• Weekly Roundup – 21-Nov-21

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was one of the locos that was open to visitors from the 1st Williton Beaver Scouts troop on the evening of Monday 15th November 2021. The children had a great time and hopefully took away an increased knowledge of railways and a raised awareness of safety. Many thanks to Tom C for his role as tour guide. Photo by Emma Powell © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The DEPG was host to the 1st Williton Beaver Scouts troop on the evening of Monday 15th November 2021, and a group of youngsters (boys and girls) attended at Williton Depot to take a look at the locos and learn a thing or two about railways. The cabs of D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ and D6575 (33 057) were opened up, with the ‘Western’ being manned by Mark Ireland and the ‘Crompton’ being manned by Tom Courtney. The little Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1) was also a fascination for the children and they all visited each of the cabs and participated in a group photo at the end of the event.

    Throughout the evening, the children were reminded of the risks of being close to a railway and hopefully they will have taken away some of that messaging, along with an enormous amount of enjoyment as a result of their visit. Many thanks to the Beaver Scout leaders Emma (Capa) and Jay (Meeko) for their work with the Beaver Scouts and for their donation to DEPG funds. Thanks also to Mark and Tom for being on hand and for answering hundreds of questions !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – outdoor activities were curtailed by drizzly rain on Saturday so efforts were focused on tasks that could be performed in the loco shed. Gordon and Leroy did some maintenance work on the ‘B’ engine to keep it in good condition (we are unable to run it while the transmission is out of the loco) and Andy continued his work on the temporary disconnection of multiple underfloor cable runs, so that welding repairs can be progressed on the cab support structure.

    Colin F was assisted by Richard in the task of trial fitting the newly-refurbished valance sections and ensuring that the edges and curves lined up, and the result at ‘B’ end was fantastic, with a very nice blend from section to section. The photos tell the story. The same work was also carried out at ‘A’ end, but previous repair work on the ‘A’ cab, either in BR days or when at Merehead, had resulted in some deviations from drawing and some adjustments will need to be made to ensure that the new valances line up as they should. Colin is on the case, so the ‘A’ end valances will be adjusted and will soon be completed. Many thanks to Colin for such excellent work !

    D1010 – the restored valances were trial fitted at ‘B’ end at Williton on Saturday 20th November 2021 and the result was excellent, thanks to the careful and authentic work by Colin F. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – on the other side of ‘B’ end, the restored valance sections were trial fitted and after some small adjustments, everything was worked out and fitted nicely. Pictured at Williton on 20th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 was restored to her normal, dignified appearance by the trial fitment of the refurbished valance sections at ‘B’ end of the locomotive at Williton on 20th November 2021. Many thanks to Colin F and the team at Williton who used materials bought using the funds generated by the D1010 Restoration Appeal to complete this work in a matter of weeks. What a fantastic effort ! Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On completion of the bodywork repairs, the loco will be repainted into the colour scheme that she wore when she first entered service in October 1962, overall maroon with a yellow buffer beam. The loco ran in this livery until March 1963 when the more familiar small yellow warning panel was added and the bufferbeam changed to black. D1010 last wore this livery in 2001 – for more information on liveries, see our booklet ‘D1010 – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD‘.

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco is the duty loco at Bishops Lydeard and has been operating in support of the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that started on Friday 19th November 2021 in ‘top and tail’ mode, with steam haulage on the outward journey and diesel haulage on the return leg.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco is at Williton undergoing planned maintenance tasks that will include an engine oil change and a thorough inspection to ensure that she remains in good shape and is soon able to resume her support duties on the WSR.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – major progress was made on this loco on both Tuesday and Saturday as the component parts that will become the rolling chassis were re-fitted to the newly-painted frames. The efforts culminated in the late afternoon of Saturday 20th November when two of the six springs were re-fitted to the frames, taking us much closer to the key milestone of re-uniting the frames and wheels to create the rolling chassis. Many thanks to the whole team on D9518 and special thanks to Colin, Simon and Terry for their massive effort !

     

    D9518’s newly painted frames in the blue and black colour scheme of the National Coal Board (NCB). This livery was worn by the locomotive when she worked her last coal train at Ashington Colliery in 1986. The superb paint finish is the result of many hours of work by the whole team and by Colin G in particular. Pictured at Williton on 20th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518’s refurbished springs, 6 in total, ready to be re-installed on the locomotive frames. These springs are exactly the same specification as those for a BR Class 08 or 09. Pictured at Williton on 20th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 springs are very heavy, so assistance was provided in the form of the Williton fork lift truck driven by the WSR’s Liam Pope, who was able to manoeuvre the truck in a tight space and get the spring into the right position – with a bit of help from Colin G. Pictured at Williton on 20th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518’s newly painted frames now carry two of the six springs that will soon allow the re-fitting of the wheels and the creation of a ‘rolling chassis’. Great work by all ! Pictured at Williton on 20th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    All of this progress has been made possible by the efforts of volunteers and the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you all very much !

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is receiving regular use on Permanent Way trains, which is good for the loco and good for the DEPG. The loco is likely to remain at the K&ESR until older sister D9504 completes her heavy overhaul and is returned to traffic, so it could be some time yet.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this little loco received some more attention to her paintwork from Roy and Carol, but there is a lot more paintwork to be tackled so we need volunteers to step forward to work on this little loco during each of the next few weeks. Please come along and join the effort to complete this work (no prior experience required, just regular DIY skills will be sufficient).

