The new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 is being built at The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s Darlington Locomotive Works. The Works are open to the public on the first and third Saturday of each month, the latter a day that coincides with NELPG also opening their doors to visitors – 11:00hrs to 16:00hrs.
No. 2007 under construction at Darlington Locomotive Works – Mandy Grant
On 10th March 1995 The A1 Steam Trust signed an agreement with Darlington Borough Council, the owner of the 1853-built former Stockton and Darlington Railway Carriage Works, to set up its permanent base in what was to become the new Darlington Locomotive Works.
The end of the building that The A1 Trust would occupy in 1997 – A1SLT
In a brief ceremony in front of Locomotion No .1, the world’s first public railway locomotive, now preserved in Darlington Railway Museum, Mayor of Darlington John Williams presented the key to the new works to Dorothy Mather, widow of the ‘A1’s’ designer. It was fitting that Arthur Peppercorn’s widow should accept the key on the Trust’s behalf, as he spent the happiest years of his distinguished career in Darlington.
The agreement with Darlington Borough Council meant that the next Peppercorn ‘A1’ would be built in the world’s first true railway town. Some 23 of the originals were built here in 1948/1949 and many were scrapped on this site in the early 1960s. The original Darlington Works closed in 1966.
On 27th September 1997 the Trust opened its the new ‘Darlington Locomotive Works’. Phase one of the restoration and conversion of the building was paid for by grants from Darlington Borough Council (£50,000), the National Heritage Memorial Fund (£100,000) and the European Regional Development Fund (£150,000).
Sadly funding for phases 2 and 3 of the restoration of the building was never forthcoming and so the Trust now occupies only the restored southern end of the building. The North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG) now occupies the northern end.
By 1997 work was well advanced converting the old building for its new role – A1SLT
In 1999, further heavy machinery was acquired and moved in – A1SLT
Doncaster? No, Darlington? Yes! Tornado nears completion in 2008 – A1SLT
Tornado in light steam awaiting the launch day – A1SLT
During 2013 the interior of the building was extensively refurbished to make it ready for the arrival of No. 2007’s frames.
Walls are re-plastered and the floor re-painted during 2013 – A1SLT
With help from Darlington Borough Council, the exterior was also refurbished – Tony Lord