No sooner had I pressed the send button on Thursday, than I heard that the Q6 washout had been completed and it had been moved into Deviation Shed, on the back of the pit road next to the workshop. The curse of the email system and having to work remotely last week!
So Saturday's working party, small but beautifully formed, comprised as it was of Andy Lowes, Ian Pearson and Trevor Wilford, were able to get their work done without having to trail up and down to the Running Shed in the heat. Indeed, it was such a lovely warm day, far too nice to be working inside, that they had to keep popping outside to wave at Santa trains.
Andy got both cylinder covers to a point where they are ready to lift off. Also the pipework to the front covers of the valves has been removed in readiness to take the covers off.
Ian was busy in the cab, removing the mouth piece from the fire hole, the gauge frames were put in the fireman's side locker on the tender and both gauge frames rodded out. Cab gauges have been packed in a cardboard box with bubble wrap and put above the workshop for safe keeping. The plan is for Paul to take them with the K1 gauges to get calibrated at Guisborough early in the New Year.
The steam reverser was piped up to compressed air: this was very long winded affair (ouch! Sorry for the pun). The plan was to lubricate the steam cylinder with steam oil through the valve on the top and work the cylinder to remove any water. Sounds easy until you try it. Long story short - when the air supply was turned on it blew the flexible pipe off, so this will have to wait until next time when another pipe is made up.
Trevor was on his first working party at Deviation Shed so he had a quick safety briefing, was acquainted with the facilities available and then got stuck into some fabrication work. This included welding the right clack square on the isolation valve spindle. He also made a steam heat drip valve protector which is ready to weld on. The fire hole door flap was also removed. This fought back to the point where Trevor burnt the bolts off: we take no prisoners, we win in the end! With the door removed both hinges were also found to need replacing as they are worn right through on the door side.
Unfortunately, no RO is available for next Wednesday (23rd), so there will be no working party, although if anyone has finished their Christmas shopping and wants to get rid of any surplus energy, the Q6 still needs cleaning under the running plate - particularly frames and wheels. With no working party on Boxing Day, the next ones will be on Wednesday 30 December for which Andy Lowes will RO and then Saturday 2 January which Andy will again lead, and Wednesday 6 January for which an RO will be required.