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1) received further attention to her paintwork at Williton on Saturday 20th November 2021, but there is plenty more to do so come along and help ! Photo by Emma Powell © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who give up so much of their time to work on the cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – we have been hearing great things about a recent 128-page book by Andrew Vines entitled ‘DIESEL HYDRAULICS – a colour retrospective’ and published by Wild Swan. We will include a review of this book next week and hopefully provide more insight into the contents and the quality, but if you can’t wait for that, go ahead and grab a copy from the Western Locomotive Association by clicking this link or clicking on the photo below (note – this is an external link and will take you to the WLA website).

     

    And speaking of new publications, if you haven’t obtained your copy already, experts are predicting that our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is GOING TO BE IN SHORT SUPPLY so ACT NOW to get your copy WHILE STOCKS LAST !

    Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year and are now presented in this 12-page A3-size glossy heavyweight calendar:

    There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

    ON SHED – On Saturday 4th December, the DEPG will participate in the RAILWAY STUDIES AND MODELLERS SHOW that takes place at Newton Abbot library, during which their extensive collection of railway photographs and documents will be showcased. The railways made an important contribution to the town in the years 1846 through to 1970, and at their peak, the railway works employed 1,000 people and covered a massive area. All that changed when the works closed in 1970, although some parts of the works site remained in use as a stabling and refuelling point until 1981, in fact several of the surviving ‘Westerns’ including D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ were stored in the old Works from late February/early March 1977 until dispersal to their new owners. Here’s a photo from the days of the stabling/refuelling point days, with at least two ‘Westerns’ on shed plus at least one of the ubiquitous BR-Brush Type 4, Class 47s. Many thanks to long-term member and supporter Prof. Will Powrie for sharing this photo with us.

    Class 52 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ stands at the stabling point at Newton Abbot on 8th August 1976 with engines that were probably long overdue for attention. This loco went to the National Collection upon withdrawal from service in February 1977 and now resides at the NRM in York. Photo by Will Powrie © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The library in Newton Abbot became the custodian of the many railway documents and photographs from the area and they are putting on a show to widen the awareness of their Railway Studies Collection. We are pleased to confirm that the DEPG will be in attendance !

    Put the date of Saturday 4th December 2021 in your diary if you are within travelling distance of Newton Abbot, and come along and explore the resources of the Railway Studies Collection.

     

    DEPG NEWS – the next Board meeting will take place on 27th November 2021 at Williton.

     

    DEPG WEBSITE – we have added three new products to our webstore, all of which have a seasonal bias, so click the photos or the links below to find out more !

    DEPG Christmas Card, A5 size, £1.50 each or get a pack of 5 for the price of 4. All proceeds to the D1010 Restoration Fund.

     

    OTHER NEWS – after our previous reports of progress being made at Okehampton, we are very pleased to see that the line has indeed re-opened and has got off to a great start, so let’s hope that patronage continues to grow and the line becomes a great success !

    GWR Class 150 ‘Sprinter’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit number arrives at the newly-reopened Okehampton station with the 0632 from Exeter St. Davids on Saturday 20th November 2021. Photo by Network Rail

     

    WSR NEWS: The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services have got off to a great start, with BR(WR) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR leading the train and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) at the rear on the climb from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe Heathfield, where the train reverses. All of the railway charities are working together with the WSR to support these services and ensure they are a success, which is exactly how it should be !

    The BR(WR) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ brings the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ special into Crowcombe Heathfield station on Saturday 20th November 2021. Photo by Harry Morris © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

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  • Weekly Roundup – 14-Nov-21

    Remembrance day 2021 and Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 carries a wreath for all those railway workers who lost their lives in conflicts around the world. The inscription is in the memory of all those who are “still on patrol”. Pictured at Williton on 13th November by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The DEPG was among the thousands of organisations across the country who took time out today to remember those who lost their lives in conflicts around the world. Railways played an important part in supporting large scale military action as well as being essential to the logistics network at home, so they became a strategic military target in their own right, with awful consequences for those who were caught up in the conflict. Those times and events seem so far away now, but we remind ourselves about them at least annually to make sure that they will never be repeated.

     

    Brightening up the mood, the WSR has been busy preparing for the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that will run from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe Heathfield on Friday and Saturday evenings initially and then most evenings up to and after Christmas. Although there will be many who frown at such things, the facts are that they are a massive success with the public and the tickets have been snapped up to the extent that the WSR added more dates after Christmas to make the most of the demand. The net result will be a healthy income that will support the railway through the winter season, so please support these services and the daytime ‘Santa Express‘ services if you can. Thanks !

    WSR Mark 1 coaching stock set undergoing testing on Friday 12th November at Minehead station, in preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ special workings. Photo by Rich Hiscox © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    In preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ workings that start on Friday 19th November, the WSR have completed the fitting of the many thousands of coloured lights that will be illuminated along the length of the train. The power will be provided by two self-contained generator sets that have been temporarily housed within former Southern Railway ‘Parcels & Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) vehicle number 1464, which has been repainted for the occasion by the WSR wagon team:

    Ex-Southern Railway ‘Parcels and Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) number 1464 has been repainted by the WSR wagon team and fitted with temporary self-contained generator packages at Minehead in preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that start on Friday 19th November 2021. Photo by Seb Welsh © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress this weekend as the dry weather allowed the loco to be towed out of the shed for further work on the bodyside using the noisy but effective ‘needle guns’. This time, we had two volunteers on needle-gunning (Leroy and Ian F) while Gordon used the angle grinder and the power sander to prepare the surface for priming and painting.

