It was a fine warm sunny day at Grosmont on Tuesday with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson.
On arrival at the MPD the Q6 was found in light steam on No 5 Road, but it had been stopped the previous evening with a brake fault. The brakes were not releasing sufficiently. The J27 was therefore put into service on Tuesday (see photo) in place of the Q6 While the J27 was getting up steam, Ian continued underneath the locomotive, lagging more of the pipe work. Bill made a locking bracket for the blowdown valve. This bracket is fastened onto its own bolts and secures the operating handle with a padlock. All that is left to do on the bracket is to clean up any sharp edges.
After lunch, the Q6 had enough steam on to move outside the MPD on No 5 Road and check out the brakes. It was soon evident that the brakes were dragging as Ian found out when he moved the loco outside - it didn't move as freely as it should. Once on the pit, adjustments were made by Paul Wickham, Chris Henwood and Andrew Jeffrey. Chris was underneath altering the pin position and adjusting the turnbuckle to get the correct clearance. The engine was moved back inside No 5 Road but it still wasn't quite right, so more adjustments were made and eventually a better clearance was achieved. The locomotive was then run up to the top of the head shunt a few times, and on the reverse runs it coasted down to the ash pit without steam on and the brakes not dragging. While on the ash pit, after about four trips up the head shunt, the fire was dropped, ashpan cleaned and then put back inside No 5 Road. The boiler was filled and made ready for its turn of duty on Wednesday.It is also rostered for the Patron trip on Saturday (1.30pm service ex Grosmont).
Nigel was not happy with his efforts last week with the curved headboard clip, so he set about making and fitting a new tongue to stabilise rattling, 8 extra screws for added resilience/security, and a wood spacer to reduce the size of the slot (see photo). It later received a coat of primer. Nigel also gave the workshop a floor a good clean with the vacuum cleaner.
For the third week running there was no Wi-Fi signal in Deviation Shed on the traditional network. After signing off, Nigel mentioned this to Paul Wickham, who confirmed that changes had taken place. NYMR would like us to use the “NYMRbyod” network. A beacon for that network is visible within MPD and within Deviation Shed. Paul has supplied Nigel with that network password, and he (Nigel) has connected to that network. If any other working member wishes to use that Wi-Fi network (very useful for calls over Wi-Fi in the Deviation Shed mobile not-spot) then please contact Nigel at a Grosmont working party with device(s) in hand.
Tuesday was a glorious sunny, warm day but very blustery for Chris Lawson who was on duty at Deviation Shed, with Bill Dobson calling in after lunch.
After opening up and getting some milk for the tea, Chris completed cleaning the display cabinets inside and out, and also did a small amount of further prep work on the frame of the main Deviation Shed sign on the running line side of the building. There were lots of visitors to chat to and one possible new member as a result. Bill took a part of the Q6 blow down valve to the MPD machine shop for some light machining. The MPD staff reported the Q6 smokebox door will need some repairs. This was to be investigated on Wednesday after the locomotive had cooled down, as it was being taken out of traffic until the weekend, to ensure it has enough days left before its wash out is due, so that it is available for the Patrons trip on the 13.30 ex Grosmont on 21st May - moors fires permitting!
During the day, the Q6 took the 10.30 to Pickering with the Class 37 banking and then the 14.30 with the Class 37 as pilot. The J27 was stood on No 5 Road in the running shed, not in use, but was moved in the late afternoon to No 4 Road for spark arrester repairs the next day.
In contrast, Wednesday was an overcast, breezy day but brightening up later, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, David Potter, and Ian Pearson.
First off, there was a report from the MPD that the left leading underkeep tray on the Q6 had a piece of casting broken off at the outside lip where the felt packing tucks around the axle box to stop oil running out. It is held in position by a metal cover at the top, secured with two bolts, and tucks into the underkeep casting at the bottom of the underkeep tray. The top cover was removed and a piece of thin plate was made by David, bolted to the top cover and then the cover was refitted.
While working under the Q6 Steve found the amount of dirt around all the front area - the frames, springs, axles, motion plate - was unbelievable having only being in traffic for a short period! Ed cleaned both sets of steps which had also got into a filthy condition. Following up the previous day's report of problems with the Q6 smokebox door, it was found that a hole had appeared on the bottom right hand side of the smokebox door which had been plugged with a bolt. Bill and Ian borrowed the thickness testing equipment and did a test on the door and found it to be of variable thicknesses, from 1.8mm to 5.9mm (see photo). Hopefully the repairs will will wait until next winter.
