North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Wednesday 7th March 2018

A much better day weather wise at Grosmont yesterday - a lot milder than of late and glorious sunshine in the middle of the day as Tornado passed Deviation Shed. Tornado also worked the 09.30 train to Pickering, as well as the lunchtime departure and a special train for A1 Trust covenantors and supporters at 15.40, while Repton took the 10.30 train to Pickering and 80136 was pottering up and down the line to Goathland on running in turns. What more could you wish for? (but don't answer that question!). There was a really big turn out at Deviation Shed with 10 of us, later being joined by two young cleaners from the MPD. To mark the occasion, Daniel Gibbard took the attached photo of the assembled miltitude at lunchtime, but for the record those present were Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Derek Shorten, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, Roy Marshall, Jon Bradley, Dave Donegan, Ian Pearson and myself, joined by the two cleaners - Chris Wakefield and Daniel Gibbard. But no mice. Fortunately there was plenty of milk, so the kettle was on almost constantly to provide cups of tea for such a gathering before getting to work. We might need a bigger teapot if the numbers continue at this level!

Q6 volunteer working partu 7th March - Daniel Gibbard

Derek put a coat of paint on the vacuum and steam heat pipes under the tender and cab, as well as washing up and making some of the many brews. The two Ians, with assistance from Jon, removed the damaged left hand forward eccentric rod which was taken down at the MPD for inspection and rectification. There was much scratching of heads over the best way to effect the repair but they were due to give it a go today. The Ians then fitted the right hand eccentric rods, but note, these are only fastened hand tight and the taper pins at the front of the rod are just loosely fitted. Roy spent most of the day making cotters for the eccentrics. Bill, Dave, Steve and Nigel fitted the crosshead to the piston rod on both sides of the locomotive.

Three roe deer grase the bank above Armstrong Oilers - Nigel Hall

Lunch was taken in Deviation shed while our two young cleaners volunteered to go into the boiler to fit the regulator rod through the retaining bracket and into position through the stays. It was then successfully located through into the cab with the help of Bill and Jon, and the regulator handle was fitted to avoid anyone bumping themselves on the protuding end of the rod. After lunch, the right hand connecting rod was fitted by the crosshead team: the little end has been tightened up and cotter pin put in but not opened. The big end brasses have been assembled on the rod and are fitted onto the journal but have not been fastened up as they may need shimming. It is sat on some timber for support.

The 12.40 departure for Pickering is hauled by Tornado -Nigel Hall

There were a lot of visitors, including our Treasurer, Richard Wheeler, but he would not accept the offer of a spare pair of overalls and to get stuck in - not even a cup of tea! - but did meet some of the MPD staff with whom he has regular dealings, but had not previously met. I had to leave about three o' clock as I had been invited to travel to Pickering and back on the A1 Trust special, and on which there were a number of NELPG members. Piglet came up to Deviation Shed about 4pm, just as the team was packing up, to work on Lucie for a few hours and he agreed to lock up the shed when he had finished.


Saturday 3rd March 2018

Ian reports another cold grey day with the odd snow flurry at Grosmont. All the main roads were open from Teesside and Wetherby with Ian McCall, Peter Ellis, Bill Dobson, Trevor Wilford and Ian in attendance. Around lunch time came Nigel Hall, followed by the hiab down Esk Valley bank with the J27 cab, chimney, sand boxes, springs and various other bits and pieces (see separate report and photo from last night).

The usual cuppa was prepared by Trevor (what a great guy) and no mice again. Work started with Trevor removing the last nut from the header, which was then removed, while Ian P, Ian M and Peter removed the left inside eccentric for drilling out the oil way hole which was too small for the syphon tube. After drilling and fitting the tube, this eccentric was fitted back onto the sheave with a 15 thou shim put in, and tightened up. Lunch was had in the warmth of the MPD mess room.

After lunch, the two Ian's had a quick look round Tornado. Then back to work trying to fit the left hand eccentric rod. This became very frustrating as it would not sit flush onto the eccentric. No matter how much we tried to knock it, and move it up and down, it did not want to move. It was taken down and some filing was done, put back up and still it would not fit. As time ran out, this is something for another go on Wednesday. Ian M started to make new cotters for the eccentrics, but didn't get far as he was helping Ian P and Bill with the eccentric rod.

Not much to report on the boiler: there's one or two chamfer's still to cut on the flues. Nigel delivered the Q6 valves. These are now stored behind the bench in Deviation Shed with a pink blanket over them.



Wednesday 28th February 2018

With no Q6 working party, there is nothing to report other than the damaged copper ferrule has been removed and Mark O'Brien is now sourcing some suitable copper bar to make a replacement. The remaining flue tubes await having the chamfers cut. Bill is chasing up Mathew Storey about progress with the welding of the elements.


