North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Q6 Blog

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

As the Covid-19 pandemic had reduced the requirement for locomotives on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, in June 2020 a small group of volunteers, working within the Covid-19 protocol, made an early start on the plan to lift the boiler out of the frames. This was to allow an external examination of the boiler by the insurance company, and to allow the boiler ticket to be extended to 2028 - 10 years from the date of the internal examination. The opportunity was taken at this time to service the axle boxes, horns and related "bottom end" components.

The locomotive has had an "internal" steam test which has revealed a small number of snags to be rectified. Afer the formal steam test, witnessed by our insurance company boiler inspector, the locomotive should be ready for service again.

17th and 18th November 202-0

Ian Pearson reports yet another dull morning on Tuesday, but brighter later and very mild, for Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall and Ian.

Terry Newman also came in later in the morning at the request of Bill to inspect some of the copper pipes which were found with defects when removed.

Sean Bowler and Dave Brown spent all day on Monday shimming the horn guides. Sean was quite happy with all except for the left leading front which was was out of square by 60 thou. Sean reported the situation to Bill on Tuesday and explained that the preferred method to rectify this was to machine the horn guide which Sean would do. This machining wasn’t a quick job though, and at the end of Tuesday there was still a few hours machining left for the next day. Bill spent a lot of time sorting through the old sockets to establish how many Whitworth 3/4 drive socket sizes we have. He found quite a few different sizes and is going to purchase from eBay the sizes we don’t have. Of course, most nuts and bolts on locomotives are Whitworth, and we are always having to beg others down at the MPD for certain size sockets. When we get our set completed they will be put on a rack on the workshop wall for easy access. Nigel Bill cleaned the remaining scale from the foundation ring area after making a special tool to withdraw it. Afterwards he cleaned two springs which belong to the intermediate wheel set and then he cleaned 6 underkeeps which Sean and Dave had dismantled on Monday.


63395 left leading horn guides being measured on 18 November 2020 - Ian Pearson

63395 horn guide being machined on 18 November 2020 - Ian Pearson

Nigel Hall came in and cleaned and primed the areas on the frames where the NDT inspection had been done, and also some of the frame area where the firebox fits. Ian and Bill assisted Terry finding the defective copper pipes which are stored upstairs. While discussing what action would be required, Ian spotted a cardboard box with 4 new Q6 underkeeps inside. It’s strange that when searching last week they weren't spotted!

Ian spent a lot of time making some new trimmings to fit into the top of the axle boxes to lubricate between the axle box and the horn guides.

Bill was informed by Barry Neesham that he had completed the machining of the safety valves, so these will be ready for assembly shortly.

Wednesday saw a fine mild morning with heavy showers during the afternoon. Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall and Ian were present. It was all system go down at the MPD as Sean and Dave had been requested to remove the large lifting jacks from under the Q6, as they were required at Pickering due to the failure of the jacks at the carriage works. So everyone assisted, as these jacks are very heavy and cumbersome not easy to move on a floor surface covered in compressed oil, grease and dirt.

Before the jacks were removed, four more static standing jacks were sought and fitted leaving the Q6 standing on eight static jacks (see photo). The four lifting jacks were moved with their electric cabinet to the entrance of No 4 Road awaiting transport.

63395 on standing jacks at Grosmont MPD on 18 November 2020 - Ian Pearson

Completing this took up to 1pm, and lunch was had around the stove in Deviation shed. Nigel Hall had an earlier lunch, then got started cleaning and painting the inner frames after the removal of the lifting jacks which meant he could get a coating on both side where the firebox fits.

During the morning, Chris Kelly fitted 2 stepped studs onto the backplate which hold the righthand side of the Tea Tray in position. In the machine shop Barry Neesham milled the left leading front horn guide which took some careful machining (see photo). Nigel Bill completed cleaning the under keeps, while Ed painted the Tea Tray. Ian washed the new found oiler pads in warm lubricating oil, as recommended by Armstrong Oilers, and then put them to soak in lubricating oil in the wheely bin in the MPD machine shop.

Some time during the afternoon was spent looking round the site for a suitable steel beam to put under the firebox instead of timber, for when the boiler is given a steam test. However, advice was that a steel plate sat on top of the timber would suffice. Also during the afternoon, Sean and Dave continued fitting, measuring and shimming the left leading front horn guide (see photo).


10th and 11th November 2020

Ian reports a mild dull morning, but brightening up just before lunchtime, greeted Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill and Ian himself at Grosmont on Tuesday.

