First wheelset assembled for No. 2007

Work started on boiler cladding for Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales

We are delighted to announce that the first wheelset for No. 2007 has been assembled by South Devon Railway Engineering at Buckfastleigh, Devon. The Cartazzi wheelset has had its wheels pressed onto its axle and its tyres are due to be shrunk onto the wheels within the next fortnight. This is a significant milestone in the £250,000 wheeling of the new locomotive.

Mark Allatt, Trustee and P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The assembly of the first wheelset is a major milestone in the £250,000 wheeling of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. We are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for the engine during next winter and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to continue to raise in excess of £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes.

“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 monthly covenantor or joining The Mikado Club to fund the wheeling. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”

The wheels being pressed on and the finished item awaiting tyres – Rob Le Chevalier

In other news work continued fabricating the boiler cladding, calculating the centre of mass for the wheels for balancing purposes and the assembly of a spring bracket stay at North View Engineering.

Ian Matthews and the apprentices roll the boiler cladding – David Elliott

Cladding sheets pile up at Darlington – David Elliott

Wheel centre of mass balancing in progress – David Elliott

A spring bracket stay is fabricated at North View Engineering – David Elliott

Tender sponsored by Cleveland Bridge

We are delighted to announce that Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd, Darlington-based global leaders in technology based engineering, construction and steel fabrication services, is to assemble the tender tank for No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

Cleveland Bridge has agreed to build the new locomotive’s tender tank on very beneficial terms. They will fabricate the tender tank, the construction of which is like a lightweight box girder structure, from weathering steel plate as well as shot blasting and primer-painting the finished structure. The construction of the tender will take an estimated two years, with a break part way through the process for the tender tank base plate to go to the workshop of I D Howitt in Crofton, West Yorkshire to be trial fitted to the tender frames. This is the same process that was used for the tender built for No. 60163 Tornado.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has agreed to provide a number of Cleveland Bridge apprentices with the opportunity to assist in building No. 2007 Prince of Wales, providing them with experience in a different engineering environment. Overall, the sponsorship by Cleveland Bridge is significant to the project and enables us to bring forward the construction of the tender by at least 12 months.

Cleveland Bridge apprentices at Darlington Locomotive Works – Cleveland Bridge

Chris Droogan, Managing Director of Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd, commented, “At Cleveland Bridge we are very conscious of our 140 years of heritage, building many of the most iconic structures in the world including the Victoria Falls Bridge, Bosphorus Bridge, Tsing Ma bridge in Hong Kong, Jiangyin Bridge over the Yangtze, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Thames Flood Barrier, Queen Elizabeth II bridge at Dartford and most recently the Forth Replacement Crossing. Engineering Excellence is at the core of everything we do, and are delighted to support The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in its project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive as they share our commitment to new and higher standards of excellence.”

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added, “We are pleased to welcome Darlington-based and world leading Cleveland Bridge as a sponsor of No. 2007 Prince of Wales. Their sponsorship of the construction of No. 2007’s tender and secondment of apprentices to Darlington Locomotive Works to work on the engine, will help the Trust to maintain the progress necessary to complete the new locomotive by 2021.

“We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since construction started only three years ago. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, well over £1m has been spent on construction, over £1.4m donated and over £2.4m pledged.”

A P2 skeleton?

In contrast to the methods used to assemble Tornado’s boiler cladding, we are using a different technique for Prince of Wales. Work is now well under way at Darlington Locomotive Works, as the team make a start on building the ‘skeleton’ (unofficially named ‘Craig the Cretaceous’) to support the cladding sheets.  Progress so far has involved the frame design and fitting of the crinoline rings and handrail batons to the jig.  It will enable the Trust to make the entire cladding before the actual boiler is delivered. This postpones the need for the boiler to be at Darlington Locomotive Works by at least six months. Once the boiler cladding is finished and primed, it will be dismantled and stored, pending fitting to the boiler in 2020!  All drawings and CAD by David Elliott.

