24 June 2022
Monobloc cylinder components united as A1 Steam Locomotive Trust issues update on new-build Gresley P2 Class locomotive.
Construction of the cylinder block for the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust's new-build locomotive, LNER P2 Class 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales has reached a significant milestone. For the first time, the three cylinders have been placed together to check alignment, clearances and to ensure preparations are complete for welding to create the monobloc.
The cylinder block has been fabricated in three sections, the centre cylinder and the two outside cylinders. The mating faces have been machined for fitment fit and dowels added to control vertical and front to back movement. The assembly was strapped together so the dimensions could be measured with a Faro arm.
Critical dimensions are measured to examine part alignment of the three monobloc constituent parts with a Faro arm at Howco.
The three cylinders have been tack welded together creating the first monobloc since the 1940s and will weigh around 5T when complete. Dimensions are said to "measure up as required", and the trust has confirmed that its next step is a two-week-long welding process, followed by up to two weeks of being stress relieved.
Proving this method of construction is important for the P2, and for its next build project, on which its eyes are set – the LNER V4, which will also require a fabricated monobloc cylinder. The Trust has said that this of manufacturing could also be applied to heritage locomotives, such as the V2.
Members of the Monobloc Club are invited to visit Howco, where the monobloc is being fabricated, and view it after welding is complete. Fundraising for the project is ongoing. For further details on the project and how to get involved, visit the A1SLT website.
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