The announcement of Hornby’s new range of LNER Class P2 locomotives was without doubt one of the highlights of the 2021 range. It is always exciting to begin development on a large locomotive but to produce a class as unique as the 2-8-2 P2s is particularly so.
The last development update on the P2 was provided in January along with other new range announcements. The CAD images shown featured P2 No. 2002 Earl Marischal in its later double smoke deflector guise. Since those images, the chassis of all P2s have been re-worked to introduce even more detail, and the other P2 locomotives announced, No. 2003 Lord President and new-build No. 2007 Prince of Wales have also progressed significantly.
The above renders show the latest updates to No. 2002 Earl Marischal. Changes to the chassis have included a re-work of the front bogie detail, changes to rivet detail, a re-work of the rear of the chassis to rectify an inaccuracy close to the rear steps and trailing wheel axle box, changes to the wheel faces, and a few non-cosmetic alterations designed to ensure quality Is not lost during the production process.
The above renders show the latest version of No. 2003 Lord President. Despite looking similar to the A4 and W1 Streamlined front, the P2s’ streamlined casing has its own unique geometry and a few unique details. It was often the case during this era that engineering drawings differed from the final locomotive as construction relied heavily on the skills of the workers building them. A particular feature of the original locomotives was the way the casing was formed around the cylinders which from photos appears to have resulted in different cases on each unique locomotive. The challenge for the Hornby designers was to design the model in such a way as to reflect an idealised pristine condition while still being faithful to the real locomotive rather than the engineering drawings.
The other all new P2 locomotive announced was the new-build No. 2007 Prince of Wales (shown above) which is currently being constructed in Darlington by the same team who built the Peppercorn Class A1 Tornado. No. 2007 features many unique design variations necessary to enable it to run on today’s main lines and to enable it to share parts with Tornado, significantly simplifying building and maintenance. These range from easily noticeable changes such as the tender design and steam generators to much subtler differences such as the reduction of beading around the smokebox to fit within the loading gauge and the introduction of storage cupboards below the driving seats. An additional point of interest is that the locomotive features Lentz valve gear similar to that fitted to the first P2, No. 2001 Cock o’ the North.
The images above not only show the high level of detail represented in the cab, but also the attention that has been given to ensure the cab for each locomotive is accurate. The locomotive on the left is No. 2003 Lord President while No. 2007 Prince of Wales is shown on the right featuring all of the contemporary modifications needed to meet today’s main line running requirements as well as having changes relating to the Lentz valve gear.