North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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



Monday 29th April 2019

A small working party today with Bill Dobson ,Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson.

The grate rocking mechanism is still to be completed by Mark O’Brian sometime, so it is still locked out and can’t be rocked. So on Sunday Bill and Ian fitted the rear grate sections. Then with the help of the duty fitters and charge cleaner, the breakdown train and the S160 were shunted out of the way and the T2 was shunted down to the MPD on No 4 road. The S160 was put back in Deviation shed and the breakdown train back on No 7 road. End of shift and home.

Waiting at Goathland after trip up the bank - Ian Pearson

Today the T2 was on steam test by the shed fitter and after warming up the cylinders Bill and Jon tightened up the R/H cylinder cover nuts on several occasions and no leakage was to be found after several runs up the head shunt. We missing a run to Goathland at 11 am due to the extensive steam testing, especially on the Vacuum brake, where we thought there was a chamber side fault. Eventually we got a path to Goathland at 2pm. The trip went very well[. On the way back to Grosmont the vacuum was tried and it worked OK with the chamber side stopping at 21"Hg. Back at shed the fire was thrown out boiler filled and the engine put in 5 Road.

 

Wednesday 24th April 2019

A fine day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall , Brian Nunn and myself. Sorting out the stove and cups of tea all round were the standard first jobs.

Then the water hoses were connected up and the T2 tender was filled. The brake connection between loco and tender which connects to the wayshaft requires a new bush but, for the moment, the old one has been refitted. Before doing so Owain came and measured the hole in the wayshaft which was found to be quite oval. A new bush and pin will be made at a later date. Brian Nunn came to Deviation Shed on Tuesday with Maurice Burns to clean the smokebox and give it a coat of black gloss paint. Brian returned yesterday to give it another coat of black gloss. He then cleaned the wheels and the sandpipes, before the side rods were cleaned and oiled. Nigel cleaned and varnished the rear buffer beam.

Lunch was had around the stove in spite of the outside sunshine, as there was still too cool a breeze for sitting outside. After lunch the tender was full so the hose was connected to the injector overflow pipe to fill the T2 boiler. Before it could be filled though, the left hand mud hole door, which was still was loose from the previous emptying, had to be removed, cleaned, and fitted with a new gasket. Once refitted, the water was turned off when half a glass of water was showing. Meanwhile, I cleaned the NELPG headboard (and repainted the letters) and the T2 100 plaque ready for next Wednesday's centenary event. I was allowed to make afternoon tea (no complaints about its colour this time!) and washed all the pots and filled up the water bottles afterwards. Ian and Steve gave the engine another oil round. Work still continues on the rocking fire grate. 20 rear fire bars have been shortened to fit, and these were brought up from the boiler shop and stacked near the engine ready for fitting when the brackets and rocking mechanism are fitted. In view of the continuing lack of a grate, the steam test planned for today has had to be postponed. It is hoped that, one way or the other, this will be held over the next couple of days to give time to rectify any issues that may be identified before next Wednesday (not that we are expecting any). Bill is pursuing, as we don't want it to become a last minute activity before such an important day for both us and the NYMR.

Because of the uncertainty over the steam test timing, no date has been fixed for the next working party, which will be needed for any rectification work and then cleaning the T2 for Wednesday. So please watch out for any short notice appeal from Ian for volunteers at Grosmont. There will though be no working party next Wednesday. All being well, the T2 should come off shed on Wednesday about 11ish and come down to Platform 4 at Grosmont where it will stand awaiting the arrival of the train from Pickering due at 1205. It will then come across to Platform 2 and couple up ready to depart at 1230 after speeches and formal unveiling. For those attending and travelling on the train, can you please aim to be there by 1200. Unfortunately, I will not be able to be present as I now have a hospital appointment which has to take priority. NELPG President, Andrew Scott, has kindly agreed to take charge of proceedings in my absence however, and I am sure the event will be a great success under his stewardship. A bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale will be available to him to wet the T2's running plate, but whether it will be used I cannot guarantee.

Elsewhere, the J27 was back in traffic yesterday as there was a shortage of operational steam locomotives, particularly of Whitby engines, with both the B1 and Repton sidelined for various reasons and 76079 not yet back in service. The J27 handled the Grosmont/Pickering sections of the Whitby services, top and tailed with the Class 26 on 7 coach trains, with Mr Cubitt looking very regal as he passed Deviation Shed in the cab of the Class 26.

