NELPG publishes its own bi-monthly newsletter NELPG NEWS, which is posted free to all of the group's members. The history of the group is chronicled in its pages.
The Q6 frames are now stored in the deviation Shed awaiting completion of the boiler by NYMR, on which progress is slow. Work commences on repainting the tender. The P3 is at Locomotion Shildon where it has steamed a number of times including at the goods weekend. The K1 is in regular use on the Jacobite having run on 31 occasions by 21 August, including on 21 consecutive days. The J72 boiler has been lifted of the frames at Hopetown and a start made on removing boiler tubes. It is now apparent that the cracking to the cylinder block is worse than feared. The livery ballot is announced and a revised bid submitted to the HLF. A membership review has demonstrated that there is a dearth of younger members. Martin Lloyd and Ian Pearson have passed out as steam drivers on the NYMR.
The P3 is now at Locomotion Shildon where it will work on the "goods weekend". The AGM approved the overhaul of the locomotive. The Q6 frames have returned to the NYMR after fitting of pistons and connecting rods. It was run to Pickering for turning for the first time in 22 years. The boiler overhaul is not going well however. The K1 has travelled to Fort William for the seasons Jacobite work and a detailed report is made. The J72 smokebox has been stripped of parts and the cab roof removed. Malcolm Middleton writes about the North Road Scrap Yard.
The cylinder casting of the P3 has been inspected by the NYMR and found not to be fit for heavy duties there. It is fit for light duties and the loco has been used to steam het the dining train on two occasions. The cylinder block will have to be removed from the loco for repair which would take place at an overhaul. Talks are being held with Locomotion Shildon regarding the loco spending the summer working there. The Q6 cylinder liners have been fitted. Eccentric straps have been fitted allowing the eccentric rods to be fitted too, completing assembly of the valve gear. The buffer beam has been refitted. The cylinder mechanical lubricator has been overhauled and the other lubrication and trimmings completed. The front faces of the cylinders have been machined prior to the fitting of the covers. The sanding linkage is almost complete. The boiler is progressing at Grosmont with an estimated May steaming date. The K1 winter maintenance is complete. Fox hunting protestors stop the K1 whilst in traffic on NYMR. J72 lottery bid result to be known in April.
Jude Irwin writes about she came to be working at Hopetown with her father. Fred Ramshaw writes about the Hopetown carriage works. The J72 is in store at Hopetown. The K1 winter maintenance is going to plan. The RHS trailing axle box brass has been replaced as has the RHS leading coupling brass. The small end bushes are to be replaced. The refitting of Q6 brakegear is almost complete. Tom Snowball is making a new set of sandpipes and brackets. The slide bars have been refitted after grinding. A new LH cylinder cladding sheet has been made. The P3 is on the Weardale Railway. The cylinder casting has been inspected following the metal stitching repair and has been found to be leaking. Further inspection due in February. Since overhaul the P3 has run 35,453 miles. In 2004 it ran 1152 miles on the East Lancs Railway, 2080 on the NYMR and 2196 on the Weardale Railway.
The P3 is on the NYMR where it has hauled the recently overhauled LNERCA teak coaches. It also worked the Members Special and several days of service train running. The metal stitching cylinder repair has been redone, as previous repair had started leaking after 3 years. The P3 has been moved back to Weardale to work over Christmas. Work has started to rebore the LH cylinder and valves of the Q6 to fit liners. RHS cylinder liner removed and crack discovered requiring metal stitching repair. New piston valve rings are being made by Maurice Johnson. Boiler progress slow as NYMR concentrate on Sir Nigel Gresley boiler. The K1 has worked on West highland photo charters as 62012. Also worked 2 Lancashire Circle trains and 2 Grosmont / Middlesbrough trips. Winter maintenance to include replacing brass on RHS trailing axlebox and ashpan repair. Loco due 20,000/25,000 mile examination as per NELPG Loco Policy. J72 has been moved to Hopetown, using the new connection into the workshop. Membership as of December 2004 stood at 566.
The K1 is working on the West Highland Extension. It will operate a repeat of the Lancashire Circle trip on 16 October than return to NYMR for winter maintenance. The J72 is stored in the deviation shed. Work is underway to provide a rail link between Hopetown Works and the DPRS running line to enable easier access for loading/unloading locos. The Q6 has been successfully re-wheeled by Durham Lifting at Hopetown . Work continues with hornstays and springs fitted. Boiler work is continuing albeit delayed due to copper welding. The P3 has returned to the NYMR after working over 2000 miles on the Weardale Railway, working on 43 different days. A problem was experienced with contaminated water at Stanhope. The P3 is being used for driver experience trains on the NYMR.
Jackie Maples has replaced Dave Martin as Secretary and Bryan Orange has been appointed as Education Officer. The P3 is on the Weardale Railway where it worked on the reopening trains and gained much publicity for the Group. It worked the first steam train since the K1 visited the line in 1993. The result of the Q6 livery ballot is that it will be finished in unlined black with late BR crests circa 1957-67. The axleboxes are now finished and the horn liner fitted bolts replaced. The spring hanger brackets have been straightened. The K1 is working on the West Highland with a B1.
The P3 has returned from the East Lancs Railway to NYMR. A RHS injector problem has been resolved by replacing the valve nose. The P3 worked the Lambton Worm on 26 June and will visit the Weardale Railway for the reopening trains. Q6 is progressing well towards rewheeling and good progress is being made with the boiler. The K1 attended Railfest at York prior to travelling to Fort William with the B1. A hot RHS trailing coupled wheel axlebox was repaired following a return of the engine to Carnforth and considerable effort. Q7 is not at NRM Shildon. Martin Lloyd writes a moving obituary for Martin Pearson.
The P3 has reverted to NER livery and is back on NYMR after working on the East Lancs Railway, where it was used on 35 occasions and ran 2,138 miles. The Q6 (T2) overhaul continues with work on axleboxes, horn stay bolt holes, new cab sides etc being undertaken. Boiler work continues with copper welding taking place. The K1 winter maintenance is complete and the loco is back on NYMR after a visit to Thornaby for tyre turning. A report is given of the Lancashire railtours.