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Q6 Blog

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



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
 

Friday 22nd February 2019

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Ian Pearson reports that the Q6 passed it insurance steam test on Friday with Bureau Veritas inspector Glyn, NYMR Foreman boilersmith Mark O'Brien, Bill Dobson and Ian in attendance.

There are a couple of jobs to do arising from the steam test:

  • Front safety valve to remove, take off the old gasket, clean the bases, make a new gasket and refit.
  • In the cab, a flange from the manifold with a steam supply to the pressure gauge needs taking off and a new gasket making and refitting.

After the steam test was completed, it was decided to give the Q6 a trip up the bank so a path was given after the DMU came in from Pickering just after 12 noon. It was now ten past eleven and the Q6 needed oiling up. So, with fireman Jamie Lazenby, Mark O'Brien, Bill and Ian it was oiled up and set off from the shed down to the Station just after twelve, with Ian driving, Jamie firing and Bill riding shot gun (the heat gun) to check the bearings. By the time they got away from Grosmont Station they could only go as far as Greenend in the time allowed, as the DMU would be leaving at 12.30pm. So a quick run to Greenend where Bill checked the bearings with the heat gun - all OK. What was found though was that the R/H cylinder cover was leaking steam. On return to the shed, Bill had a go at tightening the cover with Shaun's torque wrench but, after giving it a steam test, it still leaked. So this cover will have to be removed and investigated on Wednesday. After the fire was disposed of and the ash pan cleaned out by James Walker, one of the shed cleaners, the engine was put back into Deviation shed on No 7 road and the boiler filled.

Jobs for Wednesday - R/H cylinder cover to remove and investigate; front safety valve to remove and fit new gasket; brake rods to clean ready for NDT inspection; flange on cab manifold to take off and make a new gasket.

The S160 is now reported to be present in Deviation Shed on No 8 road.

Ian will be late on Wednesday, but hopefully Bill will be present to set everyone on to the jobs.

 

Wednesday 20th February 2019

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The rain had just stopped as Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Derek Shorten, Ian Pearson and, last of all as usual, myself arrived at Grosmont on a rather mild morning with some spells of sunshine later on. Steve had obtained a newish kettle with its own base that plugs into the supply socket rather than via the kettle. So new kettle on, stove lit, and cups of tea all round for the first few early birds. Steve had also brought the J27's spare 5" pressure gauge from Hopetown and it was given to Barney to calibrate.

It was one of those days when we could not get on with some planned work on the Q6 as it was out of the Shed on No 2 Road being boxed up so the boiler could be filled ready for a steam test today and insurance test tomorrow. Bill had to go off after an hour on business. So, after I had fitted the two missing padlocks to the display panels in the Shed, Derek and I set about cleaning the wheels and frames and tender axle box covers on the J27, which was standing on No 3 Road as stand by service locomotive, but out of steam. Steve and Ian stated cleaning the Q6 locomotive wheels and frames. Nigel drilled out the bolt on the J27 hand rail at the R/H side of the smoke box that I had sheared off last week, re- tapped it, knocked the hand rail slightly into the socket at the cab end, and fitted a new bolt. Barney had calibrated the Q6's vacuum gauge and it was refitted by Ian. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed round the stove. In conversation, we mused as to whether, in view of the current TV interest in sheds filled with unique items for restoration, we should put forward Deviation Shed - but then decided the five of us were not sufficiently unique!

After lunch, Ian removed, with the angle grinder, the piece of stud holding the step bracket under the running plate of the Q6 which was protruding down and breaking off the cork on the intermediate side rod oil pot as the rod came on to top quarter. About 1/4"was cut off. When the loco was moved later on, the rod was watched as it came to top quarter, and the cork passed well clear. The Q6 was moved over onto No 5 Road, boiler and tender filled with water, then moved back onto No 2 Road where a warming fire was lit. Bill plans to be present for the insurance steam test tomorrow.