The following cladding components, which include some new items, are
available for current supporters to sponsor;

1 of 30x Wash out door escutcheons £70 each
PS0271 Boiler Cladding – Boiler band 7 (rear of firebox in cab) £160
PS0272 Boiler Cladding – Fire hole mask plate £500
PS0221 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 5 LH (firebox front) £500.00
PS0222 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 5 RH (firebox front) £500.00
PS0223 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 6 LH (firebox rear) £500.00
PS0224 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 6 RH (firebox rear) £500.00
PS0225 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet firebox throat plate LH £900.00
PS0227 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet firebox throat plate middle £800.00
PS0228 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner LH lower £400.00
PS0229 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner RH lower £400.00
PS0230 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner LH upper £800.00
PS0231 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner RH upper £800.00
PS0232 Boiler cladding – Firebox back sheet LH £350.00
PS0233 Boiler cladding – Firebox back sheet RH £350.00
PS0756 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 1 LH £120.00
PS0757 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 1 RH £120.00
PS0758 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 2 LH £120.00
PS0759 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 2 RH £120.00
PS0760 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 3 LH £120.00
PS0761 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 3 RH £120.00
PS0762 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 4 LH £120.00
PS0763 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 4 RH £120.00
PS0764 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 5 LH £120.00
PS0765 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 5 RH £120.00
PS0766 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 6 LH £120.00
PS0767 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 6 RH £120.00
PS0768 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 7 LH £120.00
PS0769 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 7 RH £120.00
PS0770 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 1-2 LH £40.00
PS0771 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 1-2 RH £40.00
PS0772 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 2-3 LH £40.00
PS0773 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 2-3 RH £40.00
PS0774 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 3-4 LH £40.00
PS0775 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 3-4 RH £40.00
PS0776 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 4-5 LH £40.00
PS0777 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 4-5 RH £40.00
PS0778 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 5-6 LH £40.00
PS0779 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 5-6 RH £40.00
PS0780 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 6-7 LH £40.00
PS0781 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 6-7 RH £40.00
PS0782 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 5-6 LH £40.00
PS0783 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 5-6 RH £40.00
PS0784 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 6-7 LH £40.00
PS0785 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 6-7 RH £40.00

If you wish to sponsor one of the above items, or enquire about sponsoring
any other component on No.2007 Prince Of Wales, please contact us at
dedicated.donations@p2steam.com
The dedicated donations scheme is available to current Founders,
Covenantors, 163 Pacific’s Club, Boiler Club and Mikado Club supporters of
the P2SLC or Covenantors of the A1SLT!
Different payment options may be available upon request, please contact us
to discuss.
If you’re not currently signed up as a supporter, details on how to get on
board as a covenantor for No.2007 can be found here
http://www.p2steam.com/how-you-can-help/regular-donations

Sandbox news

Assembly of the sandboxes has continued, it is a tight squeeze to get these in between the frames but the finished result is a credit to the design and fabrication teams!  The original class P2 locomotives were fitted with gravity sanders for the leading coupled wheels and steam operated forward sanders for the driving coupled wheels. No backward sanders were fitted. No. 2007 is likely to do significant work in reverse, mostly on heritage railways, but from time to time hauling substantial loads over significant gradients on the main line running tender first. The leading and forward driving sanders have been altered for air operation (as per Tornado) and new backward sandboxes and fillers have been designed. All six sandboxes and fillers have been assembled and fitted to the frames. All photos by Bob Hughes.

Cranking it up!

South Devon Railway Engineering have made great strides assembling the crank axle, all we have to do now is add the cannon boxes and wheels!

We are delighted to announce the achievement of significant milestones both in construction and fundraising. The crank axle has now been assembled at South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd in Buckfastleigh, Devon and the P2 Project received almost £90,000 in donations and new pledges in May.

The assembly of the crank axle is a critical milestone for the project being the culmination of a long and expensive process including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) carried out by the railway engineering consultants, Mott MacDonald at Derby to eliminate a weakness in the original design that resulted in fracturing of the crank axle. The assembly of the axle will be followed by final machining prior to fitting of wheels and tyres which will complete the wheelset. It is hoped the have the engine wheeled by before the end of 2017.

The two components are set up for assembly – David Elliott

A laser and surface blocks are used to check the alignment of the webs – David Elliott

Rob Le Chevalier seems pleased with the result….. – David Elliott

….as does David Elliott! – David Elliott

 

Work started on assembling crank axle

The Mikado Club funding the wheeling extended following early achievement of £200,000 target.

We are delighted to announce the achievement of significant milestones both in construction and fundraising. Work has started on assembling the crank axle at South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd in Buckfastleigh, Devon and The Mikado Club fundraising initiative to pay for the wheeling of the engine has reached its initial target of £200,000 pledged almost three months earlier than anticipated.

