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.

Monday 21 October 2019

Boiler testing 21.10.2019.

During the last week a fire has been lit in the grate, gradually warming the boiler and bringing it into steam.  This has been carried out slowly each day allowing the boiler to cool slightly overnight and heat up again the next day.  This is to check for any leaks / problems that may arise, prior to a final hydraulic and steam test with the boiler inspector.

Tommy shovelling coal into the firebox whilst Nathan and Benny look on.

The JCB bucket acts as the coal bunker.

A scaffolding tower substitutes as the footplate.

Smoke pours out of the smoke box.  Note the Crinolines are now in place along the boiler.

The smoke box end is supported on a flat wagon.

Towards the end of the day, steam from the safety valves.

A close up of the pressure gauge, its showing 215 psi.

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!