North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 30th October 2019


A cold and cloudy with sunny intervals sort of a day at Grosmont yesterday but at least no rain. No Ian Pearson either, who was laid low with a bug (get well soon), but Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Mike Bloomfield, Bill Dobson (and Zac the dog), Nigel Bill, Steve Hyman and myself did make it. First job was to put the stove on - or at least try to. It would not draw and there was clearly a blockage in the flue. To avoid filling Deviation Shed with smoke and gassing ourselves in the process, the bottom of the flue was dismantled once the fireclay seal had been broken out, and a considerable amount of dirt removed by Steve Hyman and Nigel Bill after rodding the complete flue (see photo). Flushed with this success, tea was brewed and the work for the day assessed.

Deviation Shed stove after cleaning flue with Steve Hyman on 30 October 2019 - Chris Lawson.

The J27 had been moved out of Deviation Shed and was now down at the running shed, where the MPD staff had started the wash out. There was a loose valve head which Bill dealt with, but otherwise there was nothing that could be done.

The T2/Q6 was in steam and was to have a loaded test run up the bank to Goathland to check that the repairs to the leaking tubes were OK following its successful static steam test last week. This took the form of banking the King on the 12.30 Diner from Grosmont, which also had the advantage of providing some steam heating for the passengers on the train. Bill Dobson travelled on the footplate and reports that the T2/Q6 pushed the King most of the way to Goathland. Certainly it made a great sight and sound as it came past Deviation Shed, with its exhaust echoing around the valley as it climbed the bank past Esk Valley cottages. No problems were reported on its return to Grosmont, but a check of the firebox tubes will be made this morning once it has cooled down. Assuming all is well, it will act as spare engine for the rest of the week.

Deviation Shed No 7 Road roller shutter door fire exit. 30 October 2019 - Chris Lawson

Work therefore concentrated on the K1, once some jobs had been completed in Deviation Shed itself. In particular, Nigel Bill put up a fire exit notice on the stanchion next to the fire door in the No 7 Road roller shutter door, and painted a yellow strip on the front of the step to meet health and safety requirements (see photo). We also had a visit from Piglet to discuss the disposition of locomotives, as we need to get all three of ours inside this weekend. No 6 Road is now full with No 29, 80135 and No5; No 7 Road with the pit is needed for the T2/Q6 (north end) and K1 (south end so it can easily be moved to Pickering at the end of the year for onward transport to the Great Central Railway); and the J27 will go on No 8 Road along with Lucie before their move to Pickering for the Santas. That means that Dame Vera Lynn will have to move out temporarily, but there should be space for it to return once the J27, Lucie and the K1 have left.

Lunch was had round the stove, with the warming plate in use for Nigel Bill's pies, and then it was on with the K1 again. On Saturday, Paul, Angie and Les Harper had removed the piston valves immediately after the locomotive came back on shed after the Diner. They came out quite easily, with both being removed in less than two hours. Tuesday saw Les Harper, Mike Bloomfield, Angie and Paul check the cross head, big end and little end clearances, remove both con rods, both cylinder covers and both cross head cotters. They also drained the boiler, removed the top and side mud hole doors and the primary screen. Chris Henwood also called in on his way home from work and die pen tested the little end pins (which were found to be satisfactory).So yesterday the mud hole doors and valve rings were cleaned by Nigel Bill, Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson and myself, while the boiler was washed out by Angie, Mike Bloomfield, and Paul, the latter two getting soaked in the process. The steam heat valve was removed by Paul. He also wanted to split the piston rods from the cross heads, but the splitting gear failed so that remains to be done.

With it being half term this week for another batch of schools, the Railway was quite busy. Trains were well loaded and the locomotives in traffic included Eric Treacy, B1 No 1264, King Edward II, and the T2/Q6. Repton also returned to Grosmont after its travels, on the rear of the Diner from Pickering. We had a steady flow of visitors throughout the day, and, thanks to Steve Hyman's persuasive charms, money was seen going into the donations box.

