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.

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.

Wednesday 12th February 2020

In my absence at a meeting in Darlington, Ian Pearson reports it was a fine, bitterly cold, day at Grosmont yesterday with a dusting of snow on the moors. With Steve Hyman, Frank Shotton, Jon Bradley, Bill Dobson (briefly on his return from Scotland) and Ian himself. After a short briefing from Bill, lighting the stove and a cuppa, work started.

First job was to check the grease gun worked OK and also the grease nipples on the way shaft housings. One was found to be defective and was replaced but the other one was OK. Steve replaced a broken flexible oil pipe on the right hand rear horn guide. Ian, Steve and Frank took both little end pins and brasses down to the MPD for Owain to make new pins.

The return load from the MPD was bringing the steam brake cylinder back into Deviation Shed for refitting back onto the T2 next week. Lunch was had around the stove.

After lunch, Steve cleaned the carbon from the right hand cylinder bearing. Frank cleaned the lens rings which are part of the header to steam pipe fittings, and also the header and steam pipe connections. Jon arrived after lunch and painted the way shaft and their housings with another coat of black primer, and also dressed the area on the underneath of the tender where where the housings fit. Down at the MPD, steam tests were being carried out on No.29 and the steam crane .

A new hydraulic transmission jack has been purchased for lifting heavy items back onto the locomotives and was delivered today, Thursday, to Deviation Shed by Ian and Gordon. It has a lifting capacity of 300kg and will be a great help for us geriatric volunteers.

The next working party will be on Saturday 15 February 2020 for both the

T2/Q6 and J27. Next Wednesday (19th) is inspection day for the lifting equipment.


Saturday 8th February 2020

Ian Pearson reports a fine sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, with the wind getting up later in the afternoon. A large number of volunteers were present, with Chris Henwood, Paul Hutchinson, Neal Woods, Nigel Dyson, and Trevor Wilford working mainly on the J27, while Nigel Crisp was busy all day boring the left-hand cylinder on the T2. Ian arrived later in the morning, delayed because of having to have a puncture repaired. Arthur Jenkins and Andy Lowes were training four JV's during the morning and afternoon in the machine shop on workshop practices under the control of Bryan Orange. Three more JV's with one Dad spent all day cleaning T2 hand hole and mud hole doors, and also wash out plugs. The final JV and his Dad cleaned and painted the tender way shaft down at the MPD, and also cleaned and painted the tender way shaft housings in the workshop. Ian had a go at removing back head plugs from the cab but only managed to remove two as they were so tight. But Paul Hutchinson came along from the J27 to help, and managed, with great difficulty, to remove the other nine. There are still two at the bottom of the throat plate to remove, so a job for next time. The steam brake cylinder can now be brought up from the MPD next week. Nigel Crisp is coming in today (Sunday) to continue boring the left-hand cylinder and hopes to complete the task next Saturday. Lunch was had around the stove and the JV's had theirs in the MPD mess room.

On the J27, Trevor Wilford spent the day removing carbon for the cylinder covers: these are now immaculate. Nigel Dyson removed the old valve gasket and the sealing faces of the cylinders, as well as wire brushing the studs. He then did a similar job on the safety valve and whistle bosses. Neal Woods completely serviced the whistle, and was on hand for advice as Chris Henwood continued with the back head exam. Paul Hutchinson completely greased and generally lubricated the brake rigging, and then adjusted the loco brakes.


Wednesday 5th February 2020

A cold fine day with a frost at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian McCall, Nigel Bill, and myself, plus Jon Bradley and Ian Pearson first attending the annual NYMR safety brief at Grosmont MIC room from 9am until midday. Ian P arrived early, opened up Deviation Shed, got the stove lit ready for the rest of our team and left a list of jobs to be done. During a break in the briefing, Ian had a cuppa at Deviation Shed and found Nigel and Ian M were working on the J27, removing the L/H cylinder cover. I joined a little late as I had called in at Pickering on the way in. We thought both locomotives would be down at the MPD being washed out, and Nigel Crisp had given the day a miss as a result. In the event this had not happened. Nigel Crisp called in during the afternoon to see if the T2 had been moved for its washout. As it had not, we are going to cancel the washout on the T2 and let Nigel get the boring machine set up today so he can start boring again on Saturday. The safety brief was over just after midday and Ian P joined the three of us in removing the L/H cylinder cover, which is now on blocks of wood by the side of the locomotive.

Lunch was had around the stove.

