North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J72 Blog

A blog of activities relating to the J72 69023 'Joem'.

Thursday 8th November 2018


Another good week.

Not a lot done on Monday night as Martin and Andy held their first aid session with the Monday regulars. Arthur and John continued with the springs. Neal provided more advice. I got a bit more paint on some K1 bits. We were visited by Paul who has borrowed a couple of needle guns to clean up the K1 boiler.

Today we had a good turnout again. Harry and Steve managed to extract the rings which were jammed in the piston grooves; then for an encore managed to remove the slide valves. John and Tim worked their way through brass bits, dealing with the gauge valves. Roy Colin and Hugh continued cleaning the loco, Derek continued with the boiler. The machinists were all busy whilst Colin and myself managed to paint a few things and Allan finished off the brass around the K1 windows.

The parts washer was bailed out into waste paraffin drums. On inspection we appear to have lost the work shelf. The device has a current PAT label. However, when I touched the on/off switch it disintegrated. I wonder if it is worth renovating this device. It should NOT be used in its present condition.

We had a visit from John Midcalf who has handed me the kit for the social meeting tomorrow. He’s participating in the velocipede gala on NYMR and may not be able to return to Darlington early enough to set up for the meeting. However, the expected visit of Ian Storey didn’t occur; the K1 lubricator linkage is still on the bench.

We are approaching the point where we have dismantled as much as we can. Much of the future work will depend upon the result of inspections which need to take place soon. However, there is work which just requires us to work through servicing components which we have removed, and making them ready for reassembly.


Thursday 1st November 2018


An attendance of 20 today including Bryan Orange and 3 juniors, plus John Crabtree a new starter who has worked on Strathspey Railway in past.

Much of the morning was taken up with Martin Lloyd and Andy’s first aid (mainly CPR) course. We had to split into 2 sessions as the mess room capacity was limited. This led to some second session attendees champing for their morning tea. The course was very worthwhile. Thanks Martin and Andy.

Steve and Harry got the cross heads split and the pistons extracted. The rings are jammed in the grooves. Not known whether they were like that in service.

Tim and Roy cleaned up all of the axle box bits and placed them in the appropriate bowls. The underkeeps have been removed and are in a plastic sack. The oil trays held a lot of water. One tray (RD?) has a crack/repair which should be examined. Tim brought the 2 spare springs plus the NELPG tools from Leeming. John and Arthur got on with preparing the ends for dye penetration testing.

John Crabtree continued with the preparation of the cab roof. Dave and Derek continued to brush down the boiler, Colin Smith and Allan painted first gloss onto some of the K1 components whilst Colin Bowman continued cleaning the loco frames.

Trevor Wolford came in the morning to do his Dick van Dyke thing with the fire. He showed us the quarantined chains and requested that BV tested and advised. Mid-afternoon we had the company of Terry Newman and Steve Hyman, followed a little later by a party of about 5 visitors who came to look around.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2018 10:13

Thursday 25th October 2018


13 signed the book today, plus a visit from Ian Pardy and Stuart Dennis from NYMR. We also had a visits from Bob Grey and Trevor Wilford.

With the K1 components:

  • Allan Wilson has managed to scrape the old varnish off  three of the windows
  • Steve Gibson welded the joints in one of the steam pipe covers and Harry dressed the welds with a grinder.
  • Colin Smith stripped the tea tray and steam heat gauge bracket

All K1 components other than the seats and  windows are in primer.

On the J72:

  • Derek and Dave took a break from the cab roof work this week and continued cleaning down the boiler.
  • Arthur and John continued polishing the spring hanger loops which are welded in order to facilitate dye penetration tests. However …
  • Steve and Harry started to prepare to split the crossheads, but discovered that the dummy gudgeon pin was missing. So, Arthur was asked to turn a replacement.
  • Maurice (Bell) prepared to turn the new hanger pins. He has completed the set of oil tray retaining pins last week.
  • Ian and Stuart arrived in the new NYMR truck. Steve and Harry assisted them with the axle boxes and measurements John and I helped load the boxes onto the truck using the engine hoist borrowed from the A1 trust.
  • Colin Bowman continued cleaning the frames.

