North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 19th June 2019

A dismal rainy morning at Grosmont yesterday but it brightened up and got quite sunny and warm later on. Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself made their way through the rain for an early morning cuppa. During the morning we also had a brief visit from Paul Hutchinson and Angie to collect some bits for the K1, and from Jon Bradley who was on driver training to Whitby. Jon brought in the last piece of the bench near the stove which he is going to fit later this week. Bill Dobson also made a brief appearance.

After a lot of chitchat we finally got on to some jobs given to us by the shed fitters for the T2, which is currently on wash out. One was to grease the locomotive and tender brake gear, and the other was to fit chains to the inside of the tender locker doors. While Nigel started sorting out the paint locker, putting some part used cans in his van to take to Hopetown, and doing a general tidying up, I did the monthly defibrillator check. Down at the running shed, Steve got started on the locker doors and Ian set about finding a decent grease gun. By the time he had found one in working order, it was lunchtime which was had in Deviation Shed.

After lunch Nigel painted Jon's bench with the red gloss paint used on the other benches in the building. Steve fitted a chain to the fireman's side locker door on the T2, but the driver's side will have to be done next week (if the engine is still on shed!). Ian and I completed greasing all the brake gear although it did involve repairing our own grease gun and borrowing one from the railway. Ian is firmly of the view that we need a new grease gun and should scrap some of the ones we have.

The Class 37 is having its motors repaired in Deviation Shed on No 7 Road at the moment. MPD management had taken pity on the diesel fitters trying to work outside in the heavy rain of last week and had asked to move it into Deviation Shed so they were under cover. The S160, now named Omaha, has moved out of Deviation Shed and is in the running shed where it remains with a non operational air brake. A replacement is apparently on the way from the Isle of Wight Railway where air braking is the norm. So no running in as yet prior to its move to Dartmouth. The S15, No 825, now looks very smart with all its cladding on, after being painted and lined out by John Furness. William Parrish says it is now nearly finished, but, as we know, those last bits can take a seemingly interminable time to completion. No 29 is also looking almost ready, with cladding and side tanks installed, but still awaiting its cab. The J27 was stood, in steam, outside the running shed for most of the day, before moving down to Grosmont Station in the sunshine for the 1630 trip to Pickering.

There was a steady stream of visitors to Deviation Shed during the day, although many did not stay long once they saw the Class 37. The new turn out for No 6 Road has now been delivered to New Bridge and is being assembled by the PW Dept. No date yet for its installation, but once done it is likely that No 5 will then be moved out for its long awaited assessment. Dame Vera Lynn frames are due to be moved in shortly and will go on No 7 Road, as they have requested pit access. It will though be kept mobile at all times and will move out once we need the space for our own locomotives.

Locomotives running yesterday were 5428 Eric Treacy which was swapped with the Standard class 4 No 76079 at lunchtime, Schools Class Repton, No 961 , B1 1264 which was swapped with the J27 for the 1630 to Pickering, and Class 25 Diesel D7628 on the last run to Whitby.


Wednesday 5th June 2019

Ian reports a fine cloudy day with some bright intervals at Grosmont today, with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Paul Jameson and Ian himself. Kettle on and the usual cuppa and a piece of coffee cake specially made by Paul’s wife Maggie - a real treat. I missed out again!

The T2 had been stopped on Monday lunchtime with a broken right intermediate spring which was changed on Tuesday. Barney provided a list of other smaller jobs to do today, which Bill, Paul and Ian got on with, while Jon got on with the seat he was constructing around the stove. He also got a coat of paint on the seat and backrest. The jobs on the T2 were to repair a steam leak on the pressure gauge union at the manifold, the reverser indicator in the cab was very slack and needed attention, and the righthand injector delivery pipe in the cab was leaking. Paul shimmed the reverser indicator and repaired the leak on the pressure gauge union at the manifold. Bill repaired the righthand injector delivery pipe. Ian found that the righthand intermediate cork was missing again. This has been giving trouble for quite some time, so, a week ago, Ian shortened a step stay bolt to see if that would solve the problem. Obviously it hadn’t, so today the bolt was put in upside down which has a flat head and doesn’t protrude down very far. The engine was moved around the yard a few times and the cork was still in situ and not sheared off. Fingers crossed that it has been finally sorted.

