North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Q6 at the Severn Valley Railway Gala


The Q6 made it to the Severn Valley Railway Gala. Here are some photographs of it in action.

Q6 crosses Victoria Bridge with the 15.15 ex Kidderminster to Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway. 21 September 2018 - Paul Jameson

Q6 approaching Hay Bridge to begin the climb of Eardington Bank with the 15.15 ex Kidderminster to Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway. 21 September 2018 - Phil Waterfield.

Q6 leaving Bridgnorth MPD in the rain, ready to take the 13.00 departure to Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway. 20 September 2018 - Neil Young.

Q6 leaving Bewdley on the Severn Valley with the 15.15 ex Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. 21 September 2018 - Phil Waterfield.

Q6 crossing the River Stour on Falling Sands viaduct with the 10.00 ex Kidderminster to Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway. 21 September 2018 - Paul Jameson.

Q6 at Arley on the Severn Valley Railway with the 13.15 Bridgnorth to Kidderminster service. 23 September 2018 - Neil Young

Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2018 13:44

Friday 14th September, Q6 enters traffic


Q6 working hard near Levisham on the 4pm from Pickering - Bill Dobson

Thursday's test run up the bank had to be aborted after a problem with the brakes. Today, after a light engine run up the bank and back during the morning, the Q6 was attached to the rear of the 14.30 departure from Grosmont to Pickering. All went well, so with Ian Pearson on the regulator it headed the 16.00 departure from Pickering. All bearings ran cool and the locomotive ran without problems.

On the Friday, the necessary work having been completed, Ian Pearson was the driver, and he managed a run up the bank to near Goathland in the morning. Again all was fine. It was therefore decided to put the Q6 on the back of the 1430 departure from Grosmont for a run to Pickering, with 76079 leading at the front (see photo). On arrival at Pickering, Ian reported again that following checks of the axleboxes and motion, all was well, and the Q6 then did all the work on the return journey, leading from the front, with 76079 reportedly making no contribution on the rear. The Q6 then retired back to the shed and was disposed with another clean bill of health.

Q6 on the rear of the 1430 NYMR service train from Grosmont passing Moorgates - Jon Bradley

The move to the Severn Valley for their Gala over the 20th - 23rd September was therefore confirmed, and today the Q6 ran light engine to New Bridge, Pickering, with Ian Pearson again driving and Richard de Sadeleer as his fireman. The opportunity was also taken to turn it on the Pickering turntable so the smokebox faces south once more (see photo). The engine and tender will be split tomorrow, and be collected by lorry on Monday. Barney Casey, the senior NYMR fitter will be accompanying the Q6 and will be able to fix any problems should they arise while the Q6 is away. It is then due back in the first couple of days of the week beginning 25 September so it will be available to star in the NYMR Gala on the 28th - 30th September, along with the J27.

Q6 at New Bridge, Pickering after turning to face south - Richard de Sadeleer.

Although, as a result, there will be no Q6 working party next Wednesday, there is clearing and tidying up to be done in Deviation Shed, and also a J27 to clean if it is not in service. So any volunteers wanting a day out in Grosmont on Wednesday will be very welcome.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 September 2018 22:14

Thursday 13th September 2018, Q6 meets J27


After disposal, the Q6 met the J27 in the running shed. The J27 had a warming fire for a post washout and repair steam test. This must be the first time that the two locomotives have met, in steam, and in the same BR livery, since the end of steam on BR.

Q6 and J27 meet in the running shed -Terry Newman

Q6 and J27 meet in the running shed -Terry Newman

Q6 and J27 meet in the running shed -Terry Newman

Q6 and J27 meet in the running shed -Terry Newman

However, such sights were at the end of a rather frustrating day.

Nigel Bill reports that he arrived Grosmont MPD with Terry Newman for an 8am sign on for a days running in on the Q6. The weather was glorious blue sky, sun shining, and a light breeze - perfect for running in trials.

He helped Terry prep the engine and do some cleaning whilst the MPD staff refitted the cylinder drain cocks and linkages. However, the front R/H drain cock in the steam chest could not be fitted tightly as the male to female connection threads were badly worn and would not seal. A temporary fix with wire fastening was done to allow some running in, so the locomotive was coaled and the tender filled with water before dropping down to Platform 4 at Grosmont around midday, with Adrian Dennis from the MPD on the footplate as fireman and travelling fitter, ready for a run to Goathland. However, the signalman only allowed 15 minutes in the section, so the run went up past Green End where there was a stop for a check round. No signs of anything running hot or squealing out for required lubrication, so it returned to Grosmont Station where the engine was checked again and nothing untoward was found.

They were then given 40 minutes in section to get some further running in done, but when Terry opened the regulator to set off, the engine would not budge either in reverse or forwards - fighting to the end!

Adrian and Terry set about identifying the fault which was found to be the steam brake not releasing the brakes: nor would it with the ejector.

The locomotive steam brake piston had bottomed out on the cylinder, and would not release as the linkage had gone past the vertical and could not be released by steam. Adrian had to get his bag of tools out therefore, and set about resetting the linkage which allowed the brakes to release. It was then decided to return to the shed as a R/H side drain cock was blowing by. Back on shed, it was found the drain cock that had the temporary fix had failed to hold in the Station whilst the regulator had been opened and shut a few times to try and get the engine moving before the brake fault was found.

