Although locomotives of this type are generally known by their LNER classification, J94, the design originated with the Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds in 1937. The J94 locomotives gained their claim to fame when, in 1942, they were chosen as the basis for a standard shunting locomotive for war service.
68009 was built in 1953 as Hunslet works No. 3825 for the National Coal Board and sent to the Kent coalfield. Although the locomotive ran for many years on the Great Central Railway in early British Railways livery, it was never a BR locomotive and therefore the number it carries belongs to a locomotive long since scrapped. However, it was discovered that the boiler was first fitted to the real 68009 and so it was felt appropriate to finish the loco in this livery. 68009 operated at the Snowdown Colliery near Deal in Kent.