Nigel and Ian continued cleaning brake gear and spring components. Bill spent some time down at the MPD with Nick Simpson, arranging for the two new stepped studs required for the boiler backplate which hold the tea tray in position. While Nigel was cleaning springs, spring hangers and brake tables, Ian continued to clean the remaining six spring hanger bolts in the washer in the repair shed. However, the nut on the the left driving back spring hanger would not come free: it was stuck solid. After several attempts with a large spanner with an extension on its shaft, it still would not move. So the next couple of hours were spent in Deviation Shed trying to remove it with some heat. It was then soon found that the oxygen bottle was empty (the failing equipment curse strikes again!) so the bottle was replaced. This in itself took quite some time as the full ones are in a compound near the boiler shop. After setting up the burning gear with the new oxy bottle it was time for lunch, which was had in Deviation shed with Zack the dog.

After lunch, Nigel did the monthly Defibrillator checks (all OK) and Bill measured up the boiler so he can order the insulation. He also was in conversation with Barry Neesom regarding the safety valves which are almost ready. Ian and Nigel heated the nut on the spring hanger bolt in Deviation Shed and eventually, after about an hour, it finally came off. After it cooled down, it was cleaned, but, as it was still tight on the threads, Bill took it to Barry Neesham who gave a thump on the sides of the nut while screwed on the bolt and this allowed it to turn freely. While Ian cleaned the last two spring hanger bolts, Bill cleaned the paint from inside frames around the horn guides ready for an NDT inspection. Bill did this and Ian took the necessary photos which have been sent to Barney for the Q6 file. No cracks were detected. Sean Bowler had been working on his own shimming the horn guides on Monday and Tuesday, and his next job will be to measure the new distance between the horn guides against each axle box.

Wednesday was a rather dull cool morning but brighter later on, for the rostered Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Bill Dobson and Ian Pearson. The day was mainly spent cleaning and painting. Last Friday, Nigel Hall gave the boiler barrel another coat of silver paint, and today the fire box area got the same treatment to finish the job. Ed, Ian and Nigel Bill spent all day cleaning the wheel sets and axle box top plates, in the process and removing oil and water from under the top plates along with the old trimmings which will have to be replaced. Bill investigated the state of the underkeep pads. After dismantling the trailing wheel underkeep, the pad was found to be in very poor condition and, after discussing the issue with Barney, it was decided to change all 8 pads. Bill will be putting an order in for these at Armstrong Oilers shortly. Sean Bowler and Dave Brown have completed the shimming of the horn guides, and have fitted new nuts to the horn stays. Now they are all the same size nuts !

Two minutes silence was held at 11am in Deviation Shed and the MPD on this Remembrance Day.


3rd and 4th November 2020

Ian Pearson reports that, for a change, Tuesday was a fine sunny and dry day at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Ian himself and Richard De Sadeleer joining after lunch .

On Monday Sean Bowler and Dave Brown removed the springs from the remaining 6 wheels and also the horn stays. The frames were then lifted , leaving the wheels ready for rolling out and the horn stays refitted.

On Tuesday morning Bill and Ian assisted Sean and Dave in removing the 3 brake tables and the guard irons to allow the wheels to be rolled out.

63395 frames lifted for wheel removal at Grosmont MPD on 3 November 2020 - Ian Pearson

After the frames were lifted higher (see photo), the trailing and driving wheels were rolled out to the rear and the leading rolled out to the front. The intermediate wheel set will be brought round from the wheel compound and placed with the wheels at the rear. Bill and Ian, with Zack the dog, had lunch around the stove in Deviation Shed.

After lunch, Richard and Ian spent the rest of the day cleaning lots of grime from the springs, brake tables and spring hangers. Sean and Dave set the frames down onto four steel jacks which will hold the frames until lifting is required again. Bill continued with repairs to the reversing steam cylinder , making new gaskets for the covers.

63395 frames being cleaned by Ed Bolam at Grosmont MPD on 4 November 2020 - Ian Pearson

There was another day of wall to wall sunshine yesterday at Grosmont, with Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Bill Dobson and Ian Pearson on the roster.

Ed and Ian spent all day cleaning the Q6 frames, springs, spring hangers, and brake tables (see photo). The main job was to get the frames cleaned first at Sean's request, and, with help from a couple cleaners, Peter James and David Hobday, the frames were cleaned up by lunchtime. In the meantime, Sean was setting up the measuring equipment to each pair of horn guides. Bill spent most of the morning packing the steam reverser cylinder glands. Steve brought 3 key fobs and attached each one with the key for each dispenser and these are now hung above the sink unit. Afterwards he cleaned the back plate cladding with white spirit and then painted it with black primer (see photo). Lunch was had around the stove, again with Zack, Bill’s dog.

