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 for the start of the 2019 season.

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.

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.














Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Another tender milestone 12.12.18

Another tender milestone was achieved today in that the tender chassis was re-wheeled.
Earlier last week it was in the paint stage, here in grey undercoat.


Black gloss being applied.


The painter in action, John looks up just in time for the click of the camera.


The chassis paint job completed.


Getting ready to fit the springs and hangers.


All of the springs are new, here one has been fitted with hangers in place.


 Next a visit to the lifting jacks in the carriage shed.  Here the chassis is seen positioned between the jacks whilst still on the slave bogies.


The wheels are positioned in front of the chassis ready to be placed underneath.  Whilst in the shed the axle boxes and bearings have been placed on the journals.


Going up, the chassis is lifted clear of the slave bogies.


Next the wheels are rolled into position and secured with chocks.


Another view.


The chassis was then lowered onto the wheels.


 Outside the carriage shed en route back to the engine shed for brake rigging etc.


A final view.


Monday, 3 December 2018

A Tender behind, 03rd December 2018

With the engine chassis almost complete, work has turned to the tender chassis.  Here the front face plate has been riveted in place with the countersunk rivet heads ground flush.  The steps have been temporarily fitted to drill holes in the support plates, these will be removed to enable the wheels to be fitted shortly.


The rear buffer beam riveted in place.


Rivet head close up.


The tender wheels with the journals polished up.


The bearings have been white metalled and machined.


The journals have had engineers blue applied to check the contact face of the new bearing.  LM denotes left hand / middle axle.


The bearing is then scraped to leave the centre (blue area) in contact with the wheel journal, whilst the lead in edges are scraped back a few thousands of an inch to provide an oil lead in. 
The lubrication of this type of bearing is by an oil pad taking oil from a reservoir in the bottom of the axle box.  This pad is in contact with the under side of the journal which as it rotates deposits a film of oil on the journal.  The bearing is on the top of the journal so as the journal rotates the oil is forced into the lead in, causing the blue area of the bearing to ride on a cushion of oil.


The axle boxes have had the horn guide faces re- white metalled and machined.


The tender spring hanger pins, nuts, and suspension rubber holders have all been refurbished.  seen here having been painted in dark grey undercoat.


Friday, 2 November 2018

Latest news 02nd November 2018

Work to date is

The cylinder cladding has been rolled and fitted.


The anti vacuum valves have been fitted to the cylinders.


The cylinder drain cocks and pipe work has been fitted.


The right hand side complete with the running plate in front of the cylinders which has been fitted.


The smoke box saddle has been painted with a protective coating.


More lubrication pipework in place.


The exhaust branches have been fitted along with the blast pipe base spacer.


A view through the front access plate showing the exhaust branch support brackets in place.


The new blast pipe and its base has been temporarily put in place to check its alignment.


The sanding pipes are being fitted.


Another view of the sanding pipes.


The new tender tank has been shot blasted and painted with red oxide primer.


The rear of the tender tank.


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Valve setting

Following on from the fitting of the motion comes the valve setting.  Here the chassis has been drawn out of the shed by the shunt engine.  Nathan is directing the move whilst watching for the valve head to reach its furthest foward movement.


Declared to be spot on and back in the shed.


The front valve covers are now in place.


Another view of the completed motion.


The next task is to make and fit the cylinder cladding.  These are the panels for the top of the cylinders, primed and ready for fitting.


More pipe work, fitting the lubrication pipes to the valve and cylinder components.


 Tender work

The coal doors, created by Benny.


Benny is also fitted the feather edge around the tender.


Feather edging across the rear of the tender.


A new front tender beam being created by using the old one as a template.


The tender steps and the new steam cylinder mounting bracket.


The tender floor plate under construction.



Monday, 30 July 2018

Latest news 30th July 2018

Rods and Bushes

The left hand coupling rods are the first to be cleaned up and then be fitted with their new bearings.


The leading left hand front coupling rod in place.


The engine was built with a vacuum pump fitted to the left hand cross head.  Our representation of this is taking shape.


The engine with its full set of coupling rods fitted.


The engine in this condition was moved two revolutions forwards and then two backward.  Nathan running along side with a feeler gauge, announcing with a big smile that the bearing measurements were within seven thou over the entire length.


This was just a trial fit, following which all rods were removed again to have their oil pads fitted.  This is an oil pad having been soaked in oil prior to being fitted.


The next rods to be tackled are the con rods.  Here they have been cleaned up and are awaiting trial fitting.


Crane assisted lift.


The left hand con rod in place just needing the cross head bush fitting.


The cross head bush and retaining nut fitted.  Again this is a trial fitting, the engine being moved in this condition to mark the extremities of the movement of the cross head.  The rods were then removed to fit new bushes and the oil pads.


Benny has been working on the tender tank, fabricating and fitting the coal chute, doors and tool lockers.