Updated 15/08/11

                                                         Latest News

UPDATE 15.08.11

The cabside numerals and 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' lettering on the tender have been applied and the locomotive is now on display at 'Locomotion', Shildon. A few more photos of the cosmetic restoration (courtesy of Stephen Foxton) have been added to the second album at the bottom of this page.

UPDATE 01.08.11

The locomotive has now been painted black and both the springs and coupling rods have been fitted. A photo has been added to the second album at the bottom of this page.

UPDATE 18.07.11

Considerable progress has been made over the last week. The boiler / firebox cladding, cab, sandboxes, spectacle plates etc have been refitted, a substantial quantity of filler has been used, particularly on the tender, and much of the loco is now ready for some paint. A couple of photos have been added to the second album at the bottom of this page. 

UPDATE 12.07.11

Yesterday saw work commence on the cosmetic restoration of J21 65033 at 'Locomotion' Shildon in preparation for its appearance at 'Stainmore 150' over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The restoration is being undertaken in the workshop by 'Rail-Restorations North-East', a number of the National Railway Museum 'Heritage Skills' trainees and Stainmore Railway Co. volunteers on behalf of the owners, The Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust. We are most grateful to the Museum for all their help and co-operation with this work which will take place over the next 4-5 weeks. Yesterday saw the chimney refitted and work commence on the firebox cladding along with the removal of much of the loose and flaking paintwork. A couple of photos have been added to the second album at the bottom of this page - we hope to add updates as the work progresses.  


In March 2009, the sole surviving Class J21, 65033, passed into the hands of 'The Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust'. This is not just another 'locomotive restoration group' - its aims are 'to ensure a sustainable future for precious railway artifacts, while at the same time, facilitating learning about their history and supporting traditional skills' - further details can be found here. In addition to 65033, the Trust has also acquired NER Bogie Stores Van 5523 which will accompany the locomotive and will be used to provide an exhibition and educational facilities.

Much is going on 'behind the scenes' - a number of discussions and formal meetings have already taken place with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). In May, 65033 was moved to 'Locomotion' at Shildon and, if the application to the HLF is successful, it is intended that the locomotive (and Bogie Sores Van) will be restored as a collaborative project with the National Railway Museum - hopefully in time to mark her 125th year in 2014.

I was recently approached by the Trust and asked if I would be willing to act as their co-ordinator in the north-east. In view of the long association between these locomotives (and 65033 in particular) and KSE, I was only too happy to accept. In return, it has been agreed that 65033 will be a regular visitor to KSE once restored - something that everyone associated with our project can look forward to with great enthusiasm.

So - I will now be doing my utmost to find individuals willing to assist in the work of the Trust. Would you be able to help by:

1. Making a 'one-off' or regular financial contribution - we will need find a substantial sum ourselves - probably in the order of £200,000?

2. Helping 'behind the scenes' with administration?

3. Assisting on the LCLT stand at 'Locomotion' during weekends? There are currently approx. 150,000 visitors per annum - a great opportunity to recruit more supporters.

4. Do you have any memories of the locomotive during its career e.g. as a Driver, Fireman, Guard, Fitter, Boilersmith etc? Do you remember riding behind her or perhaps a friendly crew provided you with a footplate ride? If so, do please get in touch - we would love to hear from you so that we can record the 'social history' of the loco.  

Below is a brief history of the Class J21 and the career details that we have been able to establish to date regarding 65033 - any corrections will be gratefully received - thank you.. In addition, there are still many gaps we would like to fill in order to compile a complete picture - e.g. shed allocations prior to her first withdrawal in 1939, information relating to her inclusion and then removal from the National Collection list - can you help with any information please? Similarly, do you have any photographs of the loco (or the Tools Van) that you would be willing to allow the Trust to use please?

                                                                       Contact Us

If you feel able to help in any way, the Trust can be contacted directly as follows: (i) by email here, (ii) by phone: 07831 120564 or (iii) please write to: The Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust, 95A Hambalt Road, London SW4 9EQ.

Alternatively, I can be contacted: (i) by email here or please write to me c/o: Kirkby Stephen East, South Road, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, CA17 4LA.

Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated by the Trust - THANK YOU

                                                                                                                             Mike Thompson 

                                                                     Class J21

The history of these locomotives is long and complex and is summarised briefly below.

