North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 18th December 2019


A bitterly cold, frosty day with thick fog on the Moor roads on our way to Grosmont yesterday. Sub zero temperatures until the late afternoon so we were glad of the stove - thanks Bill! A large turnout with Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Jon Bradley, myself, and newcomer to Deviation Shed, Ed Bolan. Bill Dobson made a brief appearance at the start of the day, trying to arrange the move of the piston rods to Ian Storey’s workshop and the steam pipes to North Shields - but without success. No working party on the K1 yesterday, but an apology from me - it has been pointed out that Paul and Angie's dog is called Tonks and not Tonk as I have referred to it previously.

After cups of tea, Ian M and Neil broke up some timber for lighting up the K1. Then they were under the T2 cleaning the studs left in the bottom of the drag box which held the steam brake cylinder in situ. All the old split pins were removed bar one and a die nut run down each stud. Ian P took Ed around the MPD site on a brief induction and also arranged for Ed to attend an MPD induction course with Howard Heath on 8 January at 9am. Steve removed the exhaust valve from the brake cylinder and cleaned it up. It was taken down to show Barney who is going to do some repairs to the valve and also the rest of the brake piston and cylinder. These were taken down to the MPD and left on a bench just outside the machine shop.The K1 was shunted outside Deviation Shed during the morning.

Sausages round the fire at Grosmont on 18 December 201 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had around the stove with Steve treating us to pan fried sausages which he had brought, with finger buns (see photo). There were also mince pies, and we were regaled with a number of colourful tales from Nik Proctor who joined us for a cup of tea. After lunch, the two pistons were moved near to the roller door ready for loading. With the K1 moved out, the T2 ‘s tender was drained and the engine pinched forward to allow removal of the regulator rod. Most of the afternoon was spent try to remove it, but, after about 6ft showing, it would not move any further. Even Barney had a go but it would not move any further out. Nick Simpson told us to erect some scaffolding between engine and tender with a standing platform on making the job much safer, so between 4pm and 5pm Steve, Nigel and Ian P erected the scaffolding platform, with a little help from Jon who had been repairing the J27 tool box. That now requires re-painting. We also took the opportunity to clean out the front of the tender by the various link bars, of accumulated lumps of coal, coal dust and grease. Ian P had set up a warming fire on the K1 which he lit about 3pm. I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator and kept the tea flowing during the day.

Elsewhere, Dame Vera Lynn is now back in Deviation Shed on No 8 Road, with Eric Treacy sat on No 8 Road outside the Shed awaiting tyre turning, as its flange depth is now outside acceptable limits. In moving the K1 outside on No 7 Road, it became clear that the track outside was no longer in an acceptable condition. One side, near No 6 Road, had subsided significantly resulting in an unacceptable cant on the rails, and it has therefore been condemmed for use, other than with specific permission and extremely close supervision. Another urgent job to add to the P/W Department's list.

Four locomotives were on steam test yesterday - the J27, 92134, 825 and Repton. Apart from the lack of trains on the running line, it looked just like a normal operating day at times - we even had a couple of visitors in the afternoon! The Channel 5 documentary team were also around doing some filming.

That was the last regular Wednesday working party for the year. The next one will be on 8 January 2020. The K1 was on steam test today, and Paul will circulate details of any separate working parties to be held between now and its departure to the Great Central Railway at the beginning of January. Between Christmas and the New Year, it is also planned to be running on NYMR service trains.

So, as the year draws to a close, many thanks to everyone involved for their help and support at Grosmont throughout 2019, and my best wishes for a happy Christmas and wonderful New Year. See you again in 2020.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2019 20:53

Satrurday 14th December 2019


Apologies for the delay with this latest report, but Ian and Paul report a cold fine day at Grosmont on Saturday with a T2 team of Nigel Bill and Ian with Paul, Angie Buxton, Les Harper, Chris Henwood and Mike Bloomfield (and Tonk the dog) working on the K1.

The stove was lit to keep everyone warm and, after a cuppa, Nigel and Ian decided to split the T2 engine and tender. This will allow the regulator rod to be removed once the K1 leaves Deviation Shed. The drawbar locking plate was removed and, with the aid of a couple of cleaners from the MPD, the large ratchet spanner was put on the drawbar nut . With them pulling the rope the nut was soon loose enough to allow removal of the main drawbar pin. After the large split pin was removed, the main drawbar pin was knocked up and out, and the two safety link pins removed. All three pins and the locking plate are in a fireman’s side locker.

