North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Saturday 11th November 2017

Ian reports a cold but fine and sunny Armistice Day with a mega turn out of Joan and Andy Lowes, Peter Ellis, Trevor Wilford, Rachelle Martyn, Dave Donegan, Bryan Orange and the JVs and Ian himself. Another mouse in the trap which Ian disposed of, and then the usual cuppa to warm everyone up.

Rachelle cleaned all the holes in the header which our 1.5" gauge would not comfortably fit, and also cleaned the rust and oiled the R/H piston rod and slide bars. Two of the JV's cleaned and oiled the eccentric sheaves. Trevor, with Peter's assistance, straightened the fall plate some more, but finishing this will have to wait until it is attached to the cab floor. Andy removed the last bit of steel shell in the R/H fall plate bracket hole and then re -tapped the hole with a 7/8"bsw tap: it is now ready for the new stud which Owain is making. Dave and Peter set about completing the sand pipe fitting - the L/H centre pipe proved the most difficult one to fit and had to be heated up and re-shaped slightly to clear the wheel and aim towards the rail.

At 11 am, the two minute silence was observed in Deviation shed by our NELPG team, the JV's, and volunteers from the Dame Vera Lynn team. Also the 'Last Post' was played on a mobile phone which had been recorded earlier by one of the JV's.

Afterwards, work carried on with JV's lifting all the side rods in position along the side of the locomotive under the supervision of Bryan and Andy. The L/H piston rod and slide bars had the rust removed and oiled by one of the JV's. Just before lunch, the L/H piston cover was fitted by Andy, Trevor and Ian with the aid of the lifting trolley. The nuts were put on by the JV's later. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed with Joan making us lots of tea at various times of the day. Bill called in for a cuppa and to see how we were getting on. Peter and Trevor had to retire early as they had to join the Sir Nigel Gresley team for their Social at Brigantes in York. At that, Peter was given an award for his outstanding contribution to the A4's overhaul - congratulations to him! Dave therefore completed the sand pipe fitting with the help of Andy, Ian and the JV's: the pipes are now all secured.

Bryan Orange has purchased a set of high speed drills (from 1mm to 10mm) which are in a red/yellow Sherwood cylindrical holder next to the drill in the workshop. Also now in Deviation Shed is a velocipide which has been given to the JVs via Phil Naylor, so they will be able to join John Midcalf and the velocipide enthusiasts on their own terms in future.

There will be another working party on Wednesday, for which the weather forecast is for a warmer, sunnier day, so hopefully will see as big a turn out as yesterday.



Wednesday 8th November 2017

A cold but bright and sunny day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian Pearson and myself.

Another mouse in the trap for Ian to remove - it seems it was not even able to benefit from the Nutella before it met its end.

Following the usual cuppa, work started with Steve and myself given the job of removing the spacer on the right hand tender rear wheel spring, so it was down to the MPD to borrow a couple of jacks. After jacking up the tender at the rear, the spacer was removed, checked by Bill, found to be OK and so refitted. But unfortunately, as the tender was being lowered, it slipped slightly sideways to the left, leaving the rear left hand flange of the wheel sitting on top of the rail with the right hand side just on the rail. Back down to the MPD for the lifting beam and two more jacks from the MPD, but when Barney Casey and Nick Simpson (MPD Foreman) had a look at the tender it was decided to use the re-railing equipment from the breakdown coach on 7 road just outside Deviation Shed. This was set up after lunch with our help and the tender moved back on the rail in the correct position, then all the equipment was returned to the breakdown coach. Many thanks to Barney and Nick for their efforts on our behalf which were greatly appreciated.

In the meantime, Ian continued to fit the rest of the cylinder cock linkage, along with the two brackets with a twist which were identified as brackets for the front sand pipes. The cylinder cock linkage is now connected to the operating handle in the cab and is working OK. Bill started fitting the front and rear sand pipes. The front ones proved a bit of a challenge because of the thickness of the new tyres, but all are now in position although they will need some further adjustments and brackets fitting. All items removed from upstairs and fitted have been updated on the record sheet.

