The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1SLT) is pleased to announce that their next new build steam locomotive project will be called Highlander.
Announced at the A1SLT Annual Convention on Saturday 22nd October, following consultation with supporters, the name Highlander has been met with wide approval. At its Silver Jubilee Convention in October 2015, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust revealed that it would follow its Peppercorn class A1 No. 60163 Tornado and Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales with the construction of further extinct LNER steam locomotives, to include a Gresley class V4.
A1SLT Chairman, Steve Davies MBE, commented, “The name Highlander perfectly matches the history of the V4 class, and we look forward to enjoying an emotional and spiritual rapport with Scotland’s railway scene and with the country’s proud people, as well as operating in all other parts of Great Britain”.
Following the tradition of our locomotives having proud military links, the Trust looks forward to a strong relationship with the Highland Regiments, who have already responded positively. Sir Nigel Gresley’s last design, once described as ‘Gresley’s Rolls-Royce’, the V4 will be a locomotive that can travel almost anywhere on the UK rail network, something our other locomotives cannot do due to their size. A versatile and economic locomotive, No. 3403 Highlander, will be the third LNER V4 Class locomotive and will be adapted to run on today’s railway.
No. 3403 Highlander will benefit from:
- Roller Bearings on all axles
- Air braked with vacuum capability
- All welded boiler
- Electrical system as per other locomotives
- Increased water capacity
Original drawings have been scanned to enable 3D computer aided design to start, and the Trust has started to acquire materials for the project. Subject to review by the Council of Trustees it is hoped to officially launch the new project with a Founders Club in Spring/Summer 2023. Although there is currently no specific appeal open for Highlander, any donations made towards it will be ring-fenced for the project. The next step will be to launch ‘The Founder’s Club’ to fund the early stages of the project. More announcements will be made over the next few months as the project builds up steam.
At the Trust's Annual Convention, renowned railway artist Chris Ludlow unveiled a superb paining of No. 3403 Highlander at work in Scotland.