Lunch was had outside Deviation Shed today alfresco. Bryan Orange arrived after lunch to assess with Paul Jameson the changes needed to the fire exit doors, and also with Luke, the NYMR's electrician, regarding new LED lighting in Deviation Shed. On the Railway, the J27, Black 5 Eric Treacy, No 926 Repton and D7628 Sybilla were in traffic. The S160 was in the MPD Running Shed on No 5 Road and lit up this afternoon for a steam test tomorrow.

There will be no working party next week, 12 June, as neither Bill, Ian, or Jon are not available.


Wednesday 29th May 2019

Ian Pearson reports a fine sunny morning today, but cloudy later, at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Ian, and, later, Jon Bradley. Bill brought a wreath which he fitted to the smokebox door in memory of Derek Norris who passed away on Saturday morning.

T2 No 2238 passing Deviation Shed with the 1130 to Pickering carrying a wreath in memory of Derek Norris on 29 May 2019 - Ian Pearson

Ian noticed that the right hand intermediate side rod cork had sheared off. It was hitting the top step stay bracket securing bolt, so Ian removed the offending bolt, cut about 1/4” off, replaced the bolt and tightened it up. A new cork was fitted. He checked the cork later after a run to Pickering and back, and the new cork was still in situ and in one piece. Jon had an 8x4 sheet of plywood delivered from Wilf Noble of Ruswarp which Ian and Bill carried up to Deviation Shed from the MPD. Jon arrived about lunchtime with more wood for the winter rest room that he is constructing round the stove. He had also brought some old breeze blocks which Bill and Ian have put outside the east of Deviation Shed. These may be useful for the pathway or wall when the fire door escape route is completed.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed with quite a few visitors popping in, although there was not a lot to see as No 7 Road is now clear of locomotives with the move out of the S160 to the MPD. After lunch Jon worked all afternoon on the benches around the stove, while Bill and Ian cleaned the pit out and looked around for some mesh type material to fit into the sump to protect it from getting full of ash. They couldn’t find anything suitable so Bill is going to acquire some next week. The pump gave a lot of trouble today: sometimes it worked OK and sometimes it wouldn’t. It must have been taken to bits half a dozen times, but it did work eventually. Sorting this out took up most of the afternoon.

The J27 was still on washout, with the T2, 76079, 926 Repton, 80136 and Diesel 26038 Tom Clift working trains on the Gold timetable.


Wednesday 22nd May 2019

Ian reports a lovely fine sunny day at Grosmont yesterday with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Ian in attendance. There were also social visits from Jon Bradley who was driving Repton all day, and Roy Marshall who was getting information and photos of the J27 for a railway modelling company.

After the usual cuppa, Bill and Ian went down to the MPD to work on the T2 which was inside No 5 Road. Barney was working on the fireman’s side clack box and Adrian Dennis was working on the front safety valve. Bill worked all day on the right hand front and rear cylinder cock carrot valves, while Ian fitted both of the steps stays. A delivery of 2 firebox side bars for the K1 were off loaded, marked up, and stored on the racks at the side of No 4 Road. As part of the review of fire safety in Deviation Shed, Nigel removed all the bolts from both fire doors in the workshop to make them legally compliant. He also made some adjustments to the latch on the east door as the latch was difficult to open. Further work is planned so that this door opens outwards, and an additional fire exit door is to be installed in the roller shutter door at the south end of the building once the S160 moves out. Lunch was had on the bench in Deviation Shed.

After lunch, Bill carried on with the cylinder cocks carrot valves, and Ian worked on the T2 lubricator which had a missing bolt on the front right hand side. After dismantling all the feed pipes and the drive, the lubricator was lifted and moved slightly backwards. Barney then tapped out the hole where the missing stud should have been, and refitted the lubricator back in position - many thanks to him for doing this. Nigel cleared out the space under the workbench by the stove, and with help from Bill and Ian, the J21 chimney that was stored there was moved out and put near the cage pending removal. It is to be offered to the J21 group initially, failing which to the new build G5 (or as Chris Cubitt said Class O!). Nigel then stacked all the coach brake blocks neatly and quite a few other items. He also washed up all our pots.

The J27 was in traffic working the 11am and 2pm from Pickering as it had been from the beginning of the week. It is however, shortly due to be stopped for its 28 day washout. Also running were 76079, Repton and D7628. There were also quite a few visitors in Deviation Shed during the day.


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

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.


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