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J 15 No.65462 at Toddington on the Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Railway on the Santa Specials.

The LNER J15 is an 0-6-0 mixed traffic tender engine built from 1883 - 1913. 


The J15 locomotives were designed under the supervision of Thomas William Worsdell (T.W. Worsdell), the engines were all built in Stratford in batches of 27, except for one batch, that was built by Sharp, Stewart and Co. in 1884. These locomotives were mixed traffic tender engines that were used for both passenger and freight duties as well as shunting. The mixed traffic tender engines were very adaptable to whatever working environment they were put in. They could manage easily with any train they were given and worked all over the entire reigon of East Anglia, particularly Norfolk but also the counties of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. In World War Two these engines were seen as so useful that they had 43 of their 289 class shipped over to France and Belgium. In view of their very adaptable and sturdy build qualities, these engines were the most ubiquitous types of locomotives in the Eastern areas of the UK. They were even found to be working on the lightest of standard gauge branchlines, such as the former Mid Suffolk Light Railway, (Middy) in Suffolk, UK.

The J15 locomotives were a very simple design and, like most mixed traffic engines, were designed to be robust and easy to drive. In addition, the only modifications these engines ever recieved was their cab; the roof was raised slightly and the driver's side windows altered. Building a J15 from scratch was a very simple job as was maintenance, mending and, overhauling. No.65462 was the sole survivor of the class and took a mere 10 hours to build. It was pulling it's first trains the same day and still retains the record of being the quickest steam engine ever built in British History. It is perhaps ironic that only one of these locomotives still survives today, considering their usage was so extensive on East Anglian rails.


There is only one sole survivor J15 out of a class of 289, built in the World, this engine as mention earlier is No.65462 which was built in 1912. It worked in the County of Norfolk all it's life, until it's preservation era, when it was lent to various other railways in the past. This engine is now preserved on the approx. 5 mile heritage railway of the North Norfolk Railway, or the Poppy Line as it is otherwise known as. This locomotive is a regular performer on the railway and operates today, doing what it did all those years ago. Working with passenger and freight trains. It still holds the record for being the quickest built engine in the UK, which was around 8 hours in Stratford works, it also turned 100 years old in 2012.

As of 2015 the J15 came out of its overhaul, in its 1880s design with a lower cab arch and in the GER (Great Eastern Railway) livery, which was royal blue with black and red lining. It also now sports its GER number No.564 and is currently coded under the GER Y14 class instead of the LNER J15. The GER was a pre-grouping railway company, connecting East Anglia to London and operated from 1862-1923 to form the LNER.