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 - 20/21 July 2021

As with the rest of this week, Tuesday was a very stifling, hot day in Deviation Shed for Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Gordon Wells and Ian Pearson.

A small amount of the ridge in the left hand cylinder remained from last week when the MPD staff were working on its removal, and Bill dealt with it. With the aid of our lifting equipment the lefthand piston was then fitted into the cylinder and a bump test carried out which was OK. On the righthand side, the piston was connected to the con rod but the big end bearing required fitting. So, after a struggle to get the bearing fitted by moving the engine a short distance with a pinch bar, it seemed there was a problem with the piston not travelling far enough back. It was thought it could be the same issue as the left side, even though a satisfactory bump test had been carried out on 23 June. As it was late in the day all that was done was to loosen the cylinder cover ready for dismantling the next day.

Other work done was cleaning the cab windows' glass, the new pane was fitted to the frame that had broken glass, and some more wooden beading fitted to the cab roof. The front buffer beam was rubbed down and given a coat of red gloss, but, unfortunately, later, while fitting the lefthand piston, somehow, someone touched the corner of the buffer beam with their oily gloves (see photo) - the black hand of the fitter! A lot of paint touching up under the frames was done, and the righthand boiler hand rail rubbed down and primed. A start was made around the tender shovelling area, dressing the old paint and rust, and a coat of primer was applied.


63395 newly painted buffer beam with the black hand of a fitter on 20 July 2021 - Nigel Hall.

Wednesday was no cooler for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam and Nigel Hall. For Ian, who was driving on the NYMR, it must have been unbearably hot in the already hot cab of a steam locomotive.

Using our lifting equipment, the righthand piston cover was removed, then the piston detached from the crosshead, and the piston extracted. After removal, the cylinder was inspected to find a ridge of metal similar to that which was on the left side. Bill arranged with the MPD for this to be removed during the week. On the lefthand side, the con rod was fitted to the crosshead along with the big end bearing and shimmed. Bump tests were carried out - all were satisfactory. A new small securing cotter is to be made for the big end large cotter. More preparation work around the shovelling area of the tender was done and a coat of primer applied. Also more paint touching up around the engine frames and hand rails given some more paint. The three remaining oil pipes, L1,2,and 3, were primed satisfactorily. Bill has spoken to Ian Selkirk of Hogg Engineering about the main steam pipes. They are now at Oak Engineering at Hebburn on Tyneside and are about to be machined.


Q6 - 13-15 July 2021

Tuesday was a miserable misty damp morning for the journey to Grosmont, but later in the morning the sun broke through to present a fine day. At Deviation Shed the working party consisted of Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Trevor Wilford, Gordon Wells and Ian Pearson.

Pipe work for the ash pan sprinkler was put together once various fittings had been made, and by the end of the day the pipe was almost ready. The cab windows were rubbed down and given another coat of varnish on each side. Inside the cab, self adhesive labels were applied to the driver's side indicating forward and reverse for the steam reverser, and open/shut for the cylinder cocks. Then the black area in the cab was given a coat of varnish. The ejector shield was fitted and the manifold cover was fitted to the front of the cab. The lefthand cylinder cover copper ring was removed and annealed. Bill spent all day trying, with great difficulty, to remove the ridge at the rear of the cylinder but didn’t achieve very much. This is due to the restricted area to work in (and poor quality tools) as the attached photo of Bill inside the cylinder demonstrates. The front buffer beam was sanded down to remove its NER number.


63395 left cylinder being occupied by Bill Dobson 13 July 2021 grinding out the back ridge following the reboring - Ian Pearson.

Wednesday saw another wet foggy morning at Grosmont but the sun shone after lunch and it got quite hot. The crew this day was Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Chris Lawson and Ian Pearson.

