North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Our J72 is set to Steam Again – An Appeal, can you help?


Please donate and support scenes like this….

69023 at Locomotion, Shildon, 18th June 2010 (Chris Lawson).

The NELPG is set to commit, excluding contingencies, some £225,000 for the return to steam of its J72 69023 by 2024. We need a new copper tubeplate, new boiler barrel plating and a new cylinder block. The J72 can never totally pay for its upkeep and its only through the generosity of enthusiasts that it can be once again overhauled and be seen at heritage railways up and down Britain.

Joem is arguably the group’s ‘Victorian’ celebrity locomotive and its popularity has been demonstrated by many visits to heritage lines right across the country. When returned to steam railway enthusiasts will once again be able to see her as a North Eastern ambassador for the NELPG.

In her preserved guise she has operated locally on the NYMR, Wensleydale and Tanfield lines, as well as at Locomotion, Shildon. More widely, past visits have included to Devon, Somerset, Didcot, Essex, Norfolk and Bo’ness in Scotland. Let us make it happen again.

The Covid-19 pandemic have greatly reduced our anticipated hire income this year, and is likely to continue to affect our locomotives' earnings next year, but, by appealing for donations, we can minimise what would otherwise be a significant reduction in our reserves.

Every pound raised will provide comfort for other future projects. The overhaul of our K1, (62005), is also due to start at the end of next summer, and funds will be needed to ensure that our J27 (65894) and Q6 (63395) can continue in traffic. So, can you help and make a difference?

69023 'Joem' stands at Barrow Hill with the 'Old Gentleman's Saloon' and NER Class H No 1310 awaiting the first shuttle trip of the day during the 'Fab 4' event on 14 April 2012 - Chris Lawson

We are off to a good start…

AIA LogoIn funding terms we are off to a good start as the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA), has awarded us a grant of £20,000 towards the new cylinder block. The AIA came into being in 1973 and is the national membership organisation for people who share an interest in Britain’s industrial past.

It brings together groups and individuals with an interest and expertise in identifying, recording, preserving, and presenting the remains of the industrial past. Since then it has grown to cover a wide range of activities in support of industrial archaeology, including a range of awards and grants programmes funded by donation and legacies. More information about its activities can be seen via their web site at Additionally, Darlington Borough Council is providing £10,000 under the Government's Discretionary Business Support Grant scheme, to support our Hopetown workshop activities during the Covid 19 pandemic, and this injection of funds will be used for the J72.

Notwithstanding these grants, an NELPG member who wishes to remain anonymous, has offered, as a funding incentive, to match fund all individual donations to the J72 appeal to the tune of £20,000! Hopefully, by rising to this challenge we can secure a further £40,000 towards the overhaul.

69023 at Sheringham, North Norfolk Railway, 13th March 2011 (Richard Pearson)

All sponsors will be recorded and with their permission highlighted on the NELPG web site. Donors in all categories who within the three-year overhaul contribute £500 or more will be invited to the launch event expected to be at a heritage railway in the North East.

Donating to the J72 overhaul will also greatly assist us in our determination to have "Four in Steam for 2025", the bicentenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Our aim is to have 69023 back in action by the end of 2023. All donations are welcome but why not sponsor a part of the J72 and make a direct connection to this exciting project?

Opportunities to sponsor the J72

Boiler Girder Stay Bolts - All 54 now sponsored - Please select an alternative component

New for 2021 is an opportunity to invest in a boiler stay stud or two.

These secure the top of the firebox crown sheet to the Girder Stays within the boiler and a schematic sketch of the arrangement is illustrated below.

There are 54 altogether in 6 rows of 9 on each girder stay and can be sponsored at £25 per stud.

Girder Stay

Fitted Bolts - All 26 now sponsored - Please select an alternative component

Fitted Bolts for the cylinder block

Fitted Bolt


Boiler Stays - All 69 now sponsored - Please select an alternative component

The stays made of copper separate the inner and outer firebox sheets and. A typical copper stay arrangement is illustrated below:

J72 Stay Diagram


Washout Plugs - We need 12 - £45 each

The J72 has 12 washout plugs - 6 in the firebox and 6 in the smoke box

Washout Plug


Tube our '72' - We’ve 139 to renew - £50 each

Made of steel, these connect the rear copper tubeplate to the front steel tubeplate and carry the firebox gasses within the boiler.



Cylinder Block - Cast/Machine - 36 Shares @ £500 each

This is cast in two halves and provides the mechanical power to the wheels driven by the boiler steam.

Cylinder Block


Paint the J72 - Five shares on offer - £1000 each



New Smokebox - £5000

At the front end, this allows the exhaust steam to draw the fire gasses through the boiler.



If you have selected multiple items, the view cart button below will provide you with a list of all items added to your basket.

Ways to donate to the J72 Steam Again Appeal

  • You can either follow the Add to Cart buttons above to sponsor a specific element of the overhaul or select the Donate button above to make a general donation towards the appeal.  Either are very much appreciated.

  • Payments can be made by debit or and credit cards if you do not have a PayPal account

  • A Gift Aid option is available, and, if you are a UK taxpayer, your donation can be increased by 25% at no cost to yourself.

  • If you are an NELPG member and we hold a current Gift Aid declaration for yourself, we will automatically collect Gift Aid on any items sponsored unless you inform us otherwise.  If we do not hold a Gift Aid declaration for you, we will get in touch using the details provided at the checkout to confirm your Gift Aid status.

  • Alternatively, you can make a direct BACS transfer to the NELPG bank account at Barclays Bank, account 40104442, sort code 20-62-09. Please use the reference "J72 appeal" with if applicable, your membership number. If you are sponsoring part of the overhaul please also send your selection by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

All sponsors will be recorded and with their permission highlighted on the NELPG web site. Donors in all categories who within the three-year overhaul contribute £500 or more will be invited to the launch event expected to be at a heritage railway in the North East.

For any general queries regarding donating to the appeal please contact Dave Pennock at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

69023 at Darnholm, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, 12th May 2012

69023 on Epping and Ongar Railway about to depart North Weald with 1230 train to Ongar on 11 April 2015 Alan Usher

Last Updated on Monday, 03 May 2021 21:19