The Wheatley J86 (NBR Class E) 0-6-0 Tank Engines

J86 No. 228 at Cowlairs in 1902

Wheatley came to the North British Railway (NBR) in 1867 and found that most of the locomotives lacked the power for the work that was required of them. He approached the problem of local and branch passenger locomotives in 1870 with his Class E (LNER J86) locomotives. Only two of the J86s were built before the design was modified slightly to give the J81 locomotives. Both variations were given the NBR classification of 'Class E', and this appears to have led some confusion in the past.

Both of the J86s were fitted with weather boards instead of a cab. Hand brakes were fitted as standard although a Westinghouse brake was latter fitted to No. 228.

Both J86s were rebuilt with new boilers in 1901. The new boilers had domes which were further back. As with the J81s, the rebuilds were accompanied by new saddle tanks and Holmes-style chimneys.

Both engines were initially allocated to Cowlairs for working local passenger trains in the Glasgow area. No. 228 is noted as working the Blane Valley line for many years. Later on, they were re-allocated to shunting duties at Parkhead (No. 1172) and Polmont (No. 1173).

No. 1172 was withdrawn in 1919, leaving No. 228 to enter LNER ownership as No. 1173. By this time it was usually found shunting the Grahamston and Springfield Yards in Falkirk. No. 1173 was the last surviving Wheatley 0-6-0ST in traffic, when it was finally withdrawn in October 1924.

Technical Details

Cylinders (x2): (inside) 16x24in.
Motion: Stephenson
Valves: Slide
Boiler: Diameter (max): 4ft 0.75in
Length: 10ft 2in
Boiler Pressure: 140psi
Heating Surface: Total: 900.5 sq.ft.
Firebox: 83.5 sq.ft.
Tubes: 817 sq.ft. (171x 1.75in dia.)
Grate Area: 16 sq.ft.
Wheels: 5ft
Total Wheelbase: 15ft
Tractive Effort: (at 85%) 12,185 lb
Length: 28ft 5.25in
Weight: ~37t 2cwt
Max. Axle Load: ~13t 9cwt
Water Capacity: 759 gallons
Coal Capacity: ~1t 10cwt


None of the J86s survived into preservation.


I am not aware of any models of the J86s in any scale.