Playing to the Whistle: The Holden F5 Project

There are still tickets left for our forthcoming conference, Playing to the Whistle: the Railways of Essex and East Anglia, which is being held on Saturday 1st April. This will cover several aspects of the history of railways in our area along with a talk on how to make a steam engine in the 21st century. Graham Rowlands of the Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust, who will be speaking at our conference, shares some information about the project:

One of the last surviving F5's GER No. 789
One of the last surviving F5’s GER No. 789.

“The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust was formed in 2003 with the objective of constructing a replica of the Great Eastern Railway’s M15R (latterly LNER/BR F5) Class of locomotives. With examples to be seen throughout East London and East Anglia, the last members of this type were withdrawn and scrapped by 1958. In their last years of service, they became synonymous with the Epping to Ongar branch where they operated push-pull services until November 1957. 

The Holden F5 under construction in 2022.
The Holden F5 under construction in 2022.

The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust was a spin-off from a preservation group, who had the aim of preserving the Ongar branch in Essex, after the realisation that suitable locomotives from the Eastern region barely existed. Whilst not the grandest of locomotives, upon completion the engine will be well-suited to the needs of many heritage lines; with modern engineering practices and design work being coupled with original drawings, GER 789 will be more than capable of all but the heaviest loads.

To date, The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust has had a number of components manufactured including: cylinder block, smokebox, chimney, machined wheels, plus much more besides. The main frames have been assembled at the Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham and support the finished coal bunker and smokebox. Major progress WILL be made in 2023.”

For details of the running order of the day, and how to book, please visit: Don’t forget, the ticket price includes lunch and tea/coffee.

We look forward to seeing you at what should be an extremely interesting day.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by admin. Bookmark the permalink.

About admin

The Essex Record Office holds records about the county, its people and buildings and provides a useful resource for individuals interested in family, house and local history.