About the Trust

Work on the overhaul of 5025 began at the beginning of 2012. This was thanks to grants or promises of support from the Strathspey Railway Company, the Strathspey Railway Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund the Strathspey Railway Association and the significant amount which had already been raised from our supporters though appeals.

Major progress has been made on the locomotive and tender frames, axleboxes, motion, dragboxes and valve gear at Aviemore and on the major rebuild of the boiler, reprofiling of the tyres of the locomotive and tender wheels and construction of a new tender tank at Riley Engineering of Bury. Work has also included the casting and machining of a pair of new cylinders

The WEC Watkinson Trust originally hoped to return 5025 to service in 2015, however owing to the amount of work needed, we now hope that the engine will be ready towards the end of the 2019 season. ( see edit below)

We are still on track for 2019 to be the year in which the oldest and best example of a L.M.S. Black Five steams again. Due to a very tight budget the original intention was to return 5025 to traffic by carrying out the minimum necessary work. However, she is an iconic locomotive and quite early on the sensible decision was taken to restore her to “as new” condition. This has resulted in considerable extra work and expense and has left the Watkinson Trust desperate for funds.

Edit, we were heavily delayed waiting for the boiler, this has put the completion date back to around summer 2020.

Further edit, owing to covid lockdown, this has been further delayed, completion date is now summer 2021.

The original budget of £354,050 has been spent wisely and with care. However, additional boiler work has cost a further £39,345, new cylinders and frame repairs £33,350, and other work such as a new cab, injectors and super heaters upwards of £22,500.

Although most of the work now being carried out is labour intensive, certain costly goods and services are essential to finishing the job and it is only with your help that we can make it happen.

We still need to complete the tender tank and the under frame, produce boiler cladding, purchase copper pipe and various fixings and fastenings and pay for transport, crane hire and specialist machining.

The Watkinson Trust would like to thank you for any generous donation you are able to make towards a successful conclusion.

Please use the “Donate” facility below to support this worthwhile project through Paypal.

Sunday 28 December 2014

latest news 28.12.2014

There is very little visual progress at the moment, all activity is preparation towards the assembly of the front end.
The picture below shows the frames, the shot blasting has been completed and a coat of red oxide primer has been applied.

This is where the new cylinder block will attach to the frame, the mating surface has been left clear of paint and has had a coat of grease applied for protection.

In preparation for the arrival of the cylinders, the driving axle boxes have been placed in position, together with a disc to represent the axle.  This is to accurately mark the axle centre, which will be needed in the setting up and fitting of the cylinders and motion.

The remainder of the work has centred on preparing all of the brackets, buffer beam, steps running plate, cross members etc. which will be needed when the front end of the frame is assembled.  This is expected to take place around the end of January.

Monday 3 November 2014

Frame preparation

The work at the moment is concentrated on the preparation of the frames.  They are drawn outside the shed each day and are being progressively shot blasted.  The day is divided up into blasting up to mid afternoon and then during the remainder of the day, painting the area that has been blasted before the moisture can get in to the metal.
Has R2D2 materialised at Aviemore?   Nor really, the character in the hood and helmet, wielding the blast nozzle is actually Tommy.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Cylinder castings

Both cylinders have now been cast.

The next stage is for them to be machined.  It is expected that this will take place around the middle of November.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Nick Thomson applies primer paint to the chimney.  The chimney has been repaired by letting a section into the middle.

The plan is to completely shot blast the frames, earlier this week they were pulled put of the shed ready to start, however the weather has defeated us.  Nathan and Jack take the opportunity of good light to measure up for the cylinder alignment.

Monday 20 October 2014

The cab

The cab side being removed back in December 2013

After removal, before having the internal fittings removed.  has this any e-bay potential?

The cab was in a poor state, lots of evidence of where the metal moth has been

Corrosion has got between the panel and the angle stiffener.

Another view of the poor state of the metal work.

The cab roof during the dismantling of the face plate.

The cab door partially repaired.

 Reconstruction starts

The drivers side cab under reconstruction.

More views of the drivers side cab sheet.

More views, all parts are being temporally bolted together pending riveting.

The completed cab side on 20th September 2014, it is now awaiting riveting.


Thursday 16 October 2014

Latest news 16.10.2014

The front end continues to be built up, the intention is to get all components in place prior to riveting them all up in one go.
Here the new cross channels have been fitted behind the support brackets.

 Another view taken from further back

The old corroded cross member.

Nathan and Tommy with the new cross member, prior to fitting it in position.

The cross member now in place ready for hole drilling.


Both cylinders have now been cast and delivered to the engineers for machining.

Saturday 11 October 2014

The first cylinder has been cast.

Picture copyright Kevin West

The first cylinder casting for 5025 has been produced.  This will now go for machining before being delivered to the railway.

Tuesday 7 October 2014


More progress on the new cab;
One of the cab sides pictured below having been coated in red oxide primer.

The cab front under construction.

Another view of the cab front.

More preparation work is taking place around the front buffer beam, here the angle iron backing is being lined up for hole drilling.

This picture shows the inner brackets being lined up, these will have two horizontal channels fixed to them.  These channels are currently being folded from one steel plate.

A view of the rear inner frames.

The front bogie being re-wheeled.

The front bogie after re-wheeling, it now awaits various fittings, springs, axle box keeps etc.


Tuesday 16 September 2014

An Update

The update is that there isn't really much to update.
Most of the work at the moment is not really visual, checking clearances, making adjustments etc.

The welding of the new frame pieces has been ultra - sonic tested.....and passed.  There will not be much more activity on the frames until we receive the new cylinders.

A new cab side being fabricated, working out the positions for items such as the reverser mounting.

A driving axle box in position to check the clearances.

The superheater header with nearly all of the new studs fitted, just two to go.

This major alteration to the shed has been taking attention away a little bit.  This is the new mezzanine floor steel work and stairs at the far end of the engine shed.  When complete the lower part will be partitioned off, housing new machinery inside.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

News 12 August 2014

The rear frame replacement sections have now been welded in position and along with the front of the frames now await ultra sonic testing.

The above picture shows the rear frame with the drag box temporarily bolted in place.  The front bogie axle just happens to have been rolled underneath just to move it out of the way.
Another picture of the rear frames taken from the other side.

A large proportion of the work is on the wheel bearings, fitting and re-fitting to get the surfaces correct.  Above is one of the front bogie axles.

The tender axles with the bearings placed on the axles journals.  The journals have been painted with engineers blue, this shows any high / low spots on the bearing when the bearing is rotated against it

Nathan trial fitting a driving axle bearing.

A new cab side plate being cut using the old cab side as a template.

Jeff machining new studs for the super heater header

The new studs being fitted to the super heater header, these will bolt the elements against the header.

Refurbished snifting valves.

Tommy making new angle irons for the cab surrounds.