If the project is to remain on schedule to complete No. 2007 by 2021, the cylinder block has to be ordered in 2017. At its annual convention on 30th September 2017, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust set itself the challenge of raising £100,000 through The Cylinder Club from 100 supporters each donating £1,000 (plus Gift Aid) to the project in up to eight payments of £125 by standing order.
The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson into ungainly class A2/2 4-6-2 'Pacifics' in 1943/4, and scrapped by 1961. The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1SLT - registered charity and builders of famous new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class at its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) over seven years, at an estimated cost of £5m through its P2 Steam Locomotive Company subsidiary. The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.
Following the success of The Founders Club (to get the project to the point of cutting the frames), The Boiler Club (to fund the construction of the boiler) and The Mikado Club (to wheel the locomotive), the Trust decided to establish The Cylinder Club to raise an estimated £100,000 required to make No. 2007’s cylinder block.
In return for supporting this appeal, special benefits for members of The Cylinder Club include:
- Opportunity to buy ticket (seat already reserved) on one of the first trains hauled by No. 2007 Prince of Wales
- Reasonable access to No. 2007 at all times
- Opportunity to buy exclusive Cylinder Club badge
- Opportunity to join one of the teams building No. 2007
- First choice of other components to sponsor
- Special Cylinder Club day with Tornado
- Special signed/numbered print of John Wigston’s new painting of No. 2007 Prince of Wales alongside No. 2001 Cock o’ the North and No. 2002 Earl Marischal.
October was a record breaking fundraising month for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with over £117,000 donated or pledged towards No. 60163 Tornado and No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The Cylinder Club welcomed 54 new members, donating £1,000 each, 12 A1 Covenantors, 12 P2 Covenators, one Boiler Club member, two Mikado Club members, two 163 Pacifics Club members, six Tornado Team (our children’s club for 5-15 year olds) members, over £2,500 in Dedicated Donations and over £17,000 in donation. These donations were thanks to our P2 Roadshow in Dundee, ‘The Tees Tyne Express’ railtour with No. 60163 Tornado and a number of visits to Darlington Locomotive Works.
Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director and Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
“We are delighted with the level of support that the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch. Thanks to our supporters’ continued generosity, over £2.7m has now been donated or pledged. Our team at Darlington Locomotive Works has been focused on creating and assembling the boiler cladding over the past few weeks.
“We have now turned our attention to the cylinder block which is our next major design and manufacturing challenge. If we can raise £100,000 through The Cylinder Club over the next few months we are confident that we will be able to place the order for the cylinder block for No. 2007 Prince of Wales by the end of 2017 and remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. Achieving pledges of over 50% of our target within the first month means that we are well on the way towards achieving this.
“I would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a member of The Cylinder Club or a monthly ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ covenantor. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”