Media contact
All media enquiries should be made to Mark Allatt at mark.allatt@p2steam.com or on 07710 878979.
Please note that this is not a general enquiries number and is for press use only. The general enquiries number is 01325 460163.

Progress on multiple fronts

In the last couple of weeks an awful lot has been going on at Darlington Locomotive Works.  Three coupled axles have arrived and the leading coupled axle set up to press on its bearings.  There has been some more progress on cladding and Daniela Filova has been producing manufacturing drawings on a regular basis.  Orders have been placed for the cylinder cover patterns and castings, tender alternator pulley and roller bearing adjustment rings.  The air pump which arrived in kit form reassembled and sent with its twin plus various ancillaries to Meiningen for overhaul. Ian Howitt collected tender hornblocks and liners and intends machining to start soon and the tender front dragbox is almost complete at North View Engineering Solutions prior to sending to Ian.

Plain driving axles, newly delivered from South Africa – Gemma Braithwaite

One of the axles set up on the bearing press – David Elliott

Jordan Durham from Middlesborough College re-assembles an air pump – David Elliott

Tender castings for Ian Howitt – Bob Hughes

Girl Power at Darlington Locomotive Works!

The project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has appointed Daniela Filová as its Assistant Mechanical Engineer. This coincides with the money spent to-date on the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales passing the £1.5m mark – 30% of the estimated £5m total. Daniela’s appointment will help to ensure that the project remains on schedule for completion in 2021 and enable the Darlington-based team tocomplete the wheelsets, continue the boiler procurement, order the cylinder block, design & order the first motion parts, continue to progress work on the tender and commence the electrical design during 2018. Daniela joins the young female team working for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with Gemma Braithwaite as Office Manager and Sophie Bunker-James as Railtours Marketing Manager, proof that building and operating new steam locomotives is no longer just jobs for the boys!

Daniela, who is from the Czech Republic, has relocated to Darlington to be part of the team building Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. She has a background in intellectual property and has also run her own live steam model engineering and manufacturing business, Daniela also has considerable experience in the use of the Solid Works 3D Computer Aided Design software used by on the project and has already put this to good use, producing the manufacturing drawing for the cylinder covers.  It was anticipated at the outset of the project that extra resources would be required as the build developed and the decision was taken by the Trust in September 2017 to recruit an Assistant Mechanical Engineer to expedite production of manufacturing drawings. Daniela Filová was appointed following a recruitment process carried out in collaboration with Teesside University.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Daniela Filová to the team building new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales at Darlington Locomotive Works. Daniela joins the young female team working for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, proof that building and operating new steam locomotives is no longer just jobs for the boys or even old men! Now is the time to get on board this ground-breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5m needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”

Design, components, assembly!

Progress continues on many fronts at Darlington Locomotive Works (and elsewhere) in the race to assemble Prince of Wales.  In the following photos, Daniela can be seen working on the CAD of the cylinder end covers, the Cartazzi axleboxes are assembled on the axle and then fitted, two 08 shunter speedometer drives are prepared for re-working and components of the two newly acquired air pumps are checked before dispatch to Meiningen.  All photos by David Elliott.

Assistant Engineer appointed at Darlington Locomotive Works

It has become increasingly apparent that with such impressive fundraising results for the new P2, the engineering function was struggling to produce manufacturing drawings fast enough to maintain progress. It had been anticipated at the outset that extra resources would be required as the build developed. The decision was taken last September to seek an Assistant Engineer to expedite production of drawings and, following a recruitment process carried out in collaboration with Teesside University, we are pleased to welcome Daniela Filova, from the Czech Republic, who started with us on 17th January 2018. For the last ten years Daniela ran her own live steam engineering and foundry business, producing small scale steam engines and historic electrical generators as well as aluminium, brass and bronze castings.  Assisting David Elliott, Daniela is making good progress with the manufacturing drawing for the cylinder covers and has also proved useful on the shop floor!

Daniela drives the Matterson jacks during the recent frame lift – David Elliott

Progress with the cylinder block CAD showing the valves in place – David Elliott

The block with the Kylchap blastpipes and cowls in place – David Elliott

Up, up and away!

