Darlington Locomotive Works to raise £ 2million in two years

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THE project to build the new No. 2007 Gresley Class P2 steam locomotive Prince of Wales is delighted to announce that it is now two-thirds complete, with over £ 4million of the £ 6million needed estimated since its launch in September 2013.

The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express locomotives to operate in the UK.

They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to carry 600 ton trains on the arduous route from Edinburgh to Aberdeen.

Unfortunately, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson in the unsightly class A2 / 2 4-6-2 “Pacific” in 1943/4 and scrapped in 1961.

Read more: WATCH: Locomotion No.1 arrives in Shildon

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is building the seventh member of this class at its Darlington Locomotive Plant (DLW) over ten years, at an estimated cost of £ 6million.

Unlike the Trust’s first new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, extensive development work was required to ensure that the new Gresley Class P2 reaches its full potential.

The main areas of redesign include:

• Develop improved pony truck and frame design using VAMPIRE® modeling data to confirm ride characteristics – complete.

• Examine and confirm the installation of the valve mechanism; choices have been improved Lentz / Franklin (selected), Walschaerts or British Caprotti – selected valves, design changes and manufacturing in progress.

• Investigate and reduce the risk of apparent crank pin failure on original P2s – design study and manufacturing completed.

• Study and confirm the design and construction method of the cylinders – cast against fabrication – study completed and fabrication in progress.

Read more: Historic Class 37 locomotive returns to Darlington

Despite the impact of COVID-19, construction progress for the new Gresley P2 class is advancing rapidly and assembly work continues on all fronts.

Now that the work of designing the vastly modified and improved cylinder block is complete, the focus has shifted to adapting the Lentz rotary cam mushroom valve gear to overcome the shortcomings of the original design. .

Mark Allatt, Administrator, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “Over the past eight years the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has spent over £ 4million on the design. and construction and has raised over £ 4 million of the £ 6 million required. to complete issue 2007 over the next two years.

“The test fitting of the draw rods and the pony truck to the engine for the first time for the annual Trust convention is a very important step in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. .

There is still £ 2million to be raised, so if the public wants to see a new Gresley P2 class as soon as possible, potential supporters are encouraged to join us in becoming a ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week. ‘, by joining one of our fundraising clubs or by sponsoring a specific element through the dedicated donation program. ”

For details on how to help visit or donate, email [email protected] or call 01325 460163.

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