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English: J15 65462 at Holt connecting to its train ready for tender first running to Sheringham.
The Great Eastern Railway's Yl4 ?small goods' class 0-6-0, was designed by TW Worsdell and introduced in 1883 to haul coal trains on the newly opened GN-GE Joint line from Doncaster. They were very successful, and construction was continued by the three succeeding locomotive superintendents until 1913, when the 289th appeared from Stratford Works, making the Y14 numerically the largest class on the GER. Of that total, 19 were built by Sharp, Stewart & Co., whilst the rest came from Stratford. The Y14s carried the following numbers:- 37 - 40, 119-24, 507-71, 592-600, 609-49, 680-99, 801-934 and 936 - 45 although they were not built in that order (610 was first and 551 last). Due to their very low axle-loading (13.5 tons) the ?small goods' could work on almost every GER line, a fact noted by the railway's management who had the final forty built fitted with balanced wheels, steam heating and air or dual brakes so they could be used on branch passenger, ECS and excursion work. 272 Y14s were passed on to the LNER in 1922 when they were reclassified as J15's. At first the J15s had a ?7' added in front of their GER numbers, then in the 1946 renumbering they were allocated 5350-5479. The 127 locos that survived until nationalisation were allocated the numbers 65350-65479, but some were scrapped before they could be renumbered. The j15's were given the BR power classification I P/2F and route availability I. About fifty of the class were still active in 1958 and even at that late date, they could sometimes be found hauling the through coaches of Suffolk expresses. The last survivors were not withdrawn until the end of steam in East Anglia. The M&GN Society's loco was built as GER No. 564 by Stratford Works and first saw the light of day on 22nd February 1912. It was one of the penultimate batch of ten (order number B70) and had a Macallan variable blastpipe, dual-brakes and steam heating fitted during construction. The loco had a trial run to Broxbourne with Foreman Cookson on 1st March and entered traffic later that month, probably at Norwich. To begin with, No. 564 was paired with a third-hand tender originally built in May 1895 for T19 2-4-0 No 1022.TheT19 later swapped tenders with GER P43 4-2-2 No. 12. When that loco was scrapped around 1908, the tender was put into store before being reused with the newly built Y14. After the grouping, the Ioco became No 7564, then No 5462 in November 1946, before becoming BR 65462 in 1949. Both the LNER and BR painted the Ioco plain black. Originally the engine had a dished smokebox door, a rolled steel stovepipe and encased Ramsbottom safety valves. During LNER ownership it received a bevel-edged smokebox door, a cast iron J72 type chimney and Ross pop safety valves. The LNER also fitted coal guards to the sides of the tender in the late I 920s and then replaced the GER wooden cab roof with a higher pitched steel one around 1933. Between June 1947 and April 1950 No. 5462/65462 carried a GER boiler with Ross pop safety-valves and the whistle mounted on the former Ramsbottom valve seat.At that time it was coupled to an ex-GER watercart oil-tender, which had been built in the 1890s for a P43 4-2-2, and later modified to carry coal. The tender had previously been coupled to the D13 4-4-0 No.8023, which was withdrawn in 1944. A GER standard small tender, No 7558, replaced the watercart in April 1950. (This R43 class watercart was later paired with two E4 2-4-Os becoming the last GER oil-tender in existence before being scrapped in 1955). During a general repair in May 1953, 65462s boiler was changed for one which had a short Darlington chimney, the whistle on a tall mounting just in front of the cab and no safety-valve seat The tender was swapped at the same time for No. 7543, a similar Holden one. A tender cab, made from the cab of a condemned GER 2-4-2T was fitted between then and 1956 to protect the crew from rain or blowing coal dust when the engine was travelling tender first. In June 1957, the boiler was replaced by one with the more usual tall J72 chimney. 