Progress to achieve certification of new P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales

The P2 Steam Locomotive Company has released the latest update on the progress made in building a P2 2-8-2 Class Mikado.

Sir Nigel Gresley designed P2s to haul 600 tonne trains on the arduous route from Edinburgh to Aberdeen and were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK.

Work is progressing well on the new construction P2 2007 Prince of Wales. While news of the addition of shiny, shiny components to the locomotive is rightly making headlines, this latest report details the work going on behind the scenes. This is to obtain the necessary certification and approvals to help the locomotive enter service to perform mainline rail runs.

This will be based on the approach that has been used successfully to Tornado. However, since then, some things have changed in the world of railway certification and approvals. The requirement now is to demonstrate a combination of ‘technical compatibility’ and ‘safe integration’.

The top level document is the certification and registration policy. In 2021, this document was drafted and was reviewed and accepted by the certification body in 2007, Ricardo Certification Ltd. It has now been passed to the rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Although the project is awaiting feedback from ORR, in the meantime various individual work streams mentioned in the document can still be worked on.

More recently, the project has contributed to certification work in conjunction with several other new build groups, including the Patriot, Clan and B17 projects.

A joint meeting took place in January at the premises of CTL Seal Ltd in Sheffield, where several aspects of the certification process were discussed, including the generic parts of the risk analysis work to support the “safe integration” aspect of approvals.

Ricardo Certification Ltd attended the meeting to witness the exercise, splitting their costs equally between all groups present, which was a modest but welcome cost reduction. Other steps in the process will be undertaken in the same way when the opportunity arises.

Jose P. Rogers