    D1010 – the bodyside surface preparation was the focus for Leroy and Gordon at Williton on Saturday 13th November 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – on the opposite side, Ian F set up another needle gun and started removing the multiple layers of paint that had been applied since the days at Didcot. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the restored front-side valances were prepared for trial fitment by Colin F, seen here while drilling the holes for the attachment bolts. The assemblies should be ready for trial fitting next weekend. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On completion of the bodywork repairs, the loco will be repainted into the colour scheme that she wore when she first entered service in October 1962, overall maroon with a yellow buffer beam. The loco ran in this livery until March 1963 when the more familiar small yellow warning panel was added and the bufferbeam changed to black. D1010 last wore this livery in 2001 – for more information on liveries, see our booklet ‘D1010 – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD‘.

     

    D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ last wore her original livery of maroon with a yellow buffer beam in 2001, as seen in this view of the loco at Williton depot. Photo by Bob Tiller © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco is the duty loco at Bishops Lydeard and will be operating in support of the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that start on Friday 19th November 2021 in ‘top and tail’ mode, with steam haulage on the outward journey and diesel haulage on the return leg.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco is at Williton undergoing planned maintenance tasks that will include an engine oil change and a thorough inspection to ensure that she remains in good shape and is soon able to resume her support duties on the WSR.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.

    Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ sisters D7017 and D7018 were in touch with one another at Williton on 6th November 2021. Photo by Martin Bell © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – continued progress was made on this loco on both Tuesday and Saturday as the component parts for the rolling chassis were gathered, cleaned, inspected and painted in preparation for re-fitting to the frames. The electrical control cubicle also received attention from John C who has taken on the challenge of restoring the functionality and appearance of a complex assembly that has not seen any use for 35 years !

    D9518’s cab assembly waits in line for attention while the Voith L217 hydraulic transmission boasts a smart new coat of grey primer. Pictured at Williton on 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518’s electrical cubicle is receiving an overhaul from John C at Williton. This is a project in itself and will take some time, given the age of the parts and the period out of use. This inside view was captured on 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518’s electrical cubicle will undergo a thorough and careful overhaul in the hands of John C at Williton. This view dated 13th November 2021 shows the exterior condition and hints at the work that is needed to restore this assembly and replace the missing parts. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    All of this progress has been made possible by the efforts of volunteers and the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you all very much !

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is receiving regular use, which is good for the loco and good for the DEPG. The loco is likely to remain at the K&ESR until older sister D9504 completes her heavy overhaul and is returned to traffic, so it could be some time yet.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this very useful loco was in use on Saturday 13th November 2021 to haul D1010 out of the shed for attention to her bodywork. Although D1010 is capable of moving under her own power, it is wasteful and time-consuming to warm up and run a 1,350 hp engine when a 302 hp shunting loco is available for the purpose.

    In between shunting turns last Saturday, the little loco received some attention to her paintwork from Carol, but there is a lot more paintwork to be tackled so we need volunteers to step forward to work on this little loco during each of the next few weeks. Please come along and join the effort to complete this work (no prior experience required, just regular DIY skills will be sufficient).

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) was in action on Saturday 13th November 2021, seen here while returning to her temporary resting place inside the shed while her paintwork remains incomplete. DEPG Chairman Martin Howard is in control and ensures clearance from the access platforms that have been used when working on D1010. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who give up so much of their time to work on the cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – following the launch of their new railway magazine recently, the editors of ‘TRACKSIDE‘ magazine contacted us to check the status of our two ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 in support of an article that they have just published in their November edition, featuring the class. Launching a magazine into a very crowded sector is a very brave thing to do, but it is certainly worth buying a copy to judge the quality and relevance for yourself. It is a very good sign that the editor contacted us when preparing their feature and we wish them every success with their new initiative.

    The November edition of ‘TRACKSIDE‘ magazine includes a feature on the Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ and the four survivors including D7017 and D7018.

     

    And speaking of new publications, experts are predicting that our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is GOING TO BE IN SHORT SUPPLY so ACT NOW to get your copy WHILE STOCKS LAST !

    Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year and are now presented in this 12-page A3-size glossy heavyweight calendar:

    There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

    ON SHED – we will skip this feature this week, but next week, in anticipation of an event that DEPG will be attending in Newton Abbot on Saturday 4th December 2021, we will feature a photo of Newton Abbot diesel depot that shows the significance that was attached to this location in the heyday of the diesel-hydraulics. The depot closed to steam in 1965 and closed to diesels in 1970 but continued as a stabling and refuelling point until 1981. The library in Newton Abbot became the custodian of the many railway documents and photographs from the area and they are putting on a show to widen the awareness of their Railway Studies Collection. We are pleased to confirm that the DEPG will be in attendance !

    Put the date of Saturday 4th December 2021 in your diary if you are within travelling distance of Newton Abbot, and come along and explore the resources of the Railway Studies Collection.

     

    DEPG NEWS – the next Board meeting will take place on 27th November 2021 at Williton.

     

    OTHER NEWS – last week, we shared a photo from member and regular volunteer Mike Evans showing a GWR Class 166 ‘Networker Turbo’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit making a call at Okehampton station, in advance of the line re-opening to the public (scheduled for 20th Noveber 2021). Regular contributor Jon Tooke commented as follows:

      “Regarding the Networker (Thames) Turbo at Okehampton station the other day as seen by Mike, it was there on a route gauging run to clear them for working on the line.

    I understand that when the line reopens on Saturday it will be pairs of 150s and the 158s as the mainstay with the Turbos 165s and 166s to be used if demand dictates.

    Platform 2 at Okehampton will not be used again and the track beyond the station towards Meldon Quarry has been officially mothballed, the points have been clipped and padlocked and the groundframe has been removed.

