North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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



Saturday 18th January 2020

Ian Pearson reports a fine cold day with blue skies all day at Grosmont yesterday (in contrast to Sydney where it poured down all day!) with Bill Dobson, Nigel Crisp and Ian himself working on the T2. Down the Shed, Chris Henwood, Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Neal Woods, Ashley Moore and Thomas Dibbs were working on the J27.

The stove was lit and the usual brew was made, along with a lot of chatter and passing of information regarding work on the J27. Bill and lan worked on the T2 regulator crank. Bill was up on the boiler trying the withdrawing device which Ian Storey had made, and had given to Bill and Ian on Thursday when they visited Hogg Engineering at North Shields who are making the new main steam pipes. But when Bill tried to fit it to the regulator rod it was a little on the tight side, so Ian ground a small amount of metal off from the slot. After the next fitting the slot was OK, but Bill thought the holes in the other plate where the threaded bar goes through, needed opening out a small amount. So the plate was drilled out slightly bigger, then re-assembled back onto the regulator rod, and the pressure put on by tightening up the nuts (see photo), but nothing moved. Then it was time for lunch which was had around the stove.

T2 regulator rod withdrawing device in situ - Ian Pearson

After lunch, in spite of major efforts to get the crank to move, it would not budge. So a lot of heat was applied, then more pressure was put on the withdrawal nuts, but still no movement. The crank was even doused with cold water and more pressure put on, but it still would not move. So in the end they had to give up and call it a day. Ian thinks it is going to have a sleeve fitted - maybe! Whilst all this was going on, Nigel Crisp spent the day setting up the cylinder boring machinery - see photo.

T2 left cylinder boring equipment in position - Ian Pearson

Meanwhile, on the J27, Angie was in the cab removing and examining the clack box valves - she has become somewhat of an expert at this job. She found the clack valves themselves needed more than just lapping in, as the valves faces were concave, so Paul has taken them to turn them on his lathe to correct this. The right hand steam valve threads were found to be worn, so Neal Woods has taken this away to have a new spindle made. The side rod caps were removed by Paul, and the clearances between crank and bush were then measured. The results have been emailed to ian Storey for advice, as one was found to be nearing the limit normally run on the K1. Thomas, Ashley and Neal were hard at work removing the right hand valve cover, and then removing the valve itself. This was after a bit of pinch barring the engine, and some reverser lever operation was performed, to get the cross head in a position to remove its cotter.

Neal and Chris then removed the rings and have completed 75% of the cleaning. One was found to be broken so Neal will see if there is a spare at Hopetown. Ashley removed and labelled all the of the mud hole doors and the majority of the washout plugs, which have been stored in the RH locker. Thomas removed the RH cylinder cover nuts, leaving 2 on for now. Paul cut, trial fitted, and left to soak In oil, a new felt for the trailing left rod bush. Plenty done therefore, and Chris now has a list of jobs for the next J27 working party on 25 January.

 

Wednesday 15th january 2020

Ian Pearson reports a cold dull morning, but getting out fine by later on at Grosmont yesterday. With Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley and Ian himself. Stove lit and tea brewed with a discussion about how to get the brass bushes out off each T2 cylinder. It was decided to make up a pulling device from materials around the workshop - one small disc, one larger disc and a piece of threaded bar, along with a couple of nuts and washers.

T2 left hand cylinder bush showing carbon deposits - Ian Pearson

With this device, both brass bushes were successfully removed. They were found to be badly contaminated with carbon (see attached photo) and the left one was cleaned by Jon. It was manufactured in two halves and these have been put in the L/H gland packing box which is upstairs above the workshop. Lots of carbon was removed from both cylinders and their ports- Ed worked on this all day. Steve cleaned off the old steam reversing valve gasket from the boiler side and cleaned the flange, then fitted a new gasket and reversing valve. Unfortunately, while tightening the nuts, Steve hit his thumb with a hammer he was using, causing a cut across his left thumb. His thumb was treated down at the MPD by first aider, Adrian Dennis. Steve was OK after treatment and continued with his work. The accident was reported to Bryan Orange who is sending an accident report form to Steve. Steve a!so filled in an accident report at the MPD. Jon and Ian P got a short driving job just before lunch, taking the Class 37 from the shed down to the station and then up the main line to just beyond the bracket signal No 17. It is now in section for working to Goathland later this week when no signalman will be required and P/W will have a possession. Lunch was had around the stove.

