North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 9th January 2018


Well, with a Happy New Year to all our readers, we started again yesterday on a cold slightly oveccast morning, with Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Derek Shorten, and Nigel Hall. I called in briefly to drop off some electricity conduit for Gordon Wells and collect the signal arms which are to go to auction later this year. Bill and I also had a meeting with Piglet and Barney to discuss operational requirements for the Q6 at the start of the operating season, bearing in mind that Nigel Hall is starting preparation work on the Q6 for its re-paint into temporary NER livery for its centenary launch, planned for 1 May. The NYMR requires it for February half term, when it will run in plain black, but thereafter, Nigel and Peter Whitaker will be finishing off and doing the lining and lettering. It has been agreed therefore that the Q6 will not be available for use by the NYMR until its press and media launch on 1 May.

Back at Deviation Shed, the pot bellied stove was lit and cups of tea brewed as we discussed our plan of action for the day. Nigel B and Ian M set about removing the front cylinder covers so Bill can measure up and order two new copper rings. Ian P and Steve removed the front section of fire grate to allow Mark O' Brien to fit one section of rocking grate to make life easier for the crews on disposal. The grate components are on order and are due to arrive today, 10 January. All the washout plugs and doors from the Q6 have been removed by the NYMR boilersmith, James Newton. Derek cleaned all the washout plugs and has made a start on the mudhole doors.

Ideparted around 11.15 to go and get packed for my 6 monthly trip to Australia today (currently waiting for my delayed flight, although TPE managed to run on time!). Nigel Hall arrived around 12 noon and lunch was had around the stove - very cosy . After lunch, Ian P and Steve started to remove split pins and cotters in order to split the tender from the locomotive. This needed considerable effort from us all in order to loosen the big drawbar nut, with Ian P and Steve on the big spanner and large hammer, while the others were on the rope between Nos7 & 6 road, pulling with all their might. It was very tight but eventually it came loose. The pins were removed and stored in the cab: the locking plate and cotter have been put in the tender locker. The brake connection from loco to tender was also removed. This is now on the floor between Nos 8 & 7 roads. Nigel Hall set up some new lights he had purchased around the tender sides and got started on cleaning the tender frames. James Newton has made a start removing the washout plugs and doors from the J27/P3. Both locomotives are still to wash out this but this may be done today.


Wednesday 5th December 2018


Because it clashed with a meeting of the Fundraising Sub Committee I was unable to get to Grosmont yesterday, which, in view of the weather, was probably a good thing. However, in spite of the wet and miserable conditions - it apparently never stopped raining - Ian reports that Bryan Orange, Jon Bradley, Nigel Bill, Steve Hyman, Derek Shorten, and Ian himself braved the conditions at Grosmont. Bryan opened up Deviation Shed, lit the stove and got the kettle boiling. Tea and biscuits all round, with Jon bringing some biscuits, although I must say that those on offer at Hopetown on a Thursday take some beating thanks to Derek Norris! Bryan came in mainly to show Arthur Jenkins, who came with John Midcalf, round the machine shop area of the MPD, as Arthur has volunteered to train some of our NELPG JV's on workshop skills in succession to the late Chris Parrish. No mice to report, and Derek was brewing the tea, keeping the stove going, and getting rid of some old timber.

On the Q6, with the left hand crosshead re-metalled and machined on the Tuesday, Barney Casey and Nick Simpson had re-assembled the crosshead and put up the little and big ends. So all that had to be done was tighten up the locking studs on the big end taper wedge and fit the small cotter at the lower end of the wedge. This latter required a new cotter making, which Nigel Bill did - a job that took quite some time. Ian fitted the little end oil box to the crosshead. Steve took off the left hand slide bar lubricator pot to re-profile the delivery pipe, which was annealed and slightly re shaped to allow a better oil flow onto the slide bar. The trimming was also adjusted. The opportunity was taken to adjust the trimming on the right hand side slide bar oil pot as well. We now have 4 strands of wool on each trimming at both sides. All eight studs that secure the oil boxes and rear piston cover were split pinned. Jon and Ian opened out the small cotter that secures the large cotter that secures the crosshead to the piston rod. Jon cleared the firebox grate ash from Tuesday's warming fire and set another warming fire on the grate which he lit during the afternoon. The Q6 was due to be in steam today, running just around the yard to check out the left hand crosshead. Assuming that is successful, it will be working the Santas from Pickering over the weekend.

Lunch was had around the stove, nice and cosy.

Bill called in briefly to see how things were progressing on his way to York Railway Museum that morning, to try and obtain some drawings of safety valves, safety valve springs and atomisers.

The next working party will be on Wednesday 12 December.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 December 2018 13:59

Tuesday 4th December 2014


On returning from the Santa specials on Sunday, both crossheads were found to be hot. The LHS was stripped down yesterday and the white metal on the bottom slipper was found to be worn. It is being re-mettaled in time for the Santa's next visit.

The RHS will be done next week.

The cause is unknown , but a lack of lubrication is obvious. The design, 100 years old as it is, supplies good lubrication to the top slipper, less to the bottom one.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 December 2018 14:03

Q6 100th Birthday Train



With bottle of brown ale on the front running board, and John Midcalf attempting to sell raffle tickets to the crew, the Q6 awaits departure with its birthday train - Nigel Bill

Last Updated on Friday, 07 December 2018 13:46

Wednesday 28th November 2018


A wet and windy but milder day than of late at Grosmont on Wednesday, with Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Derek Shorten, Dave Donegan and, eventually, for the late morning only, myself. The day started with the usual cuppa, after going to the Co-op to get some tea bags, then the stove was lit and the pots washed by Derek (whose special mug had been broken since our last attendance:'().

The Q6 was on steam test, with the shed fitters getting ready for this coming weekend's Santas and Dining trains. The Santa locomotives have all been temporarily named after reindeer - the Q6 is now Prancer and the J27 Comet (see photos). 5428 Eric Treacy has been re-named Rudolph and is rumoured will also be fitted with a red nose. Ian helped the fitters out by moving the Q6 onto the pit so they could continue with their checks on the locomotive. This gave Ian and Steve the opportunity to oil up the tops of the leading, intermediate, and driving axle boxes which feed oil to the horn blocks - not a very pleasant job. Dave siphoned all the brass lubrication boxes which were contaminated with water, and replenished them with fresh oil, along with the slide bar lubricators which had the trimmings renewed. A new trimming was also made for the left hand brass box that feeds the valve spindle on that side. The Q6 passed its steam exam and is ready for the weekend. The fire was disposed, and Ian moved the engine back to the shed outside No 4 Road.

The Q6 with its name board - Chris Lawson

Lunch was had on the bench in Deviation Shed. As it was mild it would have been too hot to sit round the fire! In the short time I was present, I managed to carry out the monthly check on the defibrillator.

The J27 with its name board - Chris Lawson

The J27 just about finished its washout, prior going onto the wheel drops for the L/H broken driving spring to be changed. This was completed during the afternoon and it was due to have its steam test yesterday. The safety valves on the J27 have been cleaned and refitted, but it was reported that they are in very poor condition and will need replacing in the New Year. Discussions are under way with the MPD about the best way of achieving this. Barney is also going to order some new safety valve springs for the Q6.


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