Pony truck frame delivered to Darlington for steam locomotive 2007 Prince of Wales

The P2 Steam Locomotive Company has announced that the pony truck frame for 2007 Prince of Wales has been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works. The pony truck frame has been fabricated by North View Engineering Solutions in Darlington. This is a vital component as it allows the locomotive to go round corners easier.

Parent company, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, has also announced that construction of P2 2007 Prince of Wales has now passed the two-thirds complete mark, with GBP3.4m spent so far, and GBP3.8m of the GBP5m target donated. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, progress of the Gresley P2 Mikado has continued at pace. The locomotive has reached a condition where it can be recognised as a P2 and the structurally complete tender tank and wheelsets have arrived at Darlington.

Pony truck frame delivered to Darlington for steam locomotive 2007 Prince of Wales
Credit: A1 Steam Locomotive Trust

Construction elsewhere continues, including on the boiler, wheelsets, tender frame, motion, pipework and electrics. Designs for the modified cylinder block have been completed, with focus now turning to adapting the Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear, which will improve the original design even further. Prince of Wales will have a modified leading pony truck to avoid issues found when the original P2s were in service – LNER solved a similar problem with the V2 class using experience of building Stanier 8Fs at Doncaster Works in World War II.

Therefore, the Trust has commissioned DeltaRail to use Vampire software to construct a virtual P2 to analyse the performance of the original suspension design and the modified pony truck. Construction of the pony truck took place at a number of sites in the UK, including William Cook Cast Products Ltd in Sheffield, and the South Devon Railway Engineering in Buckfastleigh. Since arrival, the wheels have been filled, painted and polished in preparation for them to be fitted with the cannonbox.

The next steps now including completing the Finite Element Analysis study for approval, the spring gear details need manufacturing and the cannonbox needs assembling onto the wheelset. Back in April 2020, the Trust announced a new GBP20,000 appeal, The Pony (Truck) Club, to raise funds for the manufacture and certification of the leading pony truck for 2007 Prince of Wales. This has now passed its initial target, and this has now been extended by a few members to cover the certification costs of the modified pony truck design.

Steve Davies MBE, Chairman of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented: “The delivery of the pony truck frame to Darlington Locomotive Works is yet another key milestone in the GBP5m project to build new Gresley class P2 No.

2007 Prince of Wales. It is a testimony to the forward thinking of our engineering team that some of the original research was conducted during No.

60163 Tornado’s testing on the Great Central Railway in 2008, five years before the formal launch of the project. “Fundraising is also moving forward well.

The ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ Covenant scheme has already attracted 940 Covenantors, and with over GBP3.4m spent and more than GBP3.8m donated to-date of the estimated GBP5m required, the project remains on-track for completion within three years. “We are delighted with the support the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has received since its launch more than seven years ago. However, to maintain this progress we need to raise GBP700,000 per year and we are still seeking to recruit an additional 60 ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’ regular donors or covenantors.

In time for the 60th anniversary of the disposal of the last former Gresley class P2 No.

2002 Earl Marischal – as Thompson class A2/2 No.

60502 – in July this year.”

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Pony truck frame delivered to Darlington for steam locomotive 2007 Prince of Wales