Jon gave the brake cylinder a coat of primer and also painted the J27 toolbox. Ian M and Nigel worked on the L/H tender water valve. The carrot was taken off and ground in, was found to be working OK, but the linkage was seized. Eventually, with some heating, this was freed and now is working fine, although it needs securing which will be done on Saturday. The R/H water valve and linkage seem to be working satisfactorily. Ian P and Steve fastened an air line to the steam reversing cylinder to operate it. They managed to move it forward and back very slowly to remove any water trapped in the cylinder.

Apparently the recent gales have blown off a roofing sheet which was eventually found at the south end of Deviation Shed. Bryan Orange is arranging for that to be replaced as a matter of urgency, and for some other small roof repair jobs to be done at the same time.

 

Saturday 11th January 2020

Ian Pearson reports a grey, windy but mild day at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian Storey, Bill Dobson, Andy Lowes, Bryan Orange with 7 JV's (Adam Dangerfield, Luke Perry, Oliver Barker, James Clark and his Dad, Richard, Matthew Smith, Tom Readman and Findlay Brown) and Ian Pearson himself. Nigel Crisp, who is going to bore out the T2 cylinders was also present. Unfortunately Arthur Jenkins wasn't well enough to attend to give his tuition of workshop practices to the JV's ,due to a leg injury.

With Andy on his own he could only manage to train 4 of the JV's (Adam, James, Findlay and Oliver), 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.

After the usual cups tea, cleaning jobs were given to our JV's around the cylinders. Lots of carbon to remove where the piston gland packing fits, also just inside the front of the cylinder where a build up of carbon was evident. 2 of the JV's were in the workshop cleaning other piston gland components which were removed some weeks ago. Ian Storey arrived about 11 am with the refurbished steam reversing valve. Ian's main job though was to try and free the regulator crank in the dome. He had brought a special heat gun with him which required borrowing the Oxy and Acetylene bottle from the MPD. Duty fitter, Duncan Jackson, brought this up with the JCB. Ian then set up his burning gun and got on heating the crank arm in the dome. After two attempts of heating it cherry red and hitting it with a hammer it would not move. So this was abandoned and the burning gear returned to the MPD. Ian has another idea of making a device to withdraw the crank arm off the regulator rod. Bill stripped down one of the safety valves and removed the seat and the valve. We have new castings, and when Bill has all the correct dimensions the new castings will be machined. Bill had to leave about 10.30am but came back at lunch time with Zack (the dog), and lunch was had around the stove, with the JV's having theirs up in the MPD mess room.

After lunch, Ian P painted primer under the cab where the steam brake cylinder fits, and also cut a new gasket for the steam reversing valve.

This valve will be to fit next week. He was also keeping an eye on the JV's cleaning jobs. The cylinder boring equipment had been delivered to Deviation Shed on Friday afternoon: two large crates of kit which Nigel Crisp spent yesterday sorting and cleaning ready for when he starts next Saturday. He asked for a brass bush still in situ in the entrance to each cylinder to be removed. However, after scraping some carbon from the ends of these bushes it looks like they are in two halves and a special drift will be needed to remove them to get the boring shaft in .

The J27 remains on No 7 Road inside Deviation shed. It has been winterised. It is awaiting a piston and valve exam, and the steam heating system is to be investigated.

 

Wednesday 8th January 2020

A happy New Year to all our readers.

In this, the first Grosmont report for 2020, Ian Pearson reports a fine, mild day at Grosmont on Wednesday with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, and Ian P himself. Jon Bradley joined the team after lunch and Ed Bolam called in after completing his NYMR induction course, as did Martin Lloyd with his grandson who also completed the course. Another welcome visitor was Bob Grey who popped in to say hello and brought some old sheets for cutting into rags.