Bill took a stud down to Owain to make a new stud 7/8 x 5/8 for the fall plate. Later on in the afternoon Ian and I took a barrow into the back field just across from Deviation Shed to recover the new casting of what we were told was the K1's spare Petticoat / blower, but has subsequently been identified as the ejector exhaust ring, which had been there for some time. It is now stored in Deviation Shed by the electricity cage. I also collected from Steve Andrews the J27 steam brake diagram gland that Paul requires to enable the steam brake valve to be completed and returned to Hopetown.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed again and surprisingly we did have a few visitors looking round, including one lady who was keen to become a working member and another visitor who dropped some money in the donation box. Elsewhere, Bill had a number of conversations with Piglet and Sue Smeaton about the outstanding invoices due from the NYMR for Q6 work. As a result, he seems to have got things sorted out and invoices should finally be issued in the next few weeks. Problems have also been found with the new cylinder block for No 29 such that it is being returned to the pattern maker/foundry for replacement. That might significantly delay its return to traffic. 44806 was being prepared for the Santas which will be it last operation before withdrawal on 1 January 2018 for its next 10 year overhaul.



Saturday 4th November 2017

Ian reports another dull and dismal morning at Grosmont, but what a change after lunch, with lovely warm sunshine. Peter Ellis, Trevor Wilford, Rachelle Martyn and Ian were present, but before the usual first cuppa, Ian had to dispose of another mouse's corpse caught again in one of Bill's traps. Strangely, they seem to eat all the chocolate first then bang, dead!

After tea Rachelle set about cleaning both ends of the regulator rod which is now ready to be NDT'd. She then ran the die nut down the right hand valve cover studs. Trevor got stuck into the fall plate and stud removal. Ian borrowed the Mag Drills from the MPD for Trevor to drill out the remainder of stud metal, but there is still a small amount to remove. Trevor has suggested that we tap out a 7/8"hole, then a 7/8"

stud be fitted reduced to 5/8"above the 7/8", and then a 5/8"nut attached. Still some more welding and dressing to do on the fall plate which he will continue with next Saturday. Ian and Peter worked on fitting the outside left and right hand cylinder cocks. It took some time to get them lined up tightly and some copper washers were obtained from the shed stores to get the correct alignment.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed with an M&S Black Currant Fool Cake provided by Rachelle - only the best for the Q6 team!

Later, Ian and Peter fitted the cylinder cock linkage cross shaft, but it is just loosely fitted at the moment and will be to complete on Wednesday. There are two right angled brackets with a twist formed in them tied onto the shaft. We are not sure where they go: does anybody know?

Working party as usual next Wednesday, although cake cannot be guaranteed at this stage


Wednesday 1st November 2017

Henry Pritchard's 15th birthday cake, Deviation Shed, 1 November 2017 - Ian Pearson

Wednesday was a fine mild but slightly overcast day at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, and myself along with two JV's - Henry Pritchard (who was celbrating his 15th birthday) and Ed Murray. Henry turned up first with two boxes of cakes his Mum had made, so many thanks to her for these, particularly the iced ones with mini jelly babies on the top. As soon as he got through the door he was asking for a job, so Ian set him on cleaning the header in the smoke box ready to be NDT'd. Not long after, Ed arrived and he went into the smoke box to help Henry.

After the usual cups of tea and some of Henry's Mum's cakes, work started with Chris lapping in the safety valves. This was completed and the safety valves are now back on the shelf in the upstairs store with the record sheet duly noted. Meanwhile, Jon was trying to remove the worn studs for the valve covers, but was unable to move them. On advice from Sean Bowler it was decided to leave them in and run a die nut down, which Jon did and completed the left hand side valve cover studs . Nigel fitted the insulation to both side of the cylinders and then fitted both cladding sheets. Ed and Henry, after finishing cleaning the header, went into the firebox and cleaned out several rows of blocked small tubes - a job they really wanted to do, probably because they got filthy.

