THE Churchward County Trust’s (CCT) new-build GWR ‘County’ No. 3840 County of Montgomery made the transition from drawing board to physical metal on November 13 with the cutting of the main frame plates by TATA Steel of Wednesfield, West Midlands.
The 22ft-long frames were plasma cut according to Swindon drawing No. 43495 from specially rolled 1¼in plate supplied by Liberty Steel of Motherwell. They represent the first significant ‘new’ metal produced for the CCT, and are the first frames produced for a ‘38XX’ 4-4-0 since 1911.
Cutting of the steel began at 14.00 and took a little more than 40 minutes to complete. The plasma cutting provides a high degree of accuracy, and the only area where excess machining allowance has been left is in the four axlebox cut-outs. Once the cutting was complete the newly cut frames were lifted from the machine bed and left to cool.
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Watching the cutting process was CCT director David Bradshaw, who was one of the originators of the scheme in 2005 when it formed part of the Great Western Society’s ‘Three Counties Agreement’.
Read more in the December issue of The RM – on sale now!