North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Saturday 9th February 2019


Ian Pearson reports a very windy but milder morning at Grosmont yesterday with James Pearcy, Neal Woods, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Hall and Ian in attendance. The stove was lit and a cup of tea made before starting work - mainly on the J27 and based on a list of jobs given to Ian by Barney on Friday to help get it ready for steaming on Monday.

James fitted the two oil boxes to the back of the cylinders that feed cylinder oil to the valve spindles: these now have brass labels on stating CYLINDER OIL. He then built up the gauge frames with new Klinger packings, new gauge glasses and rubbers. Neal fitted both injector caps before connecting both water hoses to the injectors and then the water supply from the MPD via a large hose onto the loco overflow pipe to fill the tender and boiler. With help from Trevor who annealed the piston cover oil pipes, Neal fitted them and primed the system. Ian cleaned the remains of the old gasket material from the safety valve bases on top of the boiler, then made another new gasket to match the one that was made the previous day. These were then assembled onto the boiler with the safety valves and secured. Neal could only fit the steam heat gauge in the cab of the J27 as the others were not ready, but he also fitted the steam heat and boiler pressure gauges on the Q6.

Nigel painted both sides of the Q6 tender frames in black gloss. Other jobs done on the J27 were fitting of the cab floor and coal divider, while the storm sheet was cleaned with water and Fairy Liquid, dried in the wind and sunshine, folded up, and stored in the tender locker. Three drain holes were drilled in the bottom of the tool locker that sits on the back of the tender, due to the fact that it fills with water.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed round the stove with cups of tea all round. Trevor did the honours of washing up all the dirty pots afterwards as there were quite few. The fish fryer and side guards were removed from the tender and are now stored in our workshop pending fitting at some other time. With the J27 all boxed up and the boiler and tender each half full of water, a small warming fire was lit about 3pm.

A couple of jobs have been noted for attention on Wednesday - one on the

Q6 intermediate R/H coupling rod where the cork is being sheared off, and one on the J27 where the right hand handrail has a loose fitting where it fits into the smoke box. There will also be a need to check were we are with the cab gauges.



Friday 8th February 2019


Yet another day of activity at Grosmont. Ian reports a small working party attended yesterday on a wet and windy, albeit slightly milder, day, and was made up of Bill and himself.

The Q6 had been pulled outside and shunted round the back of Deviation Shed with Robson Hewitson, Jamie Lazenby and Andrew Jeffery working as instructed by the MPD foreman, with a little help from Ian. The engine and tender were coupled together, then brought back into Deviation Shed where the big draw bar nut was tightened up and secured with the locking plate cotter and split pin. They also coupled up water hoses and vacuum pipes. Finally they fitted the cotter and split pin to the main draw bar pin, and also split pinned both safety links. Many thanks to them for a job well done. The brake linkage is still to fit but a bush is awaited which Owain should have ready on Sunday. Barney is going to put a team on finishing the Q6 part rocking grate on Monday.

Otherwise, Bill and Ian worked mainly on the J27 safety valves. Bill ground in the seats and rebuilt both valves, while Ian cleaned the old gasket material off the bases and made two new gaskets. However, he commented "I must say we need to buy some new tools for cutting and punching holes on this type of material. I borrowed a pair of cutters from Andrew Jeffery which made this job 10 time easier than struggling with some of our old gear we have". A pair of Stanley metal cutters is wanted! The J27 had been taken down to the MPD outside No 4 Road, where the boiler shop staff altered the ash pan spray and re-fitted the grate. The boiler was partly filled with water, but seeing as the gauge frames still require fitting you can only go so far! The gauge frames will be assembled today, along with the boiler to fill, water hoses to connect and a small warming fire to put in at the end of the day. The J27 has been given priority over the Q6 by the NYMR for the Railway's steam test on Monday and the insurance company steam test on Tuesday.


Wednesday 7th February 2019


Sorry for the delay in circulating this report, but the gremlins got in to Ian's email system and his notes got lost somewhere in the ether. However, he reports that work started on Monday this week with a small working party of just Bill and Ian at 11am on a very frosty morning.The Q6 safety valves were reassembled, and the old gaskets from the bases on top of the boiler removed so the studs and bases could be cleaned. The safety valves were then refitted, as was the steam heat valve in the cab. The pit pump kept playing up during the day and finally stopped working later that afternoon. There has been quite an amount of ash spillage into the pit due to fire box work. This material keeps getting lodged in the pump, so the pump was switched off for repairs on Tuesday.

