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.



August 22nd, 2021

Engineering News August 2021

Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works continues to progress the build of GER 789 with the installation of the smokebox door, chimney and spring hanger guides.

Image courtesy of Elliot Powick.

Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME

The locking bars can be seen inside the smokebox and await the fitting of the dart and handles.


Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME,

The lamp irons and cylinder cover hinges have been riveted into place.


Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME.


All spring hanger guides have been manufactured and await riveting to the frames.

To establish how  you may be of assistance to GER 789 please click on “How you can help.”

July 18th, 2021

Engineering update 18th July 2021

Ahead of our next major engineering update a couple of pictures to illustrate examples of ongoing work behind the scenes at Tyseley.

Elliot Powick.

Very much a work in progress shot of the recently manufactured lamp irons and cylinder block cover hinges. The castings were derived from 3D wax patterns; costly and time consuming to manufacture however their accuracy results in less time and money spent on machining.


Elliot Powick.

GER 789’s chimney was cast by South Lincs Foundry  some yours ago; recently removed from storage, cleaned and painted pending installation.

July 4th, 2021

Engineering Update 4th July 2021

In October 2020 most businesses involved with the UK’s preserved railways and associated enterprises were in the midst of Covids’ grip; the result being that many commercial organisations were faced with an uncertain future due to their incomes being either severely reduced or eliminated. Skilled staff were furloughed in the hope that the pandemic would reduce in severity and that businesses would eventually return to something of the level attained prior to lockdown. Organisations of a modest size such as The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust were no exception to the rule of income downturn as our opportunities to publicly fundraise were effectively removed as a consequence of lockdown.

As we entered September 2020 the Trust’s income had stagnated to a certain extent until we received a letter from a solicitor confirming the pending arrival of a very generous legacy left to the Trust by a gentleman whom sadly passed away awhile back. “Ron” had been a member of the Trust since the early days and prior to then had been a member and supporter of the Ongar Railway Preservation Society (ORPS) that I had instigated in 1992. Thanks to Ron’s very generous gift to The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works were in the position to proceed with the construction of GER 789’s frames.

Within a few days our CME Elliot Powick was having detailed talks with Alistair Meanley, CME of Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works resulting in a Schedule of Works being agreed to. GER 789’s  castings were removed from secure storage and prepared for assembly. GER 789’s frames were relocated to Tyseley’s Workshop, cleaned then primed ahead of construction.

Tyseley’s renowned steam engineers under the leadership of CME Alistair Meanley together with regular input from Holden’s CME Elliot Powick made phenomenal progress to such an extent that by Christmas 2020 the frames were rapidly approaching the hot riveting phase.

The two images below clearly illustrate the amount of skilled engineering and progress that Tyseley under the leadership of Alistair Meanley and GER 789 CME Elliot Powick have achieved to date.

GER 789’s frames have been hot riveted together, the machined cylinders have been installed, the smokebox and footplate have been installed pending riveting plus four new buffers have been bolted to the frames. Design of the radial trucks and horn guides has been completed however we are waiting and hoping for the escalating price of steel to falter and ideally drop before proceeding with casting.

Behind the scenes ongoing meetings will formulate the next Works Schedule and an announcement will be made soon. Meanwhile our original CME Graham Rowland continues to research drawings as requested by CME Elliot Powick.

Quality assured engineering ensures that the build of GER 789 progresses unhindered therefore with an expert and experienced engineering team working on GER 789 the future is looking very positive and secure.

To explore how you may be able to offer financial assistance please click on “How you can help.”

Steve Cooper,


The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust.

Image courtesy of Alistair Meanley, CME Tyseley.

Image courtesy of Alistair Meanley, CME Tyseley.

June 19th, 2021

Engineering News

3D wax printed patterns

3D wax printed castings are more expensive to make but are an investment.  With the accuracy achieved, final machining and fitting time actually make them cheaper than normal traditional patterns and sand casting. Elliot Powick, CME.

Cylinder cover hinge. Elliot Powick.


Cylinder cover hinge. Elliot Powick.

Progress with the spring gear continues apace with more components being completed and awaiting installation.


Spring gear components. Elliot Powick, CME.

May 26th, 2021

Engineering News

GER 789 front buffer beam detail. Alistair Meanly, Tyseley.

GER 789 front buffer beam detail. Alistair Meanly, Tyseley.

As mentioned in a recent news bulletin, Tyseley has manufactured four new buffers utilising  components from two previously donated buffers.  The above images have been cropped pending a further and more detailed engineering report to be published soon.

May 16th, 2021

Engineering News

Elliot Powick CME

A rare glimpse of the area between the face of the cylinder block and the motion bracket. The four leading spring pillar guides ( including the two rear guides) have been aligned with a gauge bar and riveted to the frames.

Elliot Powick CME

The cylinder hood has been trial fitted whilst the smokebox front plate awaits riveting to the wrapper. Meanwhile the smokebox door, hinges and door dart have been overhauled and await reassembly.

April 17th, 2021

Engineering News 17th April 2021

Front end matters.

The original smokebox has been dismantled and all parts serviced. The smokebox wrapper has been replaced with one of the correct thickness and delivered to Tyseley.

Replacement smokebox wrapper. Elliot Powick.

The smokebox front plate, hinges, dart and locking bars etc have been serviced pending reassembly.

Serviced smokebox front plate. Elliot Powick.

Various smokebox components serviced and awaiting reassembly. Elliot Powick.

Cylinder cover supplied by Graham Rowland Elliot Powick.

The cylinder hood has been delivered to Tyseley, has been machined, awaits hinges and fitting to the frames.

Various stops and brackets that support the cylinder cover have either been trial fitted to the frames or are under manufacture.

Machined cylinder cover stops temporarily bolted to inside of frames. Elliot Powick.

Fabrication of all four buffers is progressing with buffer beam mounts being affixed.

Buffers nearing completion. Elliot Powick.


Front suspension components have been temporarily bolted to the frames; more details and images to follow soon.










April 2nd, 2021

Engineering Update 2nd April 2021

The build of GER 789 continues apace. Riveting of the frames has been completed ahead of the trial fitting of the smokebox and bunker.

As can be seen from the image above, the front buffer beam has had all rivets ground flush, has been primed and awaits the fitting of buffers. The rear buffer beam is at the same point of progress.  The footplate has been positioned and awaits riveting to the frames.

The Trustees are delighted to announce that our original CME Graham Rowland has returned to assist our current CME Elliot Powick. Meanwhile Tyseley and  Elliot Powick continue to further progress the build of GER 789 with axle boxes, crank axle and plain axles currently receiving priority attention.

Be sure to visit frequently to remain current with the build.