North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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



Wednesday 9 March 2016

The weather forecaster got it right this time - it poured down all day. The grey sky was only alleviated by the yellow glow from all the 'No Waiting' cones now lining the road through Grosmont, from one end to the other: you have been warned!

The usual Wednesday team was supplemented by the welcome return to active duty at Grosmont of Nigel Hall, who returned the Q6 brick arch formers from Carnforth and got started on the prep work for repainting of the front and rear buffer beams. He had been missed. Mike Oliver replaced the pipe on the blow down assembly and refitted it, and the axle box intermediate pipe work was completed by Ian Pearson. It just waits for Peter Ellis to do the reconnections.

Jon Bradley, Ian and myself reconnected the valves to the rods, put in the cotters and fitted new split pins, and Jon and Ian then fitted the valve covers, so that job is now complete. The locomotive was moved to give access to the horn stay bolts that need replacing. The MPD has said they will do that job for us. I fitted the new wood covers to the cab sand boxes to prevent any more sand being put inside and seizing up the mechanism again. The mechanism itself is now operational, and although the rear sanders will not work (because of having no sand), the cab mechanism also works the intermediate sanders on both sides which are fully operational and are considered more than adequate to meet any likely needs for the locomotive. In any case, the front sanders also work.

The mouthpiece from the firehole door was removed to give better access for the boiler inspector, and has been placed on the left hand side of the front of the tender by the tool box. Derek Shorten also cleaned up the whole area round the locomotive to ensure that all the sand and other dirt was removed to avoid the risk of sand contamination to the various moving parts that have still to be refitted, as well as doing some more cleaning between the frames in areas that had been inaccessible until we moved the locomotive.

The piston rings have now arrived and are on the bench in the workshop near the kettle, and Andy Lowes is going to check on progress with the regulator handle this week at M Machine.

The cold exam has now been confirmed for Monday 14 March (to avoid the mayhem associated with the Scotsman visit - it is not operating on Monday or Friday next week) and Ian Pearson and Andy are both hoping to be present.

On the way out, I collected Nick Downing's 1969 built model of the Q6 from the Crossing Club in Grosmont (I just managed to get it in my car - it is very large!). It will be on view at various events during the year. Thanks to Peter Proud and George Morton for facilitating that.

Still looking for the J27 one though, with one or two possible leads being followed up, but any more clues would be much appreciated.

There will be a working party this Saturday which Andy will lead, with work to be done on the crossheads and the pistons. Bryan Orange and a full complement of the JVs will also be attending, and doubtless everyone will be watching Scotsman go by during the tea breaks. Just hope everyone gets there OK and there are not too many transport difficulties. Don't forget to make sure the donation box bell keeps ringing - assuming there are any visitors of course!

 

Saturday 5 March 2016

Andy reports a reasonable day at Deviation Shed yesterday but progress was slow. There were a total of five people - just as well as he only brought five doughnuts!

Andy brought the left crosshead and shim steel for the slide bars from M-Machine in Darlington. Iain Corduex and he shimmed the bottom left slide bar using a hole saw, borrowed from Owen at the MPD, to put in some clearance holes as required. They then fitted the cross head and made sure it moved satisfactorily. Iain then set up a wire along the centre of the cylinder ready for next Saturday.

Bryan Armstrong finished cleaning the gaskets off the top of the boiler for the safety valves, which were then fitted back. He also put a fillet of concrete round the steam and exhaust pipes where they pass through the smoke box. Old pieces of concrete arch were put into the base of the smoke box in readiness for concreting. No more was done though, to make sure that there were sufficient bags of concrete left for the new arch in the firebox.

Trevor Wilford finished the cover for the underside of the valve chest and this has now been finally fitted in place.

Ian Pearson fitted the baffle plate into the fire hole and made some adjustments to get the door to fully close. He also made sure the new door flap worked properly with the baffle in place. Ian then continued with the intermediate axle box new pipe work.

Andy has taken some measurements of the regulator shaft where the handle fits. This is a tapered square and the handle is rather worn so will require building up with weld and machining back to size. This will be a tricky job and will require some fitting work when the handle goes back onto the shaft, to get a good tight fit.

Efforts are being made to arrange the hydraulic test/cold exam for Wednesday 16 March. Andy also hopes to pick up the new piston rings during this next week.

