North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
J27 Blog

A log of activity concerning the J27.

Th J27 returned to the NYMR in February 2018 after 11.5 years and an extensive overhaul at Hopetown. After completion work it entered traffic in May of that year. Maintenance work over the winter of 2021 included the reboring of the cylinders. The J27 returned to traffic in June.

The locomotive underwent a period of maintenance over the winter, including replacement of some boiler side stays. It re-entered traffic in the spring.

J27 - 10 and 11 May 2022


Tuesday was a glorious sunny, warm day but very blustery for Chris Lawson who was on duty at Deviation Shed, with Bill Dobson calling in after lunch.

After opening up and getting some milk for the tea, Chris completed cleaning the display cabinets inside and out, and also did a small amount of further prep work on the frame of the main Deviation Shed sign on the running line side of the building. There were lots of visitors to chat to and one possible new member as a result.

The J27 was stood on No 5 Road in the running shed, not in use, but was moved in the late afternoon to No 4 Road for spark arrester repairs the next day.

In contrast, Wednesday was an overcast, breezy day but brightening up later, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, David Potter, and Ian Pearson.

On the J27, Duncan Jackson, MPD fitter, removed the old spark arrester and made a new structure fitted with new mesh and fitted around the blast pipe. Later a warming fire was lit as it was scheduled to work the 10.30 and 14.30 to Pickering on the next day with the Class 37 - which it subsequently did with Ian as the driver. It also worked today, Friday, apparently including a trip to Goathland for some filming assignment.

The dates for the J27's summer holiday on the Kent and East Sussex Railway have now been agreed. It will leave the NYMR at the beginning of the week 11 July and return by Friday 9 September in time for the NYMR end September Steam Gala.


J27 - 3 May 2022


As Ian records, here we are at 3 May and time is moving fast - soon be the longest day! It was a cool, overcast morning at Grosmont on Tuesday, but it got milder after lunch for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson.

The J27 had its boiler partly filled with water and a warming fire was lit during the afternoon ready for a steam test on Wednesday (see photo).

Mid afternoon and the J27 has a warming fire - Nigel Hall

As Ian was driving on Thursday, he noted while up at the MPD, that two sections of the J27 grate had been replaced due to the old ones being badly bowed. Later in the day another warming fire had been lit. The engine is rostered for some running in on Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 May 2022 15:20

J27 - 25 to 28 April 2022


A cold but mainly fine day with the odd heavy shower at Grosmont on Tuesday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ed Bolam, Arthur Jenkins, Chris Lawson and Ian Pearson (who only came in to light the stove and make tea, but managed to hobble around and get in the way, assisting where necessary. However, his leg injury is improving).

On the J27, Arthur and Ed fitted the slacker pipe valve and its hose. The valve had been taken to Hopetown where Arthur made a new boss fitting which secures the valve and its boss to the fitting on injector delivery pipe. Both drawbars on the J27 were NDT inspected by Chris Henwood and found to be OK, then refitted to the locomotive with Ed and Nigel giving assistance, although there has been a subsequent debate about the drawbar cotter size. Nigel continued to finish touching up the outstanding paint work.


J27 - 17 to 21 April 2022


Sunday 17 April - Nigel Hall fitted the insulation and panel covering the stay repair to the J27 boiler. All cab fixing holes were countersunk with an M10 piloted countersink tool using a cordless drill. The pilot gave sufficient stability to make that possible. The bolts for the left hand side of the cab could not be found, but all other bolts were refitted after countersinking. Unfortunately, as a result of earlier attempts at countersinking using the mag drill, the left hand side number panel had a deep gouge across it. It was concluded that the sensible minimum repair would be to touch up the scratches and dent using an art brush, black paint, and the buttermilk which was used on the cab interior where the number is damaged. The hope was that the match between the latter colours would be close enough to last the season and enable a full repair to be carried out over the next winter maintenance period.

Monday 18 April - saw Ed Bolam and Arthur Jenkins continuing with work on the J27 cab side. The slacker pipe valve was still away for machining.

Tuesday 19 April -  Nigel Hall finished the J27 cab touch up painting, glossed the handrails and touched up the beading. He then sat down in the gantry with a couple of art brushes and painted into the scratches. He did not attempt to fill the gouge. The buttermilk gloss was a bit lighter than the number.