Quite a lot going on in the shed area, with Repton in steam and some running in after winter maintenance. The steam crane was in steam having its lifting gear examined by the insurance inspector. Standard tank 80136 and the DMU working the winter timetable trains and the Railway was quite busy, with a full Grosmont Station car park and a number ofvisitors round Deviation Shed. The Class 26 took some empty stock to Pickering and was scheduled to bring back Pete Best's S160 which is to be put in Deviation Shed to complete its overhaul. In the meantime, the 9F frames had appeared on No 7 Road in the Shed following the moves of the Q6 and J27 outside.

No working party on Saturday: the next one will be on Wednesday 27 February.

 

Wednesday 13th February 2019

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A mild but overcast day with a slight breeze at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian McCall, Roy Marshall, Derek Shorten, Ian Pearson and myself. Bill Dobson was there early on but could only stay for a short while. Derek cleaned out the old ash from the stove and got it lit again.

Because the work on the rocking grate had not been sufficiently progressed, the planned steam test of the Q6 did not take place on Tuesday. It is now planned for Friday 22 February. As a result, the Q6 will not be in use over the half term running, and Nigel and Peter Whitaker (who called in briefly to view painting progress), will have a clear run through to 1 May in which to complete the temporary livery change. Paul Wickham, one of the Railway's boiler smiths, was fully employed on the Q6, welding in brackets and fitting the side bearers for the rocking grate.

All our effort therefore was put into working on the J27, against a list of jobs identified by Barney. Following a cup of tea, Ian M and Ian P set about removing the J27 valve covers. After removing them, the faces on the casting and covers were cleaned, Steamseal compound spread round the cover face, and prepared for refitting after lunch. In the meantime, Roy removed the R/H and L/H injector caps for cleaning and refitting with Steamseal jointing compound. He then set about cleaning the wheels and frames on the J27. Another job done was the nipping up of the R/H side leading injector union. On the other hand, having called in at Pickering on my way to drop in ID card applications for Arthur Jenkins and Paul Jameson, I spent the rest of the morning servicing the Defibrillator, and sorting out the car parking and travel and discount cards for NELPG registered volunteers which I had collected at Pickering. These will be distributed in the next few days: those NELPG members registered with other NYMR departments, such as the MPD, will get their cards separately in due course.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed around the stove, with Anzac biscuits supplied by Mrs Lawson. No bacon this week, although Derek had brought a deep frying pan and some dripping just in case.

After lunch, as the valve covers were being refitted it was noticed that the left hand cylinder cock was loose where it was screwed into the cylinder block casting. So the operating rod was disconnected and almost immediately the front section of the cylinder cock broke away from the rest of it, leaving the remaining threaded end in the cylinder casting. It had clearly been fractured for some time and was literally hanging on by a thread. Nick Simpson, MPD foreman, came up with Barney to investigate, and he managed to remove the threaded end of the cylinder cock. The cylinder cock and the threaded piece were taken down to Owain, the Railway's machinist, to remake the broken part and it should be ready for fitting today. I had a look in the smoke box at what was thought to be a loose hand rail bracket but found it secure. On the outside, the same bracket has a bolt securing the hand rail which, when loosened, allowed the hand rail to be pushed forward into the socket at the cab end. However, when tightening up the bolt having done so, it sheared off at the head. The handrail is still secure at the smoke box end though, as the bolt end remains screwed in tight, but will need drilling out and replacing with a new bolt in due course.

There was a lot going on at the shed today with Repton, 80136 and the steam crane on steam test. The DMU was undergoing maintenance, 5428 was being moved up and down and there were regular lorry deliveries of ballast for the Esk Valley relaying. These were tipped in the ash pit area and then loaded into Sea Cows by the MPD JCB and transported up to the relaying by the 08 shunter to be dropped on site. Pete Best's S160 has arrived at New Bridge, and will be moved into Deviation Shed next week, replacing Hartland in No 8 road. Some pipework is needed to be fitted along with some other small jobs, but it is not expected to be in the Shed for too long.

 


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