After lunch, Nigel cleaned up the T2 inside frames where the wayshaft housing fits, and also the housings themselves. I had started one housing but had to go and see Sue Smeaton to discuss various items, and by the time I got back it was time for tea, so I washed up, made the tea and filled up the water bottles. Ian M removed all six washout plugs from the T2 smoke box: he found these very tight. Ian P removed two mud hole doors from the throat plate and two from the cab. Only the plugs from the cab and throat to remove. Jon gave the steam brake cylinder a coat of paint and also did some work on the new J27 locker box. During the afternoon, Charlie Woods and Chris Cubitt came up and talked through the possible fitting, and cost, of lights in the cabs of both the T2 and J27 to illuminate the the gauge glasses and various gauges for night time running.

The next T2/J27 working party will be this Saturday, 8 February 2020, with Bryan Orange and the JV's. Lots of cleaning of plugs and doors to be done, and also the wayshaft which is down at the MPD.


Saturday 1st February 2020

Ian Pearson reports a mild windy day at Grosmont with Chris Henwood, Richard De Sadeleer and Chris Wakefield working on the J27, while Nigel Crisp and Ian were on the T2. Nigel had already lit the stove as he was there early, and, when everyone else arrived, the kettle was put on and a brew made. After the cuppa, Chris H, Richard and Chris W went off to work on the J27. Nigel continued work on the T2 R/H cylinder, while Ian started to remove the bar holding the locomotive way shaft. Bill called in for a short spell, mainly to tell Nigel about the washout plan this coming week - both the J27 and T2 are to be washed out. Bill helped Ian remove the bar which was taking the weight of the way shaft. Ian then replaced the bearing and housing caps and screwed them down, along with the fitted bolts on the left-hand side housing into the frame. Next job was to remove both cross heads which was done with help from Chris H and Nigel . Lunch was had around the stove.

After lunch Ian, removed ten mud hole doors from the T2 boiler. These are in the work shop for cleaning. Chris H removed one smoke box plug, but these are very tight and Ian reckons it is a young man's job, so he is leaving the rest for the wash out crew. Nigel completed boring the R/H side cylinder during the afternoon. He was coming in today to set up some equipment on the L/H side which will not interfere with the movement of the locomotive to the MPD for washout. While Ian was under the loco he found that the R/H driving axle box flexible oil pipe was split. This will need replacing.

On the J27, it was very much a prep day. The L/H rods were lifted back on after a new felt was fitted to the trailing bush. The already loosened R/H cylinder cover was then removed. The L/H cover however, will take a good bit of persuasion, similar to the effort Ian M and Frank put in to get the right hand one ready to lower last Wednesday. So this one has been left until next week when bigger working parties are present. Chris H then removed the whistle, freed up the bosses of the safety valves and the whistle itself to be cleaned, and Richard and Chris W removed most of the valves in the cab. Some have been lapped in, others needed some turning. They have been returned to the backhead, ready for more attention next week when any remaining valves will be lapped in. The thread on the blower spindle has some fairly significant 'chipping', which will need to be addressed. Chris H has contacted Neal Woods for advice on how to deal with this. All side rod caps have now been fitted and taper pinned, and the doors and plugs stowed in the lockers. The loco is now ready to be shunted for its washout.

In complete contrast, new J27 caretaker, in his role of master drummer with rock band Revenant - Ian Pearson

The next working party will be on Wednesday 5 February 2020, when, jet lag permitting, I hope to attend myself.


Wednesday 29th January 2020

In my continued absence, Ian Pearson reports that it was a fine, cold day at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian himself, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall and new member Frank Shotton. Joining later in the day was Gordon Wells, but no Bill or Zack! However, Bill had emailed Ian P a job list, and had left the magdrill for Ian P early morning on Grosmont Station platform after he had repaired it a few days ago. Bill had asked that the hole in the T2 tender way shaft be drilled out, so Ian P took it up to Deviation Shed on a station trolley. Ian M, who was a friend of Frank, took him around the site, and Ian P bumped into Howard Heath during the morning, so arranged for Frank to get on this Saturday 's induction course.

After lighting the stove, a cuppa and a chat about trying the magdrill, the conclusion was reached that it would be very difficult to set up as well as potentially quite dangerous, so, following some advice from Owain, the use of the drill was abandoned. One of the fitted bolts on the locomotive way shaft was extracted, and Nigel is going to take it to Ian Storey's so he can make three new bolts. Ian P, Steve and Nigel finally managed to remove the tender way shaft (see photo) which took all day due to the bolts being rusted in. After the bolts were removed, and with help from Gordon Wells and use of a pair of pull lifts and toggle bars, it was lowered down onto a sleeper and removed to the north end of Deviation Shed ready to go to Owain for machining the brake linkage hole. All the scaffolding was taken down by Nigel, Steve and Ian P and returned to the MPD.

