North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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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.

On 27th October 2021 the Q6 made 2 light engine test runs to Goathland wth no problems. On Thursday 28th it made another light engine trip to Goathland and then took the 14.30 train to Pickering and return with no problems. Many thanks to all those, both NELPG and NYMR, who have worked so hard over the last two years.

Over the winter we have fitted atomisers to assist with cylinder lubrication, though these have become the 2022 Q6 saga.

Q6 - 28/29 September 2021

Ian reports a definite change to Autumnal weather on Tuesday, with a cold start but warming up later. Braving the weather were Bill Dobson, Trevor Wilford, Jon Bradley, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson.

During the day, the following jobs were carried out:

  • Concrete mixed and put into the base of the Q6 smokebox on top of a layer of broken brick arch. This will give a smooth surface when removing ash.
  • Two new gaskets were made for the ejector exhaust pipe at the smokebox end and fitted - one on the inside pipe and one on the outside pipe.
  • The wooden beading around the cab roof was given a coat of black gloss paint.
  • The regulator gland follower and stuffing box were cleaned in the grit blaster.
  • In the cab the MPD fitters have been employed removing the old studs from the follower and stuffing box. New studs are to be fitted: the longer follower studs are being made by Martin Ashburner.
  • Other MPD fitters worked on one of the air ministry joints under the cab on the driver's side.
  • The MPD was to tack weld 18 nuts onto the smokebox spark arrester fittings.

In the workshop Nigel completed painting the floor area. Outside Deviation Shed, the top of the stove chimney that fell off some time ago was removed. A piece of old flue tube has been cut to size for fitting onto the existing chimney and some steel strip acquired to make some fixing brackets/stabilizers. Andy Whiffin is being contacted to come and fit the extension. The compressor at Deviation Shed was serviced by Bob Fussey. He wanted to use the compressor to do some work on the Class 25 but found it was in a poor state with both pulley belts almost sheared. Two new belts were fitted and various other remedial work was done, so many thanks to Bob.

Wednesday 29th was a fine cool sunny day with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman and Ed Bolam present. In the cab, the MPD fitters removed the stubborn studs from where the stuffing box is fitted. Other MPD fitters disconnected the whole of the ejector exhaust pipe at the smokebox end and then, at the cab end, tightened the ejector union to make a steam tight seal before refitting the pipe at the smokebox end. In the meantime, our team started to assemble the spark arrester components and fit them inside the smokebox. However, they found it wasn't an easy job to assemble in such a cramped area, and then had to remove the ejector exhaust pipe in the smokebox which had just been refitted by the MPD fitters. This work is still to complete next week.

Subsequently, on Thursday, investigation of a steam leak from the right hand side cylinder found that it was caused by the long standing crack in the cylinder. It runs across one of the stud holes, and whilst the crack itself has not spread, the stud, after careful tightening, has pulled out of the casting. The metal stitching company is coming on Monday morning to inspect and hopefully rectify matters.


Q6 - 19 -22 September 2021 - the week of the formal steam test

To supplement Bill's note on the status of the Q6 which he circulated yesterday, Ian has now provided a fuller report of the activity during the week which ended with the disappointment over its absence from the Gala line up this weekend.

On Saturday (18 September) Bill asked Ian if he was available for a Sunday afternoon working Party as he had learned that Glyn was available to come and inspect the Q6 boiler on the Monday afternoon. As Ian's back was on the mend, and he was to do the lighter duties required, like fetch and carry light items and make the tea, he agreed. Ian also rang Richard De Sadeleer, who was not available, and then Ed Bolam who agreed to come and help as back up.

Sunday therefore saw Bill, Ed and Ian arrive at Grosmont at 1pm to fit the cylinder drain cocks and put a warming fire in the Q6. Fortunately, Andrew Jeffery, the duty fitter, had already put in a warming fire, but they had just got started on fitting all the outside and inside drain cocks when the heavens opened. Nevertheless they pressed on (and the sun did shine later on in the afternoon) and the job was completed by about 6pm.

