June 12th, 2022

Engineering Appraisal June 2022

GER 789 courtesy of Owen Hayward.

Recently Heritage Railway magazine (issue 293) published an excellent article produced by Owen Hayward the magazines Staff Writer regarding GER 789’s rise from a lighthearted exchange between Chairman Stephen Cooper and CME Graham Rowland in the early 2000’s to the advance state of the build in May 2022.

Image courtesy of Owen Hayward.

July will see further contracts being awarded for the horn guides, axles etc. A detailed report reflecting contractual engineering matters will be published once terms have been agreed.

Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME.



May 16th, 2022

Engineering News 16th May 2022

Brass bunker number plate. Elliot Powick.


Image courtesy of Elliot Powick.

Procast Ltd has delivered GER 789’s brass bunker plates.  The castings are the product of  L D Brooks of The Great Eastern Railway Society, Graham Rowland GER 789’s researcher, our CME Elliot Powick whilst not forgetting the skill and craftsmanship of Stephen at Procast Ltd.


Axlebox keep/spring links. Elliot Powick.

Tyseley continues to manufacture components ahead of the fabrication and fitting of front and rear radial trucks. The above image is of the axlebox keep/spring links.


Front & rear radial truck keeps. Elliot Powick.


The above image is of the front and rear radial truck keeps.

E16 raw materials. Elliot Powick.

The round bars depicted above are the raw E16 materials for slidebar bolts.


April 2nd, 2022

Engineering news April 2022

Radial trucks

Accurate Section Benders Ltd. of Kingswinford, West Midlands has delivered radial truck components to Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works.

The process of accumulating sufficient detail for the radial trucks has involved much research and consultation by our researcher Graham Rowland, our CME Elliot Powick and  CME of Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works Al Meanley.

Originally the radial trucks would have been cast however due to the unavailability of some drawings and resultant missing detail, our engineering team considered it prudent to fabricate the assemblies instead. A logical and commonsense approach rather than run the risk of wasting donations on castings and subsequent machining of components that could be unfit for purpose.

A detailed engineering report on the machining and assembly processes will be published soon.

Formed steel components for the radials

Formed steel components for the radials

NR radial truck. Image courtesy of Graham Rowland and the EARM

Brass bunker side number plate casting

Procast has cast both brass bunker side number plates. Detailed specification was kindly provided Lyn D Brooks of The Great Eastern Railway Society.

March 13th, 2022

Engineering News

After a wait of in excess of 20 years GER 789 will be displaying its identity in brass. “Procast Foundry Ltd.” of Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire has manufactured the patterns for GER 789’s bunker-side brass I.D. plates.

The project to produce accurate brass bunker side plates commenced several years ago with drawings  obtained by our then CME Graham Rowland whom in turn enlisted the able assistance of Lyn D Brooks of “The Great Eastern Railway Society.”  Latterly our CME Elliot Powick  modelled CAD drawings that were subsequently used by “Procast.” Casting of both brass plates is imminent.

Image courtesy of Procast Foundry Ltd.

Accurate bending

This may sound a little cryptic! “Accurate Section Benders Ltd.” of Kingswinford, West Midlands are currently bending/forming 16 x 25mm thick plates that will collectively contribute towards our goal of having leading and trailing wheels under GER 789 by the end of 2022.

A more comprehensive news update to follow soon.

February 26th, 2022

Engineering News

Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works continues to progress the build of GER 789. All footplate steps have been cut, fabricated and positioned ahead of being hot riveted to the frames.

As of 26th February slide bar machining is 90% complete.

All images courtesy of Elliot Powick, CME, GER 789.


Front footplate steps


Rear footplate steps.


Slide bars

December 16th, 2021

Engineering update 16th December 2021

The build of GER 789 continues apace. The most recent focus of attention has been the radial trucks; a protracted CAD engineering assignment due to the absence of crucial drawings. Fortunately our researcher Graham Rowland was able to unearth the required details to enable our CAD Engineer and CME  Elliot Powick  to proceed.  Material for the radial trucks is to be ordered in January 2022.

Click on image to enlarge. Courtesy of Elliot Powick.

Click on image to enlarge. Courtesy of Elliot Powick.

The frames continue to be progressed. The bunker base  plate has been drilled and cut to accommodate the handbrake column, whilst the steel for the steps and splashers has been machined and fitted to the frames.

Splasher and step bracket detail. Elliot Powick.

Step bracket detail. Elliot Powick.

Work continues on GER 789’s suspension.

Suspension links. Elliot Powick.