In preparation for wheeling the locomotive, No. 2007’s frames were trial lifted by the Matterson jacks at Darlington Locomotive Works.  The lift was successfully achieved proving the integrity and rigidity of the frames.

The view from underneath, from the pony truck pintle backwards – David Elliott

Some idea of the height of the lift can be seen here – David Elliott

Full steam ahead for No. 2007

£100,000 appeal for the cylinder block for new Gresley Class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales reaches two-thirds in just three months

We are delighted to say that the £100,000 appeal to make the cylinder block for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales has reached two-thirds of its target in just three months. If the project is to remain on schedule for completion by 2021, the first components of the cylinder block have to be ordered in early 2018. At its annual convention on 30thSeptember 2017, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust set itself the challenge of raising £100,000 through The Cylinder Club from 100 supporters each donating £1,000 (plus Gift Aid) to the project in up to eight payments of £125 by standing order.

Following the success of The Founders Club (to get the project to the point of cutting the frames), The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler) and The Mikado Club (to wheel the locomotive), the Trust decided to establish The Cylinder Club to raise an estimated £100,000 required to make No. 2007’s cylinder block.

In return for supporting this appeal, special benefits for members of The Cylinder Club include:

  • Opportunity to buy tickets (seat already reserved) on one of the first trains hauled by No. 2007 Prince of Wales
  • Reasonable access to No. 2007 at all times
  • Opportunity to buy exclusive Cylinder Club badge
  • Opportunity to join one of the teams building No. 2007
  • First choice of other components to sponsor
  • Special Cylinder Club day with Tornado
  • Special signed/numbered print of John Wigston’s new painting of No. 2007 Prince of Wales alongside No. 2001 Cock o’ the North and No. 2002 Earl Marischal.

Artist John Wigston has been an active supporter of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust since its launch in 1990, producing the first painting No. 60163 Tornado called ‘The return of an A1’ of which many supporters have a print. John has donated the original artwork for his new painting of No. 2007 Prince of Wales alongside No. 2001 Cock o’ the North and No. 2002 Earl Marischal to the Trust to raise funds for the project.

The work involved in designing the new cylinder block includes:

  • Convert the original P2 class one-piece casting into a welded fabrication including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to check for structural integrity
  • Improve the layout of the valves to reduce the clearance volume (affects cylinder efficiency)
  • Re-route the steam and exhaust passages to physically separate them to prevent incoming steam from heating the outgoing exhaust
  • Increase the size and improve internal streamlining of steam passages along Chapelon lines to increase maximum power and improve economy
  • Reduce the overall width of the cylinder block to provide Prince of Wales with the widest possible route availability on the main line.

Manufacture of the cylinder block including:

  • Producing the welded fabrication
  • Stress relieving
  • Grit blasting and painting with high temperature paint
  • Machining
  • Fitting cylinder liners and valve seats
  • Manufacturing and fitting cylinder and valve covers
  • Hydraulic testing the assembly.

Progress building Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive continues at Darlington Locomotive Works and includes:

  • Frame plates for engine and tender rolled and profiled; engine’s frames erected at Darlington Locomotive Works; all major engine frame stays, brackets, horn blocks, axle boxes and buffers cast (44 in total); over 1,000 fitted and driven bolts ordered and delivered, approximately 800 now fitted to the frames
  • All 20 wheels for engine and tender cast and proof machined; roller bearings for all engine and tender wheelsets and engine axles (including crank axle), tyres and crank pins delivered, tender axles, tyres ordered and first wheelset complete
  • Preliminary discussions held with boiler manufacturers and forged foundation ring corners manufactured and machined; start made on boiler fittings with castings for combined injector steam and delivery valves
  • Study into ride and suspension completed using rail industry standard Vampire® software; finite Element Analysis completed on re-designed crank axle to ensure locomotive complies with modern standards; assessment and notified body appointed to oversee certification – first site visit made
  • Cab erected and cab side window frames fitted; engine footplating and splasher kits delivered and permanently fitted to frames
  • Smokebox door pressed details made and door completed, door frame manufactured, smokebox delivered and erected; chimney cast and fitted
  • Crosshead castings ordered
  • Boiler cladding assembly jig built, cladding crinolines and hoops rolled and fitted to jig, cladding sheets procured, rolled and being fitting to the jig
  • Tender frame construction under way, axlebox and other tender castings ordered from William Cook Cast Products
  • Nameplates and chime whistle delivered
  • Over £1.3m spent, £1.7m raised and £2.7m pledged of the required £5m.