On Monday, a fine day, Bill, Ian and Nigel Bill were at Grosmont to oversee the steam test, but prior to the test, Adrian Dennis, MPD fitter, set the safety valves. While waiting for Glyn to arrive, a static test was carried out on the new steam brake valve which Bill had fitted the previous Friday: it worked perfectly. Glyn arrived around 1pm, and while Bill made him a cuppa, Ian brought the locomotive up on to the pit from just outside No 5 Road. The inspection was completed and everything was deemed satisfactory. After Glyn's inspection, the Q6 was moved onto the water column and topped up. Then a few moves up and down the head shunt to find out again that some of the drain cocks weren't emitting any steam. The loco was therefore moved round the back of Deviation shed where the right-hand rear drain cock was removed and found to be fully choked up with ash. It was therefore decided that on Tuesday all the drain cocks would be removed and the cylinder drain holes checked for blockages. Paul Wickham then asked for the Q6 to be moved down to the MPD inside No 4 Road which was done and the day's work concluded.

Tuesday was another fine day with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Bill Pearson (a long distance member on a visit from Hertfordshire - welcome) and Ian Pearson present. With the Q6 in steam again, all the drain cocks were removed and cleaned. Most of them had deposits of ash in them, including some of the drain holes. The loco was then given a few trips up the head shunt (see photos) to clear any more rubbish out, then, while on the pit, the steam chest drains were refitted.

63395 with Ian Pearson driving, and without its cylinder cocks, moving down to the water column after its successful insurance steam test on 21 September 2021 - Nigel Hall

63395 in a North Eastern line up at Grosmont after its successful insurance steam test on 21 September 2021 - Nigel Hall

After moving back to the MPD outside No 4 Road, the outside drains were fitted. It was hoped to do a test run on the Tuesday afternoon, but this was prevented by an incident in Grosmont station which saw a diesel locomotive in a low speed collision with the coaches of a stationary passenger train. Due to the nature of the repairs/modifications that have been carried out to the Q6 over the last 15 months, it was necessary to do a light engine test run to Pickering and back. However, because of the hectic work load at Grosmont Shed in preparing for the Gala, and the resulting heavy traffic on the line, it proved impossible to find another path for this until after the weekend. Its consequent absence from the Gala is desparately disappointing, not just to those hoping to see and travel behind it, but to all those who have laboured long and hard over the period, particularly Bill and Ian, to overcome many setbacks and try to have it available for the Gala. Against that disappointment, there has been praise received from a variety of sources at the MPD for the work carried out, including “I’ve never seen such a short snagging list after a loco has had such a large overhaul. NELPG have done brilliantly and should be congratulated.” So those concerned should take a well deserved bow.

Meanwhile, back at Deviation Shed, Nigel Hall gave a first coat of light blue paint to the Yeoman's memorial bench (see photo).

Deviation Shed with Yeoman's memorial bench on 21 September 2021 after repainting by Nigel Hall.-  Nigel Hall

Wednesday was a third fine day at Grosmont, with a team of enthusiastic volunteers - Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Bill Pearson. Ian was not available as he was on a driving turn at Pickering. Bill Dobson therefore reports that on the Q6 the smokebox was cleaned out and a layer of broken brick arch spread around the smokebox base - it is now awaiting a layer of concrete; the steam heat pipe union under the cab was nipped up; and the steam pipe from the manifold to the steam brake was lagged. However, as a final indication that Vincent Raven didn't want his engine to participate in the Gala, on Wednesday afternoon a regulator packing stud sheared off whilst adjusting the gland. The other stud looks to be slightly bent. These will hopefully be sorted out by the MPD on Monday.

Nigel Hall also continued his refurbishment work in Deviation Shed. The wooden bench was given another coat of light blue paint, and now looks very smart. The workshop floor has also been cleaned and a start has been made repainting the whole floor area. The old filthy floor matting is going to be replaced by anti-fatigue foam flooring and the old flooring relocated to the skip.


