North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J27 Blog

A log of activity concerning the J27.

Tursday 8th June 2021


Tuesday was a very warm day at Grosmont with Paul Hutchinson, Steve Gibson, Les Harper, and Fin Allen working on the J27, with Chris Henwood joining them later in the afternoon after work. With Fin also working on the Wednesday, most of the jobs on Chris’s list have been completed with only a small number still outstanding. The bolts for the front buffer beam were due to be available by the end of the week, and boxing up the boiler was on target for being done next week. Representatives of the North Tyneside Railway are due to visit Grosmont next Wednesday (16th) for a look see before the J27 is due to be moved there in the week beginning 5 July to participate in the Association's 30th Anniversary Gala at North Shields over the weekend of 9-11 July. It will return to the NYMR during the next week, so only a short staycation.

Chris's job list referred to above:

  1. Fit front valve covers - (Nuts etc in Red box)
  2. Fit valve packing and followers
  3. Fit associated motion and oil pipes.
  4. Cotters and secondary cotters are in the buckets on the running boards. Split pin as required.
  5. Drain cock linkages (some on wall next to engine)
  6. Drain Cock pipes in Buckets
  7. Both little end pins are fitted but need flogging up, and cotters fitting (In the Buckets)
  8. Big end taper pin top nuts need nipping up, this will require pinching the loco back and forward as necessary to get purchase on the nuts.
  9. Fettle boiler doors and blue in
  10. Fit front running board
  11. Nip up all buffer beam nuts - split pins as required.
  12. Fit vac and steam heat pipes and clips etc
  13. Concrete smoke box
  14. Box up
  15. Fit cab floor sections
  16. Reunite loco and tender, draw bars in deviation shed, pins in Cab and Tender floor.

30th May 2021


There is a lot to do on the both the Q6 and J27, on what is now the final week before both locos insurance 'in steam' exams.

If you are available to come along on Tuesday, please do get in touch with me.

We had a slight set back at the close of play on Saturday on attempting to fit the rear valve covers. the valve spindle in the fitted position is directly below the leading axle. We should have fitted the rear covers and then fitted the valves. Lesson learnt.

(When I say slight set back, it was actually incredibly frustrating. Not only did we have to remove the oil pipes and front covers again, as we attempted to move the valves gently to allow clearance between the rear spindle and the axle, the rings popped. Removing and re securing the valve rings will now make for a time consuming job which had already been done, and could have been avoided, at a time when we could have really done without it. alot of cursing occurred, and we promptly gave up and went to Robsons for a barbecue instead.)

Please read through the following jobs and let me know which you would like to be on with:

  • Remove both valves, clean up and prepare the rings for securing (paper/plastic to secure) fit the rear covers, fit the valves, fit the front covers.
  • Put a layer of sand in the smokebox, mix up some concrete and lay on top of the sand in the smokebox.
  • Fettle the remaining two boiler doors and blue in to the door holes. Fettle as required until there is a bit of blue all round.
  • Fit the big end brasses, fit the con rods, little end pin in. Associated bolts/cotters/split pins
  • Paint the rear draw bar section, clean up all draw bar and safety link pins and grease ready to re unite loco and tender
  • Fit front middle section of running plate infront of the smoke box, re fit vac pipe and steam heat pipe and valve.

I look forward to hearing from you.


25th May 2021


Exam date:

Bill Dobson is pushing for a joint insurance steam exam date for the P3 and the T2 during the week beginning 7th of June, this gives us approximately 2 weeks to be ready. Hopefully we will enter traffic soon after, providing we don't have too many defects of course.


It was great to finally meet and work with our groups Membership Secretary, Colin Smith on Saturday. Mid morning we were joined by a gang of footplate cleaners, and together we made progress on refitting the inner most buffer beam plate, and made a good start setting up a few other jobs. The safety valve bosses were cleaned up and the safety valves themselves, pre made gaskets (thanks Neal), nuts and washers were brought down and are now securely sat on the running board ready for fitting. The piston packings and followers were cleaned up and are in situ in the block ready to be properly fitted. The first coat of primer was applied to the loco/tender draw bar. Colin degreased and wire wheeled every one of the fixings for the buffer beam assembly. After the inner most section was fitted on Saturday, a couple of sporadic hours on Monday and Tuesday evening and a bit if daytime assistance from the MPD meant that as of Tuesday evening, the full buffer beam was on and the drawbar fitted to allow the locomotive to be shunted to 5 Road, which should be happening tomorow.

