North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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



Wednesday10th April 2019

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A cold grey start to the day, but the sun soon came out and it turned into a lovely day, albeit a bit on the cool side. Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself were present, although Ian was immediately commandeered to take a diesel down to Pickering on the first service train from Grosmont, following the failure of Eric Treacy with cylinder cock problems in the station. The token machine giving access to the Whitby line had also broken down so no NYMR trains could run to/from Whitby (it was repaired in time for the afternoon services). Not a good start to Piglet's birthday, but away from all this, Nigel B lit the stove and I made the first cup of tea - for which I received a number of complaints that it was not brown enough. To improve my technique, I was told I would need to make the lunchtime cuppa as well in the hope that practice would make perfect.

On the work front, Nigel B and Steve spent the day in the pit under the Q6 working on the remaining cylinder cock valves, whilst Nigel H fitted the two new 1918 worksplates to the cabsides of the T2. In Ian's absence, Bill acted as RO for the morning, whilst I did the monthly check of the defibrillator, did the washing up and water run, and arranged with the MPD Office for the reurn of the J72 axleboxes to Hopetown by Sue Smeaton tomorrow morning. I also brought up the box of new hi vis vests for Deviation Shed which are now upstairs in the workshop. Lunch was held round the stove, with Nigel B cooking some sausages for his sandwiches.

After lunch, with Ian's return, he, Bill and myself cleared the workbench and put out the electrical equipment ready for the PAT testing by the Friths and Bryan Orange which is to take place tomorrow. James Newton from the boiler shop also joined us to start work on installing the rocking firegrate for the T2. I also got called to do an interview on the MPD Office phone with Radio Tees about our efforts to locate the living relatives of Sir Vincent Raven to attend the the T2 launch on 1 May.

 

No 29's boiler lift 10 April 2019 - Nigel Hall

Elsewhere on site, the crane was in use to lift No 29's boiler back into the frames (see photo). The new cylinder block meant that it was a tight fit and will need a little final adjustment. The J27 was not in traffic and was sitting outside the MPD. It was in use over the last weekend, is not required for this week's timetable, but should be back in service next week when the the timetable requires three steam locomotives.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2019 22:50
 

Wednesday 17th April 2019

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A bit of a cool overcast start to the day at Grosmont, but warming up with the sun shining by lunchtime. With Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Bryan Orange, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself. Ian lit the stove and made a cuppa (the 'right' colour this time - I have been sacked!) and Nigel brought a lovely fruit cake.

Steve set about working on the right hand rear steam chest cylinder cock, with Ian assisting where necessary. After some discussion about this cylinder cock's carrot valve, and whether it should be given a skim, Ian took it to the machine shop to get some advice from Owain. He thought we should have a new one made, but he couldn’t do one at the moment as he had a long list of priority work because of the necessary repair work following the recent accident involving Eustace Forth and Eric Treacy. Owain suggested that when the T2 is in for its next washout it could be removed and remade. So the cylinder cock and carrot valve were re-fitted. All the cylinder cock linkage bolts were double nutted where no split pin holes were found, and those with holes were split pinned. When Ian was talking to Owain he mentioned the bush for the way shaft pin. Owain said he will come up and measure the hole but it would have to wait until his work load had eased. Nigel H rubbed down the back of the tender which he had painted on Tuesday, then gave it a coat of varnish. I spent the morning washing up, necessitating a visit to the Co-op for a scouring sponge, and topping up the water bottles.

Bryan and Nigel B were busy discussing all the safety aspects of working for NELPG in Deviation Shed and also other locations. One of the outcomes of an ongoing safety review is that there is now a separate signing on point in Deviation Shed itself - it is on the right hand door of the double doors that lead to the stairs in the workshop. Please remember to sign in and out there, but also that you must continue to sign in and out at the MPD signing on point as normal, so the duty fitter knows who is in and out at the end of his day.

