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.

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.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Update 14.09.2019

Most of the work that has taken place since the last update, has been on preparing the boiler ready for fitting into the frames.  All of the cotter pins which hold the ash pan to the firebox have been made and fitted.  Pictured below.

The Crinolines that support the boiler cladding have been rolled and await fitting.

The blast pipe base was trial fitted before the smoke box was removed from the frames where it had been sitting.

The cut out in the base of the smoke box had to be enlarged to allow it to sit properly.

Another view of both items.

The super heater header has been subjected to a large amount of machining of the element ports and stud fitting.

The smoke box was then mounted onto the boiler barrel

The view from the opposite side.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

The boiler has landed.

Pictured earlier today (18.07.19) the refurbished boiler has arrived back at Aviemore.  Having been lifted from the delivery lorry, it had its ash pan fitted and was placed onto a wagon for ease of movement.

A side on view

  Then moved into the shed.


The ash pan was lowered into place between the frames to check the clearances. Picture taken from the cab floor.

Pictured from underneath, this is the view into the ash pan through the front damper door.

A view of the rear damper opening from underneath.

The new tender floor support brackets.

The tender floor from above showing handbrake and water valve covers.

Valve cladding fitted.

cylinder side view.

Under cab floor linkage being fitted

The ash pan has been removed, this view from the cab along the chassis

Close up view from the cab floor of the trailing axle boxes and lubrication pipe work.

Injector pipe work being formed under the left hand cab steps.

Friday, 31 May 2019

update May 31 2019

We are still awaiting the return of the boiler, however there has been some more tasks carried out whilst we wait.  The smoke box which was put in place with its door and chimney for the new cover picture, has had some finishing work carried out.
The smoke box door liner is pictured whilst being worked on.

The smoke box itself being aligned to have various holes cut out.

Steam pipe holes and new rivets, holes drilled for the door ring fixing rivets.

The door ring now riveted in place.

At the rear of the smoke box the spacer ring in place to have its rivet holes drilled.

At the rear of the tender the tanks support brackets are welded in place.

The tender tank water valves have been cleaned up and are ready to be refitted.

Underneath the tank the locating bosses for the water pipes that were found to be fitted incorrectly have been cut out.  The right hand water pipe can be seen in place to align the new bosses when they are fitted.

The left hand water pipe ready to be re-fitted.

The smoke box door and liner now fitted.

The smoke box door from the front.

Underneath the tender tank the water pipes have been fitted to the new bosses which in turn are part of the new pieces of plate that have been welded in place.

At the front of the tank attention has turned to fitting the water valve operating mechanism.

New steam heat pipe at the rear.

In the workshop the steam manifold is having new fittings attached.

The hand brake mechanism being fitted at the front of the tender.

Followed by the tender floor plate and hand brake cover.

At the front end the cylinder covers have been fitted.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

update 21.02.2019

A new arrival today, the smoke box complete with front door ring.

Together with the smoke box door and boiler spacer ring.

With the excuse of "lets see if it fits in the saddle" the smoke box, its door and chimney were positioned so that the engine could be posed for pictures.

A three quarter view, just need the bit in the middle now!

Friday, 1 February 2019

Another major milestone, 01 February 2019.

The tender chassis has been in the engine shed for the last few weeks, it has been having its brake gear, vacuum and steam heat pipework etc fitted.

It has also been receiving a coat of paint.

Another view, buffers and steps fitted.

Sand boxes cleaned and painted.

Today was a big day when the new tender tank was reunited with the chassis.  Here it is being lifted clear of the wagon that it has been residing on for some time.

The wagon has been drawn clear to allow the chassis to be placed underneath.

The tender tank has been lowered down almost into position.

However some adjustments were needed before it could be fully lowered down.

Eventually the shunt engine pulled the tender out of the shed.

Pictured standing in the yard.

Finally reunited with the rolling chassis of the locomotive and posed for pictures in the yard before returning to the engine shed.

The view from the front, standing in a snow covered yard.