Yesterday at Grosmont were Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson, and myself, with the Q6 now back in Deviation Shed in its usual place over the pit next to the workshop, with the tender behind. So life is a lot better as we don't have to walk and carry tools to and from the MPD shed. During the day there was a mega shunt which resulted in the frames for No 29 being moved down to the MPD so that work can start on preparation for fitting of the newly cast cylinder block once it has been machined.
After tea, the regulator rod was removed through the front tube plate with the help of charge cleaner Matt Anderson (a small boy ) who was able to get into the Q6 boiler through the dome (a sad commentary on the size and agility of the rest of us!), and guide the rod out through the flue tube hole in the smoke box with Jon in the cab and Ian in the smoke box. The rod is now on the floor next to the workshop in Deviation Shed waiting for an NDT test. I sand blasted (in reality it is glass beads) the back safety valve and its components. Bill then measured up the critical parts of both safety valves and found they needed no attention, so they were then loosely fitted back together again ready for the base plates to be NDT'd.
Following his duties with the regulator rod, Jon drilled out the two small bolts which hold the cladding on to the cylinder and which sheared off some time ago. These were very resistant to his efforts at first, but the addition of some magic green gunge did the trick. Nigel glossed the cylinder covers, cladding and side bands and also put a coat of grey paint on the roller door stanchion. Ian started to remove the top plates from the axle boxes, with the intention of fitting trimmings in the top of the axle boxes to lubricate the horn block guides. These will have nuts welded on the top of the plates and then holes drilled to take a cork inserted into the nut - a bit of extra oiling up for the driver! The leading plates are still to remove.
There are quite a few valve cover studs to remove from the castings on the left and right hand sides and one stud to drill out at the back of the cab floor on the right hand side from where the fall plate was removed the previous week. A rounded nut on the front end of the L/H slide bar could do with some weld on so as to get a better fit with a spanner to enable it to be removed - a welder and burner are required.
The new flue tubes are due to be delivered to Grosmont along with those that have recently been ordered for Eric Treacy. We do not need them urgently, and sharing the transport will halve the delivery cost. The elements have been delivered to Mathew Storey at Hepscott for re-ending, but after a re-assessment by him, our CME John Graham and Bill Dobson, they have been condemmed as unsuitable for further use. Bill is therefore now seeking quotes for new elements.
Even though it is now near the end of the operating season, trains were relatively well loaded, although the B1, in the capable hands of Alan Whitehouse, had a real struggle with the greasy rails getting past Deviation Shed on the 10.30 to Pickering - but he made it, just! There were also a reasonable number of interested visitors round Deviation Shed, and at least one £10 note went into the donation box.