 

Wednesday 17th April 2019

A bit of a cool overcast start to the day at Grosmont, but warming up with the sun shining by lunchtime. With Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Bryan Orange, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself. Ian lit the stove and made a cuppa (the 'right' colour this time - I have been sacked!) and Nigel brought a lovely fruit cake.

Steve set about working on the right hand rear steam chest cylinder cock, with Ian assisting where necessary. After some discussion about this cylinder cock's carrot valve, and whether it should be given a skim, Ian took it to the machine shop to get some advice from Owain. He thought we should have a new one made, but he couldn’t do one at the moment as he had a long list of priority work because of the necessary repair work following the recent accident involving Eustace Forth and Eric Treacy. Owain suggested that when the T2 is in for its next washout it could be removed and remade. So the cylinder cock and carrot valve were re-fitted. All the cylinder cock linkage bolts were double nutted where no split pin holes were found, and those with holes were split pinned. When Ian was talking to Owain he mentioned the bush for the way shaft pin. Owain said he will come up and measure the hole but it would have to wait until his work load had eased. Nigel H rubbed down the back of the tender which he had painted on Tuesday, then gave it a coat of varnish. I spent the morning washing up, necessitating a visit to the Co-op for a scouring sponge, and topping up the water bottles.

Bryan and Nigel B were busy discussing all the safety aspects of working for NELPG in Deviation Shed and also other locations. One of the outcomes of an ongoing safety review is that there is now a separate signing on point in Deviation Shed itself - it is on the right hand door of the double doors that lead to the stairs in the workshop. Please remember to sign in and out there, but also that you must continue to sign in and out at the MPD signing on point as normal, so the duty fitter knows who is in and out at the end of his day.

Lunch was had around the stove. After lunch, quite a lot of of ash had accumulated in the pit so was removed by Nigel B. Subsequently, I cleaned out the drainage channel and removed the contents. I had been down to the MPD to see Barney and Piglet. Because of the dire shortage of motive power at the moment, they asked if the T2 could be pressed into traffic early if the situation became desparate. After discussion with Nigel and Ian, and today with Bill, we have agreed that the T2 could be made available next week if absolutely necessary, provided the rocking grate and the way shaft pin are sorted, and subject to prior agreement. In any case, a steam test is planned for next week, in preparation for the 1 May centenary event. Black (for the tender sides) and red (for the front buffer beam) plastic will be required if it is to do any running. As a contingency, Ian and Nigel B oiled up the axlebox tops. Last job yesterday, after Nigel H had finished varnishing the back of the tender, was to dismantle the scaffolding and return it all back to the MPD boiler shop. This was done by all our team.

Lots of visitors in Deviation Shed today but Bryan and I did the PR bit and gave them lots of information about NELPG. As a result, we think we might have recruited one working volunteer member and a couple of potential JVs. The new safety valve castings for the T2 and J27 were collected from Lanes in Middlesbrough by Sue Smeaton, and are now at Grosmont ready for machining. On the Railway, trains were being worked with No 926 Repton (after some leaking tubes had been dealt with in the morning), B1 No 1264 (with steam leaking from the left hand cylinder) and J27 No 65894. A certain John Hunt was driving, and he reported the J27 was going well considering it was hauling 6 coaches, and the afternoon FTR exam reported no problems. It has been running since Sunday and should be running all week and over Easter

 

Wednesday10th April 2019

A cold grey start to the day, but the sun soon came out and it turned into a lovely day, albeit a bit on the cool side. Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself were present, although Ian was immediately commandeered to take a diesel down to Pickering on the first service train from Grosmont, following the failure of Eric Treacy with cylinder cock problems in the station. The token machine giving access to the Whitby line had also broken down so no NYMR trains could run to/from Whitby (it was repaired in time for the afternoon services). Not a good start to Piglet's birthday, but away from all this, Nigel B lit the stove and I made the first cup of tea - for which I received a number of complaints that it was not brown enough. To improve my technique, I was told I would need to make the lunchtime cuppa as well in the hope that practice would make perfect.

On the work front, Nigel B and Steve spent the day in the pit under the Q6 working on the remaining cylinder cock valves, whilst Nigel H fitted the two new 1918 worksplates to the cabsides of the T2. In Ian's absence, Bill acted as RO for the morning, whilst I did the monthly check of the defibrillator, did the washing up and water run, and arranged with the MPD Office for the reurn of the J72 axleboxes to Hopetown by Sue Smeaton tomorrow morning. I also brought up the box of new hi vis vests for Deviation Shed which are now upstairs in the workshop. Lunch was held round the stove, with Nigel B cooking some sausages for his sandwiches.

