Update 27th October. By Andy Royal, Matt Cambourne and
with photos from Peter Nicholson
On Wednesday 24th October D7018 stepped forward into the final stages of her long
restoration. This is a momentous week for the group. She undertook some loaded test runs
with D7017 attached for insurance the first time for many years double Hymeks have operated
on the Railway. D7018 failed at Williton in August 1995 at the head of a Saturday Evening
Dining train, since then numerous people have worked hard to get her back in service as well
the many of thousands of pounds a major overhaul entails.
We were lucky enough to have Peter Nicholson take a number of photos of the days events
On Saturday 27th We hosted a day for mainline colleagues from GWR taking part in a
bi-annual operational experience day. Class 33's were provided in top and tail mode around
two brake vans running between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren.
This week was also our work week and some updates on the other projects below.
Class 52 D1010: The "B" end transmission was lifted out and dismantling has started with a
view to finding the exact cause of the input/output seizure. Meanwhile, the leaking water pipe
that has been preventing the "A" end engine from running has been removed and sent for
repair. Upon return, the pipe will be refitted and "A" engine will be run up, so that D1010 will
capable of moving under her own power, to avoid the need for another loco to assist with
Class 47 D1661: The former boiler room has benefited from attention over the last few
weekends, with corrosion treatment and primer application being done alongside a general
cleanup. The bogies, steps, brackets, grilles and other external features are receiving
attention from DEPG volunteer and full time WS Restorations painter Harry Spencer.
Class 33 D6575: Following the successful underframe and traction motor examination last
weekend, this loco has been working between BL and MD this week with the Quantock Belle
stock, so that the stock could receive attention from subcontractors at MD.
Class 35 D7017: After running with D7018 to provide the "insurance" (and thankfully not
needed), D7017 is now stopped at WN with low fuel level, but the faulty fuel tank gauge is
going to be repaired before the tank is re-filled.
Class 35 D7018: The star of the heritage railway media this week is now back in the shed, on
number 2 road, we are happy to report that no major issues arose during the loaded test run,
so well done to all who have worked on or funded work on this loco over the years, and a huge
thank you goes out to all of you. During the next few weeks, D7018 will be receiving attention
to details such as internal door painting, finishing touches to the cab floors, repairs to the
leaking Serck pump and improvements to the reliability of the pre-heater. The final coat of
gloss paint won't be applied until the warmer weather returns, by which time she will be fully
ready for a return to traffic.
Class 14 D9518: The wheels have been removed from the frames, and work is proceeding with
the repairs to the many loose rivets, along with a thorough clean-up.
Class 14 D9526: Now at the South Devon Railway, and ready for her guest role at their diesel
gala, to be held over the weekend of 2nd to 4th of November.