South African 
  Railways Class 25 NC - Non-Condensing Locomotive

Welcome to 


Hello, my name's Jim and I live in the North East of England, a lover of all things engineering and particularly steam driven, 7.25” gauge live steam at that.

Having finished off a 1/3 full size traction engine my thoughts turned to what next. For a change I fancied building a locomotive and this web site is a record of my highs and lows on a journey I am still taking.

So what to build? Well I would have loved to build either a New York Central J1, 4-6-4 Hudson, a 4-8-4 Niagara, the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement is also known as a Northern in American terms. Or perhaps a Norfolk & Western J or A class. But I found the logistics of getting drawings or even finding them to be too big a hurdle to take on as a first step.

Then I read the book by David Wardale, “The Red Devil”. This detailed his efforts in improving a 25NC 4-8-4 locomotive for South African Railways. I was captivated, not only was the loco built in the UK by North British, but I could still get drawings and it was a Northern just like the J or the Niagara.

So here we go, I started turning perfectly good metal into swarf in late 2006. So I have a fair cushion and hope to add updates as time permits. Any comments questions just press the link.

Contrary to popular opinion I do proof read these pages but a the moment Dreamweaver seems to be wining the battle of font size in the design pages. So if you see a mistake let me know. The old lamp oil is not what it used to be and there are far more proof readers out there than me.

Latest Updates

18-September 25NC boiler update

06- November 2020   Berkshire tender tank



Oct-17 25NC boiler parts

April -20 follow above link for snap on uptodate Berkshire progress