November 17th, 2019

Engineering News

Press Announcement
The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust (GER 789) has placed an order with ” Micron Alloy Castings Ltd” of Stourbridge, UK for the following items:
Four driving wheel castings plus one driving wheel pattern.
Four truck wheel castings.
A further engineering announcement will be made soon.
To survey how you may further assist with the construction of GER 789 please click on “Sponsor a Part” or email

October 19th, 2019


Stop press announcement.

The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust (GER 789) has accepted a quotation from ” Micron Alloy Castings Ltd” of Stourbridge, UK for the following items:

Four driving wheel castings plus one driving wheel pattern.

Four truck wheel castings.

A further engineering announcement will be made soon.

For additional information please click on “Sponsor a Part.”



September 26th, 2019

Engineering News September 2019


Since the semi-assembled frames were delivered to Tyseley back in Mid April 2019, we’ve been patiently waiting for Tyseley to find room to start work on them. We’d got a slot booked for late 2018 for this but with timing slipping with the machinist we unfortunately missed the window. Having spoken to Alistair and Bob at Tyseley and the group building the new County 4-4-0 it was decided the best way to approach this was to get both kits of parts ready and build the frames up in tandem, this meant less time in Tyseleys workshop and, as both frames needed very similar treatment, it would reduce the final assembly cost for both locomotives.

The frames got a thick coat of grease on all the machined surfaces and along with all the additional castings and brackets are waiting for space to become available for the next stage in the assembly.

Machined motion bracket

Machined cylinder block.

As this is out of our control it was decided to plough on with the nextstages of the build. The two major expenses left on this project are the wheels and the boiler so getting things under way for these are paramount.

Seeing as we already have the pattern for the leading and trailing wheels the obvious next stage was a pattern for the drivers. I modified the CAD model to create the pattern model and sent if off for quotation.

Leading and trailing wheel pattern

Driving wheel CAD model (C) Elliot Powick CME

Premier patterns who did the original cylinder patterns were asked to quote for a traditional pattern (like the leading/trailing wheel) and a poly pattern to see which was the sensible option. Once the quote came back it was plainly obvious that at £XXXX the tradition route was the financially sensible option.

Next in the line is casting the wheels. Wheel casting is quite a specialist process, having the combination of large mass of the centre boss and the outer rim, care must be taken not to end up fracturing any of the smaller, quite fragile spokes (Tornado having to have several fractures post welded and quite an additional cost) during casting. Having done some work for the 4709 Night Owl project I approached their project leader, Paul Carpenter for advice as they’d had a successful set of wheels cast for their project. Having successfully cast 4709’s wheels I approached Micron in Dudley (also handy due to the proximity of Premier) to quote for our 4 driving wheels and 4 leading/trailing wheels and they duly came back with a cast price of £7,480. The order for the pattern and 4 wheels will be placed in the coming weeks and put in a safe place to naturally stress relieve until they’re ready for they’re ready for machining.

Wheel casting.

The tyres and axles present a different set of problems. The axles really need to be forgings and the crank axle is very specialist indeed. A company in Sheffield called Railway Wheelset And Brake are the main importers of railway tyres from South Africa (it’s the place all preserved railways go) have been tasked in quoting for tyres for all 8 wheels, they can also do axle forgings so a quotation is expected for the leading and trailing axles and the trailing driving axle very soon. The crank axle is slightly more complex and might need redesigning to suit an alternative manufacturing process if RWB’s company in SA deem it too large for their forge.


Copy of original forged crank axle.

The Severn Valley Railway was approached late last year with a view of quoting for the boiler for the Loco. Because the boiler is a relatively simple steel construction with a copper firebox the basic quotation came back at around £200-225,000, seeing as we weren’t ready for ordering and with the price of copper fluctuating this was just a guide price but one they were confident on as they are currently making a batch of very similar boilers for the IofM locomotives they were very confident on the pricing structure at that time. The other problem was also that their order books were full for possibly up to 4 years so an alternative was required, Step forward Heritage Boiler Steam Services. Andy and Robert are currently in the process of finishing the boiler off for The Unknown Warrior and were free at the latter end of 2020 to consider taking on the project but to expedite things I’ve already starting modelling the boiler (old drawings can be a tad difficult to read at times) and this also means I can start doing the flange blocks as required. These are needed whoever does the build and keeping them in house I can reduce the overall cost of boiler production and assisting the boilersmiths in completing the job quicker.

Elliot Powick CME, The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust.

Boiler assembly (C) Elliot Powick


Front tubeplate former. (C) Elliot Powick CME


Formed plate (C) Elliot Powick CME


August 12th, 2019

Engineering News

The Trust expects to be placing an order for all eight wheel castings before the end of October 2019. A more detailed engineering report will be published soon.

July 26th, 2019

Engineering News 26th July 2019

GER 789 Wheelsets.

Chief Mechanical Engineer Elliot Powick continues to undertake dialogue with The Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works and a number of engineering companies regarding the driving wheel pattern, the casting of wheels and other associated components necessary to assemble all four wheelsets. Whilst negotiations are ongoing further details are being held in abeyance until the Trust is in the position to make a formal announcement.

Steve Cooper,


For and on behalf of The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust.

April 10th, 2019

Engineering News. GER 789 Frames Delivered to Tyseley.


The frame plates and motion bracket were delivered to TM Engineering of Kingwinford UK in December 2018. As mentioned in an earlier engineering report, the frames were cut to size by Ta Ta Steel as modelled by a previous GER 789 engineer. As such our current CME Elliot Powick had expressed concerns that the lack of machinable surfaces would render CAD drawings flawed resulting in datums being off centre as a consequence of additional machining. These fears were to prove unfounded as CNC of the frame plates was  completed without issue.

Machining of the motion bracket enabled the frames to be temporarily fixed upright for the first time. A stretcher was manufactured by TM Engineering then fitted to the rear of the frames assembly to facilitate lifting and relocation to Tyseley.

The frames assembly was delivered to Tyseley on 10th April 2019 by Reid Freight Services

Photo courtesy of Mike Solloway

Photo courtesy of Mike Solloway

Photo courtesy of Mike Solloway

The next phase is for the frames to enter Tyseley’s works for final assembly that will consist of cylinders, motion bracket, diamond stay plus buffer beams. Horn-guides are currently being modelled with casting, machining and fitting to follow.


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   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.