Jobs for Wednesday:-

  • Finish off axle box intermediate pipe work.
  • Check blow down valve operational.
  • Connect valves to rods and fit new split pins.
  • Steam reverser to check and nip up glands.
  • Move the engine to enable access to remove the horn stay bolts on leading left axle. Ask MPD to check satisfied with rest of horn stay bolts and assist with reaming and fitting as necessary.
  • Fit new wood covers to cab sand boxes, clean seats and prepare for revarnishing.
  • Prepare front and rear buffer beams for painting
 

Wednesday 2 March 2016

In spite of a weather forecast of gales, snow and lightning bolts it turned out to be a lovely - and in the sun, quite warm - day at Grosmont. Eric Treacy had a succesful steam test although still requiring new motion bushes, the bunker and back of the cab have been fitted on 80135, and No 29 is now waiting for a boiler lift, but the main non-Q6 news was that Clive Goult has left the NYMR. Paul Middleton is acting shedmaster until the new shedmaster arrives from New Zealand later in the year. It all came as quite a shock to us, never mind the MPD staff!

So far as the Q6 was concerned, Jon and I finished cleaning the grooves on the piston heads, a small radius was filed on the top edge where it was missing, and they have now been moved (with a bit of a struggle as they felt very heavy at the end of the day) to stand on woods at the front of the locomotive on their respective sides. Jon also managed to empty out the left hand cab sand box with his supercharged vacuum cleaner. The sand box mechanism has been oiled and now moves somewhat more freely than before, bearing in mind that previously it did not move at all, even when given attention by a hammer. Templates were made for covers for both cab sandboxes to prevent them being filled. Ian will cut them out of plywood in the next couple of days and then fit them on Saturday.

The split pins and nuts were removed from the left leading horn stay bolts marked up as needing checking. On tapping the bolts they were found to be loose and will need replacing: the locomotive will need moving slightly to allow access for the reaming and fitting to be done.

Mike has finished all the cab valves: they are guaranteed until the first steam is raised! The right hand side intermediate axle box lubrication pipes have been removed but the ferrules have yet to be extracted and the left hand side has yet to be started.

Les Harper also called in to collect the formers for the brick arch and took them away to Teesside to be taken on to Carnforth for the K1.

We also had a couple of visitors to the Shed who thought the Q6 was a 'Hall' - well they did come from the wrong end of the country and were looking from the back of the tender. However, in recompense they did put a very large note in the donation box, so all is forgiven.

 

Saturday 27 February 2015

Andy reports an excellent day working on the Q6 on Saturday, though rather cold, with the best turnout of members to date he thinks. There were a total of eight enjoying the fun, these included Iain Corduex, James Pearcy, Neal Woods, Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, Brian Armstrong, Ian Pearson and Andy himself.

Everyone was managed so as to be kept in a job spread all round the engine, with some good progress achieved and some jobs completed.

Bryan Armstrong works on the Ssafety Valves - Andy Lowes

Iain, James & Neal were kept very busy with cross heads alignment, a most interesting day with lots of measurements taken from the wire set up on the centre line of the cylinders. See photo 4383 ‘the three wise men’. He was pleased they can still have a good laugh after such a cold day on the wire. 'Good progress lads keep it up, the learning curve will not be so steep with the knowledge gained so far'.

Ian Cordeux, Neal Woods and James Pearcy - Andy Lowes

Trevor has finished the fire hole door with a new flap and hinges fitted. See photo 4385, testing the flap with the shovel. He then put the holes in the new steam chest cover plate and cleaned up the studs.

Peter has completed the axle box pipes on the leading axle and refitted all the annealed pipes to the cylinder lubricator.

Brian was on top of the boiler cleaning the studs, nuts and old gaskets from the whistle & safety valves. This was a very time consuming job as access is not easy Andy was very grateful for his dedication, see photo 4376.

Ian has pulled all the packing out of the regulator stuffing box and replaced with new see photo 4384.

Ian Pearson working on the regulator stuffing box - Andy Lowes

Andy finished off the safety valves with Neal checking the clearances as a double check. He was also kept busy sorting out jobs as they progressed and tried to sort out future work to keep the enthusiastic workforce busy.

'Thanks for your dedication in a cold workshop today lads, at least we had time for a tea break this week!'

The serviced firehole door and flap, Ian ready with the shovel - Andy Lowes

Jobs for Wednesday:-

  • Finish cleaning grooves in piston heads and file a small radius on top edge of grooves.
  • When finished, move both pistons to front of engine and stand up on woods.
  • Fit both valve covers, make sure faces are clean and copper washer in place.
  • Fit 12”X12” plywood over sand box covers in the cab to prevent them being filled.
  • Remove the split pins and nuts from the left leading horn stay bolts that are marked up in yellow paint, and then tap the bolt to see if it is loose.
  • Remove the intermediate axle box oil pipes etc., mark up and put into storage as was done with the leading axle. There are another four flexible pipes on order - thanks to Steve Hyman for sorting out the manufacture and collection of these.
 

