Q6  63340 – 63459  0-8-0  NER  Raven  2 Cylinder  

 

q6.jpg

 

Power Classification 6F
Introduced 1913 – 1921
Designer Raven
Company NER
Weight – Loco 65t 18cwt
               Tender 44t 2cwt
Driving Wheels 4ft 7¼ins
Boiler Pressure 180psi superheated
Cylinders Outside – 20in x 26in
Tractive Effort 28,800lbf
Valve Gear Stephenson (piston valve)

 

The NER was a large user of 0-8-0 locomotives which were used exclusively for its heavy mineral traffic. There were three main varieties, all fitted with outside cylinders. The Q5 class was built by Wordsell in 1901-1911, the Q6 class by Raven in 1913-1921 and the Q7 class built by Raven as a three-cylinder engine in 1919-1924.

The Q6 engines could be distinguished from the Q7 class, by the fact that the outside cylinders on the Q6 locomotives drove on the third pair of wheels, while those on the Q7 class engines drove on the second pair.

 q5 small Q5 introduced by Wordsell in 1901
 q6.jpg Q6 introduced by Raven in 1913
 q7 small Q7 introduced by Raven in 1919

Wilson Worsdell’s Q5 0-8-0s met the initial increases in the North Eastern Railway’s (NER) mineral traffic at the turn of the century.Due to a large increase in traffic locomotive power was required which caused Raven to design the Q6 class locomotive.

The Q6 used the best parts of the piston valve version of the Q5 design. A larger boiler was fitted with a saddle fitting for the smokebox. A total of 120 Q6 class engines were built between 1913 and 1921 in a total of six batches. The first seventy locomotives were built at Darlington and the last fifty by Armstrong Whitworth.

After fitting superheaters to many of the B15 4-6-0s, Raven had become fully convinced of the superheater’s worth, and fitted them as standard to the Q6s giving boilers which were interchangeable between the B15 and Q6 class locomotives.

 b15 small B15 introduced by Raven in 1911
 q6.jpg Q6 introduced by Raven in 1913

A number of different superheater types were initially tried, but all of the Q6s had been standardised to the Schmidt design by Grouping in 1923, by which time the working pressure was increased from 160psi to 160psi. From 1930, the Schmidt superheaters were replaced with Robinson superheaters to bring them in line with LNER practice

Some engines were fitted with tenders from withdrawn B15 class engines.

The Q6s had no train-braking ability, but they did have a single brake cylinder which operated the brakes on the tender and locomotive. On one occasion in 1942, the operating link failed causing a run-away from Morrison’s Colliery into South Pelaw Junction. This only happened once and the Board of Trade’s inspector was satisfied with the testing arrangements for the links. The lack of train-braking ability meant that the Q6s could not pull passenger trains except under unusual circumstances. One of these was in 1936 when a Q6 from Selby hauled a failed D20 into Leeds. The D20 braked the train and provided carriage heating whilst the Q6 provided the hauling power.

Number in Service.

Built Withdrawals No. in Service
BR Numbers Quantity
1913 63340-63369

30

      30

1917 63370-63389

20

      50

1918 63390-63399

10

      60

1919 63400-63412

13

      73

1920 63413-63455

43

    116

1921 63456-63459

  4

    120

1922-59

    120

1960

       1

    119

1961

       1

    118

1962

    118

1963

     33

      85

1964

     23

      62

1965

     22

        40

1966

     23

     17

1967

     17

       0

  • 63372 was withdrawn in 1960 after an accident in May of that year and cut up a month later at Darlington Works.
  • Together with some J27 0-6-0 engines the Q6 class were the last pre-grouping engines of any railway to remain in service.

The Q6s were initially allocated to sheds in the North East area to haul coal from the colliery pits. By 1920 they were displaced from the Shildon-Newport line by electric traction. At Grouping in 1923, they were allocated to Tyne Dock, Borough Gardens, Blaydon, Carlisle, Stockton, Newport, Darlington, Neville Hill (Leeds), Selby, Dairycoates, and Springhead (Hull & Barnsley). They would occasionally be used for medium and long distance freight, as well as the heavy mineral traffic for which they were designed.

During LNER ownership, the Q6s tended to venture further afield including trips to Manchester via the Woodhead Tunnel, Doncaster, and after 1930 they ventured north of the Tyne. In the 1940s, they also ventured south to Peterborough and March.

Locomotive allocations during British Railways operation

Depot as of January

1948 1960 1964 1965 1966

1967

Blaydon

  19

  24

Borough Gardens (Gateshead)

    6

Consett

  12

  20    8    7

   1

Darlington     2

   1

Haverton Hill (Teeside)

    3

    1

Leeds Neville Hill     3    6     4

   5

Middlesborough

    2

Newport (Teeside)

  42

North Blyth  10     8

   4

Selby

  13

Stockton on Tees

    5

Sunderland  12  10    8

  4

Thornaby

  41

Tyne Dock

    4

    4  16  13    9

10

West Auckland

    9

   8

West Hartlepool

  14

  16  24  20  13

  3

120

120  85  62  40

17

  • Thornaby depot was opened in 1958 when locomotives were transferred from Newport and Middlesborough which were closed. The following year the engines from Stockton on Tees and Haverton were transferred to Thornaby and they were also closed. Thornaby closed to steam engines in 1964 although a few did spend periods there for repairs. Thornaby closed completely in 2010.

Accidents and Incidents

  • On 20 April 1942, locomotive 2286 was hauling a train of 25 full coal wagons and a guards van when it was derailed at South Pelaw Junction. Both the driver and fireman were killed and the engine and wagons derailed. The mineral train was travelling from Morrison Colliery to Stella Gill when the breaks on the engine failed and the driver was unable to stop it on the seven miles of almost constant steeply graded descent. The signalman at South Pelaw diverted the train onto the Pontop branch rather than let it continue on its normal route where it might have derailed as it crossed the Newcastle to York line. The speed of the train was estimated to have been of the order of 40mph to 50mph when it derailed. The locomotive had been due for general repair as it had run for 64,424 miles since its last repair whereas the normal interval for a Q6 class engine was 55,000 miles.
63436 Sunderland July 1966.jpg 63436 at Sunderland-July 1966. 63436 was withdrawn from service at Sunderland in April 1967.
63458 Sunderland July 1966.jpg 63458 at Sunderland-July 1966. 63458 was withdrawn from service at Tyne Dock in July 1967
65835 63450 63445 65865 65853 62007 Sunderland July 1966.jpg Sunderland shed-July 1966. From left to right J27 class 65835, 63450, 63445, J27 class 65865 & 65853 plus K1 class 62007. 63450 was withdrawn from service at West Hartlepool in December. 63445 was officially withdrawn at Tyne Dock in the month before I took this photograph.

Preservation

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