North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Saturday 10th February 2018

Ian reports another grey cold morning, with snow turning to sleet then rain, at Grosmont yesterday, with Peter Ellis, Trevor Wilford, Ian Pearson, and, later on, Alan Hardie after his delivery of fine ale to the Wheatsheaf pub at Egton. Also, apologies from Rachelle Martyn, busy with her studies.

After the usual cuppa it was back into the smoke box for Trevor, trying to remove those awkward header nuts. Before he could start though, a plank of wood long enough for him to lay on had to be found. Eventually Trevor had to cut a piece to length to suit the width of the smoke box - more time consuming work. By the end of the day he only managed to remove one nut in such a confined space. The 2 nuts that are left are even more awkward to get at but they'll be removed eventually. Ian and Peter fitted the right hand inner eccentric onto the sheave, this being the only one ready at the moment. This in itself was quite a task, with the two of them having to lift the top part of the eccentric over the top of the sheave and, with help from Trevor, then lifting the bottom part up and bolting the two sections together (see attached photo).

Lunch was then had down at the MPD. Afterwards, Peter and Trevor had to take some items from the A4 container down to their car to take to York on Wednesday for Darrin. Ian and Alan went back to the eccentric to tighten it up, and all was going well, but then one side became tighter than the other and it became impossible to move the eccentric round. So it was slackened off slightly and it would move quite freely, but as soon we tightened each side a small amount at a time, one set of shims became tight and the other slack. This was worked on for about an hour or so, before it was decided to leave it on. The thought is that it will have to come off and maybe need some more machining. Ian spoke to Paul Middleton, who was working on Lucie, which is now in the boiler shop. Paul said he will talk to Shaun and Keith Pardy about it on Monday. As a result of this experience, it may be best if the outside eccentrics were fitted first, as there is little room to lift the outside ones on when the inside one is fitted. Peter has tightened the nuts which were still to do on the left hand cylinder cover, and all the nuts on the right hand cylinder cover, with the torque wrench.


Q6 right hand eccentric - Ian Pearson

A four coach steam service and the DMU were running, now that the half term holiday service has started, but today it will be the dining set and DMU. Quite a few visitors round the shed as a result, and coins tinkling into the donation box.

The next working party will be on Wednesday 14/02/18 - Valentine's day - so come and show your love for the Q6. As trains are running, the station cafe will be open for refreshments.


Wednesday 7th February 2018

Ian reports a bitterly cold morning at minus 3 degrees, with snow covered moors and brilliant sunshine. What else could you want, possibly sat on a beach in OZ! Actually, I am sat in a hotel room overlooking Hong Kong harbour where it is 16C. Everyone is complaining how cold it is and that I must be mad not wearing a sweater or coat! If only they knew about the weather back home, they would be jealous!

Good turnout, with Derek Shorten, Bill Dobson, Roy Marshall, Jon Bradley, Ian McCall and Ian Pearson. No mice to report again - has the Hyman work done the trick? - then the usual cuppa, before work started with Ian M filing the regulator handle square and Derek continuing painting the vacuum pipe. Barney and a couple of fitters came up to help out fitting the right hand side rods, with a collective effort from Bill, Ian, Jon, and Roy. After pinch barring the loco forward slightly, the rods were offered onto the journals, but getting them to slide on seemed impossible. Then we had to pinch the driving wheel slightly back to line up the rod and journals, and after several attempts the rods started to go on. The front and rear rods were offered in position and eventually all the rods were finally fitted, so many thanks to the shed staff for their help and perseverance. By this time, lunch was overdue, so it was down to the SNG A4 cabin for lunch.

Ian M completed the filing on the regulator handle and it now fits the regulator rod firmly. Jon took the regulator casting down to the glass blaster to clean the face where the main steam pipe fits into the casting. The groove into which the main steam pipe fits still requires some more cleaning. Bill decided to fit the regulator rod and, as Ian P was the smaller of our team, he was sent reluctantly into the boiler. Getting in wasn't too bad, but pulling himself out proved a bit of a battle, but he managed it eventually, albeit with some encouragement from the onlookers. The rod was inserted into the boiler and through the holding bracket and then entered the gap between the stays, but this caused the rod to catch the side of the stays. With only one person in the boiler, it was too heavy for one man to manage, so, as time was against us, we took the rod out and will try again when we have someone else to go into the boiler. Roy Marshall made a start tightening the nuts on the right hand side cylinder cover with a torque wrench. Ian M started fitting the cotters on the right hand side rods but there is still the rear one to complete. 18 seats have now been cut on the flue tubes with only 6 left to do. Derek completed painting the vacuum pipe in red gloss and also a piece of vacuum pipe already attached under the front of the loco.

