Hornby announces model of Thompson class A2/2 No. 60507 Prince of Wales
The project to build new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales
is delighted to announce that the locomotive will be rebuilt as a Thompson class A2/2 during the locomotive’s first overhaul expected to take place in 2027. In advance of the rebuild, Hornby has announced that it will be releasing a model of No. 60507 Prince of Wales
in 2022, following the release of its models of the Thompson class A2s in early 2021 and its expected release of its new models of Gresley class P2s later in the year.
Steve Davies MBE, Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The original class P2 2-8-2s were rebuilt as class A2/2 4-6-2s during the Second World War by Sir Nigel Gresley’s successor Edward Thompson as part of his standardisation policy. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is keen to discover which version of the locomotive is most effective from an operational perspective and will therefore be conducting a series of identical trials with the locomotive in both its original and rebuilt form. If there is sufficient appetite, we will also consider rebuilding the locomotive into its streamlined form at its second overhaul. We also have appointed a dedicated engineer, Jo Kerr, to oversee the rebuild projects.”
Simon Kohler, marketing & development director at Hornby Hobbies Ltd, added, “We have worked very closely with The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust for many years. We launched our first original Hornby Railroad model of No. 60163 Tornado
in 2011 and it is still in our range today. We had been collaborating with the Trust on a model of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales
for some time when we found out that there were plans to rebuild the locomotive as a Thompson class A2/2 as happened with the original six and just had to produce a model of it. Our model (R1421) of No. 60507 Prince of Wales
is scheduled to reach the shops in April 2022.”
Hornby's model of No. 60507 as a Thompson A2/2 - Hornby Hobbies Ltd.
Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, concluded, “We are delighted with the support the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch seven years ago. However, to maintain this progress we need to raise £700,000 per year and we are still seeking to recruit an additional 60 ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ regular donors or covenantors. In time for the 60th
anniversary of the disposal of the last former Gresley class P2 No. 2002 Earl Marischal
- as Thompson class A2/2 No. 60502 – in July this year.”
The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to haul 600-ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Sadly, the design was never fully developed, and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson into handsome class A2/2 4-6-2 ‘Pacifics’ in 1943/4 and scrapped by 1961. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1SLT - registered charity and builders of famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado
) is building the seventh member of this class at its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) over seven to ten years, at an estimated cost of over £5m through its P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, progress on the construction of the new Gresley class P2 ‘Mikado’ continues to move forward rapidly. The engine has reached the condition where it is recognisably a P2 and the structurally complete tender tank and tender wheelsets are now at Darlington Locomotive Works. Construction and assembly work continue on all fronts, including boiler, wheelsets, tender frames, heavy motion, pipework and electricals. Design work for the extensively modified and improved cylinder block is complete, with the focus now turned to adaptation of the Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear to further improve the original design.
Fundraising is also moving forward well. The ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ Covenant scheme has already attracted 940 Covenantors, and with over £2.5m spent and more than £3.8m donated to-date of the estimated £5m required, the project remains on-track for completion within three years.