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.

Saturday 28 January 2017


Whilst most of the activity has been on 46512, some progress has been made on 5025.

The rear drag box has been removed from the frames and is pictured here upside down.  It has had the engine steam brake assembly fitted, prior to riveting.  Here the two support brackets have been mounted on the box, the actuating arm mounted with the two bosses in the frame.  This is attached, on the left, to the steam brake cylinder, which in itself is a brand new casting.  The spacer bracket, between the two support arms had to be renewed as the original couldn't be found.

Another view with the spacer bracket showing the return spring attached to it.

One of the exhaust steam branches in the machine having the flanges planed, following slight distortion after the welding process.

The following pictures are of subjects that have been covered earlier, they are from Calum's collection and haven't been published before.

Tommy centre popping where his next hole will be.

Alan applying white metal to one of the cross heads

More of the white metalling process.  The cross head design allows the white metal to be melted in using the Oxy-acetylene gear rather than pouring molten metal into a mould,

Machining parts

Machining the new blast pipe casting.

The old blast pipe

The broken base of the old blast pipe.

Another view

Another view of Tommy drilling the running plate

A general view through the new cab.

The running plate support angle in production.

Another angle.

More running plate views.


Tuesday 10 January 2017

Update 10.01.2017

 The two exhaust ports of the right hand cylinder show through the frames whilst the cylinders were having the mounting bolt holes drilled.

The right hand cylinder having been trial fitted for hole drilling has now been painted with heat resistant paint.

Nathan with the magnetic drill, boring the holes in the left hand cylinder.

The left hand cylinder has had the same heat resistant paint treatment.

The smoke box base plate was very worn on the underside.  Here calum is building up the wasted area by running welds over it, when completed this will be machined flat.

A closer picture of the weld runs.

The exhaust steam branches were also very worn.  A decision was taken to replace them with fabricated ones.  This is one of the new branches which will just need a little machining along the large plate.

The picture below shows the old left hand exhaust branch with the smoke box base plate attached.  This is to check the alignment of the new right hand exhaust branch.  After this was proven the process was reversed to check the right hand branch pipe.

Another view of one of the new exhaust branch pipes.

The smoke box saddle, now with the holes for the exhaust branch pipes cut out.

This is the old exhauster ring (right) with the new casting for the replacement on the left.

 This is the upturned chimney with a new piece machined into the liner (old piece on the left).  Mounted on to the top is the now machined exhauster ring.

A close up of the new liner which has been rebated onto the old remaining piece and bolted into place.

So far all the frame components have been manufactured and bolted together to prove their fitting.  The loco is now at a stage where it is ready to be riveted together, this will involve taking the new parts off and hot riveting them back together.
This process will start when the winter maintenance of our other steam loco, 46512, has been completed.
46512 is pictured below in the carriage shed being lifted off its wheels.