Update 22/2/17.  By John Cronin and Jon Tooke

A major update has been provided courtesy of our chairman on various things.

WSR 2017 Diesel Gala
The WSR have confirmed that we can have “Diesel only” days on Friday 9th June and Saturday 10th June
this year, with a single steam diagram on the Sunday of the event.

This means that we will need a minimum of six Diesel locos, four of which the DEPG will supply:-
  • Hymek D7017
  • Crompton Class 33 D6575
  • Class 47  D1661
  • Western  D1010.

Thus we have to find two visiting locomotives and the DEPG was authorised to proceed to make enquiries
around possible Heritage Diesel Locomotives. Modern Mainline locomotives do not fit the bill this year
following feedback and the theme of the event. It will be a difficult challenge though as a budget of just £8k
has been set at present to cover transport and hire fees. The search is on, we hope to provide an update
shortly. Read on for an update on D7018 regarding the Gala.

Locomotive Status

Class 14 D9518
Berthed in the former Goods Shed, the locomotive chassis is effectively ready to lift to free the wheel sets so
that they can be dispatched to a suitable contractor for a full overhaul. Their removal also means we can
start the overhaul of the locomotive frames which need a lot of attention after the punishment they received
whilst employed by the National Coal Board. Effectively this work is at a standstill as the group do not have
the funds to pay for the contract work.

Class 33 D6566
Currently stored non-serviceable in the Williton Depot South Yard until we can shunt the locomotive down to
the works so we can use the ex Bristol Bath Road Jacks to lift the body of the locomotive and free up the two
bogies so that they can be moved inside the works to be overhauled. With the resignalling work at Williton
ongoing we are effectively locked in to the South Yard and it wont be until early March during the planned
DEPG Spring work week that we can plan to shunt the locomotive to the works North Yard, the first step to
eventually getting on to the Jacks once the contract lift of the 4 x Mark 1 coaches is completed.

Class 35 Hymek D7018.
Two steps forward and one step back correctly describes the progress being made to effectively complete
the full restoration of the locomotive. In theory we are ready to commence initial commissioning trips in light
engine mode but cannot start until we can be released from the South Yard once our signal and telegraph
colleagues complete their work at Williton. A target date of Friday 12th March has been set to take the
locomotive off shed under her own power for the first time in 22 years. To achieve this target there are still
many small jobs to be done, at this stage it is still very much fingers crossed. Our aim is to still have the loco
appear at the June gala double headed with sister locomotive D7017, at this stage though we are not
prepared to formally advertise her attendance at the gala and then let down all our hydraulic enthusiasts.

Class 14 D9526
The locomotive is now berthed in number 3 road at Williton in the shed being prepared for engine exchange
and already other tasks have been identified. Thus we have decided to formally withdraw the locomotive from
use in 2017 so she will be on display in the shed at Williton for the 2017 June Diesel Gala.

DEPG Newsletter
The Winter 2016/17 is now being written with the target to publish by the end of March. The theme will be to
commemorate that it is 40 years ago this year since the last of the Mighty Westerns ran in British Railways
Passenger Service. Sadly Western Champion D1015, is currently broken, before we were able to invite her
to our Gala. So the spotlight will be on our own Western D1010 this year and hopefully she can fly the flag
for the much loved class of diesel Hydraulics in June and the rest of the year. As a member of the DEPG you
receive the magazine automatically, I would encourage anyone that isn’t already a member of the Group to
consider it- see our website for more details.

As part of a group effort over a couple of weeks,  some of the lads at the DEPG have made a cardboard
model of the Flying Scotsman in prep for its visit later this year.
Here she is in all her glory on the table in the office at WN. By Jon T