Q6 - 13 and 15/16/17 September 2021

Ian reports that after a weekend chat with Bill and a chance that we could have the Q6 in steam on the Monday (13th), it was decided to cancel Tuesday's working party and work Monday and Wednesday instead. As it turned out though, the MPD was very busy with other locomotives on the Monday so the Q6 wasn't in steam. When Bill and Ian arrived, Paul Whickham explained the MPD's situation, with the plan now to have it in steam on Wednesday. So, Bill and Ian carried out a few jobs while they were there:

  • Lagged the dome and fitted the dome cosmetic cover.
  • The reversing linkage from the steam valve to the reverser which has two rods and turn buckles. The accumulation of old paint and dirt was cleaned from the threads and adjustments made on the turn buckles to give a smoother movement.
  • A leak around the smokebox saddle was detected during the previous week's steaming. On investigation it was found that a saddle bolt was missing. A new bolt was found and secured.
  • The ejector exhaust pipe at the smokebox was noted as leaking condensed steam. Although a gasket was fitted on the inside of the smokebox there was not one on the outside where the exhaust pipe secures through to the inner pipe. An attempt was made to fit a new gasket on the outside pipe after loosening the four securing bolts, but, as time was getting late and this pipe is quite heavy, it was decided to fasten it back up and leave until there was more time.

On Wednesday morning the Q6 was lit up at 5am. When Bill Dobson, Ed Bolam, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson arrived later, there was a lovely fire across the grate and it was just starting to make steam. The fire prep was then managed, along with some oiling round in readiness for the move up to the pit, as well as giving a run up the yard and into the head shunt. By 11am there was about 150 psi on the clock, enough to get to the ash pit. The move to the pit under its own power was quite spectacular with clouds of orange steam blowing out (see photo of the first blast on the ash pit - honestly, there is a Q6 in there) but no Jeans this time!

63395 in a cloud of steam on the ash pit on 15 September 2021 -. Nigel Hall

On arriving at the pit, the steam brake didn't work very well and the loco didn't stop where it should have done. After a few slow movements forwards and back, testing the brake application, the test moves were abandoned due to the brake not applying sufficiently. It was thought this could be due to a fault in the steam brake main valve itself. The Class 11 diesel shunter was attached and put the Q6 back outside No 4 Road as a consequence. The day was not a total loss though, and while it was in steam some other jobs were carried out:

  • The vacuum ejector was giving a high reading of 25 lbs on the train pipe and 23 ibs on the reservoir. This was adjusted to 21 lbs on both sides by Finn Allen of the MPD.
  • It was noticed by Nigel Hall while the loco was moving onto the pit, that some of the drain cocks weren't emitting any steam. All the cylinder cocks were removed and cleaned. Most were full of ash. These have yet to be refitted.
  • The new ashpan sprinkler was tested and is working ok from the fireman's side injector.
  • Loco to tender draw gear was tightened up and secured with locking collar, cotter and split pin, with Bill operating the large  ratchet underneath and three others on the rope outside.
  • Operation of the reverser was much smoother than it was the previous week.
  • The air ministry joints were checked and no leakage found, although these require some adjusting to conform to the drawing specification.

In Deviation Shed, Nigel sanded down the Yeoman memorial bench which was brought in from outside last week to dry out, and gave it a coat of primer. Discussions are under way with the Chairman of the Grosmont Station Group (NELPG member Peter W Robinson) about its repainting in BR 1955 NE Regional light blue to conform with the theme at Grosmont (and yes, it will soon get dirty thanks to those dratted steam locomotives!). A ring spanner which is used for taking the nut off the reversing cylinder lubricating oil reservoir was given a coat of red paint. Separately, Nigel has also repaired the broken coal rake shaft (see photo).

63395 repaired coal rake handle on 16 September 2021 - Nigel Hall

On Thursday morning Bill removed the main steam valve from the steam brake, inspected it, and found its measurements were less than half what they should be. On Friday, Bill showed Piglet the valve from the Q6 steam brake and pointed out its defect. Bill was then given a new one from the stores which he fitted and now gives the correct movement.

A warming fire will now be lit this afternoon (Sunday) in readiness for the formal insurance inspector steam test on Monday afternoon. Fingers crossed that after all this hard work, and the time it has taken, the test is successful and we will see the Q6 at work during the Steam Gala the following weekend (from 23 - 26 September: the timetable is now available on the NYMR website).


Q6 - 6/7/8 September 2021

A three day report this week, as, on Monday morning, Ian  and Bill were at Grosmont to witness for a couple of hours the first steaming of the Q6  since the boiler was last steamed out of the frames in March. The boiler was taken up to 150 psi. Another  test was planned for Tuesday but this had to be abandoned because of a rocking grate problem.