After Bill had consulted with Barney, he asked if one of the team could hone the inside of the brake cylinder. Ian M took on this job, so, after a cuppa, he went down to the MPD with Bill. The honing equipment was set up and Ian M completed the honing which was checked as OK by Barney. Ian M also cleaned the outside of the brake cylinder which is now ready for a coat of paint. At Deviation Shed, Steve got on with dismantling and cleaning the gauge frames, and clearing out the steam and water passages. He also found one of the gauge glass brass gland rings was missing. A replacement was made by machinist Barry Nessom at the MPD.

Lunch was had around the stove. Then, afterwards, Ian P was down in the pit trying to drill out a split pin on one of the brake cylinder studs, a job later completed by Ian M drilling a new hole in the stud. He also cleaned a lot of rust from around the area where the brake cylinder is to be mounted. Steve, with some assistance from Ian P, dismantled the pressure gauge valve, stripped it down, removed the old gland packing and cleaned the valve. Replacing the gland will be done next week. In the meantime, Jon Bradley gave the J27's tool box a coat of grey undercoat.

The B1 tender will shortly be added to the stock on No 6 Road - it apparently requires some electrical work - and the J27 is back on No 7 Road.

For those wanting to know the latest chapter in the regulator rod removal saga, Bill and Ian P were working at Deviation shed on 5 January trying to remove it. They established it would not come out through the stuffing box hole which is 4" diameter, whilst the crank that operates the regulator in the dome is too large at about 5". It also catches other pipes and brackets. The crank has a key way which was heated and then hammered to try and get it out, but it would not move so this was also abandoned. Bill's alternative idea therefore is to fit a sleeve on the stuffing box end without having to remove the rod at all. This was measured up and a drawing made and sent to Ian Storey for consideration.

 

Wednesday 18th December 2019

A bitterly cold, frosty day with thick fog on the Moor roads on our way to Grosmont yesterday. Sub zero temperatures until the late afternoon so we were glad of the stove - thanks Bill! A large turnout with Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Jon Bradley, myself, and newcomer to Deviation Shed, Ed Bolan. Bill Dobson made a brief appearance at the start of the day, trying to arrange the move of the piston rods to Ian Storey’s workshop and the steam pipes to North Shields - but without success. No working party on the K1 yesterday, but an apology from me - it has been pointed out that Paul and Angie's dog is called Tonks and not Tonk as I have referred to it previously.

After cups of tea, Ian M and Neil broke up some timber for lighting up the K1. Then they were under the T2 cleaning the studs left in the bottom of the drag box which held the steam brake cylinder in situ. All the old split pins were removed bar one and a die nut run down each stud. Ian P took Ed around the MPD site on a brief induction and also arranged for Ed to attend an MPD induction course with Howard Heath on 8 January at 9am. Steve removed the exhaust valve from the brake cylinder and cleaned it up. It was taken down to show Barney who is going to do some repairs to the valve and also the rest of the brake piston and cylinder. These were taken down to the MPD and left on a bench just outside the machine shop.The K1 was shunted outside Deviation Shed during the morning.

Sausages round the fire at Grosmont on 18 December 201 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had around the stove with Steve treating us to pan fried sausages which he had brought, with finger buns (see photo). There were also mince pies, and we were regaled with a number of colourful tales from Nik Proctor who joined us for a cup of tea. After lunch, the two pistons were moved near to the roller door ready for loading. With the K1 moved out, the T2 ‘s tender was drained and the engine pinched forward to allow removal of the regulator rod. Most of the afternoon was spent try to remove it, but, after about 6ft showing, it would not move any further. Even Barney had a go but it would not move any further out. Nick Simpson told us to erect some scaffolding between engine and tender with a standing platform on making the job much safer, so between 4pm and 5pm Steve, Nigel and Ian P erected the scaffolding platform, with a little help from Jon who had been repairing the J27 tool box. That now requires re-painting. We also took the opportunity to clean out the front of the tender by the various link bars, of accumulated lumps of coal, coal dust and grease. Ian P had set up a warming fire on the K1 which he lit about 3pm. I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator and kept the tea flowing during the day.