    What remains of the Dartmoor Railway have a small museum in the station building.”

    Many thanks to Jon for providing this additional informtion, and also for obtaining the following photographs:

    GWR Class 150 ‘Sprinter’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit number 150 219 stands at the soon-to-be-reopened Okehampton station on a dull day in November 2021. Photo by SPT © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    GWR Class 150 ‘Sprinter’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit number 150 243 stands on brand-new track at the soon-to-be-reopened Okehampton station on a dull day in November 2021. Photo by SPT © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    WSR NEWS: Last week, it was announced that well-known professional photographer and long-term DEPG member Don Bishop was stepping down from the chairmanship of the WSR Gala Planning Team after 26 years at the helm. This fantastic effort deserves recognition from those of us who have enjoyed the many events that have been delivered during his time in the chair. Don will continue to organise photograhy charters and hopefully 2022 will see the return of these popular events, in addition to the galas that will now be organised under the chairmanship of Seb Welsh. Many thanks to Don, and we also extend our congratulations to Seb and we look forward to supporting the Gala Planning Team whenever we can.

    The WSR Gala Planning Team pictured in the DEPG messroom at Williton on 18th April 2019, with Don Bishop ‘in the chair’. Photo by Robin Moira White © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

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  • Weekly Roundup – 07-Nov-21

    Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co (BRCW) Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) arrived at Minehead station on Friday 5th November with an Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) working from Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Tim Edmonds © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    In preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ workings that start on Friday 19th November, the WSR Operations Department arranged for Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) to perform some Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) moves so that the appropriate vehicles could be prepared for fitment of the many thousands of lights that will be illuminated along the length of the train. The power will be provided by two self-contained generator sets that have been temporarily housed within former Southern Railway ‘Parcels & Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) vehicle number 1464, which has been repainted for the occasion by the WSR wagon team:

    Ex-Southern Railway ‘Parcels and Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) number 1464 has been repainted and fitted with temporary self-contained generator packages at Minehead in preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that start on Friday 19th November 2021. Photo by Rich Hiscox © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The ‘Winterlights‘ trains will be ‘top and tailed’ with a steam loco on the Minehead end and a diesel on the Taunton end, to simplify operations and avoid the need for the loco to run around at Crowcombe Heathfield. The duty diesel loco will be Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) while sister loco D6575 (33 057) takes a well-earned break for planned maintenance at Williton.

    The appeal of the ‘Winterlights‘ trains has been such that the WSR have added more services, including dates between Christmas and New Year to increase the number of available tickets from 5000 to 9000, so this is great news and we are proud to be able to play our part. We will also be supporting the (daytime) ‘Santa Express’ workings in the same way as we did last year. These services have also been highly appealing to a hungry market, with all tickets sold out already. It’s going to be a busy season !

     

     

    On Friday 22nd October, the DEPG hosted a visit to Williton by 28 members of the THE RAILWAY CORRESPONDENCE and TRAVEL SOCIETY (RCTS), a group that was established in 1928 and now boasts more than 3000 members and can safely claim to be the most senior of the railway societies in the UK. In connection with that visit, we would like to share the following feedback from former WSR chairman Mark Smith as follows:

    “I enjoy keeping up to date with what you are up to at Williton, and on Friday 22nd October that all became very useful indeed.

    The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society held their annual weekend in Taunton this year, and on Friday afternoon the first formal visit of the weekend was to Williton, first to the DEPG and then to the WS Restorations depot down the yard.

    28 participants assembled and were made welcome by your chairman Martin Howard and assisted by Mark Bladwell and Leroy Ford.

    I would describe the RCTS as a long established, serious minded organisation. 

    I attended to oversee their transfer from DEPG to WS Restorations and because I was to be guest speaker at their formal evening dinner the following night.

    I knew from the conversations that afternoon that they really appreciated having four locomotive cabs accessible to view, with the DEPG team on hand to answer their questions and explain the Groups ambitions and something of the work that is required to keep the fleet in working order.

    This was confirmed the following evening by numbers of people who queued up at the end of the proceedings to say their own thank yous. The preparations and access made possible by the DEPG were mentioned and contributed to their enjoyment immensely.

    I understand there was a decent contribution to DEPG funds, but importantly a good deal of goodwill was also generated.

    Thank you.

    Best regards

    Mark

    Hon member DEPG, WSR plc (retired)”

     

    Many thanks to Mark for supporting the RCTS visit and for providing this very useful feedback. We are really pleased to hear that the event went well and we thank all those involved with organising it. Much appreciated !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the Autumn Work Week at Williton presented an opportunity to make more progress on D1010 and that opportunity was grabbed with both hands !

    Throughout the last week, our restoration volunteer Colin F has been hard at work on the restoration of the eight valance sections that form the skirt around the buffer beams at each end of the loco and contribute to the style and grace of the iconic design. Where possible, Colin has used the original metalwork and repaired it as necessary, but in some cases, there was not enough ‘good’ metal remaining, so Colin fabricated new sections by copying the original build methods.

    The result is a complete set of eight authentic valances with eight footholds, all awaiting glass bead blasting and painting. Well done and many thanks to Colin for his hard work and diligence !

    Leroy was also on hand throughout the week, making steady progress on the removal of the ‘Prestolith’ filler on the loco bodyside, but on Thursday 4th November, he prepared the ‘A’ end engine for a run to exercise the loco systems and ensure that all was well before preparing the engine for the winter. NOTE – the engine at ‘B’ end is operational but cannot be started because the transmission has been removed from the loco for repairs, and the dynastarter couples to the engine via the transmission.