Thanks to our CME/CAD Designer Elliot Powick and our engineering team at Tyseley, 2021 has been an incredible year for GER 789 with the frames being assembled, smokebox fitted with chimney atop and the bunker located to the rear. The design work for  side tanks and cab has been all but completed with material soon to be ordered. With much more work planned for 2022 the appearance of GER 789 as seen at the footer of this news update will soon become a reality.

To survey how you may be able to further progress the build for GER 789 please click on ” How you can help.”

We thank you for your continued interest and support.


November 26th, 2021

Publicity News November 2021

The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trusts’ income is mostly derived from donations, membership subscriptions  and to a lesser extent merchandise; although the latter does generate an unqualified interest in the Trust and potential income.

In addition to the above the Trust has benefited from legacies in recent times which has enabled the Trust to significantly accelerate the build of GER 789 with the engineering expertise of our Chief Mechanical Engineer Elliot Powick, Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works and their associated contractors.

In December 2014 The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust launched its “Consider a Legacy” campaign to promote other modes of donating to the Trust. Whilst successful, the original YouTube based production was looking dated due to the rapid increase in the rate of the build of GER 789 hence it was decided to approach the producer of “Consider a Legacy” for a much needed updated version. Enter award winning Essex based broadcaster, scriptwriter and author Ray Clark.

Producer of Consider a Legacy v2 Ray Clark.

Consider a Legacy” not only suggests options on how to donate to the Trust, the production showcases the amount of progress that has been achieved with the build  of GER 789 particularly during the period from November 2020 to November 2021.





November 2nd, 2021

Engineering News 2nd November 2021

Three images depicting current machining work being undertaken at Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works.

Below: Materials have arrived at Tyseley for  slidebars and axle box T links.

Alistair Meanley CME, Tyseley.

Trailing spring bolt in lathe.

Alistair Meanley, CME, Tyseley.

Material for driving bolts plus  machined trailing spring bolts.

Alistair Meanley, CME, Tyseley.

October 17th, 2021

Engineering News 17th October 2021


GER 789 Engineering Excellence

The engineering team involved with the design and construction of GER 789 met at Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works on 16th October 2021 to showcase their achievements with GER 789 to date before Steve Cooper, Chairman of the Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust.

GER 789 engineers.


The Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works team is headed up by CME Al Meanly assisted by Bob Meanly, Sam Perry, Nick Morant and others.

Elliot Powick, GER 789’s CME has the task of CAD designing GER 789’s many components ably assisted by Graham Rowland whom undertakes research into missing drawings from various sources such as the National Railway Museum, The Essex Records Centre and The Great Eastern Railway Society. Elliot Powick’s expertise lays mostly with GWR and LMS Locomotive types therefore Graham Rowland’s Great Eastern Railway expertise has proved to be invaluable to the ongoing CAD build and design of GER 789.

Quality control

Elliot Powick, GER 789’s CAD Engineer liaises regularly with Tyseley’s CME  Al Meanly to ensure that quality control and value for money remain assured. These regular exchanges are vital due to the working practices of the Great Eastern Railway Drawing Office at Stratford East London, UK. Occasionally locomotive drawings would arrive at the shop floor from the drawing office and deemed to be inaccurate by the engineers. Subsequently the drawing would be annotated in red ink then returned to the drawing office for amendment. Alas for GER 789’s present day engineers this process illustrated above was not guaranteed to happen resulting in our engineers discovering and amending drawing errors that were made 120 years ago. This is why GER 789’s design and build engineers interface regularly to avoid costly and unnecessary engineering errors. Check and balance pays dividends.


GER 789 bunker.

GER 789 bunker.

The bunker has been trial fitted to the frames to determine if modifications will be required ahead of final fitting.

Under wraps.

All eight machined wheels have been painted and wax-oiled pending pressing onto axles.

Machined and painted wheels under wraps.


The next phase.

Material for the footplate steps has been delivered to Tyseley ahead of fabrication and fitting to the frames. Material for the slide bars has been ordered whilst an order for the axles is imminent.

To explore how you can further assist with the construction of GER 789 please click on “how you can help.

September 18th, 2021

Engineering update 18th September 2021

Another significant milestone has been reached with the reincarnation of GER 789. The locking bars/dart has been fitted to the smokebox door, the smokebox wrapper has been hot riveted to the smokebox  ring whilst the footplate has been hot riveted to the tank supports and buffer beam.


Elliot Powick.



DB Meiningen Steam Locomotive Works of Germany (they manufactured Tornado’s boiler) has expressed an interest in manufacturing GER 789’s axles. A meeting with Tyseley is scheduled this week to discuss and explore matters further.


Preliminary CAD work has begun on GER 789’s boiler, the design of which is being progressed.