“To develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive for mainline and preserved railway use”
No. 2001 Cock o’ the North as designed by Nigel Gresley – M. Secretan
The P2 Steam Locomotive Company (P2SLC) has been established to build a new Gresley class P2 Mikado, No. 2007 Prince of Wales, at its Darlington Locomotive Works. Fitted with additional water capacity and the latest railway safety electronics, No. 2007 will be fully equipped for tomorrow’s main line railway. The Gresley class P2 2-8-2s were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for the London & North Eastern Railway to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Six class P2s were built in 1934-36 but sadly the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson into ungainly 4-6-2s in 1943/4 and scrapped by 1961.
Cock o’ the North is seen at Dundee shed – Gresley Society Collection
The P2SLC is a subsidiary of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, (a registered charity), the builders and operators of world-famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado which was completed in 2008 – the first new main line steam locomotive to be built in Britain since 1960 and the first to be paid for by public subscription. The new Gresley class P2 will like Tornado be numbered as the next in the series – No. 2007. It is estimated that the new class P2 will cost around £5m to build over a 7-10 year period. As with Tornado, funds will be raised through regular monthly donations, donations dedicated to specific components, commercial sponsorship, loans and a bond issue.
The 7th Gresley class P2 will:
• Be aesthetically similar to P2 No. 2001 Cock O’ The North – it is a construction and development project, not an opportunity for major redesign.
• Make maximum use of systems, fittings and processes in use on No. 60163 Tornado – any changes to the original design will be either for operational, manufacturing or certification reasons.
• Take into account the needs of the operator – all decisions will be judged for their value for money.
• Meet current and foreseeable regulatory standards to allow the locomotive to operate as intended.
No. 2001 hauls a huge train, the job the class was designed for – Rail Archive Stephenson