North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Q6 Blog

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

Sarurday 27th May 2017

On an extremely hot sunny day Ian Pearson, Peter Ellis, Colin Foxton, Joan & Andy Lowes were at Deviation shed working on the Q6. Trevor Wilford called in to catch up with the banter before he had a trip to Pickering on the train so we could wave at him! Gordon Wells called in to progress the pit lighting but requires some conduit now, he did get one of the lights above the workshop working so we have a little more light now up there.

Ian enquired at Armstrong oilers about the pads we use on our locos & was given a list of all the numbers on the pads; I will send a copy to all the loco caretakers etc. for reference.

A number of 110v lamps were repaired & or new tubes/bulbs fitted, all now work.

A spare spring hanger adjuster was found in a box above the workshop, thanks to Nigel Hall who sent an email through the week with a photo showing this.

The end caps were fitted to the injectors; the blower valve & blow down valves have both been removed for refurbishment on the bench.

The axle box pipe work is progressing with the trailing copper lubrication pipes being annealed & the new flexible pipes fitted to the bushes ready for the driving axle.

The tender tank sides & back have been cleaned with kerosene & a survey has been completed on the loco brake gear.

Wednesday 31-5-17

  • Continue with back head fitting refurbishment
  • Both gauge frames to strip, clean & build back up
  • Clean loco & prepare frames for painting

Next weekend Mark O’Brian will be working on the boiler tapping the fire box flue tube holes. This will enable him to measure the threads & order the flue tube bottle ends that are welded onto the tubes. There is about three week lead in time from placing the order to delivery. He uses a supplier who does all the work & includes all the certification job done; all he then has to do is fit them into our boiler.


Wednesday 24 May 2017

Glorious summer weather at Grosmont yesterday day with Ian, myself and Nigel Hall a little later. After the usual cup of tea, Ian and I took scrapers, brushes and paraffin cleaning equipment down to the running shed and got stuck into cleaning the left hand side of the frames. We also took two upright lighting stands as the far end of No4 road is just a little dark, even in the noon day sun - and it was also a bit cooler than outside! The most difficult bits were removing the ingrained rail dust, which, after cleaning off the loose material, Nigel advised he would clean up with an orbital sander, and getting behind the slide bars. After lunch, which we had on the bench outside Deviation shed, Nigel suggested we should have a go with the NYMR steam cleaner as there were no underkeeps to trap water. After a lesson (aka training!) on how to use it from Charlie Wood, we completed the left side then did the whole of the right side.


Ian Pearson steam cleaning Q6 frames at Grosmont - Nigel Hall

Chris Parrish is going to sort the damaged threads out on the spring hanger bolts and nuts, but the defective one is back in the workshop. A hunt is on for a spare replacement which is thought might be at Hopetown or upstairs in Deviation. If not, then a new one will have to be made which will not be cheap.

Loading up Q6 wheel sets at Grosmont for transport to South Devon Engineering - Chris Lawson

The Q6 wheels were also collected late yesterday afternoon and are now on the way to South Devon Engineering on an eight week turnround.

Q6 wheel sets loaded up and ready to go to South Devon Engineering - Chris Lawson


Saturday 20th May 2017

A lot going on at Grosmont today with NYMR" Behind the Scenes Family Weekend" , and the Grosmont Co-op 150 Anniversary, held in the cricket field with a Marquee, stalls , displays, children's races and much more.

Well on board today , Joan & Andy Lowes, Peter Ellis, Colin Foxton, Ian Pearson & Paul Hutchinson. Plus Bryan Orange and the Junior volunteers. All remaining Spring hanger bolts and fittings have been shot blasted. JV's ran the nuts down each one to check the threads were ok, about 4 will need some attention to the thread and one bolt may need replacing.

All left hand motion , chimney and L/H eccentric rods have been moved from walkway into the 4 foot on 6 road.

Q6 wheels, all Crank pins and Journals have been greased and covered in cling film ready for dispatch to the SDR.

Some of the brake gear has been laid out for measuring, new bushes and pins.

