A cold but mainly fine day with the odd heavy shower at Grosmont on Tuesday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ed Bolam, Arthur Jenkins, Chris Lawson and Ian Pearson (who only came in to light the stove and make tea, but managed to hobble around and get in the way, assisting where necessary. However, his leg injury is improving).
The Q6 was stopped on Monday evening (25 April) due to the left hand pair of atomisers back feeding water into the cylinder lubricator once more. This problem was brought to Bill's attention last Wednesday afternoon (20 April) when he informed the shed staff to shut off the steam supply, leave it shut off until further notice, and instruct the crews to work the locomotive as they would have done before the atomisers were fitted. This gave Bill time to order some new non return valve seats from Barry Gambles and which arrived on Monday afternoon. However, someone must have opened the steam valve on Monday, thereby causing the locomotive to be stopped and a day's operation (and revenue) to be lost. On Tuesday therefore, Bill spent all day removing the left hand atomiser, taking out the old seats, grinding in the new ones, and refitting the atomisers back on the Q6.
Other jobs done on the Q6 while it was stopped saw the old smokebox door seal removed and a new seal fitted by MPD fitter, Andrew Jeffery, and the regulator gland had a turn of packing put in. Bill and Ian also shimmed up the regulator handle. The handle does require some serious work doing on it, possibly removing and some welding and machining to make a better fit onto the regulator rod. However, as a result of Andrew Jeffery's efforts in particular, the Q6 was able to be back in traffic the next afternoon, hauling the 1.30 and 5.45 to Pickering. In the workshop, Bill and Arthur worked on the blowdown valve and the water pressure pump. Some work is still required, but it is hoped the valve will be fitted during next washout.
On a dry, sunny, but cold Wednesday Bill came in to check the Q6 atomisers when he was joined by David Potter. David was unable to make the working party on Tuesday and so thought, as he was passing, that he would spend a day completing some bits and pieces and tidying up the workshop - a true hero! They both checked the atomiser and reground in one of the nonreturn valves. When it left shed all seemed to be working OK and so, hopefully, we now have a functioning atomiser on the Q6 with all leaks fixed. During the afternoon he worked in the workshop doing some more fettling on the blowdown valve and reassembling it, although he suspects some further work is still required for completion.
The Q6 was in service today, Thursday, and will hopefully now settle into a regular turn.
Please note at the moment we are working on Tuesdays, although this is not set in stone and could change to reflect work and availability requirements.