North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J27 Blog

A log of activity concerning the J27.

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

Steam Test at Leeming Bar


The working party at Leeming Bar yesterday involved Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill , and Ian himself. Nigel Hall called in later in the afternoon.

Just before leaving for test run to Crakehall - Ian Pearson

The team clocked on at 7.30am at Leeming Bar with torrential rain storms during the morning (and you will have seen the reports on TV of the damage caused further up the Dale by the ovenight rain - truly horrific). Apparently the duty fitter wasn’t the most helpful person to communicate with at this early time of day: he wasn’t very happy that our smokey steam engine was in his nice clean shed. However, he provided the key to open the rear access door. Inside was the J27 over the inspection pit which was about 2 feet deep in water - very reminiscent of Deviation Shed! Fortunately it does have a pump but, being new guys at the shed, there was a search round to get the pump going. Eventually, once the 110 volt connections on the pit side were plugged together, the water was pumped out, only to find a big split in the hose resulting in some water running back into the pit. While pumping the water out, and waiting for the fitter to get the shunting loco started and pull the J27 outside, checks were made around the engine - water level in the boiler, firebox and smoke box inspected and the fire set for lighting up.

Eventually, just after 9am, the J27 was pulled outside in a torrential rain storm. The fire was lit about 9.15 and then it was time for breakfast, with bacon buns from a cafe just over the way from Leeming Bar station and a cuppa.

After breakfast, lan, Steve and Bill did most of the oiling up with Nigel looking after the fire and cleaning the cab components.


– The J27 has been moved to sit with the tender just inside the running shed so that the security of one of the vacuum hoses can be checked. It’s fine. The fish fryer sides (to protect the driver/fireman’s legs from the heat of the fire) were also installed while the loco was in this position - Steve Hyman

Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson and Nigel Bill can be seen checking the LHS injector - Steve Hyman

Fortunately, by lunchtime, the weather was fine, so lunch was had on the benches on the station platform. Trains were running on the Wensleydale Railway after the line had been inspected for flooding. After lunch some cleaning and fitting of the fish fryer guard was done. Then, later on in the afternoon, steam had been raised. The vacuum was turned on and checked OK, as were the injectors. Richard Pearson and James Pearcy arrived about 15.45 to do the FTR and test run to Crakehall which was successful. So all ready for steam services to start Friday as scheduled, with grateful thanks to all those who have worked hard to get everything ready: lets hope for a successful operating season.


– Richard Pearson has arrived to carry out the necessary Fitness to Run checks and can be seen at the controls moving the loco from the shed a short distance to await the arrival of the last service train of the day - Steve Hyman

At about 16:10 the J27 is sat alongside a class 37 and is being readied for a test run to Crakehall once the last service train has returned and permission given to proceed – roughly 17:15 - Steve Hyman


Arrival at the Wensleydale Railway


The J27 loco was delivered to Leeming Bar on Thursday 25th July. many thanks to James Piercy, who came straight from work to ensure the locomotive was safely tucked away in the shed.

Safely shunted into the shed by James  - Roy Marshall

The tender was delivered on Friday morning with John Midcalf, Steve Gibson and Arthur Jenkins in attendance.

Leeming Bar 65894 - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 Steve Gibson watches the arrival of tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 arrival of tender no 2 - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 Steve Gibson and Arthur Jenkins watch preparations to unload tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 ready to unload tender no 2 - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 unloading tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 being propelled to tender - John Midcalf

Leeming Bar 65894 Arthur Jenkins and Steve Gibson repairing sand pipe - John Midcalf

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 July 2019 10:55

Wednesday 24th July 2019


In my continuing convalescence, Ian Pearson reports that he met up with Roy Marshall, Bill Dobson, and Steve Hyman at Grosmont at 8.30 yesterday morning to travel to Pickering New Bridge yard to split the J27 engine and tender ready for loading up for Wensleydale. As they arrived, T2 No 2238 was moving onto the pit to complete its oiling up, so it was time for a cuppa. The T2 left about 10. 15 for Pickering Station.

