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The Prince of Wales, a Brand-New Steam Locomotive for the 21st Century
Tue 8th February @ 19:30 - 22:00
Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. A presentation by Rob Morland
The first Gresley class P2 No. 2001 Cock o’ the North was completed in 1934 by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) at its Doncaster works. It was the most powerful express passenger steam locomotive ever built for a British railway. Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER who also designed the famous class A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman and world speed record holder class A4 No. 4468 Mallard, the class, which was eventually to number six, was constructed for use on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. The P2’s 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ wheel arrangement and 6ft 2in driving wheels enabled them to haul 600-ton trains on their own, replacing two older locomotives. However, the P2s never lived up to their potential. The advent of the streamlined trains in the late 1930s and then the second world war meant that the design was never fully developed and all six were rebuilt as class A2/2 4-6-2 ‘Pacifics’ in 1943/44 by Sir Nigel Gresley’s successor, Edward Thompson, following Gresley’s premature death in 1941.
The P2SLC will build the 7th member of the Gresley P2 class steam locomotives, No. 2007, Prince of Wales. The project will demonstrate how the most powerful class of express passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK can be fully realised. We will use modern computer design and modelling techniques to enable it to deliver its true potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across the national network.
The P2 Steam Locomotive Company (P2SLC) is delighted to say that the name of the new Gresley class P2 2-8-2 steam locomotive will be ‘Prince of Wales’, named in honour of HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, to coincide with his 65th birthday. The Queen has kindly approved the use of His Royal Highness’s name for the locomotive. The P2 Steam Locomotive Company is a subsidiary of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (a registered charity), the builders and operators of No. 60163 Tornado, completed in 2008 and officially named by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at York station on 19th February 2009.
In much the same way that Tornado was constructed as the 50th A1 rather than a replica of the original members of the class, No. 2007 will be the 7th member of the P2 class, likewise allowing for improvements and variations in design. The decision to closely follow the pattern set by Cock o’ the North means that the locomotive will have the original semi-streamlining and rotary cam valve gear and will look, to all intents and purposes, like No. 2001. However, the Trust acknowledges that the original P2s had certain weaknesses and No. 2007 will have these eliminated at the design stage. Some fundamental criteria have already been decided and these will be explained in the presentation.
When registering please make a donation to Hitchin & Welwyn Garden City branch funds.
Please join meeting soon after 19.00hrs to allow chat and prompt start at 19.30hrs