A milestone has been reached in the construction of the Mikado Steam Locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales

Yesterday, February 1, the construction of the LNER P2 n°2007 Prince of Wales reached an important stage.

The two sets of drawbars, which connect the 8 wheel drives together, were fitted to the locomotive for the first time.

The left side coupling rod had been fitted to the crankpins for the trust’s 2021 convention, but a fair amount of machining work was required to complete the bearings and gradient pins for the second set of connecting rods .

The coupling rod mounting process is completed by the use of four small chain hoists suspended from sky hooks under the footrest on each side of the locomotive. These can be seen below.

Credit: A1SLT

Hoists obviate the need for manual rod handling, which can be a dangerous practice, especially on a locomotive like 2007.

For the first set of connecting rods, the crankpins are adjusted by eye to be at the same angle. The connecting rod assembly is lifted and placed on the longest crankpins first. Small corrections in the positions of the other crankpins are made by oiling the contact point between each wheel and the rail. Once the connecting rod bushings are fully home on the crankpins, the other side can be ridden with a reasonable expectation for the crankpins to line up.

The motor was now moved about half a turn of the wheels to check that nothing was stuck anywhere – there was none, meaning all measurements were correct.

P2 Engineering Manager David Elliott remarked: “It was with satisfaction (and relief) that the second set of connecting rods slid over their crank pins with a distinct ‘thump’ sound.

A spokesperson for the P2 Steam Locomotive Company said: “We look forward to the next part of this process in which the locomotive is raised on the rotator to keep the wheels turning for longer periods at higher rpm. Watch this place!”

Jose P. Rogers