North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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



Wednesday 4th July 2018

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In my absence in Australia (where it is bright and sunny in a comfortable 19C - it is their winter after all, but in spite of that it is forecast to reach 24C today), Ian reports a rather dull cooler morning at Grosmont yesterday, but by lunch time it was getting warmer and then, after lunch, the sun shone with temperatures up in the lower 20's! Only Bill and Gordon Wells were with Ian, and he washed up all the dirty mugs of which there were quite a few! Bill took the bottles down to the MPD for water - perhaps we need to try and get our own supply in Deviation Shed? Then time for the usual cuppa. No more mice to report.

William and Martin were working again on the S15 boiler, and the French exchange student was needle gunning the bunker on Lucie. Gordon fitted a new light fitting above the fridge area with a new fluorescent tube. Ian fitted and secured the right hand side injector overflow pipe. Bill and Ian secured and split pinned both bottom slide bars, and Bill also split pinned the left hand side top slide bar. Bill fitted the vacuum gauge in the cab.

Lunch was had alfresco in the picnic area near Deviation Shed, as it was still a little dull but warm. Slow progress with the flues and there are 7 still to fit on the top row. All the jobs the team could do were done, so an early finish by 16.00 hrs. The regulator handle has been left for next week.

Not as many people as last week round the Shed today but still a few. A Class 20 diesel loco arrived from New Bridge in the afternoon under its own power - 20127, named Sir John Betjeman, in London Underground maroon livery. Another Class 20 is due today (Thursday). Both are required to increase resilience of the service if steam has to be taken off because of the fire risk. The J27 left on the 1230 from Grosmont yesterday, after the right hand tender side was cleaned at the platform by the crew to get rid of a long white streaky deposit.

The refurbished steam brake for the J72 has been delivered to Deviation Shed by Steve Andrews and Fred has been informed. Bill is taking it to the Committee meeting on Monday for Nigel to take to Hopetown.

No Working Party this Saturday - enjoy the sunshine. Next Working Party will be Wednesday 11th July.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 July 2018 22:22
 

Wednesday 27th June 2018

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Not a lot of progress to report on this hot sweltering day, with Ian Pearson, Derek Shorten and myself in attendance - along with a mouse in the trap, the first in a long time. After the usual cuppa with our Essex loco friends, William Parrish and Martin Ashburner, I rubbed down and gave the regulator handle a coat of red paint. It will need a light rub down and probably another couple of coats. Interestingly, the regulator handle is stamped up as being from (6)3398, built at Darlington in the same batch as 63395 in December 1918, and withdrawn in October 1965.

Derek washed up all the dirty cups, made us more tea, and also started to sort out the metal lockers and tidy the work bench. Ian in the meantime borrowed the MPD's metal thickness tester for the main steam pipes. Just as he was about to change the batteries for some he had brought from home, William Parrish said we could borrow his tester, which was in better condition than the Railway's. So Ian measured both left and right steam pipes and marked the thicknesses on the pipes and also logged them down for Bill to scrutinize.

As it was so hot, lunch was had in Deviation Shed being a little cooler, with quite a lot of visitors and money going in the box. Interestingly, following the improved signage organised by Bryan Orange, a common question was 'Why Deviation Shed?'. Whilst there are now photos of the old Deviation Signal Box on the wall, it has been suggested to Bryan that a map of the area showing the Signal box and old track layout, with the Shed superimposed, would be a useful addition to the site interpretation. We also had a number of visits from individuals who were carrying out an electrical installation check of the MPD site (including Deviation Shed) on behalf of the NYMR. One immediate consequence of this was that the light fitting above the tea point in the workshop fell apart and the tube broke. Bryan has now arranged for it to be replaced on Monday, so we will not be tea making in the dark.

