To celebrate its 100th year of running, the much-loved Q6 class locomotive No.63395 has taken a trip down memory lane and received a makeover which has restored it to its original livery – dating back to 1918.

The North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG), at its operating base on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), has temporarily, for 2019 only, repainted the locomotive into its original North Eastern Railway livery which it carried when built at Darlington works in 1918. Now those who travel behind this iconic locomotive can take a journey back to the early 1900’s. Originally, the Q6 was an unglamorous freight workhorse that plied the tracks of the North East of England hauling heavy coal trains for 50 years. Remarkably, along with the class J27s, one of which the Group has also preserved and operates on the NYMR, it was one of the very few pre-grouping steam locomotives to survive right up to the end of steam on British Railways.

Chris Lawson, NELPG Chairman said: "It is fantastic to see the Q6 reach its centenary, still in operation and giving pleasure to the hundreds of passengers and visitors to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The only 0-8-0 currently in working preservation, it was so nearly lost to the scrap man in 1967 and saved with only hours before it was due to be cut up. Those who built it at Darlington Works in 1918 could never have envisaged it still running 100 years later, and it is a tribute to the efforts and dedication of the Group's volunteers over the last 51 years that this icon of the North East coalfield can still be seen at work today".

Chris Price, General Manager at NYMR, said: “The Q6 is a very special engine here at the railway and it’s great to see the engine as a North Eastern Railway Class T2. It has offered so much to the rail industry over the past century so to see it restored back to its original look is fantastic.

Visitors and passengers can view the Q6, which will be in operation during the Railway’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ event during the May Bank Holiday, (4-6 May 2019) and will be a great sight to see”.

During the event, the railway will once again open its doors and invite the public to learn about the inner workings of a heritage railway, as well as quirky demonstrations and a sneak peek behind usually closed doors! Tickets for the Behind the Scenes event start from Adults £27, Children £13.50 and Family Tickets (2 Adults & 2 Children) £56 for a Pickering to Grosmont, return ticket. For more information about NYMR, or to book tickets for 'Behind the Scenes'. 

 

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Both the NYMR and NELPG are independent charities. Both organisations do not receive any core public funding, so rely on membership subscriptions, donations and legacies. Volunteers are vital. Currently the NYMR invests around £1 million each year and NELPG over £150,000 in care and maintenance. However, much more is needed to ensure that the Railway can carry on being operational and enjoyed for years to come. To pledge your support in 2019 please visit nymr.co.uk/YMJ or nelpg.org.uk.

Photo Caption: Peter Whitaker, NYMR Signwriter and Volunteer Fireman.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Graham.