North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 2nd October 2019


I was the Billy no mates today, on a glorious sunny, albeit chilly, day at Grosmont. Bill Dobson joined me after he had had a cup of tea in Armstrong Oilers, and we quickly established that there was no meaningful work we could do. Ian Pearson was driving and gave us a wave as he passed with 76079 on the 10.00 ex Whitby to Pickering.

The J27 was on the wheeldrop having a broken spring replaced (see photo of the damaged spring), following which it was due to go to the running shed for wash out. So unlikely to ba available for traffic for at least a week. The T2 was standing outside the running shed on No 4 Road being cleaned, and is currently the designated spare engine should there be a failure in service. Meanwhile the K1 was standing behind Deviation Shed.

J27 broken spring over Gala weekend at Grosmont on 2 October 2019 - Chris Lawson

Its two replacement springs had now arrived, and were due to be fitted this afternoon once the J27 cleared the wheeldrop. Barney is anxious to use it to replace 76079 which is in need of attention, and is discussing the possibilities with Paul. It is however, definitely booked to take the diner on 26 October.

As a result, I switched on the pump to drain some of the water from the pit, checked the rear fire door was clear to open, did the washing up, filled the water bottles and emptied the overflowing dustbin - all the minor housekeeping jobs. There were a few visitors around and some money went into the donation box. William Parrish did a small job for the S15 No 825 in the workshop before Bill and I then left, had a cup of tea at the Grosmont Station cafe, and returned home at lunchtime.

As well as 76079, Black 5 No 5428 Eric Treacy was in service, along with the DMU. Much quieter than over the Gala weekend, but the trains were still reasonably full.

In spite of the lack of work this week, there will be another working party next week on 9 October 2019.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2019 17:12

Wednesday 18th September 2019



K1 62005 passes Deviation Shed with the 1330 ex Grosmont on 18 September 2019 - Ian Pearson

Ian Pearson reports a fine day at Grosmont today with Bill Dobson, and two late arrivals - Jon Bradley and Ian himself.

There is not a lot to report with the T2 on the wheel drops having the L/H driving spring changed. The cause of this breakage is being explored with the NYMR, which apparently occurred on Sunday when it was on the late running 1630 ex Grosmont. The K1 was being prepared for service to replace the B1 which had been stopped due to leaking tubes. The attached photo shows it passing Deviation Shed on the 1330 ex Grosmont, looking magnificent.

Bill was asked to remove the T2 steam brake isolation valve which was seized in the open position. After removal of the spindle part of the valve which has the seat on a thread which is the seized part, it was heated while secured in a vice. However, it would not unscrew so, rather than damage it, Bill decided to fit it back into the valve body on the locomotive. He then sent a message to Nigel Hall to see if there is a spare valve at Darlington. Another job on the T2 was to take off the brass oil cap on the L/H intermediate coupling rod which had been damaged slightly, causing some sharp edges which were filed off and a new cork fitted. This problem seems to have been caused by the broken spring.

The tool box on the back of the J27 tender was removed as it has a broken lid which Jon is going to repair. He also repaired our old wheel barrow.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed with lots of visitors round. S15 No 825 was in traffic today, along with the K1 and Standard Tank No 80136. As there was no Whitby steam due to the B1 failure and 5428 on washout, the class 25 was working the Grosmont - Whitby section.

The next regular working party will be on Wednesday 25th September, the day before NELPG Day as part of the NYMR Gala, so there should be locomotives to clean at the least. In addition, Paul will be going to Grosmont to do a days work on the K1 on Sunday (22 September): if anyone would like to join him please let him know by e-mail or text.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2019 16:42

Wednesday 11th September 2019


Ian reports a mild wet morning yesterday, but getting out fine later on. He was on his own, with not a lot to do as the T2/Q6 was back in traffic after its repairs, and the J27 was still stuck at New Bridge because of the congestion at Grosmont caused by the continuing P/W work on the new point for No 6 Road.

However, Charlie Dore wanted to colour code our lifting equipment. So, after opening up Deviation Shed, he came up with his tin of paint and colour coded all our lifting equipment Green, including the lifting jack and chain block. Colour code for the next 6 months is therefore Green. Ian then went down to the MPD and helped out a little, cleaning two of Repton's valve covers. Repton at the moment is having its valves removed and carbon cleaned from the heads and rings. At the end of the day, the middle valve was still to extract after many hours moving it to a point where it just wouldn’t move any farther forward. Hopefully it will have been removed today!

Other things going on at the MPD was the painting of the 9F No 92134 and tender in black (with the later BR emblem) being done by Heritage Painting. Locomotives working yesterday were B1 No 1264 , Black Five No 5428 Eric Treacy, and T2 No 2238.