Since this is likely to be the final good day of the year, I scraped and painted the front door before the wood gets wet. I managed to spill some paint on the floor whilst driving the paint stirrer with a drill. I suppose that it is now floor paint!

We were visited today by John Crabtree,  a potential new member who is a retired steam fitter/machinist previously employed on Strathspey Railway. He has come to live in Thirsk. Arthur showed him around.

Tim Williamson has volunteered to bring the 2 spare springs from Wensleydale next week for cleaning and testing.

Much tea drunk, and a warm fire to gather around again.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2018 09:34

Thursday 11th October 2018


We arrived to find 2 dead pigeons on the doorstep. Is this a bad omen? A sign of metaphysical death?


The front of the J72 with buffer beam and cyliinder and valve covers removed - Nigel Hall

Anyway, after Arthur had tossed the 2 corpses onto the grass, in the hope that the local cats would take them home, the usual suspects set to work. Steve and Harry managed to remove the front buffer beam and the piston and valve covers. Derek and Dave continued with the cab roof, to be joined by Colin Smith after lunch. Allan and Colin Bowman continued cleaning loco frames. A new volunteer, Maurice Bell arrived. He’s a retired machinist. He helped John and Arthur with the springs and hangers. I had a trip to to M-Machine to pick up some steel bar for replacement pins. Peter cleaned up the K1 cowls and steam gauge frame. One cowl will need a bit of welding before painting.

The main springs after reaming out the holes - Nigel Hall

Derek Norris called in during the afternoon.

A productive day.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2018 09:41

Thursday 19th September 2019


Another week at Hopetown. Arthur, John and Nigel had been there on Monday evening to progress machining and a few other small jobs. Today started with the hunt for a substitute for theT2 steam brake isolation valve – see yesterday’s T2 report. Unlike all of our other locomotives, the cab steam services for the J72 are not fed from a backhead manifold. Nothing in the brass store seemed remotely like the size of valve required. I phoned Bill at about 10:00 to break the bad news.

Colin Smith, in dust mask and face shield, dressed the chips in the paintwork of the inner frames. More correctly he dressed the rust beneath where the paint had been chipped. Allan Wilson, after making morning tea for us all, cleaned the dust Colin had created from the surfaces and later I dabbed a bit of anticorrosive primer onto these spots.

Harry Sams has finished making a wooden template for the spark arrestor. If this design is approved then we can commission the construction of the real thing.

Maurice Bell, John, Jones and Arthur Jenkins continued machining the loco springs and spring hangers.

Derek Shorton has returned from his trip to Wilderswil and the lines to Schynige Platte and Grindelwald. He’d been over the line to Kleine Scheidegg and Wengen, and had caught the connection to Jungfraujoch. Back at Hopetown we had remembered his old trade and found him a float for screeding some bad parts of the walkways. We’ve obtained some epoxy sealant and some epoxy self-levelling screed to repair the worst bits before painting. Derek suggested that we needed to (wire) brush out some of the oil covered surface cement, and set about this with a cup brush. He later found a needle gun was quicker. In the afternoon Hugh Pannel arrived and brought in the needle artillery. There was a lot of shouting about dust and noise. I just hope that we haven’t removed too much of the surface.

Just before lunch, Roy Marshall and Norman Crockit arrived. Roy took the open day cupboard key which Norman had brought in to the locksmith for duplication. Unfortunately no blanks, so Roy came back with a new lock and keys which he distributed appropriately. Roy and Norman both left not long after lunch time.



J72, Thursday 4th October


We had a major step forward on Thursday when Andrew Goodman and RSS lifted the locomotive chassis and the wheels were rolled out. See pictures by Peter Giroux – there’s 58 good photos in the collection.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2018 22:38

Thursday 6th September 2018


A working party of 12 today, including the first session for a long time by Trevor Wilford. Neal Woods visited to advise on a few matters during the day, and Les Harper visited late in the afternoon.