A lot of shunting around the MPD, with the steam crane lit up in readiness for Eric Treacy's boiler lift onto the frames on Thursday (today). Repton was also being lit ready for steam test and half term running starting on Saturday.

Next working party will be on Saturday 10th February - any small(ish) volunteers particularly welcome!


Saturday 3rd February 2018

Ian reports cold miserable weather, raining on and off all day at Grosmont today with a small, but perfectly formed, band of Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, and Ian.

No mice to remove again, so the usual cuppa was consumed then work started with Trevor in the smokebox removing the header nuts with heat, a long chisel, and a hammer . Such an awkward job with very little room to work in. With Trevor having to lay on his back in such a confined space, he managed to get 3 nuts off this week, and 2 last week, so there's 3 left to remove. Ian has NDT 'd the left hand side rods and the photos sent to Barney at the MPD. Peter fitted washers and new split pins (which have been opened out) on the trailing left and right brake hanger pins.

Lunch was had down at the MPD mess room today: too cold in Deviation Shed (come to Sydney where even the rain is hot - yes, it does rain here occasionally!). Afterwards, Peter set about filing the regulator handle square. This has had a small amount of weld put inside so as to give a solid fit to the regulator shaft. More work is still required on this item. Ian and Peter wound up the drawbar nut under the tender and removed the wooden packing that was supporting the spring. While under the loco, Ian noticed the new blow down discharge pipe might get in the way of the rear damper door. To check, the damper was opened and it was indeed found to catch the pipe so some adjustment will have to be made. Also the rear ash pan was emptied, with a barrow full of ash removed along with a pen and a paint brush.


The B1 repainted tender stands on No 1 shed road - Ian Pearson

Not many folk about today, about ten in all maybe. Not that bad considering the poor weather. The B1 tender has been repainted in LNER livery by John Furness and looks very smart (see photo). Ian asks whether we can have the Q6 like it, but NER livery would be better still!


Saturday 20th January 2018

Ian reports another cold grey morning at Grosmont yesterday with Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis and Ian himself. Bill Dobson called in for half an hour to supervise some work and Bryan Orange was present with the Junior Volunteers who were split between Dame Vera Lynn, the MPD and the Q6. I will say nothing about the 30C temperature and cloudless blue skies that I am having to suffer at the moment!

Cups of tea all round before work started with 2 JV's cleaning the eccentric sheaves which had accumulated quite a bit of rust due to the foundation ring being washed out a few weeks ago. These are now clean and have been oiled. Trevor and Peter brought up 6 x No.2 brake blocks from the MPD of which 4 have been fitted. The blocks had to be filed where the pin hole is situated due to a metal rag which had to be removed to allow the block to slide in position. One of the JV's was employed removing this material. Three blocks were fitted to the right hand side and one to the left hand side, but before this latter one could be fitted, the loco had to be moved forward slightly so as to locate the pin through the block as the side rod was in the way. These all still require split pins. Two other JV's set about cleaning and rubbing down the 2 sections of steam heat pipe and the vacuum pipe. These are now painted with red oxide and can be undercoated next Wednesday.

Bryan brought 3 new hand lamps: these are in the top locker, and Bill has acquired a pot bellied stove on Ebay to keep us warm this winter and cook our Parmo's and warm our Pies! Lunch was had in the mess room today - quite civilised.

Bill Putman emailed me last Tuesday when I was out of contact to say that because of the bad weather you were all suffering, he had decided it would be best not to try and collect the Q6 tubes from Grosmont the next day on behalf of the Ryedale Model Engineers. He will try again, and hope that it is third time lucky, once the weather improves.

Working party next Wednesday as usual - all welcome.


