North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J27 Blog

A log of activity concerning the J27.

Thursday 2nd July 2020


On Thursday, Ian was back again, along with Andrew Jeffrey, Robson Hewitson and Chris Henwood, focussing on the J27. On arrival Andy Wiffin was already busy fitting the water pipe and drain into the workshop, and got finished about 3 pm.

On the J72, Chris had repaired one of the sliding window frames, and managed to refit the glass. Andrew and Ian removed the temporarily fitted window runners, and set about cleaning the interior of the cab around the windows, as well as cleaning up and preparing the fixings. The windows themselves were then fitted (see photo of the now 'finished' cab minus the right hand injector steam valve)

65894 cab interior minus right hand injector steam valve in Deviation Shed on 2 July 2020 - Chris Henwood.

Robson set about cleaning from the off, and achieved an incredibly thorough clean of the boiler barrel and tender, as well as a good go over the inside motion. Detailing of the builders plates and smoke box brass collar have also been completed - the locomotive looks fantastic. Andrew had brought along a set of Overhead Lines warning stickers, which have not been present since the locomotive entered traffic. These were applied and varnished. He then moved on to cleaning the locomotives coupling rods (see photo). Reassembly of the spark arrestor was also started, for which a few components have been fabricated to help tidy up the original setup.

65894 being cleaned in Deviation Shed by Robson Hewitson and Andrew Jeffrey on 2 July 2020 - Chris Henwood.

Please note that No.8 roller shutter door now has a new padlock issued by the MPD. When access to that Road is required, the key will have to be obtained from the MPD when required. We have also had confirmation from Martyn Cannings that, following his inspection last year, the broken rail on No 8 Road is not considered an urgent problem for the limited amount of shunting that takes place there. Its replacement is not therefore being pursued for the moment.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2020 13:10

Saturday 29th February 2020


In the absence of Ian Pearson, Chris Henwood has reported a very busy day on shed at Grosmont yesterday, which made for an interesting working party and a brilliant atmosphere. The presence of sizeable working parties on 44806 (on the pit) and Lucie, consisting of people of varying footplate grades as well as shed staff, meant that there was no shortage of shunter drivers, passed shunters, and senior shed staff for advice and opinion.

In Deviation Shed, there was just Neal Woods and Chris working on the J27. No work was done on the T2/Q6. The J27 was washed out earlier in the week, and its new wheel position, having returned to Deviation, meant the pistons were in a good position to allow the cylinders' inspection and for measurements to be taken. The bores appear to have suffered a slight lack of lubrication. After some physical investigation and testing, and discussions  throughout the day with Barney and colleagues, it appears previous adjustment in the mechanical lubricator deliveries may have been the cause, but also the answer. Work will continue in the shed to assess, adjust and test the system in the coming weeks. Neal completed the necessary work on the R/H valve, including cleaning the face of the cover, meaning both cylinder covers and the valve covers can be fitted on the arrival of the copper gaskets.

Chris spent the morning thoroughly cleaning the firebox and oiling the tube plate. This job is now finished. After lunch the J27 was shunted to No 1 Road pit, and the contents of the ash pan disposed. The grate and ash pan were swilled out with a hose. The J27 was then returned to No 7 Road.  The fusible plugs were also removed, and a quick 'end of day job' saw the fitting of the whistle.

Next steps are to arrange for the cold examination of the boiler by the boiler inspector. Once the NYMR has finished the work on the safety valves, the J27 will not be far away from being boxed up ready for a hot exam after the boiler inspector has been.


Steam Brake isolation valve


The above valve has been repaired and fitted to the locomotive by the MPD staff. It still requires a wheel to turn it on and off, this will be fitted later.


