January 22nd, 2019

Engineering News 22nd January 2019.

Machining of the frame plates has commenced at TM Engineering (Midlands) Ltd of Kingwinford, UK.   Click on the link to view the frames assembly CAD model  https://www.holdenf5.co.uk/engineering-news-march-2017/f5-0001-r3a/   A more detailed engineering report will be published soon.


Frame plates undergoing CNC machining.

Frame plates undergoing CNC machining.


January 18th, 2019

The London Model Engineering Exhibition 2019

The GER 789 Information Stand is in attendance at “The London Model Engineering Exhibition,” Alexandra Palace, London N22 7AY from 18th to 20th January 2019.

Upon arrival head for the Rose Window to be greeted by members of our helpful and informative team, learn of the latest engineering news plus view “O” gauge models of GER 789 operating on our demonstration layout.

A range of GER 789 merchandise is also available including polo shirts, prints and post cards.


November 16th, 2018

Engineering News 16th November 2018

The frame plates and motion bracket have been delivered to TM Engineers (Midlands) Ltd of Kingwinford.

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining of the frame plates and the motion bracket is expected to commence during early December of before.  Upon completion, the plates will be temporarily bolted to the motion bracket for transit to Tyseley for final assembly.  Meanwhile CME Elliot Powick has  commenced detailed design work on the crank axle that will enable an accurate quote to be obtained for the wheel sets.


Motion bracket casting

Cleaned and painted frame plates.



October 23rd, 2018

Engineering News 23rd October 2018



GER 789 Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) Elliot Powick recently arranged for GER 789’s frame plates to be cleaned (shot blasted) and sealed with a protective coat by South Staffs Protective Coatings Ltd. The frame plates are expected to be delivered to TM Engineering for CNC drilling and machining within the next few days.

Each plate is 1.15 tonnes in weight and measuring 31’9.00″ in length.

A more comprehensive engineering update will be published soon.

October 11th, 2018

Engineering News 11th October 2018

The frame plates have been transported from Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works to be shot blasted and painted prior to delivery to TM Engineering next week. TM Engineering is undertaking CNC machine drilling of the frame plates. Upon their completion, the machined frame plates will return to Tyseley in readiness for the assembly of GER 789’s frames. The final frame assembly will consist of the fully machined cylinder block and  motion bracket plus front and rear buffer beams. The horn guides will be cast in the coming weeks.

A more detailed engineering report will be published soon.


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: https://pocketmags.com/british-railway-modelling-magazine/april-2018

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.