North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 19th February 2020

Ian Pearson reports a fine cold frosty morning with rain after lunch at Grosmont yesterday, with Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Nigel Bill (who was on a course in the MIC room until lunchtime), Chris Henwood, Chris Wakefield, Bill Dobson and Ian himself.

The first job of the day started in the car park on arrival, unloading one of the T2 piston heads onto a trolley from Nigel's van, by Ian P, Steve and Bill. It was then taken to the MPD where Phil Naylor may make a pattern from it. Then, not been long in the workshop, just having a cuppa, when the lifting equipment inspector arrived. All our lifting slings, shackles, jacks and hoist, along with our pull lift which was quarantined six months ago, passed the examination and are OK to use.

All lifting equipment is now colour coded RED. There was quite a lot of water in the pit that morning and it was nearly lunch time before it was empty.

A sleeve made by Ian Storey was fitted comfortably onto the T2 regulator rod but it is still to be welded in situ. Ian M cleaned and greased the inside of the tender weigh (apologies for previous inorrect spelling!) shaft housings, and also gave the flange a coat of primer. Ed Nolan cleaned and oiled the T2 tube plate and also cleaned both cylinder covers. Neil cleaned the two remaining top doors from the J27 and they were returned to the locomotive with the rest of the doors and plugs. He also cleaned all 19 of the T2 boiler plugs. On the domestic front, Neil also brought some clean tea towels, a new bowl for washing up, and cleaned all of our pots and tea pot, which are now sparkling. The steam brake piston, rings and cover were brought up from the MPD to Deviation Shed, and the ring grooves cleaned out in readiness for fitting the rings and fitting the piston into the cylinder. After the rings were fitted to the piston head, the inside of the cylinder and rings were given a coat of steam oil and the piston was lowered into the cylinder.

To everyone's amazement it went in without much trouble. Lunch was had around the stove, which didn't get lit until 10.45.

After lunch, with a combined effort, the cylinder was moved into position on the bridge over the pit, and a beam laid across from the loco cab to tender. With the pull lift attached to the beam and two slings around the cylinder, it was lifted up off the bridge which was then removed, our new lifting jack wheeled under the cylinder, and the cylinder lowered onto the jack. It was then wheeled into position and the cylinder raised up onto the studs, the nuts and washers were fitted, and then tightened up. These still need flogging up and the end cover needs fully securing, but the brake cylinder is on. Steve removed both top housings on the locomotive reversing weigh shaft and, with help from Ian P and Nigel, the weight of the weigh shaft was supported with a long bar and slings. The aim is to remove both bottom brasses.

Meanwhile, up on the J27, Chris Wakefield removed the fireman side cab windows. Steve Hyman brought a small ejector spindle, but without the valve, so this will be lapped in and fitted at a later date. The two Chris's then removed the left hand valve cover, and cleaned the gasket off the face. Chris H then refitted the four studs surrounding the cylinders that had come loose when removing the cylinder covers themselves, and then fully prepared all four faces, which are now protected with oil. Barney will provide two copper gaskets for the valve covers, at which point all four covers and associated lubrication pipework can be fitted. Chris H did a similar job to the safety valve and whistle bosses, and made a new gasket for the whistle.

With it being half term holiday week, there were quite a few visitors round the Shed today, including my wife and myself with our three grandchildren, following a walk up Roseberry Topping. Eldest granddaughter being a Badger in St John's Ambulance, she did the monthly defibrillator check.


Saturdaay 15th February 2020

Ian Pearson reports that Deviation Shed received a battering from Storm Dennis at Grosmont yesterday. Chris Henwood, Neal Woods, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Crisp and Ian himself made it through the rain and wind, with Bill calling in briefly in the morning and afternoon. He asked Neal to take the cylinder cock valves back to Darlington for machining, which Neal did. Nigel was in early, boring the left hand cylinder which he completed by 3pm. Nigel will be back next Saturday to hone both cylinders, remove the boring machine, and put all the kit back in the two packing boxes so they can be returned to the MPD. The only other job to report on the T2/Q6 is that the last two plugs from the throat plate were removed by Chris. Lunch was had around the stove while the rain hammered down and tin sheets rattled .

