Progress of construction of steam locomotive 4709

The project to recreate one of Churchward’s giant 4700 Class 2-8-0s is set to pick up steam in the coming weeks.

The Night Owl project builds 4700 Class 2-8-0 No.4709. Provided the group can recruit a number of additional volunteers, substantial progress should be made.

With two new fully machined cylinders, a facelifted and redesigned pony truck and counterweight, and a new brake system, critical front end elements are waiting to be mounted to the chassis. Once this operation is completed, 4709 can be mounted on its wheels and the project can move on to the next phase of the program.

Paul Carpenter, Chief Mechanical Engineer of 4709, said:

“Here is an opportunity to contribute to a unique preservation project. Due to COVID and multiple resource gathering challenges, the birth process of 4709 took much longer than expected. We have come through the worst and now we must recruit additional skilled hands and minds to complete 4709.”

Paul admits that despite the group’s best efforts, progress has been slow. He added:

“Until now, 4709 has been run by a small group of dedicated people. Despite this, we have persevered and achieved a great deal over the past few months. The proof? The twin castings for the cylinders, as well as many other components, including the refurbished pony truck. Plans for the next major step – the smoke box are about to kick off.

Credit: The 4709 Group

With several major overhaul and construction projects nearing completion, Paul hopes to attract volunteers from other preservation powerhouses. He commented:

“These are critically important people with skills that are hard to find these days. We hope that by encouraging them to join 4709 now, they can be part of a unique project and make a meaningful contribution to preservation at the same time.

Recent updates and news from Project 4709 are online at:

To volunteer or request additional information, please use the form available online at:

Jose P. Rogers