On Tuesday, Ian had a lovely Autumn morning travelling to Grosmont, with a slight mist rising from the moors and sunshine breaking through leaving a very hot day at 25 plus degrees centigrade.  Bill Dobson and Nigel Hall joined Ian in the heat.

There were quite a few problems at the MPD that morning, with the steam test on the Q6 cancelled due to the grate fault, Black 5 No 5428 and Standard Tank No 80136 were failed with various faults, and shed staff had to get 76079 ready for traffic at short notice. The first trip from Grosmont to Whitby was cancelled. Later the London Transport liveried Class 20 diesel locomotive which had recently arrived for this weekend's diesel gala was brought through from Pickering to work some of the Whitby trains (see photo).

London Transport liveried Class 20 at Grosmont on 7 September 2021 to help with motive power crisis - Nigel Hall

The first job was to inform Glynn Coxhill, the Bureau Veritas boiler insurance inspector, that the steam test was cancelled, as Bill had informed him the day before that there would be an afternoon steam test on the Tuesday. Another formal insurance steam test is being arranged, but when Glynn will be able to fit it in is not yet clear. The other work done during the day saw the grate repaired by the MPD boilersmiths with assistance from Bill; both draw bar shackles were cleaned, dressed up and NDT inspected (both OK); work started on preparing the smokebox spark arrester components in Deviation Shed - this required some old studs drilling out and re tapping some of the securing holes; and white lining was started on the walkway sides between Nos 7 and 8 Roads. The draw bar hooks will have to be removed in the near future for NDT inspection but this was not possible on Tuesday as the Q6 needs to be on a pit.

After speaking to Paul Wickham, the plan on Tuesday afternoon was to have the Q6 in steam on Wednesday for an internal steam test. In addition the J27 was in steam in the late afternoon having its safety valves set (see photo) before working the late running 16.30 to Pickering.

63395 and 65894 in steam outside NYMR MPD on 7 September 202 -. Ian Pearson

Wednesday was another hot day with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, Colin Smith and Ian Pearson present.

With the Q6 in steam, and being brought round steadily, it was arranged to do the internal steam test after lunch. In the meantime, work continued on the smokebox spark arrester fittings, and a lot of tidying up on the workshop benches was done, the clock in the workshop was moved to the outside and fitted above the defibrillator (see photo) and both rechargeable hand lamp chargers were fitted on the wall at the south end of the workshop near where the clock was fitted. Colin Smith completed the white line painting (see photo - also see photo of 17th August 2019).

Deviation Shed clock relocated on 8 September 2021 -  Ian Pearson

Colin Smith finishing off the white lining of the walkways in Deviation Shed on 8 September 2021 - Ian Pearson

In the afternoon, the steam test was successfully carried out by MPD staff and our team. The main job was to establish that the new main steam pipes in the smokebox were steam tight. All was fine with no leaks. However, the reverser would not work when steam was applied, but after some adjustments were made to the  steam valve and the operating rod turn buckle, steam was applied to operate the forward and reversing movements satisfactorily.

Not surprisingly, the steam test provided a list of jobs which need attention:

  • Air leak in smokebox saddle.
  • Ejector exhaust pipe in cab blowing the big union.
  • Ejector exhaust pipe joint on smokebox side leaking.
  • Righthand piston cover slight leakage at the bottom.
  • Vacuum brake faulty train pipe and reservoir drop rapidly.
  • Steam brake not applying brakes.
  • Engine and tender drawbar to tighten and secure.

Q6 - 31 August/1-3 September 2021

Ian reports a cool, grey, drizzly, morning on Tuesday at Grosmont,  but brightening up later with odd squally showers, greeted Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Ian, and Paul Hutchinson.

Work on weighing the Q6, which would have to be done on No 5 Road pit, was cancelled due to other priorities - the S15 being fitted with new brake blocks and problems with its TPWS/ AWS system. Then, later in the afternoon, the 9F was put inside No 5 Road to wait for its wheels to be measured on Wednesday morning. It was so frustrating when we had been waiting since last Thursday for the weighing to commence.

