Cylinder Manufacturing Club launched!

The Cylinder Manufacturing Club – Putting the horsepower into Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive.

Progress on the construction of our 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 (DLW). Construction and assembly work continues on all fronts, including boiler, wheelsets, tender, 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 engineering team has now completed the considerable amount of work involved in converting the original class P2 monobloc (or 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 improve internal streamlining of steam passages along Chapelon lines to increase maximum power and improve economy and reduce the overall width of the cylinder block to provide Prince of Wales with the widest possible route availability on the main line. In addition, and as part of the continued application of modern techniques in the design and development of the improved class P2, the Trust commissioned Frewer & Co Engineers Ltd of Dorking, Surrey to undertake a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the inlet and exhaust steam passages of the cylinder block.

A rendering showing steam flow through the cylinder block by Frewer & Co. Engineers

The Cylinder Club was launched in October 2017 to raise an initial £100,000 towards the design and construction of No. 2007’s new cylinder block – the final of four principal areas of major redesign – which it achieved within five months thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Having completed the redesign and produced the manufacturing drawings, in early 2021 the Trust approached five engineering companies with a Request for Quotation for Construction to manufacture the complex fabricated cylinder block with responses requested before the end of March 2021. The Trust is now delighted to announce that it has commissioned Howco Group Plc to fabricate the new cylinder block, using steel castings supplied by William Cook Cast Products Ltd, with delivery scheduled for spring 2022.

Steve Davies (A1SLT) and Iain Fratery (Howco) sign the agreement – A1SLT

We have therefore decided to launch The Cylinder Manufacturing Club to raise an initial target of £250,000 from 250 supporters each donating £1,000 plus Gift Aid (in up to eight payments of £125). Members will receive the special benefits detailed in the enclosed leaflet.

You can join The Cylinder Manufacturing Club by going to our new online donation page here.

It only remains to thank you in advance for your support. You can find further information on the ways in which you can support the construction of No. 2007 Prince of Wales on this website.