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.

Edit, we were heavily delayed waiting for the boiler, this has put the completion date back to around summer 2020.

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.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Update 24.03.2020

After the boiler was returned to the frames and the engine returned to the shed.  The first task completed was to drill the holes and bolt the smokebox to the saddle.

This was followed by the riveting of the smokebox to the boiler.  Up to this point the smokebox had only been fixed to the boiler using a handfull of bolts, just incase any adjustment was needed.

Insulation was applied to the remaining boiler band, which was left clear as it was the point used to lift the boiler into the frames.

closely followed by the fitting of the steel cladding sheets.

 The next job to be undertaken was the fitting of the superheater header.  This is a tight fit into the smoke box and bolts onto the circle that can be seen above the tubes.

The header has now been fitted, as well as its support brackets.  These can be seen below the header, one on each side, fixed to the smokebox.

 The super heater elements were fitted next.  There are 21 of them, they slide into each of the flue tubes (the larger holes) and are clamped into the underside of the header.  The regulator rod has also been fitted, this is located behind the central plate that has 5025 written on it.

The chimney was lifted into place.

This was to allow a plumb line to be dropped down,  This is to make sure that the blast pipe is fitted in line with the chimney.

The blast pipe base and blast pipe itself has been fitted.

Some work has also been done on the firebox back plate, with some fittings being added.

Lastly a view of the rivet detail on the side of the tender tank.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Boiler back in the frames. 19th February 2020

Following on from the previous post, the cladding was removed and insulation applied to the boiler.

The wash out plug recesses were fixed to the cladding.

The rear of the cladding sheets then had a coat of red oxide primer applied.

The cladding sheets were then replaced onto the boiler.

The outside of the sheets were then given a coat of red oxide primer.

When the primer was dry, the joint covering bands were fitted, painted with primer and then a coat of black paint.

The boiler and engine were then taken outside, the boiler was lifted by the crane and placed into the frames.

Boiler and frames reunited.

Another view

Rivet detail on the rear of the tender.

Monday, 27 January 2020

update 27.01.20.

Since the last update most of the work has been in the production of the boiler and firebox cladding.  The picture below shows the basic sheets after they had been rolled and cut to shape.

These sheets then had to be fitted, cutting holes in the right places for washout plugs, mud hole doors, handrail supports, clack valves etc.
 Below the front two boiler sections have been fitted.

 Next two pictures show the rear boiler barrel section and firebox side.

A test rig was set up to assemble the super heater header, the main steam pipes and the super heater elements.  The purpose of this was to give them a hydraulic test which was witnessed by the boiler inspector.

Another view

The next steps will be to remove all of the cladding again, prepare and paint the inside of the cladding whilst the boiler receives its final steam test in the presence of the inspector.  This is happening on 28.01.20.  The boiler will then be insulated, cladding fitted for the final time and then the boiler will be placed in the frames.  Scheduled for two weeks time.