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Team behind successful Tornado engine announce next project
RAILWAY enthusiasts who built the UK’s first steam locomotive for more than 50 years have announced details of their next multi-million pound project.
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust built the A1 Peppercorn class locomotive Tornado in Darlington.
At the trust’s 2013 convention, the launch of a company aiming to develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive – at an estimated cost of £5m - was announced.
The P2 Steam Locomotive Company is aiming to raise £100,000 for the preliminary stages of building the engine, the name of which is being kept a closely-guarded secret.
It is hoped the P2, which will be built at the same Darlington engine yard as Tornado, will become Britain’s most powerful locomotive.
The engine will be the seventh in the Gresley class and the company says it will utilise modern computer design and modelling techniques, ultimately running on main line and heritage railways.
It has created the P2 ‘founders club’, which will consist of at least 100 members, with the aim of raising funds for the acquisition and cutting of the frames for the locomotive, No. 2007.
Members of the club will each be asked to donate £1,000 – in up to four payments of £250 – allowing work to begin by May.
In return for this commitment, members will receive a string of benefits, including: a reserved seat on the engine’s first main line train, a founders club tie, reasonable access to the engine and the chance to join one of the teams building it.
The team behind No. 2007 includes many of the people behind the building and operation of Tornado as well as a number of new people.
The project will be driven forward by Mark Allatt, who chaired the A1 trust.
Mr Allatt, who is also chairman of the P2 Steam Locomotive Company, said: “Having carried out our feasibility study, we are very excited to now be in a position to launch The Founders Club.
“Successfully raising the funds for the cutting of the frames will truly bring this project to life and, being engaged at the very beginning through this club, is a unique opportunity to be involved in making Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive a reality.”
The name of the planned locomotive is expected to be announced next month and the company’s main fundraising campaign will begin in the spring.
For more information, visit p2steam.com
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