Lunch outside Deviation while the sun was shining, about an hour later it poured down - and a great day was had by all.


Wednesday 17th May 2017

In my absence in the very wet Lake District this week, Ian reports that there were four present at Grosmont yesterday - Derek Shorten, Alan Whitehouse, Dave Donegan, and Ian himself.

The locomotive is now set on bogies on No 4 road in the running shed.

After the usual cup of tea, all the remaining locomotive fittings from the Q6 were brought to Deviation Shed for cleaning - vacuum and steam heat pipe connections, guard irons and various brackets. These were all cleaned and are now stored behind the bench in the Shed. Alan set about blast cleaning some of the spring hanger bolts. Lunch was taken in the

A4 cabin due to heavy rain (so just like the Lake District then!): no picnics yesterday. After lunch, Derek and Dave got on with cleaning the tender frames.

John Graham arrived around lunch time to measure the Q6 tyres. When the wheel sets were removed and checked by the MPD last week, they were found to show evidence of tread wear, which was not apparent from the regular tyre measurement. John concluded that, as the tyres are at scrapping size, the tread wear could not be corrected and the tyres should therefore be replaced. Precautionary enquiries of South Devon Engineering established that should retyring be found necessary, if the wheelsets could be got to them quickly, the new tyres we already have in store with them could be fitted on an eight week turn round. In the light of this, the Committee has approved the expenditure and the wheel sets will go to South Devon next week.

John also took the measurements of all journals and crank pins.

Terry Newman called in for a chat between his driving turns.

Working party on Saturday, but note that the NYMR is holding a 'Behind the Scenes' event over the weekend. We have not been told whether Deviation Shed is being included, but it is likely that, regardless, there will be a large number of visitors around the MPD.  The JVs will also be present for the latest of their MPD Workshop training sessions and may take on Deviation Shed tours if necessary.


Saturday 13th May 2017

A mild fine day at Grosmont with Peter Ellis, Colin Foxton and Myself with assistance from some junior volunteers under the leadership of Mr Bryan Orange. All the wheel sets have been removed to the wheel compound and axle boxes taken off by the NYMR fitters and stored in the workshop. The loco is sitting on combination bogies in the wheel drop shed at the moment.

The junior volunteers were set to work cleaning the frames, while Peter, Colin and Myself started on the on the remaining spring hanger bolts - about 14 of them.  A few needed some heat to remove, also the big adjustable spanner with a long pipe. All have had the gung and nuts removed which took most of the day. After drying the paraffin off I took the spring hangers down to the NYMR grit blaster to give them a good clean up, managed to get 5 done today. We will continue with these on Wednesday. It was noticed that the Left leading intermediate spring hanger bolt has some damage on the thread.

We had lunch outside Deviation Shed today watching the trains go by - what more could you want! Andy and Joan Lowes with their grandchildren called in later to see us for a chat and a cup of tea with Hobnob biscuits, they had been to Pickering on the train.



Wednesday 10th May 20117

Just Derek Shorten and myself took advantage of the glorious summer weather at Costa del Grosmont today.

The Q6 was still on the wheel drop, but with all the wheel sets now out. These are sat on the short length of track next to the wheel drop, along with the springs - one of which is broken. The aim was to move the Q6 onto No 4 road in the running shed during the day, but first the accomodation bogie under the cab had to be moved so it was under the frame rather than the rear hornstay, and the temporary bogie at the front had to be swapped as it was not far enough under the front buffer beam to stop it tipping and the front of the engine falling to the ground as soon as it hit anything but straight level track. We agreed this would not be a very good outcome, especially with the Channel 5 documentary film team around! This involved removing the guard irons and the remaining cylinder cock linkage, and, in the end, it took all day to get everything nearly into position, with the final work due to be completed first thing tomorrow. That will then enable the Q6 to leave the wheel drop and go into the running shed where there is a good enough air supply to enable Mark O'Brien to do his required work on the firebox tube plate flue tube threads (the compressor in Deviation Shed was not considered powerful enough for the job).

