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 31 December 2017

End of year update 2017

Since the loco was re-wheeled and returned to the engine shed, work has centred on the fitting of the horn clips, the springs and the dust shields.
The picture below shows the centre driving axle.  The horn clip has been bolted into place but still awaiting its split pins.  The horn clip is the metal plate just below the brass oil filler / drain plug.  The loco has a brand new set of springs, one of which is shown in place under this axle box.  Final adjustment of the springs will not take place until the loco is fully rebuilt.

This picture of the same axle has been taken from a slightly different angle.  It shows the axle disappearing into the axle box, at this point just above the brass filler / drain plug, is the dust shield which is a form of collar around the axle.

 The vacuum pipework has been completed and tested, holding 21" without dropping.
The picture sequence runs from the rear through to the front.

1, under the cab.

 2. Above the rear driving wheel.

3, mid way along the frame.

4, above the cylinder.

5, Through the frame and down in front of the saddle.

6, finally through the front buffer beam, into the swan neck and into the flexible pipe ( otherwise known as the vacuum bag!)  This in turn locates onto its stop which is known as the dummy coupling.

Friday 22 December 2017

5025 becomes a rolling chassis

5025 has been re-wheeled, becoming a rolling chassis once again.
Pictured below with the frames on the jacks with the wheels positioned underneath.

The frames now lowered onto the wheels.

Another view from the front.

The chassis being drawn out of the carriage shed, on its way back to the engine shed.

Apologies for the poor quality pictures - damp day!

Friday 8 December 2017

front bogie fitted.

In preparation for the re-wheeling of the chassis, which will take place later this month, the front bogie has been re-fitted.  The frames are sitting higher than they should be, supported by blocks of wood.  This is to allow the jacks, complete with extensions, to fit underneath the front buffer beam and rear drag box.  The extensions are needed to enable the jacks to lift the frames high enough to allow the six foot driving wheels to pass underneath.
The picture below shows the engine frames being lifted at the front end, the first task is to remove the slave bogie.

Slave bogie out.

Manual labour, the slave bogie being pushed out of the way.

Followed by the front bogie being pushed towards the engine.

Positioning the bogie under the frames.

Lowering the frames onto the bogie.

The levelled frames, now ready to receive the driving wheels.  The frames will be lifted using the jacks in the carriage repair shed.  The front bogie has been fitted to provide stability on the journey from the engine shed, to the carriage shed.

 The rear splasher for the front bogie has been fitted, allowing the rear cylinder cover to be fitted.  This is the right hand side.

Repeated then with the left hand side.

Side view left hand.

And side view right hand.

The big lift to install the driving wheels is set for 20th December.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

A big leap forward 29.11.2017

As reported in the last post, the smoke box saddle has arrived back at the shed.  It has had new sides welded in place, which have then been machined to the correct width.

The riveting gang with smiling faces, they have just completed riveting the smoke box saddle into its place between the frames.

Hard on the heels of the saddle was the arrival of the cylinders.

The cylinders had been away to have the valve liners re-positioned.

The right hand cylinder was the first to be hung in position.  At this point it is held in place by two of the bolts.

The left hand frame, prepared to receive the cylinder.

The left hand cylinder being hung into its position.

The front end, fully riveted together with both cylinders fully bolted to the frames.

More lubrication pipes added.

More fittings added.

Monday 13 November 2017

13 November 2017 update

The frames were moved forward to allow the cab to be removed.

Once on the floor the riveting of the cab commenced.  These are smaller rivets that those used on the frames and so a period of trial and error commenced.

Some of the roof guttering's are still bolted together awaiting riveting.

A close up, a few rivets will have to be removed and re-done.

No pictures yet, but the smoke box saddle has returned from the engineers and is being prepared for fitting.  The valve liners have been refitted into the cylinders which are expected back next week.

Friday 29 September 2017

Lots of small jobs = some progress

 Water is injected into the boiler at the top, to ensure that the water is directed to the sides and not straight down onto the tubes, this deflector plate is fitted.  The original was completely life expired, badly corroded and falling to bits.  This is the new fabrication which will be delivered to Riley's engineering for fitting to the boiler.

 Another view of the underside, it attaches to the stays inside the boiler via the clamps fitted below it.

The riveting of the cab is still to take place, before this can happen the cab panels have to be removed to clean the paint from between the joints.  This is the cab front piece, paint removed, prior to refitting.

Now bolted back into place.

The reversing rod support bracket clamped into place before drilling the fixing holes.

The reversing rod now fitted with the tunnel also in place on the right.

Benny bolting the tunnel into place.

The business end of the rod is attached to the reverser itself, which now has its cover fitted.

Benny lining up the rod whilst holding the head of the bolts with a spanner.

Pipework and one of the sand box filling pipes fitted.

The vacuum system pipework is gradually being fitted.

The pipe run underneath the running board.

A view between the frames with pipework and one of the sandboxes fitted.

Another view from the cab area.

Underneath the left hand running board, linkage, pipework and the reversing rod.

Another sand box with the filling pipe fitted.

The right hand expansion link fitted.

Not a brilliant picture but this shows the lubricator linkage and in the background is the eye bolt which is used to lift the connecting rod.

A close up of the lubricator pipe work.