North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 11th September 2019

Ian reports a mild wet morning yesterday, but getting out fine later on. He was on his own, with not a lot to do as the T2/Q6 was back in traffic after its repairs, and the J27 was still stuck at New Bridge because of the congestion at Grosmont caused by the continuing P/W work on the new point for No 6 Road.

However, Charlie Dore wanted to colour code our lifting equipment. So, after opening up Deviation Shed, he came up with his tin of paint and colour coded all our lifting equipment Green, including the lifting jack and chain block. Colour code for the next 6 months is therefore Green. Ian then went down to the MPD and helped out a little, cleaning two of Repton's valve covers. Repton at the moment is having its valves removed and carbon cleaned from the heads and rings. At the end of the day, the middle valve was still to extract after many hours moving it to a point where it just wouldn’t move any farther forward. Hopefully it will have been removed today!

Other things going on at the MPD was the painting of the 9F No 92134 and tender in black (with the later BR emblem) being done by Heritage Painting. Locomotives working yesterday were B1 No 1264 , Black Five No 5428 Eric Treacy, and T2 No 2238.

Meanwhile, Bill Dobson and Gordon Wells spent the day at the NRM in York looking for safety valve drawings for the T2/Q6 to enable the new castings to be machined, but didn’t have any success. However, further information has come to light which will hopefully lead to finding the required drawings, and I have been charged with trying to track them down over the next week or so. Bill is also anxious to find drawings for the T2 piston, both head and rod. Will keep me out of mischief!


Wednesday 4th September 2019

Wednesday dawned a fine morning at Grosmont but with showers later on. Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson were present, and, to their surprise, I joined them later in the morning for the first time since my heart operation. I could only attend because my Wednesday rehabilitation exercise session had been cancelled, but I was told it was great to see me back in action again. Then I went into the workshop and found out why! I had to wash all the dirty pots, refill the water bottles, and then make the tea at lunchtime and afternoon break. So nothing too strenuous, but clearly essential work! I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator which was overdue, and found it to be in order. The stock of J27 springs was also checked - two engine springs and one tender spring are on a pallet in the spring storage area. As I haven't been to Deviation Shed for a few months though, I must put on record my thanks to Bryan Orange and his team for the work they have done over the summer - the lighting levels, particularly in the workshop, are much improved, the fire exits have been brought up to standard, a first aid station been established next to No 7 Road on the outside wall of the workshop, and the place generally tidied up and smartened. Just need to keep the tea point up to scratch now, with the mugs washed up after use and the water bottles kept full!

Meanwhile, down at the MPD on No 4 Road, the workers found the T2 in light steam. The shed staff had worked hard on the engine over the last few days, fitting the right hand piston back into the cylinder with a new ring, also fitting the connecting rod big end bearings and little end to the piston rod and large cotters. Barney gave Bill and Ian a list of other items still to fit to get the engine moveable - piston packings (which at the time were still being machined), cylinder cock valves and linkage, new insulation and cladding all to be fitted, the latter needing a hole to be drilled into the outer edge of the casting and tapping to secure the top end of cladding. Some of the left hand side cladding also needed to be secured. Another item was the mechanical drive shaft to the lubricator. Later on that morning the piston packings were delivered from the machine shop. These took a long time to fit but, with the help of some shed staff, the piston follower was eventually compressed sufficiently to get the nuts started, and then secured with the slide bar lubrication pot attached. The little end oil pot was also fitted. Most of the fitting of the above was done by Bill, Ian and Nigel, with some help from cleaner Nick Proctor  and shed fitter Danny Middleton. Although the engine was in steam, it never moved as work did not finish until  about 5pm, so the move was cancelled. It was in steam again yesterday though, but has not been rostered for today's running - hopefully over the weekend?

Elsewhere on site, the S160 No 2253 was in traffic, clocking up the 500 miles it needs before departing for the Dartmouth Steam Railway, the S15 No 825 was having its spark arrestor fitted and a couple of other minor jobs completed before it returns to operation (it has already successfully done a couple of runs up to Goathland), the 9F was having its brick arch fitted (will it be a runner in time for the Gala?), the B1 was on wash out, No 29 was having its final lining out done by Peter Whitaker, Repton spent most of the day under the coaling plant having been failed with a couple of problems after its early morning run to Whitby and back, and Ian Foot and his team were working on Dame Vera Lynn in Deviation Shed, preparing it for a visit by the boiler inspector due yesterday. The Green Knight is also stripped down in the boiler shop. Most importantly though, Martyn Cannings and the PW team were on site at the south end of Deviation Shed, clearing the ground and starting the work to install the new point to replace the broken one giving access to No 6 Road. They are also intending to replace the broken rail on No 8 Road. The Channel 5 filming team were at work around the site, and Piglet was sorting out the transport arrangements for the visiting locos for the Gala. So a lot of activity throughout the day.


