‘P2’ becomes a true Mikado as final wheelset is fitted

NEW-BUILD Gresley ‘P2’ No. 2007 Prince of Wales was finally able to live up to its Mikado wheel arrangement reference on September 18 when it became a 2-8-2 for the first time.

Installation of the leading wheelset, albeit with a temporary timber pony truck, was completed at the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s Darlington Locomotive Works, and follows the fitting of the rear Cartazzi wheelset earlier this year, and the eight 6ft 2in coupled wheels in July.

New LNER ‘P2’ No. 2007 Prince of Wales stands outside Darlington Locomotive Works with all wheelsets now in place. DAVID ELLIOTT/A1SLT

It is the first time since July 1945 and the withdrawal of the two Gresley ‘P1s’ that a standard gauge Mikado has existed in the UK, the last of the original ‘P2s’ having been rebuilt as Pacifics the previous year.

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Mark Allatt, P2 project director, said: “The fitting of all of the wheels to the engine marks a significant milestone in the construction of No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

“Thanks to the dedication and generosity of our supporters, we remain confident that we are
on track for completion of No. 2007 in 2021.”

An appeal to raise £210,000 to pay for the motion for Prince of Wales has reached the halfway point.

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The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s Motion Club was launched in April and by early September had passed the £100,000 mark.

The club aims to recruit 175 members to each donate £1,000.

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