Ed and Ian spent all afternoon lagging the atomiser, steam heat, and vacuum pipes on the Q6, but there is still quite a bit left to complete. More work was done by David and Bill on the blowdown valve, which ended up with David giving it a hydraulic test which proved to be OK. The only job left to do was to weld a stop inside, so it stops in the closed position after operating.
Nigel made and fitted a new bracket to the back of the curved North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group headboard so that it can go on a locomotive lamp iron.
As Ian records, here we are at 3 May and time is moving fast - soon be the longest day! It was a cool, overcast morning at Grosmont on Tuesday, but it got milder after lunch for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson.
The Q6 was in steam that morning on No 5 Road inside the MPD, with Andrew Jeffrey repacking the valve glands and oiling up in readiness for swapping the Q6 with No.29, once the latter arrived at lunchtime with leaking tubes. Bill had been notified about leaking cylinder oil on the running plate near the smokebox saddle from the lefthand check valve which feeds that cylinder. The valve was quite slack and, when tightened, it was out of line with the feed pipe. After removal, various thicknesses of copper washers were tried but it would still not line up. The valve has a sleeve around part of the valve body which sits onto the top of the cylinder casting, so Bill took the sleeve to Barry Nesom who took off a few thou and tried fitting it again. However, it still wouldn't match up with the feed pipe, so, as time was getting on and the loco was due off shed, PTFE tape was put around the top of the thread, it was lined up, and connected to the oil pipe. The Q6 was then moved up to the head shunt and then down to the water column where the rostered crew took over, topped up the tender, and worked the 12.30 to Pickering and back, and later the 16.30 to Pickering (see photo). It was also noted that the PTFE repair was good with no oil leak.
In the meantime, another issue with the Q6 tender was brought to our attention. The lefthand tender centre trailing spring hanger threads are getting worn. As a result, both the main nut and locking nut are becoming loose and need tightening on a regular basis. At the top of the head shunt there is an old North Eastern tender which had its tank removed many years ago and was possibly used in the steel industry for carrying steel ingots. The spring hangers are identical to those on the Q6 tender. Bill, Steve and Ian therefore spent the afternoon removing one of the spring hangers. Easier said than done of course. The nuts were rusted up and took a lot of effort and WD 40 to remove them. Once removed, Ian shot blasted and NDT tested the spring hanger. Some work is required on the threads next week to tidy them up, and when the engine is out for washout it should be possible to remove the defective spring hanger and replace it with the one recovered from the old tender.
Nigel Hall meanwhile glossed the tyres black on the Drewry diesel, which is currently on No 7 Road in Deviation Shed. Then it was tidy up time, giving the workshop floor a good vacuuming and cleaning the long bench at the north end of the Shed. He also took the table cloth home for washing. The monthly Defibrillator check was carried out this week.
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.
Apologies for a very belated report this week, but my thanks to Bill Dobson and Nigel Hall for their notes on which this report is based. Ian Pearson is recovering from his leg problem and hopes to be back in a couple of weeks.
Sunday 17 April a warming fire had been lit in the Q6 in preparation for two running in trips the next day.
Peter Robinson of the GWR 2-8-0 visited Deviation Shed searching for a Great Western draw bar which Clive Goult told him he had left behind the buffer stop on No 8 Road. Nothing was to be found though, and although a worn draw bar was lying in the walkway between No 7 and 8 Roads, that wasn’t it.
Monday 18 April - saw Ed Bolam and Arthur Jenkins and Bill Dobson. Bill looked after the Q6 preparations for its two running in trips as pilot engine between Grosmont and Goathland, returning to Grosmont as light engine. Bill travelled on the first, Arthur on the second. Both were successful although the atomiser joints had started leaking. They would be dealt with the next day after the locomotive had cooled down.
Tuesday 19 April - Bill tackled the leaking atomisers on the now cooler Q6 and attended to slightly blocked gauge column drains, along with a few minor leaks. He annealed the copper pipe to increase the clearance from the brake rod.
