WITH regards to the report in The Press of August 12 – “When the railway tracks fell silent” – your readers may be interested to know that steam engine class J27 65894, which hauled the last official freight train from Malton to Kirbymoorside, has survived the scrap man, unlike the railways of Ryedale.
Purchased by the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group from British Railways for preservation in 1967.
It was restored and moved to the newly opened North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) in October 1971.
In May 1973, it had the honour of hauling the official reopening train carrying the Duchess of Kent, and has subsequently worked on the NYMR and other heritage railways around the country.
Now undergoing its latest ten-year overhaul at our workshops at Hopetown, Darlington, it is hoped that it will be returned to operation on the NYMR in 2016, in time to mark the G group’s 50th anniversary along with our three other preserved main line ex North Eastern locomotives: class K1 62005 currently running between Fort William and Mallaig in Scotland on the Jacobite steam service; class Q6 63395 about to re-enter service on the NYMR after major firebox repairs; and class J72 69023 “Joem” currently running steam services on the Wensleydale Railway in North Yorkshire.
Chris Lawson, North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group secretary and archivist, The Mount, York.