The Churchward County Trust (CCT) has announced that the first set of coupled wheels have been cast for new build Great Western Railway (GWR) 3800 ‘Churchward’ “County” Class No.3840 “County of Montgomery”.
Trefoil Steel, based in Sheffield, received the order to produce the four coupled wheels for 3840 two months ago back in March 2021.
Following the delivery of the pattern, loaned to Trust from the Great Western Society at Didcot, Trefoil Steel started preparation work and poured the steel in April 2021.
Both wheels cast will form the trailing wheelset on “County of Montgomery”, with work underway to clean off excess steel.
The pattern loaned is currently having the centre boss size altered to suit the size required for the leading coupled wheels. Once finished, the second pair of wheels will be cast.
This work has been able to take place thanks to the members of Forty 4-4-0s Club, set up to raise the £40,000 needed to fund the construction of the coupled wheelsets for 3840.
The Club works by people adopting a member of the ‘Churchward County’ class for £1,000 or 8 monthly payment of £125. There are still engines to adopt which would help the Trust progress in building “County of Montgomery”.
For more information or to join the Forty 4-4-0s Club, please visit the Churchward County Trust’s website here.
CCT Chairman Gary Boyd-Hope said: “The casting of the first two coupled wheels is a major milestone for the project, as we are now three-quarters of the way to have all the wheels for No. 3840. We already have the bogie wheelsets, and now have the first two drivers, with the second pair to follow soon. We are very close to having the funding we need to get the coupled wheelsets assembled, and only need 14 more supporters to adopt the remaining ‘Counties’ in order to meet out target. I would urge anyone who would like to see a GWR 4-4-0 running once again on Britain’s railways to visit our website and support the project in whatever way they can.
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