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.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

November 2016

Steady progress continues with various small parts being manufactured.  A larger step was the fitting of the right hand cylinder block for the drilling of the holes.  The process has been to first fit the smoke box saddle as this is the only piece left that still has the holes in it.  This was used as a pattern to drill the frames before being removed again.  Then when the cylinder was put into place, the holes in the frames were used as a template to drill the cylinders.

Another view of the right hand cylinder, temporarily bolted in place to allow the holes to be drilled.

The cab has been removed again to allow the running plate to be finished off.

Tommy seen here drilling holes in the new running plate using a magnetic drill.

 The curve in the running plate angle iron.  It has been quite difficult to produce this curve in the angle iron, the plate that sits on top of it and the cab that fits on top of the lot.

The smoke box base with the blast pipe mounting plate face which has been machined.

The new blast pipe and blower ring.  The plate between the two will be the base of a new spark arrester arrangement.

Here we have newly manufactured large and small bearing brasses for the piston con rod.

These are the newly manufactured oil rings for the con rod brasses.

Piston rods and valve rods refurbished.

New spring hanger pins have been produced and fitted under the driving wheel axle boxes.

The new pin in the axle box on the opposite side

The cross heads have been white metalled.  The one below has had the white metal applied and awaits machining.

The cross head below has had the white metal machined, it has been cleaned and painted, ready to go back on when required.

Other refurbished parts awaiting the time when it all goes back together.

The reverser, refurbished, repainted and waiting.

Sunday 25 September 2016

September 2016 update

One of the many tasks in progress at the moment is the hardening and tempering of the various bushes.  All of the kit pictured here has been made in house by our staff and volunteers.
Picture 1 below is the oven.  This heats the item up to over 600 degrees.

Here we see a bush that has just been withdrawn from the oven.

The red hot steel bush is then plunged into a bath of quenching oil to cool down.  This has the effect of hardening the steel.

The lack of oxygen when the bush is emmersed stops it from bursting into flames.  If the bush was to be withdrawn at this stage, the oil it is coated in would instantly catch fire.

When the item cools, the oil calms down.

Allowing the bush to be brought out safely.

Although the steel has now become very hard, it has also become brittle.  The next stage is to reheat the bush to a lower temperature than before, for a period of time.  This will temper the metal and remove the brittleness.

The finished bush is then pressed into place using the hydraulic press.

A brake pull rod with the new bushes pushed into place.

Here we have Matthew and Nathan cleaning up a valve push rod.

More parts in the wash.  These are valve spindle, die block slide bars.

These are the front valve covers with the tail rod bushed pushed out for attention.

 Assorted brake gear, some have been rebushed, some are still awaiting bushed.  When finished they will be painted with primer and then black enamel.

More brake rods.

One of the cross shafts with its bracket, refurbished and refitted.

The rear valve covers with the slide bars and glands removed.

Newly manufactured cylinder block bolts and brake block pins.

A new turnbuckle for brake adjustment.

More brand new pins, this time loco to tender draw bar and safety link pins.

The draw bar itself.

The left and right hand expansion links.  These have been split to have new blocks machined.  The new blocks are placed to the right on the top of each half.

Monday 8 August 2016

August 2016 update

Once again the work on 5025 has been steady without being spectacular.  A lot of refurbishment of small parts and the manufacture of things like pins and bushes.

One major problem has been the fitting of the smoke box saddle fabrication.  The picture below was taken some time ago when the saddle had been repaired by cutting and welding a patch into the centre, roughly where the cutouts for the exhaust ports are.

When fitting the saddle it was found to be too wide by one quarter of an inch.  This defied all attempts to rectify, so in the end both sides had to be cut out to allow them to be replaced with new steel plate in one piece.  Even then there were problems; the sides extend below the base plate around two inches, here the heat of the weld connecting them caused the flange to pull away from the vertical.  After much use of heat and the hydralic rams, this was eventually corrected.
The picture below shows the saddle in place between the frames after correct fitting had been achieved.  The exhaust port holes still have to be cut out.

The view from the front, between the frames.

This is the right hand cylinder, having been lowered to the floor following a trial fitting.  This is another area that has caused problems with a lot of head scratching.  Nathan reporting that the marking out was one eighth of an inch out.  He said that all the marking was traced back on itself, resulting in finding that the motion bracket on that side was itself one eighth of an inch out.  Very time consuming.

More work on the running boards has taken place.  This is the removeable section from above the right hand cylinder, removed for the trial fitting.

More new running board, this time with a tunnel above.

More running board, spread around to allow the red oxide primer to dry.

The rear running board, fitted but needing primer painting.

Using the hydralic press to fit bushes.

The press from the other side.

More refurbished parts, painted and hung up to dry.

Linkage for the sanding gear, refurbished and painted.

Steam brake cylinder, the new one on the left having been machined to the finished size.

New piston rings manufactured.

New steam heat isolating valves, one for 5025, the other for 46512.

Steel bar in the lathe for the manufacture of bushes.

Bolt manufacture

More small parts refurbished and painted ready for the big rebuild.

I was told the name of this part but forgotten it.  Its the bit that the tender rubs against, the bottom line is that it has now been refitted.