However, some jobs were done on the Q6:

  • The lubricator nuts were leaking slightly so PTFE tape was put around the back of the nuts to form a seal when tightened.
  • A cluster of the oil pipes which come from inside the frames through a hole in the frames to the lubricator and were slightly loose have been clamped.
  • Right hand foot step had its bracket re shaped to miss the new lubricator drive shaft and was refitted.

Up at Deviation Shed, the defibrillator was given its monthly check, and the pit walls were completed with a coat of off white emulsion (see photo). The Railway's lifting tackle inspector arrived last week to check our small jack, strops and shackles. All tested satisfactorily and a white dot applied as this is now the new colour code for lifting appliances. Please do not use any with a different colour code.

Deviation Shed walkways and and pit walls after cleaning and repainting on 31 August 2021 - Ian Pearson

Wednesday was another cold, drizzly, grey, morning but again brightening up later for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Ian.

On the Q6, the regulator was shimmed and secured onto its fitting in the cab.  This is only a temporary job as it will need welding and machining when time allows. The fire grate was fitted out ready for lighting a fire in the near future after weighing has taken place, and the locomotive moved over to No 5 Road later in the afternoon prior to putting the weighing equipment on to the pit. On Thursday, the locomotive was weighed satisfactorily, with no problems found, and the tender was successfully weighed yesterday (Friday). The plan now is for a warming fire to be put in on Sunday evening, ready for an internal steam test on Monday. Assuming that goes well, then the boiler inspector will be invited to attend for the formal steam test, following which the spark arrestor will need refitting and some running in should see the Q6 return to operation - hopefully in time to join the J27 for the Steam Gala at the end of September.


Q6 - 24/25 August 2021

Ian reports a warm but mostly cloudy day at Grosmont on Tuesday with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells and Ian all present.

With the Q6 now in the running shed, the jobs undertaken were:

  1. 1New axle box lubricator actuating arm was modified and the running plate foot step bracket removed. It is in the process of being reshaped to allow the new drive shaft free movement.
  2. New axle box lubricator R1 pipe was tested to see if it was supplying oil to the righthand leading axle box. This test was completed successfully.
  3. Some cab fittings were checked and tightened up - mainly the clack box air ministry joints which have been double nutted.
  4. Some oiling was carried out. All brass boxes were checked for trimmings, then filled with oil. Piston rod and slide bar oil pots filled. The lefthand coupling rods with little end and big end bearing oiled. Righthand side coupling rods and con rod still to oil.

Ian Pearson tightens the cab fittings - Nigel Hall

At Deviation Shed, various items were removed from Nos 6/7 walkway, then the top end was painted. In the workshop, most of the small plastic storage drawers have now had their contents labelled, which will save a lot of time searching for items. Spare locomotive gauge frame protectors were cleaned, black lines painted onto the white background, and also a spring fitted to one to allow the back plate to close firmly.

Wednesday was another warm cloudy day for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Colin Smith and Ian Pearson.

In Deviation Shed all the old flaking paint was removed from the pit walls by Colin Smith (see photo) then painted with white emulsion paint . A good third of the pit has been painted.

Deviation Shed - a happy Colin Smith scraping off loose paint in the pit before repainting on 25 August 2021 - Ian Pearson

Down at the running shed, the following was done:

  1. More cab fittings were tightened up, along with the steam pipe from the manifold to the blower and the steam brake securing bracket.
  2. Steam pipe from manifold to vacuum ejector was lagged and secured with jubilee clips.
  3. The axle box lubricator actuating arm was dressed and fitted onto the lubricator. It was then attached to the drive shaft which obtains its drive from the cylinder oil lubricator.
  4. Under the engine, some eccentric rod taper pins were removed, shortened, then refitted.
  5. Tender axle box covers were removed to inspect the oiler pads but the pads would not come out. The tender will have to be jacked up a little later.

The Q6 was moved onto the pit road in the running shed. Weighing is planned to start today, Thursday 26th.

Deviation Shed - Ian Storey cutting his birthday cake on 25 August with wife Sheila and Bill Dobson - Ian Pearson

Ian Storey and Sheila called in to see the locomotive and have a chat. As it was Ian’s birthday, Bill brought a lemon drizzle cake with one candle lit for Ian to blow out (I am not saying how many there should have been!). Having successfully done so, he cut the cake (see photo), while everyone sang Happy Birthday.