26th August 2019 - cylinder problem

On 14th Augus the driver reported a knock on the RHS. On steam test the following day it was found that the piston rod taper and cotter was moving in the crosshead so the loco needed a strip down to assess further. Upon strip down the cotter has been found to be bent, there is a broken piston ring and the piston head has been striking the cover. The fitters report that the cover was loose and also when the cover was removed an existing repaired crack has opened up, further investigation saw the cladding removed to see that the crack has also been extended after crack testing was undertaken on site to investigate.

The decission was taken to call in On-Site Casting Repairs who did an extensive cold metal stitching repair, taking some 2 1/2 days. This included addind reinforcement to the original 2005 repair, and extensive crack testingAt the time of writing a new piston ring is being machined, together with new piston ring packings, (reclaimed from old BR Standard packings!) since these were damaged by the hydraulicing. Also it is planned to add an extra oil pot to each crosshead to feed the bottom slide bars, whose lubrication is a bit hit and miss.

The RHS axlebox clearance in the horn guides was also found to be excessive during the steam test, and this will be addressed during winter maintenance. Because of this and the known wear on the piston bores it is probable that the boiler lift planned for this coming winter will be postponed for 12 momths to allow the "bottom end" of the locomotive to be overhauled. It is hoped that the Q6 will be back in traffic later this week.


Wednesday 14th August 2019

Ian reports that although theT2 was working on the NYMR, and J27 working on the Wensleydale Railway (and the K1 on the Jacobite) Billy no mates was at Deviation Shed on his own.

Frank and John from the S160 team were using the workshop whilst Bryan Orange was involved with interviews for an apprentice fitter with the shed manager. Ian spent some time looking for a 19/16” superheater expander requested by Darrin Crone for the header of Sir Nigel Gresley, but unfortunately we hadn’t got one. Ian phoned Darrin and put him in the picture, offering 11/2 & 15/8” but these were of no use to him.

After lunch, which was had in Deviation Shed as the weather was miserable and showery, Ian cut 2 new gaskets for the J27 safety valves just in case they are wanted at the weekend, but Bill thinks we should leave them alone, as we have done a similar exercise on the Q6 and the valve is still feathering. Ian also put some items together for other work on the J27 such as valve packing and ejector cones.

Dame Vera Lynn is now standing on the pit on No 7 Road where work continues, to include by the JVs, on stripping it down.

Ian will now not be available until the first week in September so, unless any urgent work is identified and someone else is prepared to act as RO, there will be no working parties until 4 September. A note will come round to confirm that date nearer the time.


Wednesday 7th August 2019

Ian Pearson reports a lovely sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, with Bryan Orange and JV Luke tidying the workshop and pit area, followed by painting the walking area. Paul Jameson made a wonderful job of altering and refitting the fire doors to meet current fire regulation standards (see photo), while Bill Dobson and Ian worked on the T2. This is now on washout after over 1,200 miles of running in July.

Bryan Orange and Paul Jameson at work on the fire door in Deviation Shed.  Ian Pearson. NELPG Collection

Both T2 safety valves were removed and the front one was taken to Owain for some light machining. The rear one was moved to the front and the front one is now on the rear as instructed by Barney. Bill cut the gaskets and Ian refitted both valves. Lunch was had outside Deviation Shed . Lots of visitors round and Bryan kept them entertained (and informed)!

After lunch Bill started on another job from Barney which was to grind in both injector clacks. Bill completed the fireman’s side but there is still some work to do on the drivers side as time ran out - it was after 5 pm so time for home. Ian checked the situation with the argon: only one bottle which is on the welding set which Trevor Wilford acquired and changed sometime ago, returning the empty to wherever he obtained the full bottle.

Ex Brussels tram engine Lucie arrives in Deviation Shed under the watchful eye of Piglet. - Ian Pearson. NELPG Collection

Piglet's ex Brussels tram engine, Lucie, was moved into Deviation Shed on No 7 Road under the careful scrutiny of its owner (see photo). It appears that Channel 5 have started filming for a third series of their NYMR programme.


Wednesday 10th July 2019

A very warm slightly cloudy with the very odd spot of rain at Deviation shed today with Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, lan Pearson and Nigel Hall. The T2 was in traffic working from Pickering on the 11 am departure. The J27 was down at the MPD at the back of 4 road awaiting a new spring to replace the broken one, which should be delivered next week! Cups of tea first thing then a shed clean up started mainly on 8 road and 7 road footpath. Scrap steel and old fire bars were removed to the scrap skips old scrap. Timber removed to the lighting up compound down at the MPD on 5 road and also old used rags. Bins emptied the floor swept.