Bill has asked for help from the MPD to complete the grinding at the rear of the cylinder, which they have agreed to provide. Two of the MPD apprentices have subsequently been grinding the ridge in the cylinder but the job is not yet finished. Steve Hyman completed priming of the new lubricator pipes on the right hand side to establish the oil is getting to the new oil blocks. On the left side Nos 4 and 5 have been done, leaving left Nos 1, 2, and 3 to do next week. The cylinder lubricator was also primed and checked. Following some repairs it is now working fine. The front lamp bracket was fitted between the top of the outside of the smokebox and surrounding 'cow horn' hand rail with a struggle. The slacker pipe feed pipe which was made up on Tuesday was cut to size , bent into the correct shape, the brass connection soldered on and then fitted to the valve in the cab. One side of the cab window frames received yet another coat of varnish. A start was made with rubbing down the hand rails on both sides of the cab and part of the left hand one on the boiler. Nigel Hall applied some black paint to them and a coat of white primer/undercoat to the front buffer beam.

On Thursday, Jon Bradley came in after lunch and gave the cab windows a final coat of varnish. He also fitted a piece of wooden beading on the cab roof. Next Tuesday he will re-glaze the window that had a broken pane and fit the brass surround.


Q6 - 3/6/7 June 2021

Nigel Hall was at Grosmont on Saturday 3 June when no other work was being done on the Q6, and was able to put a coat of black undercoat on the outside of the cab and another coat of varnish on the cab window frames.

For the regular working party on Tuesday, it was a wet morning but on approaching Grosmont the sky started to clear and the sun was shining on Deviation Shed. At least until lunchtime, when the heavens opened with a heavy downpour. More heavy showers followed during the afternoon. Those dodging the showers were Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells, Ian Pearson, and, later, Jon Bradley.

The main job of the day was to remove the lefthand piston and investigate why it would not travel the full length of the cylinder. Most of the team, which included two MPD cleaners - Allan Dawson and Matt Edmondson - for a short while, were involved at some stage of removal, which was a very heavy and time consuming job. The crosshead cotter and cylinder cover were removed, then the little end pin and connecting rod. The splitting gear (borrowed from the MPD as our own does not fit) was fitted to remove the piston rod from the crosshead and then it was found that the pin that fits inside the splitter was too long so an inch had to be cut off on the band saw! Eventually the crosshead was split and the piston removed. On inspection, a ridge of metal was evident at the rear end of the cylinder.

63395 cylinder showing ridge at rear preventing the piston from full movement. 6 July 2021 - Ian Pearson.

The other jobs completed were fitting of the front vacuum exhaust copper drain pipe and securing bracket that had to be welded to the smokebox saddle, the outside of the cab had more preparation and was now ready for black gloss, the cab windows were rubbed down again and given another coat of varnish and the righthand leading axle box was re-tapped and the new oil feed box fitted. A new bottle of argon gas was brought in by Trevor and connected to the welding set.

Wednesday 7 July was slightly overcast early morning but it turned into a fine warm sunny day for Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Ian Pearson, Chris Lawson and Jon Bradley.

The defibrillator had its monthly check and inspection. The last flexible oil pipe was fitted, as were the rear vacuum exhaust pipe drain along with a securing clamp, and the steam supply pipe to the reverser. The small securing cotter was made and fitted to the righthand crosshead cotter, and the front sands operating rod fitted into cab and connected to the sand box. The front damper handle was fitted in the cab and pushed through between the boiler and cladding, then connected to the damper door via another rod and secured with a new pin which was made in the machine shop by Owain. Bill borrowed an air operated die grinder from the MPD. An air line was set up to our compressor and about a third of the ridge was removed inside the cylinder. Not an easy task, and Bill reckons another full days work to remove the rest of the ridge. Replacement glass was fitted to the cab window. The front vacuum exhaust pipe requires some slight repositioning - a job for Gordon next time. Ian Storey Engineering were unable to do the necessary machining on the steam pipes, and possible alternatives are now being pursued with the help of Ian Selkirk of Hogg Engineering.


