Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd has volunteered its fabrication and engineering expertise to help with the construction of the new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales.

Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge, global leaders in technology-based engineering, construction and steel fabrication services, will manufacture the illustrious locomotive’s tender tank.

In addition, as a sponsor of the heritage project that is being delivered in Darlington, Cleveland Bridge is also offering its apprentices that chance to work with The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust on the construction of the locomotive.

The Trust, which is a registered charity and the builder/operator the new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, is building the seventh member of this class over seven years at an estimated cost of £5m.

Cleveland Bridge’s sponsorship will help bring the construction of the tender tank forward by at least 12 months, Similar in construction to a lightweight box girder structure produced from COR-TEN corrosion-resistant steel plate, the tank is expected to be completed in the next two years.

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. Sadly, the design was never fully-developed and they were rebuilt in 1943/44 and scrapped by 1961.

Mark Allatt, P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “We are pleased to welcome Darlington-based and world-leading Cleveland Bridge as a sponsor of No. 2007 Prince of Wales. Its sponsorship of the construction of No. 2007’s tender and secondment of apprentices to Darlington Locomotive Works to work on the engine will help the Trust to maintain the progress necessary to complete the new locomotive by 2021.

“The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

Chris Droogan, Managing Director of Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd, said: “We are very proud to support The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in its project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive. At Cleveland Bridge we are very conscious of our 140 years of engineering heritage, building many of the most iconic structures in the world and we are delighted to be part of another Iconic project to come out of Darlington.

“We are more used to building the bridge structures that cross railway lines than producing the engines themselves so it’s going to be quite an exciting project for our team. Our apprentices, in particular, we gain some wonderful experience on this project and demonstrate the variety of work a career at Cleveland Bridge offers.”