Wednesday 20 April - on the J27, Nigel fitted the driver's seat. The seat bolts go through the cab side - and number! These had been hidden by filler in the past and after fitting, filler was re-applied and after some difficulty in obtaining the required paint brush (the shed shop colouring by numbers kits with brush sets finally came to the rescue), the right hand side cab side got touched up with some black primer and buttermilk gloss. The black primer would be touched up with gloss the next day. Nigel finished off the afternoon using a wire brush in the angle grinder to burnish the couplings and draw hooks for dye penetration crack detection when the loco moves to the running shed for weighing and preparation for service. Now only the refurbished slacker pipe valve is awaited before a final steam test can be done.



J27: 9 - 15 April 2022


With Ian absent from Deviation Shed for the next few weeks following an injury to his leg, this week's report has been compiled from notes provided by Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Chris Henwood for whose help I am most grateful. Nevertheless, this report inevitably takes a slightly different form to the usual.

On Tuesday, Nigel measured the window runners on the J27. One window is so loose that it falls out of the runners and all need to be replaced. Meanwhile, the insurance boiler inspector was present for the J27 in steam test (see photo), which was successfully carried out. However, the ejector was still causing problems.

65894 - Bureau Veritas boiler inspector Matthew Brown and Chris Henwood watch the pressure gauge as the valves lift at Grosmont on 12 April 2022 - Nigel Hall

Wednesday saw Ed Bolam and Arthur Jenkins made a start on countersinking the J27 cabside holes using a mag drill, while Chris Henwood got some engineers blue on the small ejector valve/seat, and found very little contact between the two. He then cut the seat and lapped both in with the hope that the ejector problem will now be cured. Dave Cholmondley's battle with the steam heat valve was settled by fitting a new set of pipe fittings, which held up for the exam and proved steam tight. It was lucky finding just the right parts at very short notice. Arthur also offered to take away the slacker pipe valve to be machined at Hopetown and return it next week. All being well, this will mean that, pending a steam test to prove the ejector, and a bit of time adjusting the brakes, we should have an engine ready for traffic.

Away from Grosmont, Nigel Hall spent Wednesday at the timber merchants in Richmond to source some timber for the new runners, and, in the absence of suitable dressed timber, managed to find something close in rough sawn timber. After some carpentry in his garage, he spent Friday at Grosmont and replaced both sets of lower window runners. They may be a bit wide, but it will be easy enough to take off and reduce the width if it proves to be a problem in practice (rattly windows).

In spite of ian's absence, and the imminent return to traffic of both locomotives, working parties will continue on Tuesday (19th) and Wednesday (20th). Even if there is not much work to do on the locomotives (but there will always be something by their very nature), then we need to tidy up in Deviation Shed and make it both safe and respectable for visitors so they are encouraged to drop money in the collection box. Chris Henwood and Bill Dobson will be the usual contacts if you plan to attend.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 April 2022 13:46

J27 4 - 6 April 2022


An even longer report than usual this week,from Ian Pearson and Nigel Hall, reflecting the efforts to get our two locomotives ready for traffic as soon as possible now that the NYMR operating season has started.

Monday 4 April saw Nigel Hall at Deviation Shed working on the new section of J27 cladding sheet, getting it ready for fitting and painting, as the plan at the MPD was to fit the cab on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, it was a mild, cloudy, breezy, day with an odd smittering of rain at Grosmont for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, and Ian Pearson.

Initially, it was thought that a stop had been reached with the J27 and there was just the matter of fixing the leaks in the new atomiser system to do on the Q6.

The mega shunt action started about 9.30, when Adrian Dennis said that there was a gap and a shunt could be done to pick up the J27 tender and also lift on the cab. This resulted in frantic action to fit boiler insulation and screw on the cladding plate. After the morning tea break, No 29 and the J27 were pulled out of the running shed. Nigel and Steve worked on the cab, fitting the cladding section before the cab was lifted on using the JCB. They then started securing it in position using countersunk bolts. This is where the first problem arose. The new countersunk bolts are metric and slightly larger than the old ones. They wouldn’t go through the holes. So the cab was attached with three of the old countersunk bolts each side (see photo). Lucie and the Q6 were then pulled out of No 7 Road and parked outside Deviation Shed.

After lunch, the J27 arrived in Deviation Shed to collect its tender. There was then the usual struggle to insert the pins and tighten up the big nut using the big rope - but somebody had built a workshop just where the tug of war gang needed to pull the rope! However, on inspection it was discovered that the front pin and draw bar had not been engaged properly. That was fixed and, to make matters easier, the loco was drawn forward so that the tug of war team could spread themselves towards the stove. But they still could not get the cotter in. The nut needs to go further on to allow the cotter to be fitted, so it was decided to leave it to be dealt with later. The MPD was made aware of the position, but concluded it was OK to move the J27 around the yard (see photo) and it is now on No 2 Road outside the boiler shop.