Steady progress was made on the J27. Trevor cleaned all but two of the doors and all of the washout plugs ready for inspection and and then refitting. Neal Woods finished preparing the right hand valve, and, in the afternoon the valve was got back in the liner and fitted, for which many thanks to Neal for his assistance. In doing so, Chris nipped and cut his right middle finger. His finger was cleaned, treated and a plaster applied at the MPD office. It was reported to Paul Middleton and an accident report form filled in. Chris was OK and returned to his work on the J27. Bryan Orange has been informed.

Chris finished boxing up the cab (bar the small ejector valve, of which Neal has taken the spindle away for a replacement to be ordered from M Machine) following the back head exam. He has begun removing the cab windows as they need some TLC and if anybody wants to take them on and do them as a project that would be a great help - contact Chris if interested.


Wednesday 12th February 2020

In my absence at a meeting in Darlington, Ian Pearson reports it was a fine, bitterly cold, day at Grosmont yesterday with a dusting of snow on the moors. With Steve Hyman, Frank Shotton, Jon Bradley, Bill Dobson (briefly on his return from Scotland) and Ian himself. After a short briefing from Bill, lighting the stove and a cuppa, work started.

First job was to check the grease gun worked OK and also the grease nipples on the way shaft housings. One was found to be defective and was replaced but the other one was OK. Steve replaced a broken flexible oil pipe on the right hand rear horn guide. Ian, Steve and Frank took both little end pins and brasses down to the MPD for Owain to make new pins.

The return load from the MPD was bringing the steam brake cylinder back into Deviation Shed for refitting back onto the T2 next week. Lunch was had around the stove.

After lunch, Steve cleaned the carbon from the right hand cylinder bearing. Frank cleaned the lens rings which are part of the header to steam pipe fittings, and also the header and steam pipe connections. Jon arrived after lunch and painted the way shaft and their housings with another coat of black primer, and also dressed the area on the underneath of the tender where where the housings fit. Down at the MPD, steam tests were being carried out on No.29 and the steam crane .

A new hydraulic transmission jack has been purchased for lifting heavy items back onto the locomotives and was delivered today, Thursday, to Deviation Shed by Ian and Gordon. It has a lifting capacity of 300kg and will be a great help for us geriatric volunteers.

The next working party will be on Saturday 15 February 2020 for both the

T2/Q6 and J27. Next Wednesday (19th) is inspection day for the lifting equipment.


Saturday 8th February 2020

Ian Pearson reports a fine sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, with the wind getting up later in the afternoon. A large number of volunteers were present, with Chris Henwood, Paul Hutchinson, Neal Woods, Nigel Dyson, and Trevor Wilford working mainly on the J27, while Nigel Crisp was busy all day boring the left-hand cylinder on the T2. Ian arrived later in the morning, delayed because of having to have a puncture repaired. Arthur Jenkins and Andy Lowes were training four JV's during the morning and afternoon in the machine shop on workshop practices under the control of Bryan Orange. Three more JV's with one Dad spent all day cleaning T2 hand hole and mud hole doors, and also wash out plugs. The final JV and his Dad cleaned and painted the tender way shaft down at the MPD, and also cleaned and painted the tender way shaft housings in the workshop. Ian had a go at removing back head plugs from the cab but only managed to remove two as they were so tight. But Paul Hutchinson came along from the J27 to help, and managed, with great difficulty, to remove the other nine. There are still two at the bottom of the throat plate to remove, so a job for next time. The steam brake cylinder can now be brought up from the MPD next week. Nigel Crisp is coming in today (Sunday) to continue boring the left-hand cylinder and hopes to complete the task next Saturday. Lunch was had around the stove and the JV's had theirs in the MPD mess room.

