For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

‘No. 127 Class’ 0-6-0 1887


This engine was a 2-cylinder compound version of the Y14 class 0-6-0, and constructed under James Holden in 1887. It is possible that this was, in fact, a project inherited from Worsdell, and may explain why the unusual total of nineteen Y14s was ordered from Sharp, Stewart & Co. instead of the usual twenty. Whatever the reason, although the engine worked on the Worsdell-von Borries system, the motion was Stephenson's link, rather than Joy's radial gear. It was otherwise similar to the standard Y14s, except that the boiler was pitched higher, because of the higher position of the cylinders in the frames, which were arranged with the valves on top.

The engine underwent extensive testing, and at one point it would appear that the building of further examples was seriously contemplated. For some reason, the engine was provided with a new boiler in 1890 - only three years after it was built. In the following year it was renumbered 935 in the normal Y14 series and then, in 1895, it was rebuilt as a simple expansion machine. By this time, the N31 class was - albeit temporarily - the standard goods engine type, and so No. 935 was provided with N31 type cylinders and motion. As the new cylinders were spaced at the same 2-ft. centres as the originals, this saved the expense of a new crank axle. Upon rebuilding, it was thus regarded as an N31 class engine, although in most other features it was always a Y14 in exile. It was reboilered a second time in 1901 with the then-current 2-ring telescopic boiler and 160 lbs. pressure, and was withdrawn in 1913.