The project to build new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales is delighted to announced that donations to the project have now passed £2m – over 40% of the £5m needed to complete the locomotive in 2021 – with pledges towards building the locomotive also rapidly approaching £3m.
The frames for Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive were rolled at British Steel’s Scunthorpe works exactly four years ago on St George’s Day 2014 in the presence of designer Sir Nigel Gresley’s two grandsons Ben and (the late) Tim Godfrey.
The class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.
Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt in 1943/44 and scrapped by 1961. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (registered charity and builders of famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class over seven to ten years at an estimated cost of £5m. 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 terms of construction progress, £1.6m (over 32% of the total required) converted into metal, more than £2.1m (over 42%) already donated and almost £3m (60%) pledged.
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 £1.6m spent so far on construction and over £2m donated by our supporters.
“We are now 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!”
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