Potential Working party days

(For anyone who hasn't been to Grosmont for a while, sign in at the MPD, sign in at deviation shed, take temperatures, and wear a mask and do the usual Covid routine, we are all well rehearsed at this now of course!)

James Pearcy and I will be in this coming Saturday if anybody wants to join us?

I will then be available to be on shed Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday.

The focus of the week will mainly be to work with the MPD boilersmiths to box the boiler up, get concrete into the smokebox, and have a steam test before the exam date.

The rest of the time will be used to fit the motion, and finish any jobs associated with the smokebox, buffer beam, and cab. We will have to have a shunt to reunite the loco and tender at some point aswell.

The progress and natural flow of the work load will probably dictate start and finish times, and potential days off for me at least, but if anyone wants to come and work on a certain day and work between specific times, I will work around you of course! just let me know when you're free and I'll provide an up to date list of jobs for you to decide what you'd like to do.. it will be good to see you, and we'll have some good working days hopefully.

We can even go and sit INSIDE the crossing club afterwards and try very hard not to drink all of the very good Beer on offer, before the drive home!

List of jobs

Cylinder block.

  • Front cover nuts to fully tighten up using breaker bar.
  • Oil pipes: Clean, Anneal and Fit
  • Oil pipes: prime with oil once partially fitted. Lubricator test to see how much oil is coming through each pump and adjust as required
  • Piston packings final fit.
  • Piston rod and crosshead to cotter back together.
  • Bump tests/ check everything moving satisfactorily

Buffer Beam.

  • Remaining bolts and front running board to fit.
  • Vacuum Pipe to fit.
  • Steam heat pipe to fit.
  • Paint


  • Small Ejector valve to fit.


  • Safety Valves to fit.
  • Two doors still to fettle and blue in.


  • Draw gear to paint.
  • Clean up all draw gear components.
  • Unite loco and tender


  • To concrete out.
  • Fit number plate and shed code.

Motion/Running gear.

  • Just, all of it really. Its going to be very heavy, and awkward, and many tea breaks will be required.
  • That Split pin in the left hand intermediate spring that i need to ask Neal about, Neal?...

Look forward to catching up with you all, Spending a few days working on our engine, drinking some crap tea and trying not to say 'I can't believe its June already!?' too much.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 July 2021 22:14

5th May 2021


A great effort from a team, essentially made up of NYMR volunteers this bank holiday weekend, to get the Pistons and Valves ringed and inserted into the Cylinder Block, and to prepare for the boilers 'Cold' exam on Tuesday.

It is a shame that no one from NELPG was around to join in what was a very good, hands on and 'educational' weekend.

On Tuesday, the J27 passed it cold exam by Glyn Coxall, the BV insurance inspector, with myself, Richard de Sadeleer and Tom Noble in attendance.

Although there is a nice 'regular' team working on the locomotive who are committed until we steam the thing, it is a shame that working members of our own group are not participating as well..

There is something for everyone to do, and you're own experience and input would be very much appreciated as we put our 'kit of parts' back together.

I am in Scotland for two weeks now, but working parties will continue as usual. if you would like to get involved could you contact myself please, then I can organise working parties remotely

You could also speak directly to Neal Woods who will be RO for the working party days, or Richard de Sadeleer or Robson Hewitson, who are well up to date with what needs to be done, and are likely to be involved in the coming weeks. We can make arrangements for working parties anytime essentially, to suit you, so long as there is a NELPG RO available, or an agreed person from the shed to 'supervise'.



Saturday 1st May 2021


We had a good day working on the engine on Saturday. The right hand pistons new rings were fettled and gapped, then fitted to the piston. The piston was then lifted and inserted into the cylinder.

Both of the valves were cleaned up, ringed and fitted, and the boiler door filing continued (thankyou Richard!)



Wednesday 28th April 2021


The cylinder bore work is complete, and thanks to Neal Woods and Mike Bloomfield, we have two pistons and a set of rings to go in.

The Cold exam is booked for Tuesday next week, the prep for this is done apart from cleaning up boiler plug threads and most importantly filing and trial fitting the recently welded boiler doors.



Sunday 28th March 2021


Here are some bullet points summarising jobs done since the last reports and current situation.

After the bore work is complete, we will have to rebuild the front end and both motions. (Lots of measuring, fitting and lifting heavy bits in very awkward positions to be done here).