    The photos below show the progress, and there are links to two short video clips from Leroy that show the ‘A’ end engine running (best played LOUD!):

    D1010 – a restored front valance was trial fitted to ‘B’ end to check that the new metal profiles matched up with the original lines. More trial fitment work will take place and adjustments made where necessary, before glass bead blasting, priming and painting. All of the restoration work has been painstakingly performed by volunteer Colin F. Pictured at Williton on 1st November 2021 by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – a brand-new front side valance undergoing fabrication at Williton on 6th November 2021. This new part has been built to the authentic design of the original part by Colin F and will replace the non-standard part that was fitted to ‘A’ end in 1986. Photo by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – original footholds recovered from the original side valances from ‘B’ end, now repaired and ready for glass bead blasting and painting before being installed in the restored side valances. Pictured at Williton on 1st November 2021 by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    With the help of Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1), a dust-covered D1010 emerged into the autumn sunshine on Tuesday 2nd November 2021 in preparation for her last engine run of the year (the engine run took place on Thursday 4th). Image courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR ©

     

    D1010 engine run at ‘A’ end at Williton on 4th November 2021, part 1, captured on video by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 engine run at ‘A’ end at Williton on 4th November 2021, part 2, captured on video by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 emerged again on Saturday 6th November so that Leroy could start needle-gunning the bodysides in preparation for a first coat of primer. The result was a lot of paint and filler removed in a short amount of time, so well done Leroy ! Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco is at Williton undergoing planned maintenance tasks that will include an engine oil change and a thorough inspection to ensure that she remains in good shape and is soon able to resume her support duties on the WSR.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – anti-freeze checks were carried out by Paul T and he confirmed that the engine and cooling system is protected down to -31C therefore the loco can be stabled in the yard without risk of frost damage. The loco will be covered by a tarpaulin throughout the winter months and until we can get her into the Swindon shed for bogie disconnection and lifting.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – Paul also tested the anti-freeze on this loco and confirmed that it was also protected down to -31C. As this loco is still resplendent in her two-tone green and grey paint finish, she cannot be covered over without risk of paint damage. Covered storage for our heritage locomotives remains an important subject that needs a long term solution.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – more progress was made on this loco during work week as additional volunteer resources were available. The first task was to relocate the major assemblies on number 2 road in the loco shed, so that the loco rebuild can be concentrated in one area. Then, several large and heavy items were cleaned, checked and painted by Terry, Gary, Nick, Chris, Mark, Mike and Carol, as shown in the photos below:

    D9518 major assemblies have been relocated to number 2 road inside the loco shed at Williton. From left to right, the cab assembly, the Voith L217 hydraulic transmission, the cooler group with the brake frame behind it, and finally the Paxman 6YJXL 26-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine. Pictured on 2nd November 2021 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 brake frame, fully restored to a very high standard and ready to be re-installed on the loco frames. Pictured at Williton on 2nd November 2021 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 cab assembly has been stripped of internal parts and is undergoing a complete rebuild, which is a major task in itself. Pictured at Williton on 2nd November 2021 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 frame components receive a clean-up from long-term member and volunteer Gary L at Williton on 3rd November 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 frame components receive a coat of primer from Carol, in between light rain showers at Williton on 3rd November 2021. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) takes a rest on number 1 road in the background. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    All of this rapid progress has been made possible by the efforts of volunteers and the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you all very much !

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is receiving regular use, which is good for the loco and good for the DEPG. The loco is likely to remain at the K&ESR until older sister D9504 completes her heavy overhaul and is returned to traffic, so it could be some time yet.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This loco was re-fuelled on Tuesday 2nd November and will undergo a programme of regular engine runs to ensure that she remains in good condition.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco received attention from Colin, Martin and Paul and was in use on several days of the week, shunting locos and wagons in the yard. There is a lot more paintwork to be tackled, so we need volunteers to step forward to work on this little loco during the next few weeks. Please come along and join the effort to complete the work on this little loco (no prior experience required, just regular DIY skills will be sufficient).

     

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who gave up so much of their time last week to work on the cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – this week, we include a detailed report by long-term member and regular contributor Neale Long, who has purchased the book from our online store and reports as follows:

    ‘WESTERN VENTURE’ by Roger Geach and Michael Mercer, published by Budleigh, October 2021.

    “The latest in the long line of books published on ‘Western’ Class 52 Diesel Hydraulic locomotives is this fine 75-page soft back album, dedicated to these hugely popular machines by Roger Geach and Michael Mercer. Featuring monochrome images of all 74 class members at work throughout the region on a wide range of duties, the album is based upon the photographs taken by well-known railway photographer Barry Nicolle, supplemented by additional  images by photographers Roger Geach, Leslie Riley, Eric Bullen and Mike Martin. Consisting of eight chapters preceded by introductions and acknowledgement, the book aims to portray the Class 52’s as mixed traffic locomotives and does so with a fine selection of photographs of the Class in action in the 1970’s. The album consists of eight chapters and over 120 images. The chapters are:                            

    • The 74 ‘Westerns’
    • Swindon Works
    • Early memories of the ‘Westerns’ by Steve Marshall
    • My perspective, by Michael Mercer
    • Sunday morning to Penzance, by Roger Geach
    • Western Rover 1975, by John Harvey
    • My last Western Summer, by Steve Philpot
    • The Survivors

    The bulk of the images are contained in the first two chapters and are largely previously unpublished, mainly from the lens of railway photographer Barry Nicolle. The second part of the book consists of five articles from well-known enthusiasts, describing their particular memories of ‘Wizzos’, be it from the photographic, haulage or spotting perspective. All the articles are well written and provide a sense of what presence these superb locomotives had (and still have!) and very much complement the fine selection of images published.

