It’s over to us now!
WHAT Flying Scotsman was to the 20th century, new-build A1 No. 60163 Tornado has been to the 21st. Since its official launch in 2009, it has been a crowd-puller wherever it goes, on one run hitting a new heritage-era record of 101mph – a brilliant ambassador for the sector.
Now, as a demonstration of heritage technological engineering excellence to invited guests at Darlington Locomotive Works showed on February 25, even its magnificence could be eclipsed by its builder.
The demonstration – ‘wow factor’ was not the phrase – saw all eight coupled driving wheels of Gresley P2 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales turn for public gaze for the first time. Not only that, but its all-new boiler should be with us later this year.
No. 2007 is the seventh member of its otherwise long-extinct class, which in their day were the most powerful express passenger locomotives in Britain.
Provided The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust can raise £1.5 million over the next two years, a new legend will be born, without a doubt.
Plans for major celebrations in 2025 to mark the bicentenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the world’s first public steam-hauled line, are now gaining momentum by the month. As reported in Headline News, the first turf of Darlington’s showpiece £35 million Railway Heritage Quarter has been cut.
S&D 200 will attract visitors from around the globe, the face of which was irreversibly changed by Britain’s transport technology two centuries ago. No doubt both Flying Scotsman and Tornado will be there, but while the event will show the world what Britain did, the appearance of Prince of Wales will demonstrate what we can still do now – and excel at it.
The new P2 is, by itself, all set to make a sizeable impact on the UK tourist market, with the prospect of numerous sell-out tours and people turning out in force to glimpse it, maybe for years to come.
In terms of mass appeal, parallels with the fabled US ‘Big Boys’ will almost certainly be drawn by headline writers.
The Talyllyn Railway, which started the volunteerled rail revival movement, has just been awarded the Heritage Railway Association’s Peter Manisty Award for Excellence 2022 – could any of its visionaries back in 1951 have, in their wildest dreams, believed that one day it would be possible for the sector to build a new P2?
The A1 Steam Trust has long since set a benchmark for innovative and successful public fundraising. It needs us now more than ever, if the P2 completion target is to be met.
Let’s again show that Britain can proudly reach a new pinnacle – and dip into our pockets to make it happen. Contributions can be made from as little as £2.50 a week, or one-off donations will be readily accepted. Turn to page
9 to find out how we can all help make what was once considered a ‘mission impossible’ daydream happen – and soon! In this issue we publish the list of winners of the Young Railway Photographer of the Year 2022 contest. As we know, the steam age provided countless inspiration for young lineside cameraman to record their classic images – and I have no doubt that No. 2007 will do the same for many future generations, reinforcing the relevance of our movement and its long-term betterment.
“Let’s again show that Britain can proudly reach a new pinnacle – and dip into our pockets to mark it