North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Wednesday 25th October 2017

A good turn out on a fine sunny day with Ian Pearson, Dave Donegan, Nigel Hall, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Bill and myself.

After the usual cuppa it was decided to jack up the engine to release the R/H axle box top plate which was trapped by a packing piece. This plate required two holes drilling and nuts welding above for lubrication, then corks fitted into the nuts as per the other plates which had been dealt with previously. This was set up with a joint effort from Nigel Bill, Ian, Dave and myself. A metal beam and two 50 ton jacks were borrowed from the MPD and various pieces of wooden packing collected up from elsewhere in Deviation Shed. The plate was removed after jacking up the loco about 1/4 inch, an exercise which proved of great interest to our many visitors during the day. Dave then drilled the holes where Ian had marked the plate, but, unfortunately, Ian had got the plate the wrong way round, and Trevor had to weld the holes up so Dave could re-drill the holes on the other side. The nuts were then welded above the holes, the weld trimmed up and four corks obtained from the MPD stores and fitted to the left leading and right leading plates. These are now situated on top of the axle boxes with trimmings fitted and oil in the reservoirs. There is a slight bit of distortion on the R/H plate, and only one flexi oil pipe has been fitted at the moment: the other one is still to fit, as are the trimmings and oil.

Elsewhere, Nigel Hall got stuck into drilling and tapping the two holes on the right hand cylinder casting. Two new 1/2" bolts are now in place ready for the cladding. Trevor removed the L/H slide bar nut with the burning torch but some of the thread was damaged. Ian had a word with Barney regarding a replacement nut and bolt, and Owain is going to make a new one. Trevor and Dave removed the fall plate with the intention of building up the sharp edge with weld and then dressing it level with the rest of the edge but time ran out before that could be started. A job for Trevor to do on his next visit on 4 November. He is also going to drill and re-tap the poor stud hole with a larger bolt and re- profile the head to match the others.

The other major job of the day was to unblock the sink and drain pipe to the pit outside. Water from the Deviation Shed pit, of which there was a large quantity to remove during the day, was just running all over the concrete under the coaling plant and making working conditions even worse than normal. Eventually, Trevor and Nigel Hall succeeded, for which they deserve great credit.

Lunch was had in Deviation shed again with quite a lot of visitors around, much chat, including a detailed explanation from Nigel Hall on the workings of the vacuum brake for one enquirer, but not as much enthusiasm to put money in the donation box! However, with the demise of the old £1 coin, I removed £103.50 from the box, which included 6 old £1 coins to get them to the bank before they refused to accept them any more. Being half term the trains were all well filled, the diner was running, and there was very little room in the car park even at 9.30am.

The cylinder block for No 29 was collected during the afternoon by Tees Components to be machined, work is now under way on the frames down in the MPD, and the boiler is due to be moved out of Deviation Shed this week to go down to the boiler shop for attention. It will be replaced in Deviation Shed by Paul Middleton's vertical boilered steam tram locomotive 'Lucie'. The Q6 flue tubes are due to arrive in the next three weeks along with those for Eric Treacy, and will need to be found a storage home until they are ready to be fitted.

Because the NELPG diner is running on Saturday, hopefully with the B1 in charge, there will be no working party this Saturday, although, hopefully, Deviation Shed will be open for anyone who wants to go and view the Q6.