Q6 - 29/30 June 2021

However, Tuesday was a warm sunny day for Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ian McCall, Jon Bradley, Trevor Wilford and Ian Pearson. The first job of the day was to move Dame Vera Lynn, No.3672, onto No 6 Road in Deviation Shed, with Andrew Jeffery driving the 08 shunter. Before that could be done, Nos 5 and 80135 had to be moved north about a yard to allow enough room to get 3672 into the Shed. This also meant removing all our wooden packing from the back of No 6 Road and then re-stacking it again at the back of No 6 Road after the shunt.

On the Q6 itself, all the new axle box oil feed boxes have been fitted bar one on the leading righthand side which needs some attention. The outside of the cab and also inside the cab were sanded and rubbed down. The wooden seating was fitted and secured inside the cab. A start was made on rubbing down the window frames. Peter Whitaker called in for a discussion with Nigel Hall about fitting BR transfers onto the tender, a job with which Peter will assist Nigel in about two weeks' time after his holidays . The righthand side crosshead cotter was removed after a lot of persuasion with a bar and a big hammer, after being jammed since last week. Then the piston rod was parted from the crosshead using wedges and small pieces of packing, being slightly out of line. The rod was realigned with the crosshead and the cotter refitted. A small securing cotter was to be made and fitted on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the team was Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Ian Pearson and, lastly, myself after calling in at Pickering on the way in. All the roller doors in Deviation Shed were serviced by NESS of Scarborough during the day.

More prep work continued on the outside of the cab in readiness for a coat of primer, while the black area inside the cab was given a coat of gloss. All the cab window frames were rubbed down and given a coat of varnish: one of the windows is away having new glass fitted. The new oil box on the right leading side is still not finished as the thread into the axle box needs retapping. The securing cotter for the right-hand crosshead cotter was made and fitted. On the left-hand side crosshead, the piston rod was lined up to allow the cotter pin to be fitted but, after hammering it in, it got stuck and had to be removed. So, after moving the loco into a convenient position to allow access through a spoke in the wheel, a heavy bar was used and a big hammer to knock the cotter out. After removal of the cotter, it was dressed up and re-fitted successfully. Now problems really started. When the bump test in the backwards direction started, the piston would not go all the way back, leaving about 1/2" of travel still to go. Nigel Hall had acquired an endoscope for another job, so the left-hand rear drain cock was removed and the camera was inserted up the orifice. Everyone had a look around on the endoscope screen to see if there were any foreign bodies between the back of the piston and the rear of the cylinder but nothing could be found . Further investigation will be necessary next week to try and resolve this problem.



Q6 Tuesday 15th Wednesday 16th , Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June 2021

Lovely hot weather this week. Too hot for working on steam engines!


We had Bill Dobson ,Nigel Bill , Nigel Hall , Paul Jameson , Trevor Wilford ,Gordon Wells , Ian Pearson, Terry Newman and James Pearcy. James brought a window from the K1 which had the glass broken last Friday at Fort William with the aim of swapping it for a a spare in Deviation workshop. But the ones in our workshop were the wrong size so he removed the broken glass and he is going to a glass specialist in Darlington for new glass fitting.

Our team has been working on both the J27 and Q6

On the J27 the the water hoses and steam heat hoses were connected between engine and tender the drawbar spring plate and locking nut fitted. There was a problem as we soon found out ,the locking nut was 4 1/2” long far too long when tight to fit a cotter pin .So it was removed then cut to 2 1/2” .To get this nut tight it took four of us on a rope and one underneath on the ratchet spanner to get the nut sufficiently wound up to allow the cotter to be fitted. Note ,with this new nut on the J27 Drawbar which is the same size as the Q6 drawbar nut we have to use the same ratchet spanner !

Q6 jobs, a die nut was run down all eight header studs in preparation for fitting the main steam pipes. Silver soldering the last of the lubrication pipes was completed The steam brake exhaust pipe was fitted. Ash pan sprinkler pipe work was progressing some flexible pipe work still required for completion. Pressure gauge mounts fitted. The boiler cladding preparation continues with wet dressing still a lot of work in this area to do before gloss paint can be applied.


