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.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Latest News 25.06.2014

This last week has seen the removal of the parts used to hold the front frames in position.  The outside of the frames have been cleaned up and a coat of red oxide applied, apart from the weld area which will be subject to an NDT test before being painted. 

The front frames

The front bogie mounting plate has been receiving attention.  This was separated from the stretcher on which it is mounted, the corrosion which had built up underneath it was cleaned off and the whole area painted with red oxide paint.

Here Nathan is seen working on the plate and mounting point, the whole assembly is upside down.

The bogie mounting in close up.

Attention has now turned to the rear frames, these will also need to be cut and replaced.

The rear frames with a moulding attached to mark out the cut line.

 A side on view of the rear frame showing the cut line.

Friday 20 June 2014

Archive post; the dismantling commences February 2011

21.06.2006, 5025 stands outside the shed, being prepared for its annual visit to the steam fair at Boat of Garten.
Another view taken in June 2006.
13.08.2009, 5025 sits at the back of the shed, last steamed in 1993, awaiting the day when restoration starts, that day is getting closer.

Following a period of preparation, dismantling started in February 2011, above and below the cab roof is about to be removed.

The roof comes away.

Moving on, the next stage is preparing for the boiler lift.

The replacement front frames are now welded in place


This past week has seen the welding in place of the new front frame sections.

The picture below shows Jack removing the cross members and smoke box saddle.  These had been put in place to help hold the frames in position whilst they were welded, this helps to avoid distortion.  They are being removed to allow the weld to be subjected to ultra sonic testing, following which the frames will be cleaned up, painted and generally made ready to received all the parts which are bolted to them.

Below; a close up of the weld which has been ground back to the level of the surrounding steel.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Replacing the front frames

During the dismantling stage, the smoke box saddle fabrication was found to be badly corroded in the centre.  In order to remove the saddle, the cylinders had to be removed first, as the exhaust ports on this early version go through the frame and the saddle.  When removed, the cylinders were found to be in need of replacement as they were both cracked horizontally, as well as being badly wasted.  The front frames behind the cylinders were also found to be badly corroded and a large section has had to be replaced.

This picture was taken during July 2012, before the front end was dismantled, the smoke box saddle can be just about seen.

This picture shows the cut where the front of the frames have been removed

The new front frames, joined together with the lower stretchers and front bogie mounting plate.

The assembly being lifted into position

Another view from the opposite side, shortly after this picture was taken, the whole from end assembly was lowered to the ground and picked up again in a more horizontal alignment.
The repaired smoke box saddle fabrication, this will be dropped into the centre of the front frames prior to welding to help with holding the frames in position.