Ian reports a day with a difference yesterday at Grosmont, on a grey cool morning, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, and Ian attending for this extra Q6 working party.
No usual cups of tea but straight to see Mark O' Brien with his job list. We were all very busy with various tasks - lagging and fitting the dome; disconnecting the ejector steam pipe and resealing; fitting a new copper washer to the chamber side of the drain valve; tightening up the regulator (although that may need some more adjustment); fitting both cylinder cosmetic covers; and tightening up the drawbar nut with the big ratchet spanner, with our team on the rope pulling up the nut and then fitting the locking disc and cotter and split pin. The ratchet spanner is now on the back of the tender. One job that took all day, which looked to be a very simple job at first sight, was the fitting of the sealing ring around the anti vacuum valve. This was started by cleaning up the 3/8"studs and finding the right size packing. Then, when the ring was put in place, it would not line up with the holes in the smoke box. So it was taken away to have the holes drilled slightly larger, but it still would not fit and needed about a 1/16" of an inch removing from the inner circumference. This was done by the shed fitter with an angle grinder, then returned back to the engine and finally fitted. But that was not the end, as all the bolts fitted, bar one on the left side which would not tighten. A slightly longer bolt was then obtained and fitted through the smoke box. However, daylight could still be seen between the sealing ring and the anti vacuum valve into the smoke box. This will mean removal of the sealing ring and more packing being put in. The boilersmiths are aware of the problem and will be sorting it out today. It was also noted that the tender water valves were leaking quite badly, so another job on the carrot valves.
It was intended to put a warming fire in and have the loco in steam today, but this has had to be abandoned as there is still some other work to finish off. Subject to that being completed successfully, the plan is then to start running in with some trips up the bank to Goathland as with the J27, then, if all is well, the next day trips to Pickering on the back of a service train, and then possibly taking a train on its own. The intention is to get 200 miles of successful running in completed, in the light of which a decision will be made about whether it goes to the Severn Valley or not for its Gala over the 22/23 September weekend. If not, the NYMR has a Plan B agreed with the Severn Valley, but, regardless, the Q6 and the J27 should both be running at the NYMR Gala the following weekend, 28/29/30 September.