September 1st, 2018

Engineering News

Stop press.

Frame plates to be despatched for CNC machining imminently. More details to follow soon. 

April 12th, 2018


With the frames of GER 789 due to be constructed soon, The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust are now looking at their next fundraising push – the casting and manufacture of the wheelsets, including the machining and crank axle. With completion of this crucial step, the Trust would be able to present a rolling chassis of GER 789; a significant milestone in recreating this lost member of an East London icon, none of which survived into preservation.

To be able to achieve this, The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust are seeking part donations towards, and full sponsors of, the following components and their relevant costs:

  • Driving Wheel Pattern (£3,000)
  • Driving Wheel Castings (£5,500 each, total £22,000)
  • Material for crank axle journals (£3,000)
  • Lead and trailing wheel castings* (£3,000 each, total £12,000)
  • Crank webs (machined) (£1,200 each, total £4,800)
  • Assembly of crank axle (pictured right) (£500 per press 8-opps, total £4,000)
  • Leading and trailing axle material (£1,200 each, total £2,400)
  • Machining for the material (£1,300 each, total £2,600)
  • Trailing driving wheel axle blank (£3,000)
  • Machining for the axle blank (£1,500)

*patterns for these have already been produced

The above represents a significant expenditure towards crucial components for GER 789, and we cannot achieve this without your help. If you would like to sponsor any of these costs, in full or part, please fill out the form overleaf and either return to the members on our publicity stand, or to the address shown. Don’t forget – if you are a UK tax payer, your contribution can also benefit from GiftAid, further increasing your support!

We are also delighted to be able to offer a number of rewards to those who make large donations towards to scheme:

  • All donations over £100 will receive a FREE year’s membership, a signed print of Wrenford Thatcher’s “789 at Stratford Low Level”, and their name included on a roll of honour;
  • Donations between £1000 and £2000 will also receive a reserved seat on one of 789’s first publicly hauled trains;
  • Donations between £2001 and £5000 will also receive a pass for a single trip on the footplate.
  • The name of anyone donating £2500 or more will also be entered into a draw to win a driver experience course utilising GER 789.

Unable to make a large contribution in one go? Become a member and you will also be entitled to rewards – after all, we cannot progress without your support.

April 4th, 2018

The London Festival of Railway Modelling 2018

Another productive weekend of publicity for the Trust. Following on from the huge success of January’s London Model Engineering Exhibition, we had another engagement at the Palace – although not a Royal one.

As expected, Saturday was busy. Our position on stand 54 in The Great Hall was pretty central, which allowed the majority of patrons to flow towards us and stop by with intrigue and curiosity. We were in good company, too; there was The Deltic Preservation Society to our left and The Battle of Britain Locomotive Society, the custodians of locomotive 34081 92 Squadron, in front of us. This gave us the opportunity to update them on the progress of GER 789, while learning more about what the forthcoming year has in store for their respective engines.

We had plenty of merchandise on offer. As well as the usual official Holden F5 merchandise, fellow trustee Bob Ayton had generously donated many of his old railway books. I had already bought one of Bob’s books at the Norfolk Railway Show a couple of weeks before, and as Andy and I were setting up on Friday evening I found a few more that I was interested in! I kept them to one side and made a catalogue of all the other books that were on sale. There must have been at least 26 – about half of which had been sold by the end of the weekend.

All set up: Ready for business at the Palace. Photo by Andy Butler.

As well as positive interest in the merchandise, I’m pleased to say there was avid interest shown in the project. At the time of writing we are still awaiting confirmation of the agreement of the lease that is being negotiated, to allow relocation to the Whitwell & Reepham Railway. It has been a long, drawn-out process, but recent updates since the Festival have been encouraging; we hope to have the news that everyone has been hoping to hear before the Trust’s next event on 14th April.

The buzzwire has proved to be very popular at these events. Kids of all ages (including the big ones!) come over and spend a fair amount of time trying to get the hook from one end to the other without touching the wire. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the pattern of the wire is shaped to the outline of an F5 locomotive. Participants get to have 5 goes for £1.50 and may take as long as they need. It’s been a great way to raise funds for the project and is also quite amusing to watch people test their skill and the steadiness of their hands. Huge credit must go to Andy Butler for designing and creating this popular attraction.

Also making its first public appearance were the new Get It Rolling campaign leaflets. As the relocation to Whitwell and assembly of the  frames are expected to take place soon, the Trust has been thinking ahead to the next big phase of the project: the wheels, axles and radial trucks. Owen Hayward came up with the leaflets’ design, and I think I speak for everyone by saying what a fantastic job he’s done. Thank you, Owen. We hope you can continue your good work for us for years to come.

