North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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



Friday 17th May 2019 - Rocking Grate

Mark O'Brien writes:

Today I have been busy with finishing the rocking grate mechanism.

Locked - Mark O'Brien

Unlocked - Mark O'Brien

Rocked - Mark O'Brien

Now it’s all together and working I have a few modifications to make and a few things to finish up and tidy up. But other than that it works fine.

 

Wednesday 15th May 2019

A lovely warm day at Grosmont yesterday with Jon Bradley and two late arrivers in lan Pearson and myself. Not a lot to report, with Jon busy with his wood work skills making a new seating bench around the stove, I did the monthly defibrillator check, washed up, and filled the water bottles (I know my place!) while Ian removed all the old coats and overalls from the north wall at the bottom of the stairs near the fire door - most of these have been put in the skip. Ian also removed the ash build up on the outside of the fire door.

Lunch was had on the bench outside Deviation Shed. I had to leave early due to commitments at home and Ian was on a refresher run to Glaisdale and Battersby with the B1 No 1264 later in the day.

The T2 was on the 1100 departure from Pickering (it had been on that diagram all week), but was taken out of traffic when it arrived at Grosmont and replaced with STD 4 No 76079 for the 1230 return. It was brought up to the MPD to be weighed and put on No 5 Road. It is apparently sitting down on its springs and various bits are catching. The weighing is likely to take a couple of days, and I suspect the intention is to have the work done and it returned to traffic in time for the weekend diners.

The J27 remains spare engine as the Pickering - Grosmont service trains have had to be strengthened this week to cope with an increased number of coach bookings. Piglet expects it to be back in operation next week though, as those trains revert to their normal four coaches.

Within Deviation Shed, the S160 is now nearing completion and is likely to be moved down to the running shed by the end of next week. The move out of No 5 and move in of Dame Vera Lynn is now likely to be delayed until well into June, tied in with the expected delivery and installation of the new turnout to restore access to No 6 Road. Bryan Orange is also arranging for a new fire exit to be installed in the roller shutter door at the south end of the Shed, with the work likely to be done once the S160 moves out.

No formal news from Carnforth about the K1, but my spies tell me that an unidentified locomotive was out on the Hellifield Circle yesterday, and an ECS movement, limited to a maximum 59mph, from Carnforth to Fort William is scheduled for tomorrow. In which case it looks as if the K1 will be there for the booked start of its Jacobite season on 19 May, for which great credit and thanks are due to Paul Hutchinson and his team for their superhuman efforts in getting this winter's repairs completed in time.

 

Saturday 11th May 2019

Having been at Grosmont yesterday on a driving turn, Ian Pearson reports that he was told that the copper ring and steamseal did not work when the T2 was steamed on Thursday. The cover was therefore removed and resealed with three turns of 5mm graphite jointing and steamseal. The engine was back in traffic yesterday on the 12.30 from Grosmont to Pickering. After returning it went back to Pickering on the 16.30 pm. No more cylinder leaks reported, and it is on the roster for services today.

 

Wednesday 8th May2019

Because of the arrival of scaffolders at the start of repairs of a leaking roof at our house, I was not able to get to Grosmont yesterday, but Ian reports that it was as cold and very wet day at Grosmont as it was in York - the rain never stopped! Only Paul Jameson, Nigel Hall and Ian braved the elements.

On arrival at the MPD office, Ian read Tuesday’s repair card for the T2 with quite a lot of repairs recorded, including the the right hand cylinder cover which was leaking again - so much for PTFE! The engine was stopped on Tuesday evening and put on No 5 road. When Ian walked through into the running shed, two of the shed fitters and Barney were busy removing the cylinder cover. As the cover and the PTFE seal were removed (the latter looking a bit the worse for wear - see photo), Ian asked Barney if he would he like the old copper joint bringing down from Deviation Shed. He agreed, and would use it with steamseal. After bringing the copper joint down it was annealed, then fitted and the cover refitted. Barney himself was busy repacking the regulator gland and stripping the injector steam valves down as they were badly passing steam by. A new clack was made for the left hand side and the other was lapped in. Paul and Ian had a cuppa, then set about helping out with some other jobs on the list. First was to tighten all the steam reverser gland nuts, which Paul did, with some assistance from Ian in getting the right sized spanners and some odd shaped ones due to the fact some of the nuts are really awkward to get at, let alone get amongst the motion to gain access. Eventually though they all were tightened. The shed fitters, after tightening up the cylinder cover, concentrated on lapping in the cylinder cocks which had been booked as leaking. Nigel set about clearing lots of items blocking the way of the Fire Door, which included a lubricator, shovels, brushes, and many other items. He also did some repairs to the door and removed lots of ash which had built up in and around the door.

