North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 13th September 2017


A small but perfectly formed working party at Grosmont yesterday - Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson. I couldn't make it as carless this week, and public transport from York would have given me about half an hour's working time. Biscuit and tea bag stocks have been replenished, but care will be needed to ensure the tins are kept secure as there was a mouse in the trap! Both traps have been re-set with Mars Bars kindly donated by Gordon Wells.

Nigel continued sanding the spokes of the wheels and then painting with primer. He worked on this all day until after 5pm to ensure the job was completed. Paul Middleton asked that both pistons be removed from the cylinders for inspection, so Bill and Ian struggled on for hours trying to remove the R/H piston. Eventually, with some advice and the loan of two stud extensions from Shaun Bowler, the shed fitter, they managed to remove the R/H piston with the use of the hydraulic lifting table and a small lifting device belonging to the MPD. In contrast, removal of the L/H piston took about 45minutes, as experience with the other one led to a better technique of removal the second time using the hydraulic table and packing.

There will be a working party on Saturday starting about 9.15 to 9.30am.

There is plenty still to do, so if you prefer the delights of Grosmont to Scotsman at Shildon, please come along and lend a hand.



Saturday 9th September 2017


The 50th anniversary today of the end of BR steam in the North East was marked by a working party on the Q6 at Grosmont, and the workshop at Hopetown, Darlington being open as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend so that progress with the J27 overhaul could be viewed by the public - regrettably, not by either of the locomotives being operational to suitably mark the occasion, but not for want of trying.

At Grosmont, Bill Dobson , Peter Ellis, Ian Pearson and later on, after his cleaning duties, Chris Henwood, were at work. After the standard cuppa to prepare for the day, Peter and Ian got on with splitting the R/H side piston rod from the cross head. After the practice with the L/H one on Wednesday this went very smoothly. Bill decided we shouldn't remove the pistons right out now, but just showing the heads for inspection by Paul Middleton. If these were found to be OK they could then be put back and re- connected. After lunch, which was taken in the Deviation Restaurant, battle recommenced with the steam brake piston that proved so reluctant to come out on Wednesday. All sorts of ways were tried to remove the cover and piston, even with the pull lift secured to the coupling of a stationary locomotive. But it would not move so we had to retire from the fray and give it up as a bad job!

Chris Henwood joined us after lunch and he was employed cleaning some of the R/H side piston packing components - he did a great job.

There were also quite a few visitors to Deviation Shed today.

Bill has confirmed that the boiler inspector was happy with the state of the Q6 boiler which he fully examined on Friday. His inspection report has been received, and confirms that the next 10 yearly out of frames inspection will be due on 1 May 2024, when all the tubes and elements will have to be removed from the boiler for a full internal examination, and the boiler will have to be removed from its frames.

Meanwhile, over at Hopetown, the guide team of Norman Crockit, David Shand and Michael Chyriwsky showed a steady flow of visitors around the workshop and the J27, explaining to them about our activities and the work - and cost - involved with the J27 overhaul. This resulted in a number of donations in the box. In Head of Steam Museum itself, we had a small display stand, again providing an opportunity to make people aware of the Group and our achievements, and encouraging them to go over to Hopetown to see the work going on there. Apart from some donations, this resulted in one new membership and the sale of some of the infamous NELPG pens, the stock of which now includes a larger one with a picture of the K1 on the side and priced at £2. We will see what tomorrow brings, when Norman will be assisted by Michael, Nigel Hall and Roy Marshall in Hopetown. Thanks to all for their help.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 September 2017 22:17

Wednesday 6th September 2017



Nigel Hall cleaning the tyres and Gibson rings for painting - Chris Lawson

A good turn out yesterday with Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Nigel Hall, Peter Ellis and Ian Pearson, and after a cup of tea work started, although Nigel had been working since 7am varnishing the rear end of the tender. Having got it finished, he was then told the MPD were going to take out the brick arch from No 29 which would have created a considerable amount of dust. Having expressed his irritation and covered the rear of the tender with a large dust sheet to minimise any contamination, it was then decided by the MPD to postpone their work to Friday as they could not find anyone able to get in No 29's firebox!

Relief all round.

Elsewhere, I set about stripping the cover off the steam brake cylinder so as to examine the piston. The nuts were removed without the need for heating them up, much to Peter's disappointment, but, in spite of my efforts and those of Bill with the hammer and pinch bars, we were unable to extract it . Something for the Saturday team to have a go at! Peter and Ian started to set up the splitting gear to release the piston rod from the crosshead and also to remove the gland packings. Unfortunately most of the splitting gear brought from Carnforth yesterday didn't fit the Q6. Fortunately, Andy Lowes had given Peter the J27 gudgeon pin equivalent from Hopetown with which, using the NYMR splitting gear, they managed to split the L/H crosshead. Bill and Barney from the MPD also gave us some assistance in getting the job set up. The gear was then taken round to set up for the R/H crosshead to be split on Saturday.

Bill has tapped the 6 header plug holes 1 1/4"BSP and he is sending Andy the dimensions of the plugs required by Email. Also Peter has one of the old plugs to give to Andy. Nigel completed cleaning and painting the new tyre outside and inside rings.


The wheels await painting in the wheel drop wheel park - Chris Lawson

Bill has put a new work schedule up in the workshop with all jobs itemised showing which work NELPG will be doing and the work allotted to NYMR.

Work still continues tapping the flues. Three are left to do and Mark O'Brien expects them to be completed next week.

The boiler inspector is due to visit on Friday to meet Bill with a view to providing a report on the boiler so his recommendations are on the formal record.

The regular Saturday/Wednesday working party routine has now been re-established, so there will be another working party on Saturday, so, if anybody would like to come to Grosmont there continues to be plenty to do!

The Great Marquess left Grosmont for Scotland and its new home with John Cameron yesterday morning, and that 45212 arrived to augment the operating fleet while Repton is away. 45212 is staying until at least the Autumn Steam gala at the end of September.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 September 2017 21:48

Saturday 2nd September 2017


Not many at Grosmont today, only Gordon Wells and Ian Pearson.

Gordon completed the pit wiring and all sockets are now working.

Ian cleaned the coats of rust protector from the outside of the new tyres on two of the wheel sets - trailing and intermediate trailing - and then painted them with black primer. While he was working on the wheels, the three cleaners on the shed - Chris, Alex and James - offered their services for a couple of hours. Ian asked them to have a go at removing the R/H cotter which had proved so stubborn on Wednesday. So the lamps were set up and they got stuck in but the cotter would not move. Then the cavalry arrived in the form of duty fitter Dave Cholmondley who had a right good go - it finally started to move and eventually came out. It is now with the L/H cotter in the workshop .

They also removed both piston gland followers and oil feed boxes. The oil boxes are also in the workshop.

Both pistons are now ready for removal.



Thursday 31st August 2017


After a day varnishing the tender, and unexpectedly meeting Bill Dobson whose canal trip arrangements had been disrupted, at 16:30 the wheel sets arrived.

Over there on the far line - Nigel Hall

Just about down - Nigel Hall

The intent had been to cover the wheelsets with polythene sheeting after unloading to keep them dry for painting. However, whilst the rest of the wheelsets were being unloaded there was a heavy thunderstorm. There didn't seem much point in covering to keep the water in.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 September 2017 23:20
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