Significant progress on the two boilers for LNER P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales and LNER A1 No. 60163 Tornado has been made, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced.
In June 2019, the A1SLT confirmed that they had placed a £1 million order with Dampflokwerk Meiningen, a workshop of the Deutsche Bahn for two new Diagram 118 boilers.
The order was to supply a boiler for use on 2007 Prince of Wales and a spare boiler for use with either 2007 Prince of Wales or 60163 Tornado.
The move will reduce the time out of traffic for both locomotives by around four months and will increase the potential revenue for the Trust.
By purchasing both boilers at the same time, the Trust has said it has saved a six-figure sum on what it would have paid if ordered separately.
The first boiler, set to be fitted to 60163 Tornado during its next overhaul, will be delivered in 2020, with the boiler for 2007 Prince of Wales set to be delivered in 2021.
Progress on the boilers has included the barrel sections being rolled and welded, including thickened sections where the domes are located. The dome covers have been pressed and machined, with the firebox tube plates being drilled.
The foundation ring sections have been forged, with the foundation rings being welded together.
A full set of superheater elements have been completed and are ready for delivery.
The A1 SLT is using a variety of fundraising methods to support the boilers. The funding for the boiler of 2007 Prince of Wales and the spare is coming from The Boiler Club, which was launched in October 2016 to raise £600,000 plus gift aid. So far 190 of the 300 supporters have supported the Trust, pledging £460,000 including gift aid.
The funding of the spare boiler has come from the ‘I ♥ 60163’ campaign.
Graeme Bunker-James, Commercial Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are delighted with the progress being made by DB Meiningen on our two new boilers. With all the major pressings produced and boiler barrel sections rolled we now have a kit of parts ready to start the assembly of the first boiler’s firebox shell and boiler barrel.
“The decision to procure two new boilers – one for the ‘heir’ Prince of Wales and the second a ‘spare’ for both No. 2007 and Tornado – is a major strategic move by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and fulfils a long-held desire to have three boilers for our two locomotives in order to reduce their time out of traffic during overhauls and act as an insurance policy. Having a ‘spare’ boiler will greatly assist with the delivery of regular itinerary tours and ensure that we are a reliable provider of locomotives to our customers as well as our direct passengers.
“The start of construction of the boiler for No. 2007 Prince of Wales is the next major milestone in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive and its delivery in 2021 keeps the project on-track for completion within the next three years. The Trust was only able to make such a bold move due to the loyalty and generosity of its supporters of both locomotives. We therefore urge those not yet on-board to join us as a ‘price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor, to either locomotive, or as a member of The Boiler Club for Prince of Wales.”
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