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.

8th and 9th December 2020

On a cold, misty, drab, Tuesday morning at Grosmont, Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Nigel Bill and Ian Pearson arrived to find smoke issuing from the Q6 chimney. A warming fire was lit on Monday afternoon then relit on Tuesday morning (see photo).

63395 boiler out of frames steam test on 8 December 2020 -  Nigel Hall

Away from that excitement, Nigel B and Ian continued to clean between the frames. Nigel B also dressed some flaking paint from the weigh shaft area and applied a coat of red oxide on the bare metal. The lifting jacks had arrived back from Pickering on Monday, but, when tested, they would not work. An electrical fault was found in the control unit which Chris White (electrician) rectified during the morning. So, before lunch, all four jacks were moved into position by Nigel B and Ian, Chris Cubitt, Sean Bowler, Andrew Jeffery and Dave Cholmondeley. Moving these jacks is very heavy work, but they were now set ready for Sean to do some final adjustments and measurements to the horn guides the next day. Bill started rubbing down the vacuum pipes which Ed cleaned last week, while Nigel H gave the back plate, cab steps and tea tray a coat of black gloss paint. Later Nigel H dressed the steam heat pies with a flapper wheel and gave them a coat of black primer as well as giving the vacuum pipes a coat of red oxide where required.

After lunch the steam test on the boiler had to be abandoned for various reasons, and which were to be sorted out the next day. These included the absence of blanks on the header: these were found upstairs in the Deviation Shed workshop. Ian made some new gaskets for them and they were to be fitted tomorrow. Also the packing under the foundation ring area required some alteration, and the blower pipe from the manifold to the operating valve required fitting. Bill started this job just before home time and was to continue the next day. It now looks as if the boiler inspector will be unable to come for the formal out of frames steam test until January 2021.

The weather on Wednesday was more of the same, although it brightened up later for Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson and, at lunchtime, Jonathan Bradley.

Steve fitted the blower supply pipe from the manifold to the blower valve on the back head and Ian fitted the two blanks to the header in the smokebox. One stud was missing so Bill asked Barry Nesom to make a new one. This was fitted and both blanks are now in situ on the header. Ian removed the gauge frame protectors and these are now stored in a black plastic bucket in the large locker upstairs in Deviation shed. They require some attention - new springs,cleaning and painting. Nigel H continued to paint - another coat of black gloss on the steam heat pipes, red gloss on the vacuum pipes, and eventually got down to the frames later in the afternoon. He then painted all the parts that had been painted in red oxide yesterday with red gloss.

After lunch Steve and Jon worked outside on back head parts, dressing by removing old flaking paint but there is still quite an amount to do so Nigel H is going to acquire some dressing disks.

Bill went to local steel stockists to buy a steel beam of 6 feet in length for fitting underneath the foundation ring as the wooden beam started to burn yesterday. Bill is arranging delivery to Grosmont sometime shortly. The water in the boiler is to be drained on Friday, then it will be jacked up, and the wooden beam replaced with the steel beam. Sean and Dave fitted the intermediate and leading wheel sets with new under keep pads. The four standing jacks were removed. Some final measurement checks on the horn guides showed all to be OK. The wheels are to be fitted back into the frames today (Thursday).

Locomotives in steam on both days were Lucie on steam heat duties and S15 on the Moorlander.


1st and 2nd December 2020

Well here we are at December 1st and Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner. But on a fine cold Tuesday morning at Grosmont, Nigel Hall, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill and Ian Pearson arrived for the first of the week's Q6 working parties.

Last week Terry was repairing copper pipes. However, one was forgotten - the steam pipe from the steam brake to the brake cylinder which has the oil supply pot attached. It was noted when removed that the pipe was cracked about 20 inches below the oil pot. But on initial inspection in the morning, Ian and Nigel B could not find the crack, so the pipe was returned back upstairs. Sean O'Driscoll's law applies at Grosmont though, and, later in the afternoon, Ian found the crack on the steam brake pipe while looking for another item in the upstairs store. He therefore brought it down to the workshop again ready for Terry to inspect and hopefully repair the next day.

While upstairs in the morning, Nigel B brought the graduable steam brake down to the workshop for cleaning. While he was stripping it down, he found that the bolt that secures the operating handle had sheared at a point where a small taper pin fits through the casting and also the bolt. The inboard portion of the bolt was removed quite easily with a screwdriver, and then Bill took both pieces of bolt to machinist Barry Nesom who soon made a new one - many thanks again to Barry. While reassembling, Bill had to drill through the bolt via the small hole in the casting so as to fit the small taper pin. The attached photos illustrate the problem and the repair.


63395 graduable steam brake showing sheared bolt that secures operating handle and new replacement bolt - Ian Pearson.

