LNER Class J39

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LNER Class J39
Grantham Shed geograph-2357176-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
No. 4965 at Grantham Shed 1947
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Designer Nigel Gresley
Build date 1926-1941
Total produced 289
 • Whyte 0-6-0
 • UIC Ch
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia. 62 in (1.575 m)
  • J39/1: 54 ft 0 in (16.46 m)
  • J39/2: 55 ft 8 38 in (16.977 m)
  • J39/3: 54 ft 10 18 in (16.716 m)
Loco weight 57.85 long tons (58.8 t; 64.8 short tons)
Tender weight J39/1 44.2 long tons (44.9 t; 49.5 short tons), J39/2 52.65 long tons (53.5 t; 59.0 short tons) J39/3, various
Fuel type Coal
Water cap Various
 • Firegrate area
26 sq ft (2.4 m2)[2]
Boiler pressure 180 psi (1.24 MPa)
Heating surface 1,397.78 sq ft (129.858 m2)[2]
 • Heating area 271.80 sq ft (25.251 m2)[2]
Cylinders Two, inside
Cylinder size 20 in × 26 in (508 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gear Stephenson
Valve type piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort 25,665 lbf (114.16 kN)
Operators London and North Eastern Railway
British Railways
Class LNER: J39
BR: 4P5F
Disposition All scrapped

The London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Class J39 was a class of medium powered 0-6-0 steam locomotive designed for mixed traffic work throughout the former LNER system between London and the north of Scotland.[3]


The class was introduced by Nigel Gresley in July 1926, based on his previous Class J38 (introduced in January 1926) but with larger driving wheels. The larger wheels enabled them to be used on both passenger and freight trains, although at the expense of a lower tractive effort. As a result they were given the BR power classification 4P/5F, rather than the 6F of the earlier class. A total of 289 examples were built over next fifteen years.

The larger wheels necessitated the provision of low splashers over the front two wheels, which is the main means of differentiating between the two classes. The locomotives were all fitted with superheaters and Ross 'Pop' safety valves.[3]

J39/2 No. 64898 at Lincoln, Pelham St. Level-Crossing 21 May 1956

All passed into British Railways ownership in 1948 and they were numbered 64700-64988. They began to be withdrawn from service in 1959 and all examples had been scrapped by the end of 1962.[4]


J39/3 No. 4973 at Immingham Locomotive Depot 21 September 1947.

The class was divided into three sub-classes depending on the type of tender fitted.

  • J39/1 Standard LNER 3500 gallon tender.
  • J39/2 Standard LNER 4200 gallon tender.
  • J39/3 Various former North Eastern Railway tenders 3940-4125 gallons.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • Circa 1930, locomotive No. 1448 was derailed by trap points at Lumpsey Colliery, Brotton, Yorkshire.[5]
  • On 28 August 1950, the connecting rod of a locomotive of this class became detached and consequently pierced the firebox, scalding the driver.[6]
  • On 23 October 1950, locomotive No. 64880 was hauling a passenger train that was derailed at Drumburgh, Cumberland due to the condition of the track. Two people were killed and three were injured.[7]


None have survived to preservation but there are plans to build a replica of an LNER J39,(BR 64960) along with a J38, for preservation in a few years to come.[when?][citation needed]

In model form[edit]

Bachmann manufactures the J39/2 version in 00 gauge model form.[8]

Bassett-Lowke manufactures the J39/2 version in 0 gauge model form.

Union Mills manufactures the J39 in British N-Scale

Graham Farish-Bachmann manufactures the J39 in N Scale|British N-Scale as BR black with late crest & stepped tender numbered as 64841 and 64880


  1. ^ Boddy et al. 1982, p. 16.
  2. ^ a b c Boddy et al. 1982, p. 15.
  3. ^ a b Casserley 1960, p. 186.
  4. ^ Stubbs & Boddy 1963, p. 9.
  5. ^ Trevena 1981, p. 26.
  6. ^ "Locomotive failure near Winchfield 23 November 2013" (PDF). Rail Accident Investigation Branch. p. 32. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Earnshaw 1993, p. 24.
  8. ^ "Branchline OO Scale Steam Locomotives". Bachmann Europe Plc. 13 December 2016. 


  • Boddy, M.G.; Neve, E.; Tee, D.F.; Yeadon, W.B. (September 1982). Fry, E.V., ed. Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 6A: Tender Engines - Classes J38 to K5. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-53-3. 
  • Casserley, H.C. (1960). The Observers book of railway locomotives of Britain. Federick Warne & Co. Ltd. 
  • Earnshaw, Alan (1993). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 8. Penryn: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-52-4. 
  • Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives (1962 ed.). 
  • Stubbs, W.T.; Boddy, M.G. (1963). Locomotive stock book 1963. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. 
  • Trevena, Arthur (1981). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 2. Redruth: Atlantic Books. ISBN 0-906899-03-6. 

External links[edit]