The project’s objectives for 2018 are to:

  • Complete No. 2007’s wheelsets
  • Continue the boiler procurement
  • Order the cylinder block
  • Design and order the first motion parts
  • Progress work on the tender
  • Commence the electrical design.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £2.7m has now been donated or pledged. Our team at Darlington Locomotive Works has been focused on creating and assembling the boiler cladding and fitting the roller bearings and cannon boxes to the axles over the past few weeks.

“We have now turned our attention to the cylinder block which is our next major design and manufacturing challenge. If we can raise £100,000 through The Cylinder Club over the next few months we are confident that we will be able to place the order for the cylinder block for No. 2007Prince of Wales in the first quarter of 2018 and remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. Achieving pledges of over two-thirds of our target within the three months means that we are well on the way towards achieving this.

“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 member of The Cylinder Club or a monthly ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor. 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.”

To become a member of The Cylinder Club, email enquiries@p2steam.com, call 01325 460163 or visit www.p2steam.com for more information.

Prince of Wales ready for wheeling in spring 2018

Three new plain coupled axles for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales are expected to arrive at Darlington Locomotive Works from South Africa via Unilathe (where they have been finish machined) in early January; they are the replacements for those which were manufactured in early 2017, but had their keyways machined incorrectly by the supplier.

The assembled crank axle is already at Darlington, along with all of the engine’s axleboxes. The final frame stay consisting four spring brackets has also recently been delivered and permanently fitted, paving the way for the wheeling of the frames in the spring. 

In a modification to the original class P2 design, the new locomotive is to receive roller bearing axleboxes as fitted to No. 60163 Tornado. However, unlike No. 60163 whose wheelsets were complete before they were placed under the frames, the opportunity will be taken to trial-fit the axles and axleboxes into the horn guides to check clearances, before the axles are sent to South Devon Railway Engineering for the wheels to be pressed on.

The trailing Cartazzi wheelset has already been assembled by SDRE and is at Darlington Locomotive Works along with the pony truck axle, while the tender axles have been manufactured by Firth Rixon of Rotherham and delivered to Unilathe at Stoke on Trent for machining. A representative of Timkin is expected in DLW on 3rd January to oversee the fitting of the axleboxes to the bearings on crank axle and the bearings and axleboxes to cartazzi axle. The tender tyres have been delivered from Ringrollers in South Africa and all of the tender castings including axleboxes have now been completed and are expected to be delivered in the next week.

Two Finnish air pumps of a similar type to the German and Swedish ones on Tornado have also recently been acquired as part of a batch of components sourced from David Buck which includes a set of Gresley class V4 tyres for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s proposed third new build project. These air pumps were obtained from stock in Finland and have not suffered the deterioration experienced with pumps removed from locomotives in scrapyards. They will be sent to Meiningen for overhaul in the near future and on their return, they will be part of a pool of air pumps used on all of the Trust’s locomotives.

Fundraising for No. 2007 Prince of Wales continues to make good progress, with 840 ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantors now on-board. The Mikado Club fundraising campaign to raise £200,000 for the wheeling of the engine and tender has now reached 180 of its 200 members target with each member pledging £1,000 plus Gift Aid. The Cylinder Club, launched at the Trust’s 2017 convention to raise £100,000 to pay for the new cylinder block, has already reached two-thirds of its 100 members target (with each member pledging £1,000 plus Gift Aid) and the order for the first components for the cylinder block is expected to be placed in the first week of January 2018. To date, over £1.3m has been spent, £1.7m raised and £2.7m pledged of the required £5m to complete No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

The project’s objectives for 2018 are to:

  • Complete No. 2007’s wheelsets
  • Continue the boiler procurement
  • Order the cylinder block
  • Design and order the first motion parts
  • Progress work on the tender
  • Commence the electrical design.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The past four years have seen dramatic progress toward our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021. No. 2007 is already at the stage Tornado was nine years into the project. We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £2.7m has now been donated or pledged. 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 ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor or supporting one of our targeted fundraising clubs. It’s time to get on board! 2018 will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”

Final combined frame stay in place

Working right up until the Christmas break, the team at Darlington Locomotive Works took delivery of and installed the final combined frame stay and spring bracket assembly.  All photos by David Elliott.