    The images perfectly illustrate the varied nature of work that the class undertook during the 1970s, with increasing use on freight as passenger work was slowly lost during their final years. All the usual locations are featured, ie Paddington, Reading, Exeter, Plymouth and Cornwall, but what makes this selection of images stand out are that a good number of them are taken around Barry Nicolle’s then home town of Cheltenham and nearby Gloucester, which makes a change from the more usual views of London, Devon & Cornwall. It is often forgotten that the Class 52’s worked over all parts of the Western Region, not just in the usually depicted areas.

    The reviewer, who was born and raised in Gloucester, can testify to this, and to this day the Class are fondly remembered by enthusiasts in the area. Your reviewer remembers the sight of many a Class 52 stabled on Horton Road, and pleasingly this album features this location, plus a picture of D1016 ‘WESTERN GLADIATOR’ leaving the now-closed Gloucester Eastgate station on a train that I became very familiar with, the Sundays-Only (SuO) 1515 Paddington – Cheltenham, was particularly nostalgic.

    The chapter on Swindon Works is somewhat depressing with the images of locomotives awaiting scrapping, but as the authors quite rightly state, it was how things were at the time. The album ends on a positive note, however, with images of all seven of the fortunate survivors. All the photographs are accompanied by accurate and concise captions  which help the reader to further understand how the class managed their remaining years.

    Overall, authors Roger Geach and Michael Mercer have done an excellent job in compiling a fine photographic album  which meets its aim of depicting the class as a mixed traffic locomotive that put in many years of hard work on British Rail’s Western Region. The reminiscences complement the photographs very well and will appeal to not only admirers and modellers of the Class 52s, but also to those interested in the British Rail Western Region in general. The album does what it says and helps those who were not fortunate to see the Class 52’s in service to see what they were actually like and to remind those who were fortunate, what great days they were and what a presence these wonderful locomotives had.

    I would unhesitatingly recommend this album without any reservation.”

     

    Many thanks to Neale for providing us with this book review.

    All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the D1010 Restoration Fund, as per the agreement with Roger Geach. Please get your copy while stocks last.

     

    And speaking of new publications, experts are predicting that our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is GOING TO BE OUT OF STOCK SOON so ACT NOW to avoid PANIC BUYING and get your copy WHILE STOCKS LAST !

    Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year and are now presented in this 12-page A3-size glossy heavyweight calendar:

    There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

    ON SHED – this week, we feature a photo of our Class 47 taken by Roger Geach 47 years ago. Our loco, 47 077 ‘NORTH STAR’ (D1661, 47613, 47840) was based at Old Oak Common depot (in Kensal Green, NW London, alongside the mainline to Paddington) and was often rostered for the express services to the far south-west. In this photo, ‘NORTH STAR‘ is hauling the 1B25 0930 Paddington to Penzance service through Dobwalls, 3 miles west of Liskeard, Cornwall, 47 years ago. Many thanks to Roger for sharing this image with us.

    BR Crewe-built Class 47 47 077 ‘NORTH STAR’ (D1661, 47613, 47840) heads the 1B25 0930 service from Paddington to Penzance as it heads south-west passing Dobwalls, Cornwall on 10th October 1974. Photo by Roger Geach ©

     

    DEPG NEWS – The Autumn ‘work week’ ran from Saturday 30th October through to Saturday 6th November, welcoming volunteers both old and new, and getting things done in the spirit of the occasion. The weather was a reasonable mix that allowed tasks to be conducted outdoors most days, as already pictured above. Another benefit of work week is that it allows infrastructure tasks to be undertaken, with improvements to facilities taking place alongside the loco-related project work.

    A full report will be included in the next issue of the DEPG Newsletter, which will be distributed to DEPG members during the first week of December, so JOIN NOW to ensure that you get your copy.

    MANY THANKS to all who attended ‘work week’ and contributed to getting so much work done. Great job all !

     

    OTHER NEWS – last week, we featured the 45th anniversary of the ‘WESTERNS SOUTH WESTERN‘ railtour that made its way to Meldon Quarry, just beyond Okehampton on the remains of the old LSWR line from Exeter to Plymouth, and we mentioned that the line was due to re-open to passengers on 20th November 2021, after a gap of almost 50 years.

    Member and regular volunteer Mike Evans was working in the area of Okehampton and grabbed this photo of a GWR Class 166 ‘Networker Turbo’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit making a call at the station, perhaps for training purposes or platform clearance checks. If you know why it was there, please let me know so that I can share the story. Many thanks to Mike for keeping us informed.

    GWR Class 166 ‘Networker Turbo’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit number 166 201 stands at the soon-to-be-reopened Okehampton station on 4th November 2021. Photo by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    WSR NEWS: preparations are well underway for the new ‘Winterlights‘ services, the first of which is scheduled to run on Friday 19th November. Prior to that, there will be several training runs to make sure that all of the staff and volunteers are fully prepared and ready to ensure that everything goes to plan. Then, two weeks later, the ‘Santa Express‘ daytime services restart, so it really is going to be a busy time for all involved. We wish the WSR every success with these services and we are very happy to be involved with them.

     

     

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  • DIESELGEN – D6566 on ECS 05-Nov-21

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was at the tail end of the 1230 service to Dunster on Saturday 18th September 2021 as sister loco D6566 (33 048) prepared to depart with the 1225 service to Norton Fitzwarren. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) is rostered for a light engine (LE) move from Bishops Lydeard (BL) to Minehead (MD) on Friday 5th November 2021 to collect empty coaching stock (ECS) and haul it to BL using the newly-upgraded Seaward Way Level Crossing.

