Blaenavon's Heritage Railway are pleased to announce that they will be having a guest steam locomotive for the summer, the delightful little tank engine Joem. The locomotive was built in 1951 by British Railways to a design that was first introduced by the North Eastern Railway back in 1898. It came under the classification J72 and carried the number 69023. Withdrawn from traffic in 1967 the locomotive was purchased by Mr. R. Ainsworth for preservation and moved to the Keighly and Worth Valley railway for restoration. It was here it gained it's name 'Joem', this being taken from the names of his father Joseph, and his mother Emmeline.
Following the death of it's owner the locomotive was then purchased by the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group who overhauled it in 1985 and at the same time repainted it in an N.E.R./BR style lined green livery. This was inspired by British Railways who had repainted two of the class for use on station pilot duties at Newcastle and York in N.E.R. green in the early 1960's. The name Joem was retained and the locomotive has been a very popular visitor to many heritage railways around the country since, but this will be its first visit to South Wales.
The locomotive is due to arrive at the start of August and is planned to be in use on the following weekends August 18/19, 25-27 (includes the transport rally on the 26/27) and the big steam gala on the 14-16 September when it will be working along side the railways home based steam engines and special guest, the massive and powerful GWR 4247. An engine which once called the Valleys home. Joem will also be used for driver experience trains on the 30th September, so if you fancy the chance to drive this famous engine, then now is your chance. Said Alex Hinshelwood, the railways traffic manager, “ It's been very difficult to find a second engine for our steam gala so we are very grateful to the NELPG for coming through with Joem. We look forward to having it at the railway and can't wait to see how it looks with our GER saloon”.
Posted on: Thursday 28th June 2012