Even hotter than Tuesday! With Bill Dobson ,Steve Hyman , Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson, Paul Jameson and Jon Bradley.

On the J27 a few jobs were completed left over from Tuesday with the vacuum hose was fitted , Brake linkage between engine and tender fitted. Split pin fitted to drawbar nut.

Boiler cladding preparation continued with more wet dressing. A pattern for the cylinder cover copper joints was delivered ,made to Bill Dobson’s speciation fitted perfectly. The copper ones have now been ordered. In the cab more pipe work and gauges fitted and the metal surround where the boiler pressure is indicated on a plate. Various rods and a small piece of cladding which lives on top of the boiler near the whistle all dressed and primed. Underneath the locomotive the vacuum pipe and steam heat pipes were secured and clamped. Eight bolts nuts and washers were ordered last week for the main steam pipes. These were ready for collection on Wednesday afternoon,Jon Bradley offered to go to Teesside and collect them. So arrangements were made with the MPD for fitting these steam pipes on Thursday.

Also two representatives fromNorth Tyneside Railway came and inspected the J27 and were very happy with it!


In the morning Bill Dobson and Paul Jameson with the aid of MPD staff attempted to fit the main steam pipes.  It was found that the lenz rings didn’t fit the new steam pipe flanges, this to be rectified next week. Jon Bradley was also at Deviation shed on Thursday and fitted the wooden seating into the cab.


Today the weather was more reasonable. just 15 degrees. In the afternoon clouds reminiscent of Fort William covered the hills and it started to rain - really like Fort William. Now that the paint would flow again Nigel Hall  gave the boiler a coat of black gloss.Also today two new firebox side bearers for the back grate have been delivered from William Lanes Foundry by Mike Bloomfield.


Q6 cladding sheets in black gloss - Nigel Hall


Q6 5 and 8/9/11 June 2021

On Saturday 5th, Bill Dobson and Ian Pearson were in attendance with Keith Grey from AWL NDT services who tested our main steam pipes welded flanges. All the welds tested OK and the steam pipes can now be fitted into the smokebox, a task to be undertaken by Barney and Nick from the MPD. Gordon Wells came in and lengthened the left hand gauge frame drain pipe and clamped it to the side of the frame. A water sample can now be taken without going underneath the locomotive.

Up at Deviation Shed, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, and Ian Pearson were working on the Q6. Ian’s first job was to take 5428 to the station and swop it over with 80136 and bring it back to shed as 80136 can’t go to Whitby. Nigel Bill varnished all the cab wood seats and also cut extra threads on 5 smokebox bolts. Trevor set up a bench outside the south end of Deviation Shed and started dressing the vacuum exhaust pipe. Afterwards, with Ian’s assistance, Trevor fitted the 5 smokebox bolts which Nigel Bill had prepared. On his return, Ian removed the copper steam heat pipe in the cab which was in the wrong position. It also needed a redundant piece of pipe removing, and the steam heat pipe shortening and re -sealing which was to be done on Wednesday by Terry Newman. Bill Dobson worked mostly on the steam brake unit which was in two sections. This was almost joined together, but the final half inch would not seat, so, with Nigel Bill and Ian assisting, the top section of the brake valve was lifted up. Bill then found one of the four locating studs was slightly bent. This was straightened and the two sections were united and secured. It was now knocking off time and, after a tidy up, all retired to the Station Tavern for a well earned pint.

Wednesday was a stifling hot day and working in Deviation Shed were Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, Neil Smedley (on a three hour drive from Nottingham), Tom Readman, Chris Lawson, Terry Newman and Ian Pearson.

