A lovely sunny, but crisp, day at Grosmont yesterday, with 76079 undergoing a steam test, a Network Rail ballast train to Kingthorpe with 10 ballast wagons and two class 66s, the side tanks being trial fitted to the frames of 80135 along with the bunker, and Chris Cubitt and John Bailey (NYMR Vice Chairman and Chairman respectively) removing still more bits off No 29 - there soon won't be anything of it left !
In spite of those distractions, the now regular Wednesday team of Mike Oliver, Derek Shorten, Jon Bradley and myself, led by Ian Pearson, got on with the Q6. Work progressed with the fittings for the new lubrication pipes on the left leading axle box; Mike continued with the cab gauges and now has 6 new packing sleeves in the gauge frames; the injector end caps were fitted; the left hand rear sand box linkages and pipes were all re-connected; the front and rear buffer beams were cleaned ready for prepping and repainting; the pipes under the tender were re-connected; the loco general cleaning programme continued; and, with the construction of yet another sand scooping tool, involving an old tablespoon, a stick and lots of wire and string, virtually all the sand was finally removed from the left hand sand box. This enabled the flap to be freed with the help of a large hammer: Jon is going to bring a non domestic vacuum cleaner next Wednesday to remove the final sand so that we can make sure the flap is moving freely before sealing the sand box to stop the sand being replaced. The intermediate and front sand boxes were checked and all are operating sufficiently well to provide more than enough sand should it ever be required for a locomotive that is normally very sure footed.
With the on site swimming pool, the sand that has been removed could form a beach, with sand castles, to provide an additional under cover attraction for visitors to the Railway!