Incredible as it seems, the A1 company has embarked on their most ambitious project ever.
After the successful launch of the Tornado 4-6-2, they are now building England’s most powerful locomotive, a Gresley P2, 2-8-2.
The new “Tornado” A1
Originally, there were 6 of these engines built, including the well-known Cock O’ The North, for the challenging Aberdeen to Edinburgh run.
They were all converted to A2 Pacifics during World War II, and scrapped in the 1960s.
The new engine will be named “Prince Of Wales” in honour of HRH Prince Charles, and is expected to be completed in 7 years.
A true incarnation of a loco that would otherwise never be seen by those under 70 years old!
This is an exciting project, and the end result will be a high speed mainline passenger loco.
There is a great video on the project at the end of this post.
GATHERING PACE: An artist’s impression of the Prince of Wales engine
FUNDING pledges for the second iconic locomotive to be built in the region in the past 50 years are steaming towards £2 million.
Gresley class P2 steam engine Prince of Wales, which will be built in Darlington have passed £1.8 million just 20 months after the £5 million project was launched.
With an eye on Father’s Day next month, the organisation behind the plans for engine No. 2007 has released a new batch of components for sponsorship.
P2 class locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam engines to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul trains on the tough Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, which famously built the iconic Tornado locomotive in Darlington, has embarked on the Prince of Wales project through its P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary.
Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 become a reality sooner rather than later is high and more than 650 people have already signed up to the company’s ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’ (£10 per month or more) covenant scheme.
In addition to this core scheme, funds have been raised through a range of other methods, meaning the project has already received pledges of more than £1.8m (including Gift Aid) of the £5m needed over the next seven years.
Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch 20 months ago, with over £1.8 million of the required £5 million pledged to-date.
“We are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales next winter and we remain on-track for completion in 2021.
“However, to maintain this progress we need to continue to raise in excess of £700,000 per year.
“We are therefore taking the opportunity of Father’s Day to give the Dedicated Donation scheme a boost.