On the locomotive itself, only 12 of the flue tubes have been fitted into the fire box tube plate to date. Because of apparent variations in the tubeplate thickness, it is proving difficult to get some of them fitted with sufficient tube exposed for expansion at the firebox end. Some further machining may prove necessary. The current heatwave is also not helping what is a very strenuous job in screwing in the tubes, not assisted either by finding that, after all the effort, they have to be taken out again. However, they are pressing on. No new date has been fixed for the hydraulic, but the boiler inspector has said he has flexibility in his diary and can come over at relatively short notice. The target date of return to service by 23 July remains! The repaired vacuum gauge has been returned and is ready for fitting, and Paul Hutchinson has returned the Q6 whistle after refurbishment. Both are in the workshop. Ian was just about to start work tightening up the injector overflow pipe when he was commandeered to drive the 08 Shunter and rescue the B1 and its 7 coach train from Green End and bring it back to Grosmont. It had slipped to a stand due to oil contamination on the rail from the Class 37 which had been towed earlier by the Class 26 to Pickering for repairs (the J27, with Terry Newman on the footplate as inspector, managed to get through with its 5 coaches in spite of the oil on the track). While Ian slaved away on the shunter, as the stock also had to be moved around at Grosmont, Derek and I decided there was little more we could do in the absence of the RO, so had an early finish.

 

Wednesday 20th June 2018

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It was warm and breezy with a grey sky and a few scattered showers early on at Grosmont on Wednesday, with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Nigel Bill, Roy Marshall, Ian Pearson, Derek Shorten and myself. Cups of tea all round first, then Derek who it was good to see again, set about giving our cups and trays a good cleaning, after telling us off for not keeping them up to his usual standard! We even bought Domestos and scouring pads by way of penance, so all our cups and spoons are ultra clean once more.

After consultation and inspection of the big end bearings with the shed staff, it was decided to shim the front part of the left hand big end to allow a flush fit of the taper pin so the cotter pin would fit securely. A 20 thou shim was made and fitted, the taper pin was inserted, and, when knocked in, the slot for the locking cotter was in the correct position so that was fitted and split pinned. The right hand side didn't require any extra shims so, again, the taper pin was inserted and the locking cotter fitted and split pinned. Both big end nuts were fitted and taper pinned. The mechanical lubricator drive rod was also fitted and secured. The left hand bottom slide bar was secured and pinned at the front end, but the rear still require tightening and pinning. The right hand side bottom slide bar also requires checking out for tightness and pinning.

Lunch was held in Deviation Shed as it looked as if it was going to rain - but it didn't! A check was done on measuring the tender height against the loco and was found to be higher on the right hand side. In the boiler, all the flue tubes have been found to need some machining to provide sufficient for expanding at the firebox end. That machining has now been completed, but the delay while this was done means that the hydraulic planned for 26 June has had to be postponed. Efforts are now being made to reschedule that for a week later and we have been told that completion and return to operation by the start of the Gold peak season timetable on 23 July is still perfectly achievable. In the meantime, six flues have been installed, and expansion of the small tubes at the firebox end has been successfully completed.

After unexpectedly being in service on Wednesday, the J27 arrived on shed about 15.45 and was disposed by Ian and Jon with help from Mark O' Brien when the rocking grate jammed, due to the presence of what looked like limestone rocks present in the current coal deliveries. Eventually the rocks had to be knocked out with a large bar with a chisel end and the grate levelled and secured. As the rest of the planned cleaning team had already had to leave, Bill, Derek, Nigel,and Jon set about cleaning the wheels and below the running plate to give a start for the next day's special (which turned out to be an extra special day in glorious weather with the J27 acquitting itself well, thanks in no small measure to the skill of Terry Newman and Jon Bradley on the footplate).

There will be no working party this Saturday. The next one will be on Wednesday 27 June, when we plan a workshop tidy up plus completion of a few little jobs on Q6.

 

Saturday 16th June 2018

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Having returned from his holiday in 'C' territory - it turns out to have been the Cotswolds, where there is more steam working, rather than the Caribbean! - Ian reports a cool, showery morning at Grosmont yesterday. By the time Bill and Ian had arrived, Bryan Orange and the JV's had opened up Deviation Shed, with Bryan and Luke Perry fitting the new shed signs and the other JV's working on S15 No 825 down at the MPD, helping to paint the inside of the tender coal space. Another JV, Tom Readman, was employed grit blasting various nuts and bolts off Piglet's loco Lucie.

Chris Henwood and Thomas Dibbs fit the Q6 dome cover at Grosmont on 16 June 2018 - Ian Pearson.

