North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

A record of events, activities and our work with the Q6



Saturday 16th March 2019

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Ian reports a very wet but mild day at Grosmont yesterday, with Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Alan Hardie, Peter Whitaker, Alan Dawson, and Ian himself. Nigel cleaned out the stove and got it lit while Ian made the tea as Peter and Alan arrived. Alan Dawson, Peter's mate, who is also a fireman on the NYMR, took all the dirty pots down to the MPD for washing and also filled the water bottles. Then cups of tea and a bit of chin wagging.

Peter got started painting on the Q6 and Alan D went down to the MPD to do some cleaning up. Nigel, Ian and Alan H fitted the left hand Q6 tender brake rod. This required the use of a pull lift and strop to get the pin hole lined up, then a bit of chamfer was put on to the pin before it would go in. It was secured with a washer and the split pins opened out. They were unable to do anything with the right hand rod as it still requires welding. Trevor had made a warming shelf which he welded to the stove chimney, so we now have a hot plate to warm our pies and pasties. Prior to welding the plate to the chimney, the welder would not start, but, after investigation, the fuse was found to have blown, a new fuse was fitted, and the welder returned to life.

Lunch was had round the stove. Trevor had to leave after lunch due to urgent business at home. Peter continued with painting for a while but had to stop due to the damp conditions and left about 2pm. Nigel and Alan Hardie worked on the J27 locker doors, fitting chains to the inside to stop them dropping onto the water valve handles. Ian painted the left hand Q6 tender brake rod and Nigel had a tidy up under the work bench by removing all the old spark arrestor mesh to bay 6, top shelf, upstairs. Alan H put the right hand brake pins and washers/split pins in their respective holes awaiting the rod.

 

Wednesday 13th March 2019

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With the worst of the wind from storm Gareth behind us, it didn't turn out to be too bad a day at Grosmont yesterday - quite warm in the sun out of the wind. With Peter Whitaker, Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson, Nigel Bill and myself. The stove was cleaned out and lit by Ian P and then kettle on for our usual cuppa.

First job for the two Ians was to comple last Saturday's work on the J27 by tightening the bolts on the water valve flange. To do this the bracket bolts had to be removed to enable the valve to drop sufficiently to gain access to the inner nut and bolt on the water valve. With this achieved, all the bolts then tightened up and the bracket bolted back onto the frames, the job was complete. Ian M then set about securing the water valve handle in the cab which he did with some shims and secured with a split pin. Today the J27 and S160 are due to be swapped over, putting the S160 onto No7 Road to allow for painting and fitting components onto the left side of the locomotive, whilst the J27 stands on No 8 Road waiting for its start of work at the end of the month on services in conjunction with the visit by A4 No 60009 Union of South Africa.

Meanwhile, Bill and I were involved in removing the Q6 tender brake linkages for NDT testing. The left hand side was removed first, which strangely enough is stamped right. So it was no surprise to find the right hand side stamped left when that was removed! Both these rod have adjusting buckles which were taken apart and cleaned. Peter Whitaker was fully employed setting up masking tape and painting tender letters and numbers. Lunch as usual was had round the stove.

 

Three wise men searching for cracks - Chris Lawson

After lunch I painted with black primer all the brake rods that had been NDT tested and fitted back on the engine, then opened up all the split pins on the brake pins. Everyone else was fully employed (see photo), cleaning the tender brake rods ready for NDT testing. The cleaning was done in various ways - scraping, wire brushing, and burning the old paint off with the oxy gear. Both sets of rods were NDT tested and no cracks found , but what was found was some wear on the right hand rod about a foot above the threaded end. This was shown to Paul Middleton who will inform John Graham and get Mark O' Brien to weld it up. This rod has been put under the seat at the north end of Deviation Shed waiting to be welded. Bill measured the thickness of the cylinder liner which was found to have plenty of metal left for boring out next winter. He also received his PTFE gasket material which is to be used as a sealing ring for the right cylinder cover. I did the monthly check on the defibrillator, and delivered to the workshop a box of hi vis vests for Bryan Orange and the JVs.

 

Saturday 9th March 2019

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Ian reports that yesterday was not the best morning for travelling to Grosmont, with sleet and snow hammering down and slippery road surfaces but everyone got there safely. Within half an hour of arrival though, the sun started to shine and Andy Lowes, Arthur Jenkins, Bryan Orange and the Junior Volunteers, Peter Whitaker, Trevor Wilford, and Ian were blessed with a fine day.

Andy lit the stove and got the kettle on with cups of tea all round: he knows his priorities. Then, with Andy and Arthur Jenkins, it was down to the Machine Shop with some of the JVs for training. While others were completing their clamp exercise in Deviation workshop, JV Adam Dangerfield, set up a light in the Q6 firebox with Ian. With Adam in the firebox, he removed all of the rear grate, and while he was in the firebox wearing dust mask and safety glasses, he removed the remains of the last fire which had been pushed to the front of the box. This ash is now in the ash pan and will need to be removed sometime, but, with Peter painting, we do not want a lot of dust around. The fire bars were removed from the cab and are stacked on the side of No 6 Road: note one of the side bars has a short end piece broken off.