On Tuesday another small working party, with Bill, Jon Bradley and Ian, and a 9am start on another very cold morning with freezing fog. Stove lit and a cuppa straight away. First job was to connect the right hand con rod to the cross head, fit the little end pin and secure. Then round to the left hand side to fit the con rod big end bearing and all its securing fittings. This required moving the Q6 with pinch bars. Some of this work was achieved with help from Will Parrish and Martin Ashburner from the Essex Loco Society, and also Barney Casey, shed foreman. Bill had to leave early due a pre-arranged engagement. Lunch was had around the stove, then it was back to finish off fitting the little end. This meant some more movement of the loco with a pinch bar and, eventually, the rod was set right in the crosshead and the little end pin fitted and secured. The last hour or so was spent sorting the pit water pump out, taking off the outlet pipe and finding lumps of ash blocking it - Ian McCall where were you! These were removed and the pipe refitted and, thankfully, it worked as there was quite a build up of water in the pit to get rid off. That was it for Tuesday, and the stove was banked up hoping it would be still alight next morning.

Wednesday was a slightly milder day with Jon Bradley, Bill, Ian McCall, Steve Hyman, Roy Marshall, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells and Ian. The stove was re-energised and a cuppa made, then down to work on the right hand cylinder cover which was put on last week but not seated properly. It was removed, turned and fitted correctly. Roy had found out from his photographic collection of Q6's with cylinder covers not having cosmetic covers, that the casting crosses had to be at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Jon started cleaning the hand hole and mud hole doors on the boiler. Ian fitted the Klinger packings and the rest of the gauge frame components, including glasses and rubbers. Shaun Bowler's torque wrench was borrowed to tighten up the cylinder nuts. After the right hand side was secured, it was realised that the left cylinder cover needed moving into the same position as the right one, so it was decided to reposition the cover. First though, lunch was had round the stove.

After lunch, Jon had to leave as he had an appointment during the afternoon. Ian McCall completed cleaning the hand hole and mud hole doors. He also fitted the mechanical lubricator drive to the big end crank pin and the little end oil boxes. Nigel had to give up painting the frames due to condensation.He tried to clear it with meths but it remained wet, so then helped Steve and Roy to rotate the left hand cylinder cover in position with the aid of the lifting table, and it was fitted onto the studs. Steve tightened all the nuts up with torque wrench. Gordon Wells came in later to repair a faulty wall socket just outside the workshop .

After afternoon tea, a couple of jobs were done on the J27. Both valve covers were fitted but the oil pipes are still to connect. The right hand side water hose was connected to the water valve flange and bracket fitted to the frames. Also a start was made on cleaning the hand hole door on the top right hand side of the boiler, but time ran out so all hand hole and mud hole doors are still to do on the J27.

On the Railway, ballast is being brought in by road via Esk Valley Cottages, tipped opposite Deviation Shed and also in the ash compound, then loaded using the JCB onto a train of hopper wagons hauled by an 08 shunter and taken to the newly relaid track site at Esk Valley, tipped and brought back for more.


Wednesday 30th January 2019


Ian reports beautiful blue skies and sunshine at Grosmont yesterday "but oh dear" minus 2 degrees (sounds wonderful compared to the 35C we are having to cope with this week!), with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Derek Shorten, Ian McCall, Dave Donegan, Roy Marshall, Steve Hyman, and Ian himself. Quite a bit of water in the pit first thing so it was pump out as priority job, then the stove was lit and Derek brewed up. Round the stove with cups of tea and discuss the jobs.

The new copper rings for the piston covers had arrived on site on Tuesday, so it was decided to have a collective effort fitting the piston covers, and also the piston back covers which had been machined last week, and maybe the con rods, big and little ends - ever the optimists! Derek was given the job of cleaning the gauge frame fittings, in between washing up, going for water and cooking eggs and bacon on the stove at lunch time. In spite of all the other demands on his time, he managed to complete the Q6 ones and got a start on the J27 fittings. By lunch time both rear piston packings and covers had been fitted and secured. Also, the left hand cylinder cover was fitted and tightened up with the aid of Shaun Bowler's torque wrench. Bill had brought eggs and bacon, and, in passing, Derek mentioned he had been a cook in the Army, so that's why he got the job of cooking lunch - bacon and egg butties all round.

