NELPG members are owed an explanation regarding the non-appearance of K1 62005 at the NYMR gala.
Putting the K1's performance in perspective, it had arrived on the NYMR having had a test run and worked The Wansbeck railtour, covering a total of 350 miles, at speeds up to 50 mph, on the main line, all without any problems. On arrival at Grosmont, and having agreed the running days, Paul Hutchinson undertook various minor adjustments and, more significantly re-bushed the trailing wheel set “T” hangers (unfortunately it had not been possible to complete this particular job while the loco was at Carnforth). Following completion of this work it was noticed that the LH rear axlebox wedge adjuster nut, which sits in a pocket on the axlebox wedge, was proud of the horn face. As there was a possibility, if the axlebox moved in the horns on a particularly bad dipped rail joint, that damage might occur, it was decided to file the nut flush with the horn face, in situ. The alternative was to remove the nut and deal with it remotely, but this would have involved a significant amount of stripping down and dropping the trailing wheel set.
The problem was discovered on the evening of Wednesday 23rd April. Two NELPG volunteers, Steve Gibson and Harry Sams, spent most of Thursday 24th April filing the nut down but had to leave before they had completed the task. Paul Hutchinson and Mike Bloomfield, another of the Group’s volunteers, went along the same evening to finish the job so that the loco could be steamed, as planned, for Friday 25th April. This message was passed to MPD staff, via control, late in the afternoon. However, notwithstanding this (and understandably) 75029 had been rostered instead of 62005. Paul and Mike eventually completed the task at 03.30 am on the 25th.
The loco was then scheduled to work the 26th and 27th as originally planned but the NYMR was unhappy with the extent of the work that had been done. This was reported to Paul not on the Friday, but on the morning of Saturday, the 26th. Paul then worked on the loco for the rest of that day following which the free movement of both trailing axleboxes was demonstrated (and witnessed by MPD staff) by lowering the axlebox up and down on the wheeldrop. The work was completed by 18.30 on the 26th and, as far as the NELPG was concerned, the loco was available for traffic for Sunday 27th but it appears that by that time a decision had been taken by the NYMR not to use it.
On Tuesday 29th April the K1 was prepared for a 5 day, 832 mile, stint on the main line, leaving Grosmont at 07.48 on Wednesday 30th, and eventually ending up at Fort William on Sunday 4th May. It is unfortunate that as a precursor to this, it did not run a few days, as planned, on the NYMR. Whilst the NELPG is very sorry about this, as I am sure members will appreciate, it is in no way due to a lack of effort or intent on the part of the NELPG.
John Hunt, Chairman
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