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 8th January 2020

A happy New Year to all our readers.

In this, the first Grosmont report for 2020, Ian Pearson reports a fine, mild day at Grosmont on Wednesday with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, and Ian P himself. Jon Bradley joined the team after lunch and Ed Bolam called in after completing his NYMR induction course, as did Martin Lloyd with his grandson who also completed the course. Another welcome visitor was Bob Grey who popped in to say hello and brought some old sheets for cutting into rags.

After Bill had consulted with Barney, he asked if one of the team could hone the inside of the brake cylinder. Ian M took on this job, so, after a cuppa, he went down to the MPD with Bill. The honing equipment was set up and Ian M completed the honing which was checked as OK by Barney. Ian M also cleaned the outside of the brake cylinder which is now ready for a coat of paint. At Deviation Shed, Steve got on with dismantling and cleaning the gauge frames, and clearing out the steam and water passages. He also found one of the gauge glass brass gland rings was missing. A replacement was made by machinist Barry Nessom at the MPD.

Lunch was had around the stove. Then, afterwards, Ian P was down in the pit trying to drill out a split pin on one of the brake cylinder studs, a job later completed by Ian M drilling a new hole in the stud. He also cleaned a lot of rust from around the area where the brake cylinder is to be mounted. Steve, with some assistance from Ian P, dismantled the pressure gauge valve, stripped it down, removed the old gland packing and cleaned the valve. Replacing the gland will be done next week. In the meantime, Jon Bradley gave the J27's tool box a coat of grey undercoat.

The B1 tender will shortly be added to the stock on No 6 Road - it apparently requires some electrical work - and the J27 is back on No 7 Road.

For those wanting to know the latest chapter in the regulator rod removal saga, Bill and Ian P were working at Deviation shed on 5 January trying to remove it. They established it would not come out through the stuffing box hole which is 4" diameter, whilst the crank that operates the regulator in the dome is too large at about 5". It also catches other pipes and brackets. The crank has a key way which was heated and then hammered to try and get it out, but it would not move so this was also abandoned. Bill's alternative idea therefore is to fit a sleeve on the stuffing box end without having to remove the rod at all. This was measured up and a drawing made and sent to Ian Storey for consideration.


Wednesday 18th December 2019

A bitterly cold, frosty day with thick fog on the Moor roads on our way to Grosmont yesterday. Sub zero temperatures until the late afternoon so we were glad of the stove - thanks Bill! A large turnout with Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Jon Bradley, myself, and newcomer to Deviation Shed, Ed Bolan. Bill Dobson made a brief appearance at the start of the day, trying to arrange the move of the piston rods to Ian Storey’s workshop and the steam pipes to North Shields - but without success. No working party on the K1 yesterday, but an apology from me - it has been pointed out that Paul and Angie's dog is called Tonks and not Tonk as I have referred to it previously.

After cups of tea, Ian M and Neil broke up some timber for lighting up the K1. Then they were under the T2 cleaning the studs left in the bottom of the drag box which held the steam brake cylinder in situ. All the old split pins were removed bar one and a die nut run down each stud. Ian P took Ed around the MPD site on a brief induction and also arranged for Ed to attend an MPD induction course with Howard Heath on 8 January at 9am. Steve removed the exhaust valve from the brake cylinder and cleaned it up. It was taken down to show Barney who is going to do some repairs to the valve and also the rest of the brake piston and cylinder. These were taken down to the MPD and left on a bench just outside the machine shop.The K1 was shunted outside Deviation Shed during the morning.

Sausages round the fire at Grosmont on 18 December 201 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had around the stove with Steve treating us to pan fried sausages which he had brought, with finger buns (see photo). There were also mince pies, and we were regaled with a number of colourful tales from Nik Proctor who joined us for a cup of tea. After lunch, the two pistons were moved near to the roller door ready for loading. With the K1 moved out, the T2 ‘s tender was drained and the engine pinched forward to allow removal of the regulator rod. Most of the afternoon was spent try to remove it, but, after about 6ft showing, it would not move any further. Even Barney had a go but it would not move any further out. Nick Simpson told us to erect some scaffolding between engine and tender with a standing platform on making the job much safer, so between 4pm and 5pm Steve, Nigel and Ian P erected the scaffolding platform, with a little help from Jon who had been repairing the J27 tool box. That now requires re-painting. We also took the opportunity to clean out the front of the tender by the various link bars, of accumulated lumps of coal, coal dust and grease. Ian P had set up a warming fire on the K1 which he lit about 3pm. I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator and kept the tea flowing during the day.

