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.
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.