The project to build Britain’s most powerful express passenger steam locomotive today announced The Motion Club, that was launched in April 2018, has welcomed over a third of its 175-member target, with 60 people already signed up.
The Motion Club aims to raise £210,000, through 175 supporters each donating £1,000 (plus Gift Aid) in up to eight payments of £125, to manufacture the motion for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales.
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 in the 1930s 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 class A2/2 4-6-2 'Pacifics' in 1943/4, and scrapped by 1961. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1SLT - registered charity and builders of famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class at its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) over seven years, at an estimated cost of £5m through its P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary. The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.
In order to complete No. 2007 Prince of Wales by 2021, the club needs to order the heavy motion this year. Thanks to the generosity of supporters and the quick uptake of The Motion Club, they are confident enough to place the £181,000 order with Stephenson Engineering Ltd of Atherton, Manchester. The order includes the forging, machining and heat treatment of the nine heavy motion rods - intermediate coupling rod LH/RH, trailing coupling rod LH/RH, leading coupling rod LH/RH, outside connecting rod LH/RH and the inside connecting rod assembly (including strap, gluts and strap nuts and washers) – and the combined piston and rod. The motion is expected to be delivered in batches between December 2018 and December 2019, with the first item, the intermediate coupling rods, expected to be delivered towards the end of December 2018. Orders to follow for the motion include rod bushes, oil box covers and miscellaneous components.
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. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £3m has now been donated or pledged. Recently we have been focused on preparing to wheel No. 2007 and completing the boiler cladding.
“We now want to turn our attention to the motion which is our next major design and manufacturing challenge. Given the level of support The Motion Club has received in just three months, we are confident we can raise the additional £135,000 needed to pay for the heavy motion, and remain on-track for completion of new Gresley class P2 locomotive, No. 2007 Prince of Wales in 2021.
“I would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a member of The Motion Club or a monthly ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ Covenantor. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”
To become a member of The Motion Club, email email@example.com, call 01325 460163 or visit www.p2steam.com for more information.
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