After the usual cuppas Bill and Ian set about working on the big end brasses which required extra shims. They hadn't been started long when the MPD cleaning squad came to see if there was anything they could do to help out. With Alex Jolly as charge hand cleaner, the boiler was cleaned and the dome cover was fitted by Chris Henwood and Thomas Dibbs (see photo), with Chris Kelly driving the tele- handler. Prior to that, Chris Kelly had corked the one new stud that was fitted last year. One of the other cleaners removed the driver's side injector overflow pipe and put it in the machine shop for Keith Pardy's attention next week - it requires a hose fitting on the end of the pipe. Bill and Ian first made and fitted an extra shim to the left big end brass, and refitted the taper pin, but found that the brass was locked onto the crank pin with no side movement at all. So then they went round to the right hand side, adjusted the shims, put in the taper pin and got the same as the left side: no side movement on the crank pin. Bill then decided to leave things as they were for the moment, put a repair card on Barneys desk telling him of the situation, and with a request for him and Owain to check the bearing clearance as it may need the white metal scraping.

Bill and Ian had lunch alfresco at the picnic table outside Deviation Shed as it had become quite mild but a little overcast. They got some of the JV's after lunch and Luke Perry painted the regulator handle red gloss. He then assisted Scott Middlemiss knocking out more concrete from the smoke box as requested by Mark O'Brien, removing about 4 barrow loads. They also emptied the MPD site bins which were overflowing with litter. Luke assisted Repton's crew during disposal to empty the smoke box.

Quite a few visitors, with some money spotted going into the box. The locos running yesterday were Repton, the B1, 80136, and the Class 25 diesel. The J27 had been out the previous two days following its wash out, had a rest yesterday, but is on the roster for today. It will be stopped again on Tuesday or Wednesday, dependent on other locomotive availability, for prepping for its special launch train on Thursday. Piglet and his Dad were working on Lucie all day in Deviation Shed.

Some items seem to be missing from the workshop, namely 2 medium sized adjustable spanners and a couple of paint markers, whilst the bench needs a general tidy up. A possible job for the next working party on Wednesday 20th June, when we may also need to assist with cleaning the J27 for the next day.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 June 2018 20:28
 

Wednesday 13th June 2018

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An overcast but warm day with bursts of sunshine at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson (suffering from a very heavy cold claimed to have been picked up from the Committee meeting on Monday night) in charge, and Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley (in the morning only), Dave Donegan, Roy Marshall and myself in support.

The Q6 had been moved down to immediately outside the boiler shop, along with the flue tubes, for them to be fitted. As they have to be screwed in, and then trimmed, it is a much more difficult and time consuming job than with the small tubes which have now all been placed in position. By the end of the day, five of the flue tubes had been installed and another was well on the way (see photo).

Q6 flue tubes being fitted. Small tubes are all in - Chris Lawson

After the usual cuppa therefore, Nigel Bill and Jon Bradley went off to the running shed to do some preparatory work on the J27 for its special train on 21 June, I changed the pads on the defibrillator and gave it its monthly test (it has been suggested that we should carry it on the train on the 21st!), and Roy gave the Q6 regulator handle a degrease and light rub down with wet and dry before applying white undercoat. Bill and Dave started work on the regulator stuffing box.

Lunch was held on the benches overlooking the MPD, and, afterwards, Bill and Nigel fitted the shims for the left hand side big end bearing, while Dave fitted a blank to the J pipe. Bill also put in some extra packing to the regulator stuffing box. In between making more cups of tea, Roy also got a second undercoat onto the regulator handle. While all that was under way, I took advantage of an almost empty, and continuing to be dry, pit road to brush out the pit floor and clean out the central gulley down as far as the weltrol with Lucie - that produced a wheelbarrow full of dirt.

Elsewhere, trains were fairly fully loaded and we had a number of interested visitors round the Shed. Some even put money in the box. The 825 team continue their work on the boiler on No 8 road, although the tender has now moved into the MPD workshop to be with the frames. The bunker of No 29 was being painted but the cylinder block is still away being machined. 76079 had a successful steam test and run up the bank to Goathland on the back of a service train, but, on return to Grosmont, was retired to the wheeldrop in disgrace for examination.

 
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