Elsewhere, Dame Vera Lynn is now back in Deviation Shed on No 8 Road, with Eric Treacy sat on No 8 Road outside the Shed awaiting tyre turning, as its flange depth is now outside acceptable limits. In moving the K1 outside on No 7 Road, it became clear that the track outside was no longer in an acceptable condition. One side, near No 6 Road, had subsided significantly resulting in an unacceptable cant on the rails, and it has therefore been condemmed for use, other than with specific permission and extremely close supervision. Another urgent job to add to the P/W Department's list.

Four locomotives were on steam test yesterday - the J27, 92134, 825 and Repton. Apart from the lack of trains on the running line, it looked just like a normal operating day at times - we even had a couple of visitors in the afternoon! The Channel 5 documentary team were also around doing some filming.

That was the last regular Wednesday working party for the year. The next one will be on 8 January 2020. The K1 was on steam test today, and Paul will circulate details of any separate working parties to be held between now and its departure to the Great Central Railway at the beginning of January. Between Christmas and the New Year, it is also planned to be running on NYMR service trains.

So, as the year draws to a close, many thanks to everyone involved for their help and support at Grosmont throughout 2019, and my best wishes for a happy Christmas and wonderful New Year. See you again in 2020.


Satrurday 14th December 2019

Apologies for the delay with this latest report, but Ian and Paul report a cold fine day at Grosmont on Saturday with a T2 team of Nigel Bill and Ian with Paul, Angie Buxton, Les Harper, Chris Henwood and Mike Bloomfield (and Tonk the dog) working on the K1.

The stove was lit to keep everyone warm and, after a cuppa, Nigel and Ian decided to split the T2 engine and tender. This will allow the regulator rod to be removed once the K1 leaves Deviation Shed. The drawbar locking plate was removed and, with the aid of a couple of cleaners from the MPD, the large ratchet spanner was put on the drawbar nut . With them pulling the rope the nut was soon loose enough to allow removal of the main drawbar pin. After the large split pin was removed, the main drawbar pin was knocked up and out, and the two safety link pins removed. All three pins and the locking plate are in a fireman’s side locker.

Lunch was had around the stove, with Tonk looking on mournfully! Bill called in briefly before lunch and arranged with Nigel to take the main steam pipes away to Induction Pipe Bending at Washington. So Nigel and Ian loaded them up onto the four wheel trolley and took them to his van in Grosmont car park - they just fitted. Back underneath the T2, vacuum pipes and steam heat pipes were disconnected and then the water pipe hoses. These caused a problem as the water valves were jammed in the open position allowing the tender water to flood the pit, but, as Mike and Les were working in the pit underneath the K1, the right hand valve was closed by hitting the operating arm underneath the tender with a hammer. The left one had to be re-coupled. Paul will drain the tender on Tuesday when work should be finished underneath the K1. In the light of this experience, both T2 water valves are clearly in need of overhaul! Two injector rear caps were still to remove. The right rear was succesfully removed after the application of some heat, but the left one is still on - the cap nut has been badly damaged in the past and the spanner just slips round the nut. The right hand rear nut has been put upstairs in the workshop with the other two which were removed a couple of weeks ago. They are on the top right shelf, along with the sealing rings for the main steam pipes.

For the K1, Richard Desadleer and Paul worked on it on Friday when the RH piston packings were gapped, the steam chest pressure gauge was fitted and the last 3 mud hole doors were refurbished and fitted.On Saturday, the 5 (not including Tonk!), filled the boiler, refitted the RH injector steam valve after skimming the valve head and lapping it in, refitted the steam heat valve (again after lapping the valve head in) and associated pipe work, scraped and refitted the RH cross head slippers, refitted the piston packings (both sides), built up a wasted weld to the smoke box door ring, started filling the repaired areas to the back of the tender tank, checked the free movement of the loco steam brake piston and weigh shaft (this involved removing the weigh shaft and brake piston pins, checking that the components moved freely then reassembling) and checked the condition of the loco brake cylinder release valve and spring. The brake checks showed all to be in order except the release valve spring which was weak and is to be replaced.

