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In August 2018, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust placed a £350,000 order for a state-of-the-art electrical system for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The electrical system, designed by Rob Morland and Alan Parkin, is based on that which has operated successfully for the past 12 years on No. 60163 Tornado, and includes systems that generate and store electricity, together with lighting and instrumentation systems. Also included are all current railway safety and communication systems, plus new systems that will soon be needed on the Network Rail main line.
The electrical system for No. 2007 Prince of Wales will be based on the following key principles:
Power will be generated by the Trust’s new design for an axle-driven alternator, based on an off-the-shelf truck product, and new turbo-generators, based on the German design fitted to Tornado. No. 2007 will be fitted with two turbo-generators, each with an output around 25A at 27V DC (675VA).
STEERING NO. 2007 PRINCE OF WALES TO COMPLETION WITH THE PONY (TRUCK) CLUB
In April 2020 The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust announced that it has launched a new £20,000 appeal – The Pony (Truck) Club – to fund the construction of the leading pony truck for No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The pony truck is a single-axle bogie which pivots towards the centre of a steam locomotive to enable it to negotiate curves more easily.
The construction of the pony truck has made significant progress over the past few months at several sites across the UK. The wheelsets were assembled – using two 3ft 2in wheels cast by the Trust’s principal sponsor William Cook Cast Products Ltd of Sheffield – by South Devon Railway Engineering at Buckfastleigh and delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works in September 2018. Since their arrival, the wheels have been filled, painted and polished in preparation for the fitting the cannonbox.
No. 2007 will incorporate a modified leading pony truck to avoid the issues that afflicted the original P2s in this area. The LNER solved a similar problem with the Gresley class V2s using its experience from building Stanier 8F 2-8-0s at Doncaster Works during WWII. The Trust therefore commissioned DeltaRail to use Vampire® software to construct a ‘virtual’ P2 and analyse the performance of the original Gresley swing link suspension design and modified pony truck using side control springs. Our design team then used the results of the Vampire® modelling and the revised class V2 arrangement to redesign the pony truck for our new class P2 using side control springs and incorporating roller bearings.
The Cylinder Club was founded in October 2017 to help fund the redesign and manufacture of the cylinder block with an initial target of raising £100,000 plus Gift Aid from 100 supporters each donating £1,000 to the project in up to eight payments of £125.
In March 2018 we were delighted to announce that thanks to the generosity of our supporters this initial target had been achieved. A huge thank you to everyone who supported this special fundraising appeal.
The work involved in designing the new cylinder block included:
The Mikado Club was founded in March 2016 to wheel the engine with an initial target of raising £200,000 plus Gift Aid from 160 supporters each donating £1,000. This was extended in May 2017 to 200 supporters raising £250,000 plus Gift Aid in order to also wheel the tender. The Mikado Club closed in May 2018 having achieved its target. However, for those wishing to donate to the project, The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler), The Motion Club (to fund the manufacture of the heavy motion) and The Tender Club (to fund the construction of the tender) are all still seeking members.
When achieved, it was the first time for over 70 years that one of these iconic class of locomotives has stood on its wheels – the last original Gresley class P2 No. 2003 Lord President was rebuilt into an ungainly Thompson class A2/2 Pacific in December 1944.
It was the eight driving wheels that made the six original Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ unique in the UK.
The Whyte notation for classifying steam locomotives by wheel arrangement was devised by Frederick Methvan Whyte in the early twentieth century. In the notation a locomotive with one leading axle (two wheels) in front, then four driving axles (eight wheels) and then one trailing axle (two wheels) is classified as 2-8-2 and commonly referred to as a ‘Mikado’. The name ‘Mikado’ originated from a group of Japanese type 9700 2-8-2 locomotives that were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for the 3ft 6in gauge Nippon Railway of Japan in 1897. In the 19th century, the Emperor of Japan was often referred to as “the Mikado” in English and the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Mikado had premiered in 1885 and achieved great popularity in both Britain and the USA.
The Founders Club was launched in September 2013 to raise £100,000 for the acquisition and cutting of the frames for new Gresley class P2 class No. 2007 Prince of Wales.
Members of The Founders Club each donated £1,000 (in up to four payments of £250 by standing order) allowing the purchase of the steel and subsequent cutting to take place in May 2014.
In return for this commitment and as well as being the first contributors to this exciting project, members received these exclusive benefits:
A huge thank you to everyone who supported this special fundraising appeal.
This club is raising funds for the manufacture of the frames for the new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. If there are surplus funds left over following the manufacture of the frames, we will use the money to purchase or manufacture other components for the Gresley class P2 that the charity would not otherwise have.