    The approximate times for these movements are as follows:

         Depart BL 0857 arrive MD 1009 (LE)

         Depart MD 1030 arrive BL 1141 (ECS)

    As these moves are for operational purposes only, the timings are approximate and the movement may be delayed or postponed or cancelled as circumstances require.

     

    If you are unable to attend, the webcams provide a very good way of watching the action from afar. Here are the links:

    BL: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-bl2.htm

    CH: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-ch1.htm

    WN: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-wn2.htm

    BA: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-ba1.htm

     

    Please note the the two webcams at Minehead are now back online. Here are the links:

    Minehead : http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-md1.htm

    Seaward Way : http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-md2.htm

     

    Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

    Have you considered joining the WEEKLY ROUNDUP e-newsletter list? Click here for details.

     


     

  • Weekly Roundup – 31-Oct-21

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 runs onto the Dunster West siding on 16th October 2021 during the shunt-release manoeuvre. Photo taken from the cab of Class 03 D2133 while stationary by driver Robin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Sunday 31st October marked the end of the WSR’s 2021 running season, with the last timetabled train getting back to Bishops Lydeard at 1750, after dark now that the clocks have changed. This season has been notable for the late start due to Covid-19 restrictions and the inability to run through to Minehead because of the major upgrade to the Seaward Way Level Crossing, but indications are that the season has been a success, thanks to the dedication and hard work of all of the staff and volunteers involved, and to those who rode the trains and those who donated to the WSR and the ‘railway family’ charities, so well done all ! 

    The level crossing project concluded on 26th October when the sigal box at Minehead returned to operational status, although the line between Dunster and Blue Anchor remains under Infrastructure Department ‘possession’ until Tuesday 2nd November, when the first train will run from Bishops Lydeard, steam hauled, comprising empty coaching stock for haulage to Minehead. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) will work from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead on Friday 5th November to collect empty coaching stock for transfer to Bishops Lydeard (details will be published via a DIESELGEN bulletin).

     

    Pictured on 26 October 2021 in front of the crossing control console and CCTV monitor in the Minehead Signal Box are (left to right) John Jenkins, Signal Engineer; Peter Smith, Signalling Inspector and Steve Martin, Operations Officer. Photo by John Jenkins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On Sunday 31st October, on the occasion of the very last train to use the Dunster shunt-release procedure, our Chairman Martin Howard was in charge of the WSR’s Class 03 shunter D2133 and grabbed a photo of the line looking towards Minehead while the loco was stationary. The photo shows the yellow light of the ‘Fixed Distant’ signal and beyond that, the new signal 102 shining bright red, protecting the level crossing. The sleeper barrier and Stop board can be seen in the middle distance, so placed in July to prevent the line from being worked through to Minehead while the crossing was out of use. This view will change for the better from Tuesday 2nd November onwards, after the sleeper barrier and the Stop board have been removed.

    The twilight view towards Minehead from Dunster, with the Stop board and sleeper barrier in the middle distance, the ‘Fixed Distant’ signal at caution and the new signal 102 at danger, protecting the level crossing. Photo taken from the cab of Class 03 D2133 while stationary by driver Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The next task is to begin training the staff and crews on the new signalling layout and new procedures that apply to the improved layout at Minehead. This will take some time, but will be completed in time to allow the line to re-open through to Minehead in Spring 2022. We are really looking forward to being able to take our trains through to Minehead again !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more great work has been carried out by Colin F on the restoration of the front valances. These fabricated steel sections are used to ‘dress’ the front of the locomotive and help give it the finished appearance that has made the design such an enduring success over the last sixty years. The new sheet steel was purchased using the funds raised by the D1010 RESTORATION APPEALThank you very much !

    The front valances can be see below the buffers in the below photo, along with one of the corner valances:

    D1010 – this photograph, taken at Williton on 6th June 2016, shows the front valances below the buffers, either side of the drawhook, and also shows one of the corner valances with the two footsteps that show it is an authentic part (the corner valances at the other end only had one footstep, having been replaced in the 1980s). Photo by Mark Townsend © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The photo below shows the progress that has been made in making a pair of replacement front valances for the ‘A’ end of the loco, to replace the non-authentic parts, and the restoration work being carried out on the authentic but heavily corroded parts from the ‘B’ end, with significant amounts of new sheet steel being applied – but using as much of the original material as possible:

    D1010 – a pair of brand new front valances have been fabricated from new steel for the ‘A’ end of the locomotive and two existing authentic but corroded valances are undergoing restoration for the ‘B’ end of the locomotive, all work being performed by Colin F. Pictured at Williton on 30th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Meanwhile, the loco may be suffering an indentity crisis while she is in the shed in a state of undress. The peaked visor above the cab windscreen (visible in Mark Townsend’s photograph further above) at ‘A’ end has corroded quite badly and is in need of repair, so a suitable message was written on the loco as a reminder, but someone has seen the need to expand the message:

    D1010 – identity crisis – is she a ‘Peak’ or a ‘Western’ ? Pictured at Williton on 23rd October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    These photos give further evidence in support of our statement last week that the corrosion on D1010 is confined to small parts of a very large locomotive. Each area of corrosion is being dealt with systematically.