Trevor, being a burning expert, inspected the old propane hose and thought it was still in good condition, so he changed it over and refitted it with the new flashback arrestor obtained last week. He then checked it out for leaks and found it to be OK, so it looks as if it was the old Flashback arrestor which was causing the leak last Wednesday.

The new propane hose was therefore returned to the MPD stores and recorded by Ian on the stores withdrawal report sheet accordingly. Peter Whitaker marked out the front buffer beam and made a start on painting numbers and letters on the buffer beam and the left hand side of the tender. Ian brought a metal base from the boiler shop and put in front of the Q6 for Peter to sit on and making it more accessible for marking and painting the buffer beam. Lunch was had around the stove, being rather cramped with some of the JV's - the others had their lunches outside Deviation shed on the picnic tables as it was fine and the sun was shining.

After lunch, some of the JV's were set on cleaning the Q6 and J27 loco wheels, frames and running plates. Ian and Trevor removed the J27 right hand water valve so as to remove the operating spindle but, as ever there is always a something in the way - on this occasion the shed floor and the rail. The operating spindle was therefore drilled in

situ: an 8mm hole drilled on one side of the spindle hood, then tapped with a 3/8"Whitworth tap, and also a slight recess drilled into the square of the valve. The valve was refitted and bolted back in position but needs the right hand flange to be tightened more securely on Wednesday. The spindle was fitted with a 3/8" locking stud and secured in position. One of our standing lamps was repaired by a JV with Bryan's supervision. A good day was had with the JV's in attendance.

The next working party will be on Wednesday 13 March, when the Q6 jobs will include removal of the tender hand brake rods for cleaning and NDT testing, and cleaning and painting the brake rods that have already been NDT tested, along with checking that the split pins have all been properly opened up. There will also be the ash from the Q6 ash pan to remove, but it will need a good wetting first to keep the dust down. The J27 water valve right hand flange will also need tightening.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 20:57
 

Wednesday 6th March 2019

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A mild, dismal, showery day at Grosmont yesterday with Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Nigel Hall, Peter Whitaker, Ian Pearson, and myself, where progress reflected the weather - it was a very frustrating day. We managed to get the stove lit and kettle on for a cup of tea, but then had a long wait as shunting the Shed had only just started and we had no Q6 or J27 to work on. The shunting was originally booked for Tuesday, with the 9F boiler lift to follow yesterday, but because of the bad weather forecast for Wednesday, the jobs all got postponed for 24 hours, so the 9F boiler lift is now due today.

It became a waiting game therefore until the 9F frames were moved from No 7 Road in Deviation Shed. The Q6 was then moved to the north end of No 7 Road, and the J27 was brought up from outside the MPD on No 4 Road and put in front of the Q6. While waiting during the shunt, the two Ians completed a successful NDT test on the linkage from the Q6 loco to tender. This had been removed last Saturday but did not get tested: photos were taken and sent to Barney. Peter and Nigel started their prearations for painting, and I went down to see Sue Smeaton in the MPD Office to sort out some recharging issues she was concerned about. Ian Storey also called in to drop off a K1 firebar pattern he had had at home, and Bill had a long chat with him about locomotive matters. By the time the shunt had been completed it was nearly lunch time, so we had the kettle on again and lunch was had around the stove in Deviation Shed. In line with the miserable weather outside, the stove did not seem as hot as usual so we were all able to sit on the benches and not get boiled ourselves.

There was further frustration when our burning equipment was found to have a leak on the propane hose after Ian M had finally managed to remove the remaining nut from the manifold supply flange to the steam pressure gauge valve. The valve was taken off, cleaned, a new copper washer was annealed and fitted, and the valve fitted back onto the manifold flange by Bill. However, the two Ian's then seemed to be involved all afternoon in trying to cure the propane leak. After borrowing some O clips, first thinking it was the hose that had deteriorated, a piece was cut off and a new clip was fitted. After being reconnected to the flashback arrestor, the propane was turned on but it still leaked: this was repeated - same result. Back to the MPD stores to acquire a new hose which was fitted but it still leaked, so back to the stores again for a new flashback arrestor. This was fitted and that finally cured the propane leak. It had been intended to carry on with the NDT work on the Q6 during the day, but Barney asked if there was much work left to do on the J27 because the S160 workers had requested putting their locomotive on the pit on No 7 Road so they could get access to the left hand side for fitting and painting. He was told that the R/H water valve handle required removing for attention, but to do this it needs to be where it is now over the pit on No 7 Road . We have therefore been asked to give this priority and try to get the job completed by the end of Saturday. In the little time left after dealing with the propane leak, Ian M did manage to drill out the cotter pin and removed the handle. But to get the shaft out we will have to remove the water valve as the shaft can only be removed by pulling it down into the pit area - which is why we need the J27 on No 7 Road. In the meantime, with assistance from Bill, I managed to sort out and tighten up the loose steam heat pipe at the rear of the J27.

