PLANS to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive have reached a major milestone, with an order placed for the engine’s steel frames.

The multi-million pound P2 locomotive number 2007, Prince of Wales, will be built in Darlington.

Tata Steel will provide the frames, the team behind the project has confirmed.

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Since plans for the engine were announced four months ago, 250 people from around the world have signed up to help fund the project, with more than £300,000 pledged.

This has enabled a rapid advancement in acquiring key components for the locomotive, such as the steel.

A presentation roadshow, which will herald the formal launch of the project, will begin next month.

Presentations – which will be held in York and Darlington, as well as other locations in England and Scotland - will be delivered by key speakers behind the project.

They will cover the history of the P2s, the plan in place to build Prince of Wales, progress made to date and how individuals can help through volunteering and most importantly becoming a covenantor and sponsor.

All are welcome to the presentations, being held on March 22, at the National Railway Museum, in York, and the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, on April 5.

Mark Allatt, chairman of project to build Prince of Wales, said: “We are very excited to have ordered the frames from Tata and our seven-year journey to turn No. 2007 Prince of Wales from a vision to reality has truly begun.

“Thanks to the magnitude of support generated in only four months from The Founders Club, we are in the enviable position of securing major elements of the locomotive much earlier and quicker than we forecast and also that we have been able to demonstrate to key industry partners the validity of this project.

“We very soon hope to announce several major sponsors and partners who wish to join and support the project.

“With our main individual donation scheme kicking off on March 8, in London, our journey to bring Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive back from the annals of history is becoming that much closer to reality.”

To register for the presentations, visit