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LNER Class J26 Locomotive

Image of IAN GARNHAMIAN GARNHAM tells us the history of this NER/LNER freight locomotive.


LNER Class J26.

In the early 1900s, the North Eastern Railway (NER) found that increased freight demand meant longer trains and that they would need larger locomotives. One of the results of this was the introduction of the NER Class P2, later classified the J26 by the LNER. They caused a lot of interest when the class was introduced, but the J26 was essentially the same as the existing J25 but with a much larger boiler. Thirty J26s were built at Darlington between 1904 and 1905, and twenty were built at Gateshead in 1905.

When introduced, the J26s were mainly used on long distance goods and mineral services. After about ten years they were displaced from these duties by newer classes of locomotive such like the Q6 0-8-0, B15 4-6-0 and the B16 4-6-0.

BR Class J26.

These engines were to be found in the South Yorkshire coalsields including destinations such as Grimethorpe, and the Brackenhill Light Railway. In 1958, sheds were starting to close and the remainder of the J26s were moved to the newly built Thornaby shed, which coincided with the first withdrawals which were gathering pace at the time. Final workings of the class included the branch to Kilton, the Lingdale ironstone mines, and the severely graded route from West Auckland to Durham.

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One of the last workings was locomotive '65735' down the Wearhead branch in May 1962. British Railways' desire to withdraw steam all to quickly resulted, on numerous occasions, in individual withdrawals to be paused due to a lack of suitable replacements.However, with the widespread introduction of Type 2 diesels, this marked the end of the J26s and the last of the class was withdrawn in June 1962.

BR Class J26 c Ben Brooksbank.

Unfortunately, none of the class lasted long enough to be earmarked for preservation; only one of the similar J27 escaped the cutters torch - the design of the J26 was modified in 1906 to produce the J27 (NER Class P3) - we'll look at this class in detail in the next issue of RIGHT LINES.

The J26 is going to be the subject of a OO Scale model to be manufactured by Oxford Rail. Three different liveries are going to be produced, with the option of either analogue control or DCC-Sound.

OR76J26001 LNER 0-6-0 Class J26 5738

OR76J26001XS LNER 0-6-0 Class J26 5738 (DCC-Sound)

OR76J26002 BR Early 0-6-0 Class J26 65767

OR76J26002XS BR Early 0-6-0 Class J26 65767 (DCC-Sound)

OR76J26003 BR Early 0-6-0 Class J26 65736

OR76J26003XS BR Early 0-6-0 Class J26 65736 (DCC-Sound)

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