Wheels for the famous Gressley class P2 locomotive, that will forever be associated with Doncaster, have been delivered to South Devon Railway Engineering Limited for assembly.
The engine’s axles (with their bearings already fitted), axleboxes and wheels have been delivered from Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) to Buckfastleigh, Devon, to start the wheelset assembly and only 12 places remain to be filled in The Mikado Club fundraising initiative to pay for the wheeling of the engine and tender.
The Mikado Club was launched two years ago to raise £200,000 from 160 members to wheel the engine and was extended in June 2017 to 200 members and £250,000 to also wheel the tender.
The past two years have seen 188 supporters joining The Mikado Club and pledging £1,000 each towards the wheeling of the new Gresley class P2 – leaving only 12 places to be filled to reach its revised target of 200 people (up from 160) to raise up to £250,000 including Gift Aid.
The class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. A series of roadshows to promote the rebuild project are now taking place with one scheduled at Sheffield Hallam University on Saturday May 19.
Public interest in seeing a new Gresley class P2 is due to become a reality sooner rather than later as 850 people have already signed up to the ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer per week’.