Monday, 17 March 2008

J9 or J10

Well it appears that a J9/J10 kit is on its way to us in 2009, news that makes my heart rejoice despite the inevitable impact on the old bank balance. Truth is I have to have one of these, even if it means selling something else. Ideally I'd like two or three, and the only loco I'd prefer would be the unlikely prospect of a Sacre 6C (J12).

I've already been looking at data and wondering what variations will be available in the kit. The first difference between a J9 and a J10 is that the former has Joy valve gear and the latter Stephenson. This is only visible if you look between the frames, assuming that is that you recognise the difference, which, to be bluntly honest, I don't at this stage.

In GC days these engines split into a number of classes.

9B 25 engines built by Neilson and Co 1891 (J9)
9E 6 engines built by Gorton 1894-5 (J9)
9D 12 engines built by Kitson 1892 (J10)
9D 6 engines built by Gorton 1893 (J10)
9H 66 engines built by Beyer Peacock 1896-97 (J10)
9H 40 engines built by Gorton 1901-02 (J10)

The 9Bs and 9Es were all built with round top boilers but were rebuilt with Robinson's standard No 1 Belpaire boilers from 1910-1921, the last conversion being 650.

The 9Ds also started with round topped boilers but were converted as above between 1910 and 1923. The 9Hs had belpaires from the start.

The Beyer Peacock engines had taller and wider cabs with a different cut out to match the 4000 gallon tenders. The others had 3080 gallon tenders. The Robinson engines had rectangular number plates and extended cabs. The others had short cabs but many (all?) were eventually given extended cabs also, although they kept transfer numbers.

Liveries? The early ones were in the rather sickly MS&L/early GC green. Having looked at what photos I can scrounge from my collection, my impression is that the engines built under Robinson were in the lined black livery, while the rest went from green to plain black. However this is a provisional impression and I may be wrong! Comments welcome.

So if the kit is indeed to cover both J9 and J10 it looks like it will have to come with a 3080 tender, while the Beyer Peacock series would need the standard 4000 tender and a different cab. There are of course various other details impacting on individual engines and I'll be surprised (and delighted) if the kit covers all the options. Certainly for the GC era it should be possible to have half a dozen of these locos and no two exactly the same. Great fun!

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