Afterwards, Ian P did some work on the J27 by fitting the left hand water hose to the water valve, and its securing bracket to the tender frame, with the aid of Steve and Derek. Steve then tried to remove the right hand water valve handle but the small taper pin that holds it in position would not move at all: it looks as if it will have to be drilled out. Bill and the team fitted the right hand cover but for some reason it was reluctant to be pushed flush to the outside of the cylinder. Even when the nuts were being screwed up it was showing signs of resistance, so it was removed twice but still would not screw up. It will be taken off next week and checked out. The right hand con rod was lifted on to the crank pin, and the big end bearing fitted and secured - the little end is still to fit. The left hand con rod and bearings are still to fit next week.

Mark O' Brien spent some time in the fire box measuring up the new Q6 front gate side bearer fittings. These will have to be shortened a little and the boss faces ground off. He also was welding brackets into the ash pan. Our compressor is back in action: the inspector was there yesterday and it is now OK. Ian P spoke to Barney during the afternoon and asked about the J27 valves and ash pan sprinkler. Barney reported that the valve covers can go back on as Piglet has inspected them and says they are OK. He was going to have a look at the sprinkler today.

Nigel rubbed down the frames on the left hand side only, but had a business appointment at home so he had to leave just after lunch.

The next working Party is arranged for Saturday 2 February with James Pearcy, Trevor Wilford (make sure there is a good selection of biscuits for him!) and Roy Marshall, plus anyone else that would like to join them. This will be mainly J27 work. But check the weather reports before setting off as there may be some bad road conditions due to snow! Ian P will not be at Grosmont as he is on an MIC course at Pickering if the weather is OK. Enjoy!


Saturday 26th January 2019


Ian reports a mild, dull day at Grosmont (43C where we were in Newcastle NSW!), with James Pearcy, Neal Woods, Jon Bradley and Ian himself. Also present was Bryan Orange plus 10 Junior Volunteers, with Arthur Jenkins and Andy Lowes training some of the JV's in workshop skills down in the MPD workshop. And not forgetting Mrs Joan Lowes helping out in Deviation Shed with shovelling ash into the barrow recovered from the pit after it had been dropped from the Q6 ash pan, and various other tasks. She also kept everyone going with pots of tea.

Most of the mechanical work was on the J27 with James and Neal fitting the refurbished water valves with a little assistance from Ian. The JV's were split up, as some were doing workshop training and some were with us in Deviation. We had six young lads: one assisted Neal bringing the water valves from Neal's car and also a heavy piece of cast iron in a barrow, another cleared ash from the pit and disposed of it on the ash tip outside Deviation Shed. Then they cleaned all the motion inside the frames on both engines, three on each locomotive. They did a brilliant job as the red paint can be seen again. Arthur and Andy were training the other four down at the workshop. Jon did some cleaning in the Q6 cab and also started to make a list of all oiling points on the locomotive, so an aide-memoire can be made to help drivers when preparing the Q6 for traffic. Then he lagged some copper pipes on the J27 which were potential hazards if touched, causing burns to the driver or fireman.

After James and Neal had fitted the water valves on to the tender delivery pipes, the main job was to get the valve handles secured so they would not lift off, as they had done in the past causing problems of operation for the train crews. The idea was to remove the handle and shaft by removing the four nuts that hold a flange on the top of the tender tank, but not all the nuts would come off and some had to be held from within the tender tank. So poor old James had to go inside and hold the bolt with a spanner while Ian undid the nuts - what a messy job! Working on the L/H first, when the flange was loose it was thought the handle and rod would pull up and out, but no, it would only pull out about a couple of feet or so and then jam. It was back to the drawing board. The flange was screwed back in place, the operating rod put onto the valve square, two holes drilled into the rod square, tapped, and bolts put in to secure it. It is now quite firm but there is still a some work to do on the left hand side which will be completed on Wednesday, and hopefully get a start made on the R/H side.

Bill came in about 3pm to see everyone. Ian mentioned that a bush on the Q6 tender brake linkage was damaged and needed a new one making, so the bush and pin were removed and the hole in the link measured. The pin and bush are in a vice in the workshop. Bill will see about getting a new one made on Monday.

A good day was had by all the Junior Volunteers. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed, but the JV's had theirs down at the MPD. Jon has taken the J27 floor and coal divider home for repair.


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