Lunch was had around the stove. After lunch, quite a lot of of ash had accumulated in the pit so was removed by Nigel B. Subsequently, I cleaned out the drainage channel and removed the contents. I had been down to the MPD to see Barney and Piglet. Because of the dire shortage of motive power at the moment, they asked if the T2 could be pressed into traffic early if the situation became desparate. After discussion with Nigel and Ian, and today with Bill, we have agreed that the T2 could be made available next week if absolutely necessary, provided the rocking grate and the way shaft pin are sorted, and subject to prior agreement. In any case, a steam test is planned for next week, in preparation for the 1 May centenary event. Black (for the tender sides) and red (for the front buffer beam) plastic will be required if it is to do any running. As a contingency, Ian and Nigel B oiled up the axlebox tops. Last job yesterday, after Nigel H had finished varnishing the back of the tender, was to dismantle the scaffolding and return it all back to the MPD boiler shop. This was done by all our team.

Lots of visitors in Deviation Shed today but Bryan and I did the PR bit and gave them lots of information about NELPG. As a result, we think we might have recruited one working volunteer member and a couple of potential JVs. The new safety valve castings for the T2 and J27 were collected from Lanes in Middlesbrough by Sue Smeaton, and are now at Grosmont ready for machining. On the Railway, trains were being worked with No 926 Repton (after some leaking tubes had been dealt with in the morning), B1 No 1264 (with steam leaking from the left hand cylinder) and J27 No 65894. A certain John Hunt was driving, and he reported the J27 was going well considering it was hauling 6 coaches, and the afternoon FTR exam reported no problems. It has been running since Sunday and should be running all week and over Easter

 

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

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In spite of a forecast of heavy snow and strong winds, it was a cold but fine, sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, although there were reports of snow on the high moor at Blakey Ridge. Those present, and enjoying the sun, were Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Bryan Orange with JV Luke Perry, Ian Pearson and myself. We were also paid a visit by Arthur Jenkins, John Midcalf and Saskia Van Schip who had come down for a trip on the train to Pickering. Then John Hunt called in briefly, to make it twelve NELPG members at Deviation Shed yesterday morning. Not quite a record attendance but very close to it. After Ian had lit the stove, Jon, who could not stop long, washed up the pots and joined us for a cup of tea (made in a new large teapot that I had brought) and a good long chinwag putting the world to rights.

As far as work was concerned, Peter Whitaker has now finished the sign writing on the T2, and Nigel Hall concentrated on painting the cab sides with gloss and another coat of primer on the smokebox door. I was in the pit all day painting the brake rods with black gloss while Bill worked on grinding in and repairing the carrot valves from the cylinder cocks. Three were done yesterday, so only another four to do. Bryan and Luke repaired an extension cable and a lamp cable, and also repaired one of the large square handlamps, replacing the fluorescent tube and clear plastic cover - well, it was clear originally. Luke also did some repairs on the velocipede and put it back together. Ian and Nigel Bill worked on the right hand side hand rail of the J27 which had, yet again, broken away from its socket on the cab front - another five minute job that tied them up all day. After an hour or so trying to remove three stubborn bolts they eventually removed the flange with the hand rail socket attached.

It was then time for lunch around the stove in Deviation Shed. After lunch, Ian and Nigel B tried to find something to fit into the socket and into the hand rail. They did eventually find a steel stud which fitted into the hand rail, but was loose in the socket so had to be rejected. Down at the MPD machine shop, Owain said he would make a stepped peg which would fit both the socket and hand rail. Having made a peg (see photos), it was fitted in about ten minutes with new nuts bolts and washers. Job done at last! At the end of the day at Deviation Shed, the T2 tender sides were covered with four dust sheets by Luke and Nigel H to deter photographers. How we will manage the great unveiling on 1 May remains to be worked out - but contact Dave Pennock if you want to see how we do, and travel on the train as well.