The starting of work on the crank axle is a critical milestone for the project being the culmination of a long and expensive process including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) carried out by the railway engineering consultants, Mott MacDonald at Derby to eliminate a weakness in the original design that resulted in fracturing of the crank axle. It is anticipated that the assembly of the axle will be completed in early June which will permit final machining prior to fitting of wheels and tyres which will complete the wheelset. It is hoped the have the engine wheeled by before the end of 2017.

The Mikado Club was launched at the end of March 2016 to raise £200,000 from 160 members to wheel the engine. The work involved wheeling the engine to create the first standard gauge ‘Mikado’ since 1945 includes:

1. Machining axle and cannon box castings, manufacturing roller bearing details
2. Boring eight coupled wheel bosses to finished size
3. Assembling bearings and cannon box onto pony truck axle
4. Assembling bearings, cannon and axle boxes onto plain coupled axles
5. Trial fitting coupled axles to frame
6. Pressing Cartazzi wheels onto axle, fitting & machining tyres and fitting bearings & axleboxes
7. Pressing plain coupled wheels onto axles, fitting and machining tyres
8. Assembling crank axle, fitting bearings & axleboxes, pressing wheels onto crank axle, fitting and machining tyres
9. Finish machining crank bosses & boring crank pin holes and machining & fitting all crank pins
10. Trial fitting wheelsets to frames at DLW.

Following a fundraising drive by the Trust, the last three weeks has seen over £33,000 donated to The Mikado Club and the achievement of its initial £200,000 pledged target almost three months ahead of plan. With a £142,500 order recently placed with I D Howitt Ltd of Crofton, West Yorkshire, for the assembly of the locomotive’s tender frames and another for £33,000 with William Cook Group (the Trust’s principal sponsor) of Sheffield for the remaining 67 castings for the locomotive (all apart from the three engine crossheads are for the tender), the Trust has decided to extend The Mikado Club’s membership to 200 to raise sufficient funds to also wheel the tender.

The crank web is heated up at the SDR – David Elliott

While still hot, the axle stub is inserted – David Elliott

Job done!  At least in part, the crank axle comes together – David Elliott

Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and well over 830 people have already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month or more) covenant scheme since its launch. In addition to this core scheme, funds have been raised through The Founders Club (over 360 people have donated £1,000 each – target 100 people, now closed), The Boiler Club (around 120 people have pledged £2,000 each – target of 300 people), The Mikado Club (over 160 people have pledged £1,000 each – target now raised from 160 to 200 people and £200,000 to £250,000), Dedicated Donations (over £200,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components) and the sponsorship of the locomotive’s distinctive front-end by The Gresley Society Trust. This means that the project has already received pledges of over 45% (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed to complete the new locomotive by 2021.

Other recent progress includes:

Frames: the hardened tender rubbing plate has been permanently fitted to the drag box and the inside of drag box and surrounding frame area has been finish painted along with the underside of the footplating under the cab. An order has been placed with North View Engineering Solutions in Darlington

Wheelsets: assembly of the crank axle is under way at South Devon Railway Engineering (SDRE); the fully machined Cartazzi and pony truck axles and all the crank pins have been received at Darlington Locomotive Works from Unilathe of Stoke on Trent. The Cartazzi axle and wheels are shortly to be sent to South Devon Railway Engineering for assembly.

Smokebox: the smoke lifting screen beading is now fully fitted; one of our volunteers has made a nice job of polishing out the remaining machining and smithing marks on the door hinges and centre boss.

Sandboxes: the original class P2 locomotives were fitted with gravity sanders for the leading coupled wheels and steam sanders for the driving (second) coupled axle – no back sanders were fitted; with No. 2007 likely to do significant work in reverse, mostly on heritage railways, haulage of substantial loads over significant gradients running tender first is likely to happen; all will now be air operated as per Tornado; Ian Matthews has assembled and fitted all six sandboxes and fitted them to the frames, and is assembling and fitting the sand box fillers.

Fittings: the superheater header has arrived at Darlington Locomotive Works

Brake & spring gear: orders have been placed with I D Howitt Ltd at Crofton for brake hangers and spring gear details.

Design: in addition to producing drawings for detailed manufacture of sandboxes, spring hangers and boiler cladding, details are being refined to finalise the design of the pony truck frame.

