The Class J39 typifies the traditional British goods engine of 0-6-0 wheel arrangement the configuration which was favoured for over a century in this country. It is notable in that this, along with its sister class J38, was the very first 0-6-0 tender locomotive built by the LNER. Designed originally by Gresely as a standard goods loco and introduced in 1926, a total of 289 were constructed. The Class showed themselves to be one of the finest examples of the type ever built, and with wheels six inches larger diameter than the J38, proved to be well suited to mixed traffic work, with their ability to accelerate rapidly on passenger trains. The J39's eventually became the largest Class on the LNER, and could be seen over the greater part of the English region of the LNER with some minor exceptions. In the main, the locomotives were used on freight services, the role for which they were originally intended. A variety of tenders was used, including 3500 gallon and 4200 gallon Group Standard types, the latter with flat or flared ('stepped') sides. It is interesting to note that the trade depression of the early 30's necessitated a cut-back in the new locomotive construction, resulting in a shortage of tenders 'borrowed' from Class J38's! The J39 0-6-0's underwent very little change through their working lives, being of such a simple and trusted design. The only major alterations were the change to mechanical reversing gear to replace steam operated equipment of NER origin, and removal of the Westinghouse brakes under BR ownership. Withdrawal of the entire class took place quite swiftly between 1959 and 1962, with not a single J39 surviving into preservation.