The chassis ready for lifting to remove the wheels - Nigel Hall

The boiler, partially cleaned and without the stubbon crinoline bars, awaits removal of the longitudanal stays - Nigel Hall

The collection of components awaiting servicing - Nigel Hall

Arthur Jenkins ad John Jones turned a scrap washout plug into a gauge glass retention bolt to replace the one found to be missing from the Q6 gauge glass protector yesterday. Dave Wright and Derek Shorton continued wire brushing the boiler whilst at the opposite side Steve Gibson and Harry Sams removed the stubbon bolts holding the firebox crinoline bars. James Piercy and Allan Wilson disconnected the springs from the axle boxes.  Trevor Wilford welded a piece onto the broken ash pan bracket. Colin bowman replaced the non-functioning light above the woodworker's corner. I managed to get another coat of paint onto the back of the cab and the coal rails.

A good day's work - thanks everybody.

James announced that the loco was now fit for lifting from its wheels.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2018 17:16

Thursday 9th August 2018


I arrived just before 10:00 to find Steve Gibson and Peter Shields camped on the doorstep raring to go.

So, before Allan Wilson could make our first pot of tea, the caps were off, clearances measured with feeler gauges, and rods off. Les Harper greased all the crank pins but these really ought to be protected on further on Monday. Then, whilst just finishing tea the phone rang. Fred required fitters at Leeming Bar to change the loco spring. Steve and Peter left for a day under the J27.

Peter Geroux and Derek Shorton removed the cladding from the firebox crown, bagged the lagging and made a start removing the loose scale from the outside of the boiler. We are still some way from the stage where needle guns are required.

Les Harper did a fair bit of cleaning between frames. He was suspicious that at least one weigh shaft lubricators was blocked and that there was a lot of debris around the reverser handle pivot. He cleaned out the pivot – the handle now moves freely again.

I visited M Machine and took the blast pipe and spark arrestor there to enable Tom to understand what he is making. He seemed happy, and was expecting a visit from Andy Lowes in the afternoon.

Another call from Fred after lunch. Colin Bowman took some burs, stones, drills and reamers down to Leeming Bar in order to enlarge a hole in the new spring. He returned the tool kit a couple of hours later to report that the crew had managed to enlarge the hole before he arrived.

The bunker is now rubbed down and cleaned ready for the second coat of black primer.

We looked at the balance pipe and decided to leave it in place. It does not obstruct access to the wheels and motion and, unless it needs servicing, might be better left in place.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 August 2018 07:34

Monday 6th August 2018 - J72 Boiler Lift


Yet another warm day at Hopetown for the boiler lift.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2018 16:39

J72, Thursday 2nd August 2018


Another good week at Hopetown with the J72.

On Monday Arthur Jenkins and John Jones continued servicing the steam brake cylinder, Steve Hyman tidied up components for painting whilst Nigel rubbed down the first primer coat in the bunker.

We have spent most of Thursday working through the list of jobs to prepare for the boiler lift on Monday 6th. Points oiled, packing on the weltrol, neighbours notified etc, etc. We are all ready to go. Allan Wilson and Derek Shorton oiled up the J72. Tim Williamson, Arthur and John had a good look at the ash pan attachments, and with a burning torch, hammer, punch and much effort managed to extract all of the wedges and lower the ash pan into the 4 foot using a jack. This greatly simplifies the boiler lift as there will be no need to struggle to remove the ash pan whilst the boiler is suspended from the crane; it shouldn’t even be necessary to take the gas bottles down to the lift site.

Thank you to all who have helped and to those of you who have volunteered their time on Monday.

And finally, Colin Bowman and Les Harper managed to dismantle the dripping tap in the mess room to discover that there was no washer. Les managed to obtain a bag of washers from the plumbers merchants; the tap no longer drips.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2018 21:51

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