An audience with the Prince of Wales – dates for 2018 announced

The project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive will be holding a number of roadshows in 2018 with the first at the London Transport Museum on Saturday 13th January 2018, where all attendees will receive complimentary access to the Museum Galleries on the day. Following this presentation, there will be a showing of ‘Tornado – the 100mph steam engine’ and ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built A Steam Engine’, along with guest presenter Tom Ingall, who was the Director, Producer and Narrator of these documentaries. Entrance into both the P2 Roadshow and the special viewing is free.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that it will be holding a number of presentations on the project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales in 2018.  Each presentation will feature key Trust personnel including Mark Allatt (P2 Project Director) and David Elliott (Director of Engineering) and will cover the background to the project, progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. The presentation will start promptly at 11:00hrs until 13:00hrs on each of the days listed below and are open to existing supporters and interested members of the public:

•         Saturday 10th February 2018 – The Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough

•         Saturday 3rd March 2018 – The Principle Hotel, York

•         Saturday 7th April 2018 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington

•         Saturday 19th May 2018 – Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield

•         Saturday 9th June 2018 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

•         Saturday 8th September 2018 – Derby Conference Centre, Derby

•         Saturday 3rd November 2018 – Manchester – venue to be confirmed

•         Saturday 8th December 2018 – Hilton Leeds City Hotel, Leeds.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The past four years have seen dramatic progress toward our aim of completing new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021. No. 2007 is already at the stage Tornado was nine years into the project. We are holding a series of free roadshow presentations in 2018, starting in London at the London Transport Museum, to promote the £5m project and at each we will cover the background to the project, our progress to-date, future plans and details of how to get involved. These presentations are open to anyone interested in the project and we are encouraging our existing supporters to bring along interested family and friends.  Now is the time to get on board this ground breaking project and help the Trust to raise the £5 million needed to ensure its completion in 2021.”

Bearing up….

Supervised by Mark Leatherland from Timken, the team at Darlington Locomotive Works pressed the roller bearings on to the crank axle.  The process required the use of an induction heater for the bearings.

Most of Tornado’s roller bearings were fitted by the wheelset assembler at the same time as the wheels were pressed on. For Prince of Wales we have decided to assemble the bearings, axles and axle/cannonboxes ourselves as the plan is to fit the completed axle/axlebox and cannonbox assemblies to the frames before the wheels are pressed on. This makes the setting of the coupled axles much easier as the distance between the axles (which is a critical measurement for a smooth running) can be measured directly – this is not easy when the wheels are on.

The first bearings were fitted on 13th December to the crank axle. Having checked that the dimensions of the axle ends and the various spacer and thrust rings are correct, each component is heated to 110 degrees C using our new SKF bearing heater and slid onto the axle in turn. The axle is typically 0.004″ greater in diameter than holes in the rings and bearings, so as the components cool, they grip the axle. The problem is that if the outside edge of the ring or bearing cools and grips first, the the item will no longer be tight up against its neighbour as it shrinks on cooling. To overcome this we use our 50 tonne jack with various bespoke adapters to press each ring and bearing as it is fitted. The pressure is released once the component has cooled down.

It is a requirement of Railway Group Standards that work on roller bearings is overseen by a qualified bearing specialist which we do not have, so the operation was attended by by Timken Service Engineer Mark Leatherland who will provide suitable paperwork conferring acceptance of our work.

The next stage is to machine the adjustment rings that set the end float of the bearings, after which the axleboxes can be fitted.

    

The roller bearing fitting rig – David Elliott

The induction heater for the bearings – David Elliott

Bill Drumm applies grease – David Elliott

Ian Matthews and Bill Drumm  with their handiwork – David Elliott

The bearings in place, wrapped in cling film to keep them fresh! – David Elliott