The project to build steam locomotive No.2007 Prince of Wales has announced that pledges towards the completion of the locomotive have now passed £3 million, over 60% of the £5m needed to complete the project.
This has also coincided with the 200th member of the Mikado club, which was set up in 2016 to raise £200,000 to wheel the locomotive and was extended in May 2017 to raise £250,000 to wheel the tender.
The P2s were the most powerful locomotives to operate in the UK. The ‘Mikado’s’ were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600-ton trains on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were scrapped by 1961.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, who maintain and operate the 100mph locomotive, Tornado, is now building the 7th member of this class at the cost of £5 million. The project will demonstrate how the design can be realised through the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD), enabling the new steam locomotive to deliver its full potential.
Public interest to see this new Class P2 in steam becoming a reality sooner rather than later remains high and 860 people have already signed up for the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month or more) scheme since its launch in March 2014.
Additionally, funds have been raised through:
- The Founders Club (over 360 members donated £1,000 each plus Gift Aid – target 100 people), raised over £450,000.
- The Mikado Club (launched in March 2016 with an initial target of 160 members to wheel the engine). Extended in May 2017 to 200 members to also wheel the tender. Now requires six members to be fully subscribed with 200 supporters pledging £1,000 each plus Gift Aid and therefore potentially raising £250,000.
- The Cylinder Club, launched at the P2SLC’s last Convention in October 2017, is now fully subscribed with 100 people having already pledged £1,000 each plus Gift Aid and therefore potentially raising £125,000.
- The Boiler Club (154 people have pledged £2,000 each to fund the boiler – target of 300 people – meaning well over half of the £600,000 target now pledged)
- Dedicated Donations (over £225,000 from existing supporters sponsoring a variety of components).
Last month, the Trust launched ‘The Motion Club’ to fund the manufacture of the motion for No. 2007. In ten days, the trust has had 24 members sign up, potentially worth £30,000 including gift aid, a superb achievement I’m sure you will agree.
The trust is now confident that they will have the rolling chassis of the locomotive completed in Summer 2018 and have recently ordered all the coupling and connecting rods.
This now means over £1.7m (over 34% of the total required) converted into metal, more than £2.1m (over 42%) already donated and over £3m (60%) pledged.
What did the officials say?
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 with over £1.7m spent so far on construction and over £2.1m donated and more than £3m by our supporters.
“We are now confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in summer 2018 and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to raise more than £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes. Last financial year we more than achieved our budget of £500,000 and this new financial year we have set a fundraising budget of £700,000.
“We would encourage all our supporters 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, joining The Boiler Club, becoming a member of The Motion Club or taking out a Dedicated Donation. It’s time to get on-board!”
- Visit the P2 Steam Locomotive Company website
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