Wednesday 17th January 2018

Four of us on this sunny cold morning with a wind chill from the North, roller door kept shut most of the day. With Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Roy Marshall and Ian Pearson which was just as well as I had only brought 4 Raspberry Doughnuts to share at lunch time. After the usual cuppa and no Mice to remove, Ian M and Ian P brought the 2 "60T " jacks and handles from the breakdown coach.

These were set up at the front of the Loco on the beam and the engine then jacked up to allow us to rotate the wheel slightly and line up the left hand front coupling rod with the intermediate rod so as to fit the gradient pin. The pin was fitted successfully taper pin fitted new cotter made and fitted and secured with a split pin. Also a new cotter was made for the for the front part of the rear rod taper pin which was fitted and secured with a split pin. The left hand side only requires the intermediate and trailing end caps fitting tightening up and pinning.

Bill was busy organising various jobs at the MPD with Barney, also assisting Ian M and Ian P with the side rods and supervising Roy who was in the firebox working on the ferrules all day. While the loco was jacked up all the metal packing was removed from the top and bottom of the axle boxes,unfortunately we had to move the beam and Jacks to the rear of the engine and jack it up to remove the rear packing. Both jacks and handles were returned to the breakdown coach and put in the cage and locked up and keys returned to the MPD office. Owain came up in the afternoon to measure the 2 right hand side bushes which require re-metaling these were taken down to the MPD and should be ready for fitting next Wednesday. Lunch was had in the workshop today much warmer with Raspberry Doughnuts for sweet.

NDT inspection still to do on draw bar gear. Bill still looking for a stove on Ebay.


Saturday 13th January 2018

Ian was at Pickering today on training for driving on the NYMR, so I have been asked to step in to cover in his absence. There were 5 in attendance Bill, Trevor, Peter, Rachel, & Andy. It has been a slow day as far as progress is concerned everything was hard work.

The new small tubes that arrived Tuesday evening had been stacked up inside Deviation shed, this allowed one end to be annealed today in accordance with Marks instructions.

The last draw bar pin has been cleaned ready for NDT inspection which will now be done on Monday. All pins & links have been laid out in readiness.

The two new brake hanger pins made by M-Machine last week were fitted to the loco, as the pin size has increased the washers had to be machined to fit them. New taper pins for the brake table end collars were obtained from the stores & loose fitted to prevent them getting lost.

The new gradient pin bush for the front left rod has been pressed in & the rod fitted onto the front wheel. The loco will now have to be jacked up to line everything up, then all the end caps can be pinned on the left rod.


Wednesday 10th January 2018

Ian reports a grey damp day at Grosmont (bit like Sydney at the moment), but not as cold as last Saturday, with Steve Hyman, Derek Shorten, Roy Marshall, Jon Bradley, Ian McCall, Bill Dobson and Ian himself. Cups of tea all round to start although Bill wasn't very well with possibly a touch of flu. One mouse removed to the bin.

Barney had told Ian that the NDT man was coming to Grosmont on Friday, so it was decided to clean all the drawbar components ready for testing in my absence. This was quite a task as they had been painted and were covered in grease, all of which had to be removed to enable testing to be done. Steve got stuck into the drawbar, while Jon and Ian McC took the safety links and pins down to the MPD to clean and glass blast. All the draw bar equipment is now set out ready for NDT inspection on the bench at the back of No 8 road. In Piget's absence on holiday, Barney is aware. Ian P and Bill continued with the right hand slide bar alignment, which was finally completed later in the afternoon. Roy spent quite some time continuing to clean the small tube holes in the smoke box and also removed some of the copper ferrules from the firebox tube plate. Jon took the whistle blank down to the MPD and got the holes drilled out to the correct size and then fitted it to the boiler: the whistle is now blanked off. Owain has completed the left hand gradient pin bush and this now requires pressing in so the rod can be fitted to the locomotive. Owain may, if he has time, press the bush in for us. Andy Lowes is aware of this, and there is a packing piece made to fit between the fork of the rod when the bush is pressed in (see photo).

Q6 gradient pin bush and packing ready for pressing 10 January 2018 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had in Deviation shed with Derek brewing up. Norman's stove was tried, but there is no adjustment for the wick as it is jammed and it will sheer off if any force is used to try and adjust it . The flames were quite aggressive, and, unless Norman wants it back, it may have to go in the skip.