T2 tender way shaft following removal - Ian Pearson

Ian M and Frank worked all day trying to remove the right-hand cylinder cover on the J27. The cover was so tight that it took all day to move it into a position for removal, but by 4pm it was time to go home. So actual removal waits for Saturday.

Arthur Jenkins and John Jones called in Deviation shed during the afternoon for a social visit and made us a cuppa and they also took the magdrill back to Hopetown.

Next T2/Q6/J27 working party will be on Saturday 1 February, with plenty of work on both locomotives, so please make it if you can.


Saturday 25th January 2020

Ian Pearson reports a cold dull day at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Crisp and Ian Pearson working on the T2, and Chris Henwood and Trevor Wilford working on the J27. The stove was lit and tea brewed, so a cuppa around the stove and a discussion on how the job of the T2 way shaft movement could best be tackled.

First job was to test the left hand side of the way shaft bearing with a G clamp attached to a long bar, and a measurement taken with a clock gauge showing about 30 thou, while the right hand side had hardly any movement - maybe a couple of thou at most. What was found on the left-hand side was that the housing fitted bolts, of which there are three (see photo) were all loose in the locomotive frames and through into the housing . A bar was then fitted across the frames above the way shaft, with two strops attached to the bar and way shaft. Both housing top caps were removed first. Then it was decided to remove the bottom housing on the left side, as this had the loose fitted bolts. After some time removing very tight fitted split pins (which were awkward to get out standing on the steps in the pit), eventually the three nuts were removed. However, the bolts could not be withdrawn fully as the locomotive wheels were fouling the removal. New fitted bolts will have to be made and holes reamed out. It was suggested that we Jack up the locomotive a couple of inches to allow removal, but this cannot be done while the cylinder boring is under way. So another job on hold until the boring is finished. Nigel Crisp was on the job from early doors yesterday (about 6.30am), boring the right-hand cylinder. He hopes to complete that side next Saturday.

T2 left hand way shaft housing fitted bolts - Ian Pearson.

Lunch for all was held round the stove, accompanied by Zack the dog.

Meanwhile, Trevor and Chris Henwood were working on the J27. Trevor cracked and removed all of the remaining cylinder cover nuts, so the covers are now ready to come off. Chris moved the wooden floor/step sections in the cab, removed the debris from under these, and removed the two foundation ring wash out plugs cab side, followed by the two on the throat plate. The two of them then worked to get rid of a good 3 and a half barrow loads of ash from the smoke box, before Chris removed the

6 wash out plugs from the smoke box. Neal Woods popped in with the replacement valve rings, as well as some used, but good, spares. He also shared information regarding clearances when measuring, and had a general chat about the locomotive with advice on what needs to be done next

The B1 tender has now been put in Deviation Shed pending some electrical work in the near future.

The next T2 working party will be on Wednesday 29 January 2020, with another joint T2/J27 working party on Saturday 1 February. For that, Chris Henwood needs a team to lower the J27 cylinder covers, so please do try to come along and give him your support.


Thursday 23rd January 2020

Ian Pearson reports another fine cold morning with blue skies and patchy thick fog on everyone's travels to Grosmont. With Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley and Ian himself. Also Nigel Bill and Steve Hyman were travelling down from Thornaby in the NELPG van to collect the T2 ‘s pistons for delivery to Ian Storey’s workshop. The stove was lit and kettle boiled for a cuppa while Ian P made some wedges to secure the pistons when in the van .

Ian M and Neil completed some outstanding work on the L/H tender water valve linkage. It is now all greased up and secured. Bill removed the pulling equipment from the regulator rod in the dome. Some measurements were taken of the regulator rod diameter at the stuffing box end by Bill for Ian Storey to make a sleeve. Nigel and Steve arrived about 10.30am with the van. The pistons were rolled onto a pallet, then lifted with the JCB front loader over to the van. After being rolled inside, they were secured firmly with ropes and wedges before departure for Morpeth after a cup of tea at 11.30am. Ian M and Neil removed the little end brasses from the con rods by making a pushing device with threaded bar and a couple of plates, nuts and washers. Bill removed the whistle for servicing and repairs. It was found to have a broken spring which Bill replaced with a new one, while the head of the whistle valve was found to be badly scored.

