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LNER Class J27 Locomotive

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


The Class J27 0-6-0 designed by Wilson Worsdell, were a minor modification of the existing North Eastern Railway's (NER) J26.

BR Class J27.

Eighty J27s were built between 1906 and 1909. They were constructed in five batches, split between Darlington, North British Locomotive Co., Beyer Peacock & Co, and Robert Stephenson & Co locomotive builders. These were followed in the 1920s by another twenty-five, built by Darlington with Schmidt piston valves and superheaters. These were then followed by a final order of ten in December 1922 and this time built by the LNER at Darlington in 1923. The newer version with superheaters could be identified by having an extended smokebox.

In common with most other NER types of locomotive, all the saturated J27s were built with Ramsbottom safety valves. The superheated J27s however were built with Ross pop safety valves. As a standard LNER fitting, the Ramsbottom valves on the saturated engines were eventually replaced with the Ross valves.

BR Class J26 c Ben Brooksbank.

J27 65781 heading through Newcastle Central in 1954.

Like the Class J26s before them, the J27s were initially put to work on the long-distance mineral and freight trains, but were displaced to local mineral traffic as larger locomotives were introduced. They proved themselves to be robust locomotives capable of hard work. They were widely distributed over the NER system.

In 1926, twelve J27s were displaced to the GE Area by the first of the then new Class J39s entering service. These were initially divided between the March and Cambridge sheds, but would later be seen at Peterborough East, Grantham and others. In the GE Area, the J27s worked alongside larger ex-GER (Great Eastern Railway) 0-6-0s such as the J17s, again on freight duties.

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BR Class J26 c Ben Brooksbank.

P3 (LNER J27) 65804 near North Blyth.

Post-war, the J27s were no longer seen on goods trains but they continued to be used on heavy mineral trains. March 1959 saw the first withdrawals from service, but some thirty-six were still busy putting in hard work hauling coal in County Durham and South Northumberland. The final J27s were withdrawn from the Blyth area where they operated between the nearby coalfield and shipping staithes. The last J27 was withdrawn in 1967.

Fortunately, one escaped the cutters torch and was purchased by the then newly formed North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group. Number 65894 was moved to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

In OO Scale, this is going to be the next locomotive to be produced by Oxford Rail and should be released late Autumn 2020 and available from your local stockist soon after.

They are producing the various models with either Ramsbottom or Ross safety valves in LNER and BR early and late crest. Click Here to view all the available J27 models produced by Oxford Rail

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