Q6 - 17/18 August 2021

Ian reports that Tuesday was a cloudy warm day at Grosmont for Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Nigel Hall and himself.

The previous day (Monday afternoon), the Q6 was shunted down to No 4 Road at the MPD, after fitting the main draw bar pin, tender to locomotive brake linkage, and vacuum and steam heat hoses. A list of outstanding work has been drawn up for NELPG and NYMR shed staff to complete.

63395 on No 4 Road in the NYMR running shed on 18 August 2021 - Hugh Fenwick

On Tuesday, the NYMR shed staff fitted both steam pipes into the smokebox, along with the vacuum exhaust pipe and blower pipe (see photo).Meanwhile, the NELPG working party intended to fit the grate with the new fire bars which had been delivered recently, but it was soon found that they were slightly too long and would not fit snugly. As the old ones were still in the firebox and only required two more fire bars to complete the rear section, two old bars were found and fitted. The right trailing coupling rod taper pin, which was a bit too long, was cut down to a reasonable size, along with the righthand big end taper pin which needed the same treatment. The lefthand driving coupling rod cotter was replaced and a new securing cotter made and fitted, and similarly for the lefthand intermediate rod. The regulator handle was rubbed down and primed and the shims removed from the regulator shaft. The 'Front Sands' transfers were applied inside the cab and also the cab plaques refitted to the roof (see photo). Finally, the footpath between Nos 6 and 7 Roads was swept and a start was made repainting the walkway.

63395 steam pipes and blower ring installed on 17 August 2021 by MPD staff - Ian Pearson.

63395 cab plaques refitted Augusts 2021 - Ian Pearson

Wednesday saw a cold cloudy start to the morning but by 10am the sun was shining and Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Jon Bradley and Ian got very warm.

The following jobs were completed from the list of rectifications, following on from the previous day.

  1. Right intermediate coupling rod retaining cotter removed re -profiled then refitted as it had been rubbing against the side rod.
  2. Righthand Intermediate coupling rod end cap fitted then secured with a taper pin which was cut to size and split.
  3. Lefthand cylinder drain cock fitted.
  4. oth piston packing cover studs split pinned.
  5. Whistle linkage fitted.
  6. Pressure gauges secured.
  7. Lubricator arm locking plate split pin fitted (but not opened out.)
  8. Smokebox door crossbar fitted.
  9. Smokebox blower bracket clamps fitted to blast pipe.
  10. Bill Dobson worked all day trying to get the defective pump in the axle box lubricator to work properly but with no success. He then borrowed one from Black Five 44806 ‘s lubricator which he fitted in the Q6’s lubricator and now that pump works satisfactorily.

Other work done during the day saw Nigel Hall cleaning No 7 and 8 Roads walk way and giving it a coat of floor paint (see photo). The wooden beading was finally fitted around the front and rear of the cab roof then primed. The rough edges on each end of the lubricator drive shaft were dressed.

Deviation Shed floor being cleaned and repainted by Nigel Hall on 18 August 2021 - Ian Pearson

On the Railway the J27 continued in use on the 4 coach trains of the Sunday - Thursday internal service.


Q6 - 10/11 August 2021

It was a fine warm day with the odd shower at Grosmont on Tuesday for Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, James Pearcy, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells, Jon Bradley, Nigel Bill, and Ian Pearson.

As there was quite an amount of water in the pit that morning the first job was to solve a problem with the pit pump which was causing the earth leakage switch to trip. After isolating the the pump supply and then, after disconnecting the pump plug, it was found to be contaminated with water. It must have got soaked when the tender was filled the previous week. The plug and socket was cleaned and dried and, after removing some debris from the outlet bend on the pump, it shot back into action removing the water from the pit.The drainage channel could still do with another rake through however, to clear any remaining debris.

