ENTHUSIASTS aiming to follow-up the building of Britain’s first steam locomotive in 50 years with another engine have renewed their partnership with models company Hornby.

Built in Darlington and completed in 2008, the A1 Peppercorn class locomotive Tornado has become an icon of the railways.

Some of the key people in that project recently announced plans to build an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam engine in the town, for mainline and heritage railway use.

The P2 Steam Locomotive Company has been created for the ambitious project to build engine number 2007, the name of which is expected to be announced next month.

It has now announced an association with Hornby, which is releasing an ‘00’ gauge model of another Gresley P2, Cock O’ The North, early next year.

Models of other members of the class, including number 2007, which will be aesthetically similar to Cock O’ The North, will follow in due course.

Mark Allatt, chairman of the P2 Steam Locomotive Company, also ran the trust which built Tornado.

He said: “Following the success of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s collaboration with Hornby regarding the model of Tornado, we are very pleased to continue this association with the P2 project.

“The early sample of the model is simply stunning; a true reflection of what the real thing will eventually look like and portrays the gracious art-deco design and immense size perfectly.

“So until the real thing is complete, in seven to ten years’ time, this scale model will more than suffice for the time being, meaning virtually everyone and anyone can have a P2 of their very own and, by doing so, help contribute financially towards the project.”

Simon Kohler, Hornby’s marketing manager, added: “The P2 was a model that I had wanted to add to the Hornby range for some years and when I heard that our friends at the trust were contemplating building No. 2007 through The P2 Steam Locomotive Company, it seemed logical to press ahead and make the model happen.”

For more information about joining the P2 project’s founders club, which aims to raise £100,000 for the first stage of the multi-million pound project, visit p2steam.com or email enquiries@p2steam.com