Wednesday 20 April - the Q6 was booked to haul the service train to Pickering, replacing 80136. When the Q6 returned it was discovered that the troublesome atomiser joints were still leaking and Bill packed a tool box to attempt to lap in the joints again on Thursday morning before the loco left Newbridge yard. It was noted though that steam was feeding back to the cylinder mechanical lubricator so the atomiser steam was turned off. In spite of this, after the first trip the driver could only comment - "superb". The Q6 will be stabled at Newbridge overnight for the immediate future, working the 11am from Pickering on its regular diagram.
Thursday 21 April - Bill and Chris Henwood left Grosmont by van for Newbridge to grind in the atomiser non-return valves before the Q6 left the pit. This was sucessful on 3 of the 4 valves, but the other was still a problem. New valve seats have been ordered from South Coast Steam and should be received at Grosmont on Monday for fitting next Tuesday.
Peter Whitaker adds:
I had the pleasure of being fireman on it last Friday with David Slack, I had not been on it for almost 3 years (the last time was hardly memorable - I got heat exhaustion!), I was most impressed with the feel and tightness of it, it's great ability to steam, a pair of injectors that were spot on and a ride almost as good as 80136.
Thanks for the excellent work to keep the old lass up and running.
Garry Stainburn comments:
I had the Q6 for 2P15 the 16:30 departure from Grosmont on Saturday. The loco performed perfectly, and is a credit to all of the NELPG and NYMR hours spent on it.
Thank you all very much.
(The bent dart needs adjusting as the length from the bend to the tip is too long, but otherwise the trip was a total pleasure)
With Ian absent from Deviation Shed for the next few weeks following an injury to his leg, this week's report has been compiled from notes provided by Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Chris Henwood for whose help I am most grateful. Nevertheless, this report inevitably takes a slightly different form to the usual.
So, with a view to steaming both locos on Sunday 10th, Bill attended on Saturday 9th to finish off the brackets/clips for the copper pipework on the Q6 while the engine was on the pit in Deviation Shed. Later that day it was shunted outside on No 7 Road and a warming fire lit. However, on Sunday morning, the troublesome plug on the LHS gauge column was leaking quite badly, so the steaming was abandoned and on Monday, our new machining volunteer, Piglet, repaired the plug.
Tuesday started a wet and miserable day, with cardboard laid on the ash ballast to allow access to the underside of the Q6. Steve Hyman attended to a leak on the atomisers whilst Bill continued with grinding in a conical pipe joint. Nigel Hall spent most of the day titivating the paintwork on both locomotives, but also helped Bill in and out of the Q6 firebox where the rocking grate had jammed. Later that day the Q6 was shunted down to outside the running shed, the tender and boiler water were topped up, and a warming fire lit.
Wednesday saw Bill and Dave Cholmondley, from the MPD, supervise the Q6 steaming. The whistle return spring was modified and is now operating correctly. A brake test and carriage warming test were successfully done, and detonaters, wash bucket and back sheet were installed. The Q6 is now ready to be tested on the back of a service train before going into traffic, as soon as a spare crew is available.
In spite of ian's absence, and the imminent return to traffic of both locomotives, working parties will continue on Tuesday (19th) and Wednesday (20th). Even if there is not much work to do on the locomotives (but there will always be something by their very nature), then we need to tidy up in Deviation Shed and make it both safe and respectable for visitors so they are encouraged to drop money in the collection box. Chris Henwood and Bill Dobson will be the usual contacts if you plan to attend.
An even longer report than usual this week,from Ian Pearson and Nigel Hall, reflecting the efforts to get our two locomotives ready for traffic as soon as possible now that the NYMR operating season has started.
On Tuesday, it was a mild, cloudy, breezy, day with an odd smittering of rain at Grosmont for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, and Ian Pearson.
Initially, it was thought that a stop had been reached with the J27 and there was just the matter of fixing the leaks in the new atomiser system to do on the Q6. Bill stayed at home to wait for the post, which brought a parcel from Barry Gamble to help with the job. He was delivered a steel conical male and female grinding device to rectify the brass cones which were leaking water under pressure, and was required to grind out the inner and outer brass cones to get a water tight seal. However, because of a mega shunt in in Deviation Shed, it was late on Tuesday when Bill got started, and not a lot of progress was made.
The mega shunt action started about 9.30. Lucie and the Q6 were then pulled out of No 7 Road and parked outside Deviation Shed. The smokebox door seal was given a coat of grease by Steve just before the shunt.