With the end of the operating season on Sunday, and winter maintenance now started, working parties will return to the Saturday/Wednesday pattern. So the next working party will be on Saturday 2 November, and then on Wednesday 6 November. Paul may well arrange some additional working parties for the K1, but will notify those by separate email.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:50

Wednesday 23rd October 2019


A lovely fine sunny, if cool, day at Grosmont yesterday, with Les Harper, Ian Pearson and myself. A welcome visit from Steve Hyman who is on the road to recovery following his accident on the Wensleydale Railway in August, and Mike Bloomfield joined us in the afternoon. At Deviation Shed, North Eastern Security Services arrived to service our roller shutter doors and repair the lifting mechanism of the No 6 Road door. Their first job was to get a cherrypicker round to the south side of Deviation Shed having arrived on a trailer towed by a short flatbed truck. After unloading near the coal storage area it was driven round to the southern end of Deviation Shed and work on the doors commenced. This included dropping the roller shutter door in its entirety onto the ground from height, which caused a rush to the site to make sure it was not an accident - it was not - and no-one had been injured - they had not! By 16.30 there was still a great deal of work to do, so they will be back today to complete the job.

The K1 was in traffic today leaving Pickering with the 09.25 train to Whitby, but unfortunately it had a broken R/H leading tender spring. The locomotive was changed at Grosmont for D7628 to continue to Whitby. The K1 was brought to the MPD for a spring change which was carried out by shed staff (see photo). Les Harper took the opportunity to make a start on cleaning in preparation for Saturday's NELPG Diner (see photo). While the K1 was having its tender spring changed, Les and Ian noticed that the L/ H piston rod looked quite dry but this could have been the result of a steam leak from the piston packing blowing the oil away. The brass oil box which feeds the piston rod was drained, the pipe run tweaked, and replenished with fresh oil. Oil was then noted dripping onto the piston rod. The K1 then departed Grosmont with the 13.30 train to Pickering. The Railway had hoped to run it again today, but it is now overdue its latest 28 day wash out, and Paul has stopped it to ensure it is available for the NELPG Diner on Saturday, which will be its last turn of the year. Immediately after its return to Grosmont on Saturday, the valves will be removed, as it is easier to do so while they are hot, and full winter maintenance will start on the following Tuesday.

K1 No 62005 - replacing broken tender spring at Grosmont on 23 October 2019 - Chris Lawson

K1 No 62005 being cleaned at Grosmont by Les Harper on 23 October 2019 - Chris Lawson

Lunch was had alfresco in the by now warm sun, on the benches outside Deviation Shed. Afterwards we set about clearing scrap and rubbish from No 8 Road and the back of the building. A heap of scrap has now been collected on the east side of Deviation Shed. A lot of fire bars have been stacked on a pallet which will need sorting. Then we will need to borrow the Railway's flatbed and take everything to the scrap yard at Marske-By-The-Sea. Having cleared the way, Chris Cubitt and Charlie Wood then shunted the J27 into No 8 Road to get it under cover. It still requires a boiler washout which is now due to be done in November, before its duties on the Santas and Northern Lights trains.

Meanwhile, the expanding and beading over of the leaking tubes on the T2/Q6 was completed. The cause is still being investigated by the MPD, but thought to be either being lit up too quickly in the morning, or cooled down too quickly in the evening, ie heat stress. The boiler was partly filled and a warming fire lit late in the afternoon for a steam test today. Subject to that being successful, the brick arch will be rebuilt and a loaded test run carried out before the locomotive is retired for the season, moved into Deviation Shed, and winter maintenance started.