We have become a regular attendee at Warners Shows’ events since 2016. As someone who plays a big part in organising the Trust’s presence at these shows, I am in regular communication with the show’s organisers. The Trust took up the opportunity to advertise in the April 2018 edition of British Railway Modelling Magazine. At the show I was given an advance copy for free and was delighted to find our advert, taking up the whole of page 82. This advert was the result of a collaboration between Pat Price, Production Controller for the Warners Group, and myself. Thank you, Pat, for all your help; I would also like to extend my gratitude to everybody at Warners for your co-operation in making it easy to book the Trust’s place at your events. The latest edition of British Railway Modelling Magazine out now and is available to buy digitally:

Thank you all for your continued support. The Trust will be appearing at The Cambridge Model Railway Club Exhibition at Sawston Village College, Saturday 14th April. This is followed up with the North Norfolk Railway’s Spring Steam Gala, Sheringham Station, Saturday 21st – Sunday 2nd April. I hope to see several new and familiar faces at both events.

Greg Kiteos.


Hot of the Press: Ken, Andy, Ruth Jamieson of BRM Magazine, and me, with our advert. Photo by Owen Hayward.

March 5th, 2018

Engineering News 5th March 2018


As the build of GER 789 continues it becomes ever increasingly apparent that original drawings from different eras do not necessarily correlate. From a design perspective this situation is further complicated as the radial truck assembly (assy) is missing from our collection despite a thorough investigation being undertaken by our original CME Graham Rowland. As a consequence Elliot Powick, our current CME, has undertaken a vast amount of research  using  other drawings from our collection to gather information to facilitate the generation of CAD models of the radial trucks ahead of their manufacture. Radial truck guides are an integral part of the frames and run very close to the cylinders so need checking prior to frame assembly.

Radial truck elevation

Radial truck elevation

Underside of GER 789 with radial trucks in situ. Click on image to enlarge.




March 3rd, 2018

Engineering News March 2018

Elliot Powick CME has commenced design work of the leading and trailing radial pony trucks. The original drawings have proved to be elusive. Both Cross-heads are also at the design stage. A more detailed engineering statement will be announced soon.

January 8th, 2018

Engineering News January 2018

Motion Bracket
The last main casting required for frame erection had its pattern made in early July. This was duly despatched to Coupe Foundry for casting.


As we were still in negotiation with TLW (Tyseley Loco Works) regarding a build slot it was giving to the casting company to do as and when to reduce the costings.

Motion Bracket CastingMotion Bracket Casting

This has now been completed and the casting returned to Premier patterns ready for machining.

Once the motion bracket has been machined all of the additional bracketry, fitted bolts and rivets should’ve been machined and delivered to TLW and with this part everything required to assemble the frames will be in their possession to start assembly once the slot has become available.
Once this has been completed the frame assembly should resemble the picture shown below. The small brackets at the base of where the hornguides sit are temporary stretchers to ensure no undue stress is added to the frames until its on its wheels and transmitting the assemblies weight accordingly.

November 17th, 2017

Engineeering News

The motion bracket pattern has been delivered to the foundry. Further information will be posted soon.

October 9th, 2017

Potential Project Relocation to Whitwell and Reepham Station, Norfolk.

Preliminary talks have commenced with the Trustees of Whitwell and Reepham Station, Norfolk regarding the future relocation of GER 789. Such a move is necessitated as Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works is unable to accommodate 789’s frames upon their assembly.

Whitwell and Reepham Station will provide GER 789 with excellent opportunities to further progress via engineering, publicity and public accessibility.

For further information visit



October 3rd, 2017

Engineering Update 3rd October 2017

Negotiations are ongoing to identify a suitable home for our soon to be assembled frames, smokebox, chimney and bunker. A significant “news update” is expected to be published soon.




September 9th, 2017

Engineering News September 2017

Elliot Powick has CAD designed the bracketry that is necessary for the assembly of GER 789’s frames. Tyseley is to inspect and approve the final designs prior to fabrication.

With assembly of the frames imminent, attention is focused on relocating from Tyseley to another site. Discussions have been held with a potential display partner and an official announcement will be made soon.

The GER 789 display will consist of assembled frames mounted on bespoke frame supports. The smokebox complete with a prosthetic chimney will be attached to the cylinder block with the bunker attached to the rear with replica GER 789  plates affixed to the bunker sides.