roll of honour at Darlington Locomotive Works listing the components sponsored, receive a certificate recording the sponsorship and a copy of the drawing of the component.

Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted with the support the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch six years ago. With almost £2.5m spent, almost £3.0m donated and almost £3.75m pledged to-date – almost 75% of the required £5m – we remain on-track for completion within three years. However, to maintain this progress we need to raise £700,000 per year. We are therefore taking the opportunity of Father’s Day to give the Dedicated Donations scheme a boost.

“This initiative is a unique opportunity for supporters to have their father or grandfather’s name associated with a component of No. 2007 and the funds raised will help to ensure that Prince of Wales will be completed on schedule. Just as with the similar scheme that helped to fund the construction of the now world-famous Tornado, supporters who subscribe to the scheme will have the satisfaction of pointing to the part of the locomotive they paid for when No. 2007 enters service. 2020 will see further major announcements as the construction of Prince of Wales gathers pace.

“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 continuing 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.”

Please contact  for further information. New components available for sponsorship will become available as construction progresses. Please note that monthly payment options are one of the benefits made available to existing regular supporters only.