Lunch was had round the stove with Bill's dog, Zack, cleaning up the crumbs and nibbling bits of coal.

After lunch, Neil cleaned all the carbon from the J27 R/H valve which had been removed last Saturday. Ian M skimmed the whistle valve head on the lathe then Bill fitted the whistle back onto the boiler - one job completed! Ian M also did a lot of general cleaning work in the T2’s cab around the valves, including repacking and fitting the left hand manifold valve which has a feed to the pressure gauge.

After a report from Barney late last year that he thought the clunking noise was coming from the motion way shaft, Bill and Ian P checked this out and found significant movement on the bearing shaft. It looks like the way shaft will have to be removed and the bearings re-metalled.

The next working party will be on Saturday 25 January 2020, on both the T2 and J27. For the J27, Chris Henwood has now formally taken over from Richard Pearson as J27 caretaker following approval by the Board at its meeting on 21 January. Congratulations to him and best wishes for his new responsibility. He has a list of jobs for this Saturday arising from last week's working party, so come along and give him your support. TheJ27 is required for a special train on 13 April (more details later) so there is not a lot of time to get everything done if that target date is to be met.


Saturday 18th January 2020

Ian Pearson reports a fine cold day with blue skies all day at Grosmont yesterday (in contrast to Sydney where it poured down all day!) with Bill Dobson, Nigel Crisp and Ian himself working on the T2. Down the Shed, Chris Henwood, Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Neal Woods, Ashley Moore and Thomas Dibbs were working on the J27.

The stove was lit and the usual brew was made, along with a lot of chatter and passing of information regarding work on the J27. Bill and lan worked on the T2 regulator crank. Bill was up on the boiler trying the withdrawing device which Ian Storey had made, and had given to Bill and Ian on Thursday when they visited Hogg Engineering at North Shields who are making the new main steam pipes. But when Bill tried to fit it to the regulator rod it was a little on the tight side, so Ian ground a small amount of metal off from the slot. After the next fitting the slot was OK, but Bill thought the holes in the other plate where the threaded bar goes through, needed opening out a small amount. So the plate was drilled out slightly bigger, then re-assembled back onto the regulator rod, and the pressure put on by tightening up the nuts (see photo), but nothing moved. Then it was time for lunch which was had around the stove.

T2 regulator rod withdrawing device in situ - Ian Pearson

After lunch, in spite of major efforts to get the crank to move, it would not budge. So a lot of heat was applied, then more pressure was put on the withdrawal nuts, but still no movement. The crank was even doused with cold water and more pressure put on, but it still would not move. So in the end they had to give up and call it a day. Ian thinks it is going to have a sleeve fitted - maybe! Whilst all this was going on, Nigel Crisp spent the day setting up the cylinder boring machinery - see photo.

T2 left cylinder boring equipment in position - Ian Pearson

Meanwhile, on the J27, Angie was in the cab removing and examining the clack box valves - she has become somewhat of an expert at this job. She found the clack valves themselves needed more than just lapping in, as the valves faces were concave, so Paul has taken them to turn them on his lathe to correct this. The right hand steam valve threads were found to be worn, so Neal Woods has taken this away to have a new spindle made. The side rod caps were removed by Paul, and the clearances between crank and bush were then measured. The results have been emailed to ian Storey for advice, as one was found to be nearing the limit normally run on the K1. Thomas, Ashley and Neal were hard at work removing the right hand valve cover, and then removing the valve itself. This was after a bit of pinch barring the engine, and some reverser lever operation was performed, to get the cross head in a position to remove its cotter.

Neal and Chris then removed the rings and have completed 75% of the cleaning. One was found to be broken so Neal will see if there is a spare at Hopetown. Ashley removed and labelled all the of the mud hole doors and the majority of the washout plugs, which have been stored in the RH locker. Thomas removed the RH cylinder cover nuts, leaving 2 on for now. Paul cut, trial fitted, and left to soak In oil, a new felt for the trailing left rod bush. Plenty done therefore, and Chris now has a list of jobs for the next J27 working party on 25 January.


Wednesday 15th january 2020

Ian Pearson reports a cold dull morning, but getting out fine by later on at Grosmont yesterday. With Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, Ed Bolam, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley and Ian himself. Stove lit and tea brewed with a discussion about how to get the brass bushes out off each T2 cylinder. It was decided to make up a pulling device from materials around the workshop - one small disc, one larger disc and a piece of threaded bar, along with a couple of nuts and washers.