Quite a lot of visitors round today and a number of queries dealt with, but did not spot much money going in the donation box. Locomotives in traffic today were STD 4 No 76079, 9F No 92134 , D7628, K1 No 62005 and

S15 No 825, which in the evening ran to Battersby and regained its mainline certificate, meaning it can now work to Whitby - congratulations to William Parrish, Martin Ashburner and the rest of the S15 team.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 11:40

Saturday 19th October 2019


Ian reports that he was at Grosmont on a soggy wet yesterday, with Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton and Richard De Sadeleer.

Paul and Angie worked mainly on the K1, firstly repairing the smokebox front screen. The steam pipes in the smokebox were sealed with high temperature sealant and, in the cab, the ashpan spray valve handle was painted and the small ejector valve handle bolt refitted after it was found to be missing. Paul skimmed the T2 steam heat valve head on the workshop lathe and passed it on to Ian who ground it in a bit more and then refitted the whole steam heat valve back on the side of the clack box in the T2 cab.

Lunch was had in the comfort of the Support Coach. After lunch, Richard cleared the debris around the pit water pump (thanks Richard, saved me a job on Wednesday and rather you than me!). It made an enormous difference, removing the water rapidly. He then fitted the repainted pole to the bottom of the gate on the north side of No 7 Road to prevent any small child falling into the pit. Ian asked Paul to check his fitting of the steam heat valve, when he noticed that the L/H gauge frame drain valve was turned slightly oblique to stop it blowing by, and remembered it had been booked for repair. Ian then stripped it down, removed the old Klinger packing and the spindle, to find that the spindle had a small defect near the drain hole with a small amount of metal missing. He found some spare drain valves in the storage area above the workshop, about 5 in all. One of these was cleaned up and a new Klinger packing was obtained and the valve and packing fitted.

Although it was raining for most of the day there were quite a few visitors around. Locomotives running yesterday were B1 No 1264, Black Five No 5428 Eric Treacy, and GWR King No 6023 King Edward II, along with diesel 7628.


Wednesday 16th October 2019


A wet miserable morning at Grosmont today but it did get out much brighter later on in the day and was quite warm and sunny. In attendance were Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Chris Henwood, Ian Pearson and myself, joined by Jon Bradley and Nigel Hall after lunch.

We arrived to learn that the T2 had been failed the previous evening with leaking small tubes in the firebox. After a cup of tea in the Support Coach and a discussion of the extent and possible cause of the problem, Mark O'Brien went in the firebox to do a visual inspection now the locomotive had cooled down, and reported that nearly all the small tubes below the flue tubes were leaking. Further discussion and inspection during the morning did not cast any more light on the possible cause, but by the end of the day, it had been decided to remove the brick arch, expand and then bead over the tubes, steam test, and then rebuild the brick arch. So probably out of action for a week at least. Discussions will doubtless continue with the MPD as to the possible cause, bearing in mind that the T2 tubes had been tight and given no cause for concern all the way through the operating season to date.

In the meantime, Ian and Chris H set about jobs on the T2 with Chris dismantling the regulator, removing the follower and some of the old gland packing, replacing it with new graphite packing and refitting. Ian took off the steam heat valve which was blowing by, and it also had a blowing joint where it fits to the clack box in the cab. This was taken to the workshop, stripped down and cleaned. The seat was recut and ground in and a new joint made, but the head requires skimming which Paul will do on Saturday and then the valve can be refitted. Angie made and fitted a new piece of wood which supports a bracket securing the low level water filler on the left hand side of the K1 tender. Paul attended to the K1 left hand piston packing which had been giving some trouble recently: it was stripped down, cleaned, adjusted and re- fitted. Back at Deviation Shed, I rubbed down and painted the length of pipe which has been made to fit the bottom of the gate at the North end of No 7 Road to stop small children getting under the gate and falling into the big dark pit. This pipe will be refitted on Saturday. I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator.

Lunch was hosted in the Support Coach today - a bit posher than we are used to! After lunch, Angie removed all the ash from the K1 smoke box and barrowed it to the ash tip. I mixed some cement and grouted around the gate post on No 7 Road to tidy up the area. I also made the afternoon tea. Nigel Hall arrived to collect 2 stand lamps to take to Hopetown, and also helped Jon Bradley clean around the stove area ready for our winter warming.

