Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 9 July 2018
Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre
Present: Colin Foxton (in the Chair), Richard Wheeler, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson, Martin Lloyd, Bill Dobson and Roy Marshall.
1. Apologies for Absence – John Hunt, Chris Lawson and Richard Pearson had apologised in advance. Richard Wheeler advised that he would miss the August and September meetings.
2. Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting - The minutes of the 11 June meeting were agreed and signed off by the Chair of the meeting.
4. Matters Arising
4.1 Bill Dobson had spoken to Paul Middleton and Gordon Wells about water treatment and was reassured. The effects of poor water were being felt on the J27 sooner than on other locomotives. Antifoam was to be added to the supply at Grosmont soon and there was a water softening plant at Pickering. The supply was being monitored carefully each day.
4.2 Colin Foxton reported that he had made no progress on the Articles. The letterhead and email sign off would be circulated again. Colin offered to help anyone requiring assistance with the email sign off. Action: Colin Foxton.
4.3 Nigel Hall reported that Hopetown working party numbers were holding up, though this evening’s had been cancelled. The Q6 painting approach was being developed – work would start on the tender in November.
4.4 Paul Hutchinson said that there had been no progress on the LMP or on statutory/legal input to the Strategy. A digital copy of the LMP was available on the website.
4.5 Roy Marshall said that the “Straw Man” ideas would be copied to Nigel Hall. Action: Secretary.
4.6 Richard Wheeler advised that there was no progress on the reply to the Fundraising Sub Committee, the CCLA investment was on hold and that the winter maintenance spend was now complete, with a figure of £34,471 for the J27.
5.1 The Monthly Finance Report had been circulated by the Treasurer. The Chairman confirmed that all had read the report and asked that, rather than work through the whole report, that any specific questions should be raised. The following points were noted:
5.1.1 Roy Marshall noted the Treasurer’s covering email text about “sleepwalking into financial problems” etc and asked what he recommended as the expenditure ceiling. A maximum of £200,000 was agreed to be prudent over the coming winter, depending on planned hire income during the rest of the year being realised.
5.1.2 In response to a question from Colin Foxton, Richard Wheeler said that the reduction in estimated hire fees for the J27 from £30,000 in 2018 to £20,000 in 2019 shown in the Financial Projections was perhaps pessimistic. Richard asked for estimated spends for each locomotive for next Winter. Action: Caretakers.
6. Locomotive Update
6.1 Locomotive Sub Committee – Bill Dobson said that he saw the main uses of the meeting to be the setting of standards and the sharing of expertise and ideas. Bill offered to meet at a location to suit Fred Ramshaw. Action: Bill Dobson.
6.2 Locomotive Overhaul and Maintenance Policy –no progress to report on the Strategy.
6.3 Q6 – Bill Dobson reported that only one flue tube remained to be installed and that the small tubes had been expanded at the firebox end. Progress on other locomotives at NYMR would mean increased focus on the Q6. Efforts were now turning to preparation for the series of hydraulic tests. The planned Winter 2018/19 boiler lift was discussed, as the Treasurer expressed concern that the Centenary might be missed. Bill felt that the lift could go ahead and that any resulting stay work could be tackled.
6.4 J72 – The locomotive had been stripped down as far as planned, including removal of the steam brake cylinder, for the boiler lift. Nigel Hall reported that the lift was planned for the first week in August. Nigel was looking for technical help with the lift itself. Richard Pearson had suggested that we needed to support Fred whilst his health problems continued – Fred would be consulted on this. Action Secretary.
6.5 There was discussion about the lack of funds for a full overhaul of the J72 at this point and about the circumstances in which 3 estimates for contract work might not be practical. It was concluded that such a situation could be justified (see also below at 7.5).
6.6 J27 – The locomotive was in traffic. It had previously been failed briefly with water valve problems, but these were now resolved
6.7 K1 – The locomotive had been failed with an intermittent AWS fault. The fault was only experienced when working tender first. It had occurred on 5 occasions, twice at the same location.