Jobs completed were:

  1. Righthand eccentric rods fitted secured with nuts and lock nuts.
  2. Lefthand forward eccentric had a 43 thou shim fitted and all the the nuts on both lefthand eccentrics were secured, including the locking nuts.
  3. The crosshead large cotter pin was driven out after being jammed last week.
  4. A lot of work was done by Gordon Wells on the new axle box R2 pump which had been giving problems. They were thought to have been resolved, but further testing the next day found it still needs more attention.
  5. Both sides of the tender had been varnished by Nigel Hall after he had fitted the BR logos on Monday.
  6. Cab side windows fitted by Jon Bradley who also made a start on cleaning and polishing the cab front windows.
  7. A start was made on filing the lefthand large crosshead cotter.
  8. A start was made on fitting eccentric rod taper pins joining the rod to the expansion links.
  9. Engraved brass plates were fitted to the axle box lubricators identifying oil pipe to axle box or cylinders.

Wednesday was another fine day with Bill Dobson, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, Chris Lawson and Ian Pearson present.

Jobs completed were:

  1. Righthand crosshead large cotter dressed and made to fit the crosshead slot by Nigel Hall. This took most of the day, with trial fitting and dressing throughout before finally being secured with small cotter and split pinned.
  2. Lefthand big end securing securing cotter made and fitted and split pinned
  3. Both brass front window frames polished, glass cleaned then fitted back onto the brackets in the cab by Jon Bradley, with assistance from Ed Bolam.
  4. Eccentric rod taper pins fitted at the expansion link end and opened out.
  5. Eight securing cotters fitted to the eccentric strap securing studs in front of the locking nuts, involving much pinch barring of the locomotive to get everything aligned.
  6. Steam reversing shaft fitted from reversing arm to oil cylinder arm.
  7. Some re adjustment of the new lubricator drive shaft was made with a new hole drilled and refitted.
  8. The tender and locomotive were re-connected at the end of the day - but only on the safety links.

The steam pipes are in the MPD running shed after machining, and a Lenz ring has been successfully trial fitted to confirm the machining is correct. They will be fitted by Barney and MPD colleagues once the Q6 is moved down to the running shed, which, for the second week running, is expected to take place on Friday ie today.

63395 front after repainting on 11 August 2021 - Ian Pearson.

63395 left hand side after repainting on 11 August 2021 - Ian Pearson

63395 right hand side after repainting on 11 August 2021 - Ian Pearson

63395 cab interior after renovation on 11 August 2021 - Ian Pearson

Attached are some photographs of the locomotive showing the superb finish that Nigel Hall has achieved with his paintwork, and of the interior of the cab on which Jon Bradley has concentrated - the plaques have still to be fitted to the roof and no, that is not a new chair for the driver, Jon will have to stand like the rest of the crew!


Q6 -3/4 August 2021

Ian Pearson reports that Tuesday was a lovely fine day at Grosmont with Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Gordon Wells and Ian himself.

A successful day with the following achieved:

  1. Lefthand piston packing fitted and secured with slide bar oil pot attached.
  2. Lefthand little end pin fitted and secured with castellated nut and cotter fitted.
  3. Lefthand and righthand big end felt pads fitted.
  4. Lefthand and right hand big end securing nuts fitted and tightened, then taper pin fitted.
  5. Jon Bradley steamed a wood strip for fitting round the edge of the cab roof (see photo).
  6. Righthand crosshead cotter fitted but securing cotter to make and fit on Wednesday.
  7. Righthand trailing coupling rod end cap fitted and taper pinned
  8. Lefthand top and bottom eccentric rods fitted. Some securing still to do with tightening of nuts on to the eccentric straps and taper pins to secure and open out at the link end
  9. The large lefthand crosshead cotter was hammered down but jammed part way in, so this will require removal next week.
  10. A hose was linked up to the main water supply and fed into the tender and filling commenced
  11. The tender was measured up on the righthand side ready for the BR transfer to be fitted.
  12. Loco number transfers 63395 put on the cab sides (see photo) and then both cab sides varnished.

63395 renumbered at Deviation Shed on 3 August, with Ian McCall ready to wield the bar on the eccentrics - Nigel Hall

63395 with Jon Bradley steaming the timber lath to fit on the curve of the Q6 cab roof on 3 August 2021 - Nigel Hall

Paul and Angie arrived at about 17:30 with a washout pump. They exchanged that for seat cutters.

Wednesday was another fine day warm day at Grosmont until later in the afternoon when the heavens opened. Hopefully that will have reduced the potential fire risk on the moors at Summit. Only Nigel Hall and Steve Hyman were present in Deviation Shed although Ian called in to see how things were going, and Peter Whitaker came and put the lion portion of the tender transfer on, leaving the two British Railway pieces for Nigel to complete (see photo).