Elsewhere, Dame Vera Lynn is now back in Deviation Shed on No 8 Road, with Eric Treacy sat on No 8 Road outside the Shed awaiting tyre turning, as its flange depth is now outside acceptable limits. In moving the K1 outside on No 7 Road, it became clear that the track outside was no longer in an acceptable condition. One side, near No 6 Road, had subsided significantly resulting in an unacceptable cant on the rails, and it has therefore been condemmed for use, other than with specific permission and extremely close supervision. Another urgent job to add to the P/W Department's list.

Four locomotives were on steam test yesterday - the J27, 92134, 825 and Repton. Apart from the lack of trains on the running line, it looked just like a normal operating day at times - we even had a couple of visitors in the afternoon! The Channel 5 documentary team were also around doing some filming.

That was the last regular Wednesday working party for the year. The next one will be on 8 January 2020. The K1 was on steam test today, and Paul will circulate details of any separate working parties to be held between now and its departure to the Great Central Railway at the beginning of January. Between Christmas and the New Year, it is also planned to be running on NYMR service trains.

So, as the year draws to a close, many thanks to everyone involved for their help and support at Grosmont throughout 2019, and my best wishes for a happy Christmas and wonderful New Year. See you again in 2020.

 

Satrurday 14th December 2019

Apologies for the delay with this latest report, but Ian and Paul report a cold fine day at Grosmont on Saturday with a T2 team of Nigel Bill and Ian with Paul, Angie Buxton, Les Harper, Chris Henwood and Mike Bloomfield (and Tonk the dog) working on the K1.

The stove was lit to keep everyone warm and, after a cuppa, Nigel and Ian decided to split the T2 engine and tender. This will allow the regulator rod to be removed once the K1 leaves Deviation Shed. The drawbar locking plate was removed and, with the aid of a couple of cleaners from the MPD, the large ratchet spanner was put on the drawbar nut . With them pulling the rope the nut was soon loose enough to allow removal of the main drawbar pin. After the large split pin was removed, the main drawbar pin was knocked up and out, and the two safety link pins removed. All three pins and the locking plate are in a fireman’s side locker.

Lunch was had around the stove, with Tonk looking on mournfully! Bill called in briefly before lunch and arranged with Nigel to take the main steam pipes away to Induction Pipe Bending at Washington. So Nigel and Ian loaded them up onto the four wheel trolley and took them to his van in Grosmont car park - they just fitted. Back underneath the T2, vacuum pipes and steam heat pipes were disconnected and then the water pipe hoses. These caused a problem as the water valves were jammed in the open position allowing the tender water to flood the pit, but, as Mike and Les were working in the pit underneath the K1, the right hand valve was closed by hitting the operating arm underneath the tender with a hammer. The left one had to be re-coupled. Paul will drain the tender on Tuesday when work should be finished underneath the K1. In the light of this experience, both T2 water valves are clearly in need of overhaul! Two injector rear caps were still to remove. The right rear was succesfully removed after the application of some heat, but the left one is still on - the cap nut has been badly damaged in the past and the spanner just slips round the nut. The right hand rear nut has been put upstairs in the workshop with the other two which were removed a couple of weeks ago. They are on the top right shelf, along with the sealing rings for the main steam pipes.

For the K1, Richard Desadleer and Paul worked on it on Friday when the RH piston packings were gapped, the steam chest pressure gauge was fitted and the last 3 mud hole doors were refurbished and fitted.On Saturday, the 5 (not including Tonk!), filled the boiler, refitted the RH injector steam valve after skimming the valve head and lapping it in, refitted the steam heat valve (again after lapping the valve head in) and associated pipe work, scraped and refitted the RH cross head slippers, refitted the piston packings (both sides), built up a wasted weld to the smoke box door ring, started filling the repaired areas to the back of the tender tank, checked the free movement of the loco steam brake piston and weigh shaft (this involved removing the weigh shaft and brake piston pins, checking that the components moved freely then reassembling) and checked the condition of the loco brake cylinder release valve and spring. The brake checks showed all to be in order except the release valve spring which was weak and is to be replaced.