63395 backplate after cleaning and first primer coat by Steve Hyman at Deviation Shed on 4 November 2020 - Ian Pearson

After lunch Ian and Ed continued cleaning while Bill assisted Sean measuring the centre between each sets of horn guides and Steve cleaned all the old paint from the bottom of the cab foot steps which were removed last week. Tomorrow Sean will be on his own, checking axle box measurements against the distance between each horn guides measurement.

With Lockdown 2 starting today, yesterday was the last day of running on the Railway until at least early December, with 9F No 92134 on the shuttle and No 825 on the Whitby working, as on the Tuesday, when No 29 also ran a special with the GWR Saloon. At the same time, following the Prime Minister's announcement on Saturday evening, I have been speaking to Chris Price and Paul Middleton about continuing working parties on the NYMR during these latest restrictions. There is an exemption for work where it cannot be done from home, and for volunteering - type unspecified.

This was discussed by the NYMR Senior Team at a meeting on Monday, and it was agreed that work on both the Q6 and K1 should be regarded as essential. The Q6 will be required for services next year, and the K1 over the Christmas period and possibly into the New Year (the K1 will hopefully arrive at Grosmont on Monday). They were therefore content that NELPG working parties could continue on the Railway on the same basis as before, ie numbers limited to those required and rostered for the work to be done, and carried out in strict accordance with the NELPG Covid 19 control measures (copies are on the NELPG website under 'Volunteers'), which incorporate those of the NYMR. 'Social' working parties are not permitted and, if not rostered, then people should not just turn up, but please keep away. Deviation Shed will remain closed to the public. Paul Middleton is particularly concerned to minimise the Covid risk to MPD staff, who will not be furloughed for a second period as there is essential work to be done on the locomotive fleet over the winter if they are going to be ready to operate next season. He has therefore emphasised that washing and meals be carried out in Deviation Shed, that the MPD not be used as a through way to the toilets, and that where possible, use of the toilets is avoided when they are likely to be busy with MPD staff.

Having said that, as I indicated in last week's Q6 working party report, it remains for the individual to decide whether or not , in these changed circumstances, it is a good idea to travel in order to volunteer. That decision needs to take into account any risk that may be taken which may impact on the safety of others, as well as your own and that of your families. Any changes in rostering availability as a result of the Government's latest advice will need to be notified to Ian Pearson or Paul Hutchinson as appropriate. If anyone develops Covid symptoms then they should self isolate and immediately book a test.

On the same basis of essential work, working parties at Carnforth will also continue, although they should cease from next Monday when the K1 gets to Grosmont. However, there will continue to be no regular working parties at Hopetown for the foreseeable future, but there will be limited and controlled access only for specific, essential, tasks to be carried out, including security checks.


27th and 28th October 2020

Work at Deviation Shed actually started on Monday, when Bryan Orange attended to tackle the intermittent fault on the downstairs lights which Ian had reported to him on a number of occasions. All junction boxes were checked out with no obvious problems. A new escape emergency light fitting had been purchased for the downstairs part of the workshop and was successfully fixed above the north exit door, wired in, and tested. The one remaining fluorescent fitting positioned above the lathe from the lighting circuit was removed completely. Ian subsequently reported on Tuesday night that the lights did not trip the RCD when he switched them on in the morning, but Bryan will continue to monitor the fault with Ian’s feedback. With Finn Allen, Bryan took an ex-JV prospective NYMR mechanical apprentice through the apprentice scheme content in preparation for next year's scheme.

On Tuesday, Ian Pearson reports that a cool dismal morning, followed by rain from 11 onwards, greeted the rostered Richard De Sadeleer, Nigel Bill, Bill Dobson and Ian himself. First job for Ian and Nigel was to clean out and light the stove. Nigel then put the new pads into the defibrillator case, fitting one and leaving the other as the spare inside the case. The two other new pads have been put upstairs in the filing cabinet top drawer for fitting in the K1 support coach defibrillator when it arrives from Carnforth. Nigel also did some house keeping around the workshop, removing rubbish and emptying bins.

Ian went down to the MPD to arrange a shunt, getting the Q6 frames down from the wheel drops to the back of No 4 Road for jacking up and wheel removal, to avoid blocking the wheel drop for use by the rest of the NYMR locomotive fleet. After getting Barney's agreement, with Chris Cubitt driving the 04 shunter No 2207, and Richard shunting, there were quite a lot of movements to be done before the Q6 could be brought down, including Lucie, No 29 and the tender from 76079 being moved from No 4 Road to No 5 Road. The Q6 was then moved down to the the pit area where the steam reverser cylinders were removed, with Sean driving the JCB and Richard, Dave Brown and Ian slinging the reverser and supervising the movement (see photo).

