A beautiful glorious sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, with Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Ian McCall, Steve Hyman, Jon Bradley, late comer Ian Pearson after a dental appointment arriving just in time for lunch, and myself.
After the usual cups of tea (with some dodgy looking milk), Jon relit the stove, and Steve and Nigel removed the R/H cylinder cover. Steve removed the copper washer which was found to be very thin and tight on the studs, which is possibly why the cover was leaking. Bill is going to order two more copper washers that are thicker and with a better corrugation. Steve cleaned the faces of the cover and cylinder around the studs, then oiled the faces. All the washers and nuts have been put back onto the studs for safe keeping. Nigel and I removed the front L/H brake rod for NDT testing. I spent a lot of time removing grease and chipping paint from the rod until Nigel got the burning gun working after Ian and Nigel had gone down to the MPD for a new oxygen bottle. Nigel then burnt the rest of the paint off before lunch. Ian McCall removed the front safety valve and cleaned both faces ready for a new gasket.
We had been asked to winterise both locomotives (snow is forecast for next week!), so Nigel started draining the Q6 boiler by loosening the front foundation ring mud hole door and knocking it in to get a slow but steady flow, with the pump operating to keep the water level in the pit down to manageable levels. The tender is still to drain. The J27 was put on the outside pit for Jon to winterise. The tender and boiler were drained, gauge frame protectors, rubbers and glasses removed and put in the tender locker, and the top gauge frame nuts slackened. The R/H injector cap was removed and put in the locker. The L/H cap was very tight and could not be removed.
Lunch was held round the stove in spite of the glorious weather, as Bill had brought some bacon and buns. In Derek's absence, Jon took over the chef's duties, frying the bacon on the pot bellied stove, so it was pots of tea (with fresh milk) and bacon buns all round!
After lunch, I did the NDT test on the brake rod. Both ends were OK and Ian took the necessary photos which were sent to Barney. The front rod was then re-fitted and secured but could do with a coat of paint to protect the two ends. The first intermediate to the driver brake rod was then taken down, cleaned of grease, oil and paint, and is now ready to be NDT tested. Ian P, after making the new safety valve gasket, then refitted the front safety valve. Ian M went on to ream out the tender front R/H stretcher bolt holes and fitted 4 new bolts. They are now secured and the job is complete. Bill started to loosen the flange coming off the manifold on the left hand side but found the nuts extremely tight - it is a stud with a nut either side. It holds the valve to the pressure gauge and the gasket between the flange, and the manifold was leaking steam slightly. Steve took over later in the afternoon and managed to get one side loose. Bill fitted the R/H cylinder cosmetic cover and only three small bolts are needed for the job to be complete. Barney is going to speak to Mark O'Brien today about his plans for getting the part rocking Q6 grate completed, as we need to get the painting progressed unhindered and also avoid any last minute panics as 1 May and the Q6 launch into its centenary year approach.
The MPD current plan is to shunt the J27 into Deviation Shed on Tuesday (it was used on the diner on Sunday, with a diesel on the rear, following the failure of 80136 which dropped its blower pipe), putting the Q6 at the north end of No 7 Road, with the J27 at the Pickering end, as this is required for running on 30th and 31st of March and the first week in April part of the train service during the visit by A4 60009 Union of South Africa. To achieve this, the 9F frames will be moved out ready for the boiler to be refitted, probably on Wednesday. Maurice Johnson and colleagues were hard at work on the S160 on No 8 Road and trying to find parts which had all been jumbled together on arrival at Grosmont from being carefully laid out at Teesside - we know the feeling!