Adrian Denis shunts the J27, complete with cab and tender, to Number 2 road. Shunter Dave Cholmondley is just out of shot - Nigel Hall

65894 boiler and cab showing cladding sheet repair over new boiler stays on 5 April 2022 - Nigel Hall

So to Wednesday, a cold blustery day with the occasional heavy shower, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Colin Smith, Ian Storey, Jon Bradley in the afternoon (after his diesel turn to Whitby with the Class 31), and Ian Pearson.

Nigel concentrated on getting the J27 cab countersunk bolts fitted. These are slightly proud on the outside and will need to be individually removed at a later stage to improve the countersinking. Various other parts of the cab have been bolted up and the hand rail bosses fitted. Colin Smith was sent up on top of the boiler, safely using the moveable staging, and spent some time running a die nut down twenty or so dome studs. One of the studs still requires looking at as he found it very tight - it only went down a short way and is marked with a yellow dot. Colin also painted the righthand cab window slides/supports which are in Deviation Shed.

Bill and Ian manhandled the ejector into Ian Storey's car for him to skim the large ejector valve seat atMorpeth.

With the insurance steam test due next Wednesday (13th), there is still plenty to do on the J27, so Chris Henwood called for working party volunteers for thursday, friday and saturday as per his email of 6 April with a list of jobs to be done on the Friday and Saturday -

  • Gaskets to make, and ejector bracket to clean up
  • Bag up Loco and Tender, fill with water/coal (coal if the J27 can get factored into a shunt).
  • Bringing down and fitting the main ejector exhaust pipe.
  • Rear steam heat valve to strip and check.
  • Drawhooks to be wire wheeled and NDT'd.

The Friday J27 working party had made a tremendous difference. They had manhandled the ejector exhaust pipe into position and welded the section cut from the LHS handrail.

On Saturday, Jon Bradley brought back the J27 ejector, this was taken on Wednesday and serviced at Ian Storey’s workshop. Chris spent much of the afternoon fitting it back in the cab. Nigel fitted the locking screws to the handrails, then gave them a coat of primer to hide the stilson marks.

At the end of the day the J27 has a warming fires. All being well, Sunday will be steaming the boiler and safety valve setting, provided all of the necessary work gets done, and someone who is good at managing the fire is able to assist for the valve setting. Chris Henwood has now been passed by the NYMR for valve setting.

The J27 with warming fire, ready for Sunday's steam test and valve setting - Nigel Hall

Last Updated on Monday, 18 April 2022 14:29

J27 22 - 24 March 2022


Lovely fine sunny Spring days this week for a change, with the hedgerows starting to green up and daffodils in abundance at the road sides. On Tuesday, Bill Dobson, Terry Newman, Gordon Wells, Chris Lawson (who did not arrive until lunchtime) and Ian Pearson benefited from the good weather.

After lunch, Paul Hutchinson brought the J27 drawbar back after some rectification work, mainly by shortening it by about 3/4 inch and building up around the tender pin hole. The drawbar has been NDT tested at the foundry. Chris set up the drawbar on the table in Deviation Shed, gave it a quick clean with emery paper, then a coat of black primer. He also cleaned up the main Deviation Shed nameboard on the line side of the building. He will deal with the frame on future visits.

Wednesday was more of the same weather wise, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Trevor Wilford, Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson.

Steve carried on where Nigel left off last week with the replacement section for the J27 cladding sheet. Four new pieces of thin steel plate have been drilled, tapped, and the side pieces bent slightly. They are now ready to be fitted when required. Ed cleaned the J27's drawbar fixing pin and got it NDT tested. He then cleaned the front of the J27 tender area and removed lots of coal dust and rubbish from where the drawbar fits, cleaned the rubbing block and greased it. Jon gave the J27 drawbar a second coat of black paint.

Steve reports:

All the crinoline plates for the patch have now been drilled and tapped, with the smaller vertical plates bent to provide the appropriate curvature prior to tapping out.

I checked the orientation of the patch plate on the boiler and have marked it up to show top, bottom, left and right but it shows a different orientation to that suggested by Nigel in the e-mail. This needs to be checked before any further work is done as per the instructions.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 April 2022 22:01

J27 - 29/30 March 2022


As I was only too well aware, Tuesday was a dismal grey day at Grosmont after last week's Spring sunshine, with thick cloud on the tops of the moor road from Pickering. The enthusiastic, full of energy, team that day was Bill Dobson, Trevor Wilford, Gordon Wells, Chris Lawson (yes, I was late again!), and Ian Pearson.