Saturday 24th February 2018

Ian reports a fine dry, sunny but cold, day at Grosmont, with only three attending - Peter Ellis, Ian McCall, and Ian himself. No more mice to report again: we must have got them all at last! Usual cuppa, then it was eccentric work all day, with the two Ian's fitting and Peter making shims and assisting fitting the eccentrics where required. This is heavy work in a confined space. The right hand outer was shimmed first with 20 thou each side then tightened up. The cotter pin is still to make and fit. Then the left hand inner was fitted and shimmed, again 20 thou each side and tightened up. Then the last one, right hand inner, which still requires shims. All the syphon tubes were fitted into the oilways, but, unfortunately, the syphon on the left hand inner would not fit flush, protruding out a couple of inches even though the white metal had been drilled. This one will have to be dismantled and a larger hole drilled on Wednesday. All the trimmings for the syphon tubes are soaking in lube oil in a tub on the work bench.

Lunch was had upstairs at the MPD. One flue tube is left to have the chamfer cut after the MPD boiler team's activities on Friday. All the ferrules have been brought up and are in a box on the workshop bench.

Only a few visitors round today, about half a dozen, but that should increase next Saturday with Tornado in operation.

Next working party will be Wednesday 28th February weather permitting:
be warned, it may be very cold!


Wednesday 21st February 2018

A bit of a grey day, but fairly mild with some sunshine later at Grosmont, with Derek Shorten, Ian McCall, Roy Marshall, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson and myself. Usual cuppa and no mice to report again!

Nigel, Roy, Derek and myself spent much of the day moving J27 parts from Deviation Shed down to the Fabrication Shop, and unloading Nigel's van - see separate J27 report. Ian P and Ian M started work on removing the 2 sets of eccentrics . First the left hand outer was taken down, the oil ways drilled through the white metal, and then re-fitted back onto the sheave (see photo).

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed today due to the mild weather.

After lunch, Ian P and Ian M continued to remove the right hand inner eccentric. This did not need any drilling but made the job of fitting the right hand outer much easier and with a little help from Chris (these eccentrics are quite heavy), this was fitted by the end of the day. These will need tightening and shimming where necessary.  Now the left and right inner eccentrics can be fitted on Saturday. Derek continued to clean grime and rust from the vacuum and steam pipes under the cab and tender ready for a coat of paint.


Ian McColl and Ian Pearson reassemble an eccentric - Chris Lawson

An inspection of lifting tackle was done today by the NYMR's inspector. He only wanted to look at strops and shackles and his records showed 6 strops and 2 shackles. But we only had 3 strops and 2 shackles in stock. The 2 shackles  and two x 2 metre stops passed OK and have been marked up with yellow paint. The one metre strop failed, and this was disposed of. We now require some replacements: two x 2 metre and two x 1 metre strops. In future, if any strops are defective, please remove the label and keep for the inspector in a safe place - the filing cabinet in the upstairs store will do fine - and dispose of the defective strop.

Barry Neesom has made 52 copper ferrules. These are in a box in the machine shop along with the remaining length of copper pipe. Ian will collect these on Saturday and take them to Deviation Shed. A start will be made on Friday to chamfer the remaining 6 flues.


Saturday 17th February 2018

Ian reports a cold murky morning at Grosmont today with Trevor Willford, Peter Ellis and Ian himself. No mice to report, usual cuppa, and then the first job was to take the left hand big end down to the machine shop as requested by Owain. This is for re-metalling, then machining, which may be done later next week.

Trevor was again working in the smoke box all day, and managed to remove another nut and nearly the last one, but alas time ran out. Very disappointing but he will get it out next Saturday. The other 3 eccentrics have been delivered to Deviation Shed, so Ian and Peter set about getting the left outside ready for fitting. With a struggle and a lot cursing and the use of the steps, they eventually got it fitted before lunch was taken upstairs at the MPD. After lunch they started to get the left inside ready, but found quite a bit of over run white metal between the brass and the eccentric casting. Its removal revealed that there were no oil ways drilled through the white metal. That started the alarm bells ringing about whether the oil ways been drilled on the 2 eccentrics already fitted. Ian went to check and found that the eccentric he and Peter had fitted earlier didn't have any oil ways, while the right hand inner only had one oil way drilled. These 2 eccentrics will have to be taken down, drilled and re- fitted next week. The oil way on the left hand inner eccentric was drilled out and this is now ready for fitting, along with the right hand outside eccentric which had its oil ways ready drilled by the MPD. Really frustrating and disheartening.