Although the J27 was rostered for Grosmont Santa trips, it did not do any because of steam heat problems. Seems to have been a problem with the stock rather than the locomotive, but Control took it off and replaced it with Repton. Later though, the J27 heated the dining train and banked it to Goathland.

The next working party will be on the K1 tomorrow (Tuesday 17th) when a steam test will be carried out (Paul is off to light a warming fire this evening), and then as per normal on Wednesday 18th.

Having been to Deviation Shed this evening, Paul has found that the K1 has not been moved out to enable the steam test to be carried out. That means that tomorrow's test has been cancelled and there will be no working party after all. He will now attempt to reschedule the steam test for Thursday (19th) as he is not available on Wednesday, and if anyone would like to join him then please let him know - mobile 07964 988551 after 1800.

So the next working party will be on Wednesday 18th on the T2.



Wednesday 11th December 2019

As I was unable to get to Grosmont yesterday because of over running decorating works at home, Ian Pearson reports it was a fine, cold, slightly overcast day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Jon Bradley, Ian Pearson, and also Nik Proctor later on, working on the T2, whilst Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton and Les Harper concentrated on the K1, joined later in the afternoon by Chris Henwood. The dogs Zac and Tonk were also present.

After the stove was lit, with cups of tea all round there was a discussion of how best to remove the brake cylinder from underneath the cab, a difficult challenge with a very heavy piece of metal in a very awkward position. Removal was very much a team effort with Nigel, Steve and Ian M in the pit doing most of the awkward work, heating the cylinder and knocking wedges in to get the cylinder moving downwards, while Bill and Ian P assisted from above with a couple of 8’ sleepers and the lifting trolley which, eventually, was manoeuvred underneath on the timbers . But before that, a 50 ton jack was used to take the weight of the cylinder while the nuts were loosened further down the studs. In the meantime, Jon was up on top of the boiler disconnecting the regulator linkage. The linkage pin was removed, labelled and put in a box in the workshop with the regulator quadrant.

A well earned lunch was had around the stove, having laboured long and hard to get the brake cylinder ready for removal. After lunch, it was back into the pit for Nigel, Steve and Ian M to carry on with the cylinder removal. Bill suggested that Ian P should start removing the cotter from the piston head which had been removed last week. At this, Nik Proctor, came up from the MPD and offered to remove the cotter. This took longer than anticipated as it would not move using a hammer and punch so had to be drilled out - thanks Nik. Eventually, the brake cylinder was lowered onto the hydraulic lifting trolley and gently moved out from underneath until we could get a strop around it. With the the lifting frame in position, it was lifted out clear of the engine. The piston was then removed from the cylinder. By then it was well after 4pm, so time to clear up, wash the pots and go home.

On the K1, the team fitted the pressure and vacuum gauges (except for the steam chest pressure gauge), the right leading tender brake table link (this link having been fitted with a new bush), tender brake blocks, fuseable plugs, cylinder cover nuts and cylinder cover cladding. Fitting the con rod and valve gear split pins was also completed. The LH return crank taper pin hole was reamed and a new taper pin fitted.The last job was to remove the new RH cross head top slipper in order to increase the clearances between the slippers and the slide bar.

Paul had hoped that the engine could have been ready for a steam test on Saturday but there is too much still to do. He now aims to carry out the steam test on Tuesday next week.

Down at the MPD the J27, S15 and Repton were having a steam test and check over ready for the weekend's Santas.


Saturday 7th December 2019

Ian reports a fine mild day at Grosmont yesterday with Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Trevor Wilford, Ashley Moore, Chris Henwood, Mike Bloomfield and Ian himself, as well as Arthur Jenkins, Andy and Joan Lowes and Bryan Orange with 7 JV's plus one Dad.

