Coronavirus progress update on steam locomotive 4709

GWR 47XX No. 4709
Credit: The 4709 Group

In a statement released this week, Richard Croucher, The 4709 Group’s chairman has said that work and fundraising for the steam locomotive have continued despite coronavirus. However, he has said there had been a real challenge to make good progress.

GWR 2-8-0 4709’s chassis remains at Llangollen and will remain in Wales for a couple more weeks.

During the weeks gone by, sponsorship for one forging of one of 4709’s coupling rods has been secured, whilst work on the casting for the spring hanger brackets is nearly complete.

An agreement is also nearly complete to cast the cylinders for 4709.

The programme for the rest of 2020 is busy for the 4709 group. Once the frames have arrived at Leaky Finders in Hele, the cylinders and spring hanger brackets should then be fitted along with the running boards.

The wheelset for 4709 is due to arrive from Tyseley, and once they arrive, the locomotive will be wheeled.

There is potential for a 47XX to be wheeled by Christmas, Richard has said.

Richard Croucher said, “The lockdown is being eased, but much is still out of our reach, especially 4709’s chassis, which remains at Llangollen for a couple more weeks at least.”

“The cylinder project has been very challenging, a situation made worse by the COVID restrictions and our needing to identify a suitable foundry that will work with the sacrificial poly patterns we’ve chosen to use,” he said.

The patterns were completed before the lockdown, and as Richard explains; “COVID then prevented us from getting any further ahead.”

“That goal may finally be in sight. Negotiations are almost complete, and we’re hoping the early July easing of regulations will see work underway before the end of the month.”

“We may even have a 47XX on its wheels by Christmas.”

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