NELPG publishes its own bi-monthly newsletter NELPG NEWS, which is posted free to all of the group's members. The history of the group is chronicled in its pages.
Members have approved the expenditure on the K1. The flue tubes were the subject of detailed analysis to determine the reason for failure. This was attributed to stress corrosion but further investigation has shown the front tubeplate to be fractured as well. The boiler has been removed for overhaul, the frames brought to hopetown, lifted and the wheels removed.
The K1 is at Carnforth being prepared for investigation and overhaul. The RHS cylinder has been taken to Cast Iron Welding for assessment. The J72 has been a busy little engine visiting Shildon, the Tanfield Railway, the Great Central Railway and the NYMR. Maurice Burns writes a very interesting account of the early NELPG working parties at Thornaby.
Sadly, after only two weeks in action on the Jacobite the K1 was withdrawn from traffic because of a leaking large flue tube. Investigation showed that there was a fracture in one of the flues at the smokebox end such that it was deemed necessary to carry out further detailed examination of the tube and any others that might have a similar problem. To do this it was reluctantly decided to return the K1 to Carnforth. Maurice Burns writes of his chance meeting with Albert Hawman, an ex BR steam driver from Darlington. now aged 97. With an excellent memory he shared his reminiscences of the steam age and a 50 year railway career that ended with a very special “last steam turn”.
Work progresses on the new J27 cylinder block with the core models being made and it is hoped that the new cylinder will be cast this summer. Work on the wheel sets in Northern Ireland is complete. TheQ6 is now back in traffic with the motion being reassembled at the end of May and a fracture to the RH cylinder being metal stitched. The K1 is now in Scotland working on the Jacobite after appearing at the Locomotion NE Giants of Steam event, missing the railtour due to a cylinder fracture, repair and a period of running on the NYMR. The J72 was officially launched at Shildon on 18 June, where it is working until mid summer. Dave Pennock reports on the Blyth Spirit Railtour.
J72 steams for the first time in 14 years, at Hopetown and passes Insurance Company test. Painting to be completed at NRM Shildon, where J72 will be the operational locomotive until early August. The J72 is to appear alongside K1, Tornado, V2 and Furness 20 at an event in May. J27 wheel set work progressing well in Northern Ireland. LH leading tyre may need to be replaced as otherwise 'wheel wobble' type problem means that all tyres would have to be re-profiled almost to scrapping size to accommodate problem wheel set. Q6 winter maintenance progresses slowly as resources are focused on J72 and K1. AGM to be held at Shildon, NRM. Ken Hedley recalls a recent journey along the Blyth and Tyne line.
NELPG News 255, February 2010 The Garfield Western Foundation has donated Â£5,000 for J27. J27 HLF bid however has been unsuccessful; but the overhaul is now to progress. The driving wheel sets have sent to the Railway Preservation of Ireland for crank pins to be machined and tyres to be re-profiled and progress can be made towards ordering the new cylinder block. Q6 and K1 winter maintenance continues. Neal Woods gives a detailed report of K1 wheel sets being re-tyred at South Devon Railway. Morrisons have donated photos taken in North Road Works
The overhauled J72 boiler has been lifted back into the frames at Hopetown and re-assembly work continues apace. The gauge-glass protectors for both the J72 and J27 are missing from the stores. Work on the J27 awaits HLF bid. Q6 awaits winter maintenance. The K1 driving wheel sets are being re-tyred at Buckfastleigh, in Devon. The May 2010 Railtour is likely to visit Northumberland. First aid training is held at Hopetown thanks to Andy Fyfe. Membership at end of 2009 was 629.
Work continues on stripping and examination of J27. The steam brake cylinder has been found to be sound and has been re-assembled and painted. Options are under consideration for replacing the cylinder block. A HLF application will be submitted for the J27 by October. The Q6 has run 5580 miles on NYMR since May and the list for winter maintenance has been drawn up. The K1 has completed another Jacobite season with some photo charters and has returned to Carnforth. Since May 2009, the K1 has operated on Network Rail on 66 days and covered 6,156 miles. The J72 boiler has passed the insurance company steam test outside the frames at Carnforth. A new steam pipe has been made by Induction Pipe Bending of Washington. The Annual Luncheon Special has been another sell out success. 66727 named after NELPG President!
The J72 boiler passes the official insurance hydraulic test at Carnforth and the boiler ticket begins to tick. The J72 axles along with those of the J27 pass ultrasonic and other tests. The J27 cylinder block is likely to take 8 months to manufacture and cost around Â£60,000. The Q6 sustains a valve ring failure in traffic at NYMR and a new ring is made and fitted. This was followed by a minor firebox leak to be attended to. The K1 has now run over 3000 miles on the Jacobite this year and is back in action following firebox repairs and a return trip to Carnforth. Martin Lloyd is recovering from his injuries sustained in NELPG action and reports his experiences.
It is likely that the J27 driving wheel sets will be sent to the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland workshops to have crankpins turned and tyres re-profiled. Quotes obtained for new cabsides. The Q6 continues in service on the NYMR. The K1 has been busy, with a trip to Barrow Hill for the LNER weekend, to Tyseley for tyre turning, where it was steamed at the Easter event, then back to Carnforth for the successful North Eastern Mountaineer Railtour. After came the move to Fort William, where after just over one week in service, a return to Carnforth was made for firebox repairs, then back to Fort William to resume Jacobite service. New driving wheel tyres ordered through the South Devon Railway. The J72 boiler work is almost complete and the valves are to be set soon. The new pit has been completed in the Deviation Shed. The fund raising committee has got new members. Ken Hedley takes us to the Blyth and Tyne branch railway.