Meet the Darlington team rebuilding a working version of one of Britain's biggest steam engines

Full report from Gregg Easteal

Many of us have been getting stuck into some pretty big projects during the lockdowns - whether it's painting the kitchen, building a summerhouse or finally completing that thousand piece jigsaw you've had for years.

But in one corner of Darlington a small team have been cracking on with surely one of the biggest jobs you can imagine - rebuilding completely from scratch a full size working version of Britain's biggest and most powerful passenger steam engine.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust set itself a challenge to develop, build and operate an improved 'Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive' for main line and preserved railway use.

They've been working away at it for seven long years but the lost railway giant is slowly starting to take shape again.

These trains were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.

Mark Allatt is from the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust -

How does it compare to other famous steam engines?

The team are using the latest computer aided design and modelling techniques to create the original design - it's estimated that No. 2007 Prince of Wales will cost around £5m to build over a 7 to 10 year period.

Credit: A1 Steam

Ian Matthews is an Engine Builder, Fitter & Painter - he says it's a dream job to be working on the project:

They have a few years of work left yet - but it's hoped it'll eventually look a little like this...