North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J27 Blog

A log of activity concerning the J27.

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.


Return to Grosmont


After a longer than expected stay at New Bridge Pickering, the J27 was brought back to Grosmont by Ian Pearson, with fireman Keith Lowery. They were booked on the spare 10.00 o’clock path back Grosmont and arrived back at Grosmont just after 11 am. After taking water, filling the boiler and pushing the fire forward, all our tools were taken back to Deviation Shed workshop. The crew were told to leave the engine at the water column as there was a lot of shunting going on and the shed staff would put it away later. The K1 was on the wheel drops having a broken spring changed, and the T2 is apparently out of traffic at the moment, reportedly with a broken spring which happened on Sunday.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:56

Holiday over


The J27 has returned to the NYMR after its holiday on the Wensleydale Railway.

On low loader ready for unloading at New Bridge Yard - Roy Marshall

Cloudy and dank at New Bridge (at least under the loco and tender).

Les and I joined Chris Cubitt, Paul and Steve (sorry don't know surnames) with Peter Smeaton the younger (on the 08).

The hauliers unloaded the loco about lunchtime using a technique that Les and I hadn't seen before - the brake van was buffered up (very gently) to the loco on the low loader and coupled, before the diesel shunter drew it away.

Coupled up to the tender ready for a warming fire with Mushroom, Chris Cubit, Paul Wickham and Les Harper - Rpy Marshall

After a bit of shunting to get wagons out of the way, the loco and tender were positioned over the pit and the drawbar pins dropped in. All the pipe work was joined up, everything was split-pinned and then, using the big spanner (we left it on top of the tender rear) it only needed two of us the tighten the nut and get the cotter pin in! Then we fitted the brake linkage. Some brake adjustment is planned tomorrow, when in steam. A bit more firtling to sort out the guard irons and that was it.

The NYMR lads had filled the tank and the boiler and lit a warming fire ready for the run to Grosmont tomorrow.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2019 15:28

J27 return


The J27 will be returning to the NYMR next week from the Wensleydale Railway. The tender is due to arrive at New Bridge, Pickering on Tuesday and the engine itself on Wednesday. They will then need to be connected up, in a reverse of the operation last month for its departure.

Once connected up, it is intended that a warming fire will be lit, preparatory to its move back up to Grosmont on the back of a convenient service train. It will then have a 28 day washout and full check over, before returning to service, hopefully towards the end of the week beginning 10 September.

In the meantime, the J27 suffered a second broken engine driving spring on Tuesday (see photos). It therefore missed service yesterday while the spring was changed, but was back in operation today.

J27 RH Middle Driver broken spring - John Midcalf

The broken spring removed onto Leeming Bar shed floor - John Midcalf

Arrangements have therefore been made for the two broken engine springs to be collected from Leeming Bar today so they can be despatched to Owens Springs with the minimum of delay for refurbishment/replacement.

Piglet visited last Thursday with the Channel 5 documentary film crew, so watch out for that when it is broadcast, probably early next year, and the Yorkshire Vet filming people were due to be filming the J27 at Finghorn today, so watch out for that as well - the new series has just started, also on Channel 5.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2018 22:29

Some photos on Wensleydale Railway


After changing the broken engine spring on Thursday, the J27 was back in service on Friday 10th August.

J27 being coaled at Leeming Bar Station on Wensleydale Railway. 10 August 2018 - Chris Lawson

J27 bringing empty stock into Leeming Bar Station on Wensleydale Railway. 10 August 2018. -Chris Lawson

J27 running round at Redmire Station on Wensleydale Railway. 10 August 2018 - Chris Lawson

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 August 2018 13:58

J27 on Wensleydale Railway


The J27 has arrived  on Wensleydale Railway and is now hauling the steam service onthe 10.45 and 14.45 departures from Leeming Bar on the Green timetable throughout August on Tuesdays through to Saturdays.

Loading coal at Leeming Bar - Peter W Robinson

Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2018 21:40

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