After lunch, Lucie was put to the rear of No 7 Road in Deviation Shed with the Q6 in front.
Also on Tuesday, the Defibrillator was given its monthly check by Ian Pearson, who also had word with Luke Unsworth regarding the roof repair. He is still waiting to hear from the transparent sheet manufacturer about a replacement sheet - no progress.
So to Wednesday, a cold blustery day with the occasional heavy shower, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Colin Smith, Ian Storey, Jon Bradley in the afternoon (after his diesel turn to Whitby with the Class 31), and Ian Pearson.
Bill continued working on the leaking Q6 atomiser copper pipe joint leaks with assistance from Ian Pearson. Very frustrating for Bill, grinding out with his new conical male and female grinding tools, then blueing in, refitting and pressurising again and again, and still getting leaking joints mainly from the one below the atomiser. By late afternoon Bill did get it to seal. He also adjusted the main feed valve in the cab from the manifold as it was pointing downwards and in a poor position to operate. Duncan Jackson, an MPD fitter, had done a check round the Q6 and drawn up a list of small jobs that needed rectifying. Two of those were the left and right trailing side rod cotters and retaining cotters. Ian Pearson removed the righthand side retaining cotter, which was very slack in the slot, and set about making a new one. A time consuming job, but eventually he got a new one made and drilled a hole for a split pin and fitted it securely. Ian Storey visited for some private business at the MPD, but after lunch he offered his assistance. So, he removed the lefthand cotter which needed elongating, and a new retaining cotter making, both of which which Ian did and fitted them securely with a split pin at the rear . These jobs are quite time consuming. While Bill was underneath at the front end, he tightened up a nut on the righthand piston follower which was on Duncan's list. When Jon arrived just after lunch, he was given a job of securing the vacuum ejector pipe around its two brackets. Although it would not fall off, it was quite slack within its two brackets, so Jon secured the back one with a timber chock and the front one with a rubber belt. Another job that Duncan completed was to fit some new mesh around obvious gaps on the smokebox spark arrester.
For the Q6 therefore, next week should be largely tidying up before the loco can go into traffic – we hope. At tge end of Saturday, the Q6 was outside with a warming fire, awaiting a steam, test on Sunday.
As I was only too well aware, Tuesday was a dismal grey day at Grosmont after last week's Spring sunshine, with thick cloud on the tops of the moor road from Pickering. The enthusiastic, full of energy, team that day was Bill Dobson, Trevor Wilford, Gordon Wells, Chris Lawson (yes, I was late again!), and Ian Pearson.
Bill and Ian continued where they left off last Thursday with the Q6, removing the old sleeve from the copper pipework and getting a new sleeve made, which incidentally was made from an old LNER boiler plug found under the workshop bench. Gordon had arrived just in time, so he got the job of brazing the new sleeve to the copper pipes. The pipe was then fitted up into the cab, joining the section from the manifold to the pipe under the cab and completing the steam supply pipe to the atomiser. Bill, Gordon and Trevor continued all day fitting and adjusting the clamps around the copper and steam heat pipes to clear the brake rods. In the cab of the Q6, Ian changed the lefthand gauge frame top klinger packing, then disappeared under the loco and oiled the eccentrics. He also tightened up the inner and outer steam cataract reverser gland nuts, as there was evidence of steam leakage when last in steam.
Chris who arrived late morning, cleaned the two left hand display cases on the north wall of Deviation shed before lunch. The other four will be dealt with in future weeks as part of improving the appearance of the building for visitors. Then, as it remained dry, he started renovation work on the large Deviation Shed name board on the running line side of the building, removing some of the flaking orange paint from its surround and giving the top part of the surround a coat of white primer. More work to be done next week if it remains dry.
The weather was even worse on Wednesday - a wet cold day with rain, hail and snow. Very Spring like! The enthusiasts that day were Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, David Potter, Nigel Hall (now recovered from Covid), Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson.
Jon assisted Bill to pressurise the Q6 atomiser pipe system. After a lengthy time to get the pump working up to about 240lbs, they managed to get some results they didn't want - a few leaking joints. The main one was the cone fitting to the manifold valve which had to be disconnected and and blued in. This found several high spots on a machined surface. The surface was ground and made to fit. More of this work to do on other joints next week however.
NYMR services are due to start on 4 April.