63395 steam reversing cylinders removed on 27 October 2020 - Richard De Sadeleer

Lunch was had around the stove for the first time in several months.

After lunch the reverser cylinders were put on a trolley in Deviation Shed. Bill and Nigel spent the afternoon stripping down the steam cylinder and removing the piston and ring (see photo). Down at the MPD, on No 4 Road, Ian and Richard cleared lots of oil and dirt accumulation in the 4 foot where work is going to be done for some time to come. The frames were shunted to the back of the Road, next to the J27 on wash out (see photo), and the lifting jacks moved into position but no lifting was done.

63395 steam reverser stripped down in Deviation Shed on 27 October 2020 - Ian Pearson

By contrast, Wednesday was a fine, cold, slightly overcast, morning, but with heavy showers during the afternoon for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Ian Pearson. After lighting the stove in Deviation Shed, Ed and Ian went down to No 4 Road at the MPD to assist Sean Bowler and Dave Brown who had already started work, removing the bottom part of the cab steps and moving both injector overflow pipes inwards to allow the lifting jacks access under the rear part of the frames. Ian removed the last two split pins from the leading front horn guide bolts while Ed assisted setting up the jacks. The last two remaining brake rods were then removed, followed by all eight sand pipes which Ed cleaned in the parts cleaning bath in the MPD. He also removed all the burnt off rivets from the footsteps and cleaned all the grease off the steps. Sean Bowler will be working full time on the Q6 starting on Monday 2 November, aligning the slide bars and axle boxes, with assistance from the working parties on Tuesday and Wednesday as required.

63395 frames on No 4 Road at MPD alongside 65894 on wash out on 27 October 2020 - Richard De Sadeleer

Back at Deviation Shed, Steve finished dressing the backplate cladding which is now ready for painting (see photo). He also marked up all the sand pipes and labelled and logged them in the inventory. Bill worked all day on the reversing steam cylinder, lapping in the steam valve but then finding too much side to side play (28 thou) where the piston ring fits on the piston. He then took the piston apart and had 20 thou machined off by Barry Nessom down at the machine shop. He then refitted it with only 8 thou clearance.

63395 dressed backplate ready for painting on 28 October 2020 - Ian Pearson

With it being half term, there were were quite a lot of passengers and visitors around the Railway. S15 No 825 and D7268 on the Whitby running, with the 9F on Pickering to Grosmont and Repton on the shuttle to Goathland. No 29 was on steam test on Tuesday, and is working the shuttle today, Friday.


13th and 14th October 2020

Work at Deviation Shed actually started on Monday this week, when, in spite of a brake fluid alarm in his car on the descent into Grosmont, Bryan Orange went over to help Paul Bailey from North Bay Railway carry out the regular PAT testing of the 52 plug connected items in the workshop. A couple of items needing rectification were fixed, while a couple of extension leads were condemmed. Ian Pearson called in before starting his driving duties and Paul and Angie also dropped off a large sack, full of rags.

For the regular Tuesday working party, there was heavy rain all day at Grosmont with Nigel Bill, Ian Pearson, and Richard De Sadeleer in the afternoon. Bill Dobson was not available this week as he had to go back to Scotland but should be back later in the week. Nigel and Ian spent all morning removing split pins from bolts around the steam reversing cylinders and other associated fittings. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed. Then, in the afternoon, with Richard assisting, the last of the oil cylinder bolts were removed. There was still another item to be removed on Wednesday however, before the whole unit could be lifted out using a folk lift .

The weather was a bit better on Wednesday, with a damp dismal morning but brighter later on. Steve Hyman and Ian Pearson were present. After finding the keys for the wheel drops Steve and Ian made their way to the wheel drop shed with a bucket of tools. They first removed the reverser rod that operates the steam lock, and then the rod which is normally attached to the reverser piston rod. With these removed, it will make it quite easy to remove the whole steam reversing unit which will be done by the shed staff when time allows. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed. Afterwards Steve and Ian went back to the wheel drop shed to NDT the intermediate corners of the horns. Steve dressed the areas required, then Ian did the NDT inspection and sent the photos to Barney for the MPD Q6 file.

Locomotives running this week were No 29, Repton, No 825 and D7628. 9F No 92134 was on steam test.

Next working parties will be on Tuesday 20 October 2020 with Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson and Richard De Sadeleer (in the afternoon) rostered, and on Wednesday 21 October 2020 with Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Bill Dobson on the roster. Remember, Deviation Shed is now closed to the public, so please do not visit unless you have been rostered.

