Tuesday 17 August 2021

1,000 Supporters for P2 New Build Project

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust who are building a new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales at its base in Darlington, 
are celebrating after getting their 1,000th financial backer to come on board.

The donor scheme allows people to support the £6m project, expected to take 10 years, by donating the price of a beer per week. It has said 1,000 are now supporting it, and is on trace to raise more than £250,000 a year.

Trustee Mark Allatt said: “Having already built one steam locomotive - No. 60163 Tornado - from scratch, the levels of support and interest that have been generated towards our new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales have been nothing short of sensational.

"Over the past eight years, the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has spent more than £4m on design and construction and raised over £4m of the estimated £6m required to complete No. 2007 within the next two years – and, in spite of the impact of Covid-19, completion is now within sight."

The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. 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.

As the builders of new main line steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has therefore decided to set itself a new challenge: to develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use.

The latest computer aided design and modelling techniques will be used to realise the potential of the original design.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, progress on the construction of the new Gresley class P2 ‘Mikado’ is moving forward rapidly, the trust said.

The engine has reached the condition where it is recognisably a class P2 and the structurally complete tender tank and tender wheelsets are now at Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW).

Construction and assembly work continues on all fronts, including boiler, wheelsets, tender, heavy motion, pipework and electricals.

Supporters can become a P2 Covenantor (regular donor) from as little as £2.50 per week by going to the trust’s new online donations pages at www.p2steam.com/support/regular-donations, emailing enquiries@p2steam.com or calling 01325 460163.

In 2015 the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust announced that it would follow its Peppercorn class A1 4-6-2 No. 60163 Tornado and Gresley class P2 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales with the construction of further extinct LNER steam locomotives – a Gresley class V4 2-6-2, a Gresley class V3 2-6-2T and a Gresley class K3 2-6-0.

At an Annual Convention, the Trust confirmed that it had started work identifying and scanning the original drawings for the Gresley class V4 at the National Railway Museum in York in order that the design book for new locomotive could be created within 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD).

A Gresley class V4 2-6-2 – The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s next project

More details here