T2 right hand cylinder leaking PTFE gasket after removal - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed with the three of them and a couple who were having their picnic lunch while sheltering from the rain. After lunch Ian had to do some concreting in the smokebox as it had been booked for drawing air at the rear of the smokebox. Paul removed the drip valve on the front of the steam heat hose which had a split pin broken and the disk missing - the offending part was removed. Paul took the drip valve to the workshop and repaired it, acquired a new disc from the stores, then refitted the drip valve back onto the steam heat hose. Another job for Ian was to tighten up the right hand tender intermediate rear nut and locking nut. This has been reported loose quite a bit recently and needs constant tightening.

The T2 should be back in traffic today as it is wanted for the dining train. The J27 is spare engine at the moment, with the B1, Repton, Std 4 No 76079 and Class 25 D7628 operating yesterday's services.

 

Saturday 4th May 2019

On the way to Grosmont, Luke Perry and I stopped off at Pickering to get some fluorescent tubes for Deviation Shed and battled through a very strong sleet shower as we came into Pickering. By the time we had got to Saltergates Bank there was snow at the side of the road. Great to be in England now that spring is here!! The weather was pretty poor all day with long and heavy rain showers.

We were joined at Deviation Shed by NELPG Junior Aaron Jackson. We spent the day sorting through the large batch of tools and equipment which had been donated to us from a deceased persons estate. Centre punches, hammers, set squares, a metric set of spanners and sockets and lots of screws add bolts. There are 2 flat boxes on the work top next to the lathe which have the small screws and bolts and the remainder have been placed on the shadow board or within the cupboard.

A fluorescent tube was fitted and tested.

According to Martin Ashburner the pit pump had apparently been acting up during the week and it expired when Luke was cleaning out the centre sump groove,. This resulted in a dismantling job to find a piece of coal jammed in the exit bend on the pump output pipe. Fun and games then proceeded in trying to get the pump to work properly. Luke ended up in direct line of the water blast when the pump suddenly sprang into life and he was well soaked!

As it was the Moors Open MPD weekend we received numerous visitors into Deviation Shed who were well briefed by Luke or myself about the NELPG presence on the MPD site. It was heart warming to watch the J27 and Q6 moving backwards and forwards during the day on service trains. Numerous positive comments were passed by our visitors about the paint job on the Q6.

Barney popped in mid afternoon to borrow a large spanner for a steam leak on the J27.

Luke asked the driver and was allowed to empty the J27 smokebox and raked the fire. He returned with a filthy face and a huge smile!!

We packed up late afternoon to go and watch the poor beggars on the Tour de Yorkshire (plus 28 police motor bikes!!!) going through Grosmont. They peloton was over an hour late due to the extreme weather conditions with only around 15 or 20 riders in the lead group and many stragglers.

 

Wednesday 1st May 2019 - T2 centenary launch day

President Andrew Scott addresses the gathering- John Hunt

The NELPG launched its Q6 / T2 locomotive in North Eastern Railway 1917 livery as part of the locomotive's centenary year commemorations. NELPG members and guests gathered around the locomotive at noon today for a ceremonial unveiling of the livery. A bottle of the traditional Newcastrle Brown Ale was poured over the running board, and after the speaches, the gathering boarded the 12.30 for a run to Pickering and back behind the T2.

Read more...
 

Tuesday 30th April 2019

Ian reports that he and Bill had a 10.30 start yesterday on a lovely fine day with a few jobs to do on the T2 in preparation for today's event. After the usual cuppa and putting the world to rights, the cosmetic cylinder cover was fitted. The shed cleaners had done a wonderful job of cleaning the boiler, so many thanks to them for their efforts. During disposal on Tuesday an air leak was found on the fireman’s side of the smokebox: the concrete was cracked near the main steam pipe. After cleaning out some of the ash using a Henry type vacuum cleaner, Bill and Ian mixed a load of concrete and filled in the cracks around the main steam pipe.

Lunch was held on the picnic table near Deviation Shed, following which some painting was done - Bill did the tender springs and Ian painted underneath the smokebox door where some rusty nuts were showing and may have spoiled someone’s photo! Andrew (Bungle) Jeffery, shed fitter. lapped in both clacks on the injector clack boxes which were blowing by on Tuesday and had been booked on the repair card. He also checked out the vacuum gauge which was fluctuating slightly but did settle down

later: he found a hair inside the workings. This was removed, the gauge reassembled and fitted back in the cab. Some of the cab brass and copper fittings were given a clean. So all is now ready for today's grand unveiling and the run to Pickering and back. Enjoy the day. Fingers crossed that it all goes off withut any problems, but remember the locomotive is 100 years old! Regardless, enormous thanks are due to both Bill and Ian for the hours they have put in over the last year organising and running working parties to get the T2/Q6 to this stage.

Hopefully a summer of trouble free running and then it all starts again with a boiler lift due next winter to get a boiler ticket extension to 2028!

