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Tuesday 4th October 2022 Great Central Railway, Loughborough, LE11 1RW

Recreating a scene truly reminiscent of the BR steam era with J27 No.65894 on mineral train duty

An intoxicating breath of steam era nostalgia as we remember the once common sight, particularly in the North East of England, of a BR black J27 steam goods locomotive hard at work with a rake of mineral wagons


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About this event

With grateful thanks to the host Great Central Railway and locomotive owners the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG) we are delighted to announce a rare opportunity to photograph a train combination fondly remembered but seldom seen in preservation. The sole surviving North Eastern Railway P3 Class 0-6-0 is visiting the East Midlands from its home in North Yorkshire for an extremely short working visit, and on Tuesday 4th October we will be pairing this handsome locomotive with the GCR’s lengthy train of mineral wagons to rekindle memories of one of the classes most familiar duties when at work across the North East of England in the latter days of main line steam.

Our event will start from Loughborough GCR Station with an expected departure of 09.30 hours. Breakfast will be available from around 08.00 in the griddle car based at Loughborough. Following our customary but most important safety briefing, we will head up the line taking in locations including Beeches Road Bridge, the approach to Quorn Station as well as the station environs itself, Rabbit Bridge, Swithland and Kinchley Lane. If we can secure access to any new locations, we will try these though not confirmed at this stage. The loco will face south. As this is a goods formation, we will need to follow by road and we will endeavour to car share, placing those who do not know the local roads well with drivers who do. The Butler Henderson Cafe at Quorn Station will be open and we will take advantage of this facility for lunch while the J27 is being coaled and watered around mid-day. The event is expected to finish around sunset.

The P3s became the J27 Class under the LNER and No.65894 is the only survivor from these once numerous locomotives. Built in 1923, this was the very last member of the class to be out-shopped as LNER No.2392; it carries the identity it received on Nationalisation in 1948 and carried throughout its BR career until retirement near the end of main line steam in 1967. With minor variations, 115 engines were constructed in total between 1906 and 1923, proving powerful performers. No.65894 was perhaps most associated with York where it was based for many years, but as the steam era drew to a close in Britain, the loco was one of a number allocated to Sunderland South Dock for hauling heavy mineral trains across the Durham Coalfields. It worked the last diagrammed steam turn from Sunderland Depot on 9th September 1967 and was sent for scrap along with the other five surviving members of the class.

NELPG stepped in to save the locomotive from the cutter’s torch by purchasing 65894 direct from British Railways on 1st December 1967, and restoration began at Tyne Dock where the J27 was stored following withdrawal. Several locations were hosts during the restoration, including the National Coal Board’s Philadelphia Workshops in County Durham, Thornaby Depot and ICI Billingham. By October 1971, the J27 was complete and was duly delivered to the then fledgling North Yorkshire Moors Railway which has been its home base ever since.

Given that this is a highly sought-after combination rarely seen and certainly not on a double track main line, we expect this event to be filled extremely quickly, so for those keen on once more capturing the splendid sight of a J27 in action doing the job with which these locos were most associated, please book early as places are unlikely to be around for long!

*Images are for illustration purposes only.

Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lenses
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc

Other things you should bring

  • Snacks
  • Bottled water


  • All levels welcome


  • Medium

Other essentials

  • High vis jacket
  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location