BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PROTOTYPE.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley the first batch of 44 locomotives appeared in 1926. Originally ordered as “Goods Engines” they were outwardly similar to the earlier J38 but had 6 inch larger diameter driving wheels. It was soon discovered that the J39 made an excellent mixed traffic locomotive.
In every year from 1926 until 1938, the L.N.E.R. added to their stock of J39’s by producing further batches. The final batch was produced in 1941 which brought the total number of J39’s built to 289. This made the J39 the largest single class of L.N.E.R. locomotives (The J15 class had a similar number but were built over a 30 year period and differed widely)
The J39 worked all over the L.N.E.R. area and continued to give good service until almost the end of steam on British Railways. All J39’s were withdrawn between 1959 and 1962, the last one being scrapped in 1964. None were preserved.
ABOUT THE MODEL AND OPTIONAL PARTS.
With 289 J39s built over a 16 year period it should be fairly obvious that the various batches of locomotives had detail differences. The prototype chosen for the Tower Brass locomotive was the most commonly produced. It depicts the J39 with a 4200 gallon Group Standard Tender.
A number of optional parts are included with the locomotive. These include a second Wakefield lubricator which can be fitted to the right hand side of the locomotive between the step and the front driver if required. Also included is a grate dropping apparatus. This is a semi circular disc which can be fitted between the rear and middle splashers on the right hand side of the locomotive. About half of the locomotives in the class had these fitted. Also supplied are cab seats. These were fitted and removed at various times.
We have not supplied either steam reversers or Westinghouse brake cylinders as these were not widely used.