6.8 Locomotive Hire – The potential hire of the J27 by the Wensleydale Railway was discussed. Steve Davies was hoping for 21 days, but we could not, at this point, confirm the crewing of the J27 at the Wensleydale for more than 15 or 16 days. Richard Pearson would be advised by Paul to feed this back to Steve Davies. We continue to try to cover additional days as far as possible, but without any guarantees. Richard Pearson had Steve Davies' agreement to meet all transport costs to and from the railway, it was confirmed. Action: Paul Hutchinson - advise Richard Pearson of Committee decision.
6.9 The locomotive and tender were to be split at New Bridge on Tuesday 24 July and the move to Leeming Bar would take place over the following two days. Richard Pearson had asked for help with the move. Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Roy Marshall offered to assist. Action Paul Hutchinson: - Advise Richard Pearson.
7. September SGM – Motion for K1 Overhaul
7.1 The K1 boiler main line ticket expires on 13th January 2019. It might be possible to extend this date by 3 years if we were to seek hire agreements with Heritage railways.
7.2 However, it is planned that the locomotive will return from Scotland to Carnforth on 14th September to commence an overhaul. Paul Hutchinson told us in some detail what he believed was necessary for the K1 overhaul and confirmed that he would set this out in writing soon to accompany the proposed SGM Motion. Approval is required for some £250,000 (including a contingency of £50,000) of expenditure to cover mechanical work and boiler repairs.
7.3 The mechanical work required is relatively minor. It is planned to take out two wheelsets and do some re-metalling.
7.4 The boiler work is, however, more substantial and repairs stated below have been discussed with John Graham, our CME, who advises that some, whilst not essential right now, are “in the best long-term interests of the locomotive”. About 150 side stays need replacement in the fire area, because the heads have gradually reduced in size. This will require the boiler to come out of the frames. In addition, with the boiler lifted, it makes sense to renew the boiler tubes and get a new 10-year ticket. Patching in the area of the lower outer wrapper sides in recent years means that this is an area likely to give trouble in the period of the next ticket, so it is sensible to address this now, by replacing the bottom of both outer wrapper sides.
7.5 It is planned that dismantling and preparation work will be carried out by NELPG working parties and that the boiler work will be carried out by WCRC. Whilst in theory it would be useful to invite competing quotes, considerations of: costs for road movement, free workshop space, geographical proximity to allow appropriate oversight, confidence in technical competence and the availability of a time slot to suit our needs – all of these militate in favour of WCRC as our preferred contractor, which was agreed.
7.6 The amount of £250k would be prudent to cover the overhaul with some contingency - this amount would be used in the SGM Motion. However, this is beyond the £200k that the Treasurer has recommended as the spend ceiling just now, so the overhaul could not proceed more quickly than funds could be made available. In any event, the duration of the similar work on 46115 suggests that the K1 is unlikely to be ready for Jacobite operations in 2019. As a result, the K1 could be made available for hire on NYMR when the overhaul is complete. This would comply with Motion 1 of 25 April 2014.
8. Health & Safety
8.1 The Secretary had circulated proposals in respect of ICE records and had received comments. The proposals would be amended to address comments received and a paper submitted to the next Committee meeting. Action: Secretary.
9. Communications & Consultation
9.1 Colin Foxton advised that the various Social Media Policy drafts he had seen had much in common and that he would prepare and circulate a draft for review. Action: Colin Foxton.
9.2 The Secretary had circulated a proposal to conduct Committee business by email in order to reduce the load at monthly meetings. Comments had been received and a revised proposal would be circulated for the next meeting. Action: Secretary.
9.3 Proposals had also been circulated on mechanisms to replace the VAMOS meetings and address continuing concerns about communication from the Committee to members. Again, comments had been received, including how best to omit sensitive matters. The proposals would be revised and circulated for the next meeting. Action: Secretary.
10. Review of Articles of Association – no progress to report.
11. Any Other Business.
11.1 It was confirmed that there had been no further progress in respect of our membership of MSLOA.
11.2 It was also confirmed that there had been no response from DRPS on repairs to the diesel shunter.
11.3 The Secretary suggested that appeals for both the J72 and K1 could be launched now, in view of the lack of funds for both and he agreed to contact Dave Pennock to bring this to the attention of the Fundraising Sub Committee. Action: Secretary.
Date of Next Meeting – 13 August 2018
The meeting closed at 10.07pm.
Signed……………………………………. (Chairman) Date…………………………………….
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