With the stove lit, it was cups of tea all round for the adults - seems that the young ones don't drink tea! The JV's were split into two groups: three of them went down to the machine shop with Arthur and Andy to do their lathe training while Joan did the washing up . The other four were found jobs cleaning various items of the T2 - three brake components, two cylinder heads and some of the rusty parts of the blast pipe spark arrester. After removing the steam brake piston arm, Trevor got set up with the burning gear under the T2 and, with the application of some heat, managed to loosen all eight securing nuts . These nuts were badly rusted on and took some moving. None have been removed yet but are now loose, and that's a job for Wednesday as we will need some packing to support the brake cylinder and possibly remove the piston first.

Lunch was had round the stove for some, and the Support Coach for others, as it was a bit crowded around the stove. After lunch, three of the JV's assisted Ian in bringing the K1's connecting rods from the MPD to Deviation shed. The left one had accumulated quite a bit of light rust which the lads cleaned it off with emery paper and wire brushes. Elsewhere on the K1, a new front TPWS arial bracket was fitted, ring grooves on both pistons de-burred, RH piston rings gapped and fitted, RH cross head fitted (Mike had collected this from M Machine on Friday and brought it through to Grosmont in the company van yesterday morning), both pistons fitted, both con rods fitted, both cylinder covers fitted and two new clips for the slacker feed pipe fitted. The tender tank was also filled to check for leaks to the recently repaired areas - all found to be watertight. Most of the cylinder cover nuts are still to fit as are the piston packings.

On the Railway, the J27 was on the Grosmont Santas as Rudolph with a red nose on the smoke box door, and Dasher D7628 on the rear. Also out were the S15 and Repton sharing the dining train and Pickering Santas.

The next working party is on Wednesday 11 December when it is hoped to complete the K1 reassembly and fill the boiler with a view to steam testing next weekend, while on the T2 we need to remove the steam brake cylinder.


Wednesday 4th December 2019

A fine bright morning driving to Grosmont but on arrival it was dull and very cold with a frost. It brightened up later on, although never warmed up. The team on the T2 was Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill and just before lunch myself Chris with finally Jon Bradley. Working on the K1 was Paul Hutchinson with Les Harper and, late afternoon, Chris Henwood and Richard De Sadeleer. Stove lit and a cuppa to warm up before there was a 10 minute power cut. Then it was on with removal of the T2's LH piston by Bill, Ian and Nigel, using the hydraulic table.

T2 steam brake cylinder. 4 December 2019 - Ian Pearson

Lunch was had around the stove, with Bill having to leave due to some personal commitments. After lunch, with me assisting this time, the T2's RH piston was removed in the same way. The left and right piston packings springs, followers and nuts are in separate containers upstairs on the right hand top shelf. After afternoon tea, Nigel Bill worked under the engine removing the brake linkage between engine and tender and also the locomotive's trailing brake rod. This was done to gain better access to the steam brake cylinder (see photo) which needs removal for refurbishing the piston. We were going to remove the regulator rod, but there’s not sufficient room to withdraw it without splitting engine and tender, so this job was put on hold until the K1 departs and there is sufficient room available. There was then another power cut around 15.45 lasting about 20 minutes, although the emergency lighting system cut in and provided essential illumination as by now it was dark outside.

On the K1, the work carried out included removal of the front TPWS arial bracket (new bracket to be fitted on Saturday), servicing the small ejector valve, servicing the graduable steam brake valve, fitting the gauge glasses, gapping and fitting new LH piston rings, finishing the current batch of roof stay nut replacements, completing the manufacture of two slacker feed pipe clips, refurbishing and fitting one mud hole door and sealing (internally) the recently repaired areas of the tender tank. The new big end was cut and put in to soak and the fire hole bottom protector plate buttered up.

The J27 remains on No 8 Road in Deviation Shed, but the necessary steel for the spring hanger bracket repair has been received and the required welding and machining well under way. That is hoped to be completed by tomorrow and once refitted, subject to a satisfactory examination and steam test, it should be available for Santa services from 14/15 December to the end of the season. It will be operating from Grosmont rather than Pickering however: the Pickering services will continue to be run by the B1.

Next working party will be on Saturday, when Bryan Orange and the JVs will also be attending. It should be a busy reassembly day on the K1 with the RH piston rings to gap, boxing up to finish plus the RH cross head, both pistons, both cylinder covers, both con rods, the front TPWS arial bracket and the fire hole bottom protector plate to fit. On the T2, the steam brake cylinder will be to remove.

