THE A1 Steam Locomotive Trust – the charity that built, owns and operates world-famous Tornado steam locomotive – has placed a £1m order for boilers for its latest projects.

The trust has contracted Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Steam Locomotive Works Meiningen), a workshop of the Deutsche Bahn to supply boilers for the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales, currently under construction at Darlington Locomotive Works, and a ‘spare’ boiler for use on both No. 2007 and No. 60163 Tornado.

The order will enable the trust to rotate the three identical boilers over its two locomotives, with two operational boilers and one ‘spare’ undergoing overhaul at any one time.

This move by the trust will reduce the time out of traffic for each locomotive by about four months, increase the potential revenue earned by both locomotive during each operational cycle and reduce the cost of their overhauls. By ordering both boilers at once and leveraging the purchasing power of the supporters of both locomotives, the trust has saved a six-figure sum that would have otherwise been required if the two boilers had been procured separately.

Graeme Bunker-James, commercial director for the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “The decision to procure two new boilers – one for the ‘heir’ Prince of Wales and the second a ‘spare’ for both No. 2007 and Tornado – is a major strategic move by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and fulfils a long-held desire to have three boilers for our two locomotives in order to reduce their time out of traffic during overhauls and act as an insurance policy. This decision secures the future of both of our locomotives on the main line not just for now, but for future generations. Having a ‘spare’ boiler will greatly assist with the delivery of regular itinerary tours and ensure that we are a reliable provider of locomotives to our customers as well as our direct passengers. We know that interest in No. 60163 Tornado dips significantly when the locomotive is not operational on the main line and heritage railways.

“The ordering of the boiler for No. 2007 Prince of Wales is the next major milestone in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive and its delivery in July 2021 keeps the project on-track for completion in the next three years.

“The trust is only able to make such a bold move due to the loyalty and generosity of its supporters of both locomotives and it is the intention to leave No. 2007 debt free upon completion. We urge those not yet on-board to join us as covenanters to both locomotives, a member of The Boiler Club for Prince of Wales and a subscriber to the campaign for Tornado.”

The first new boiler – to be fitted to No. 60163 Tornado during its next overhaul – will be delivered in September 2020 with the second – to be fitted to No. 2007 Prince of Wales – scheduled to be delivered in July 2021.

The trust is using a variety of funding methods to support the procurement of the two new boilers and, so far more than 175 supporters have subscribed to The Boiler Club pledging about £440,000 including Gift Aid.

Marcel Scholz, works manager, Dampflokwerk Meiningen, said: “The formidable projects of this organisation to build new steam locomotives are outstanding and are in Europe, if not in the rest of the world, unique with regards to their success. The professional skills of the members of the Atrust are of a very high order and it is always a pleasure to work with them.”