|Designer||T S Worsdell|
|Driving Wheels||3ft 6¼ins|
|Cylinders||Inside – 14in x 20in|
|Valve Gear||Stephenson – (slide valves)|
The North Eastern Railway (NER) had an interest in nine major ports along the east coast and some of the railways at these ports could only be use by short wheelbase locomotives.
The Y7 class was designed by T.W. Worsdell in 1888, to replace the various Manning Wardle 0-4-0 saddle tank shunting locomotives used by the NER. The first batch was for six locomotives, and proved a great success. Their simple, bare design easily navigated the tight curves and poor quality track which they ran on. The Y7 proved so successful, that the NER ordered a further ten in 1891 and three in 1897. The nineteen NER engines were all built at Gateshead. These were followed by a final batch of five ordered by the LNER in 1923 which were built at Darlington, to replace Y7s which had been sent to the Alexandra Docks in Hull.
The engines were originally fitted with dumb buffers, but these were changed for small round buffers during the 1930s, some also gaining vacuum brakes during this period; only hand and steam brakes were fitted when built.
Locomotives operating at Tyne Dock were altered to take shunting poles on each corner of the engine, giving the ability to pull a wagon on an adjacent line
Although the Y7s are often considered not to have a bunker, they did have a small bunker at the rear of the left water tank. The base of the bunker opened out into the cab, allowing easy access to the coal. This coal space was balanced in the right tank by the space required to accommodate the reversing gear’s movement. The bunker would typically be covered with coal, giving the appearance that coal was simply piled on top of the left side tank. Although coal would sometimes be also piled on the right side, this space was usually reserved for the fire irons.
Most of the Y7 duties were limited to Tyneside, Hull Docks, and the Darlington North Road Works yard. The two Darlington North Road Works engines were initially listed as Service Stock, but they were transferred in August 1926. By the late 1920s, the Depression led to a reduction in dock work. Also the new Sentinel Y1 & Y3 shunters had lower labour costs with their one man operation. Therefore the sixteen locomotives from the first two batches were withdrawn between 1929 and 1932. Nine of these were sold to industrial users.
|Y7 introduced by Worsdell on the NER in 1888|
|Y1 designed by Sentinel Co and introduced on the LNER in 1925. The first was used at Lowestoft Harbour. These shunting locomotives only consumed about 15lb of coal per mile and could be operated by one person.|
|Y3 designed by Sentinel Co and introduced on the LNER in 1927. This was like the Y1 but had a two speed gearbox.|
During 1929 and 1930 three of the oldest Y7 engines were sold to R Frazer & sons of Hebburn on Tyne who then auctioned them to colliery companies in Northumberland and County Durham.
The NER subsequently disposed of two of the locomotives built in 1923. One was used by the Army from 1939 and was initially based at Woolwich Arsenal and later at other Royal Ordnance factories before being scrapped in 1947. The second worked on a harbour project at Morecambe before being scrapped in 1955.
Two engines came into BR stock in 1948. 68088 was used as a departmental engine at Stratford Works (allocated the number 34 in 1952, but withdrawn in December 1952 without having been renumbered). 68089 worked the last passenger trains on the North Sunderland Railway.
Both engines were sold out of service in 1952. 68089 was sold to a firm of contractors for constructional work on the Morecambe promenade. It was finally scrapped in December 1955.