The newly introduced Tier 1/2/3 measures do not currently require any change to our Covid 19 control procedures, and provide an exemption for work which cannot be carried out at home. We continue to monitor the situation however, which is subject to short notice change - York for example, we learn today is to join the rest of the North East in Tier 2, whilst North Yorkshire remains in Tier 1 - and will issue further guidance should it prove necessary. In the meantime though, please take care and keep safe as we face more difficult times with the pandemic.


1st, 6th and 7th October 2020

At the end of the day last Wednesday, Sean Bowler was struggling to find a 25 mm reamer at the MPD. This was required to take out the correct amount of metal to allow the next size reamer to get the finished hole in the right hand reversing shaft housing to the correct size for the new fitted bolts. Ian suggested that he could get in touch with Arthur Jenkins and go into Hopetown to see if there was one available, and went to Hopetown the next day to meet Arthur and explain what was wanted.

Eventually, he found a 25mm reamer which Ian took back to Grosmont and gave to Sean who, with Dave Brown, completed the fitting of the right hand side reversing shaft housing studs. It was lunchtime by the time Ian got to Grosmont, so he had a snack and then assisted Sean and Dave during the afternoon. By 16.30 the right hand side housing was finished with three new fitted bolts (see photo).

63395 refitted right hand reversing shaft housing on 1 October 2020 - Ian Pearson

It was a fine cold Tuesday morning at Grosmont this week, but it warmed up later on for Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Richard De Sadeleer and Ian Pearson. Also Sean Bowler and Dave Brown were helping on the left hand reversing shaft housing, installing the new fitted bolts. Richard spent most of the day assisting Sean and Dave with this, and refitting the motion that was removed to allow access. This job is now completed (see photo). Bill sand blasted the boiler with Ian assisting, and this was now ready for a coat of silver paint. Nigel Bill cleaned all the remains from old seals from the insides of the mud holes and hand holes on the boiler. Ian and Nigel then sheeted the firebox end of the boiler just in case it rained overnight, as it was due to be painted the next day.

63395 completed fitting of reversing shaft on 6 October 2020 - Ian Pearson

Wednesday was another fine cold morning but warming up later for Nigel Bill, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Ian Pearson. A little later Nigel Hall came in to paint the Q6 boiler. Also Sean Bowler and Dave Brown were working in the wheel drop shed, taking measurements of the intermediate horn guides and axle boxes. The first job was a concentrated effort by all to remove the tarpaulin from the boiler, brush down the whole of the boiler, and wash out the foundation ring after an accumulation of shotblast and scale had gathered in the foundation area, before Nigel Hall arrived. Nigel Bill and Ed Bolam were cleaning behind the sand boxes and along the top of the frames and around the cab area. Nigel Hall painted around the boiler area of the firebox (see photo).

63395 boiler area of firebox being painted by Nigel Hall at Grosmont on 7 October 2020 - Ian Pearson

Bill called in briefly at lunchtime to see Piglet and Barney regarding removing all wheel sets but they weren’t available. Ian, with Nigel Bill assisting, made a start to remove the steam reversing cylinders. All the fixing bolts on the steam cylinder, of which there are five, have been removed, along with the six nuts from the steam cylinder back cover and the drain pipe. Ian saw Barney just before going home and told him how much work had been done on the reversing cylinder. He said the whole unit would have to be removed and the MPD would lift it out, so Ian plans to continue to remove the oil cylinder bolts next week.

Locomotives running were No 29 on the Grosmont/Goathland shuttles, with the 9F, Repton, D7628 and S15 No 825 which has been taking the last train to Pickering.


29th and 30th September 2020

A fine sunny cold morning to welcome Richard De Sadeleer, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford and Ian Pearson at Grosmont on Tuesday, but warming up later.

Nigel fitted the new pad to the defibrillator and one for the K1 support coach is stored in the case to fit when the coach arrives from Carnforth later in the month. Richard worked on the Q6 frames, sorting out the rear axle box oil pipe bracket, new studs and covers. One of its oil pipes was found to be badly damaged but it was not possible to remove it during the day. Nigel cleaned the intermediate wheel set that was removed last week. Ian spent most of the day cleaning inside the frames while Trevor completed some rivet work on the backplate.

Following the recent Covid 19 restrictions, it has been decided to close Deviation Shed to the public. The roller shutter door remains open during working parties to allow a flow of air through the building, but one of the wooden barriers is placed across the entrance with a closure notice (see photo).