Although the J27 was rostered for Grosmont Santa trips, it did not do any because of steam heat problems. Seems to have been a problem with the stock rather than the locomotive, but Control took it off and replaced it with Repton. Later though, the J27 heated the dining train and banked it to Goathland.

The next working party will be on the K1 tomorrow (Tuesday 17th) when a steam test will be carried out (Paul is off to light a warming fire this evening), and then as per normal on Wednesday 18th.


Having been to Deviation Shed this evening, Paul has found that the K1 has not been moved out to enable the steam test to be carried out. That means that tomorrow's test has been cancelled and there will be no working party after all. He will now attempt to reschedule the steam test for Thursday (19th) as he is not available on Wednesday, and if anyone would like to join him then please let him know - mobile 07964 988551 after 1800.

So the next working party will be on Wednesday 18th on the T2.

 

 

Wednesday 11th December 2019

As I was unable to get to Grosmont yesterday because of over running decorating works at home, Ian Pearson reports it was a fine, cold, slightly overcast day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Jon Bradley, Ian Pearson, and also Nik Proctor later on, working on the T2, whilst Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton and Les Harper concentrated on the K1, joined later in the afternoon by Chris Henwood. The dogs Zac and Tonk were also present.

After the stove was lit, with cups of tea all round there was a discussion of how best to remove the brake cylinder from underneath the cab, a difficult challenge with a very heavy piece of metal in a very awkward position. Removal was very much a team effort with Nigel, Steve and Ian M in the pit doing most of the awkward work, heating the cylinder and knocking wedges in to get the cylinder moving downwards, while Bill and Ian P assisted from above with a couple of 8’ sleepers and the lifting trolley which, eventually, was manoeuvred underneath on the timbers . But before that, a 50 ton jack was used to take the weight of the cylinder while the nuts were loosened further down the studs. In the meantime, Jon was up on top of the boiler disconnecting the regulator linkage. The linkage pin was removed, labelled and put in a box in the workshop with the regulator quadrant.

A well earned lunch was had around the stove, having laboured long and hard to get the brake cylinder ready for removal. After lunch, it was back into the pit for Nigel, Steve and Ian M to carry on with the cylinder removal. Bill suggested that Ian P should start removing the cotter from the piston head which had been removed last week. At this, Nik Proctor, came up from the MPD and offered to remove the cotter. This took longer than anticipated as it would not move using a hammer and punch so had to be drilled out - thanks Nik. Eventually, the brake cylinder was lowered onto the hydraulic lifting trolley and gently moved out from underneath until we could get a strop around it. With the the lifting frame in position, it was lifted out clear of the engine. The piston was then removed from the cylinder. By then it was well after 4pm, so time to clear up, wash the pots and go home.

On the K1, the team fitted the pressure and vacuum gauges (except for the steam chest pressure gauge), the right leading tender brake table link (this link having been fitted with a new bush), tender brake blocks, fuseable plugs, cylinder cover nuts and cylinder cover cladding. Fitting the con rod and valve gear split pins was also completed. The LH return crank taper pin hole was reamed and a new taper pin fitted.The last job was to remove the new RH cross head top slipper in order to increase the clearances between the slippers and the slide bar.

Paul had hoped that the engine could have been ready for a steam test on Saturday but there is too much still to do. He now aims to carry out the steam test on Tuesday next week.

Down at the MPD the J27, S15 and Repton were having a steam test and check over ready for the weekend's Santas.

 

Saturday 7th December 2019

Ian reports a fine mild day at Grosmont yesterday with Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Trevor Wilford, Ashley Moore, Chris Henwood, Mike Bloomfield and Ian himself, as well as Arthur Jenkins, Andy and Joan Lowes and Bryan Orange with 7 JV's plus one Dad.