Nigel Hall has brought one load of copper pipes for the J27 which are on pallets and have been placed in the four foot on No 8 road behind Hartland. The old main smoke box steam pipe has been put next to No5 - it may make a good flue for Bill's stove in due course! The J27 itself has been successfully coupled together, and subject to finding a replacement signalman for one who has gone sick, the J27 should be moved to Grosmont on Monday. Paul H will be checking it over at Pickering tomorrow and oiling up. When it arrives, the engine will go straight in to the Fabrication shop for work to start, while the tender will go into Deviation Shed on top of the Q6 tender. To achieve this, Hartland will be moved out of Deviation Shed and No 29 and Lucie will be moved into Hartland's space. Nigel is hoping to bring down the remaining smaller components, mainly from the brass store, on Wednesday, along with the photo album to guide those fitting cab pipework.


Wednesday 14th February 2018

A very cold, fairly bright, morning at Grosmont yesterday with Ian McCall, Derek Shorten, Steve Hyman, Jon Bradley, Ian Pearson and myself on my return from Australia - a 30C drop in temperature takes a bit of getting used to! Cups of tea all round and then work started with me going down to the MPD to discuss with Paul Middleton and Barney the movement of the J27 (or P3 as some people prefer to call it) to Grosmont, and the project plan for its completion and return to traffic.

Derek set about cleaning the front part of the vacuum pipe situated behind the front buffer beam and then the left hand side rods. Ian M continued with the fitting of the side rod cotters, which are now complete. He also fitted the end caps to the trailing and intermediate side rod crank pins, and also the cap and castellated nut on the leading crank pin, secured with a split pin. While doing this work he noticed a missing plug from the trailing crank pin. This is a threaded plug which screws into the centre of the crank pin. There are 2 of these plugs each side, trailing and intermediate, so the intermediate one was removed and taken down to the MPD. Barney is going to see Owain and have one made. In addition, 2 sets of studs from the J pipe are also to be made, as the old ones are quite worn on the threads. Ian went to see Shaun Bowler regarding the poor fitting of the right hand inside eccentric and he came up to Deviation Shed to assist Ian P and Jon to take the eccentric down. Here we found that one of the bolts which eventually is coupled to the eccentric rod, and is located between the brass and the eccentric casting, was sitting slightly proud and pushing the brass upwards. This stud was removed and another fitted with more clearance. That gave a much better fitting eccentric but, when tightened up, we could not move the eccentric, so it was then given extra shims each side. A bit of trial and error at first with 5 thou no good, then 10 no good, then 15 and still tight when tightened up, so then 20 thou and this finally proved to be OK. So 2 shims were made and one fitted either side and the nuts and locking nuts were then tightened up. Now all that is required is two cotters making and fitting. Steve made a good job of cleaning the J pipe recess . On my return from the MPD, I made a start cleaning grime and rust from the steam heat pipe under the tender and also part of the first and second wheelsets on the right hand side. Lots of grime to remove so plenty of cleaning work and painting to do in this area!

Lunch was had in Deviation Shed upstairs. Owain came up and measured the big end brasses and the journals. The right hand big end was OK but the left hand one needs to be remetalled.


Saturday 10th February 2018

Ian reports another grey cold morning, with snow turning to sleet then rain, at Grosmont yesterday, with Peter Ellis, Trevor Wilford, Ian Pearson, and, later on, Alan Hardie after his delivery of fine ale to the Wheatsheaf pub at Egton. Also, apologies from Rachelle Martyn, busy with her studies.

After the usual cuppa it was back into the smoke box for Trevor, trying to remove those awkward header nuts. Before he could start though, a plank of wood long enough for him to lay on had to be found. Eventually Trevor had to cut a piece to length to suit the width of the smoke box - more time consuming work. By the end of the day he only managed to remove one nut in such a confined space. The 2 nuts that are left are even more awkward to get at but they'll be removed eventually. Ian and Peter fitted the right hand inner eccentric onto the sheave, this being the only one ready at the moment. This in itself was quite a task, with the two of them having to lift the top part of the eccentric over the top of the sheave and, with help from Trevor, then lifting the bottom part up and bolting the two sections together (see attached photo).

Lunch was then had down at the MPD. Afterwards, Peter and Trevor had to take some items from the A4 container down to their car to take to York on Wednesday for Darrin. Ian and Alan went back to the eccentric to tighten it up, and all was going well, but then one side became tighter than the other and it became impossible to move the eccentric round. So it was slackened off slightly and it would move quite freely, but as soon we tightened each side a small amount at a time, one set of shims became tight and the other slack. This was worked on for about an hour or so, before it was decided to leave it on. The thought is that it will have to come off and maybe need some more machining. Ian spoke to Paul Middleton, who was working on Lucie, which is now in the boiler shop. Paul said he will talk to Shaun and Keith Pardy about it on Monday. As a result of this experience, it may be best if the outside eccentrics were fitted first, as there is little room to lift the outside ones on when the inside one is fitted. Peter has tightened the nuts which were still to do on the left hand cylinder cover, and all the nuts on the right hand cylinder cover, with the torque wrench.