Steve worked mainly in the workshop making space to house the small lifting crane which Paul Hutchinson brought over from Carnforth and also some of the brick arch formers and rearranging some of our tools. He also vacuumed the floor area. Paul Hutchinson and Angie arrived at lunch time while we were having our snap on the bench outside Deviation shed,delivering a water pump which is now stored upstairs awaiting to go to Fort William in a couple of weeks time for washout purposes.

A smell of propane gas from our gas bottle was evident ,and after spraying soapy water around the fittings a leak was discovered from the gun . Ian went to the boiler shop to report the situation. Tom shed boiler Smith came and to inspect the propane and found leak from the gun and also the hose . Tom advised us that this equipment must not be used , we have put a label on not to be used until the boiler shop personnel have rectifying the problem.

The J27 drawbar spanner has been on the back of the tender. In the shed at the moment is the class 37 on 7 road which at the north end being worked on by the diesel fitters and assisted by the French students , it should be out at the end of this week. No. 5 and 80135 on 6 road. Nothing on 8 road. The track on 8 road is in a very poor state a broken rail and sleeper that are rotten and almost non existent see Nigel’s photos.

The area of the broken rail - Nigel Hall

The break - Nigel Hall


Wednesday 3rd July 2019

A glorious sunny day at Newbridge yard today with Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson assisting Barney Casey MPD mechanical Foreman to connect engine and tender together.

We arrived at Newbridge at 9am , the engine and tender were in the yard awaiting being shunted together. Both loco and tender had arrived yesterday afternoon and off loaded. We had to wait a while the standard tank 80136 was was being prepared for service, so we settled for a cuppa and sat and enjoyed the morning sunshine. Once 80136 had gone the T2 tender was shunted onto the pit and secured with hand brake and wheel chocks. Then loco was brought onto the pit and connected to the tender with the drawbar pin and safety pins put in and secured. Barney secured the water ,vacuum and steam heat hoses together, while we pulled up the big drawbar nut with me on the large ratchet spanner underneath the tender, Jon ,Nigel and Steve Elliott (charge hand) pulling on the rope until I could get the locking plate and cotter on and secured with a split pin. The job was completed by 12 noon. Barney went back to Grosmont; we stopped at Newbridge with boiler about 3/4 full of water. Nigel put a warming fire in. The tender was quite low on water so the hose was put in. Then the locomotive was oiled up ready for it trip back to Grosmont tomorrow. We had our lunch about 13.45 at Newbridge yard in the hot summer sun.

After locking the cabins up at Newbridge we returned to Grosmont and had a coffee in the station caffe and then up to MPD and Deviation shed. A quick natter in Deviation shed and another cuppa then it was time to go. Nigel and I with some of the shed staff called into the station hotel for pint of ale on this hot afternoon; it was lovely!


Wednesday 26th June 2019


T2 loaded up this afternoon - Mark Thompson

A cold foggy wet drive over the moors to Newbridge yard at Pickering this morning .With Ian Pearson and Jon Bradley, our job was to assist Dave Cholmondeley and Curtis Clifton MPD fitters to split engine and tender . The T2 was parked outside the P/way shed with the J27 in front , in steam awaiting its crew to prepare and move it onto the pit road after 5428 Eric Treacy was moved out of Newbridge yard to work the 9.25 train to Whitby.

We disconnected the hoses and tied them back out of the way and removed split pins from the safety links and main drawbar pin . Then it was cuppa tea time while were waiting of the J27 to move from the pit. When the J27 had gone the 08 shunted put the T2 on the pit .Once on the pit we were able to remove the drawbar locking plate put on the large ratchet spanner and with Curtis under the tender adjusting the spanner and the rest of us on the rope pulling the spanner handle we eventually loosened the big nut then eased it enough to remove the main drawbar pin. All pins ,cotters and locking plate have been stored in the fireman’s side locker. The job was completed about midday Jon and I returned to Grosmont and had lunch on the bench outside Deviation shed. After lunch Jon completed some woodwork on the bench around the stove and then gave it another coat of paint while I did some tidying up in the workshop.

No 8 road in Deviation shed has been tidied up a lot by the S160 lads there are a few items still to move . There is some scrap of ours to remove next week which is in the 4 foot and the sides of the track . Also quite a few broken and rotten sleepers and a broken rail piglet is aware of this. He hopes to get some repairs done to the track when the new point is fitted on 6 road which is ready at Newbridge yard.

With a warming fire lit, the T2 is prepared for action on the Mid Norfolf railway - Andrew Jeffery

On Thursdat 27th he T2 arrived and was unloaded at Dereham, joined to its tender and a warming fire lit ahead of the gala weekend. Curtis Clifton and Andrew Jeffery  are down there as reps for the weekend with the loco.