On the J27, Trevor Wilford spent the day removing carbon for the cylinder covers: these are now immaculate. Nigel Dyson removed the old valve gasket and the sealing faces of the cylinders, as well as wire brushing the studs. He then did a similar job on the safety valve and whistle bosses. Neal Woods completely serviced the whistle, and was on hand for advice as Chris Henwood continued with the back head exam. Paul Hutchinson completely greased and generally lubricated the brake rigging, and then adjusted the loco brakes.


Wednesday 5th February 2020

A cold fine day with a frost at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian McCall, Nigel Bill, and myself, plus Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson first attending the annual NYMR safety brief at Grosmont MIC room from 9am until midday. Ian P arrived early, opened up Deviation Shed, got the stove lit ready for the rest of our team and left a list of jobs to be done. During a break in the briefing, Ian had a cuppa at Deviation Shed and found Nigel and Ian M were working on the J27, removing the L/H cylinder cover. I joined a little late as I had called in at Pickering on the way in. We thought both locomotives would be down at the MPD being washed out, and Nigel Crisp had given the day a miss as a result. In the event this had not happened. Nigel Crisp called in during the afternoon to see if the T2 had been moved for its washout. As it had not, we are going to cancel the washout on the T2 and let Nigel get the boring machine set up today so he can start boring again on Saturday. The safety brief was over just after midday and Ian P joined the three of us in removing the L/H cylinder cover, which is now on blocks of wood by the side of the locomotive.

Lunch was had around the stove.

After lunch, Nigel cleaned up the T2 inside frames where the wayshaft housing fits, and also the housings themselves. I had started one housing but had to go and see Sue Smeaton to discuss various items, and by the time I got back it was time for tea, so I washed up, made the tea and filled up the water bottles. Ian M removed all six washout plugs from the T2 smoke box: he found these very tight. Ian P removed two mud hole doors from the throat plate and two from the cab. Only the plugs from the cab and throat to remove. Jon gave the steam brake cylinder a coat of paint and also did some work on the new J27 locker box. During the afternoon, Charlie Woods and Chris Cubitt came up and talked through the possible fitting, and cost, of lights in the cabs of both the T2 and J27 to illuminate the the gauge glasses and various gauges for night time running.

The next T2/J27 working party will be this Saturday, 8 February 2020, with Bryan Orange and the JV's. Lots of cleaning of plugs and doors to be done, and also the wayshaft which is down at the MPD.


Saturday 1st February 2020

Ian Pearson reports a mild windy day at Grosmont with Chris Henwood, Richard De Sadeleer and Chris Wakefield working on the J27, while Nigel Crisp and Ian were on the T2. Nigel had already lit the stove as he was there early, and, when everyone else arrived, the kettle was put on and a brew made. After the cuppa, Chris H, Richard and Chris W went off to work on the J27. Nigel continued work on the T2 R/H cylinder, while Ian started to remove the bar holding the locomotive way shaft. Bill called in for a short spell, mainly to tell Nigel about the washout plan this coming week - both the J27 and T2 are to be washed out. Bill helped Ian remove the bar which was taking the weight of the way shaft. Ian then replaced the bearing and housing caps and screwed them down, along with the fitted bolts on the left-hand side housing into the frame. Next job was to remove both cross heads which was done with help from Chris H and Nigel . Lunch was had around the stove.

After lunch Ian, removed ten mud hole doors from the T2 boiler. These are in the work shop for cleaning. Chris H removed one smoke box plug, but these are very tight and Ian reckons it is a young man's job, so he is leaving the rest for the wash out crew. Nigel completed boring the R/H side cylinder during the afternoon. He was coming in today to set up some equipment on the L/H side which will not interfere with the movement of the locomotive to the MPD for washout. While Ian was under the loco he found that the R/H driving axle box flexible oil pipe was split. This will need replacing.

