North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Thursday 23rd January 2020


Ian Pearson reports another fine cold morning with blue skies and patchy thick fog on everyone's travels to Grosmont. With Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley and Ian himself. Also Nigel Bill and Steve Hyman were travelling down from Thornaby in the NELPG van to collect the T2 ‘s pistons for delivery to Ian Storey’s workshop. The stove was lit and kettle boiled for a cuppa while Ian P made some wedges to secure the pistons when in the van .

Ian M and Neil completed some outstanding work on the L/H tender water valve linkage. It is now all greased up and secured. Bill removed the pulling equipment from the regulator rod in the dome. Some measurements were taken of the regulator rod diameter at the stuffing box end by Bill for Ian Storey to make a sleeve. Nigel and Steve arrived about 10.30am with the van. The pistons were rolled onto a pallet, then lifted with the JCB front loader over to the van. After being rolled inside, they were secured firmly with ropes and wedges before departure for Morpeth after a cup of tea at 11.30am. Ian M and Neil removed the little end brasses from the con rods by making a pushing device with threaded bar and a couple of plates, nuts and washers. Bill removed the whistle for servicing and repairs. It was found to have a broken spring which Bill replaced with a new one, while the head of the whistle valve was found to be badly scored.

Lunch was had round the stove with Bill's dog, Zack, cleaning up the crumbs and nibbling bits of coal.

After lunch, Neil cleaned all the carbon from the J27 R/H valve which had been removed last Saturday. Ian M skimmed the whistle valve head on the lathe then Bill fitted the whistle back onto the boiler - one job completed! Ian M also did a lot of general cleaning work in the T2’s cab around the valves, including repacking and fitting the left hand manifold valve which has a feed to the pressure gauge.

After a report from Barney late last year that he thought the clunking noise was coming from the motion way shaft, Bill and Ian P checked this out and found significant movement on the bearing shaft. It looks like the way shaft will have to be removed and the bearings re-metalled.

The next working party will be on Saturday 25 January 2020, on both the T2 and J27. For the J27, Chris Henwood has now formally taken over from Richard Pearson as J27 caretaker following approval by the Board at its meeting on 21 January. Congratulations to him and best wishes for his new responsibility. He has a list of jobs for this Saturday arising from last week's working party, so come along and give him your support. TheJ27 is required for a special train on 13 April (more details later) so there is not a lot of time to get everything done if that target date is to be met.


Saturday 18th January 2020


Ian Pearson reports a fine cold day with blue skies all day at Grosmont yesterday (in contrast to Sydney where it poured down all day!) with Bill Dobson, Nigel Crisp and Ian himself working on the T2. Down the Shed, Chris Henwood, Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Neal Woods, Ashley Moore and Thomas Dibbs were working on the J27.

The stove was lit and the usual brew was made, along with a lot of chatter and passing of information regarding work on the J27. Bill and lan worked on the T2 regulator crank. Bill was up on the boiler trying the withdrawing device which Ian Storey had made, and had given to Bill and Ian on Thursday when they visited Hogg Engineering at North Shields who are making the new main steam pipes. But when Bill tried to fit it to the regulator rod it was a little on the tight side, so Ian ground a small amount of metal off from the slot. After the next fitting the slot was OK, but Bill thought the holes in the other plate where the threaded bar goes through, needed opening out a small amount. So the plate was drilled out slightly bigger, then re-assembled back onto the regulator rod, and the pressure put on by tightening up the nuts (see photo), but nothing moved. Then it was time for lunch which was had around the stove.

T2 regulator rod withdrawing device in situ - Ian Pearson

After lunch, in spite of major efforts to get the crank to move, it would not budge. So a lot of heat was applied, then more pressure was put on the withdrawal nuts, but still no movement. The crank was even doused with cold water and more pressure put on, but it still would not move. So in the end they had to give up and call it a day. Ian thinks it is going to have a sleeve fitted - maybe! Whilst all this was going on, Nigel Crisp spent the day setting up the cylinder boring machinery - see photo.

