NEARLY £1 million has been raised as part of a project to build a locomotive created by a South Derbyshire railway engineer
The P2 Steam Locomotive Company revealed it had almost reached the seven-figure sum only a matter of months after announcing plans to bring its version of Sir Nigel Gresley's Class P2 Mikado steam locomotive – that will be known as the 'Prince of Wales' – to life.
These engines were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600-tonne trains along the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.
Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson.
Mark Allatt, chairman of the the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: "We continue to be delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain's most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch.
"Thanks to the help that many are giving us in producing the wheels and other steel castings for No. 2007, we are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for the new Gresley class P2 towards the end of next year and that we are on track for completing the locomotive in 2021."
Since the project launched, plans to build the locomotive have made rapid progress, with thousands of people pledging support.
Over the seven-year duration of the project, the work is expected to cost £5 million.
William Cook Cast Products Ltd, a firm that specialises in the manufacture of steel castings, has just completed work on the first wheels that will go on the locomotive.
Sir Nigel, who lived in the Old Rectory, in Church Street, Netherseal, was also famous for designing steam locomotives the Flying Scotsman and Mallard, which attained a record-breaking maximum speed of 126mph.