With a warming fire lit, the T2 is prepared for action on the Mid Norfolf railway - Andrew Jeffery


Wednesday 19th June 2019

A dismal rainy morning at Grosmont yesterday but it brightened up and got quite sunny and warm later on. Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself made their way through the rain for an early morning cuppa. During the morning we also had a brief visit from Paul Hutchinson and Angie to collect some bits for the K1, and from Jon Bradley who was on driver training to Whitby. Jon brought in the last piece of the bench near the stove which he is going to fit later this week. Bill Dobson also made a brief appearance.

After a lot of chitchat we finally got on to some jobs given to us by the shed fitters for the T2, which is currently on wash out. One was to grease the locomotive and tender brake gear, and the other was to fit chains to the inside of the tender locker doors. While Nigel started sorting out the paint locker, putting some part used cans in his van to take to Hopetown, and doing a general tidying up, I did the monthly defibrillator check. Down at the running shed, Steve got started on the locker doors and Ian set about finding a decent grease gun. By the time he had found one in working order, it was lunchtime which was had in Deviation Shed.

After lunch Nigel painted Jon's bench with the red gloss paint used on the other benches in the building. Steve fitted a chain to the fireman's side locker door on the T2, but the driver's side will have to be done next week (if the engine is still on shed!). Ian and I completed greasing all the brake gear although it did involve repairing our own grease gun and borrowing one from the railway. Ian is firmly of the view that we need a new grease gun and should scrap some of the ones we have.

The Class 37 is having its motors repaired in Deviation Shed on No 7 Road at the moment. MPD management had taken pity on the diesel fitters trying to work outside in the heavy rain of last week and had asked to move it into Deviation Shed so they were under cover. The S160, now named Omaha, has moved out of Deviation Shed and is in the running shed where it remains with a non operational air brake. A replacement is apparently on the way from the Isle of Wight Railway where air braking is the norm. So no running in as yet prior to its move to Dartmouth. The S15, No 825, now looks very smart with all its cladding on, after being painted and lined out by John Furness. William Parrish says it is now nearly finished, but, as we know, those last bits can take a seemingly interminable time to completion. No 29 is also looking almost ready, with cladding and side tanks installed, but still awaiting its cab. The J27 was stood, in steam, outside the running shed for most of the day, before moving down to Grosmont Station in the sunshine for the 1630 trip to Pickering.

There was a steady stream of visitors to Deviation Shed during the day, although many did not stay long once they saw the Class 37. The new turn out for No 6 Road has now been delivered to New Bridge and is being assembled by the PW Dept. No date yet for its installation, but once done it is likely that No 5 will then be moved out for its long awaited assessment. Dame Vera Lynn frames are due to be moved in shortly and will go on No 7 Road, as they have requested pit access. It will though be kept mobile at all times and will move out once we need the space for our own locomotives.

Locomotives running yesterday were 5428 Eric Treacy which was swapped with the Standard class 4 No 76079 at lunchtime, Schools Class Repton, No 961 , B1 1264 which was swapped with the J27 for the 1630 to Pickering, and Class 25 Diesel D7628 on the last run to Whitby.


Wednesday 5th June 2019

Ian reports a fine cloudy day with some bright intervals at Grosmont today, with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Paul Jameson and Ian himself. Kettle on and the usual cuppa and a piece of coffee cake specially made by Paul’s wife Maggie - a real treat. I missed out again!

The T2 had been stopped on Monday lunchtime with a broken right intermediate spring which was changed on Tuesday. Barney provided a list of other smaller jobs to do today, which Bill, Paul and Ian got on with, while Jon got on with the seat he was constructing around the stove. He also got a coat of paint on the seat and backrest. The jobs on the T2 were to repair a steam leak on the pressure gauge union at the manifold, the reverser indicator in the cab was very slack and needed attention, and the righthand injector delivery pipe in the cab was leaking. Paul shimmed the reverser indicator and repaired the leak on the pressure gauge union at the manifold. Bill repaired the righthand injector delivery pipe. Ian found that the righthand intermediate cork was missing again. This has been giving trouble for quite some time, so, a week ago, Ian shortened a step stay bolt to see if that would solve the problem. Obviously it hadn’t, so today the bolt was put in upside down which has a flat head and doesn’t protrude down very far. The engine was moved around the yard a few times and the cork was still in situ and not sheared off. Fingers crossed that it has been finally sorted.

Lunch was had outside Deviation Shed today alfresco. Bryan Orange arrived after lunch to assess with Paul Jameson the changes needed to the fire exit doors, and also with Luke, the NYMR's electrician, regarding new LED lighting in Deviation Shed. On the Railway, the J27, Black 5 Eric Treacy, No 926 Repton and D7628 Sybilla were in traffic. The S160 was in the MPD Running Shed on No 5 Road and lit up this afternoon for a steam test tomorrow.

There will be no working party next week, 12 June, as neither Bill, Ian, or Jon are not available.


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