T2 left cylinder boring equipment in position - Ian Pearson

Meanwhile, on the J27, Angie was in the cab removing and examining the clack box valves - she has become somewhat of an expert at this job. She found the clack valves themselves needed more than just lapping in, as the valves faces were concave, so Paul has taken them to turn them on his lathe to correct this. The right hand steam valve threads were found to be worn, so Neal Woods has taken this away to have a new spindle made. The side rod caps were removed by Paul, and the clearances between crank and bush were then measured. The results have been emailed to ian Storey for advice, as one was found to be nearing the limit normally run on the K1. Thomas, Ashley and Neal were hard at work removing the right hand valve cover, and then removing the valve itself. This was after a bit of pinch barring the engine, and some reverser lever operation was performed, to get the cross head in a position to remove its cotter.

Neal and Chris then removed the rings and have completed 75% of the cleaning. One was found to be broken so Neal will see if there is a spare at Hopetown. Ashley removed and labelled all the of the mud hole doors and the majority of the washout plugs, which have been stored in the RH locker. Thomas removed the RH cylinder cover nuts, leaving 2 on for now. Paul cut, trial fitted, and left to soak In oil, a new felt for the trailing left rod bush. Plenty done therefore, and Chris now has a list of jobs for the next J27 working party on 25 January.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:54

Wednesday 15th january 2020


Ian Pearson reports a cold dull morning, but getting out fine by later on at Grosmont yesterday. With Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley and Ian himself. Stove lit and tea brewed with a discussion about how to get the brass bushes out off each T2 cylinder. It was decided to make up a pulling device from materials around the workshop - one small disc, one larger disc and a piece of threaded bar, along with a couple of nuts and washers.

T2 left hand cylinder bush showing carbon deposits - Ian Pearson

With this device, both brass bushes were successfully removed. They were found to be badly contaminated with carbon (see attached photo) and the left one was cleaned by Jon. It was manufactured in two halves and these have been put in the L/H gland packing box which is upstairs above the workshop. Lots of carbon was removed from both cylinders and their ports- Ed worked on this all day. Steve cleaned off the old steam reversing valve gasket from the boiler side and cleaned the flange, then fitted a new gasket and reversing valve. Unfortunately, while tightening the nuts, Steve hit his thumb with a hammer he was using, causing a cut across his left thumb. His thumb was treated down at the MPD by first aider, Adrian Dennis. Steve was OK after treatment and continued with his work. The accident was reported to Bryan Orange who is sending an accident report form to Steve. Steve a!so filled in an accident report at the MPD. Jon and Ian P got a short driving job just before lunch, taking the Class 37 from the shed down to the station and then up the main line to just beyond the bracket signal No 17. It is now in section for working to Goathland later this week when no signalman will be required and P/W will have a possession. Lunch was had around the stove.

Jon gave the brake cylinder a coat of primer and also painted the J27 toolbox. Ian M and Nigel worked on the L/H tender water valve. The carrot was taken off and ground in, was found to be working OK, but the linkage was seized. Eventually, with some heating, this was freed and now is working fine, although it needs securing which will be done on Saturday. The R/H water valve and linkage seem to be working satisfactorily. Ian P and Steve fastened an air line to the steam reversing cylinder to operate it. They managed to move it forward and back very slowly to remove any water trapped in the cylinder.

Apparently the recent gales have blown off a roofing sheet which was eventually found at the south end of Deviation Shed. Bryan Orange is arranging for that to be replaced as a matter of urgency, and for some other small roof repair jobs to be done at the same time.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 January 2020 10:48

Saturday 11th January 2020


Ian Pearson reports a grey, windy but mild day at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian Storey, Bill Dobson, Andy Lowes, Bryan Orange with 7 JV's (Adam Dangerfield, Luke Perry, Oliver Barker, James Clark and his Dad, Richard, Matthew Smith, Tom Readman and Findlay Brown) and Ian Pearson himself. Nigel Crisp, who is going to bore out the T2 cylinders was also present. Unfortunately Arthur Jenkins wasn't well enough to attend to give his tuition of workshop practices to the JV's ,due to a leg injury.

With Andy on his own he could only manage to train 4 of the JV's (Adam, James, Findlay and Oliver), 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.

