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When I came across the negative of this picture, taken on 19th September 1958, I was puzzled by the locos, well, one of them. There's an ex-GCR N5, which Neasden used as pilots, and a Thompson B1, several of which were allocated in the 1950s. But centre stage is an ex-GER J68 with a 30A Stratford shed plate.

Over the years Neasden had temporary allocations of several lesser classes, including ex-GER N7 0-6-2Ts to help serve exhibitions at Wembley but I can't imagine an 0-6-0 J68 or J69 being used for that. When locos were transferred they didn't immediately gain a new shed plate so presence of Stratford's is not really significant. The records don't show an official transfer anyway. I'm wondering if it was tried on pilot duties, and then sent back? The answer may be in back issues of railway magazines for 1958, or maybe somebody's memory? It would be nice to know; if anyone can help, please, get in touch via the Contact link!

Robert Ward has come forward to say that he visited NEA that month and didn't see this loco so we still don't know what it might have been doing there - and that it was a J68. Caption corrected, thank you.

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Related locations on the GCLE:

Marylebone - is here.

Neasden - is here.

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