With the stove lit, it was cups of tea all round for the adults - seems that the young ones don't drink tea! The JV's were split into two groups: three of them went down to the machine shop with Arthur and Andy to do their lathe training while Joan did the washing up . The other four were found jobs cleaning various items of the T2 - three brake components, two cylinder heads and some of the rusty parts of the blast pipe spark arrester. After removing the steam brake piston arm, Trevor got set up with the burning gear under the T2 and, with the application of some heat, managed to loosen all eight securing nuts . These nuts were badly rusted on and took some moving. None have been removed yet but are now loose, and that's a job for Wednesday as we will need some packing to support the brake cylinder and possibly remove the piston first.

Lunch was had round the stove for some, and the Support Coach for others, as it was a bit crowded around the stove. After lunch, three of the JV's assisted Ian in bringing the K1's connecting rods from the MPD to Deviation shed. The left one had accumulated quite a bit of light rust which the lads cleaned it off with emery paper and wire brushes. Elsewhere on the K1, a new front TPWS arial bracket was fitted, ring grooves on both pistons de-burred, RH piston rings gapped and fitted, RH cross head fitted (Mike had collected this from M Machine on Friday and brought it through to Grosmont in the company van yesterday morning), both pistons fitted, both con rods fitted, both cylinder covers fitted and two new clips for the slacker feed pipe fitted. The tender tank was also filled to check for leaks to the recently repaired areas - all found to be watertight. Most of the cylinder cover nuts are still to fit as are the piston packings.

On the Railway, the J27 was on the Grosmont Santas as Rudolph with a red nose on the smoke box door, and Dasher D7628 on the rear. Also out were the S15 and Repton sharing the dining train and Pickering Santas.

The next working party is on Wednesday 11 December when it is hoped to complete the K1 reassembly and fill the boiler with a view to steam testing next weekend, while on the T2 we need to remove the steam brake cylinder.

 

Wednesday 4th December 2019

A fine bright morning driving to Grosmont but on arrival it was dull and very cold with a frost. It brightened up later on, although never warmed up. The team on the T2 was Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill and just before lunch myself Chris with finally Jon Bradley. Working on the K1 was Paul Hutchinson with Les Harper and, late afternoon, Chris Henwood and Richard De Sadeleer. Stove lit and a cuppa to warm up before there was a 10 minute power cut. Then it was on with removal of the T2's LH piston by Bill, Ian and Nigel, using the hydraulic table.

T2 steam brake cylinder. 4 December 2019 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had around the stove, with Bill having to leave due to some personal commitments. After lunch, with me assisting this time, the T2's RH piston was removed in the same way. The left and right piston packings springs, followers and nuts are in separate containers upstairs on the right hand top shelf. After afternoon tea, Nigel Bill worked under the engine removing the brake linkage between engine and tender and also the locomotive's trailing brake rod. This was done to gain better access to the steam brake cylinder (see photo) which needs removal for refurbishing the piston. We were going to remove the regulator rod, but there’s not sufficient room to withdraw it without splitting engine and tender, so this job was put on hold until the K1 departs and there is sufficient room available. There was then another power cut around 15.45 lasting about 20 minutes, although the emergency lighting system cut in and provided essential illumination as by now it was dark outside.

On the K1, the work carried out included removal of the front TPWS arial bracket (new bracket to be fitted on Saturday), servicing the small ejector valve, servicing the graduable steam brake valve, fitting the gauge glasses, gapping and fitting new LH piston rings, finishing the current batch of roof stay nut replacements, completing the manufacture of two slacker feed pipe clips, refurbishing and fitting one mud hole door and sealing (internally) the recently repaired areas of the tender tank. The new big end was cut and put in to soak and the fire hole bottom protector plate buttered up.

The J27 remains on No 8 Road in Deviation Shed, but the necessary steel for the spring hanger bracket repair has been received and the required welding and machining well under way. That is hoped to be completed by tomorrow and once refitted, subject to a satisfactory examination and steam test, it should be available for Santa services from 14/15 December to the end of the season. It will be operating from Grosmont rather than Pickering however: the Pickering services will continue to be run by the B1.

