THE latest in a series of fundraising events for a £5m steam engine to be assembled in Darlington will be held in the region this weekend.
Hot on the heels of Top Gear presenter James May making the first component for Prince of Wales last month, a nationwide fundraising campaign is now underway.
Almost £350,000 of the estimated total cost has already been raised.
Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 engine become a reality sooner rather than later is therefore expected to be high, with 70 funders already on board.
A presentation, which is open to all, will be given at The National Railway Museum in York, at 11am, on Saturday (March 22).
On the day, key members of the team behind the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive will present the background to the project, the history of the class, planned improvements to the original design and how members of the public can help pledge their support.
Mark Allatt, chairman of the P2 Steam Locomotive Company, which is behind the project to build the engine, said: “Having already built one steam locomotive from scratch with Tornado, the levels of support and interest that have been generated towards Prince of Wales have been nothing short of sensational.
“With backing from HRH the Prince of Wales and high-profile celebrities such as James May, we fully expect our presentation roadshow to demonstrate to the wider public just how serious and committed we are in resurrecting this amazing steam locomotive from and annals of history.
“With the first part now fabricated - and the frames ordered from Tata Steel - we are well down the track towards having the substantial bits of metal that will make up this locomotive.
“We launched the Tornado project in York way back in 1990, but it took us 18 years to complete it.
“We anticipate this project to take just seven years, so it’s the perfect opportunity for the public to get on board and help make history by joining us at the National Railway Museum on Saturday.”
A similar presentation will be held at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington, on April 5.
To register an interest in attending either of the roadshows, visit p2steam.com