63395 graduable steam brake showing new handle securing bolt, and new hole for taper pin - Ian Pearson

63395 graduable steam brake re-assembled with new handle securing bolt - Ian Pearson

Meanwhile, Nigel Hall continued with painting a coat of red gloss on the eccentrics, then black primer on the reverse side of the backplate, the steps and tea tray. He also fitted the left hand top piece of backplate to the boiler and also the mount for the steam pressure gauge. Bill made up a hose connection plate to fit onto the the right hand side clack box so that it could be secured the following day. Ian completed checking and replacing trimmings around the lifting links, cleaned four boiler top doors, and assisted with some of the pipe work and steam brake work.

Wednesday was a dull dismal morning but with the passage of a cold front, there was bright sunshine (but colder) after lunch. Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Ian Pearson and Terry Newman were present. Steve and Ed removed the water hose connector from the clack box that was put on yesterday. It required a new gasket and some spacers. Back at the workshop Steve made a new gasket, found 4 spacers and refitted the connection to the clack box. Ed then assisted Terry splitting the vacuum and steam heat pipes to manage the straightening more easily using the oxy gear. By lunchtime, and with some assistance from Ian, both pipes were straight. Ian and Ed then set up a pair of trestles where Ed spent the rest of the day cleaning the pipes ready for painting by Nigel H. There is still one pipe section to clean though. Terry, after obtaining flux and brazing rods from the MPD, repaired the crack in the steam brake pipe. All boiler doors and plugs were taken down to the boiler shop ready for boxing up the boiler and filling it with water, with the intention of a warming fire being lit on Sunday evening prior to a test steaming before the boiler inspector's visit. Ian and Steve spent spent all afternoon cleaning between the frames mainly the motion plates.

Four engines were in steam on Wednesday on test - the 9F, Repton, No 825, and Lucie, which was also tested by pulling the 140 ton 9F up the head shunt. Today, Thursday, saw a return to operation, with Repton on the Christmas diner, which had been steam heated by Lucie. The diner will also be running on4/8/9/10/11/15 to 18/31 December 2020 and 1 to 3 January 2021, departing Grosmont at 12.30. The Christmas Re-imagined service will also be operating from Pickering to Levisham to see Santa on 5/6/12/13 and 19 to 24 December. All require online prebooking and are subject to any change in Covid restrictions.


24th and 25 November 2020

Ian Pearson reports a fine breezy Tuesday morning with the odd shower in the afternoon at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall and Ian himself at work.

On Monday, Sean Bowler fitted the four oiler pads which were put to soak last week, to the trailing and driving wheel sets. Most of Tuesday saw Bill and Nigel Bill, with Ian assisting occasionally, setting up the temporary fire grate under the firebox ready for the out of frames steam test, using scrap items from the area east of Deviation Shed, old pieces of steel and the Q6 fire bars. Nigel Hall continued cleaning and painting the frame with red gloss, while Ian was making and fitting trimmings for lubricating the axle horn cheeks. He also made a start on remaking other motion trimmings.

63395 and 65894 new safety valve fittings. 25 November 2020 - Steve Hyman

In contrast, Wednesday morning was miserable, damp and dismal, but by the afternoon the sun started to shine and the temperature started to drop. Bill Dobson, Ed Bolam, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall, Terry Newman and Ian were present.

Bill and Ed spent most of the morning completing the building of the temporary fire grate, with a little assistance from Ian and Steve.

Steve's main job was on the J27, servicing the blower valve. After removing the spindle, the head had a very slight groove around it. This was skimmed in the lathe by Barry Nesom. Steve couldn’t clean the seat of the valve as there wasn't a holding tool suitable to clean up the valve seat. So he reassembled the valve and refitted it. Chris Henwood and Barney have been made aware of what has been done up to date.

Ian continued checking and making trimmings on the righthand lifting links, but there are still quite a few to do. Terry repaired three copper pipes which had various defects. He also assessed the state of the bent vacuum and steam heat pipes and how to straighten them. He will have a go next week. Bill collected the refurbished Q6 safety valves for reassembly, having been inspected and passed by Barney (see photo of new parts machined by Barry Nesom - item 3 is for the J27 safety valve).

After Bill had reassembled them, they were fitted to the boiler. The boiler is getting nearer ready for its steam test! Nigel Hall cleaned and primed the reverse side of the backplate cladding, the foot step and tea tray. Down at the MPD, he cleaned and painted the eccentrics on the driving wheel set with red oxide primer.

After lunch round the stove, and also on the bench near the door with Zak the dog, Ed cleaned all remaining oil and dirt from the Q6 spring hangers and horn stays.There was no water later in the afternoon in Deviation shed as it has been isolated due to cold weather precautions.

However, Barney has given an assurance that Deviation Shed can still have its supply while the coaling stage and washing out hose is isolated but that will have to be sorted next week.


17th and 18th November 202-0

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


10th and 11th November 2020

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

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

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

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

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


3rd and 4th November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


27th and 28th October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


13th and 14th October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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


1st, 6th and 7th October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


29th and 30th September 2020

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

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

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

Deviation Shed closure to public notice - Ian Pearson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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