On the J27, it was very much a prep day. The L/H rods were lifted back on after a new felt was fitted to the trailing bush. The already loosened R/H cylinder cover was then removed. The L/H cover however, will take a good bit of persuasion, similar to the effort Ian M and Frank put in to get the right hand one ready to lower last Wednesday. So this one has been left until next week when bigger working parties are present. Chris H then removed the whistle, freed up the bosses of the safety valves and the whistle itself to be cleaned, and Richard and Chris W removed most of the valves in the cab. Some have been lapped in, others needed some turning. They have been returned to the backhead, ready for more attention next week when any remaining valves will be lapped in. The thread on the blower spindle has some fairly significant 'chipping', which will need to be addressed. Chris H has contacted Neal Woods for advice on how to deal with this. All side rod caps have now been fitted and taper pinned, and the doors and plugs stowed in the lockers. The loco is now ready to be shunted for its washout.

In complete contrast, new J27 caretaker, in his role of master drummer with rock band Revenant - Ian Pearson

The next working party will be on Wednesday 5 February 2020, when, jet lag permitting, I hope to attend myself.


Wednesday 29th January 2020

In my continued absence, Ian Pearson reports that it was a fine, cold day at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian himself, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall and new member Frank Shotton. Joining later in the day was Gordon Wells, but no Bill or Zack! However, Bill had emailed Ian P a job list, and had left the magdrill for Ian P early morning on Grosmont Station platform after he had repaired it a few days ago. Bill had asked that the hole in the T2 tender way shaft be drilled out, so Ian P took it up to Deviation Shed on a station trolley. Ian M, who was a friend of Frank, took him around the site, and Ian P bumped into Howard Heath during the morning, so arranged for Frank to get on this Saturday 's induction course.

After lighting the stove, a cuppa and a chat about trying the magdrill, the conclusion was reached that it would be very difficult to set up as well as potentially quite dangerous, so, following some advice from Owain, the use of the drill was abandoned. One of the fitted bolts on the locomotive way shaft was extracted, and Nigel is going to take it to Ian Storey's so he can make three new bolts. Ian P, Steve and Nigel finally managed to remove the tender way shaft (see photo) which took all day due to the bolts being rusted in. After the bolts were removed, and with help from Gordon Wells and use of a pair of pull lifts and toggle bars, it was lowered down onto a sleeper and removed to the north end of Deviation Shed ready to go to Owain for machining the brake linkage hole. All the scaffolding was taken down by Nigel, Steve and Ian P and returned to the MPD.

T2 tender way shaft following removal - Ian Pearson

Ian M and Frank worked all day trying to remove the right-hand cylinder cover on the J27. The cover was so tight that it took all day to move it into a position for removal, but by 4pm it was time to go home. So actual removal waits for Saturday.

Arthur Jenkins and John Jones called in Deviation shed during the afternoon for a social visit and made us a cuppa and they also took the magdrill back to Hopetown.

Next T2/Q6/J27 working party will be on Saturday 1 February, with plenty of work on both locomotives, so please make it if you can.


Saturday 25th January 2020

Ian Pearson reports a cold dull day at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Crisp and Ian Pearson working on the T2, and Chris Henwood and Trevor Wilford working on the J27. The stove was lit and tea brewed, so a cuppa around the stove and a discussion on how the job of the T2 way shaft movement could best be tackled.

First job was to test the left hand side of the way shaft bearing with a G clamp attached to a long bar, and a measurement taken with a clock gauge showing about 30 thou, while the right hand side had hardly any movement - maybe a couple of thou at most. What was found on the left-hand side was that the housing fitted bolts, of which there are three (see photo) were all loose in the locomotive frames and through into the housing . A bar was then fitted across the frames above the way shaft, with two strops attached to the bar and way shaft. Both housing top caps were removed first. Then it was decided to remove the bottom housing on the left side, as this had the loose fitted bolts. After some time removing very tight fitted split pins (which were awkward to get out standing on the steps in the pit), eventually the three nuts were removed. However, the bolts could not be withdrawn fully as the locomotive wheels were fouling the removal. New fitted bolts will have to be made and holes reamed out. It was suggested that we Jack up the locomotive a couple of inches to allow removal, but this cannot be done while the cylinder boring is under way. So another job on hold until the boring is finished. Nigel Crisp was on the job from early doors yesterday (about 6.30am), boring the right-hand cylinder. He hopes to complete that side next Saturday.