After lunch, with Ian's return, he, Bill and myself cleared the workbench and put out the electrical equipment ready for the PAT testing by the Friths and Bryan Orange which is to take place tomorrow. James Newton from the boiler shop also joined us to start work on installing the rocking firegrate for the T2. I also got called to do an interview on the MPD Office phone with Radio Tees about our efforts to locate the living relatives of Sir Vincent Raven to attend the the T2 launch on 1 May.

 

No 29's boiler lift 10 April 2019 - Nigel Hall

Elsewhere on site, the crane was in use to lift No 29's boiler back into the frames (see photo). The new cylinder block meant that it was a tight fit and will need a little final adjustment. The J27 was not in traffic and was sitting outside the MPD. It was in use over the last weekend, is not required for this week's timetable, but should be back in service next week when the the timetable requires three steam locomotives.

 

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

In spite of a forecast of heavy snow and strong winds, it was a cold but fine, sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, although there were reports of snow on the high moor at Blakey Ridge. Those present, and enjoying the sun, were Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Bryan Orange with JV Luke Perry, Ian Pearson and myself. We were also paid a visit by Arthur Jenkins, John Midcalf and Saskia Van Schip who had come down for a trip on the train to Pickering. Then John Hunt called in briefly, to make it twelve NELPG members at Deviation Shed yesterday morning. Not quite a record attendance but very close to it. After Ian had lit the stove, Jon, who could not stop long, washed up the pots and joined us for a cup of tea (made in a new large teapot that I had brought) and a good long chinwag putting the world to rights.

As far as work was concerned, Peter Whitaker has now finished the sign writing on the T2, and Nigel Hall concentrated on painting the cab sides with gloss and another coat of primer on the smokebox door. I was in the pit all day painting the brake rods with black gloss while Bill worked on grinding in and repairing the carrot valves from the cylinder cocks. Three were done yesterday, so only another four to do. Bryan and Luke repaired an extension cable and a lamp cable, and also repaired one of the large square handlamps, replacing the fluorescent tube and clear plastic cover - well, it was clear originally. Luke also did some repairs on the velocipede and put it back together. Ian and Nigel Bill worked on the right hand side hand rail of the J27 which had, yet again, broken away from its socket on the cab front - another five minute job that tied them up all day. After an hour or so trying to remove three stubborn bolts they eventually removed the flange with the hand rail socket attached.

It was then time for lunch around the stove in Deviation Shed. After lunch, Ian and Nigel B tried to find something to fit into the socket and into the hand rail. They did eventually find a steel stud which fitted into the hand rail, but was loose in the socket so had to be rejected. Down at the MPD machine shop, Owain said he would make a stepped peg which would fit both the socket and hand rail. Having made a peg (see photos), it was fitted in about ten minutes with new nuts bolts and washers. Job done at last! At the end of the day at Deviation Shed, the T2 tender sides were covered with four dust sheets by Luke and Nigel H to deter photographers. How we will manage the great unveiling on 1 May remains to be worked out - but contact Dave Pennock if you want to see how we do, and travel on the train as well.

New handrail peg - Ian Pearson

New handrail peg - Ian Pearson

Quite a lot of visitors today with some high value notes being spotted going into the donation box (and subsequently removed by Bryan to go to the Treasurer). City of Wells, 80136 and Repton were working services, with the B1 being sent to Pickering for turning. The J27 was standing on the pit on No 5 Road at the Running Shed being weighed - engine was done yesterday, tender due today. Hopefully it should be in operation over the weekend.

 

Saturday 30th March 2019

Ian Pearson reports a fine cool morning but warming up later at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Peter Ellis, Nigel Hall and Ian himself enjoying the sunshine. Yesterday was the start of the season's steam train running with guest locomotive City of Wells working non-stop runs to Pickering. Also our J27 worked the 10.30 to Pickering and the B1 on the lunch time dining train.