Deviation Shed closure to public notice - Ian Pearson

Wednesday was another fine clear morning but clouding in later with the odd shower at lunchtime. Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill and Ian Pearson were present, but Bill came a little later for a couple of hours to organise with Barry Neesom, the machinist working on the Q6 safety valves, the correct dimensions required. Barney, Piglet and Sean from the MPD were involved with the removal of the remaining Q6 wheel sets and the reaming of the reversing weigh shaft housing.

Steve had acquired a hand towel dispenser and paper towels which he fitted in our washing area. Nigel and Ian worked underneath the Q6 frames removing split pins from the spring hangers and horn stays in preparation for wheel removal. Sean Bowler and Dave Brown set up for reaming the reversing shaft housing, but it was soon evident that there was too much motion in the way to allow access of the air tool which operates the reamer. Two pull lifts had to be set up on a beam with lots of timber packing (see photo) which involved everyone to achieve.

After lunch, Ian continued to remove more split pins from the horn stays, and cotters from the top eccentric rods. Nigel and Steve assisted Sean and Dave with the removal of some motion. Eventually, later in the afternoon, a start was made on reaming, but time ran out and the next size reamer required wasn’t available. As a result, Ian is going to Hopetown today to see if Arthur Jenkins has the next size required.

Steve removed the left hand rear badly damaged oil pipe, along with the other one which was OK. It has been logged and is stored with its bracket and fixing studs in the workshop upstairs store in Bay 8b.

63395 setting up pull lifts on frames to allow access for air tool for reamer -Ian Pearson.

On the NYMR, No 29 is working the Rail Trail shuttle, with the Class 25 and 9F, and Repton operating the Pickering to Whitby services. On Tuesday, a wagon load of large spanners, sockets and other equipment was delivered to the MPD as a gift from BP Hull (see photo), while on Wednesday Black 5 No 44806 had its boiler lifted and put on a well wagon at the MPD. Paul Hutchinson also called in with the company van, bringing a K1 spring back to Grosmont which was off loaded into the spring compound.

Tools donated to NYMR MPD by BP Hull. 29 September 2020 - Ian Pearson


22nd, 23rd and 24th September 2020

On the last day of Summer, it was a lovely fine warm day at Grosmont on Tuesday with Nigel Bill, Richard De Sadeleer, Trevor Wilford and Ian Pearson.

Trevor welded the front damper linkage together that was broken during the boiler lift a couple of weeks ago. Richard did some lathe work, machining 6 rivets to size for the backplate that Trevor has been fabricating. Nigel and Ian started work preparing the left and right bottom eccentric rods for removal. First though, Ian had to get the Class 11 shunter started and move the Q6 frames in position on the wheel drop and also get assistance from Sean Bowler in operating the wheel drops. After removal of cotter and taper pins and nuts it was lunch time, which was had in Deviation shed. During the morning, representatives of the A1 Trust came to Deviation Shed and collected the generator belonging to Kevin Gould and which had been stored in Deviation Shed for many years. Kevin has donated it for use on the new P2 locomotive.

After lunch, Nigel Bill ,Richard De Sadeleer, and Ian Pearson continued with the removal of the both bottom eccentric rods which were cleaned and stored in the wheel drop shed. More cleaning of frames continued while Richard drilled out the two sheared bolts from the rear oil box pipe bracket that Steve Hyman started last week. Paul Jameson and his wife and dog called in during the afternoon and gave us a brand new set of drill bits, for which many thanks to Paul.

In complete contrast, as Autumn formally started, Wednesday was grey, cool and very wet, but Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Ian Pearson were present. Also helping out were Sean Bowler from the MPD and Dave Brown from No 5 loco volunteers. Sean offered to help remove the intermediate wheel set as he is passed out on operating the wheel drop. Ian got the shunter started and moved the Q6 frames back over the wheel drop. A start was then made on removing split pins from the spring hangers and horn stay bolts, but they took a long time to remove - there are lots of obstacles in the way of trying to get this wheel set out. By the end of the day, Sean and Dave managed to remove the righthand horn stay but the left one was still to remove. With everyone involved, the four spring hangers were also removed, but, unfortunately, the wheels were still in place. Sean and Dave said they would carry on on Thursday (today).

[Some details of the spring hanger bolt threads before the nuts were slackened on the intermediate wheel set: 3 threads left front; 4 threads left rear; 4 threads right front; 4+ threads right rear.]

So today, the left hand intermediate axle box horn stay was tackled. The left hand trailing bolt was very loose into the frame and horn stay but the nut was absolutely tight on the bolt and took several hours to remove. The intermediate wheel set was then finally removed (see photos) by Sean Bowler, Dave Brown and new NELPG member, Robson Hewitson.Our thanks to them for their efforts.