Basic Construction & Subsequent Rebuilding

A total of 201 were constructed, primarily as freight locomotives, in the period August 1886 (No. 22) - February 1895 (No. 1820) initially under the direction of Thomas W. Worsdell. Gateshead Works built the majority, but some (30) were also constructed at Darlington. The first 3 members of the class were 'simple' expansion engines - designated Class C1, they had 140psi boiler pressure, 18" cylinders and a tractive effort of 15,108lb. In fact, 10 of the first 11, were so built - then construction of 'compound' locomotives took over. These were designated Class C - had 160psi boiler pressure, a high pressure 18" cylinder, a low pressure 26" cylinder and a tractive effort of 16,952lb. Both 'simple' and 'compound' engines were fitted with Joy's valve gear and slide valves. In 1890, T.W. Worsdell retired as a result of ill-health and was succeeded by his brother, Wilson, who disliked 'compounding' (and Joy's valve gear). As a consequence, he re-ordered the remaining 20 engines (Nos. 1801 - 1820) to be built with 'simple' expansion.

Thomas remained with the NER as a 'consultant' and reported a saving of some 14.5% in coal consumption with the 'compound' over the 'simple' engines when working between Newcastle, Leeds and York. However, the reported coal savings were not always achieved in practice and, on the 5th October 1893, the Locomotive Committee of the Board of Directors asked Wilson Worsdell for a report on the NER's 'compound' locomotives. Some six months later, having given careful consideration to the report at their meeting on the 19th April 1894, it was decided to convert all such engines to 'simple' expansion. With priority given to the passenger locos, it was not until 1901 that the first Class C engine (No. 994) was rebuilt and the last (No. 668) was completed in 1913. The majority of these had 18" cylinders and a tractive effort of 17,265lb. However, just to complicate things even further, 75 were rebuilt with 19" cylinders, Stephenson valve gear and piston valves giving them a tractive effort of 19,237lb. In addition, 3 of the 'simple' expansion Class C1 engines were also similarly modified. From June 1914, all 201 locomotives were designated Class C.


It was around this time (August 1914) that the first superheated boilers (ultimately known as LNER Diagram 67 with modifications 67A & 67B) were fitted to Nos. 619 / 1565 and 55 locos had been modified by the Grouping in 1923, the great majority of which were those with Stephenson valve gear. Two years later, another 6 had been modified, but then the LNER stopped fitting superheaters to these engines. However, the usual boiler swaps when in the 'Works' for repairs meant that locos often gained or lost superheaters. In the 6 years following Grouping, another 23 of the superheated engines were fitted with the larger cylinders, Stephenson valve gear and piston valves. However, this rebuilding process came to an end when the first of the class was withdrawn - No. 1339 in 1929. 62 engines were superheated and 92 still had slide valves. 


Some modifications took place to most of the surviving engines in the late 1930's - early 1940's. This originally came about as a result of the transfer of 6 E4's from the Great Eastern (GE) section in 1935 to work over the Stainmore route (see later). As a consequence, 8 J21's were loaned to the GE section and allocated to Norwich. Drawings were prepared to bring these engines within the GE section loading gauge and were issued at the end of 1937 - shortly after the locos returned to the NE area! However, with WWII looming, it was thought that the J21's might be required to work in the GE area and in the period 1939 - 1942, most of the class remaining in service were modified to comply with the GE loading gauge.

Safety Valves

As built, the locomotives had Ramsbottom safety valves, but the Ross pop valve became a standard fitting before the Grouping in 1923. However, some of the J21's managed to retain their original valves for a further quarter of a century until after nationalisation of the railways in 1948.


In view of the fact that these locomotives were originally designed by Thomas Worsdell as freight engines, it is perhaps not surprising to discover that only the last 30 built had train brakes - 20 had the Westinghouse system and 10 were 'dual-fitted'. However, as is well known, the engines ultimately undertook additional passenger and mixed-traffic work e.g. it was quite common to see a J21 depart from KSE with 2-3 coaches and a fish van in tow. Consequently, many more of the class were fitted with train brakes. By 1923, 65 still retained the basic steam brake on the locomotive, 19 were 'dual-fitted' and 117 had the Westinghouse system. Once the LNER accepted vacuum braking, 136 of the class were so fitted in the period 1928 - 1931. At the beginning of 1944, with 99 engines still in traffic, the position was 4 with steam and vacuum and 95 with Westinghouse and vacuum. However, the J21's received a new lease of life on the 3rd June 1944 when instructions were issued for 20 (ultimately to become 26) engines to be fitted with an automatic steam brake (replacing the Westinghouse system) for working passenger trains.

