One of the most significant components in the construction of new-build ‘P2’ No. 2007 Prince of Wales has been delivered – the crank axle.
The news comes as the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s ‘The Mikado Club’ – launched in March 2016 to fund the wheeling of the 2-8-2 and its tender – has reached 90% of its revised target three months earlier than expected.
Key to completing the ‘Mikado’s’ bottom end, the crank axle has been delivered to the Darlington Locomotive Works following its assembly by South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd at Buckfastleigh and finishing by Unilathe at Stoke-on-Trent.
The delivery of the crank axle is a critical milestone for the project being the culmination of a long and expensive process including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) carried out by the railway engineering consultants, Mott MacDonald at Derby to eliminate a weakness in the original design that resulted in fracturing of the crank axle.
It is anticipated that the fitting of wheels and tyres to the crank axle will take place in March, and it is hoped to have the engine wheeled by spring 2018.
Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director, the A1SLT, commented: “We are confident that we will have completed the rolling chassis for No. 2007 Prince of Wales in spring 2018 having already reached 90% of our revised fundraising target for The Mikado Club and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021.
“However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to raise more than £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes.
“We would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a monthly covenantor or joining The Mikado Club. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of Prince of Wales continues to gather pace.”