SIGNIFICANT steps have been made as part of a £5 million pound effort to build a locomotive created by a South Derbyshire railway engineer - with massive steel frames that form part of the impressive vehicle now being created.
The P2 Steam Locomotive Company revealed that 21 tonne steel frames for its version of Sir Nigel Gresley’s Class P2 Mikado steam locomotive, that will be known as the ‘Prince of Wales’, have begun to roll off the production line.
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
Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity behind the project, said: “The levels of support and interest that have been generated towards Prince of Wales have been nothing short of sensational.
“We are thrilled to be able to have reached the milestone of rolling the substantial pieces of metal that make up the locomotives frames at Tata Steel in Scunthorpe and being able to declare that No. 2007 Prince of Wales now exists.
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. The project will take more than seven years at an estimated cost of £5 million.
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. Funds will be raised through regular monthly donations.”
More information is available by visiting www.p2steam.com