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.
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.