No work was done on the J27 as it is waiting for a washout and is currently parked outside Deviation Shed on No 8 Road. It is unlikely to work again before the end of the operating season, but will then be in use for the Northern Lights train and the Santas between Pickering and Levisham at the end of the year. With the S160 gear being moved from No 6 Road to the back of No 8 Road now that Hartland has been moved into the fitting shop where it was being prepared for repainting (among other tasks), Chris Cubitt was hoping to move No 29 into Deviation Shed on No 6 Road today for temporary storage. It has a broken spring on the rear bogie and, with no spares available, will have to wait for supplies from the spring manufacturer before it can work again. So, regrettably, there can be no prospect of it double heading the diner with the K1 as a mark of respect to the late John Richardson who was one of the original consortium involved in its purchase. However, the roller shutter door would not wind up as the gears seem to have jammed, and will have to be repaired by a specialist contractor in approximately a week's time. That also saved us having to move the velocipede to give the necessary length for No 29 to fit. We also looked at the piles of material stacked up against the outside of the back wall of the building, and identified a number of items that are clearly scrap and need to be removed to avoid possible damage to the building fabric. The pit pump also seems to need attention as it is very slow at removing water. A good clean out is probably required, a job for which I was volunteered next week!

There were a number of visitors around today, in spite of the weather and time of the year. Locomotives in traffic were Black Five No 5428 Eric Treacy (but sounding a bit off beat), S15 No 825, B1 No 1264 and the DMU.

There will be a small working party on Saturday 19 October 2019 with Paul, Angie and possibly Ian - others will be very welcome to join them though. The next regular working party will be on Wednesday 23 October 2019, but it will not be long now before we start on winter maintenance and return to regular Saturday and Wednesday working parties.


Wednesday 9th October 2019


A mild, mainly fine, day yesterday at Grosmont with one heavy shower after lunch and Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton and Bill Dobson present.

Ian Pearson and myself joined them just after 11.30.

On the T2, Bill was busy taking the L/H injector steam valve out which was replaced and lapped in by Paul. Angie replaced and lapped in the R/H clack. Bill was cleaning cab fittings, smokebox hinges and door fastening wheel.

I washed up the pots and made tea for lunch which was had in Deviation shed.

After lunch Ian removed the new bottom bar from the pit access gate so that I could hacksaw off the threaded ends, rub it down and give the bar a coat of paint. A second coat will be required next week. The base of the gate post which was moved by Trevor Wilford on a previous week also needs a cement fillet round the base - another job for next week. I also checked that the rear fire door was opening properly. Ian did some oiling up on the T2, removed water contamination from the brass boxes and lit a warming fire in preparation for its possible use today. On the K1, a new L /H expansion bracket cladding sheet was given a second coat of gloss paint and fitted by Paul. The steam supply pipe was lagged by Angie who also put the Radio and TPWS/OTMR batteries on charge.

Securing clips were made, painted and fitted to the through air pipe pressure gauge pipework, speedo flexible conduit, and vacuum chamber pipework by Paul. He also took home the drivers seat bottom cushion for repair which he did last night, and was intending to take it back to Grosmont and refit it today.

The J27 was in the running shed on 28 day wash out and is unlikely to be rostered again before the end of the operating season. However, it is down for the Northern Lights Express and Santas from Pickering to Levisham during December.

In the end, the T2 was not required today as S15 No 825 went to Goathland on a successful test run last night and was rostered for the dining train instead. The B1, 76079 and Eric Treacy provided the steam services yesterday, while No 29 was running up and down the bank with a brake van and weltrol carrying a very large military gun - doubtless practising for the War Weekend activities this coming weekend. The B1 and class 25 ran to Battersby in the evening for driver training and refreshers.


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