After the insurance cold exam we will be busy preparing the loco for a steam test of course.

Aesthetic improvements to the loco of course including rectifying damaged paint. The Tender top paint needs sorting out as a means of protection, whereas other components may just require touching up as working members see fit..

Cylinder bore work

  • Nigel Crisp has finished setting up and completed a full cut if the RH bore on the 27th
  • Neal Woods has been organising the welding and machining of the pistons with Flavells, and making up of both sets of piston rings.

Boring machine set up in right hand cylinder - Chris Henwood

Cold Exam Preparation

  • Boiler Doors have all been cleaned up and examined.. all Four top doors have been sent away for building up.. these will be fettled to fit on return (is anybody reading this any good with a file!??)
  • Firebox has been cleaned and swept out, and tube plate oiled.
  • Safety valve bosses have be cleaned up.
  • The cab plugs threads have been cleaned up.
  • Gauge frame serviced and rodded through.

The clean fire box with clean roof stays and oiled tube plate - Chros Henwood

Other Stuff

  • Cab Gauges have been Calibrated and refitted.
  • Drivers Step has been removed and needs attention to the Woods itself and the hinges.
  • It was found that both supporting brackets were loose so these have been sorted out.
  • A Lower cab cleanup exposed varius loose brackets and even an oil feed Union nut completely loose from the thread, this has all been addressed.
  • Rear drawbar section is in the machine shop to size up the work required to rectify the damaged Thread and makeup a new Nut (does anybody have a 2 1/4 whitwork which is 4 inched across the flat, just lying around spare?)
  • Small ejector spindle removed as the threads are damaged, and the wooden handle is split (does anybody have a wood lathe?)

The steam heat and boiler gauges after calibration - Chris Henwood

Vacuum brake gauge after calibration - Chris Henwood

Thanks to

  • Neal Woods for Organising the work done to components away for repair.
  • Mike Bloomfield for driving to Various places around teeside picking up and delivering various parts for all of our locomotives.
  • Robson and Richard DS for their continued and very regular involvement!
  • Paul Hutchinson and Angie Buxton, Dr Ian the split pin destroying temperature taking locomotive driving Pearson and Bill Dobson for their regular support and advice.
  • Paul Taylor and James Pearcy for the time they have put in
Last Updated on Monday, 03 May 2021 11:37

Thursday 11th March 2021


Since the last report there has been one working party on the J27 (Chris H, Neal W, James P and Robson H)

The work undertaken was as follows:

  1. Big end brasses milled to reduce clearance.
  2. LH valve rings cleaned.
  3. Both valves oiled and stored.
  4. The crosshead (collected by Mike from M.Machine last Friday) inspected and little end pin lapped in to new bush.
  5. Drawbar rear section dye pen tested (ok).
  6. Front buffer beam dismantled.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 March 2021 21:04

1st March 2021


We had working parties on Saturday (Chris H, Neal W, Richard D and the Doc on the J27).

The following work was undertaken:

  1. Pistons prepared for removal
  2. One crosshead removed and put into co van (now delivered to M.Machine for attention to a loose little end pin bush).
  3. Front buffer beam removed. See attached photo where the Doc is pointing at the RH buffer just before taking its temperature.

The buffer beam complete with buffers is removed from the frames - Chris Henwood

Other than removing the pistons, the loco is now ready for the cylinders to be re-bored.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 March 2021 21:10

Tuesday 16th February


Saturday’s working party was Richard De Sadeleer, Neal Woods, Chris H, Mike Bloomfield, Dr Pearson, Angie and me. Richard, Neal and Chris concentrated on the J27 and the rest of us on the K1. Friday and Saturday in particular were very cold – if it got above freezing it did not feel like it!

The work on the locos:

  1. Cylinder bores and big end clearances measured.
  2. Big end brasses examined and white metal tidied up
  3. One valve extracted, rings removed and all components cleaned.
  4. Draw bar pins cleaned and satisfactorily die pen tested
  5. Secondary draw bar cleaned and satisfactorily die pen tested.
  6. Main draw bar cleaned and loaded into company van – to be straightened at Graythorpe Forge.

Unfortunately it was not possible to remove the front buffer beam as had been planned as the loco needs to be moved onto road 4 in the running shed first. It is hoped to remove the buffer beam and the LH cross head, which needs attention this coming weekend.


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