Unfortunately, as you may be aware, the J27 failed yesterday afternoon after 54 miles with a broken right hand driving spring. Barney has said that the T2 would replace the J27 after our trip today, but it does mean that the sight of our two locomotives briefly standing together at Grosmont during lunchtime today will not now be possible. Curses, but that's life........

 

 

Monday 29th April 2019

A small working party today with Bill Dobson ,Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson.

The grate rocking mechanism is still to be completed by Mark O’Brian sometime, so it is still locked out and can’t be rocked. So on Sunday Bill and Ian fitted the rear grate sections. Then with the help of the duty fitters and charge cleaner, the breakdown train and the S160 were shunted out of the way and the T2 was shunted down to the MPD on No 4 road. The S160 was put back in Deviation shed and the breakdown train back on No 7 road. End of shift and home.

Waiting at Goathland after trip up the bank - Ian Pearson

Today the T2 was on steam test by the shed fitter and after warming up the cylinders Bill and Jon tightened up the R/H cylinder cover nuts on several occasions and no leakage was to be found after several runs up the head shunt. We missing a run to Goathland at 11 am due to the extensive steam testing, especially on the Vacuum brake, where we thought there was a chamber side fault. Eventually we got a path to Goathland at 2pm. The trip went very well[. On the way back to Grosmont the vacuum was tried and it worked OK with the chamber side stopping at 21"Hg. Back at shed the fire was thrown out boiler filled and the engine put in 5 Road.

 

Wednesday 24th April 2019

A fine day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall , Brian Nunn and myself. Sorting out the stove and cups of tea all round were the standard first jobs.

Then the water hoses were connected up and the T2 tender was filled. The brake connection between loco and tender which connects to the wayshaft requires a new bush but, for the moment, the old one has been refitted. Before doing so Owain came and measured the hole in the wayshaft which was found to be quite oval. A new bush and pin will be made at a later date. Brian Nunn came to Deviation Shed on Tuesday with Maurice Burns to clean the smokebox and give it a coat of black gloss paint. Brian returned yesterday to give it another coat of black gloss. He then cleaned the wheels and the sandpipes, before the side rods were cleaned and oiled. Nigel cleaned and varnished the rear buffer beam.

Lunch was had around the stove in spite of the outside sunshine, as there was still too cool a breeze for sitting outside. After lunch the tender was full so the hose was connected to the injector overflow pipe to fill the T2 boiler. Before it could be filled though, the left hand mud hole door, which was still was loose from the previous emptying, had to be removed, cleaned, and fitted with a new gasket. Once refitted, the water was turned off when half a glass of water was showing. Meanwhile, I cleaned the NELPG headboard (and repainted the letters) and the T2 100 plaque ready for next Wednesday's centenary event. I was allowed to make afternoon tea (no complaints about its colour this time!) and washed all the pots and filled up the water bottles afterwards. Ian and Steve gave the engine another oil round. Work still continues on the rocking fire grate. 20 rear fire bars have been shortened to fit, and these were brought up from the boiler shop and stacked near the engine ready for fitting when the brackets and rocking mechanism are fitted. In view of the continuing lack of a grate, the steam test planned for today has had to be postponed. It is hoped that, one way or the other, this will be held over the next couple of days to give time to rectify any issues that may be identified before next Wednesday (not that we are expecting any). Bill is pursuing, as we don't want it to become a last minute activity before such an important day for both us and the NYMR.

Because of the uncertainty over the steam test timing, no date has been fixed for the next working party, which will be needed for any rectification work and then cleaning the T2 for Wednesday. So please watch out for any short notice appeal from Ian for volunteers at Grosmont. There will though be no working party next Wednesday. All being well, the T2 should come off shed on Wednesday about 11ish and come down to Platform 4 at Grosmont where it will stand awaiting the arrival of the train from Pickering due at 1205. It will then come across to Platform 2 and couple up ready to depart at 1230 after speeches and formal unveiling. For those attending and travelling on the train, can you please aim to be there by 1200. Unfortunately, I will not be able to be present as I now have a hospital appointment which has to take priority. NELPG President, Andrew Scott, has kindly agreed to take charge of proceedings in my absence however, and I am sure the event will be a great success under his stewardship. A bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale will be available to him to wet the T2's running plate, but whether it will be used I cannot guarantee.

Elsewhere, the J27 was back in traffic yesterday as there was a shortage of operational steam locomotives, particularly of Whitby engines, with both the B1 and Repton sidelined for various reasons and 76079 not yet back in service. The J27 handled the Grosmont/Pickering sections of the Whitby services, top and tailed with the Class 26 on 7 coach trains, with Mr Cubitt looking very regal as he passed Deviation Shed in the cab of the Class 26.

 

Wednesday 17th April 2019

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

 
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