The Churchward County Trust has announced that the frames for locomotive 3840 County of Montgomery have been successfully cut at TATA Steel.
It is more than 107 years since the last set of frames were cut for a Great Western Railway ‘County’ class 4-4-0 at Swindon Works.
The cutting process took around 40 minutes to complete, after which the newly-cut frames were lifted from the machine bed and left to cool.
Directors of the trust, David Bradshaw and Gary Boyd-Hope, were there to witness this historic moment in the build of the locomotive.
This comes after just 8 months after the launch of the project in The Railway Magazine.
The frames will now be shot-blasted and painted prior to being sent for drilling and machining.
Fund-raising is still ongoing for this important stage through the ‘100 Hundreds Appeal’. This appeal is looking for one hundred donors to each donate £100. Donors receive an A4-sized mounted print of No. 3840 by artist Jonathan Clay plus a year’s membership of the Churchward County Trust.
What did the officials say?
“Seeing the frames for No. 3840 take shape beneath the plasma cutters was quite extraordinary. It took the ‘County’ off the drawing board and brought it into existence as something tangible. Although we already have a number of components for the loco courtesy of the Great Western Society, these all come from other GWR locos of various identities. These frames, however, are unique to County of Montgomery, so it’s fair to say that – from today – No. 3840 exists.”
“We have taken a massive step forward today, which would not have been possible without the support of our members and founders. Having the frames cut proves that we are proactively moving ahead with the build, and I’d encourage anyone who would like to help us maintain this momentum to join us or make a donation. We’ve got a loco to finish!”
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