Meanwhile, Bill Dobson and Gordon Wells spent the day at the NRM in York looking for safety valve drawings for the T2/Q6 to enable the new castings to be machined, but didn’t have any success. However, further information has come to light which will hopefully lead to finding the required drawings, and I have been charged with trying to track them down over the next week or so. Bill is also anxious to find drawings for the T2 piston, both head and rod. Will keep me out of mischief!


Wednesday 4th September 2019


Wednesday dawned a fine morning at Grosmont but with showers later on. Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson were present, and, to their surprise, I joined them later in the morning for the first time since my heart operation. I could only attend because my Wednesday rehabilitation exercise session had been cancelled, but I was told it was great to see me back in action again. Then I went into the workshop and found out why! I had to wash all the dirty pots, refill the water bottles, and then make the tea at lunchtime and afternoon break. So nothing too strenuous, but clearly essential work! I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator which was overdue, and found it to be in order. The stock of J27 springs was also checked - two engine springs and one tender spring are on a pallet in the spring storage area. As I haven't been to Deviation Shed for a few months though, I must put on record my thanks to Bryan Orange and his team for the work they have done over the summer - the lighting levels, particularly in the workshop, are much improved, the fire exits have been brought up to standard, a first aid station been established next to No 7 Road on the outside wall of the workshop, and the place generally tidied up and smartened. Just need to keep the tea point up to scratch now, with the mugs washed up after use and the water bottles kept full!

Meanwhile, down at the MPD on No 4 Road, the workers found the T2 in light steam. The shed staff had worked hard on the engine over the last few days, fitting the right hand piston back into the cylinder with a new ring, also fitting the connecting rod big end bearings and little end to the piston rod and large cotters. Barney gave Bill and Ian a list of other items still to fit to get the engine moveable - piston packings (which at the time were still being machined), cylinder cock valves and linkage, new insulation and cladding all to be fitted, the latter needing a hole to be drilled into the outer edge of the casting and tapping to secure the top end of cladding. Some of the left hand side cladding also needed to be secured. Another item was the mechanical drive shaft to the lubricator. Later on that morning the piston packings were delivered from the machine shop. These took a long time to fit but, with the help of some shed staff, the piston follower was eventually compressed sufficiently to get the nuts started, and then secured with the slide bar lubrication pot attached. The little end oil pot was also fitted. Most of the fitting of the above was done by Bill, Ian and Nigel, with some help from cleaner Nick Proctor  and shed fitter Danny Middleton. Although the engine was in steam, it never moved as work did not finish until  about 5pm, so the move was cancelled. It was in steam again yesterday though, but has not been rostered for today's running - hopefully over the weekend?

Elsewhere on site, the S160 No 2253 was in traffic, clocking up the 500 miles it needs before departing for the Dartmouth Steam Railway, the S15 No 825 was having its spark arrestor fitted and a couple of other minor jobs completed before it returns to operation (it has already successfully done a couple of runs up to Goathland), the 9F was having its brick arch fitted (will it be a runner in time for the Gala?), the B1 was on wash out, No 29 was having its final lining out done by Peter Whitaker, Repton spent most of the day under the coaling plant having been failed with a couple of problems after its early morning run to Whitby and back, and Ian Foot and his team were working on Dame Vera Lynn in Deviation Shed, preparing it for a visit by the boiler inspector due yesterday. The Green Knight is also stripped down in the boiler shop. Most importantly though, Martyn Cannings and the PW team were on site at the south end of Deviation Shed, clearing the ground and starting the work to install the new point to replace the broken one giving access to No 6 Road. They are also intending to replace the broken rail on No 8 Road. The Channel 5 filming team were at work around the site, and Piglet was sorting out the transport arrangements for the visiting locos for the Gala. So a lot of activity throughout the day.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2019 10:54

26th August 2019 - cylinder problem


On 14th Augus the driver reported a knock on the RHS. On steam test the following day it was found that the piston rod taper and cotter was moving in the crosshead so the loco needed a strip down to assess further. Upon strip down the cotter has been found to be bent, there is a broken piston ring and the piston head has been striking the cover. The fitters report that the cover was loose and also when the cover was removed an existing repaired crack has opened up, further investigation saw the cladding removed to see that the crack has also been extended after crack testing was undertaken on site to investigate.

The decission was taken to call in On-Site Casting Repairs who did an extensive cold metal stitching repair, taking some 2 1/2 days. This included addind reinforcement to the original 2005 repair, and extensive crack testingAt the time of writing a new piston ring is being machined, together with new piston ring packings, (reclaimed from old BR Standard packings!) since these were damaged by the hydraulicing. Also it is planned to add an extra oil pot to each crosshead to feed the bottom slide bars, whose lubrication is a bit hit and miss.

The RHS axlebox clearance in the horn guides was also found to be excessive during the steam test, and this will be addressed during winter maintenance. Because of this and the known wear on the piston bores it is probable that the boiler lift planned for this coming winter will be postponed for 12 momths to allow the "bottom end" of the locomotive to be overhauled. It is hoped that the Q6 will be back in traffic later this week.


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