On the painting side, Peter Whitaker made a start on marking out the tender sides ready for lettering and numbering, while Nigel Hall removed the smokebox number plate, shed plate and and sand box worksplates, fitting bolts into the holes to preserve the threads. He also did some cleaning around the sandboxes. Now that work has started, can I ask please that no photographs are taken of the Q6 for social media or the railway press while it is being repainted. The intention is to have a major reveal of the 1918 livery at the media launch on 1 May, and that occasion would be destroyed if pictures were to appear beforehand. So, whilst you might be tempted, could you please resist.

The next working party will be on Saturday 9 March, when Bryan Orange and some of the JVs will also be in attendance. Apart from trying to catch up with the NDT work on the Q6, there will be the J27 water valve to deal with, and, at the request of the paint team, cleaning of the Q6 - particularly the wheels and frames under the running plate - to be carried out.

 

Wednesday 27th February 2019

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A beautiful glorious sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Steve Hyman, Jon Bradley, late comer Ian Pearson after a dental appointment arriving just in time for lunch, and myself.

After the usual cups of tea (with some dodgy looking milk), Jon relit the stove, and Steve and Nigel removed the R/H cylinder cover. Steve removed the copper washer which was found to be very thin and tight on the studs, which is possibly why the cover was leaking. Bill is going to order two more copper washers that are thicker and with a better corrugation. Steve cleaned the faces of the cover and cylinder around the studs, then oiled the faces. All the washers and nuts have been put back onto the studs for safe keeping. Nigel and I removed the front L/H brake rod for NDT testing. I spent a lot of time removing grease and chipping paint from the rod until Nigel got the burning gun working after Ian and Nigel had gone down to the MPD for a new oxygen bottle. Nigel then burnt the rest of the paint off before lunch. Ian McCall removed the front safety valve and cleaned both faces ready for a new gasket.

We had been asked to winterise both locomotives (snow is forecast for next week!), so Nigel started draining the Q6 boiler by loosening the front foundation ring mud hole door and knocking it in to get a slow but steady flow, with the pump operating to keep the water level in the pit down to manageable levels. The tender is still to drain. The J27 was put on the outside pit for Jon to winterise. The tender and boiler were drained, gauge frame protectors, rubbers and glasses removed and put in the tender locker, and the top gauge frame nuts slackened. The R/H injector cap was removed and put in the locker. The L/H cap was very tight and could not be removed.

Lunch was held round the stove in spite of the glorious weather, as Bill had brought some bacon and buns. In Derek's absence, Jon took over the chef's duties, frying the bacon on the pot bellied stove, so it was pots of tea (with fresh milk) and bacon buns all round!

After lunch, I did the NDT test on the brake rod. Both ends were OK and Ian took the necessary photos which were sent to Barney. The front rod was then re-fitted and secured but could do with a coat of paint to protect the two ends. The first intermediate to the driver brake rod was then taken down, cleaned of grease, oil and paint, and is now ready to be NDT tested. Ian P, after making the new safety valve gasket, then refitted the front safety valve. Ian M went on to ream out the tender front R/H stretcher bolt holes and fitted 4 new bolts. They are now secured and the job is complete. Bill started to loosen the flange coming off the manifold on the left hand side but found the nuts extremely tight - it is a stud with a nut either side. It holds the valve to the pressure gauge and the gasket between the flange, and the manifold was leaking steam slightly. Steve took over later in the afternoon and managed to get one side loose. Bill fitted the R/H cylinder cosmetic cover and only three small bolts are needed for the job to be complete. Barney is going to speak to Mark O'Brien today about his plans for getting the part rocking Q6 grate completed, as we need to get the painting progressed unhindered and also avoid any last minute panics as 1 May and the Q6 launch into its centenary year approach.

The MPD current plan is to shunt the J27 into Deviation Shed on Tuesday (it was used on the diner on Sunday, with a diesel on the rear, following the failure of 80136 which dropped its blower pipe), putting the Q6 at the north end of No 7 Road, with the J27 at the Pickering end, as this is required for running on 30th and 31st of March and the first week in April part of the train service during the visit by A4 60009 Union of South Africa. To achieve this, the 9F frames will be moved out ready for the boiler to be refitted, probably on Wednesday. Maurice Johnson and colleagues were hard at work on the S160 on No 8 Road and trying to find parts which had all been jumbled together on arrival at Grosmont from being carefully laid out at Teesside - we know the feeling!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 20:51
 


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