T2 left hand way shaft housing fitted bolts - Ian Pearson.

Lunch for all was held round the stove, accompanied by Zack the dog.

Meanwhile, Trevor and Chris Henwood were working on the J27. Trevor cracked and removed all of the remaining cylinder cover nuts, so the covers are now ready to come off. Chris moved the wooden floor/step sections in the cab, removed the debris from under these, and removed the two foundation ring wash out plugs cab side, followed by the two on the throat plate. The two of them then worked to get rid of a good 3 and a half barrow loads of ash from the smoke box, before Chris removed the

6 wash out plugs from the smoke box. Neal Woods popped in with the replacement valve rings, as well as some used, but good, spares. He also shared information regarding clearances when measuring, and had a general chat about the locomotive with advice on what needs to be done next

The B1 tender has now been put in Deviation Shed pending some electrical work in the near future.

The next T2 working party will be on Wednesday 29 January 2020, with another joint T2/J27 working party on Saturday 1 February. For that, Chris Henwood needs a team to lower the J27 cylinder covers, so please do try to come along and give him your support.


Thursday 23rd January 2020

Ian Pearson reports another fine cold morning with blue skies and patchy thick fog on everyone's travels to Grosmont. With Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley and Ian himself. Also Nigel Bill and Steve Hyman were travelling down from Thornaby in the NELPG van to collect the T2 ‘s pistons for delivery to Ian Storey’s workshop. The stove was lit and kettle boiled for a cuppa while Ian P made some wedges to secure the pistons when in the van .

Ian M and Neil completed some outstanding work on the L/H tender water valve linkage. It is now all greased up and secured. Bill removed the pulling equipment from the regulator rod in the dome. Some measurements were taken of the regulator rod diameter at the stuffing box end by Bill for Ian Storey to make a sleeve. Nigel and Steve arrived about 10.30am with the van. The pistons were rolled onto a pallet, then lifted with the JCB front loader over to the van. After being rolled inside, they were secured firmly with ropes and wedges before departure for Morpeth after a cup of tea at 11.30am. Ian M and Neil removed the little end brasses from the con rods by making a pushing device with threaded bar and a couple of plates, nuts and washers. Bill removed the whistle for servicing and repairs. It was found to have a broken spring which Bill replaced with a new one, while the head of the whistle valve was found to be badly scored.

Lunch was had round the stove with Bill's dog, Zack, cleaning up the crumbs and nibbling bits of coal.

After lunch, Neil cleaned all the carbon from the J27 R/H valve which had been removed last Saturday. Ian M skimmed the whistle valve head on the lathe then Bill fitted the whistle back onto the boiler - one job completed! Ian M also did a lot of general cleaning work in the T2’s cab around the valves, including repacking and fitting the left hand manifold valve which has a feed to the pressure gauge.

After a report from Barney late last year that he thought the clunking noise was coming from the motion way shaft, Bill and Ian P checked this out and found significant movement on the bearing shaft. It looks like the way shaft will have to be removed and the bearings re-metalled.

The next working party will be on Saturday 25 January 2020, on both the T2 and J27. For the J27, Chris Henwood has now formally taken over from Richard Pearson as J27 caretaker following approval by the Board at its meeting on 21 January. Congratulations to him and best wishes for his new responsibility. He has a list of jobs for this Saturday arising from last week's working party, so come along and give him your support. TheJ27 is required for a special train on 13 April (more details later) so there is not a lot of time to get everything done if that target date is to be met.


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.


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