Lovely fine sunny Spring days this week for a change, with the hedgerows starting to green up and daffodils in abundance at the road sides. On Tuesday, Bill Dobson, Terry Newman, Gordon Wells, Chris Lawson (who did not arrive until lunchtime) and Ian Pearson benefited from the good weather.
Terry and Gordon continued to work on the Q6 atomiser pipes with advice and assistance from Bill, Gordon working at the atomiser end with Terry in the cab working from the manifold valve downwards to the left side of the boiler avoiding other fittings. Not an easy task as this work required pipes annealing, cutting, bending and the brazing of various fittings. At the end of the day, two sections of pipe still remained to be bent into shape and fitted. Ian had a look at the tender water carrot valves which drip water constantly. These will need taking off some time in the future for overhaul and possible renewal. The operating linkage was given a good oiling.
Wednesday was more of the same weather wise, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Trevor Wilford, Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson.
Bill continued the Q6 copper pipe work with Ian and Jon assisting where required. Ian borrowed a set of pipe bending equipment from diesel fitter Bob Fussey. Unfortunately, while Bill was bending the copper pipe, the bender's main cast body broke into two pieces, rendering it useless. Ian took it back to Bob with our apologies. Eventually, Bill managed to get the pipe bent using some gentle heat and with Trevor's assistance. However, the bending and brazing of the fittings took all day. So Bill and Ian decided to come in on Thursday for a couple of hours to complete fitting these two last pieces of pipe.
Jon removed the spring from the new access gate due to it being too strong.
On Thursday, Ian and Bill were back at Grosmont thinking a couple of hours work would complete the copper pipe work. Such optimism! It wasn't to be. The last job was to join the middle cab section to the piece under the cab. But it would not braze satisfactorily to the sleeve that holds the two together and it looks like a new sleeve will have to be made next week.
A busy three days at Grosmont this week, with the J27 hydraulic test on Wednesday and the Q6 steam tests on Monday and Wednesday.
On Sunday afternoon, Paul Wickham and James Newton put a warming fire in the Q6 in preparation for Monday's NYMR internal steam test. Early on Monday morning (14th), about 5am, Paul and James re-lit the fire, and, by the time Ian Pearson arrived, there was about 10 lbs of steam on the pressure gauge. The pressure was increased, and Tom Leach and Adrian Dennis then set the boiler safety valves and steam heat safety valve, checking and tightening hand hole and mud hole doors where required. Ian, in the meantime, checked the oil boxes around the frames, removing any water that had been present, cleaning the trimmings and replenishing with clean oil. Later, after the test was completed satisfactorily, the Q6 was driven onto the pit, the fire pushed under the brick arch, boiler filled and then left to cool down. Our thanks to Paul, James, Adrian and Tom for their considerable help.
Tuesday was a fine mild day at Grosmont for our regular working party, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Chris Lawson, and Ian Pearson.
Bill fitted a new atomiser shut off valve to the Q6 manifold. Ian disposed of the remains of Monday's fire and cleaned the ash pan out with Bill's assistance . A barrow load of timber was brought from the back field, and also some paraffin rags from round about the site, before a new warming fire was set and lit about 3 pm. Chris continued where Ed left off a couple of weeks ago, painting the pit walls supervised by Mr Toad (inhabiting the drainage slot Chris cleaned out a fortnight ago - see photo). All the magnolia paint has now disappeared, but there is still a day's work left to complete the job.
Wednesday 16th was Q6 steam test day with the Bureau Veritas boiler inspectors. Those present to witness the event were Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, David Potter, and Ian Pearson, on a mild but rather cloudy day. NYMR boilersmith Tom Leach, and trainee Noah Hunter, relit the Q6 at 5 am on Wednesday morning, so many thanks to them for their efforts. Bill, Ian and David, with boilersmith Tom Leach in charge, looked after the Q6 during its steam examination by the inspectors. The steam test was successful (a couple of photos of the Q6 in steam attached). After it was concluded, the engine was given a run up the head shunt to check out the cylinder cocks and reverser. The reverser cylinder requires the glands tightening - this will be done next week. David did attempt to get in to tighten the gland nuts but they are very awkward to get at. David also found a few small water leaks around the tender area which have been tightened up. The carrot valves under the tender are the worst for leaking water. Steve made five new U bolt clamps for the Q6 atomiser pipes.