North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Saturday 29th April, 2017


A steady day working through repairing & refurbishing items: a good turnout of six people on the bank holiday weekend. Ian Pearson, Paul & James Swainston, Peter Ellis, Joan & Andy Lowes, throughout the day we had impromptu MIC training on tea making & different types of engines.

Joan Lowes with Henry removing debris from the tender drag box - Andy Lowes

The drag box on the tender was cleaned out or given a ‘spring clean’ using Henry and a scraper (see photo). While we had the use of Henry the loose carbon was removed from the valve chest & cylinder ports.

Peter Ellis working on backhead fittings - Andy Lowes

James Swainston working on backhead fittings - Andy Lowes

The back head valves have been stripped, cleaned, skimmed & built back up, these include both clack valves; injector steam valves & steam heat valve (see photos). The gauge frame blow down pipes have been annealed also the copper rings for the valve & cylinder covers.

The refurbished steam heat valve - Andy Lowes

I heard a rumour that the wheels are coming out next week, so the split pins for the adjusters on the driving axle springs were removed in readiness, we will wait and see.

Can I congratulate the people involved in cleaning under the engine, a vast improvement!

We have decided that next Saturday (6-5-17) the Q6 team are taking a holiday so Deviation shed will remain locked. Sorry to disappoint but you could always come along the following weekend, Wednesdays will remain as normal.

Jobs for Wednesday 3-5-17:-

  • Assist NYMR shed staff to take driving wheels out
  • Gauge frames to overhaul
  • Blow down valve to overhaul

Gordon Wells has done some more preparations for the pit 110v sockets installation.

Many thanks for your time & efforts today,

Last Updated on Monday, 01 May 2017 09:26

Wednesday 26th April 2017


A bitterly cold snowy, sleety morning to start with, icy patches on the road from Teesside, but the sun came out later and, sheltered from the wind, it was reasonably warm - even better in the workshop with the heaters on! The regular Wednesday crew of Derek, Jon, and myself, with Ian in charge. John Furness from the NYMR was also in Deviation Shed first thing, sanding down the S15 tender and creating an enormous amount of dust such that the south end roller shutter doors had to be opened.

Fortunately he finished about 10.30.

Jon worked all day on carbon reduction around the steam chest area - there is still quite a lot more to remove. I continued to complete the valve cleaning after the excellent work done on Saturday and, with Ian's help, re-assembled both of them. The valves require the big nuts tightening and new cotter pins, but both are now sitting on the back of the work bench. After moving the tender back a yard or so to get a pit bridge in place, Derek set about cleaning the front around the draw bar area and drag box and has made a marked improvement. A plastic sheet was put over the water pump to keep the dirt out. Ian moved Gordon's electric box into the workshop, just on the left through the door near the arch formers, repositioned the 'Not to Be Moved' boards to hang from the beams above, put all the pieces of rope in a box next to the rag box, and had a general tidy up of the area.

Lunch was held in the A4 cabin as it was too cold for a picnic lunch outside. After lunch Ian started removing carbon from the left hand cylinder ports. A number of interested people round the shed today (including Nick Stringer), but didn't hear any bells ringing from the donation box!


Wednesday 19th April 2017


Yesterday at Grosmont a cool but fine day for Jon, Derek and myself with Ian in charge. After the necessary tea and HobNobs, Jon and Derek were back under the loco frames, cleaning the never ending muck and goo, while I got on with the NELPG Carbon Reduction Programme on the right hand valve as part of our green environmental initiative. This valve is far worse than the left one, with large chunks of carbon to remove, and, interestingly, so is the right hand exhaust port - signs of an atomiser problem? Ian finished cleaning the base of the snifting valve on the header and then, after lunch in the A4 cabin, started more carbon reduction on the left hand piston cover.

As we were getting quite a lot of visitors in the Shed, Ian and I made an executive decision to get rid of the old chair near the cage - it was filthy, broken and getting in the way of our collection box - so it's now in the skip. Apologies to anyone who still dearly loved it. We took time out to chat to our visitors and explain and show them what we were doing. Mention of the sums of money involved in keeping steam locomotives operating, and pointing out the donation box, managed to keep the bell ringing as the coins went in! Hope the Saturday team can keep up the good work. Bill Sharp and his wife also came to see us. Bill was measuring up the Q6 tender for his 5"gauge model.

On the Railway it was a full steam service with Pocket Rocket, the Standard Tank and the B1. All trains were well loaded, as would be expected with the school holidays still on. No timing for any move to the wheel drops as yet. Piglet is on a short holiday in Snowdonia for the rest of this week but back on Monday and still waiting for a meeting with Paul and Andy to agree the rest of the Q6 overhaul programme.



Saturday 22nd April 2017


Another day of the "Carbon Reduction Programme", well nearly, with Colin Foxton, Peter Ellis, James Swainston (first time at Deviation shed), Gordon Wells and Ian Pearson (Andy was away cycling round the Yorkshire Dales).

After a cup of tea and biscuits, Peter continued with removing carbon from the the right hand valve, while everyone else dismantled the staging round the smoke box and removed it to the NYMR boiler shop.

Colin then cleaned the right hand cylinder cover, Ian cleaned the left hand cover, and James worked on the steam chests where there was more carbon to remove. Both covers are now cleaned, lightly oiled and put under the seat bench with covers on top. Peter completed cleaning the right hand valve which is on the work bench to reassemble. Mark O'Brien was duty fitter and he said he had to re tap the threads in the fire box and measure up before ordering the new flue tubes - hopefully in the next few days.

Gordon started fitting some new sockets in the pit but they are not yet wired up. He also put a new bulb in the 110v indicator above the cage showing a red light and telling us the 110v system is on.

Quite a lot of visitors round the Shed on Saturday (including a visit by the SNG overhaul team, led by Darrin Crone and Martin Ashburner, on a social day out on the NYMR) with more money going in the collection box!


Wednesday 12th April 2017


A quiet day today with me opening up the workshop to be greeted by 2 packs of Hobnobs dangling from the ceiling, one dark and one milk chocolate. Lucky man! It was grey and cold, and poured with rain in the morning. No more fatalities to report.

Hob Nob

Derek Shorten joined me and, after a warming brew, set to work all day continuing with the cleaning of the wheels and frames outside and inside. It is a never ending job, but with some new scrapers, a lot more muck was removed. I continued cleaning the carbon off the L/H valve. Ian arrived about 11am, and met me at the signing on point as I had to leave for a meeting at Darlington. Ian continued cleaning the L/H valve until lunch time, and as it was a bit cool for the outside picnic area, Derek and Ian retreated to the A4 cabin. After completing the L/H valve Ian started on the R/H one: the ring and outer part are now clean with lots of hard carbon removed. However, there is still lots of carbon to remove from the rest of the valve.

Jon Bradley missed out on the Hobnobs this week, but at least he kept warm as he was driving the B1 on the 1030 ex Grosmont as it slipped past us on the way to Pickering.

The locomotive is not likely to get on the wheeldrop until the Green timetable kicks in after the Easter holiday, and there has been a meeting between Paul Middleton, Andy and Paul Hutchinson to agree the programme for the rest of the overhaul. The new flue tubes will be ordered after Easter, and advice is being sought on whether the elements should be renewed or are suitable for re-use.

No working party this weekend, but next Wednesday as normal. See you then - have a good Easter break.

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 April 2017 10:30

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