Q6 right hand eccentric - Ian Pearson

A four coach steam service and the DMU were running, now that the half term holiday service has started, but today it will be the dining set and DMU. Quite a few visitors round the shed as a result, and coins tinkling into the donation box.

The next working party will be on Wednesday 14/02/18 - Valentine's day - so come and show your love for the Q6. As trains are running, the station cafe will be open for refreshments.


Wednesday 7th February 2018

Ian reports a bitterly cold morning at minus 3 degrees, with snow covered moors and brilliant sunshine. What else could you want, possibly sat on a beach in OZ! Actually, I am sat in a hotel room overlooking Hong Kong harbour where it is 16C. Everyone is complaining how cold it is and that I must be mad not wearing a sweater or coat! If only they knew about the weather back home, they would be jealous!

Good turnout, with Derek Shorten, Bill Dobson, Roy Marshall, Jon Bradley, Ian McCall and Ian Pearson. No mice to report again - has the Hyman work done the trick? - then the usual cuppa, before work started with Ian M filing the regulator handle square and Derek continuing painting the vacuum pipe. Barney and a couple of fitters came up to help out fitting the right hand side rods, with a collective effort from Bill, Ian, Jon, and Roy. After pinch barring the loco forward slightly, the rods were offered onto the journals, but getting them to slide on seemed impossible. Then we had to pinch the driving wheel slightly back to line up the rod and journals, and after several attempts the rods started to go on. The front and rear rods were offered in position and eventually all the rods were finally fitted, so many thanks to the shed staff for their help and perseverance. By this time, lunch was overdue, so it was down to the SNG A4 cabin for lunch.

Ian M completed the filing on the regulator handle and it now fits the regulator rod firmly. Jon took the regulator casting down to the glass blaster to clean the face where the main steam pipe fits into the casting. The groove into which the main steam pipe fits still requires some more cleaning. Bill decided to fit the regulator rod and, as Ian P was the smaller of our team, he was sent reluctantly into the boiler. Getting in wasn't too bad, but pulling himself out proved a bit of a battle, but he managed it eventually, albeit with some encouragement from the onlookers. The rod was inserted into the boiler and through the holding bracket and then entered the gap between the stays, but this caused the rod to catch the side of the stays. With only one person in the boiler, it was too heavy for one man to manage, so, as time was against us, we took the rod out and will try again when we have someone else to go into the boiler. Roy Marshall made a start tightening the nuts on the right hand side cylinder cover with a torque wrench. Ian M started fitting the cotters on the right hand side rods but there is still the rear one to complete. 18 seats have now been cut on the flue tubes with only 6 left to do. Derek completed painting the vacuum pipe in red gloss and also a piece of vacuum pipe already attached under the front of the loco.

A lot of shunting around the MPD, with the steam crane lit up in readiness for Eric Treacy's boiler lift onto the frames on Thursday (today). Repton was also being lit ready for steam test and half term running starting on Saturday.

Next working party will be on Saturday 10th February - any small(ish) volunteers particularly welcome!


Saturday 3rd February 2018

Ian reports cold miserable weather, raining on and off all day at Grosmont today with a small, but perfectly formed, band of Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, and Ian.

No mice to remove again, so the usual cuppa was consumed then work started with Trevor in the smokebox removing the header nuts with heat, a long chisel, and a hammer . Such an awkward job with very little room to work in. With Trevor having to lay on his back in such a confined space, he managed to get 3 nuts off this week, and 2 last week, so there's 3 left to remove. Ian has NDT 'd the left hand side rods and the photos sent to Barney at the MPD. Peter fitted washers and new split pins (which have been opened out) on the trailing left and right brake hanger pins.

Lunch was had down at the MPD mess room today: too cold in Deviation Shed (come to Sydney where even the rain is hot - yes, it does rain here occasionally!). Afterwards, Peter set about filing the regulator handle square. This has had a small amount of weld put inside so as to give a solid fit to the regulator shaft. More work is still required on this item. Ian and Peter wound up the drawbar nut under the tender and removed the wooden packing that was supporting the spring. While under the loco, Ian noticed the new blow down discharge pipe might get in the way of the rear damper door. To check, the damper was opened and it was indeed found to catch the pipe so some adjustment will have to be made. Also the rear ash pan was emptied, with a barrow full of ash removed along with a pen and a paint brush.


The B1 repainted tender stands on No 1 shed road - Ian Pearson

Not many folk about today, about ten in all maybe. Not that bad considering the poor weather. The B1 tender has been repainted in LNER livery by John Furness and looks very smart (see photo). Ian asks whether we can have the Q6 like it, but NER livery would be better still!


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