We were asked not to do any work on cleaning the wheel sets, so, after the required cup of tea and dark chocolate HobNobs, ace frame cleaner Derek set to work for the day on removing the vast quantities of gunge (technical term) revealed by removal of the wheelsets. In spite of his efforts, there is still plenty left for others to have a go at. For my part, I started on cleaning the four trailing spring hangers that Ian had left on the bench in the workshop. Only a 50% success rate with these, in spite of attacking them with increasingly heavier sledge hammers to try and get the nuts free. Flushed with this level of success and a lot of sweat, I collected another pair of spring hangers from the Q6 running plate and achieved a similar outcome. The three cleaned hangers with freed nuts are on the workbench to the right of the vice, while the three seized ones were consigned to a bucket of paraffin to try and free them up for another attack on Saturday. There are also another ten hangers waiting for similar treatment. They are all clearly marked up as to where they have come from on the locomotive, linked to the identification marks on the wheelsets and springs.

Ian popped in to see how we were getting on, in between waving at us as he went past on his driving turn, but there were very few visitors today, and still no more dead mice. There is a fresh bottle of milk in the fridge, the JVs are due on Saturday, and there is plenty of work for anyone else who wants a day out in the countryside. So do come down and join Andy and the rest of the Saturday team - the weather forecast is not too bad.


Sunday 7th May 2017

I called in at Grosmont this afternoon to check the progress on the Q6 , so I took a few photos. Trailing wheels removed with combination wheels set under rear end, and a start on the Intermediate wheels.

Trailing wheels removed - Ian Pearson

Trailing springs removed - Ian Pearson

Accomodation bogie under rear end - Ian Pearson


Wednesday 3rd May 2017

A lovely sunny day with lots of shunting going on with the aim of getting the Q6 on the wheel drops and extracting the Drewry shunter from No 6 road so it could be moved to the main shed to have its engine transplant. Peter Ellis came down to join Ian at Grosmont instead of going to SNG at York , but later wished he had gone to York! I joined them at lunchtime on the picnic benches after my non NELPG meeting at Pickering in the morning (yes there are heritage railway matters I am involved in which are nothing to do with NELPG!)

Anyway, after the usual cup of tea, Peter and Ian moved the 24 superheater elements from No 6 road to the outside of Deviation Shed by No 8 road, with a little help from two shed cleaners which was very much appreciated. Shed fitters and Chris Cubitt then cleared the rest of the track area (including the removal of the velocipede and crates of parts from No 29) ready for the move of No 5 to enable removal of the Drewry shunter the next day. This will involve P/W slewing the track in view of the continuing absence of a replacement point for the one that was broken 18 months ago. Once the Drewry has been moved out, No 5 will go back in on No 6 road and be joined by the chassis of 80135 for temporary storage. The Great Marquess was then to be moved to outside the Shed on No 6 road.

In the meantime Peter and Ian set about removing the remaining dozen split pins from the spring hanger castle adjusting nuts, and continued after lunch with the last few stubborn split pins. But there was still one obstinate split pin to remove from the front L/H leading by the time the shunter came to move the Q6 to the wheel drops. Whilst that was going on, I cleaned the last 3 top hand hole doors and they are now on the work bench at the back of the workshop. Ian also put 2 more underkeep pads in to soak.

Q6 being moved to NYMR wheel drops - Ian Pearson

After setting the Q6 on the wheel drops, 2 large jacks were acquired, along with a couple of wooden blocks, and the alloy beam on which they are set was dragged up to the wheel drop shed with help from the shed staff. The weight of the Q6 is just slightly on the jacks under the cab. Shaun Bowler, a shed fitter was assisting us in setting this up, but before we could jack up the locomotive to take the weight off the springs, we needed to pack the axle boxes to avoid them being damaged.

The MPD has a box full of packing pieces, made specially for this job, but, in spite of exhaustive searches of the MPD, they could not be found. The job therefore had to be abandoned. Shaun was going to cut some new ones the next day and start to remove the springs. Once they are off, it is intended to move the Q6 to the back of No 4 road, lift it using the NYMR Mattison jacks, and remove the wheels and axle boxes.