Benches were set up again outside Deviation Shed at the south end, and Neil Smedley finished dressing the vacuum exhaust pipe, while Tom Readman dressed 5 long operating rods ie cylinder cocks, front damper, steam reverser, steam reverser indicator and front sands. These were all primed by Chris Lawson, and the vacuum exhaust pipe jointly primed by Chris and Neil. The dome was also dressed and then primed by Neil in the afternoon, while Chris cleaned and polished the cab gauges. Steve Hyman varnished one pressure gauge mount and polished one of the cab plaques before fitting three injector caps.

Terry came in and soldered the left hand trailing oil box pipes that feed the horn guides. He also removed and sealed the piece of pipe from the steam heat pipe which was not used for anything.

Bill spent a lot of time trying to connect the steam brake exhaust pipe to the steam brake valve but with no success. The copper pipe and it’s fitting may need replacing. Nigel Hall made great progress getting at all the awkward parts of the boiler with primer, and also fitted dust sheets between the frames and the bottom of the boiler. It’s now ready for undercoating. Ian and Ed fitted the rocking grate appliance to the ash pan, flogged up the 5 bolts that were fitted in the smokebox on Tuesday, and then fitted the steam heat pipes that Terry had modified. In the meantime, the MPD boilersmiths welded two plates, one either side of the ash pan, and started fitting the grate. It got a bit congetsed in the cab at times.

Today, Nigel Hall undercoated the boiler and dome cover although it was very hot and he needed to add quite a bit of linseed oil to stop the paint going too sticky too quickly. Jon Bradley also came in during the afternoon and gave another coat of varnish to the cab woodwork.

Nigel also reports that the wind was quite strong and that at about 16:30 there was one strong gust followed by an almighty bang. Jon went out to check and found that the stove chimney had been blown down and was lying on the roof. Further investigations next week.

Whilst all this activity was going on, the film crew teams were returning the MPD, 9F and Deviation Shed back to their original state from their filming disguises.


Q6 - 1st and 2nd June 2021

Ian reports that Tuesday was a hot sunny day at Grosmont so Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells, Chris Henwood, Les Harper, and Ian Pearson were able to top up their suntans. After lunch they were joined by Jon Bradley.

Following Chris Henwood’s request for volunteers to work on the J27, Les had volunteered to help, and there was therefore a joint working party on both locomotives with Chris Henwood, Les, Fin Allen on loan from the MPD, and Ian Pearson working all day on the J27 down at the MPD on No 5 Road. They made two new felt pads and one cotter for the big end bearings, then fitted the big end bearings and got the left hand con rod ready for fitting. They also cleaned lots of oil and grease around the area where the con rods go on to make it easier for fitting.

On the Q6, Nigel Hall continued with the mammoth task of preparing the boiler for painting. He also managed to fit the remaining self tappers under No 4 cladding sheet which I failed with last week. Trevor continued to repair one of the handrail stanchions. Gordon extended the left hand gauge frame drain pipe so as to make it easier to obtain a water sample. He was still waiting for Bill to fit the other oil blocks so he could complete the fitting and brackets to the oil pipes. Nigel Bill fitted the steam reverser valve, while Bill and Ian McCall continued in the cab, fitting copper pipe work and various cab components. In the afternoon, Jon brought the wooden cab seats and gauge mounts which he had dressed at home and gave them a coat of varnish.

Wednesday 2 June was another fine sunny warm day with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Nigel Hall, Chris Henwood, Fin Allan and Ian Pearson.

Bill was working again in the Q6 cab fitting more pipe work. Steve made a new stud for the handrail stanchion, fitted it, and at the end of the day Bill, Ed, Ian, Steve and Jon fitted both handrails (see photo). Nigel Hall continued with preparation of the boiler cladding and made a start in some areas with primer/undercoat. During the morning, Ian and Jon assisted Chris and Fin on the J27, with Ian and Ed taking over in the afternoon. Ed arrived just before lunchtime. He had taken the NELPG van in for 3 new tyres to be fitted and then drove down to the MPD with a K4 tender spring returned from Fort William where it had been sent by mistake. A replacement tender spring for the K1 was acquired from the B1 support coach by Ian, Barney Casey and Nick Simpson and loaded into the van which should be in Fort William by the time you read this.