More generally, there will be a first working party today on No 5, while, yesterday, Repton and No 825 were on steam test, with No 29 lit up at the end of the day, and the 9F whisping steam on No 4 Road all day. So lots of steam around. Not bad for any visitors (of which there were none) bearing in mind it is a non operational period!


Wednesday 27th November 2019

'The rain it poored doon aall the day and made the groond quite muddy' at Grosmont yesterday, as the famous song says. Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley and myself (working on the T2) and Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, Les Harper and Mike Bloomfield (working on the K1) all braved the appalling weather to get to Deviation Shed. At the start of the day the stove was lit and tea brewed.

 Nigel Bill after splitting the T2 crosshead on 27 November 2019 - Ian Pearson

On the T2, work started, mainly with a team effort, which saw the LH crosshead oil pot removed,and then both crosshead cotters removed with hammer and a bar. A tool had been borrowed from Ian Storey for removing cotters but it was too large and would not fit. All the locomotive brake blocks were removed and have been stored under the bench by the display boards. I also replaced all the broken bulbs in the inspection lamps, and the remaining new bulbs are on the electrical spares shelf in the storeroom upstairs. Lunch was had around the stove and discussion of how we were to split the crossheads. Having decided on a plan, all the splitting equipment was brought up from the MPD. During the afternoon both crossheads were split from the piston rod - see photo of a pleased Nigel after he had given the crosshead a thump with a copper hammer. With pressure on from the splitter the rod parted with a bang (see photo of end result with the splitter attached to the crosshead). While work was underway on the crosshead I was busy cleaning sections of the spark arrestor. The L/H side metal piston packing was also removed, put in a box with its nuts, and put in the storeroom upstairs. This piston is now ready for removal at the weekend.

T2 split crosshead with splitter on 27 November 2019 - Ian Pearson

Meanwhile on the K1, the team completed servicing of the cylinder relief valves, replaced the left rear ash pan door linkage pin, progressed the annual backhead valve exam and maintenance (including recutting both clack box steam valve seats), previously weld repaired areas of the tender tank were re-welded by Mark O'Brien after he had finished work, a new taper pin prepared for the LH return crank, the steam heat valve bead blasted (the valve seat is to be replaced by Steve Andrews), and the LH cylinder sealing face and cover studs cleaned ahead of reassembly.

J27 fractured spring hanger on 22 November 2019 - Barney Casey

Not such good news on the J27 however. After refitting the valve covers on 21 November, during the subsequent fitter's inspection, the left leading driving spring hanger bracket was found to be fractured (see photo). It was decided to machine a new part (the half with the pocket for the spring hanger bolt) and weld it onto the half that bolts onto the frames. Evidence was found of a previous welding repair though and the fractures in the old casting are many and substantial. A new lower part is therefore required. The fractures appear to have been there before the leaf spring collapse, but this collapse will have hastened this latest failure of the casting. Time is of the essence to get the engine ready for the Santas. The necessary steel has been ordered and, once it arrives, the MPD has said that the necessary work to effect the repair should only take a few days. The J27 will therefore miss the trial run of the Northern Lights Express tomorrow and will be replaced by the B1 No 1264. Once the repair is completed however, it is expected to be used on the remaining Northern Light Express and the Santa Special trains to the end of December. Being based at Pickering it can also provide steam heating for the duration. The MPD’s Barney Casey will be keeping an eye on it while it is there, and making sure it is not affected by any bad weather that might occur.

In spite of being no operations yesterday, the S15 was on test in steam, the B1 was moving around festooned in LED light strings, and the 9F and Repton were lit up late afternoon. The Channel 5 film crew were also around, including in Deviation Shed, no doubt getting the atmospheric dusk/dark, raining and steam swirling shots.


Wednesday 20th November 2019

A cold, cloudy start at Grosmont early on yesterday, but it soon brightened up, giving us a sunny, clear day. Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley, Paul Hutchinson and, just in time for lunch, myself!