After lighting the stove and a cup of tea, Ian started by NDTing the new weld on the right hand brake rod from the Q6. All OK, and photos taken and sent to Barney. Then, with Nigel B and Peter, the rod was fitted and pinned, secured and the brake was adjusted. Bill worked on the right hand front cylinder cock, removing the carrot valve and grinding it in. It was refitted with washers before the securing nut was tightened. Nigel H concentrated on rubbing down the smokebox door and applying a coat of primer. He has also fitted some dust sheets to the tender sides to cover up the new sign writing. While Nigel B and Ian were checking that all the split pins were opened out, they found a damaged pin on the right hand centre tender brake hanger equaliser link. After all the dirt was removed, it looks as if the damage has been caused by the haulier's chain when loaded on a wagon for transport from or to the Railway. This pin will have to be removed and replaced.

Later in the afternoon the J27 returned to shed and was failed with leaking valve covers. While inspecting the covers it was noticed that the new PTFE seal was starting to leak between the casting and the cylinder block, and some of the nuts had come loose when the fitter tapped them. Not much could be done yesterday as the J27 was too hot and in steam, but Nigel B went upstairs in our workshop and found a set of used copper gaskets which have been used on the J27 at some time. These have been taken down to the MPD office for possible use on the cover.

Not surprisingly, quite a lot of visitors round the shed yesterday, as is likely to be the case from now on with the start of the operating season.

 

Wednesday 27th March 2019

Ian Pearson reports a fine, mild, slightly overcast day at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley, Nigel Hall and Ian himself. With the stove lit and kettle on it was cups of tea ☕️ all round and a catch-up with Barney at the MPD. The J27 had been steam tested on Tuesday and it was found to have steam leaks from the front valve covers and the whistle.

So those were the jobs for the day. Bill worked on the J27 whistle all day which he stripped down, cleaned, sealed and re-fitted, while Nigel B and Ian worked on the valve covers with Jon assisting later after he completed some lagging work in the Q6 cab. The J27 oil pipes and cylinder cock front drain pipes were removed. This was not easy as the locomotive wasn’t on a pit and there was no chance of getting on one as 5428 was on steam test for the boiler inspector on the top pit and No 5 Road pit was full with the B1 and 76079. So work had to be done on the ground outside No 4 Road sat on cardboard with cushions on top. Meanwhile, Nigel H removed the Q6 cab numbers and spent the day sanding the cab sides and sand boxes.

Lunch was had around the stove and Ian warmed his steak pie on the stove hot plate - please note Trevor! After lunch the valve covers were eventually removed, the faces cleaned, and a ptfe seal put around each cover - the same material as was put round the Q6 cylinder cover. Then the covers were re-fitted and secured, and the oil pipes and drain cock pipes re-fitted. Hopefully it will now be OK for its scheduled workings during the Big Engine service over the next week. However, the right hand side hand rail has come out of its socket again and will have to have another socket welded onto the existing socket to secure it.

Some of the shed staff were working at Newbridge getting Repton and City of Wells (replacing Union of South Africa for the Big Engine service over the next week, as No 9 is still undergoing repair) ready for moving to Grosmont tomorrow.

 

 

Wednesday 20th March 2019

Ian reports a beautiful warm spring day at Grosmont yesterday (cold and cloudy where I was in Surrey), with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Peter Whitaker and Ian Pearson. Although it was warm, Jon lit the stove and Ian made the tea.

Peter then continued with painting the letters and numbers on the tender and buffer beam, while Bill, Jon and Ian got on with fitting the right hand cylinder cover. A new seal of PTFE material was fitted to the cylinder cover, then the cover was jacked up into position and pushed onto the studs. With washers and nuts fitted, it was secured in position using the torque wrench from the MPD, set at 300 lbs/ft. Just before lunch, outside on the railway, a ballast train, hauled by DBS 66114 and banked by the railway’s 08 shunter, came past taking ballast to Esk Valley to the newly relayed track.

Lunch was had round the stove with a lot of chin wagging and talk of painting the loco number on the rear of tender in small numbers just below the top lamp bracket, as had been done with the T2's NER livery in the 1970s. This though needs a bit more investigation to establish its authenticity. After lunch, Jon worked on the J27 fitting new gauge glasses and rubbers and also injector caps. He then lagged the steam brake copper pipe on the Q6. Bill took the right hand brake rod from the Q6 tender down to the MPD for welding. This will be welded and NDT ‘d today. Ian fitted the Q6 tender axle box covers after the axle ends had been ultrasonically tested.

