North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Wednesday 10th May 20117

Just Derek Shorten and myself took advantage of the glorious summer weather at Costa del Grosmont today.

The Q6 was still on the wheel drop, but with all the wheel sets now out. These are sat on the short length of track next to the wheel drop, along with the springs - one of which is broken. The aim was to move the Q6 onto No 4 road in the running shed during the day, but first the accomodation bogie under the cab had to be moved so it was under the frame rather than the rear hornstay, and the temporary bogie at the front had to be swapped as it was not far enough under the front buffer beam to stop it tipping and the front of the engine falling to the ground as soon as it hit anything but straight level track. We agreed this would not be a very good outcome, especially with the Channel 5 documentary film team around! This involved removing the guard irons and the remaining cylinder cock linkage, and, in the end, it took all day to get everything nearly into position, with the final work due to be completed first thing tomorrow. That will then enable the Q6 to leave the wheel drop and go into the running shed where there is a good enough air supply to enable Mark O'Brien to do his required work on the firebox tube plate flue tube threads (the compressor in Deviation Shed was not considered powerful enough for the job).

We were asked not to do any work on cleaning the wheel sets, so, after the required cup of tea and dark chocolate HobNobs, ace frame cleaner Derek set to work for the day on removing the vast quantities of gunge (technical term) revealed by removal of the wheelsets. In spite of his efforts, there is still plenty left for others to have a go at. For my part, I started on cleaning the four trailing spring hangers that Ian had left on the bench in the workshop. Only a 50% success rate with these, in spite of attacking them with increasingly heavier sledge hammers to try and get the nuts free. Flushed with this level of success and a lot of sweat, I collected another pair of spring hangers from the Q6 running plate and achieved a similar outcome. The three cleaned hangers with freed nuts are on the workbench to the right of the vice, while the three seized ones were consigned to a bucket of paraffin to try and free them up for another attack on Saturday. There are also another ten hangers waiting for similar treatment. They are all clearly marked up as to where they have come from on the locomotive, linked to the identification marks on the wheelsets and springs.

Ian popped in to see how we were getting on, in between waving at us as he went past on his driving turn, but there were very few visitors today, and still no more dead mice. There is a fresh bottle of milk in the fridge, the JVs are due on Saturday, and there is plenty of work for anyone else who wants a day out in the countryside. So do come down and join Andy and the rest of the Saturday team - the weather forecast is not too bad.