Proposed Ultimate Development of the J21

In view of the severe nature of the line over Stainmore and the initial problems encountered with the J21's over the route (see later), there was a proposal in 1938 to rebuild an unknown number of the class working this section of line. They would have used 19" x 26" cylinders with 8" piston valves, Stephenson valve gear, new crank axles, frames and boilers. The latter would have had an operating pressure of 200psi, a 12" longer firebox and an 18-element superheater. The tractive effort was estimated to be 26,060lb (as opposed to 19,237lb of the 'standard' engine). with a 16 ton axle load. Sadly, perhaps because of wartime and / or simple economics, rebuilding never took place. It would have been extremely interesting to see just exactly what the more enthusiastic KSE crews could have achieved with such a locomotive!

In Traffic

Although originally designed for mainline work, the locomotives were displaced to secondary lines as the larger NER engines were introduced. They regularly worked in the Tyneside area and were responsible for the intensive passenger service between Newcastle and South Shields until this was electrified in 1938. During the 1930's, many were based away from the north-east and allocated to depots such as Boston, Doncaster, Langwith Junction, Lincoln, Retford, New Holland, Lowestoft, Norwich, New England and Peterborough East.

However, it was arguably their work on the Stainmore route with its arduous gradients for which they are best remembered.What is perhaps less well known is that they were not an immediate success - in the early 1930's, the North Eastern Area of the LNER was seeking replacement locos for the recently withdrawn D23's over Stainmore. The J21's had been tried and had some most interesting workings e.g. they were used double-headed on trains of corridor stock between Newcastle and Blackpool each Saturday - leaving Newcastle at 9.24am, they were due into Tebay (75 miles away) at 11.58am. Another pair took the return working, leaving Tebay at 11.42am and arriving in Newcastle at 14.15pm. However, the engines suffered motion problems resulting from the habit of the drivers descending from the summit with the engine in full gear. The D3's were tried and then the Great Eastern Railway E4's (see above) - these were much more successful and worked the route over Stainmore until late 1941 when they were required back home in East Anglia to assist with the increased military traffic resulting from WWII. The driver's habits on the J21's were eventually cured and the locos returned to the Stainmore route in the early 1940's when some 50+ years old and worked it with verve and efficiency for a further 10 years - only being displaced by the arrival of much larger locomotives.

Withdrawal from Service

The class remained at its peak for some 34 years until withdrawals first started in 1929 - they would survive another 33 years. On the 1st January 1948, nationalisation of the railways took place and 77 (or 83 - depending on the source material) entered British Railways service numbered 65025 - 65123 (with gaps). However, increasing dieselisation meant that, by 1959, only 5 members of the class survived and were based at South Blyth, Tyne Dock and Tweedmouth. The last to be withdrawn was the now preserved 65033 in April 1962. 


The locomotive was built by the North Eastern Railway (NER) in March 1889. Originally numbered 876 and constructed as a 'compound' locomotive, it was rebuilt as a 'simple' expansion engine in December 1908. At the same time, it was one of 75 (see above) to be fitted with 19" cylinders, piston valves etc. In 1914, 876 had a 'general' overhaul (unknown location) and emerged in October that year as one of the first of the class to carry a superheated boiler. It was renumbered to 5033 following Grouping and formation of the LNER in 1923 at which point it carried the Westinghouse braking system. The same year, a 'general' overhaul took place at Gateshead and this was followed by similar work at the same location in 1927 and 1931. The latter overhauls were complimented by an 'intermediate repair' at Gateshead in 1930. Two further 'generals' took place, now at Darlington Works, in 1934 and 1936.

