We are pleased to announce that both machined outside connecting rods have now been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works only seven years after the launch of the project. The fundraising campaign to raise an initial target of £210,000 needed to pay for the manufacture of the heavy motion has also made good progress, with £178,000 plus Gift Aid already pledged by 178 supporters. In May 2018 the Trust placed a £181,000 order with Stephenson (Engineering) Ltd of Atherton, Manchester for the heavy motion. The order included the forging, machining and heat treatment of the nine heavy motion rods – intermediate coupling rod LH/RH, trailing coupling rod LH/RH, leading coupling rod LH/RH, outside connecting rod LH/RH and the inside connecting rod assembly (including strap, gluts and strap nuts and washers) – and the combined piston and rod.
Two connecting rods and six coupling rods – enough for a ‘Mikado’! – A1SLT
David Elliott, Director of P2 Engineering, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The delivery of the outside connecting rods for Prince of Wales is a major step forward for the project, especially given the limitations of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The machining of each rod by Stephenson (Engineering) Ltd takes around 100 hours. The next few months will see the completion of all of the heavy motion and the trial fitting of the coupling rods to the engine – creating the first tender-engine standard gauge ‘Mikado’ in the UK since 1945.”
Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added, “We are delighted with the support the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch over seven years ago. With over £3.4m spent and almost £4m donated to-date of the estimated £5m required, we remain on-track for completion within three years. However, to maintain this progress we need to raise £700,000 per year and we are still seeking to recruit members of The Motion Club in order to complete the funding for the heavy motion as well as additional ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ regular donors or covenantors.”
You can join The Motion Club here.