They then had the J27 shunted onto the pit by P/Way head Martyn Cannings and got started as the temperature started to rise. It got hotter and hotter. In fact for this work it was too hot, but the split pin and packing pieces were removed as they struggled with the big spanner on the drawbar nut, it being nearly impossible to move. But a saviour arrived by the name of Jim Gosney, an NYMR fireman who was Ian's fireman on Tuesday. Ian had asked if he was doing any thing on Wednesday and, as he said he wasn't, Ian suggested he might like to help out at New Bridge. He did and was a godsend. Without him Ian thinks they would still be there! Quite a tall, strapping man, and useful with a large hammer, so with Roy and Bill assisting, and Steve and Ian on the rope, eventually the big nut started to move. But only very slowly with the amount of tension on the spring. By now it was well after 12 o'clock, so work stopped for a little lunch and a cup of tea: it was too hot to eat much.

After the break, they returned to the loco and got on loosening the drawbar nut which started to turn more easily and eventually came free.

But what an effort, especially in those hot conditions. If it had the same size nut as on the T2, then the same ratchet spanner could be used to make things a little easier! The split pins were removed from the safety links and main draw bar, although the main drawbar split pin was badly bent so Roy obtained a new one from the stores at Grosmont on his way home. The water hoses, vacuum hose and steam heat hose were all split and tied up, along with the brake connection between engine and tender, and the split pin put back in the link.

Roy has the new split pin for the drawbar pin, and also a syphon and coal pick, which he will deliver to Hopetown or take to Leeming Bar today. The tool box on the rear of tender needs repair as the lid hinges have pulled away. Stacked on the rear of the tender is the Fish Fryer guard, a big hammer, a long bar, a tender spring, various tools in the box , big draw bar spanner and 2 shovels. In the fireman's side tender locker is a plastic bag with the drawbar cotter, spacers and split pin and safety link split pins, a loco brush and spanners, and the loco back sheet. In the drivers side tender locker, in tins, are the tannin and soda ash water treatment - Paul Whickham has emailed Richard Pearson with the dosage instructions. A water bucket is in the coal space. Our lamps at Hopetown will have to be used on the Wensleydale, as the NYMR would only let us have the square type, so they were left at New Bridge. The coal was also levelled out.

New Bridge was left about 14.15 and the team returned to Grosmont for a cuppa in the tea room on the station. Some new items were taken to Deviation Shed which Steve had brought - 3 adjustable spanners, oilcan, grease gun, gloves - then signed off just after 16.00.




Saturday 2nd February 2019


A cold snowy day at Grosmont with only one volunteer and the duty shed fitter in the main running shed. Only James and Colin Pearcy completed the trek to Deviation shed. Roy Marshall, Trevor Wilford and Dave Donegan attempted the journey but were unable to make it due to poor driving conditions. Nigel Hall did not even set off. With the shed opened the fire was lit as soon as possible!

The first job was to fit four brass plates that I had recently had made to indicate open and closed valve positions. Holes were drilled and tapped M4 into the tender tank top.

The new platesindicating the positions of the water valves - James Pearcy

A chain/S hook was then fitted to each crew locker to prevent them opening during travel.


The new locker S hook and chain - James Pearcy

I then ventured into the tender tank again to refit the bolts to the water valve handle supports which had been removed last Saturday. It was so cold inside the tank that the small amount of water inside had frozen!

Two brass boxes were removed from behind the smokebox for repair and for brass engraved plates to be fitted; I have taken them with me to do. Copper feed pipes were removed and boxes cleaned ready for transit.

At 14:30 we decided to call it a day and locked the shed up ready for departure. With frequent snow showers throughout the day we were unsure about the driving conditions on the way home. The journey out of Grosmont was fine until we reached Birk Brow road bank when conditions could only be described as dangerous!

Ian Pearson didn’t make it to his NYMR talk at Pickering due to poor road conditions.


Wednesday 5th December 2018


The J27 was in steam yesterday, testing the replacement vacuum ejector which was fitted on Tuesday after being brought from Hopetown by Nigel Hall. It turns out that this is actually the original J27 one which was 'borrowed' by the J72 while the J27 overhaul was under way. The steam test was successful, and the J27 will be working the Santas from Grosmont as planned this weekend. The faulty (J72) ejector has a small crack or hole inside the small ejector Venturi - Barney has a photo of the defect showing water spurting across the inside! Steve Andrews may have a look at it and give his verdict on whether or not it can be repaired, but Piglet's view, in a conversation I had with him today, was that it will be a very challenging repair to carry out because of the defect's location.


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