Once that has been done, the axle boxes can be examined and any necessary remedial work agreed. Back at Deviation Shed, the Weltrol with the boiler from No 29, and its frames, have been put into No 5 road to join the Q6 tender. While all this was going on, another coat of paint was put on to the tender of 825 by John Furness, and Chris Parrish said he would be hoovering up all the dust that had been deposited on the Q6 parts when the tender sides were originally rubbed down for painting.

There is no working party on Saturday, so the next Q6 session is on Wednesday 10 May, when there may be springs to remove if the Q6 is still on the wheel drops. Paul Middleton was anxious to get it off as quickly as possible however, in case one of the service locomotives suffered a broken spring which needed urgently replacing, so we could find it in No 4 road with wheels to remove. Either way, the Channel 5 TV documentary team who are currently filming on the NYMR, are very keen to film that operation, so if you want to become a TV star, come and join the Wednesday team next week. Still plenty of tea and biscuits if winter returns!


Saturday 29th April, 2017

A steady day working through repairing & refurbishing items: a good turnout of six people on the bank holiday weekend. Ian Pearson, Paul & James Swainston, Peter Ellis, Joan & Andy Lowes, throughout the day we had impromptu MIC training on tea making & different types of engines.

Joan Lowes with Henry removing debris from the tender drag box - Andy Lowes

The drag box on the tender was cleaned out or given a ‘spring clean’ using Henry and a scraper (see photo). While we had the use of Henry the loose carbon was removed from the valve chest & cylinder ports.

Peter Ellis working on backhead fittings - Andy Lowes

James Swainston working on backhead fittings - Andy Lowes

The back head valves have been stripped, cleaned, skimmed & built back up, these include both clack valves; injector steam valves & steam heat valve (see photos). The gauge frame blow down pipes have been annealed also the copper rings for the valve & cylinder covers.

The refurbished steam heat valve - Andy Lowes

I heard a rumour that the wheels are coming out next week, so the split pins for the adjusters on the driving axle springs were removed in readiness, we will wait and see.

Can I congratulate the people involved in cleaning under the engine, a vast improvement!

We have decided that next Saturday (6-5-17) the Q6 team are taking a holiday so Deviation shed will remain locked. Sorry to disappoint but you could always come along the following weekend, Wednesdays will remain as normal.

Jobs for Wednesday 3-5-17:-

  • Assist NYMR shed staff to take driving wheels out
  • Gauge frames to overhaul
  • Blow down valve to overhaul

Gordon Wells has done some more preparations for the pit 110v sockets installation.

Many thanks for your time & efforts today,


Wednesday 26th April 2017

A bitterly cold snowy, sleety morning to start with, icy patches on the road from Teesside, but the sun came out later and, sheltered from the wind, it was reasonably warm - even better in the workshop with the heaters on! The regular Wednesday crew of Derek, Jon, and myself, with Ian in charge. John Furness from the NYMR was also in Deviation Shed first thing, sanding down the S15 tender and creating an enormous amount of dust such that the south end roller shutter doors had to be opened.

Fortunately he finished about 10.30.

Jon worked all day on carbon reduction around the steam chest area - there is still quite a lot more to remove. I continued to complete the valve cleaning after the excellent work done on Saturday and, with Ian's help, re-assembled both of them. The valves require the big nuts tightening and new cotter pins, but both are now sitting on the back of the work bench. After moving the tender back a yard or so to get a pit bridge in place, Derek set about cleaning the front around the draw bar area and drag box and has made a marked improvement. A plastic sheet was put over the water pump to keep the dirt out. Ian moved Gordon's electric box into the workshop, just on the left through the door near the arch formers, repositioned the 'Not to Be Moved' boards to hang from the beams above, put all the pieces of rope in a box next to the rag box, and had a general tidy up of the area.

Lunch was held in the A4 cabin as it was too cold for a picnic lunch outside. After lunch Ian started removing carbon from the left hand cylinder ports. A number of interested people round the shed today (including Nick Stringer), but didn't hear any bells ringing from the donation box!


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