For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

Y14 Class 0-6-0 1883-1892, 1899, 1906, 1912-1913

LNER Class J-15

37-41, 119-124, 507-571, 610-649, 680-699, 800-934, 936-945

7018 416Lens of Sutton/GERSHC 7018/416 T.W. Worsdell’s Y14 class 0-6-0 goods engines were introduced in 1883, mainly to handle the increased coal traffic from Yorkshire consequent upon the opening of the Great Northern & Great Eastern Joint Line. Examples were built down to 1913, and they became the GER’s largest single locomotive class, 289 engines being built in total. Withdrawal of the earliest engines began in 1920, but 277 passed to the LNER in 1923, and were the largest single class inherited by the new company. The design underwent little external alteration over the period of building, and the 1913 engines were little-different to the originals of thirty years earlier. The photograph shows No. 699 as built in March 1886. At this period GER goods engines were painted in the same Ultramarine lined blue livery as the passenger locomotives.


7002 49GERS Collection 7002/49

No. 825 was one of the earlier engines of the class built under James Holden, and it was completed in September 1887. Holden made a number of detail alterations to the design, such as altering the size of the boiler tubes, but externally they were identical to the Worsdell originals. The standard tender for the class was originally the Worsdell class Z14 2755 gallon type, although a few batches of engines had older second-hand tenders. The Holden S23 class 2640 gallon tender was fitted to later engines of the class, and second-hand examples replaced all of the surviving earlier types by the early 1950s.

7005 056LPC 1560/GERSHC 7005/56

No. 611 was fitted with a new boiler in 1897, and at the same time it was fitted to burn oil fuel on Holden’s patent system. The oil fuel tanks are mounted on top of the tender, which is of the later standard S23 type, holding 2640 gallons of water. The engine is in unlined black, which had been standard for GER goods engines since 1890.

7002 03GERSHC 7002/03

Production of the Y14s ceased – temporarily, as it turned out – in 1892 when Holden introduced his new N31 class 0-6-0s (q.v). These were supposed to be an improved version of the Y14s, but they were anything but! In 1899 Holden went back to turning out Y14s, these new engines featuring a number of detail alterations that had become standard fittings in the interval. However, the only visible alteration was that the cut out in the cab side was less deep. A further twenty were built for goods work in 1899, but another ten – numbered 640-649 – were fitted with Westinghouse brakes for mixed traffic work. Shown in the photograph is No.643, one of five engines of this batch that were additionally fitted with vacuum ejectors. All ten were finished in blue livery, with the GER crest on the driving wheel splashers. In 1900 Holden introduced his larger and more-powerful F48 class 0-6-0s, which then became the standard GER goods engine. However the mixed-traffic Y14s were proving so useful that three further batches of ten dual-fitted engines were built in 1906, 1912 and 1913. These were also painted in the blue livery.

7080 007LCGB Ken Nunn Collection 2100/GERSHC 7080/007

During the First World War 43 Y14 0-6-0s were transferred to the Railway Operating Department of the Royal Engineers and shipped to France and Belgium. Their light weight made them ideal for use on hastily-repaired track, and they generally worked closer to the front lines than most other conscripted British locomotives. All 43 returned to the GER, but one had been damaged beyond repair, and it was the first of the class to be withdrawn from service, in 1920. Under the ROD they retained their GER numbers, and No. 534 is seen here on active service.

7018 014GERS Collection 7018 014

Under the LNER the ex-GER Y14 0-6-0s became class J-15. No. 627 is seen here ex-works at Stratford in very early LNER black livery with a new numberplate, but still with its original number – not even the ‘E’ suffix – and lettered “L&NER” on the tender.

7018 021GERS Collection 7018 021

The passenger-fitted engines were extremely useful for special troop trains, excursions and the like. This picture shows No. 643 again – by now LNER No. 7643 – at Kensington Addison Road in the 1930s with an excursion train returning to the Southern Railway.

700 1529Real Photographs 1151/GERSHC 700 1529

Throughout the LNER period the older members of the class were withdrawn, although 127 survived to become BR property in 1948. Those that lasted long enough gained new cast rimmed chimneys, raised steel cab roofs, coal guards on the tender, washout plugs on the firebox, and Ross ‘pop’ safety valves, as shown here by No. 7570 in the late 1930s.

700 1538GERS Collection 700/1538

Under the LNER’s 1946 renumbering scheme, the J-15s became Nos. 5350-5479. The locomotive shown here, No. 5354, was renumbered from 7527 in June 1946. This engine carries one of the first boilers to be fitted with pop safety valves, which are mounted on the base of the original Ramsbottom valves. Like a number of other J-15s, it has also acquired a shorter chimney, probably from an E-4 2-4-0 (q.v.).

7002 132R.C. Riley/Transport Trust 10073/GERSHC 7002 132

So useful were the dual-fitted J-15s that in the early 1930s seven of the steam-brake only goods engines were fitted with vacuum ejectors, and five of these were also given new side-window cabs and tender cabs for use on the former Colne Valley & Halstead line. This was because the line formerly had used tank engines, and there were no turntables, which meant that these J-15s had to spend half their time running tender-first. This is BR No. 65391 (ex-GER No. 888), which was fitted with a vacuum ejector in 1932, gaining its new cab two years later. The J-15s lasted until the very end of steam power on the ex-GER lines in September 1962. Of the last four, three were from the 1912 batch, whilst the other was built in 1889, and thus half as old again as its comrades.