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Mystery of the LNER J7

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I have been doing some research for my forthcoming Gresley book (shameless plug over) and have come across a real historical oddity!

    I have a document entitled Use of Engine Power. This covers 1942-1946 for the LNER's locomotive fleet. I have been organising a part of my spreadsheet version of this document into a whole-line average for the different classes, when I noticed this:

    upload_2021-12-17_13-55-18.png

    A quick check of the LNER encyclopaedia here reveals this is the only class J7 listed: https://www.lner.info/locos/J/j7.php

    upload_2021-12-17_13-56-1.png

    These were all gone by 1936 according to the LNER Encyclopaedia, RCTS Green Books, and pretty much any source I have that lists them. So I thought - okay, hands up - I've made an error in the spreadsheet when copying across.

    Except, I haven't. Here's a snippet from 1946 where class J7 is clearly given:

    upload_2021-12-17_13-54-59.png

    One single locomotive of class J7 working in the SE part of the LNER.

    So here's the thing. Knowing how these records were collated, I am forced into thinking that there are a range of potential "truths"

    • A surviving loco has been put back into service. How likely is this? Not very given it would be 10 years since they were all supposedly scrapped
    • Another loco has been mis-identified. This seems more likely, but if it's a one off locomotive, then to add it into the statistics specifically as J7 seems unlikely.
    • J7 has been used to describe another class, possibly from another region. I can find no record of any 0-6-0s being loaned to the LNER, but they did loan the GWR some J25s
    Have I missed an historical quirk of the LNER somewhere here? Where and what was class J7 in 1946?

    Answers on a postcard...!
     
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  2. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres

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    I am tempted to suggest a typo for J70 - the tram engines that were built in 1942 for service in East Anglian docks but 12 of these were built and presumably in service by 1946. Apart from that I cannot think of any alternative loco that served in the East Anglia division unless it was a USA 0-6-0 shunter on loan for local duties.
     
  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Does this J7 appear in a single record for a single year only, or is it in multiple years? If its just in a single year then I submit typo is the most likely explanation.
     
  4. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    I notice that the single "J7" is shown as belonging to the Southern Area Eastern Section (i.e. ex-GER), whereas the actual ex-GNR J7s appear to have always worked in Yorkshire & Notts.

    Have you got the right number of ex-GER J17s in the statistics? If one of those got mis-classified somewhere along the line ....

    Alternatively, could the "J7" have survived in use as a stationary boiler or some other non-running function?
     
  5. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Departmental engine, accidentally or intentionally put back in?
    (I discovered only recently that the departmental thing mattered for insurance purposes).
    Or, more sinister IPoRCTS...
    https://xkcd.com/190/
    Are you communicating with other statisticians...?
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Cock up before conspiracy? OK ..... I can happily go with that. :Pompus:
     
  7. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    Is it worth having a look in Box tunnel see if its hiding there ;-)

    Chris
     
  8. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    If you look, it disappears. Schroedinger's locomotive
     
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