3840  County of Montgomery

In early 2018 the Churchward County Trust announced that they intended to build a new 4-4-0 County class locomotive which would become 3840 County of Montgomery.

The plan is that the locomotive will be assembled at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.

The new build will utilise the boiler from 2-8-0T 5227 at Didcot and patterns made for the construction of 2999 Lady of Legend.

The Great Western Society is providing a large number of parts for the project including bogie wheels, axleboxes and a suitable 3,500 gallon tender chassis. These will remain owned by the Great Western Society until the fund raising capabilities for the new build have been demonstrated.

It is thought that the locomotive could steam as early as 2028 but 2033 is considered to be a more realistic target date. The overall cost of the project is predicted to be between £1 and £1.5 million.

In July it was announced that an order had been placed with Tata Steel of Wednesfield to produce the frames for the locomotive. The frames were cut in November 2018 which is the first step into creating the locomotive.

The hope is that the basic frames will be assembled in 2019 and achieve a rolling chassis in 2023. The frames will be assembled at Tyseley.

The machining of the main frame plates was completed by Googman Metals of Netherfield, Nottingham in May 2019.

In August 2020 it was reported that the main frames could be completed at Tyseley in October 2020.

In August 2020 an appeal was launched to raise the £175,000 which was estimated to be the cost of completing the locomotive.

In October 2020 it was reported that the Churchward County Trust had ordered the cylinders for the locomotive. They are to be cast by Russell Ductile Castings in Scunthorpe after which the cylinders will go to Roach Precision Engineering of Brierley Hill for machining. The cost of the cylinders is thought to be about £40,000.

In January 2022 the Churchward County Trust announced that they had acquired a number of key components required to construct the locomotive. The Great Western Society at the Didcot Railway Centre agreed some time ago to transfer the ownership of these parts to the Trust once key milestones had been achieved with their own new build projects. The components from 5227 include the boiler and a pony truck wheelset with both axleboxes plus four axleboxes for the couple wheels from 2861. A rolling chassis for a Churchward 3,500 gallon tender in a suitable condition for restoration was also donated. The components will be transported to Tyseley and will mean that all the major parts to complete the construction of the new locomotive will be available.

In July 2022 the boiler .(from 5227) and tender chassis for the locomotive  were moved to Tyseley.

In October 2022 it was announced that the Churchward County Trust had signed a contract with Riley Engineering at Heywood to assemble the coupled wheelset of the locomotive. The work includes the retyring of the bogie wheelset is expected to be completed in October 2023.

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