As a consequence, it was decided to call it a day, as a permanent repair was required for the drain cock and the brake linkages could be adjusted to prevent the piston sticking at the bottom of the cylinder. So, after 2 days of trying to get miles under her belt it was reckoned that about 4 had been achieved. Not what had been expected, and the shed staff were left with work to do on the Friday morning to hopefully enable some more running in to be done.

The day's events were also filmed by the Channel 5 documentary team, including interviews with Terry, so the day of frustration should appear in the new series when it is aired next year.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 September 2018 22:13

Wednesday 12th September 2018


A bright and breezy day at Grosmont yesterday, with Nigel Bill, Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Nigel Hall and myself, along with a Q6 raising steam outside the MPD on No 5 road, prior to moving to the coaling plant pit under its own power for the first time in 18 months.

Q6 on No 1 road pit at Grosmont for drain cock removal - Chris Lawson

Here it was oiled up, a replacement front shackle found for the one that was missing, and Nigel Bill went over to Teesside to fetch some sealing rope for the smokebox door. Meanwhile the MPD staff were wrestling with a leaking vacuum, fitted the smokebox door seal, and completed a number of other small jobs before we broke for lunch. The previously welded bracket on the fall plate was then found to be broken again and was rewelded, but this will be only a temporary fix as the fall plate itself is badly twisted and will need to be replaced. The injectors were tested and were working fine, but as the locomotive was put into reverse to move up the headshunt for some running in (it is currently smokebox facing north), the isolater valve on the reverser pipework between the frames fractured. Quick work by the shed fitters saw the multi union pipework replaced, along with the now redundant isolater valve, and the original pipework run restored after it had been annealed. Moving the engine then revealed that the drain cocks were not working as they were full of dirt, so the Q6 was moved down to the pit on No 1 road for the drain cocks to be removed (see photo). That done, the engine then finally did some running up and down the yard for about an hour with Ian Pearson driving and Nigel Bill on the shovel (see photos), before the day was finally drawn to a close with tea and cake, and the engine disposed. All the axleboxes remained cool.

Q6 on the move, without drain cocks! Deviation Shed, Grosmont - Nigel Hall.

Today (Thursday 13th), the plan is, first thing, for the drain cocks to be cleaned and replaced, along with the vacuum diaphragm in the hope that this will cure the leak. The Q6 will then spend the day running up and down the bank with Terry Newman driving. If that goes without problem, it will then spend tomorrow running to Pickering on the back of service trains, and, if that is OK, Saturday will see it on the front of service trains, with the aim of getting about 200 miles of running in successfully completed. Assuming all goes well, Sunday will see it at New Bridge, Pickering for splitting the engine and tender, ready for loading first thing on Monday morning for the move to the Severn Valley for their Gala at the following weekend. If it goes, and it is still an if, then Barney Casey, the senior fitter at the MPD, will be going with the Q6 to make sure all is well, and that if any problems arise, they are dealt with.

Q6 at Deviation Shed during first running in - Chris Lawson

It will then return in the week beginning 24 September, ready for the NYMR's own Gala over the final weekend of the month. This should see both the Q6 and J27 in action.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 September 2018 16:16

Monday 10th September 2018


Ian reports a day with a difference yesterday at Grosmont, on a grey cool morning, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, and Ian attending for this extra Q6 working party.

No usual cups of tea but straight to see Mark O' Brien with his job list. We were all very busy with various tasks - lagging and fitting the dome; disconnecting the ejector steam pipe and resealing; fitting a new copper washer to the chamber side of the drain valve; tightening up the regulator (although that may need some more adjustment); fitting both cylinder cosmetic covers; and tightening up the drawbar nut with the big ratchet spanner, with our team on the rope pulling up the nut and then fitting the locking disc and cotter and split pin. The ratchet spanner is now on the back of the tender. One job that took all day, which looked to be a very simple job at first sight, was the fitting of the sealing ring around the anti vacuum valve. This was started by cleaning up the 3/8"studs and finding the right size packing. Then, when the ring was put in place, it would not line up with the holes in the smoke box. So it was taken away to have the holes drilled slightly larger, but it still would not fit and needed about a 1/16" of an inch removing from the inner circumference. This was done by the shed fitter with an angle grinder, then returned back to the engine and finally fitted. But that was not the end, as all the bolts fitted, bar one on the left side which would not tighten. A slightly longer bolt was then obtained and fitted through the smoke box. However, daylight could still be seen between the sealing ring and the anti vacuum valve into the smoke box. This will mean removal of the sealing ring and more packing being put in. The boilersmiths are aware of the problem and will be sorting it out today. It was also noted that the tender water valves were leaking quite badly, so another job on the carrot valves.

It was intended to put a warming fire in and have the loco in steam today, but this has had to be abandoned as there is still some other work to finish off. Subject to that being completed successfully, the plan is then to start running in with some trips up the bank to Goathland as with the J27, then, if all is well, the next day trips to Pickering on the back of a service train, and then possibly taking a train on its own. The intention is to get 200 miles of successful running in completed, in the light of which a decision will be made about whether it goes to the Severn Valley or not for its Gala over the 22/23 September weekend. If not, the NYMR has a Plan B agreed with the Severn Valley, but, regardless, the Q6 and the J27 should both be running at the NYMR Gala the following weekend, 28/29/30 September.


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