Wednesday 24 February 2016

A lovely sunny, but crisp, day at Grosmont yesterday, with 76079 undergoing a steam test, a Network Rail ballast train to Kingthorpe with 10 ballast wagons and two class 66s, the side tanks being trial fitted to the frames of 80135 along with the bunker, and Chris Cubitt and John Bailey (NYMR Vice Chairman and Chairman respectively) removing still more bits off No 29 - there soon won't be anything of it left !

In spite of those distractions, the now regular Wednesday team of Mike Oliver, Derek Shorten, Jon Bradley and myself, led by Ian Pearson, got on with the Q6. Work progressed with the fittings for the new lubrication pipes on the left leading axle box; Mike continued with the cab gauges and now has 6 new packing sleeves in the gauge frames; the injector end caps were fitted; the left hand rear sand box linkages and pipes were all re-connected; the front and rear buffer beams were cleaned ready for prepping and repainting; the pipes under the tender were re-connected; the loco general cleaning programme continued; and, with the construction of yet another sand scooping tool, involving an old tablespoon, a stick and lots of wire and string, virtually all the sand was finally removed from the left hand sand box. This enabled the flap to be freed with the help of a large hammer: Jon is going to bring a non domestic vacuum cleaner next Wednesday to remove the final sand so that we can make sure the flap is moving freely before sealing the sand box to stop the sand being replaced. The intermediate and front sand boxes were checked and all are operating sufficiently well to provide more than enough sand should it ever be required for a locomotive that is normally very sure footed.

With the on site swimming pool, the sand that has been removed could form a beach, with sand castles, to provide an additional under cover attraction for visitors to the Railway!

 

Saturday 20 February 2016

Andy reports another good day, with progress made thanks to Bryan and the three JVs, Terry, Peter and Ian.

The pistons had arrived back so the piston ring grooves were cleaned out and measured so some new rings can be made.

The junior volunteers have removed some more wet sand from the left sand box after putting some of their training into practice, making a scoop to reach the sand.

Some of the lubricator pipes went back onto the loco and the right front axle box new pipes were fitted. We will only be able to do the first two axles at the moment as others will require the wheel sets to be removed, to get access to the top of the boxes.

The cylinder cover copper rings have been annealed.

The side rod bush clearances have now all been checked and recorded and the split pins renewed.

Terry has checked all the lubrication trimmings and oil pots. This also included removing any water and contaminated oil.

The safety valves will be taken to Hopetown on Monday evening for a start to be made on overhauling them, with Neal’s assistance, .

The arch formers have been put out ready for collection to take to Carnforth for the K1 to get its new arch.

Ian Pearson is going to look after the Wednesday work party with the following jobs:

  • Fit left leading axle box new pipes, use right as an example.
  • Continue with all cab valve maintenance.
  • Continue cleaning loco.
  • Continue with sand box and re-connect any linkages/pipes as required.
  • Clean round steam reverser and nip up all glands, fill locking cylinder with oil.
  • Horn stay bolt holes (marked ) to ream out and machine new bolt to fit hole.
 

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Another wet and cold day, as it poured down from start to finish, but thankfully not the expected snow. Because of the bad weather forecast for the day, the JVs postponed their attendance to Saturday, but Derek, Jon, Mike Oliver and myself, led by Ian, spent another happy day with the Q6. Fortunately the pump was behaving itself as the water was coming in as fast as it was getting it out.

The piston valves were completed, with the covers left off, but with three badly worn studs still needing attention on the left hand valve housing. The horn stay bolts were checked and the two leading bolts on the left hand leading horn stay were marked up as needing attention. All the others appeared sound and rang true when struck with the hammer.

Derek finished cleaning and oiling the rods, and Mike continued with his work on the cab gauges - thanks for the packing for them (and for the valves) which enabled progress to be made.

A start was made on the sanders. The left hand cab sandbox was emptied of as much sand as our arms would reach with a plastic tub as a scoop: if someone could bring a long handled ladle on Saturday that would help clear the bottom five inches or so. The deeper into the sandbox, the wetter the sand, but we resisted using it to make a model of the Q6!

Instead, it is in a large plastic bag next to the workshop wall. The rear left hand sand pipe was removed in the hope that we would be able to empty the sand box from below, but the flap which moves to allow the sand to drop through was firmly stuck in the closed position.

Disconnecting the rodding mechanism allowed the operation of both sandboxes on the middle of the running plate to be checked, and they were working fine. So attention needs to focus on the left hand cab sandbox and freeing up the handle, rodding and flap, which may mean dismantling the whole mechanism from below. The hole in the frame through which part of the mechanism protrudes is also fouling the movement of the external lever and may need angle grinding to trim some metal off to allow the lever to move freely.