There will be no working party on Saturday 23rd March although Peter will be present hoping to complete the letters and numbers. With the imminent arrival of 60009 Union of South Africa for its week's running, and the start of the operating season immediately after, covers are being organised to hide the new paintwork from visitors prying eyes and cameras in advance of the 1 May Q6/T2 centenary launch. The next WP is therefore Wednesday 27th March when the right hand brake rod will be fitted and a coat of gloss paint can be applied to the previously primed brake rods.

 

Saturday 16th March 2019

Ian reports a very wet but mild day at Grosmont yesterday, with Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Alan Hardie, Peter Whitaker, Alan Dawson, and Ian himself. Nigel cleaned out the stove and got it lit while Ian made the tea as Peter and Alan arrived. Alan Dawson, Peter's mate, who is also a fireman on the NYMR, took all the dirty pots down to the MPD for washing and also filled the water bottles. Then cups of tea and a bit of chin wagging.

Peter got started painting on the Q6 and Alan D went down to the MPD to do some cleaning up. Nigel, Ian and Alan H fitted the left hand Q6 tender brake rod. This required the use of a pull lift and strop to get the pin hole lined up, then a bit of chamfer was put on to the pin before it would go in. It was secured with a washer and the split pins opened out. They were unable to do anything with the right hand rod as it still requires welding. Trevor had made a warming shelf which he welded to the stove chimney, so we now have a hot plate to warm our pies and pasties. Prior to welding the plate to the chimney, the welder would not start, but, after investigation, the fuse was found to have blown, a new fuse was fitted, and the welder returned to life.

Lunch was had round the stove. Trevor had to leave after lunch due to urgent business at home. Peter continued with painting for a while but had to stop due to the damp conditions and left about 2pm. Nigel and Alan Hardie worked on the J27 locker doors, fitting chains to the inside to stop them dropping onto the water valve handles. Ian painted the left hand Q6 tender brake rod and Nigel had a tidy up under the work bench by removing all the old spark arrestor mesh to bay 6, top shelf, upstairs. Alan H put the right hand brake pins and washers/split pins in their respective holes awaiting the rod.

 

Wednesday 13th March 2019

With the worst of the wind from storm Gareth behind us, it didn't turn out to be too bad a day at Grosmont yesterday - quite warm in the sun out of the wind. With Peter Whitaker, Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson, Nigel Bill and myself. The stove was cleaned out and lit by Ian P and then kettle on for our usual cuppa.

First job for the two Ians was to comple last Saturday's work on the J27 by tightening the bolts on the water valve flange. To do this the bracket bolts had to be removed to enable the valve to drop sufficiently to gain access to the inner nut and bolt on the water valve. With this achieved, all the bolts then tightened up and the bracket bolted back onto the frames, the job was complete. Ian M then set about securing the water valve handle in the cab which he did with some shims and secured with a split pin. Today the J27 and S160 are due to be swapped over, putting the S160 onto No7 Road to allow for painting and fitting components onto the left side of the locomotive, whilst the J27 stands on No 8 Road waiting for its start of work at the end of the month on services in conjunction with the visit by A4 No 60009 Union of South Africa.

Meanwhile, Bill and I were involved in removing the Q6 tender brake linkages for NDT testing. The left hand side was removed first, which strangely enough is stamped right. So it was no surprise to find the right hand side stamped left when that was removed! Both these rod have adjusting buckles which were taken apart and cleaned. Peter Whitaker was fully employed setting up masking tape and painting tender letters and numbers. Lunch as usual was had round the stove.

 

Three wise men searching for cracks - Chris Lawson

After lunch I painted with black primer all the brake rods that had been NDT tested and fitted back on the engine, then opened up all the split pins on the brake pins. Everyone else was fully employed (see photo), cleaning the tender brake rods ready for NDT testing. The cleaning was done in various ways - scraping, wire brushing, and burning the old paint off with the oxy gear. Both sets of rods were NDT tested and no cracks found , but what was found was some wear on the right hand rod about a foot above the threaded end. This was shown to Paul Middleton who will inform John Graham and get Mark O' Brien to weld it up. This rod has been put under the seat at the north end of Deviation Shed waiting to be welded. Bill measured the thickness of the cylinder liner which was found to have plenty of metal left for boring out next winter. He also received his PTFE gasket material which is to be used as a sealing ring for the right cylinder cover. I did the monthly check on the defibrillator, and delivered to the workshop a box of hi vis vests for Bryan Orange and the JVs.

 


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