After the usual cups tea, cleaning jobs were given to our JV's around the cylinders. Lots of carbon to remove where the piston gland packing fits, also just inside the front of the cylinder where a build up of carbon was evident. 2 of the JV's were in the workshop cleaning other piston gland components which were removed some weeks ago. Ian Storey arrived about 11 am with the refurbished steam reversing valve. Ian's main job though was to try and free the regulator crank in the dome. He had brought a special heat gun with him which required borrowing the Oxy and Acetylene bottle from the MPD. Duty fitter, Duncan Jackson, brought this up with the JCB. Ian then set up his burning gun and got on heating the crank arm in the dome. After two attempts of heating it cherry red and hitting it with a hammer it would not move. So this was abandoned and the burning gear returned to the MPD. Ian has another idea of making a device to withdraw the crank arm off the regulator rod. Bill stripped down one of the safety valves and removed the seat and the valve. We have new castings, and when Bill has all the correct dimensions the new castings will be machined. Bill had to leave about 10.30am but came back at lunch time with Zack (the dog), and lunch was had around the stove, with the JV's having theirs up in the MPD mess room.

After lunch, Ian P painted primer under the cab where the steam brake cylinder fits, and also cut a new gasket for the steam reversing valve.

This valve will be to fit next week. He was also keeping an eye on the JV's cleaning jobs. The cylinder boring equipment had been delivered to Deviation Shed on Friday afternoon: two large crates of kit which Nigel Crisp spent yesterday sorting and cleaning ready for when he starts next Saturday. He asked for a brass bush still in situ in the entrance to each cylinder to be removed. However, after scraping some carbon from the ends of these bushes it looks like they are in two halves and a special drift will be needed to remove them to get the boring shaft in .

The J27 remains on No 7 Road inside Deviation shed. It has been winterised. It is awaiting a piston and valve exam, and the steam heating system is to be investigated.


Wednesday 8th January 2020


A happy New Year to all our readers.

In this, the first Grosmont report for 2020, Ian Pearson reports a fine, mild day at Grosmont on Wednesday with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, and Ian P himself. Jon Bradley joined the team after lunch and Ed Bolam called in after completing his NYMR induction course, as did Martin Lloyd with his grandson who also completed the course. Another welcome visitor was Bob Grey who popped in to say hello and brought some old sheets for cutting into rags.

After Bill had consulted with Barney, he asked if one of the team could hone the inside of the brake cylinder. Ian M took on this job, so, after a cuppa, he went down to the MPD with Bill. The honing equipment was set up and Ian M completed the honing which was checked as OK by Barney. Ian M also cleaned the outside of the brake cylinder which is now ready for a coat of paint. At Deviation Shed, Steve got on with dismantling and cleaning the gauge frames, and clearing out the steam and water passages. He also found one of the gauge glass brass gland rings was missing. A replacement was made by machinist Barry Nessom at the MPD.

Lunch was had around the stove. Then, afterwards, Ian P was down in the pit trying to drill out a split pin on one of the brake cylinder studs, a job later completed by Ian M drilling a new hole in the stud. He also cleaned a lot of rust from around the area where the brake cylinder is to be mounted. Steve, with some assistance from Ian P, dismantled the pressure gauge valve, stripped it down, removed the old gland packing and cleaned the valve. Replacing the gland will be done next week. In the meantime, Jon Bradley gave the J27's tool box a coat of grey undercoat.

The B1 tender will shortly be added to the stock on No 6 Road - it apparently requires some electrical work - and the J27 is back on No 7 Road.

For those wanting to know the latest chapter in the regulator rod removal saga, Bill and Ian P were working at Deviation shed on 5 January trying to remove it. They established it would not come out through the stuffing box hole which is 4" diameter, whilst the crank that operates the regulator in the dome is too large at about 5". It also catches other pipes and brackets. The crank has a key way which was heated and then hammered to try and get it out, but it would not move so this was also abandoned. Bill's alternative idea therefore is to fit a sleeve on the stuffing box end without having to remove the rod at all. This was measured up and a drawing made and sent to Ian Storey for consideration.


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