The J27 iwent on its own staycation earlier this month. It travelled to North Shields, that well known holiday destination, to attend the North Tyneside Steam Railway’s 30th Anniversary Gala at Middle Engine Lane on 9-11 July. The railway is part of the Stephenson Railway Museum, and the Railway Supporters Association operates heritage services on weekends over the 2-mile line down to Percy Main.
The terminus at Percy Main used to be a regular stomping ground for J27s, with Percy Main shed almost exclusively filled with these locomotives up until the closure of the depot. This visit provided an opportunity to re-create some important history of the area.
However, this was not be the locomotive’s first visit to the site. As P3 No. 2392, it went to the Railway on 5th June 1989 for repairs to its axleboxes by the late Richard Campbell. They had been giving trouble for some months beforehand and it was decided to move the locomotive to the facilities on North Tyneside and try to sort them out once and for all. Its arrival was timed to coincide with the hand-over of A4 Silver Link to the Museum, following the cosmetic restoration of Bittern by the Group and display at the NRM York. The P3 was steamed on 8th June as part of the event and ran up and down the line for the benefit of the press. It was also in use on 10/11/25 June for route learning and crew training, before work started on stripping it down on 3rd July. The remedial work took over a year to complete, and the P3 left the Railway on 8th August 1990 to go to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on hire.
Following its successful staycation on the North Tyneside Steam Railway for their 30th Anniversary Gala, the J27 tender arrived back at New Bridge, Pickering, on Wednesday 14th July, followed by the engine a day later. Paul Hutchinson and Angie reconnected both parts, and i the locomotive was quickly back into traffic on the NYMR internal service diagram.
With the start of the Gold timetable from 26 July to 5 September and its seven coach sets, the J27 is now the formal spare engine. As it is limited to no more than six Mk 1s, if it is called into service, it will only be on the understanding that the Class 25 will be on the rear doimg all the work. After 5 September, it will return to duty on the four coach internal service between Grosmont and Pickering.