The Tennant J74 (NER Class 8) 0-6-0 Tank Engines

J74 No. 20 at Alexandra Dock

McDonnell's resignation in September 1884 forced the North Eastern Railway (NER) to form a 'caretaker' Locomotive Committee chaired by Henry Tennant to handle the duties of a Locomotive Superintendent. This Committee quickly designed the very successful E5 2-4-0 (NER '1463') class, to replace McDonnell's troublesome '38' Class 4-4-0. Material for eight further '38's had been ordered, and the Committee chose to use the surplus parts to build eight side tank shunters. These eight engines were built in 1885 and were given the NER classification of Class 8. They had a number of unusual features including rounded fronts to their side tanks, and McDonnell-style brass beading around the combined front sandbox and splasher.

The original boilers were some of the last NER boilers which were built with iron plates. Records are poor, but they are thought to have had similar dimensions to the boilers fitted to the McDonnell J22 (NER '59') and NER '38' locomotives. Standard Worsdell boiler replacements were fitted between 1900 and 1905.

The J74s appear to have never been held in particularly high regard, and no official photograph of a J74 exists. Initial allocations were to Tyne Dock and Borough Gardens. A large influx of J72s in the early 1920s led to them being displaced to Alexandra Dock shed (Hull). At Hull, they replaced Hull & Barnsley locomotives which were condemned by the NER at the first opportunity. The J74s continued to shunt the docks at Alexandra for the rest of their lives.

The first J74 was withdrawn in February 1930, and the remainder in 1931. No. 662 was sold to Ashington Coal Co. where it became their No. 5, and was eventually scrapped in 1938.

Technical Details

Cylinders (x2): (inside) 17x24in.
Motion: Stephenson
Valves: Slide
Boiler: Diameter (max): 4ft 3in
Length: 10ft 3in
Boiler Pressure: 160psi
Diagram No: 69
Heating Surface: Total: 1093 sq.ft.
Firebox: 98 sq.ft.
Tubes: 995 sq.ft. (205x 1.75in dia.)
Grate Area: 15.6 sq.ft.
Wheels: 4ft 7.25in
Total Wheelbase: 15ft 9in
Tractive Effort: (at 85%) 17,077 lb
Length: 27ft 1in
Weight: 43t 10cwt
Max. Axle Load: 15t 4cwt
Water Capacity: 995 gallons
Coal Capacity: 2t


None of the J74s survived into preservation.


I am not aware of any models of the J74s in any scale.