Lunch was had around the stove, with Tonk looking on mournfully! Bill called in briefly before lunch and arranged with Nigel to take the main steam pipes away to Induction Pipe Bending at Washington. So Nigel and Ian loaded them up onto the four wheel trolley and took them to his van in Grosmont car park - they just fitted. Back underneath the T2, vacuum pipes and steam heat pipes were disconnected and then the water pipe hoses. These caused a problem as the water valves were jammed in the open position allowing the tender water to flood the pit, but, as Mike and Les were working in the pit underneath the K1, the right hand valve was closed by hitting the operating arm underneath the tender with a hammer. The left one had to be re-coupled. Paul will drain the tender on Tuesday when work should be finished underneath the K1. In the light of this experience, both T2 water valves are clearly in need of overhaul! Two injector rear caps were still to remove. The right rear was succesfully removed after the application of some heat, but the left one is still on - the cap nut has been badly damaged in the past and the spanner just slips round the nut. The right hand rear nut has been put upstairs in the workshop with the other two which were removed a couple of weeks ago. They are on the top right shelf, along with the sealing rings for the main steam pipes.

For the K1, Richard Desadleer and Paul worked on it on Friday when the RH piston packings were gapped, the steam chest pressure gauge was fitted and the last 3 mud hole doors were refurbished and fitted.On Saturday, the 5 (not including Tonk!), filled the boiler, refitted the RH injector steam valve after skimming the valve head and lapping it in, refitted the steam heat valve (again after lapping the valve head in) and associated pipe work, scraped and refitted the RH cross head slippers, refitted the piston packings (both sides), built up a wasted weld to the smoke box door ring, started filling the repaired areas to the back of the tender tank, checked the free movement of the loco steam brake piston and weigh shaft (this involved removing the weigh shaft and brake piston pins, checking that the components moved freely then reassembling) and checked the condition of the loco brake cylinder release valve and spring. The brake checks showed all to be in order except the release valve spring which was weak and is to be replaced.

Although the J27 was rostered for Grosmont Santa trips, it did not do any because of steam heat problems. Seems to have been a problem with the stock rather than the locomotive, but Control took it off and replaced it with Repton. Later though, the J27 heated the dining train and banked it to Goathland.

The next working party will be on the K1 tomorrow (Tuesday 17th) when a steam test will be carried out (Paul is off to light a warming fire this evening), and then as per normal on Wednesday 18th.

Having been to Deviation Shed this evening, Paul has found that the K1 has not been moved out to enable the steam test to be carried out. That means that tomorrow's test has been cancelled and there will be no working party after all. He will now attempt to reschedule the steam test for Thursday (19th) as he is not available on Wednesday, and if anyone would like to join him then please let him know - mobile 07964 988551 after 1800.

So the next working party will be on Wednesday 18th on the T2.



Wednesday 11th December 2019


As I was unable to get to Grosmont yesterday because of over running decorating works at home, Ian Pearson reports it was a fine, cold, slightly overcast day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Jon Bradley, Ian Pearson, and also Nik Proctor later on, working on the T2, whilst Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton and Les Harper concentrated on the K1, joined later in the afternoon by Chris Henwood. The dogs Zac and Tonk were also present.

After the stove was lit, with cups of tea all round there was a discussion of how best to remove the brake cylinder from underneath the cab, a difficult challenge with a very heavy piece of metal in a very awkward position. Removal was very much a team effort with Nigel, Steve and Ian M in the pit doing most of the awkward work, heating the cylinder and knocking wedges in to get the cylinder moving downwards, while Bill and Ian P assisted from above with a couple of 8’ sleepers and the lifting trolley which, eventually, was manoeuvred underneath on the timbers . But before that, a 50 ton jack was used to take the weight of the cylinder while the nuts were loosened further down the studs. In the meantime, Jon was up on top of the boiler disconnecting the regulator linkage. The linkage pin was removed, labelled and put in a box in the workshop with the regulator quadrant.

A well earned lunch was had around the stove, having laboured long and hard to get the brake cylinder ready for removal. After lunch, it was back into the pit for Nigel, Steve and Ian M to carry on with the cylinder removal. Bill suggested that Ian P should start removing the cotter from the piston head which had been removed last week. At this, Nik Proctor, came up from the MPD and offered to remove the cotter. This took longer than anticipated as it would not move using a hammer and punch so had to be drilled out - thanks Nik. Eventually, the brake cylinder was lowered onto the hydraulic lifting trolley and gently moved out from underneath until we could get a strop around it. With the the lifting frame in position, it was lifted out clear of the engine. The piston was then removed from the cylinder. By then it was well after 4pm, so time to clear up, wash the pots and go home.

On the K1, the team fitted the pressure and vacuum gauges (except for the steam chest pressure gauge), the right leading tender brake table link (this link having been fitted with a new bush), tender brake blocks, fuseable plugs, cylinder cover nuts and cylinder cover cladding. Fitting the con rod and valve gear split pins was also completed. The LH return crank taper pin hole was reamed and a new taper pin fitted.The last job was to remove the new RH cross head top slipper in order to increase the clearances between the slippers and the slide bar.

Paul had hoped that the engine could have been ready for a steam test on Saturday but there is too much still to do. He now aims to carry out the steam test on Tuesday next week.

Down at the MPD the J27, S15 and Repton were having a steam test and check over ready for the weekend's Santas.


