A BID to raise £5 million pounds to build a train created by a South Derbyshire railway engineer has already seen £300,000 raised by fund-raisers - despite the campaign only being up and running for a matter of months.
The P2 Steam Locomotive Company revealed the astonishing figure as part of its push for more people to come forward and help with the project to build and operate a version of Sir Nigel Gresley’s Class P2 Mikado steam locomotive that will be known as the ‘Prince of Wales’.
These locomotives were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 tonne trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.
Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson
A spokesman for the group said: “Thanks to the unprecedented success since the campaign launched only four months ago, 250 people from as far afield as North America, Australia and Europe have signed up to the club generating in excess of £300,000 towards the initial phase of this exciting project.
“This has enabled rapid advancement in acquiring key parts of the locomotive and a demonstration to partners such as Tata Steel, of the support and feasibility of this exciting endeavour.
“Our mission is to develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 steam locomotive for main line and heritage railway use.
“It is estimated that £5 million will be needed to build the train over seven to 10 years.
“Fitted with additional water capacity and the latest railway safety electronics, No.2007 will fully equipped for tomorrow’s main line railway.
“Funds will be raised through regular monthly donations.”
Sir Nigel, who lived in the Old Rectory, in Church Street, Netherseal, was also famous for designing the steam locomotives the Flying Scotsman and Mallard - which attained a record breaking maximum speed of 126mph.
More information is available by visiting www.p2steam.com