Lunch again was had in Deviation shed with a Birthday celebration cake for Henry (see photo). After lunch our new member, Rachelle, came to help us after a shift cleaning and working down at the MPD. She was curious to know what the firebox was like inside so Bill gave her the opportunity to go inside - she seemed to be amazed at the amount of room in there! Later she helped with Henry and Ed cleaning and oiling the crank pins prior to Bill checking the side rod bearing clearances. Owain, the MPD machinist, had completed making the L/H inner bottom slide bar nut and bolt which fitted perfectly, but the nut being the right size was too large on the head, so Ian took it back with the outside one as a copy, to rectify and make a new nut for the outside bolt. Bill gave Chris the job of fitting the inside cylinder cocks back on and both sets are fitted, but not connected. Again, the record sheet in the upstairs store was noted with their removal and fitting.

Sean had his velocipide out in the afternoon, and Henry and Ed had a go on it up the headshunt and back.

There is now a 'new'swing bin in the workshop for domestic type rubbish, the clocks were reset and a new battery fitted to the one above the display boards in the main shed so that is now working as well. Mark reckons the flue tubes should be reurned in the next three to four weeks, along with those for Eric Treacy, and he and Piglet are planning to visit the Wensleydale Railway in the next week or so to see Joem and the Railway itself - Fred is arranging. Piglet also wants to visit Hopetown to see the J27, and that may be done at the same time.


Wednesday 25th October 2017

A good turn out on a fine sunny day with Ian Pearson, Dave Donegan, Nigel Hall, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Bill and myself.

After the usual cuppa it was decided to jack up the engine to release the R/H axle box top plate which was trapped by a packing piece. This plate required two holes drilling and nuts welding above for lubrication, then corks fitted into the nuts as per the other plates which had been dealt with previously. This was set up with a joint effort from Nigel Bill, Ian, Dave and myself. A metal beam and two 50 ton jacks were borrowed from the MPD and various pieces of wooden packing collected up from elsewhere in Deviation Shed. The plate was removed after jacking up the loco about 1/4 inch, an exercise which proved of great interest to our many visitors during the day. Dave then drilled the holes where Ian had marked the plate, but, unfortunately, Ian had got the plate the wrong way round, and Trevor had to weld the holes up so Dave could re-drill the holes on the other side. The nuts were then welded above the holes, the weld trimmed up and four corks obtained from the MPD stores and fitted to the left leading and right leading plates. These are now situated on top of the axle boxes with trimmings fitted and oil in the reservoirs. There is a slight bit of distortion on the R/H plate, and only one flexi oil pipe has been fitted at the moment: the other one is still to fit, as are the trimmings and oil.

Elsewhere, Nigel Hall got stuck into drilling and tapping the two holes on the right hand cylinder casting. Two new 1/2" bolts are now in place ready for the cladding. Trevor removed the L/H slide bar nut with the burning torch but some of the thread was damaged. Ian had a word with Barney regarding a replacement nut and bolt, and Owain is going to make a new one. Trevor and Dave removed the fall plate with the intention of building up the sharp edge with weld and then dressing it level with the rest of the edge but time ran out before that could be started. A job for Trevor to do on his next visit on 4 November. He is also going to drill and re-tap the poor stud hole with a larger bolt and re- profile the head to match the others.

The other major job of the day was to unblock the sink and drain pipe to the pit outside. Water from the Deviation Shed pit, of which there was a large quantity to remove during the day, was just running all over the concrete under the coaling plant and making working conditions even worse than normal. Eventually, Trevor and Nigel Hall succeeded, for which they deserve great credit.

Lunch was had in Deviation shed again with quite a lot of visitors around, much chat, including a detailed explanation from Nigel Hall on the workings of the vacuum brake for one enquirer, but not as much enthusiasm to put money in the donation box! However, with the demise of the old £1 coin, I removed £103.50 from the box, which included 6 old £1 coins to get them to the bank before they refused to accept them any more. Being half term the trains were all well filled, the diner was running, and there was very little room in the car park even at 9.30am.