Return to New Bridge


J27 back together at New Bridge Pickering on 5 September 2019 on return from the Wensleydale Railway - Adrian Dennis

Yesterday (Thursday), which was a cool but lovely clear morning with blue skies, Bill and Ian met shed fitter Adrian Dennis at New Bridge yard, Pickering about 09.30 to assist connecting the J27 loco and tender together. The tender had been unloaded first thing on Wednesday, then the wagon went back to the Wensleydale for the engine which was delivered and unloaded late on Wednesday evening (it made a grand sight bowling along the A64 towards Malton as I was driving home to York). With Adrian driving the shunter, the engine and tender were coupled together with pins put in and then moved onto the pit. There, the main draw bar nut was tightened and cotter pin fitted and split pinned. Ian thinks it's time we had a mechanical means of tightening and slackening these draw bar nuts though, as the ageing arms and shoulders are aching with that big spanner! Fortunately, Steve Elliot (Mushroom) and a person from the P Way shed were on hand to help take the strain. Water hoses, vacuum pipe, steam heat hoses and brake linkage were connected, and the safety links and main drawbar pins split pinned. The locomotive was then moved to the west side of the P Way yard, hand brake on and chocks under the driving wheels (see photo). Water was put in the boiler which is now showing half full, and it was also possible to get a small amount in the tender. The J27 will be stopping at New Bridge for a couple of days as it is congested at Grosmont due to the new point being fitted at Deviation Shed, but is due to go on to wash out at Grosmont from 9 September.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2019 10:54

Monday 19th August 2019


Ian reports a day with a difference at the Wensleydale Railway yesterday, with Roy Marshall, Ian Pearson, Jon Bradley and, a bit later, after work, James Pearcy .

Roy and Ian met at lunch time at Leeming Bar station and decided to go for lunch at the Simply Dutch cafe just over from the station - lovely bacon butty and a cappuccino made a great start to the afternoons work! While inside the cafe, the heavens opened and it poured down so we scored there in not getting wet! But it was the only shower we had. We wandered back to the shed at Leeming Bar station, got on our overalls and started work.

First job was to slacken the union on the left hand injector and remove the copper washer and caff joints. Roy then made two new ones, and the copper ring was cleaned and annealed by shed fitter Phil Harris. Jon Bradley arrived with lots of scrap timber as he had demolished his garden shed. This is now stored in our lighting up shed. Ian and Roy then removed the valve followers, put one turn of graphite packing in each, and secured the follower. James came in just after 3 pm and got stuck in refitting the injector seal and tightening it up. We also cleaned the ash pan ready for Tuesday's running. The other job was to check the ejector. James removed the outer cone but was unable to remove the inner cone as a specialist tool was required. So the outer cone was cleaned, put back and secured. Then the loco brake was adjusted. As it was then 8pm, the shed was locked up, a quick wash and home.


A visit to Leyburn



Waiting on the Leyburn platform as the train draws in - Andy Bell

Paul Hutchinson rushes after driver Richard Pearson to inspect the loco - Andy Bell

It's down there somewhere - Andy Bell

Selfie at Redmire - Andy Bell


A journey from Redmire


Awaiting departure from Redmire - John Midcalf

Driver Terry Newman passing Preston under Scar - John Midcalf

Approaching Wensly - John Midcalf

Approaching Leyburn - John Midcalf

Approaching Finghall - John Midcalf

Approaching Crakehall - John Midcalf

Approaching Bedale crossing - John Midcalf

Approaching Bedale station - John Midcalf

Approaching the crossing at Aiskew - John Midcalf

Approaching Leeming Bar - John Midcalf

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 August 2019 20:55

First 2019 Steam Service Train on Wensleydale Railway


The J27 departs Bedale - Nigel Hall

An 07:00 start for driver Ian Pearson, fireman Jonathan Bradley, cleaner Andy Lowes and pilot man Tim Williamson. Nigel Hall was there with the tool kit to repair a steam leak in the injector delivery pipe joint.

