North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J27 Blog

A log of activity concerning the J27.

Friday 31st July 2020


Chris Henwood reports that the outstanding work on the J27 has been successfully completed. All being well the J27 will be off Grosmont light engine tomorrow, and hauling the Pickering/Levisham shuttles all day, being both Yorkshire Day and the first day of NYMR operation.

He had a working party of sorts yesterday, with Chris, Ian Pearson and Andrew Jeffrey signing in for NELPG, and assistance from Robson Hewitson from the NYMR. Close of play saw the connecting rod bush fitted and fettled, and the rod itself fitted, as well as the removal, resealing and re fitting of a few valves that were leaking in the steam test the previous week. As a result, a warming fire was lit for a steam test today (Friday). That was a success. The little end was stone cold to the touch after a fair bit of running up and down the headshunt, and the valves were leak free. The locomotive was disposed just after lunch, and shunted onto Five Road in readiness for tomorrow's service.

Chris is conscious that in spite of some work being required on the locomotive, he has not advertised for anyone to be rostered for J27 working parties. He hopes that working members will understand that following the steam test for the 'shadow running' week, it was found that the right hand connecting bush was defective. As a result, he arranged with Ian Pearson to go in and drop the rod out ready for a new bush to be machined. This was effectively a two man job both for work reasons but, ultimately, Covid 19 security and social distancing. This job was subject to various shunts through the day as well, so it was felt best not to invite a working party along, especially if they were travelling far, to be waiting around, and potentially not get to do much anyway. The NYMR had also made it clear that it wanted the minimum number of people attending working parties, sufficient for the work in hand and no more. Yesterday's working party (Thursday) was very much last minute, as the new bush was only completed on Tuesday. Again, the work involved in fitting the rod required close-ish working, and, along with the other jobs as mentioned, was all done fairly quickly.

Consequently, Chris rightly felt it was best to have the lads who live literally in Grosmont village, and free to attend at short notice, for this particular work.

However, for those missing their J27 fix, the locomotive should be on washout from approximately 17 August , so he is hoping to get an NELPG working party together to unbox the locomotive and do the wash out, with the MPD staff numbers being so reduced because of furloughing.


Friday 17th July 2020


65894 stands under the coaling plant at Grosmont on 16 July 2020 - Chris Henwood

As some will be aware, the J27 was due to have a steam test last Friday,17 July, following the fitting of a new right hand injector steam valve. Chris Henwood reports that the J27 was shunted and had a warming fire lit on the Thursday as planned. The locomotive performed satisfactorily in its steam test, but a suspicious 'knock' from the bottom end was picked up as the locomotive was on its way to the pit to be disposed.This turned out to be due to excessive side to side movement on the little end of the right hand connecting rod, and closer inspection revealed a loose bush in the rod. Its planned running in turn for today was therefore postponed.

Yesterday, the connecting rod was disconnected and lowered out of the frames, revealing the bush was well and truly free of the rod. Measurements were taken of the crosshead, rod end and little end pin as a reference for the repair. The MPD has sourced suitable material for a new bush and this will hopefully be turned and push fitted this week. Following this, Chris will arrange a small working party to refit the rod: he will contact direct those required. The running in turn will then be rescheduled, following which the locomotive should be available for traffic.

In the working party report of 3 July, there was reference to the rods being cleaned. Subsequently, following consultation with Richard Pearson, it was decided to paint the rods red. There is photographic evidence that 65894's rods were painted red during its BR days in the early 1960s at York, and it was felt that the paint would ultimately provide protection from further corrosion and pitting, which it has suffered from for two seasons running. A photograph is attached of the J27 under the Grosmont coaling plant on 16 July 2020 as it now appears.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 July 2020 19:52

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
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