The cylinder block for No 29 was collected during the afternoon by Tees Components to be machined, work is now under way on the frames down in the MPD, and the boiler is due to be moved out of Deviation Shed this week to go down to the boiler shop for attention. It will be replaced in Deviation Shed by Paul Middleton's vertical boilered steam tram locomotive 'Lucie'. The Q6 flue tubes are due to arrive in the next three weeks along with those for Eric Treacy, and will need to be found a storage home until they are ready to be fitted.

Because the NELPG diner is running on Saturday, hopefully with the B1 in charge, there will be no working party this Saturday, although, hopefully, Deviation Shed will be open for anyone who wants to go and view the Q6.


Saturday 21st October 2017

A good turn out yesterday with Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, Les Harper, Nigel Hall, Bill Dobson and Ian Pearson. Nigel brought in a new supply of biscuits and Peter shared some of his mince pies with us at lunch time - the treats you are missing by not being there! Not even any mice at the moment to share them with.

After the usual cuppa, work started with Les and Trevor set about trying to remove the sheared stud from the cab floor which is part of the fall plate fixing on the R/H side. This task took all day by drilling and tapping with a chisel: we even borrowed some easy out taps from the MPD but they did not work. Les persevered and eventually the shell of metal came out and we could get an (almost) plug tap down the blind hole. The thread was quite badly worn by this time and the ability of those threads to hold in even a new bolt are questionable. We may need to resort to locktight to keep that bolt in place and rely upon the other three bolts to hold the hinge down. One lesson is that we could do with a proper tap wrench at Grosmont. Les, Trevor and Nigel then fitted the fall plate: Trevor straightened it. The sharp edge at the back RHS needs dressing on Wednesday.

Ian removed the left leading axle box top plate for drilling lubrication holes but was unable to remove the right leading plate as it is trapped by a piece of packing on top of the axle box. Ian and Peter wound up the spring hanger nuts on the right leading spring so as to take the weight off the packing but this did not work. Looks like a jack will need to be used next week. Trevor has welded nuts above the holes on five of the axle box top plates so corks can now be screwed into the nuts and trimmings made and fitted to the axle boxes.

Bill and Nigel did some measuring of small tube lengths but this was made more difficult as quite a number of tubes at the bottom were blocked with ash, as has previously been reported. A rod was brought up from the MPD and one was cleaned out and a correct length was achieved.

Bill and Ian had to leave early about 14.30, but the rest of the gang continued working till 16.00 and finished off Peter's mince pies.

There continued to be a steady stream of visitors through the day, although with the end of the operating season next weekend they will probably become an endangered species.



Wednesday 18th October 2017

Yesterday at Grosmont were Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson, and myself, with the Q6 now back in Deviation Shed in its usual place over the pit next to the workshop, with the tender behind. So life is a lot better as we don't have to walk and carry tools to and from the MPD shed. During the day there was a mega shunt which resulted in the frames for No 29 being moved down to the MPD so that work can start on preparation for fitting of the newly cast cylinder block once it has been machined.

After tea, the regulator rod was removed through the front tube plate with the help of charge cleaner Matt Anderson (a small boy ) who was able to get into the Q6 boiler through the dome (a sad commentary on the size and agility of the rest of us!), and guide the rod out through the flue tube hole in the smoke box with Jon in the cab and Ian in the smoke box. The rod is now on the floor next to the workshop in Deviation Shed waiting for an NDT test. I sand blasted (in reality it is glass beads) the back safety valve and its components. Bill then measured up the critical parts of both safety valves and found they needed no attention, so they were then loosely fitted back together again ready for the base plates to be NDT'd.

Following his duties with the regulator rod, Jon drilled out the two small bolts which hold the cladding on to the cylinder and which sheared off some time ago. These were very resistant to his efforts at first, but the addition of some magic green gunge did the trick. Nigel glossed the cylinder covers, cladding and side bands and also put a coat of grey paint on the roller door stanchion. Ian started to remove the top plates from the axle boxes, with the intention of fitting trimmings in the top of the axle boxes to lubricate the horn block guides. These will have nuts welded on the top of the plates and then holes drilled to take a cork inserted into the nut - a bit of extra oiling up for the driver! The leading plates are still to remove.

