Ceremony to celebrate progress of new locomotive building project

STEAMING AHEAD: The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust was behind the successful building of The Tornado locomotive

RIGHT TRACK: Coupled wheel pattern after casting of the first wheel for the Prince of Wales locomotive

First published in News

A CEREMONY will be held to dedicate the frames for the newly build locomotive.

Project supporters will join the town’s MP and mayor at Darlington Locomotive Works on Hopetown Lane on Saturday, July 19 to celebrate the progress being made on building the new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive, the Prince of Wales. The ceremony will start at 11am.

Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust behind the loco building project, said: “Just as laying the keel is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction, the dedication of No. 2007 Prince of Wales’s frames will mark the formal start of construction of Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive.

“We are delighted to be joined on this very significant day by many of the people whose vision, trust and generosity made it possible as well as the Member of Parliament for Darlington and Mayor of Darlington.

“We continue to be delighted with the level support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch last September.

“Having set an initial target of raising £100,000 seed funding through The Founders Club by the time the frames were laid, 330 people are now on-board after just nine months.

“Due to the Trust’s charitable status this could be worth well over £400,000 to the project.”

Parts for the loco are being engineered and supplied by Sheffield-based William Cook Cast Products. The Trust is hopeful that the rolling chassis will be completed by the end of the year and that the loco will be finished by 2021.

The Prince of Wales is being constructed by the same team that built Tornado, Britain's first new steam engine in a generation.

Mr Allatt said: “2014 will see further major announcements as the construction of the locomotive gathers pace.

“We are now appealing to those who want to be a part of this exciting project to become covenantors, sponsors and volunteers to help us maintain this momentum.”

The project is expected to cost £5m and is being run through the At Steam Locomotive Trust’s P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary.

The project will demonstrate how Sir Nigel Gresley’s 1940s loco design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design and modelling techniques.

This will enable the new engine to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

Anybody who wants to get onboard the project should visit www.p2steam.com

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