Men of steel: ‘P2’ has all its castings on the way
Half the steel castings for Prince of Wales are made, and the remainder are now all on order.
All of the steel castings for ‘P2’ No. 2007 Prince of Wales have now been ordered - with almost half coming in one batch. A total of 127 castings are needed to build the LNER 2-8-2, at a cost of £220,750 plus VAT, of which 66 have already been cast and machined in three batches with most already fitted, apart from the wheels. The fourth and final consignment - ordered from William Cook Group of Sheffield - consists of 61 pieces at £33,200 plus VAT. Apart from the three crossheads, the rest are for the tender, including the axleboxes, horn blocks and buffer casings. William Cook Group has been a principal sponsor to the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust since 1994, providing all the steel castings for ‘A1’ No. 60163 Tornado and Prince of Wales - including the wheels - at preferential rates. WCG also owns Tornado’s tender, which is leased until 2021, when it will be bought outright by the trust. Offsetting the snag with the plain driving axles (SR465), the finished pony and Cartazzi truck axles were both delivered to Darlington in early April while, at the same time, work was due to begin on the assembly of the crank axle at the South Devon Railway. Ian Howitt, who carried out extensive work on Tornado, has been contracted to produce parts for the brake gear, starting with the hangers, while the ‘P2’s’ running plates and footplate are being permanently attached. Other recent progress has included the assembly of the leading sandboxes, and the completion of the 3D CAD design for the combined frame stay and four-spring hanger bracket. Just 30 places remain in the ‘Mikado Club’ fund for the wheeling, with 130 supporters pledging £1,000 each plus Gift Aid, of the 160 needed to raise the required £200,000. For details of this, the ‘Boiler Club’ and ‘Dedicated Donations’ sponsorship schemes, visit www.p2steam.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01325 460163.