63395 intermediate wheel set finally removed on 24 September 2020 -Ian Pearson

Success! 63395 intermediate wheel set finally removed - Ian Pearson

Up to the time of writng, the J27 has continued to work the Rail Trail service this week, two trains per day between Grosmont and Goathland.


10th to 16th September 2020

A very busy time down at Grosmont since the last report with an intense period of work on the Q6 boiler to get it ready for the NDT test yesterday.

It started with a visit to Deviation Shed by Bryan Orange and Luke Perry on Thursday (10 September) to finish converting the fluorescent lighting in the workshop to LED baton fitting. It got off to a bad start though as as the milk had seemingly gone off, so no traditional starting cup of tea. A fter stumbling with an electrical wiring issue, the final 2 workshop fluorescent fittings were eventually replaced with LED baton fittings. All of the old fittings were placed in the rubbish skip. The LED lights provide significantly more lumens (lighting level) and reduce our current consumption. An additional LED fitting was installed above the new sink to light up the area.

Numerous members of the public visited Deviation Shed during the day and the collection box was busy. That prompted Luke to remove the paper money and £1 and 50 pence coins to the tune of £113, which will be transferred to the Treasuruer in due course. Not a bad total bearing in mind the Shed has been closed due to lockdown for all of the main summer season.

Bill Dobson and Ian Pearson popped in late morning. Ian was driving. Bill has asked for a Swarfega wall fixed dispenser and a paper towel wall fitted device to be provided by the sink, and these are now being obtained.

Bill Dobson in sand blasting PPE on 13 September 2020 - Ian Pearson

Then on Sunday, Bill and Ian spent the day trying to get on top of the sand blasting process even though the nozzle had broken the previous week and a replacement nozzle promised for last Friday had not turned up. The nozzle was then promised for Monday. As Bill had had the protective suit disinfected so he could do the sand blasting (see photo), attempts were therefore made to do a repair on the nozzle with duct tape. However, this only worked to a certain extent, and for a few minutes only. After about four attempts, renewing the tape each time, it was given up as a bad job.

Only a small area of the firebox had been cleaned, and the sand blasting and boiler washout needed to be completed in time for the NDT inspection on the Tuesday. As a result, Ian Pearson contacted Nigel Bill and Richard De Sadeleer on the Sunbday evening to see if they were free and able to help out on Monday. Both were, so on a very hot Monday, with Bill and Ian, work continued. As the new nozzle for the sand blaster still had not arrived, efforts concentrated on washing out the boiler. After setting up the hoses, and with Nigel Bill doing the washing out, this was completed by mid afternoon. Then we acquired a couple of needle guns were acquired to remove some of the rust, and Nigel stayed until 5pm (see photo) and Richard until 7pm to try and make progress. The new sand blasting nozzle arrived just after 4pm, but by then the compressor wasn’t available - grrr......

63395 firebox being needlebunned by Nigel Bill on 14 September 2020 - Ian Pearson

Tuesday was even hotter for the regular working party, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Richard De Sadeleer, Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson. After lunch, Trevor Wilford joined the team.

Bill introduced everyone to the NDT inspector at 9 am on site at the MPD and showed him around the boiler. The inspection took about 2 hours and was satisfactory in all respects. A major step forward, and the boiler is now ready for the cold exam by the boiler inspector. Thanks are due to all concerned for their efforts in ensuring that the NDT exam could go ahead as planned. While the exam was under way, Nigel Bill and Bill Dobson set up the compressor and sand blasting equipment to complete the area that never got done the previous day.

In the meantime, Ian and Richard De Sadeleer spent most of the morning shunting with the class 11 shunter, to get the STD tank 80136 from the wheel drops and exchange it with the Q6 frames. This was achieved with help from Chris Cubitt driving the 04 shunter. The Q6 frames ended up on the wheel drops, and the STD tank is in Deviation Shed on No 7 Road. Gordon Wells also called in to repair the welder which failed last week. He found a fault with the fuse holder. This was repaired and the welder is now fully operational again. That was fortunate, as Trevor came in during the afternoon and completed the repair of the backplate. Bill and Jon Bradley completed the sand blasting. Ian, Bill , Nigel and Richard removed the left hand side rods as part of the leading and intermediate wheel removal which will be done shortly.