After the stove was lit, a brew was made so tea all round, then a start was made on lan’s list of jobs. With ladders fastened to the T2 handrails, Ian McCall removed both safety valves, cleaned the boss faces and studs, and refitted the nuts back onto the studs. He also cleaned the bases of the safety valves which are now marked up and on the workshop bench. Neil and Nigel Bill removed the cosmetic dome cover and the regulator dome cover before, with a team effort, it was gently lowered to the floor. Both covers are now at the back of No 8 Road by the buffer stop. Jon Bradley cleaned the dome studs and refitted the nuts back on later in the day. Steve removed the lubricator drive from the R/H side big end. It was then decided to have a go at removing the L/H con rod. To achieve this without having a shunt, the gate and gate post at the north end of No 7 Road were removed, allowing the locomotive to be moved a few feet northwards and getting the little end pin in a position where it could be withdrawn by the team. The entrance to the shed was barriered off for safety reasons, not that there were any visitors around, but on a precautionary basis.

Lunch was held round the stove, following which the big end bearing was removed, with each side of the bearing kept together with its shims, and wire tied round to keep them together. All the fittings for the L/H big and little ends are in a blue plastic bucket in the workshop. After removal of the brass bearings, the little end of the con rod was lowered to the floor and, with the jacking trolley underneath the big end taking the weight, Barney came in as we were about to attach a rope to lower it to the floor. He volunteered to lift it off the trolley and just picked it up and placed it on the floor on some timber packing, much to the chagrin of team of geriatrics who had been struggling to do the same job. Following an afternoon cup of tea to build up our strength again, a start was made on removing some of the R/H side big end and little end cotters and nuts. They were successfully loosened off but time ran out and this rod will have to be removed next time.

Steve has taken the steam brake isolation valve to Hopetown for Arthur Jenkins to repair.

When Barney came he asked Ian to put some other jobs on our T2 list - remove all locomotive brake blocks; remove the brake wayshaft; and remove the brake cylinder which needs honing and new rings.

On the J27, it was moved out of Deviation Shed and on to the coaling stage pit where the L/H piston was fitted. Again, as the dark descended, the cover was left to be fitted today. The locomotive will be out for a test run for the Northern Lights Express on 29 November, with the service starting the next day.

Unusually, Paul was working mainly on the K1 on his own, and he reckoned not much was achieved. However, the flexible engine to tender steam brake pipe was refitted. This included repairing the tender brake supply pipe and replacing an associated pipe clip, both of which were damaged when the flexible pipe was removed. In addition, one new rocking grate section was fitted with help from the team to get it onto the footplate - boy was it heavy! - and Jon helped Paul get it in the firebox and fitted. The original was noted to be fractured when Ian and Paul replaced the RH rear rocking grate side bearer last week.

While the K1 is not required for the Santas it is to be used on the NYMR Christmas/New Year services. In order to ensure that it will be ready in time we really need good attendances at the working parties over the next few weeks - hopefully starting this Saturday when the next working party will be held. There will also be one next Wednesday (27 November) and any extra ones that prove to be necessary will be called as and when.


Saturday 16th November 2019

A gloomy and intermittently very wet day yesterday with the full silence of the railway and landscape in its winter closure!

However, despite the absence of MPD staff on "official business" along with some of the regular Saturday Working Party members, a goodly team of NELPG faces were present. Neal Woods and James Pearcy were the engine working party contingent, assisted by apprentice Bryan Orange. Andy and Joan Lowes, with Arthur Jenkins, were present to kick off the 2019/2020 Young Persons Development Group workshop training programme.

I delivered a winter season starting safety briefing to all of the MPD Juniors, emphasising the Competency focus which our friends in ORR have currently taken after a marked increase in safety "incidents" on Heritage Railways nationally. After Arthur shouted "foul", cups of tea were quickly produced by yours truly to steady his and others nerves!

Unfortunately Oliver Barker was taken poorly on Friday evening so was a "knocker" yesterday, but NELPG youngsters, Luke Perry, Findlay Brown, Tom Readman, Adam Dangerfield, Matty Smith and James Clark were ready and waiting to start!! James and dad Richard Clark were attending for their first Working Party.

In the morning, Mike McPeake and Howard Heath delivered the MPD Safety training course in the MIC room to Andy, Joan, Arthur, James, Richard and Matt. Apparently Matt saved the day when difficulties were encountered with Mike's Lap Top being unwilling to show his PowerPoint presentation. All the other Juniors present today had already received this training previously.

