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
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

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


‘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

The frames are fully stayed

Ian Matthews sets up the leading brake stay – David Elliott

Remarkable progress – all the major frame stays in place – David Elliott

Ian torques a nut on the last major stay to be fitted – David Elliott

Ian knocks home the last (for now) driven bolt – David Elliott

In other news, the beading on the smoke lifting plates has been fitted – David Elliott

December construction update

Following a highly successful A1 Steam Locomotive Trust annual convention which included a visit to Darlington Locomotive Works to see progress on Prince of Wales the workshop has returned to normal with much detail work being done including riveting of the smoke lifting plate joint strips and permanent riveting and bolting of the front footplating. The chimney has also had all its mounting bolts and studs fitted.

Frames – With delivery from North View Engineering of the remaining coupled wheel manganese steel faced hornblock liners, detail fitting of them is underway. This has involved ensuring that the liners are making full contact with the horn blocks followed by opening out the bolt holes and reaming to take driven bolts

The gaps between the hornblocks were measured and mapped, after which the 16 hornblock liners have been fitted and their surfaces measured and mapped.

Ian Matthews measures the hornblock gaps – Bob Hughes

The aim is to have both liners in each hornblock truly square to the frames and parallel with each other. Individual liners will then be surface ground where necessary to achieve this. The initial results of the mapping are encouraging, with the horn faces very close to square across the frames and all with a small amount of material left on to provide for adjustment when the axle and cannon boxes are fitted. This is illustrating the benefit of having the frame plates and hornblocks CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined to close tolerances from the 3D models. The hornblocks and liners have gone together with minimal hand fitting.

Final machining of the last of the major frame stays (the leading brake stay) is nearing completion at North View Engineering Solutions in Darlington.

The leading stay during machining – David Elliott

Wheelsets – The plain coupled axles have at last been delivered from South Africa and are presently at Unilathe at Stoke on Trent for finish machining. In the mean time Unilathe has completed the initial machining of the crank axle stubs and crank pin, which along with the crank webs have been sent to South Devon Railway Engineering for assembly.  Meanwhile in order to assist in balancing the coupled wheels, they have been laser scanned to confirm that the centre of mass of each wheel is where we think it is!  As part of the process to check the results of the scanning, each wheel has been weighed so that the density of the wheels can be compared by calculation with the known density of cast steel.

Unilathe are making good progress with machining the crank pins (from axle material – specifically from axle stock made for Class 56 diesel locomotive wheelsets) and have delivered the bolts and rod retaining washers for the leading crank pins, plus 3 large nuts for the intermediate and trailing crank pins.

Crank pin nuts and bolts – David Elliott

Timsons at Kettering are making good progress with machining the cannon and axleboxes (new photo of driving axleboxes, photos of completed Cartazzi axleboxes and bearing spacers)

Axleboxes during machining – David Elliott

Part-machined axleboxes at Timsons – David Elliott

Fully machined Cartazzi axleboxes – David Elliott

Cartazzi roller-bearing spacers – David Elliott

Coupled axlebox trunnion guides at Timsons – David Elliott