Saturday 7th December 2019


Ian reports a fine mild day at Grosmont yesterday with Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Trevor Wilford, Ashley Moore, Chris Henwood, Mike Bloomfield and Ian himself, as well as Arthur Jenkins, Andy and Joan Lowes and Bryan Orange with 7 JV's plus one Dad.

With the stove lit, it was cups of tea all round for the adults - seems that the young ones don't drink tea! The JV's were split into two groups: three of them went down to the machine shop with Arthur and Andy to do their lathe training while Joan did the washing up . The other four were found jobs cleaning various items of the T2 - three brake components, two cylinder heads and some of the rusty parts of the blast pipe spark arrester. After removing the steam brake piston arm, Trevor got set up with the burning gear under the T2 and, with the application of some heat, managed to loosen all eight securing nuts . These nuts were badly rusted on and took some moving. None have been removed yet but are now loose, and that's a job for Wednesday as we will need some packing to support the brake cylinder and possibly remove the piston first.

Lunch was had round the stove for some, and the Support Coach for others, as it was a bit crowded around the stove. After lunch, three of the JV's assisted Ian in bringing the K1's connecting rods from the MPD to Deviation shed. The left one had accumulated quite a bit of light rust which the lads cleaned it off with emery paper and wire brushes. Elsewhere on the K1, a new front TPWS arial bracket was fitted, ring grooves on both pistons de-burred, RH piston rings gapped and fitted, RH cross head fitted (Mike had collected this from M Machine on Friday and brought it through to Grosmont in the company van yesterday morning), both pistons fitted, both con rods fitted, both cylinder covers fitted and two new clips for the slacker feed pipe fitted. The tender tank was also filled to check for leaks to the recently repaired areas - all found to be watertight. Most of the cylinder cover nuts are still to fit as are the piston packings.

On the Railway, the J27 was on the Grosmont Santas as Rudolph with a red nose on the smoke box door, and Dasher D7628 on the rear. Also out were the S15 and Repton sharing the dining train and Pickering Santas.

The next working party is on Wednesday 11 December when it is hoped to complete the K1 reassembly and fill the boiler with a view to steam testing next weekend, while on the T2 we need to remove the steam brake cylinder.


Wednesday 4th December 2019


A fine bright morning driving to Grosmont but on arrival it was dull and very cold with a frost. It brightened up later on, although never warmed up. The team on the T2 was Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill and just before lunch myself Chris with finally Jon Bradley. Working on the K1 was Paul Hutchinson with Les Harper and, late afternoon, Chris Henwood and Richard De Sadeleer. Stove lit and a cuppa to warm up before there was a 10 minute power cut. Then it was on with removal of the T2's LH piston by Bill, Ian and Nigel, using the hydraulic table.

T2 steam brake cylinder. 4 December 2019 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had around the stove, with Bill having to leave due to some personal commitments. After lunch, with me assisting this time, the T2's RH piston was removed in the same way. The left and right piston packings springs, followers and nuts are in separate containers upstairs on the right hand top shelf. After afternoon tea, Nigel Bill worked under the engine removing the brake linkage between engine and tender and also the locomotive's trailing brake rod. This was done to gain better access to the steam brake cylinder (see photo) which needs removal for refurbishing the piston. We were going to remove the regulator rod, but there’s not sufficient room to withdraw it without splitting engine and tender, so this job was put on hold until the K1 departs and there is sufficient room available. There was then another power cut around 15.45 lasting about 20 minutes, although the emergency lighting system cut in and provided essential illumination as by now it was dark outside.

On the K1, the work carried out included removal of the front TPWS arial bracket (new bracket to be fitted on Saturday), servicing the small ejector valve, servicing the graduable steam brake valve, fitting the gauge glasses, gapping and fitting new LH piston rings, finishing the current batch of roof stay nut replacements, completing the manufacture of two slacker feed pipe clips, refurbishing and fitting one mud hole door and sealing (internally) the recently repaired areas of the tender tank. The new big end was cut and put in to soak and the fire hole bottom protector plate buttered up.

The J27 remains on No 8 Road in Deviation Shed, but the necessary steel for the spring hanger bracket repair has been received and the required welding and machining well under way. That is hoped to be completed by tomorrow and once refitted, subject to a satisfactory examination and steam test, it should be available for Santa services from 14/15 December to the end of the season. It will be operating from Grosmont rather than Pickering however: the Pickering services will continue to be run by the B1.

Next working party will be on Saturday, when Bryan Orange and the JVs will also be attending. It should be a busy reassembly day on the K1 with the RH piston rings to gap, boxing up to finish plus the RH cross head, both pistons, both cylinder covers, both con rods, the front TPWS arial bracket and the fire hole bottom protector plate to fit. On the T2, the steam brake cylinder will be to remove.

More generally, there will be a first working party today on No 5, while, yesterday, Repton and No 825 were on steam test, with No 29 lit up at the end of the day, and the 9F whisping steam on No 4 Road all day. So lots of steam around. Not bad for any visitors (of which there were none) bearing in mind it is a non operational period!

Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2019 20:46

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