After spending the closed season carrying out heavy maintenance on our other steam loco's, work has re-started on 5025.
After a long period of making the riveting dolly's, practising on pieces of scrap and waiting for a very large order of rivets. Work started for real on the frames of 5025, first of all the stiffening channels were riveted to the back of the buffer beam.
Next the angle iron's that fix to the front of the frames were riveted in place. These angles hold the buffer beam in place.
The front view of the buffer beam. The rivets holding the channels in place are countersunk, the faces of them have been ground flush with the beam.
the picture below shows a newly machined sliding nut for the hand brake mechanism.
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.