63395 Jon Bradley refitting the handrail in Deviation Shed on 2 June 2021 - Ian Pearson

Finally, as it is National Volunteers Week from 1 to 7 June, can I take this opportunity to say thank you to you all, no matter where, when or on what you have been volunteering for the Group, for all the time and effort you have continued to contribute to our activities. Without it, there would be no possibility of seeing our unique collection of steam locomotives at work and giving pleasure to the public (and ourselves), so, once again, thank you very much.


Q6 - 25/26/28 May 2021

Ian Pearson reports Tuesday as one of sunshine and heavy showers for Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells and Ian himself.

Bill, Ian and Nigel Bill worked in the cab, fitting the clack box to the injector pipe work. Trevor and Nigel Bill completed the securing of the 20 or so nuts and bolts around the smokebox. Trevor also removed a seized piece of threaded bar from one of the hand rail stanchions which had damaged threads - a new piece will be fitted. Meanwhile Nigel Hall continued adjusting the cladding and securing it with cup head screws: some were re-tapped to allow the screws to go fully down and match the others. Gordon Wells completed the new lubricator oil supply pipe work.

Only outstanding work now is some securing brackets to fit next week.

On Wednesday it was raining again until afternoon, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, and a welcome re-appearance of Ian McCall and, by lunchtime after meetings at Pickering, myself to the team after a long absence due to Covid concerns.

Bill, Steve, Nigel Bill and Ian McCall spent the day fitting the copper pipe work in the cab. Most of this is now completed, including the clack box to injectors (see photo). Steve also replaced all the bolts on both cab foot steps for longer ones. I was given the job of fitting some self tapping screws into the cladding underneath No 4 section but it was very awkward because of the presence of the reverser giving very limited access, but I did manage to fit one of the three required screws - felt very inadequate! Nigel Hall again continued with the cladding, the front belly band being slackened and moved underneath to a central position and secured. The two half bands were fitted between Nos 5 and 6 cladding sheets. Now he can start preparing the cab and boiler for painting.

63395 cab interior with refitted pipework on 26 May 2021 - Ian Pearson

On Friday 28th Bill was in attendance at Deviation Shed with the coded welder who welded the main steam pipe joints on both pipes as these were only tacked on.

I collected the remaining parking passes and new NYMR ID cards from the MPD and these will be going into the post over the weekend to those who are still waiting for them.


Q6 - 18/19/20/22 May 2021

Tuesday was a fine sunny day for Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Bill and Gordon Wells with Ian Pearson joining them after lunch. Nigel Bill and Trevor spent all day fitting counter sunk bolts joining and securing the top of the cab to the lower part. Bill Dobson and Nigel Hall, with Ian after lunch, spent their day fitting the last two sections of insulation and cladding to the boiler. First was the lower left and lower right sheets to No 5 area of the boiler. Then insulation and cladding were fitted to No 4 area - where chains wrapped around the boiler during the lift. The left hand side was first but they are very heavy and take a lot time to manoeuvre into place and screw down. A start was made fitting the right hand side sheet but it was then left for a fresh start on Wednesday.

Gordon continued bending and fitting the oil pipes: this job should be completed next week.

On the railway, passenger services came to an end for the day around lunchtime due to a broken rail on the main line near the shed. The broken rail was removed by the shed staff and P/way gang (see photo).

NYMR staff repairing a running line broken rail at Grosmont MPD on 18 May 2021 - Ian Pearson

Wednesday was another fine sunny day until about 4pm when the heavens opened with torrential rain. Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, James Pearcy, Ed Bolam, Steve Hyman and Ian Pearson were present.