The small tubes arrived on Tuesday afternoon, so a couple of trestles were set up on No 6 road. Mark O'Brien and Duncan Jackson brought them up with the Tele Handler and they are now stacked on the trestles (see photo). Our team then level ended them ready for annealing on Saturday.

Q6 small tubes stacked ready for annealing at Deviation Shed 10 January 2018 - Ian Pearson

Mark O'Brien is the duty fitter on Saturday and he will instruct how he wants them annealing.

As expected, it is very busy in the MPD at the moment with carriage, DMU and diesel loco repairs, never mind most of the steam fleet on maintenance/repair. The J72 steam brake was given to Steve Andrews for repair/refurbishment. Bill Putman from Ryedale Engineers hopes to return with colleagues and a Stihl saw and collect his Q6 tubes next Wednesday, 17 January.


Saturday 6th January2018

A year of winter maintenance!

Saturday was a cold dull morning with two working parties in Deviation Shed. Paul Middleton, with his team of David McEwan, Matt Fisher, Beth Kennerley and, all the way from the Netherlands, Ben Heerink, were working on Paul's Cockerill Tram loco Lucie, No 1625. Our working party was formed ofTrevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, Bill Dobson, Ian and later, Nigel Hall who brought the J72 steam brake valve for overhaul, to be collected by Steve Andrews. No mice on Saturday, the traps were forlorn, not a common sight but we don't know the reason why - perhaps Steve Hymans blocking of the hole in the North wall has done the trick?

Cups of tea first thing to warm everyone up and some chit chat and job planning before work commenced with Trevor setting up the oxy bottle equipment, then cutting some safety valve blanks to size. One smaller blank for the whistle requires the holes drilling out larger to fit the studs and this is a job to be attempted on Wednesday. Peter was busy making shims for the right hand side slide bar alignment, while Ian fitted the right hand side little end oil pot to the crosshead . Bill spent most of the day jacking and measuring up the right hand slide bar tolerance, fitting shims trying to get the alignment right, with Ian assisting . This work is taking some time but hopefully it will be completed on Wednesday.

Lunch was had in the SNG A4 cabin which was warm and quite cosy. Although the sun had come out, it was too cold in Deviation Shed to have the lunch break there. After lunch, Trevor and Peter, with Nigel's assistance, removed the drawbar from the tender for NDT inspection. This job took all afternoon as there is a metal plate on the tender floor which proved very stubborn to remove. The big nut under the tender required slackening, then the shovelling plate had to be removed. Eventually the drawbar was removed and put on the bench at the back of No 8 road ready for cleaning and NDT particle testing. As I have legged it to Oz for a few weeks (where it is pouring with rain but still in the upper 20s and the air conditioning is on!), Ian is going to see if he can be trained on NDT inspection.

Bill and Nigel moved the Velocipede in front of 80135 to give more room for the small tube delivery, which should have been last Friday but was now expected to be delivered yesterday or today. Afternoon tea break was shared with Paul and his team, giving Nigel a large amount of washing up. In addition, many thanks to Norman Crockit for the loan of his paraffin stove which Trevor delivered on Saturday. Hopefully that will keep those not Down Under, nice and warm.


Thursday 28th December 2017

A very cold sunny crisp day at Grosmont yesterday with Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, Andy and Joan Lowes, Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson and myself. Jon Bradley called in very briefly in the afternoon to check we hadn't frozen to death!

Today was the Q6 internal boiler inspection, and, after the usual cuppa and biscuits prepared by Joan, and the removal of one mouse, the boiler was examined by Glyn Coxhill (Bureau Veritas) inspector with Bill and Mark O' Brien in attendance . Glyn was very happy with what he saw and passed it as OK. Bill will be sending round a short reprot separately

Trevor and Peter, with assistance from Andy, completed the repairs to the fall plate with welding done by Trevor. It was then refitted to the locomotive. Steve cleaned the rough edges on the hexagonal parts of the steam heat reducing valve and the valve was put back upstairs in No 7 bay. He also brought a piece of plywood from home to cover a possible mouse entry hole about 10"x 8" inside the workshop to the left of the top door in the corner of the rear wall: this is now sealed up and we will see if it has the desired effect. Andy fitted the blower valve. This took some time as it required a copper washer which was acquired from the MPD stores but this then had to be cut to size on our lathe and then annealed. These jobs sometimes take hours to complete. Bill and Ian, with assistance from Peter, continued with the left hand slide bar alignment. A new thicker shim was made with the stud holes cut out with a circular cutter by Owain at the MPD, but, again, this job is still to complete next time. I arrived a little later than the rest but am now able to wear my safety boots and got to work on the left hand connecting rod. This was cleaned and the NDT dye penetration process completed with no cracks to report. Joan kept us in tea ,coffee, cake and biscuits during the day and lunch was had in the A4 SNG cabin - nice and cosy!