The loco was pushed out of the shed. Ian oiled up whilst Jonathan got the fire going. Andy assisted by Tim and Nigel managed to loosen the delivery pipe from the injectors. Nigel made additional gaskets and Andy reassembled. We all then waited for full steam pressure in order to test the joints. At last, the moment of truth:

No leak from the LHS injector delivery pipe joint - Nigel Hall

No leak from the RHS injector delivery pipe joint - Nigel Hall

So Andy fetched the bacon butties and tea whilst Ian and Jonathan got washed and changed.

Andy Lows delivers tea whilst the loco waits for the stock to be shunted into he platform for the 11:00 departure - Nigel Hall

On arrival at Bdale the safety valve lifts - Nigel Hall

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2019 15:15

Steam Test at Leeming Bar


The working party at Leeming Bar yesterday involved Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill , and Ian himself. Nigel Hall called in later in the afternoon.

Just before leaving for test run to Crakehall - Ian Pearson

The team clocked on at 7.30am at Leeming Bar with torrential rain storms during the morning (and you will have seen the reports on TV of the damage caused further up the Dale by the ovenight rain - truly horrific). Apparently the duty fitter wasn’t the most helpful person to communicate with at this early time of day: he wasn’t very happy that our smokey steam engine was in his nice clean shed. However, he provided the key to open the rear access door. Inside was the J27 over the inspection pit which was about 2 feet deep in water - very reminiscent of Deviation Shed! Fortunately it does have a pump but, being new guys at the shed, there was a search round to get the pump going. Eventually, once the 110 volt connections on the pit side were plugged together, the water was pumped out, only to find a big split in the hose resulting in some water running back into the pit. While pumping the water out, and waiting for the fitter to get the shunting loco started and pull the J27 outside, checks were made around the engine - water level in the boiler, firebox and smoke box inspected and the fire set for lighting up.

Eventually, just after 9am, the J27 was pulled outside in a torrential rain storm. The fire was lit about 9.15 and then it was time for breakfast, with bacon buns from a cafe just over the way from Leeming Bar station and a cuppa.

After breakfast, lan, Steve and Bill did most of the oiling up with Nigel looking after the fire and cleaning the cab components.


– The J27 has been moved to sit with the tender just inside the running shed so that the security of one of the vacuum hoses can be checked. It’s fine. The fish fryer sides (to protect the driver/fireman’s legs from the heat of the fire) were also installed while the loco was in this position - Steve Hyman

Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson and Nigel Bill can be seen checking the LHS injector - Steve Hyman

Fortunately, by lunchtime, the weather was fine, so lunch was had on the benches on the station platform. Trains were running on the Wensleydale Railway after the line had been inspected for flooding. After lunch some cleaning and fitting of the fish fryer guard was done. Then, later on in the afternoon, steam had been raised. The vacuum was turned on and checked OK, as were the injectors. Richard Pearson and James Pearcy arrived about 15.45 to do the FTR and test run to Crakehall which was successful. So all ready for steam services to start Friday as scheduled, with grateful thanks to all those who have worked hard to get everything ready: lets hope for a successful operating season.


– Richard Pearson has arrived to carry out the necessary Fitness to Run checks and can be seen at the controls moving the loco from the shed a short distance to await the arrival of the last service train of the day - Steve Hyman

At about 16:10 the J27 is sat alongside a class 37 and is being readied for a test run to Crakehall once the last service train has returned and permission given to proceed – roughly 17:15 - Steve Hyman


Arrival at the Wensleydale Railway


The J27 loco was delivered to Leeming Bar on Thursday 25th July. many thanks to James Piercy, who came straight from work to ensure the locomotive was safely tucked away in the shed.

Safely shunted into the shed by James  - Roy Marshall

The tender was delivered on Friday morning with John Midcalf, Steve Gibson and Arthur Jenkins in attendance.

Leeming Bar 65894 - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 Steve Gibson watches the arrival of tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 arrival of tender no 2 - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 Steve Gibson and Arthur Jenkins watch preparations to unload tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 ready to unload tender no 2 - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 unloading tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 being propelled to tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 Arthur Jenkins and Steve Gibson repairing sand pipe - John Midcalf

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2019 10:55
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