James spent most of his time inside the firebox cutting an 8”x6” section of the ash pan side out on each side so as to access the trailing axle box tops and fit the new oil feed boxes (see photo). He then fitted the oil boxes and connected them to the flexible supply pipe. Afterwards, James made two steel covers to be welded over the holes in the ash pan. While inside the firebox, he connected the ash pan to the diaphragm bracket and also the rear support bracket for the fire grate.

63395 ash pan cut out requiring panels to be welded over holes on 19 May 2021. The pipe is the ash pan sprinkler. The photo shows the junction between the area to be covered with fire bars and the rocking grate in the front half of the box - Ian Pearson

Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ed Bolam and Ian Pearson continued fitting the No 4 cladding sheets, assisted by Steve Hyman who was also continuing to fit the cab counter sunk bolts. The LHS sheet is now in place and seated on the crinoline. The RHS cladding sheet is proving very troublesome in getting it lined up over the crinoline. It is now secured on the top of the boiler and has two strops and and a ratchet holding it, but still needs a little tweaking next week.

Bill also spent some time on the new oil lubricator. He had found that one of the pump spindles was bent and would not work properly, so Barry Nesom made a new spindle. Bill then fitted it to the pump mechanism and then into the lubricator before giving it a test by manually operating it: all pumps started to deliver oil.

Bill arranged with Barney Casey on Wednesday afternoon for Barney to come up to Deviation Shed on Thursday and check the fitting of the new smokebox main steam pipes with Ian and Bill assisting. On a rather dull Thursday therefore, Bill and Ian met Barney and Chris Kelly late morning in Deviation Shed where the steam pipes were lifted and trial fitted. Both pipes were a good fit and arrangements will be made to have the flanges welded by a coded welder. After lunch Bill and Ian completed fitting the last few bolts securing the cab. They also fitted the hand rail boss to the left side of the cab and the reversing bracket inside the cab.

Bill Dobson and Nigel Hall were back again on Saturday (cannot get enough of it).

A lot of attempts to get the 4R cladding sheet to spiral backwards to sit adjacent to 3R (the dome piece) on the crinoline band. In the end the pieces still overlapped, but were only foul by ~1/32”. Rather than undo 3R and try to move it forward they gave up and used an angle grinder to remove 1/32” from the front edge of 4R over about 18” length. Then, as everything was tightened up, the effects of causing the earlier spiral came back to haunt them as the overlap at the bottom was not on the crinoline band and under the 3-4 boiler band. More struggle with pieces of wood, bars, and trying to squeeze between the motion to remove the spiral and force the underside of 4R forward. At long last, by 2pm, sheets 4L and 4R were in position and the boiler band tightened.

Next look for the 4-5 boiler band – and find it corroded. Strip and paint with primer. It will have to wait until Tuesday for fitting. We may need a very thin volunteer underneath!

Bill had spent all day testing the lubricator pumps. All seemed well except that one of the pumps would only work with the pump travelling in one direction.

We started to fit the handrails. The rear RHS slides through the stanchions easily. The reverser steam control linkage which fits through that section was another matter. After two hours we have it almost in the right position, but have left it until Tuesday to complete and to fit the steam reverser linkage. The  studs need to be replaced in 2 of the stanchions before the other handrail sections can be fitted.

The Q6 is starting to look like a locomotive again, the various piles of bits are rapidly diminishing.


9th to 13th May 2021

Another late extra working party was arranged for Sunday (9th) to make progress on jobs needing to be done before the boiler lift arranged for the following Wednesday (12th). Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells and Ian Pearson were present on a rather dull day.

Nigel continued to paint, including an area of cladding which would be covered by the cab when fitted and would no longer be accessible. He also fitted a plate that will hold the pressure and steam heat gauges. Afterwards he completed a coat of varnish on the cab roof and then a coat of buttermilk on the inside of the cab. Finally, the last two remaining cladding sheets were dressed and given a coat of black primer on the inside area of the sheets. Gordon and Bill meanwhile worked on the copper pipe work and lubrication system, while Ian removed a redundant valve from the left hand side of the manifold. This is to be replaced with a new valve shortly and will supply steam to the atomisers when fitted.