During our lunch break there was a discussion on heat in our Shed. Piglet (who was working on Lucia in the Shed) had loaned us a mobile diesel heater to take the chill off today, but with the doors open, it was trying to warm up the whole of North Yorkshire and did not have much success. And we had the doors open because, with trains running (44806 and the DMU), there were quite a few visitors around and we encouraged them to come in and have a chat and a look round - and most importantly, drop their loose change in the donation box which a lot of them did. We are looking for a coal fired stove or similar to be installed in Deviation Shed in the corner next to the paint locker, which will have to moved. If anyone knows of a suitable stove going cheap, please contact Ian. Otherwise, Trevor might have to run one up. Apart from warming the (mainly) geriatric workforce, there was much discussion about being able to cook Parmos on one. If you don't know what a Parmo is, Ian explained that it is a Teesside speciality of chicken and cheese. Nicos Harris, a chef with the American army in WW2, was wounded in France and brought to UK to be treated in a British hospital. He moved to Middlesbrough and opened a restaurant in Linthorpe Road where he created the Parmo! - lovely grub according to Ian from his vast experience of them. The new elected Mayor for the Teesside Joint Authority is now trying to get protected name status for the Parmo, so if successful it will join Wensleydale cheese, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Parma ham on the world list of specialist foods.

However, enough of this food talk. No working party tomorrow. The next one is on Wednesday 3 January, so from Ian and myself, thanks for all the efforts in 2017, and all the best to everyone for the New Year, with 2018 hopefully seeing both the Q6 and J27 (or T2 and P3 to our more aged readers) back in operation on the Moors.


Wednesday 20th December 2017

A grey damp but mild morning with a one heavy shower early on at Grosmont on Wednesday. With Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, Derek Shorten, and Ian Pearson. I only managed the morning as I was on a to be strictly enforced half day pass out. Today was the last Santas and dining trains for the Christmas period. Next week will see the start of the winter timetable with trains running from Boxing Day until New Years Day when 44806 is likely to see its final trips before withdrawal for its 10 year overhaul.

Another mouse to remove from the trap first job, then the usual cuppa and some idle chit chat. Bill drew up the job list for the day which saw Jon and Nigel cleaning out the foundation ring before getting the hose connected up and giving the whole inner firebox and foundation ring a good washout. Derek cleaned the right hand con rod ready for NDT dye penetration which I completed - it was OK - before having to leave immediately after lunch . Hopefully we will get the left one done next week. I also carried out the monthly, and, as it was December, annual, check on the defibrillator. The completed forms will be sent to Martin Lloyd.

Steve was given the job of blanking off the safety valves and whistle mounts, but looking for blanks in our workshop was a bit of a challenge. He could only find one that was any good for one of the safety valve mounts but managed to borrow another one from the MPD: both safety valve mounts are now blanked off. Steve is going to see if he can find a whistle blanking plate at Hopetown. Bill and Ian spent all day working on the left hand crosshead and slide bar clearance. This is still ongoing, with quite a bit of time spent remaking shims.

Lunch today was in Deviation shed with Derek kindly brewing tea and washing the pots. Nigel has mounted a new coat hanger and key holder on one of the roof beams just inside the workshop from the top entrance on the right hand side. The last of the mince pies were consumed with the 3 o'clock tea break. Just before locking up, Piglet and Mark came in with another regulator handle which was tried on the shaft but it was slacker than our own! So will need to try another one.

No working party on tomorrow (Saturday). The next one will be on Thursday 28th December when the boiler inspector is due to carry out his internal inspection of the boiler. So everyone have a good Christmas and we will hopefully see you on the 28th.


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