There are quite a few valve cover studs to remove from the castings on the left and right hand sides and one stud to drill out at the back of the cab floor on the right hand side from where the fall plate was removed the previous week. A rounded nut on the front end of the L/H slide bar could do with some weld on so as to get a better fit with a spanner to enable it to be removed - a welder and burner are required.

The new flue tubes are due to be delivered to Grosmont along with those that have recently been ordered for Eric Treacy. We do not need them urgently, and sharing the transport will halve the delivery cost. The elements have been delivered to Mathew Storey at Hepscott for re-ending, but after a re-assessment by him, our CME John Graham and Bill Dobson, they have been condemmed as unsuitable for further use. Bill is therefore now seeking quotes for new elements.

Even though it is now near the end of the operating season, trains were relatively well loaded, although the B1, in the capable hands of Alan Whitehouse, had a real struggle with the greasy rails getting past Deviation Shed on the 10.30 to Pickering - but he made it, just! There were also a reasonable number of interested visitors round Deviation Shed, and at least one £10 note went into the donation box.


Wednesday 11th October 2017

A grey , grimy ,rainy day at Grosmont today but very mild. Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself were present. We managed the usual brew up about 10am then sorted out the jobs for the day.

Down at the repaired and now working wheel drops, Sean Bowler and his mate John Day were hard at work fitting the spring hanger adjusters and the last two springs to the Q6 . On occasions Bill, Ian and myself were employed with Sean and John, assisting them with the movement of the locomotive and final lining up of the springs while pins were fitted.

The Q6 is now ready for movement to Deviation Shed which will hopefully be achieved before the end of the week. It will go back at the workshop end of Road 7, with the tender behind, so we have the space required to get the tubes in.

I was put in charge of stripping and cleaning the safety valves. Both have been stripped down and the front one has been thoroughly cleaned using the sand blaster. It is back on the workshop bench with the rear one ready for sand blasting. Ian and Bill set about removing the Q6 fall plate which has a broken hinge on the R/H side. All the bolts were removed bar one which sheared - another drill out job for someone. The fall plate was loaded into Nigel's van for transport to Hopetown for repair. Nigel has glossed the two front cylinder covers.

Just before the end of the day, Bill and Ian thought it was possible to remove the regulator rod due to the fact that it needs to be NDT'd. The

350 Shunter had brought the S15 Frames up behind the Q6 so its frames we could be used to stand on, as it was cab to cab, and pull out the regulator. It came out so far then caught on something. Danny Middleton, the shed fitter, got inside the boiler and discovered the regulator was caught on a bracket which needs to be removed. It will probably need some heat: Bill will see the boilersmith later this week.

As it is the War Weekend this Saturday (14th) there will be no working party, but work will resume as usual on Wednesday 18th.


Sarurday 7th October 2017

On arrival at the shed at 09 15 on Saturday, Ian thought he was on his own but then Rachelle Martyn appeared, so it was a two person working party for a while. Ian got the key for the wheel drop shed and opened that up, then back to Deviation Shed where Rachelle went and got some water for the usual cuppa. (My apologies to the previous Saturday team for my comments in that report about the water collection arrangements: I had misunderstood a conversation with Ian and that the policy is now to collect fresh water at the start of each day). While having tea, Ian switched on the pump to clear the water from the pit but the pump would not work. At this Ian decided to leave it alone so as to get on with some of the jobs on Bill's list, as Bill would not be in until lunch time. Later on during the day however, Ian noticed the circuit breaker marked "Light row 6" had tripped: this was switched on and the pump started to work.