65462 carried a variety of chimneys over the years: GER stovepipe; tall cast LNER; short cast LNER; tall LNER again; and finally a fake stovepipe which was several inches shorter than the GER original and was produced by cutting off the top flared section from a tall LNER chimney and adding beading around the rim. Two were made by the Norwich Shedmaster, the late Bill Harvey and fitted to 65469 and 65471 for use on railway society specials. When 65471 was withdrawn in June 1960, its chimney was transferred to 65462. The J15 spent nearly all its working life in Norfolk and Suffolk. In 1922 and 1936 it was allocated to Norwich Thorpe. It also spent time at Yarmouth. In October 1947, the renumbered 5462 was transferred to Lowestoft, where it stayed for the next thirteen years, often stationed at Beccles for use on the Waveney Valley line. (Due to a weak bridge between Geldeston and Beccles, the J15s were the largest locos normally allowed on the branch). 65462 also worked on the Norwich, Yarmouth South Town and East Suffolk lines, with occasional sessions as the Halesworth milk-bay pilot. The loco had its first encounter with the M&GNJRS on the 21st May, 1960 when it assisted a railtour (from Norwich City to Norwich Thorpe via Sheringham, the Waveney Valley line and Lowestoft) after the train's loco, J15 65469 ran out of steam at Beccles. To avoid lost time (the train was already running late) 65462 was commandeered from the yard to help the ailing J15.The two locos, coupled tender to tender, then hauled the special as far as Lowestoft Central. 65462 was allocated to Norwich Thorpe in June 1960 and then moved to Stratford in January 1961, still carrying its 32C shed plate! Later in the year it had air-brake trip-cock equipment fitted on me right-hand loco rail-iron and under the left hand tender frames for use on the Leyton to Epping/Ongar line.The former GER branch was by men part of London Transport's Central Line, but BR J15s hauled occasional specials and freight trains on it until April 1962. In January 1962, 65462 was re-tubed at Stratford, before joining the few other remaining London based J15s (65361, 65453, 65460/4/5 and 65476) on standby and Liverpool St. pilot duties. These elderly locos were kept because of their wide route availability and Westinghouse brakes (except 65361). 65462 was loaned to Colchester for a while for use as Clacton station pilot. Although some of the class eventually carried the post 1957 BR totem on their tenders, 65462 kept its early ?ferret and dartboard' emblem until the end, but it did acquire ?overhead live wires? warning flashes on the sides of the boiler. The last four J15s (including 65462) were finally withdrawn on 16th September 1962, when steam was eliminated from East Anglia, having outlived many other more modern types of locomotive. After withdrawal, four of the class were retained for possible preservation and put into open air storage at Stratford. During the previous October, the M&GNJRS had decided to buy a J15 for use on its scheme to reopen one of the closed M&GN lines and had started to raise the £800 required. The Society had initially planned to have 65469, but a crack was found in its frames and so 65462 was purchased instead, mainly because of the stovepipe chimney! Sadly the others were cut up for scrap. 65462 was test steamed at March in 1963 and later moved to March MPD with the Society's other loco, the B12. Both were stored outside the old steam shed. To allow inspection of the boiler plating, the cladding was removed and dumped with the back cab in the tender coal space. In 1966 the boiler was given two partial hydraulic tests to see what condition the tubes were in. It was found that the boiler had once been fitted to an F3 2-4-2T and dated from before 1893. The J15 and B12 were delivered to Sheringham in June 1967 and were hauled into the station over the now lifted level crossing. It was to be another ten years before theJ15, as GER No.564 hauled a passenger train on the North Norfolk Railway. The loco ran for tens of thousands of miles before being withdrawn in 1989, shortly after the Holt line was opened. It returned to steam in 2002 on the NNR. http://www.mandgn.co.uk/locos_steam_j15_outline.htmThis article first appeared in Joint Line, the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society's award winning quarterly journal, which all members of the Society receive. More information about the society can be found on their website http://www.mandgn.co.uk/join_benefits_about.htm
|Date||4 July 2009|
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|This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph's page on the Geograph website for the photographer's contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Ashley Dace and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
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|Attribution: Ashley Dace|
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