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 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.