T2 left hand cylinder bush showing carbon deposits - Ian Pearson

With this device, both brass bushes were successfully removed. They were found to be badly contaminated with carbon (see attached photo) and the left one was cleaned by Jon. It was manufactured in two halves and these have been put in the L/H gland packing box which is upstairs above the workshop. Lots of carbon was removed from both cylinders and their ports- Ed worked on this all day. Steve cleaned off the old steam reversing valve gasket from the boiler side and cleaned the flange, then fitted a new gasket and reversing valve. Unfortunately, while tightening the nuts, Steve hit his thumb with a hammer he was using, causing a cut across his left thumb. His thumb was treated down at the MPD by first aider, Adrian Dennis. Steve was OK after treatment and continued with his work. The accident was reported to Bryan Orange who is sending an accident report form to Steve. Steve a!so filled in an accident report at the MPD. Jon and Ian P got a short driving job just before lunch, taking the Class 37 from the shed down to the station and then up the main line to just beyond the bracket signal No 17. It is now in section for working to Goathland later this week when no signalman will be required and P/W will have a possession. Lunch was had around the stove.

Jon gave the brake cylinder a coat of primer and also painted the J27 toolbox. Ian M and Nigel worked on the L/H tender water valve. The carrot was taken off and ground in, was found to be working OK, but the linkage was seized. Eventually, with some heating, this was freed and now is working fine, although it needs securing which will be done on Saturday. The R/H water valve and linkage seem to be working satisfactorily. Ian P and Steve fastened an air line to the steam reversing cylinder to operate it. They managed to move it forward and back very slowly to remove any water trapped in the cylinder.

Apparently the recent gales have blown off a roofing sheet which was eventually found at the south end of Deviation Shed. Bryan Orange is arranging for that to be replaced as a matter of urgency, and for some other small roof repair jobs to be done at the same time.


Saturday 11th January 2020

Ian Pearson reports a grey, windy but mild day at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian Storey, Bill Dobson, Andy Lowes, Bryan Orange with 7 JV's (Adam Dangerfield, Luke Perry, Oliver Barker, James Clark and his Dad, Richard, Matthew Smith, Tom Readman and Findlay Brown) and Ian Pearson himself. Nigel Crisp, who is going to bore out the T2 cylinders was also present. Unfortunately Arthur Jenkins wasn't well enough to attend to give his tuition of workshop practices to the JV's ,due to a leg injury.

With Andy on his own he could only manage to train 4 of the JV's (Adam, James, Findlay and Oliver), 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.

After the usual cups tea, cleaning jobs were given to our JV's around the cylinders. Lots of carbon to remove where the piston gland packing fits, also just inside the front of the cylinder where a build up of carbon was evident. 2 of the JV's were in the workshop cleaning other piston gland components which were removed some weeks ago. Ian Storey arrived about 11 am with the refurbished steam reversing valve. Ian's main job though was to try and free the regulator crank in the dome. He had brought a special heat gun with him which required borrowing the Oxy and Acetylene bottle from the MPD. Duty fitter, Duncan Jackson, brought this up with the JCB. Ian then set up his burning gun and got on heating the crank arm in the dome. After two attempts of heating it cherry red and hitting it with a hammer it would not move. So this was abandoned and the burning gear returned to the MPD. Ian has another idea of making a device to withdraw the crank arm off the regulator rod. Bill stripped down one of the safety valves and removed the seat and the valve. We have new castings, and when Bill has all the correct dimensions the new castings will be machined. Bill had to leave about 10.30am but came back at lunch time with Zack (the dog), and lunch was had around the stove, with the JV's having theirs up in the MPD mess room.

After lunch, Ian P painted primer under the cab where the steam brake cylinder fits, and also cut a new gasket for the steam reversing valve.

This valve will be to fit next week. He was also keeping an eye on the JV's cleaning jobs. The cylinder boring equipment had been delivered to Deviation Shed on Friday afternoon: two large crates of kit which Nigel Crisp spent yesterday sorting and cleaning ready for when he starts next Saturday. He asked for a brass bush still in situ in the entrance to each cylinder to be removed. However, after scraping some carbon from the ends of these bushes it looks like they are in two halves and a special drift will be needed to remove them to get the boring shaft in .

The J27 remains on No 7 Road inside Deviation shed. It has been winterised. It is awaiting a piston and valve exam, and the steam heating system is to be investigated.


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