Next working party will be on Saturday, when Bryan Orange and the JVs will also be attending. It should be a busy reassembly day on the K1 with the RH piston rings to gap, boxing up to finish plus the RH cross head, both pistons, both cylinder covers, both con rods, the front TPWS arial bracket and the fire hole bottom protector plate to fit. On the T2, the steam brake cylinder will be to remove.

More generally, there will be a first working party today on No 5, while, yesterday, Repton and No 825 were on steam test, with No 29 lit up at the end of the day, and the 9F whisping steam on No 4 Road all day. So lots of steam around. Not bad for any visitors (of which there were none) bearing in mind it is a non operational period!

 

Wednesday 27th November 2019

'The rain it poored doon aall the day and made the groond quite muddy' at Grosmont yesterday, as the famous song says. Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley and myself (working on the T2) and Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Les Harper and Mike Bloomfield (working on the K1) all braved the appalling weather to get to Deviation Shed. At the start of the day the stove was lit and tea brewed.

 Nigel Bill after splitting the T2 crosshead on 27 November 2019 - Ian Pearson

On the T2, work started, mainly with a team effort, which saw the LH crosshead oil pot removed,and then both crosshead cotters removed with hammer and a bar. A tool had been borrowed from Ian Storey for removing cotters but it was too large and would not fit. All the locomotive brake blocks were removed and have been stored under the bench by the display boards. I also replaced all the broken bulbs in the inspection lamps, and the remaining new bulbs are on the electrical spares shelf in the storeroom upstairs. Lunch was had around the stove and discussion of how we were to split the crossheads. Having decided on a plan, all the splitting equipment was brought up from the MPD. During the afternoon both crossheads were split from the piston rod - see photo of a pleased Nigel after he had given the crosshead a thump with a copper hammer. With pressure on from the splitter the rod parted with a bang (see photo of end result with the splitter attached to the crosshead). While work was underway on the crosshead I was busy cleaning sections of the spark arrestor. The L/H side metal piston packing was also removed, put in a box with its nuts, and put in the storeroom upstairs. This piston is now ready for removal at the weekend.

T2 split crosshead with splitter on 27 November 2019 - Ian Pearson

Meanwhile on the K1, the team completed servicing of the cylinder relief valves, replaced the left rear ash pan door linkage pin, progressed the annual backhead valve exam and maintenance (including recutting both clack box steam valve seats), previously weld repaired areas of the tender tank were re-welded by Mark O'Brien after he had finished work, a new taper pin prepared for the LH return crank, the steam heat valve bead blasted (the valve seat is to be replaced by Steve Andrews), and the LH cylinder sealing face and cover studs cleaned ahead of reassembly.

J27 fractured spring hanger on 22 November 2019 - Barney Casey

Not such good news on the J27 however. After refitting the valve covers on 21 November, during the subsequent fitter's inspection, the left leading driving spring hanger bracket was found to be fractured (see photo). It was decided to machine a new part (the half with the pocket for the spring hanger bolt) and weld it onto the half that bolts onto the frames. Evidence was found of a previous welding repair though and the fractures in the old casting are many and substantial. A new lower part is therefore required. The fractures appear to have been there before the leaf spring collapse, but this collapse will have hastened this latest failure of the casting. Time is of the essence to get the engine ready for the Santas. The necessary steel has been ordered and, once it arrives, the MPD has said that the necessary work to effect the repair should only take a few days. The J27 will therefore miss the trial run of the Northern Lights Express tomorrow and will be replaced by the B1 No 1264. Once the repair is completed however, it is expected to be used on the remaining Northern Light Express and the Santa Special trains to the end of December. Being based at Pickering it can also provide steam heating for the duration. The MPD’s Barney Casey will be keeping an eye on it while it is there, and making sure it is not affected by any bad weather that might occur.

In spite of being no operations yesterday, the S15 was on test in steam, the B1 was moving around festooned in LED light strings, and the 9F and Repton were lit up late afternoon. The Channel 5 film crew were also around, including in Deviation Shed, no doubt getting the atmospheric dusk/dark, raining and steam swirling shots.

 
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