Wednesday, in contrast, was grey and much cooler for Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Ian Pearson. The plan for the day was to sheet over the shot blasted fire box area of the Q6, then take off the right hand side rods and front section of the brake rodding before starting on the removal of both back gear eccentric rods. But as Repton had a broken spring the wheel drops would be needed later on Wednesday evening to change the spring. So Ed and Steve sheeted the sand blasted area (see photo) while Ian went to get Jamie Lazenby the shunter, and the shunter started, so the Q6 frames could be moved back a short way to get the rods on bottom quarter making it easier to remove them. All three then got stuck in and got the rods removed along with the front section of the brake rodding.

63395 firebox sheeted over on 16 September 2020 - Ian Pearson

After lunch, Barney helped with the shunting. The frames were moved onto No 8 Road outside Deviation Shed temporarily until they can be put back on the wheel drops. While on No 8 Road, Ed and Ian started cleaning the frames - there’s a lot of dirt to to remove. Steve concentrated on drilling out two sheared bolts which hold the left hand trailing oil pot pipe bracket which feeds the journal. The bracket was removed, cleaned and stored in the workshop upstairs.

No 5 on 16 September 2020 ready for its boiler lift - Ian Pearson

The next working parties will be on Tuesday 22 September with Ian Pearson, Richard De Sadeleer, Nigel Bill and Trevor Wilford rostered, and on Wednesday 23rd for Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman and Ed Bolam.

On the Railway, the Optimist service continues to to run with two return trips each day from Pickering to Whitby, and the Rail Trail service has started with No 29 operating two return trips between Grosmont and Goathland so far this week. No 5 is now ready for its boiler lift (see photo).


Tuesday and Wednesday 8th and 9th September 2020

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Richard De Sadeleer, Nigel Bill, Chris Wakefield, Trevor Wilford and Ian Pearson, ready to start on the sand blasting following the previous day's successful boiler lift (see photo).

63395 after the boiler lift on 7 September 2020 at Grosmont MPD - Richard De Sadeleer.

Sean Bowler was working at the shed and offered to set up the sand blasting equipment and do all the sand blasting required, which was a great help as there is only one special suit and there was a need to avoid sharing it with others. The sand blasting went fine for a while until the compressor failed. Sean did manage to get it going after some considerable time, but it failed again so little progress was made.

After several attempts with the compressor and the sand blast container and cleaning its workings, it still wouldn’t work, so it was abandoned until Wednesday. However, Nigel and Bill managed to clean a lot of heavy rust from around the outside of the boiler in the firebox area. Ian and Richard spent all morning shunting the Q6 frames from No 2 Road to the pit to get the cab put back on, and then back into Deviation Shed, while Trevor Wilford continued with fabricating the back plate.

After lunch Richard started to remove concrete from the smokebox saddle.

While looking round the frames it was noticed that the vacuum and steam heat pipes had got bent during the boiler lift. These were noted for straightening or replacement on Wednesday. Bill acquired some replacement bolts for the ash pan/diaphragm plate which had been burnt off before the boiler lift.

63395 bent steam and vacuum pipes post boiler lift on 7 Septemeber 2020 - Ian Pearson.

Ian and Nigel brought 4 cladding sheets up from the MPD which had been trapped under the cab prior to its removal. These are now stacked with the others on No 6 Road and are clearly marked up.

Wednesday was another fine sunny day with Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Trevor Wilford, and Ian Pearson, with Bill Dobson calling in at lunchtime. Sean Bowler was still trying to get the sand blasting equipment working, but with no progress until the afternoon when a compressor was borrowed from contractors working on the recent rock fall into the River Esk just east of the walk way bridge to the MPD. This is being shored up and netted.

Eventually Sean got some sand blasting done but then the blast gun nozzle broke into pieces and, not surprisingly, this stopped the sand blasting.

Elsewhere, Ian cleared all the ash that was left in the ash pan, while Ed cleared the rest of the concrete and sand from the smokebox saddle.

63395 drag box post boiler lift on 7 September 2020 - Ian Pearson.

Steve cleaned out all the rubbish and coal from the drag box area and it was noted that the drag box has a lot of heavy rust building up (see photo). During the rest of the day, Steve, Ed and Ian cleaned the frames and removed the vacuum and steam heat pipes which were bent during the boiler lift (see photo). Trevor continued with the fabrication of the backplate cladding and was hoping to complete the job by the end of the day, but, unfortunately, the mig welder failed. It may need replacing - not a good couple of days with the equipment.

The NDT test is booked for next Tuesday, before which the sand blasting has to be completed and the boiler also washed out. Bill plans to work on these over the next couple of days.

Lucie was in steam during the day and was taken out for a trip up the line with Chris Cubitt driving and Richard De Sadeleer firing with Piglet on the footplate.


Page 5 of 34