The J27 was moved to New Bridge, Pickering on Saturday 3 July, locomotive and tender split over the weekend, and then transported to the North Tyneside Railway in two loads on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday saw locomotive and tender reconnected and a fire lit, ready for test running on Thursday. Jon Bradley attended on Thursday to help and advise. He checked oiling up was done with no problems, and accompanied the crew on one run up and down the line to Percy Main. Everything appeared to be OK, he checked both slide bars and asked the crew to keep an eye on the oil quantities in both pots, but with the limited mileage that will be run there should not be a problem.
Jon was due to be in first thing this morning (Friday) to sign on with the crew and check they are OK, but once they do their first run he will depart. He reports that it was quite nostalgic to think they are running round on the site of the old Percy Main Shed, but the line now is through various modern industrial estates. Nevertheless, lots of interesting things in the Museum and he says it is well worth a visit. The J27 will be working a mix of passenger and freight demonstration trains on all three days of the Gala, on its own but also top and tailing and double heading with No 49 from Tanfield, and Bagnall No 401 from the home fleet, on at least one train during each day. For admission details go to stephensonsteamrailway.org.uk. I will be there myself tomorrow (Saturday) with a small sales stand so may hopefully see one or two of you then.
The J27 will return to the NYMR on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and will then be available for service once more.
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