4709

The Great Western Society decided to create a 4700 class locomotive and give it the number 4709. Whilst this is a new build project it is being undertaken using a mixture of new parts and others recycled from former Barry scrapyard locomotives. The main donor locomotives are members of the Barry Ten (the ten locomotives that were not originally rescued from Barry scrapyard and instead have hung around for years without any real prospect of restoration)-

 

5101 class 2-6-2T 4115 – six of the eight driving wheels and the frame extension.

 

 5101 f
 

2800 class 2-8-0 2861 – the cylinder blocks.

 

 2800
5205 class 2-8-0T 5227 – the axle boxes, horns, fourth axle (axle only) and other various components.  5201 f

The main thing that cannot be obtained from the Barry carcasses is the not inconsiderable matter of a boiler.

The plates for the new frames were cut and machined in 2012 at Llangollen and some time later the cylinder blocks were fitted.

During the 2016 further work was completed at the works of the Llangollen Railway on the extension frame. The buffer beam assembly was completed as was the refurbishment of the pony truck pivot (been subject to some machining).

Following this the extension frames were then offered up to the main frames, fitted and bolted up. This effectively gives the locomotive the identity of 4709.

The opportunity was taken to lift the cylinder block and place it on the extension frames. There are eleven bolts on each side to secure the cylinder block to the extension frames and initial indications were that the alignment is a close match which is a testament to Swindon precision engineering when one considers that a cylinder block from a 28XX 2-8-0 will align accurately to an extension frame from a 41XX 2-6-2T.

Initial examination of the cylinder block suggests that it was a quite new casting as there are no liners fitted and there appears to be minimal wear. Before bolting the block to the frames it is intended to carry out a hydraulic test on the cylinder block.

The next job tackled was the completion of the driving wheel set.

Early in 2017 plans were considered to reorganise the project as there were concerns that it was taking too long to complete the locomotive. The plan is that 4709 will be running on the main line by 2023.

By April 2018 the wheelset for the locomotive had had their tyres profiled at the South Devon Railway Engineering and the wheelset moved to Tyseley where the Crankpin collars and lead balance weights are being fitted. The axlebox horn guides had been fitted to the frames at Llangollen.

The final task before the wheeling of the locomotive is undertaken is the restoration of the driving axleboxes from 5227.

4709 under construction in Llangollen works-2016.jpg 4709 under construction in Llangollen works-2016

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