The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that both outside connecting rods for P2 2007 Prince of Wales have been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works.
The fundraising campaign, launched to raise £210,000 to pay for the heavy motion for the locomotive, has progressed and now has 178 supporters, with £178,000 (plus Gift Aid) raised.
Fundraising for the locomotive has progressed well, but the Trust says they must raise £700,000 a year to complete the locomotive within the next three years.
The Gresley P2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express locomotive to operate in the UK.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s, the locomotives hauled 600-ton trains on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Unfortunately, the design was never fully developed and was rebuilt by Edward Thompson into A2 Pacifics.
Now, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is building the seventh member of the class with an estimated cost of £5 million through the P2 Steam Locomotive Company.
Progress on the new locomotive has continued at pace despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The locomotive is now recognisable as a P2 whilst the tender tank and tender wheelsets are now at Darlington Locomotive Works.
David Elliott, Director of P2 Engineering, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, added: “The delivery of the outside connecting rods for Prince of Wales is a major step forward for the project, especially given the limitations of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The machining of each rod by Stephenson (Engineering) Ltd takes around 100 hours. The next few months will see the completion of all of the heavy motion and the trial fitting of the coupling rods to the engine – creating the first tender-engine standard gauge ‘Mikado’ in the UK since 1945.”
Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented: “We are delighted with the support the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch over seven years ago. With over £3.4m spent and almost £4m donated to-date of the estimated £5m required, we remain on-track for completion within three years. However, to maintain this progress we need to raise £700,000 per year and we are still seeking to recruit members of The Motion Club in order to complete the funding for the heavy motion as well as additional ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ regular donors or covenantors.”
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