 

Saturday 13 February 2016

Only Ian Pearson and James Pearcy at Deviation Shed on Saturday, but a good day, albeit very cold and wet. The pump in the pit was working well with the mesh filtering out the remaining dirt from the pit and enabling the water to get away.

The slide bars arrived about 9.40 and were off loaded by Barnie, the duty shed fitter, and put into Deviation shed using the tele handler. Many thanks to him for his help. The L/H top and bottom slide bars were then fitted to the locomotive using the hydraulic lifting table. This great piece of kit meant the job was completed by lunchtime. After lunch, James measured up the 8 spots on the slide bars required by Neal and will pass this information on to him. A start was then made on the piston valves. The R/H piston valve was released from its grip on the valve rod, which had caused problems on Wednesday, and the L/H valve was then successfully fitted using strops and the pull lift. The L/H valve was repacked with the follower still to fit. The R/H valve is still to repack, for which some more 16mm packing might be required. Andy is going to speak to Neal about this on Monday night, as well as the separate packing requested by Mike Oliver for the cab gauges from last Wednesday's working party.

So some significant progress.

Jobs for Wednesday:

  • Finish off the sliders for the mesh in the pit to protect the pump from rubbish.
  • Check sanders work. The front ones might, but the back ones definitely do not. Will have to empty the sand boxes and investigate/repair.
  • Finish off piston valves but leave off the front covers.
  • Side rod bush clearances to check with feeler gauges and record sizes. Will have to move loco to get right leading and intermediate (check the cable for the lights is not trapped under loco!).
  • Remove the pipes from leading axle, from oil box to axle box, mark up & put into storage with the new flexible pipes(should be three and one with Neal to get some fittings made). There will be three ferrules in the top of the axle boxes to remove (right inner one already removed as sample to get fittings made). These must not be lost in case we have to revert back to the original set up. Look in top of axle boxes and remove any water from side cavities.
  • Check all horn stay bolts: left leading and intermediate reported as needing attention by the MPD. Mark up with yellow paint any that are loose. New bolts are on the bench behind the grinder, holes will require reaming.
 

Wednesday 10 February 2016

A day of steady if unspectacular progress. Joined by Terry Newman, who prepared the gaskets for the safety valves and whistle, the working party managed to insert the right hand valve, but the packing has yet to be fitted to the valve spindle. During the cleaning of the valve ports and the studs, three studs on the left hand side valve housing were marked up with badly worn threads which will need attention. Mike Oliver continued his sterling work on the cab gauges, and Derek cleaned the left hand side rods. The refurbished baffle plate was also delivered and is now in the workshop, whilst the slide bars had been collected during the week and taken away to Darlington for machining.

 

Saturday 6 February 2016

Andy reports that there was a really good turn out on Saturday, with eight volunteers and four JVs, so lots of work was achieved. The pistons, with the rods attached went to Sheffield last Tuesday to get the rods ground true. As no-one from NELPG was present, these were loaded by the MPD staff, so many thanks are due to all those who were involved. Hopefully the pistons will be back in the next two weeks, and then M-Machine can make some new piston rings and packings for the glands.

Peter and Trevor were once again cleaning and getting items ready for some paint. Once the cleaning of the steam heat pipe was completed, Peter painted it under the loco and tender before moving on to the steam chest casting and cylinder covers. Trevor helped get the whistle off and cut material for the JVs to use during their training session with Chris Parrish.

Neal and James did a survey of the left cross head and slide bars, in the light of comments on previous experience from Richard Pearson. After some deliberation, it was decided to remove them and ask M-Machine if they could machine the slide bars and put some white metal onto the edges of the slippers. Hopefully, we will have them back for next Saturday to start rebuilding that cylinder assembly.

Ian has done a marvellous job getting the boiler ready for the insurance exam: he has also checked that enough door joint gaskets are in stock to box the boiler up when the time comes.

Bryan and Steve were looking after our JVs. They had a really interesting day with instruction from Chris Parrish and were also having a go at painting, making a mesh to stop rubbish getting into the pump's sump, checking the side rod bush clearances using feeler gauges, and fitting the slacker pipe and valve in the cab.

Hopefully we have now come to the point with the maintenance where we are starting to turn the corner and putting things back together. While the locomotive certainly looks a lot better now we have some newly painted items, there is still a way to go yet.

Jobs for Wednesday:-

  • Continue with cab valves including whistle.
  • Make new gaskets for safety valves and whistle.
  • Clean valve ports of carbon and wire brush studs.
  • Fit piston valves and covers.
  • Fit packing to valve spindles.
 


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