In 1939, 5033 was withdrawn from service, but was reinstated due to the motive power shortage resulting from WWII - emerging from Darlington following another 'general' overhaul in December 1939. The loco was based at a number of sheds throughout its life including South Blyth on no less than 4 separate occasions! Upon emerging from Darlington in December 1939, she was allocated to Hull Dairycoates. On December 4th 1942, it has been suggested that the locomotive provided the motive power for Winston Churchill's visit to the Battle School at Barnard Castle. In March 1943, 5033 moved to Neville Hill (Leeds) and 3 months later she entered Darlington Works for another 'general'. A year later, she was back for a 'light' repair. Another 'general' followed in March 1946 (when she was fitted with a boiler from J25 2130) and, two months after emerging from the Works, 5033 was transferred to Darlington where she was based for the next five and a half years. The next repairs were a 'light' at Gateshead (late 1947 - early 1948) and a 'general' at Darlington (late 1948) when the Westinghouse brake was replaced with an automatic steam brake. Upon nationalisation, 5033 became 65033. From early September 1949, the 'British Railways' lettering on the tender was changed to the 15" emblem on 30 engines - 65033 was one of those so modified around this time. The next 'general' took place at Darlington in late 1950 - early 1951 and, in late 1951, she returned to the Works for 10 days, receiving a 'casual light' repair, at which she was fitted with snowploughs. Interestingly, the dates in the records show that, whilst in the middle of this repair, 65033 was transferred to Reedsmouth shed where she remained for approx. 10 months before receiving her first posting to South Blyth. There was yet another visit to Darlington Works for a 'general' in August / September 1953 followed by transfer to Hexham in late 1955. Her last 'general' took place at Darlington in August / September 1956 and she emerged as a 'saturated' locomotive - having been fitted with a boiler without superheat and the distinctive shorter smokebox. In August 1958, it was back to South Blyth for 4 months before moving on to Blaydon. Obviously having developed a liking for South Blyth, 65033 was back there at the beginning of May 1960 and is recorded as having had minor adjustments and a complete repaint on the 5th May in preparation for the 'J21 Railtour' (see below) just 2 days later - as a result, she was the only J21 to carry the BR crest in place of the emblem. At the beginning of January 1961, she moved to Heaton, but this transfer lasted less than 4 months before her final return to South Blyth on the 2nd April. 65033 continued to work from here for just over another year and was finally condemned on 23rd April 1962.

However, she was now a 'celebrity' engine having worked the RCTS (N.E. Branch) and Stockton & Darlington Locomotive Society 'J21 Railtour', the last J21 working over the Stainmore route - this featured a run from Darlington to Tebay, over Shap to Carlisle and back to Darlington via Penrith, KSE, West Auckland and the Shildon curve. As a result, 65033 was reserved for the National Collection. However, she was subsequently removed from the list on the grounds that the locomotive was no longer in original condition. She then languished for more than 5 years at Darlington Works, her future uncertain, until June 1968 - being saved at the 11th hour (4 days before being removed for scrap) by Dr. Frank Atkinson CBE, the founding Director of Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum, after he was contacted by enthusiast, Gerald Wildish.

Whilst at Darlington following withdrawal, 65033 was in the company of 65099. My understanding is that 65099 was formally withdrawn on the 20th October 1961 with cracked frames - the records show that her boiler was removed at Darlington on the 19th September 1960 and subsequently the engine was not repaired. The boiler on 65033 had, I believe, been condemned and, I have been told that, at some point, presumably when 65033 was still on the National Collection list, the boiler removed from 65099 was fitted to 65033 to make one good engine from the two - does anyone have any details please? So, if this is the case, the boiler currently carried by 65033 should be the 67A variant fitted to 65099 when she emerged from Darlington Works following her last recorded 'general' (13th August - 12th September 1953). Similarly, I understand that whilst the boiler swap was being undertaken, it was discovered that the cab fitted to 65033 was not 'hers' and belonged to 651xx. It will be most interesting to see if there are further components from other members of the class on 65033. 

Preservation History

65033 was moved to the relative safety of the steelworks at Consett and, in 1970, she was transferred to Tanfield where restoration work was undertaken allowing a return to steam as 876 in NER green. On the move once more, this time to Beamish - the locomotive worked there from 1975 and Sir John Betjemen rode on 65033 at the opening of 'Rowley' station in 1976 but, with the expiry of the boiler certificate in December 1983, she has not worked since. Stored in the open air until 1999, 65033 was subsequently moved from Beamish to the Flour Mill for an initial inspection in order to determine the work required to return her to working order and was then transferred to the North Norfolk Railway. In March 2009, ownership of the locomotive passed from Beamish to 'The Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust' who, in May 2010, transferred 65033 to 'Locomotion' at Shildon where it is intended that she will be returned to working order in a joint project with the National Railway Museum - an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund is in preparation.


RCTS Locomotives of the LNER Part 5 - pp. 127-144 Class J21

Yeadon's Register of LNER Locomotives Volume 47 Part A 'The North Eastern 0-6-0s'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NER Class C1



It is intended that this album will contain photographs of 65033 during both its working life and the preservation era up to the time it was acquired by the LCLT. 


This album contains photographs of 65033 at 'Locomotion', Shildon. It is hoped that it will ultimately contain a record of the restoration of the locomotive and the Bogie Tools Van No. 5523.

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