63395 BR crest applied to the RHS tender on 4 August 2021 - Nigel Hall

Nigel Hall did a lot of tidying up around Deviation Shed, sweeping the walkways and moving items to clear the walkway, especially between Nos 6 and 7 Roads as there will be a Vera Lynn working part on Saturday with Ian Foot. Steve completed a number of jobs around the Q6's motion:

  1. Made a small securing cotter and fitted to the righthand large cotter.
  2. Small cotter made and fitted to the intermediate side rod gradient pin large cotter.
  3. Lefthand little end oil pot fitted.
  4. Lefthand piston oil pot fitted.

Nigel continued painting control handles etc in the afternoon after Steve had left, as it was unlikely that anybody was going to access the cab or tender before the paint had dried.

The tender was topped up with the water level about 18” from the top of the tank. All filling hoses have been returned to the MPD hose lockers inside No 5 Road. Filling was required to prevent the tender from derailing when shunting, as the Q6 is due to be moved into the running shed tomorrow (Friday). Both sides of the tender now need a coat of varnish to seal the transfers and Nigel Hall was hoping to do that before the Q6 is moved. The machined steam pipes were collected from Oak Engineering at Hebburn by Nigel Bill yesterday afternoon and delivered to Grosmont this morning. They will be fitted by the MPD staff. The gauge glasses, Klinger packings and grate need fitting, but we are now getting very close to an internal steam test prior to that for the boiler inspector, and a return to traffic.


Q6 - 27/28 July 2021

Q6 looking more complete on 28th July - Nigel Hall

Ian Pearson reports that Tuesday was another warm day, albeit slightly overcast. Those present were Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Gordon Wells, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Ian and, after lunch, Trevor Wilford.

The new Q6 axle box lubricator was put into position, bolted down and all 8 oil pipes connected. The drive shaft had been fabricated out of a piece of steel strip about 2” in width. At each end of the drive shaft, connections were made, welded onto the drive shaft and dressed. Two new connecting pins were made by Barry Nesom at the machine shop. The drive shaft was connected and manually worked by hand to see if it was working correctly. At this point it worked OK but requires some slight modification to get the drive working to its full travel. This was to be done on Wednesday. It was noticed that on the cylinder lubricator, a spring had broken on one of the pumps which dropped into the oil reservoir. This will have to be fished out on Wednesday as well. This is not a coil spring: more like a clock spring but not as long!

Four securing clips were fitted to the intermediate axle box horn guides after drilling the holes and tapping the threads. Four still to do on the driving axle horn guides. Tom Lee, the MPD boiler smith apprentice, completed the righthand cylinder grinding by mid afternoon. Work was also completed on the cab windows, and an attempt made to fix curved beading to the front roof section of the cab, but it snapped. This will have to be rectified next week. Some buffing of the copper pipe in the cab was done. The tender shovelling area was given a coat of black undercoat. The smokebox door was rubbed down and given a coat of undercoat.

Wednesday was a slightly cooler day with some heavy thundery showers during the afternoon for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, James Pearcy and Ian.

After cleaning all the swarf from the righthand cylinder and annealing the copper cover joint, the piston was fitted with the cover following. Then the little end pin was removed, disconnecting the con rod. This allowed the bump test to be carried out successfully. The little end pin was refitted followed by the big end bearing. However, to get this fitted comfortably 50 thou was machined off the glut. The packings and oil pot were then fitted and secured. Both cylinder covers were tightened up using a torque wrench.

The lubricator drive shaft was modified by Steve on Wednesday and now works fine. Bill managed to retrieve the spring from the lubricator oil reservoir. In the meantime, Martin Ashburner from Armstrong Oilers made a new spring. Bill had a go at fitting it but it was too fiddly a job for the end of the day and he had to leave it for Gordon to fit next week. The four driving axle horn guide oil pipes were secured with clips after drilling and tapping. The tender shovelling area and smokebox door were given a coat of black gloss paint.

Machining of the steam pipes at Oak Engineering is finally due to start on Monday and they should be available for collection on Thursday.


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