Luke, Tom and Adam assisted Neal and James with removing the brake blocks from the K1 tender and removing 2 brackets from the loco. One bracket was measured up and painted. The other bracket was scrapped due to corrosion and a new one will be manufactured at Hopetown.

A photo of the MPD Juniors with Arthur, Joan and Andy is attached enjoying lunch around a rather hot Pot Belly stove.

Lunchtime at Deviation Shed on 16 November 2019 - Bryan Orange.

In the afternoon all of the youngsters except Findlay departed to the MPD Workshop with Arthur, Joan and Andy to cut off all of the raw materials for their mallet manufacturing task, except Findlay who assisted James P with the remaining work on the brackets under the K1.

Neal and I started to service the K1 cylinder relief valves and drain cocks. The RHS relief valves were ground in.

We had to start to close things up about at around 1540 hours because the MPD is locked up at 1600 hours in the winter when no trains are running.'

Thanks to Mike McPeake and Howard Heath for delivering the latest MPD safety briefing induction course.


Wednesday 13th November 2019

A very cold but fine day at Grosmont today, with Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, myself and later Jon Bradley working on the T2 (and Bill Dobson who called in early to brief us on what jobs to get on with) while Paul Hutchinson, Angie Buxton, and Mike Bloomfield were working on the K1 with Chris Henwood and Richard De Sadeleer joining them on the late shift.

No work was done on the J27, with the left hand valve repair being dealt with by the MPD staff and an instruction for the locomotive to be left alone for them to deal with. It will be in use however, for the Northern Light Express and the Santa Special trains from the end of November to the end of December, being based at Pickering to also provide steam heating for the duration. Barney Casey will be keeping an eye on it while it is there, and making sure it is not affected by any bad weather that might occur.

First job was to clean out the ashes from the stove, get it lit up and then have a warming cuppa. My first task was to clean out the remaining ash from the T2 smoke box so that Ian could get on with removal of the second main steam pipe. Then Steve, with my assistance, removed and cleaned all the cylinder cocks and stored them upstairs. The operating linkages were tied up and left in situ. Nigel Bill removed the valve that feeds steam to the reverser (this is situated on the right hand side of the boiler) after the application of heat to free up the securing nuts. The valve was dismantled in the workshop and then taken down to the MPD and given to Owain to do some machining and rectification, as it was blowing by when the carrot valve was open while topping up with steam oil.

Ian worked all day removing the nuts from the L/H main steam pipe in the smokebox with help from Nigel. This involved removal of a fair amount of concrete which was covering some of the nuts. By the end of the day, the steam pipe was successfully removed. Jon removed the injector caps for frost protection, cleaned them and put them upstairs. He also refitted all the cylinder head nuts back onto the studs after cleaning the threads and oiling them. The T2 is due a wash out, but this will be done as and when it becomes accessible for a move down to the MPD.

On the K1, there was frustratingly slow progress. The front valve was cleaned and fitted by Angie and Paul, the tail rod lubricator pipes annealed by Paul who also adjusted, fitted and secured the piston valve glands and made and fitted a new securing key for the R/H piston valve cotter. Both clack boxes were stripped for examination by Angie and she cleaned and lapped in both clack valves. Mike completed the cleaning of the R/H piston, and made a start on cleaning the R/H piston packing assembly. Late on in the day, Chris Henwood and Richard De Sadeleer made further progress with the replacement of the wasted roof stay nuts. In addition, Mark O’Brien made a start on re-profiling the throat plate mud hole door openings under contract with the NYMR. Paul also discussed with Barney the arranagements for getting the Support Coach down to Pickering at the end of the season, and also the use of the K1 during the Santa season out of Grosmont.

Working parties will continue tomorrow (15th) and Saturday (16th - when the JVs will also be present). On that Saturday, Mike McPeake is also running an MPD site briefing from 10.00 to 12.00 in the MIC Room at the MPD. This is essentially for the JVs, but if anyone else has not so far attended a briefing, or needs a refresher, and is able to go on Saturday they will be most welcome.

There will be a further working party on Wednesday 20 November, for which Neil Smedley and Ian McCall have already indicated their intention to be present.


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