After lunch, Ian and Bill fitted both left and right piston packings and secured them. Later on, while trying to connect the trailing left hand oil box, it was found that the unions and screw connections on the brass oil box would not fit. Although they had been connected for many years it turned out it was just on a single thread and, amazingly, it hadn't fallen apart. Some fresh fittings have been found and Terry Newman will be asked to come and fit the new unions as this is a soldering job.

On the Tuesday, Bill Dobson, Trevor Wilford, Nigel Hall and Nigel Bill were at work on a fine sunny morning, but it turned changeable during the afternoon with heavy showers and thunderstorms. Bill and Trevor worked on the oil pipes and new oil feed boxes and Nigel Hall gave the cab roof another coat of varnish and a coat of buttermilk inside the cab. Nigel Bill collected fifty 21/4 x 7/8 bolts with washers and nuts to fit the smokebox saddle, ordered by Ian the previous week. However, when Nigel got them to Deviation Shed he found that the bolts were covered in grime and the nuts would not screw down the bolts, so he had to spend all day running a die nut down all 50 bolts. He wasn’t very happy and it was probably a good job Ian wasn't present.

63395 boiler lifted from cradle at Grosmont on 12 May 2021, Nick Simpson giving the orders - Nigel Hall.

Wednesday by contrast was blessed with fine mild weather and only a slight breeze - just right for the boiler lift, for which Bill Dobson, Ed Bolam, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall and Ian Pearson were in attendance. When they arrived, the NYMR crane team, with Nick Simpson in charge and Dave Cholmondley driving the crane, complete with 'L' plates, had the chains slung around the boiler ready to lift to allow the ash pan to be fitted. The main NELPG task was to move the cab outside Deviation Shed from its position inside on the south end of No 8 Road. Our rail trolleys were manually lifted over from No 7 Road and spaced out with two long sleepers, one on each trolley. With the aid of the lifting table, some strops, the folding crane and bits of packing, the cab was lifted onto the trolleys and rolled outside. This was a joint effort by all five. It was hoped that the cab would be put on when the boiler and frames were brought round, but Sean Bowler was busy on another job so it had to wait for the next day. After moving the cab outside, a bench was set up at the front of No 6 Road and the last two cladding sheets were lifted on. These were then turned over for Nigel to dress and prime these two sheets on the outside - they were very rusty at the bottom end. These sheets are now ready for fitting next week. Ed, Steve and Ian then gave the walkways and pit a clean up while Bill did some more preparatory work on the new axle oil feed blocks.

Completing fiting of the ash pan - Steve Hyman

After lunch, Steve polished the three brass plaques from the cab roof which had been cleaned up by Nigel last week. After the ash pan had been fitted, the boiler was lifted and lowered into the frames and the locomotive moved back to Deviation Shed very gingerly over the No 7 Road track (see photos). It was secured just outside Deviation Shed to allow the cab to be fitted the next morning. Bill and Ian fitted 47 bolts, nuts and washers to the smokebox saddle and tightened up half of them, while Steve and Ed between them fitted the expansion brackets to each side of the boiler. With Steve running a die nut down the studs, and Ed running a tap down the nuts, both sides were secured but will require extra tightening.

63395 boiler lift at Grosmont on 12 May 2021 with ash pan fitted being positioned over the trackNigel Hall

63395 boiler lift at Grosmont on 12 May 2021, here come the frames, with Charlie Dore giving crane driver instruction to Dave Cholmondley. Nigel Hall

That's got the podger in a saddle bolt hole - Steve Hyman

63395 returning to Deviation Shed after the boiler lift at Grosmont on 12 May 2021. Steve Hyman

There is a nice video of the lift by Ian Hodgman too.

Finally, Bill came In on Thursday morning and, with Sean Bowler driving the JCB, and with some help from a couple of cleaners, the cab was fitted.


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