P2 Roadshows

We continue to promote the P2 Project as widely as possible and have already held five P2 Roadshows in London, Peterborough, Doncaster, York and Darlington. All were very well attended and resulted in substantial donations and sign-ups on the day, with more coming in over the following weeks. The presentations run from 11:00hrs to 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below, no booking is required, admission is free and open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:

Saturday 17th June 2017 – Newcastle Mining Institute, Newcastle
Saturday 1st July 2017 – Edinburgh Jury’s Inn, Edinburgh
Saturday 14th October 2017 – Dundee Heritage Trust Discovery Point, Dundee
Saturday 25th November 2017 – Aberdeen Jury’s Inn, Aberdeen.

These presentations are open to anyone wanting to know more about the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The starting of the assembly of the crank axle for No. 2007 Prince of Wales and the early hitting of the £200,000 pledged target for The Mikado Club mark two significant milestones in the project to build our new Gresley class P2 ‘Mikado’. We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since construction started only three years ago. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, well over £1m has been spent on construction, over £1.4m donated and over £2.4m pledged.

“We are confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in 2017 having already reached 100% of our initial fundraising target for The Mikado Club and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to raise more than £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes. We would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a monthly covenantor or joining The Mikado Club. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales continues to gather pace.”

‘Talisman’ passengers visit Darlington Locomotive Works

More than two thirds of the passengers aboard ‘The Talisman’ on 6th May opted to visit Darlington Locomotive Works as part of their day out.  The train was hauled to Darlington by Tornado and had originated in London.

Dwarfed by No. 2007, visitors admire progress to date – Mandy Grant

The Works was full all afternoon – Mandy Grant

With passengers aboard once again, Tornado waits to leave her birthplace – Michael Denholm

Final castings ordered

The final steel castings for No. 2007 Prince of Wales have been ordered from William Cook Group of Sheffield. This fourth and final batch of 61 steel castings comprises three piston crossheads, the remainder being for the tender including horn blocks, spring safety brackets, tender axleboxes, spring hook brackets and buffer casings. In total 127 steel castings have been ordered for No. 2007 to-date of which 66 have already been cast and machined.

The William Cook Group (WCG) has been principal sponsor to The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust through its chairman Sir Andrew Cook CBE since 1994, providing all the steel castings for No. 60163 Tornado and No. 2007 Prince of Wales – including all the wheels – at preferential rates and on generous terms.

Meanwhile, at Darlington Locomotive Works, progress continues to be made on the frames, here are some highlights:

Design of leading sand boxes completed, kit ordered and assembly started.  Here Ian Matthews is seen with one of the completed sandboxes – David Elliott

Cartazzi spring hangers machined from flame cut profiles at Darlington Locomotive Works – Ian is seen milling one of the spring hangers – David Elliott

Cartazzi spring safety brackets completed – fabricated from profiles at DLW – David Elliott

Design of combined frame stay and four spring hanger brackets completed – David Elliott

More machined components

Ian Howitt (who did extensive and diverse work on Tornado) has been contracted to start making brake parts, starting with the brake hangers. The two rear hangers are straightforward, however the front six hangers are of an unusual shape and were probably originally forged. The reason for the complex shape is the close spacing of the coupled wheels to keep the overall coupled wheelbase to a minimum. As a result the normal position for the brake hanger brackets between the tyres is not possible, so they are on the bottom of the frame plates and are inboard to clear the backs of the tyres. The hangers are forked design to overcome this problem – see the CAD below. Ian is machining these from thick flame cut profiles.

The brake hanger being machined at Ian Howitt Engineering – Ian Howitt

The rear brake hangers – Ian Howitt

The superheater header, cast by South Lincs Foundry at Spalding – David Elliott

The main design activity has been the leading sandboxes whose position between the smoke lifting plates and the smoke box making them a particularly awkward shape. The design has had to be developed from their outline on the general arrangement drawing as we do not have detailed drawings of the sandboxes.

David Elliott’s scheme for the front sandbox – David Elliott

Further progress, more components

After fitting the leading stay, the smokebox saddle and smokebox go back on – Bob Hughes

The cab footsteps, from profiles supplied and bent by S M Thompson Ltd of Middlesbrough – David Elliott

The small step on the footplate by the firebox in place – David Elliott

The pony truck pintle, machined and ready for fitting – David Elliott

A full set of roller bearing spacer, thrower, abutment and adjustment rings – Bob Hughes

Trunnion guides for the leading and driving coupled axleboxes – Bob Hughes

Close up of trunnion guides, superb machining – Bob Hughes

Milling a brake hanger bracket – Bob Hughes