The Churchward County Trust (CCT) has announced that they have recently placed the order for producing both sets of coupled wheels for their new build steam locomotive Great Western Railway (GWR) 3800 ‘Churchward County’ (4-4-0) Class No.3840 “County of Montgomery”.
This key milestone has been made possible thanks to the ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’, set up by the CCT roughly two years ago.
The aim of the club was to raise £40,000 to fund the construction of both coupled wheelsets for 3840.
Now passing the 20 adopters waypoint, this has allowed the trust to place the order. More information on this club can be found later on in this article.
Trefoil Steel based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, are the chosen contractors for the work, who will use Cast Steel to form both of the wheelsets.
The Great Western Society at the Didcot Railway Centre loaned the patterns to produce the wheels. This pattern was previously used on new build GWR 2900 ‘Saint’ Class No.2999 “Lady of Legend”, which features the same sized coupled wheels of 6ft 8½in.
One adaption to the pattern will need to be made between casting both wheelsets, as they slightly differ in dimensions.
The leading coupled wheelset has a centre boss of 5¾in, whereas the trailing coupled wheelset has a centre boss of 4¾in. The pattern is designed for the smaller 4¾in boss, with the cost to alter the pattern being £2,700.
‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’
As mentioned above, the club aims to raise £40,000 by 40 people adapting a member (or members) of the Churchward County Class for £1,000.
Membership of the ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ is set at £1,000 (payable in one lump sum or in eight payments of £125 by standing order) and comes with a string of incentives including:
- An invitation to the launch of County of Montgomery
- A seat on the locomotive’s first train
- A special certificate acknowledging the ‘County’ being adopted
- A framed and mounted photograph of the ‘County’ being adopted
- A mounted print of No. 3840 by artist Jonathan Clay
- Your name on the Roll of Honour
- Life membership of the CCT
- Additionally, the names of all ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ members will have their names put into a ballot; the winner receiving a wooden replica of the nameplate of the ‘County’ of their choice.
CCT Chairman Gary Boyd-Hope said: “Ordering the coupled wheels marks another major milestone in the construction of County of Montgomery, and I’d like to thank all members of the ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ for helping us get to this position.
“With the main frame assembly now complete at Tyseley Locomotive Works, the rear dragbox currently under construction and the locomotive’s cylinders also on order, we are well on the way towards our goal of completing the rear portion of No. 3840’s frames as a rolling chassis. We would therefore be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to adopt one of the remaining ‘Counties’ to push us closer to our £40,000 target.”
For more information or to support the Churchward County Trust, please visit their website here.
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