Rachelle and Ian loaded the barrow up with steam brake piston and cover, and at this point Nigel arrived to continue prepping and painting the piston front covers. The cladding sheets have now been undercoated and the front covers prepared and primed. The brake piston and cover were taken to the locomotive at the wheel drops where it was successfully fitted along with the steam brake lever linkage. While this was being done, six of the shed cleaners came to offer their services so Ian had to find some work for them. Four of them greased the tender under the leadership of Chris Henwood, while Charge cleaner Mat Anderson and cleaner Thomas Dibbs set about removing split pins from the L/H bottom slide bar. These were very difficult to remove but the lads eventually got them out. They then started to try and remove the nuts but they proved to be too tight . At lunch time the cleaners left as their shift was finished , but Chris stopped back to help out with some other work. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed. Paul Hutchinson arrived with some buckets which were used to convey cement to repair the K1's brick arch at Fort William, and also some odds and ends of gasket material stored upstairs.

After lunch Chris had a go at trying to remove the L/H slide bar bottom nuts but he could not get them to move either, so Bill gave him the job of cleaning the header ready for NDT testing. Rachelle and Ian had a go at removing the left hand slide bar nuts and managed to slacken the R/H one but the L/H one is still to remove. The spanner starts to pull off the nut, and you cannot get a ring spanner on.

Neal Woods called in for a chat as he was driving the B1 on the LNERCA special. Another cuppa at 15 30 then it was washing up time and clearing up tools, with a good day had by all.


Wednesday 4th October 2017

Bit of a late start, about 10am, under a cloudy sky with a hint of dampness. Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Nigel Hall, and myself were present, along with Jon Bradley making a welcome reappearance after his visit to the USA in September. First job was getting some water so we could all have our usual morning tea, as the bottles had not been filled up by the team at the end of Saturday.

As Ian reported earlier in the week, the Q6 has now been shunted on to the wheel drops, and the leading set of wheels were fitted by Shaun Bowler and his MPD team on Tuesday. Work was still ongoing yesterday with springs and other items being fitted . While this work was being done, Jon and Ian removed the steam brake piston and cover from the cab of the locomotive and took it to Deviation Shed in the wheelbarrow for cleaning and inspection. It was found that the piston shaft at the rear end had some burrs on it which could have caused its reluctance to come apart during previous attempts to remove it from the cylinder. These burrs were ground out along with the shoulder part of the rod. Jon cleaned the cover and found a rough part inside the brass bush which could have also contributed to the piston rod being stubborn to move. This was filed smooth and a trial fit of the cover over the piston shaft proved to be a good fit. While Bill was supervising and delegating jobs, and checking work at the wheel drops with Shaun and his team, I was given the job of freeing the L/H tender water valve linkage which was found to be seized on Saturday. With the help of Ian who applied some heat to the seized crank (eat your heart out Trevor!), it was freed up, and by the end of the day, after it had cooled, the linkages were reconnected and found to be working smoothly.

Nigel had to go to Whitby to buy some Isopon filler before he could start prepping the cylinder cladding sheets. In spite of this, by the end of the day he had successfully cleaned, filled, rubbed down and primed the left and right cylinder cladding sheets. Bill took off the L/H tender axle box cover to examine the leakage from this box. He was unable to remove the oil pad fully so the pad was put back in pending further investigation. Ian removed the 3 pins from the steam brake piston linkage arm and got them shot blasted. As the NDT man was on site doing jobs for the MPD we got him to come and NDT our pins. These were all found to be OK and refitted to the brake linkage.

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed today, with not many visitors in spite of Repton being parked outside all day out of steam. One commented that, in spite of being a regular visitor to the Railway, he had not realised that you could come up this far - how are you getting on with the new signage Bryan? In spite of this, the bell on the donation box was ringing merrily throughout the afternoon.

Later in the afternoon, at the wheel drops, the trailing wheel set was being lifted up into the horn guides when the hydraulics failed and the job was stopped . The wheel drops are now non operational and awaiting repairs.

The only other excitement of the day was the delivery of the new cylinder block casting for No 29 (along with the original and the patterns). It is now in the MPD awaiting assessment by the company who are in line to do the machining. I should also report though that those strange foreign machines from the West have left the Railway, and things are back to normal motive power wise!


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