New handrail peg - Ian Pearson

New handrail peg - Ian Pearson

Quite a lot of visitors today with some high value notes being spotted going into the donation box (and subsequently removed by Bryan to go to the Treasurer). City of Wells, 80136 and Repton were working services, with the B1 being sent to Pickering for turning. The J27 was standing on the pit on No 5 Road at the Running Shed being weighed - engine was done yesterday, tender due today. Hopefully it should be in operation over the weekend.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2019 09:30
 

Saturday 30th March 2019

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Ian Pearson reports a fine cool morning but warming up later at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Peter Ellis, Nigel Hall and Ian himself enjoying the sunshine. Yesterday was the start of the season's steam train running with guest locomotive City of Wells working non-stop runs to Pickering. Also our J27 worked the 10.30 to Pickering and the B1 on the lunch time dining train.

After lighting the stove and a cup of tea, Ian started by NDTing the new weld on the right hand brake rod from the Q6. All OK, and photos taken and sent to Barney. Then, with Nigel B and Peter, the rod was fitted and pinned, secured and the brake was adjusted. Bill worked on the right hand front cylinder cock, removing the carrot valve and grinding it in. It was refitted with washers before the securing nut was tightened. Nigel H concentrated on rubbing down the smokebox door and applying a coat of primer. He has also fitted some dust sheets to the tender sides to cover up the new sign writing. While Nigel B and Ian were checking that all the split pins were opened out, they found a damaged pin on the right hand centre tender brake hanger equaliser link. After all the dirt was removed, it looks as if the damage has been caused by the haulier's chain when loaded on a wagon for transport from or to the Railway. This pin will have to be removed and replaced.

Later in the afternoon the J27 returned to shed and was failed with leaking valve covers. While inspecting the covers it was noticed that the new PTFE seal was starting to leak between the casting and the cylinder block, and some of the nuts had come loose when the fitter tapped them. Not much could be done yesterday as the J27 was too hot and in steam, but Nigel B went upstairs in our workshop and found a set of used copper gaskets which have been used on the J27 at some time. These have been taken down to the MPD office for possible use on the cover.

Not surprisingly, quite a lot of visitors round the shed yesterday, as is likely to be the case from now on with the start of the operating season.

 

Wednesday 27th March 2019

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Ian Pearson reports a fine, mild, slightly overcast day at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley, Nigel Hall and Ian himself. With the stove lit and kettle on it was cups of tea ☕️ all round and a catch-up with Barney at the MPD. The J27 had been steam tested on Tuesday and it was found to have steam leaks from the front valve covers and the whistle.

So those were the jobs for the day. Bill worked on the J27 whistle all day which he stripped down, cleaned, sealed and re-fitted, while Nigel B and Ian worked on the valve covers with Jon assisting later after he completed some lagging work in the Q6 cab. The J27 oil pipes and cylinder cock front drain pipes were removed. This was not easy as the locomotive wasn’t on a pit and there was no chance of getting on one as 5428 was on steam test for the boiler inspector on the top pit and No 5 Road pit was full with the B1 and 76079. So work had to be done on the ground outside No 4 Road sat on cardboard with cushions on top. Meanwhile, Nigel H removed the Q6 cab numbers and spent the day sanding the cab sides and sand boxes.

Lunch was had around the stove and Ian warmed his steak pie on the stove hot plate - please note Trevor! After lunch the valve covers were eventually removed, the faces cleaned, and a ptfe seal put around each cover - the same material as was put round the Q6 cylinder cover. Then the covers were re-fitted and secured, and the oil pipes and drain cock pipes re-fitted. Hopefully it will now be OK for its scheduled workings during the Big Engine service over the next week. However, the right hand side hand rail has come out of its socket again and will have to have another socket welded onto the existing socket to secure it.

Some of the shed staff were working at Newbridge getting Repton and City of Wells (replacing Union of South Africa for the Big Engine service over the next week, as No 9 is still undergoing repair) ready for moving to Grosmont tomorrow.

 

 
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