Jb 1236

Wheel Arrangement: 4-8-2
Weight: 108 tons
Cylinder: 18"x26"
Driving Wheel Dia: 54"
Length: 67'
Boiler Pressure: 200lbs
Year Built: 1939
Built By: North British

Built by North British Locomotive Works in 1939, J1236 was given the makers number 24559 and delivered to New Zealand in March 1940. It was initially based at Dunedin, working the hilly main line north of the city. Once sufficient newly built Hillside Ja locos entered service, J1236 was transferred to the North Island to work in Taumarunui, Frankton and Palmerston North districts.

1236 was transferred back to the South Island in October 1963. It worked out of both Christchurch and Dunedin and worked the last steam-hauled express out of Invercargill in November 1971, withdrawn from service in the same month. 1236 was purchased by the Railway Enthusiast Society (RES) of Auckland in 1972, to assist Ja1250 in hauling the South Pacific Steam Safari from Wellington to Auckland. It was during that trip that 1236 burst a steam tube. The fault was fixed in time for 1236 to assist 1250 on the delivery trip from Auckland to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway (GVR). The RES proposed to scrap the loco, prompting Mr P. Bulcher to purchase it. J1236 was towed to Auckland and transported to the Museum of Transport and Technology. In 1988 J1236 changed hands again, this time to Ian Welch, and was transported to the Auckland goods yard for storage.
With the move to the Parnell Depot plans were made to rebuild 1236. Along the way there were many distractions and it wasn't until 1998 that a concerted effort was made on the restoration process. Much work had to be done and the locomotive was stripped down to the last nut and bolt with many parts having to be completely re-built. The decision was made to convert 1236 from a coal burner to an oil burner. This required the firebox and the tender to be modified and all the associated oil burning control equipment to be built from scratch. This conversion to oil burning is the reason J1236 became Jb1236, just as the railways changed the classification when they converted a number of J's to oil burners.
Jb1236 is currently operates out of our Christchurch Depot.

The Story of Mainline Steam by Jo Evans
Cavalcade of New Zealand Locomotives - A N Palmer & W W Stewart
Register of New Zealand Railway Steam Locomotives 1863 -1971 - W G Lloyd