Chris who arrived late morning, cleaned the two left hand display cases on the north wall of Deviation shed before lunch. The other four will be dealt with in future weeks as part of improving the appearance of the building for visitors. After lunch he gave the J27s drawbar and safety links a coat of black gloss.

The weather was even worse on Wednesday - a wet cold day with rain, hail and snow. Very Spring like! The enthusiasts that day were Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, David Potter, Nigel Hall (now recovered from Covid), Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson.

Ed, Ian and David fitted the J27 drawbar and safety links, but please NOTE, the split pins were fitted but not opened out. The main pin under the tender has a piece of plate fitted but there was some doubt as to whether it was the correct one as there is another plate in a plastic box inside the tender locker. This may fit in the same place, so will be discussed with Chris Henwood. The drawbar nut was tightened, but not fully, with the cotter slot just appearing into view. This was done using the large Q6 ratchet with Ed and Ian pushing from underneath and Steve on the rope outside. David brought the J27 ejector back from the MPD to Deviation workshop and serviced the valve heads and seats. There was no point in fitting the valves back into the ejector body until the damaged seat is removed and a new one made, which will hopefully be done next week.

65894 cladding patch made by Nigel Hall to cover stay replacements as fitted on 30 March - Nigel Hall

Nigel and Steve worked on the J27 cladding sheet all day. The attached photo shows the state of play at the end of the day. If there is a need to access the stay heads over next few days then the screws can be removed from the new plate and it lifted out. Work still to be done includes fettling a few holes in the plate using a file or burr to get screws to fit; attaching the LHS crinoline to the plate (not to the existing cladding); removing the plate then prime, undercoat and gloss appropriately; and, finally, store it ready to attach after the steam test.

NYMR services are due to start on 4 April.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 April 2022 22:09

J27: 13 - 16 March 2022


A busy three days at Grosmont this week, with the J27 hydraulic test on Wednesday and the Q6 steam tests on Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday was a fine mild day at Grosmont for our regular working party, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Chris Lawson, and Ian Pearson.

Nigel worked all day making a new piece of cladding for the J27, cutting to size, grinding, and putting a slight bend into the cladding sheet.

Wednesday 16th was Q6 steam test day with the Bureau Veritas boiler inspectors. Those present to witness the event were Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, David Potter, and Ian Pearson

Steve  assisted Nigel in the manufacture of the J27 replacement section of cladding sheet, also making up new crinoline pieces to attach the sheet back in situ.

Meanwhile, the J27 had a successful hydraulic test and is now back in the running shed, with half a glass of water ready for this weekend's working party which Chris Henwood is organising.

Chris Henwood says:

The loco had its Hydraulic exam following the boiler stay work today with representitives from the Insurance company present.

All went well, but now we really must push to get the loco ready for a Steam Test before its hot exam. Boiler prep aside, we must also crack on with getting the kit of parts that is the locomotives motion back together, and prepare to reunite loco and tender, and ultimately fit the Cab.

There is alot to do, and although I am already looking forward to a good weekend with the regular j27 group, we really could do with some extra hands. The loco won't run until its done and the more worker members we have the faster this can be achieved of course.

There is alot of fairly technical/heavy/interesting work to be on with; fitting big ends, con rods, safety valves, regulator/reg cover/dome to fit, an ejector to service, small primer painting jobs to do on the safety links, brake rigging to grease and much more.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 April 2022 21:53

J27 - 8/9 March 2022


Ian Pearson reports a cold fine day on Tuesday at Grosmont for Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Trevor Wilford, Gordon Wells and Ian himself.

Nigel gave the small section of J27 roof that lifts up a coat of black gloss. The J27 had a hydraulic test on the previous day in readiness for next week's insurance hydraulic exam. This showed a bad leak from the regulator, whistle, and top lefthand gauge frame Klinger packing. Ian and Nigel then worked on the J27 down at the boiler shop at the request of Tom Leach the boilersmith. Nigel assisted Tom removing the dome and then the regulator valve, while Ian removed the old Klinger packing and replaced it with a new one. Tom has now fitted blanks to the main steam pipe where the regulator fits, and the whistle.

Wednesday was a cloudy cold morning but warming up later on during the morning. Present were Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ed Bolam, Terry Newman, Ian and a welcome return by David Potter.

The J27 regulator had its old gasket cleaned off by Nigel, then David and Nigel blued and ground in the regulator valve ready for refitting after the hydraulic exam.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2022 13:16
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  9 
  •  10 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »

Page 1 of 12