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco has moved to Bishops Lydeard to take over WSR support duties from sister loco D6575 and her first duty will take place on Tuesday 2nd November when she hauls empty coaching stock from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco has now returned to Williton so that an oil change and some other maintenance tasks can be performed. More details on this next week.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) is now back at Williton awaiting an oil change and associated planned maintenance tasks. Photo taken at twilight on 30th October 2021 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week – waiting for her turn over the pit in the Swindon Shed (now expected to be in the spring of 2022).

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – several tasks are lined up for this loco during the coming months, the primary task being the repair to the transmission control block to bring the automatic gear change back into use.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – this loco has just celebrated her 57th birthday, having entered into service at Cardiff Canton depot on 30th October 1964. She worked in the Cardiff area for 5 years before heading northeast to Northumberland and the NCB’s Ashington colliery and worked there until 1986, before making her way to the DEPG and back to Western Region territory in 2011.

    This week, the underframes have been receiving the attention of Colin C and his paint spray gun, so we can expect to see some nice photos as soon as he has finished his work. Meanwhile, there are plenty of component parts that need a clean-up and a re-paint before re-mounting them on the frames:

    D9518 braking system components lined up and waiting for clean-up and re-paint at Williton on 30th October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The ‘Tuesday’ team continue to make progress on the cleaning of the Voith hydraulic transmission unit so that it can be painted before re-fitting to the frames.

    D9518 Voith L217 hydraulic transmission almost ready for painting at Williton on 30th October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    All of this rapid progress has been made possible by the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you very much !

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and has just undergone a 50-hour check that involved some minor attention to a coolant leak and a small air leak. The most significant repair item has been the fitting of a new starter motor to resolve a repetitive ground fault. The failed starter motor will need to be examined to find the cause of the problem and may need a full overhaul before it can be returned to the spares pool. The loco is now fit and ready to resume duties. Many thanks to Simon for travelling a long distance to carry out this work alongside the team at Tenterden.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This loco will be re-fuelled and started up on Tuesday 2nd November to ensure that she remains in good condition.

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ (D1661, 47613, 47840) stands in the bay platform at Bishops Lydeard under the watchful eye of the signalman on a surprisingly clear Saturday 30th October 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is now in need of needle-gunning to remove loose paint and rust before priming and painting in undercoat. We need volunteers to step forward to work on this loco, so please come along and join the effort to complete the work on this little loco.

     

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – last week, we announced that our online store now includes a new book from well-known author Roger Geach and associate Michael Mercer, covering all 74 of the much-loved Class 52 ‘WESTERN’ locomotives. This new A4 softback book is entitled ‘WESTERN VENTURE‘ and is available by clicking on the image below:

    All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the D1010 Restoration Fund, as per the agreement with Roger Geach. Please get your copy while stocks last.

    Our regular correspondent Neale Long has already purchased a copy and provided a full review, the details of which will be included in next week’s roundup. Many thanks Neale !

     

    And speaking of new publications, our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is now IN STOCK in glossy A3 landscape format. Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year:

    There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

    ON SHED – we will have to skip this feature this week due to lack of space.

     

    DEPG NEWS – The Autumn ‘work week’ started on Saturday 30th October and runs until Saturday 6th November, so we welcome volunteers old and new to come along and help us with tasks that are both loco-related and infrastructure-related. We have tasks to suit all capabilities, so we look forward to seeing you.

    A Board meeting took place last Saturday and a synopsis is being prepared and will be included with the next issue of roundup.

    The lighting within the loco shed at Williton has been transformed by the installation of a number of high power LED light fittings that were very kindly donated to the DEPG. The lights were installed by Graham and Paul and the working environment has been significantly improved as a result. We can now see all of the dust that has accumulated over the last few years, so we will have to have a clean-up ! Many thanks to all involved !

    The bright and energy-efficient LED light fittings installed alongside number 3 road within the loco shed have highlighted the amount of dust that has gathered during the removal of the ‘Prestolith’ filler from the bodyside of D1010. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    OTHER NEWS – Forty-five years ago, two of the last remaining Class 52 ‘Westerns’ hauled the ‘WESTERNS SOUTH WESTERN‘ railtour from Paddington to Meldon Quarry near Okehampton, Devon and back to Paddington via Salisbury using the LSWR main line as far as Basingstoke. The two locos used on the railtour were 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ and 1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’. The former LSWR line to Meldon Quarry still exists and passenger services are set to return to Okehampton on 20th November this year, which is great news after almost 40 years since the withdrawal of services.

    Class 52 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ leads 1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ into Okehampton station from the direction of Meldon Quarry on 30th October 1976 with the return leg of the ‘WESTERNS SOUTH WESTERN‘ railtour. Photo by Roger Geach ©

     

     

     

    WSR NEWS: last Saturday 30th October, the WSR held an event at Bishops Lydeard where all of the support organisations across the railway gathered to welcome prospective volunteers and explain the opportunities available, covering all kinds of work from engineering through to gardening to administration and historical records archiving.

    The event was very successful and the WSR now intend to hold similar events at both ends of the line at a future date. The DEPG were represented by Chris Shields, a very well-known member of our sales team who gives so much of his time at events and at home, where he keeps our merchandise shipments flowing. Many thanks to Chris and to all who participated.

     

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  • Weekly Roundup – 24-Oct-21

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7017 takes exercise in the south yard at Williton as sister D7018 passes with the excursion special to Dunster on 16th October 2021. Photo by Peter Nicholson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    We continue to receive messages of appreciation from those who rode behind ‘Hymek’ D7018 on the 16th October. It seems that we made a lot of people very happy with our 2021 programme of ‘excursion’ specials and we can’t wait until next year so that we can do it all again – hopefully with more dates, more mileage and more variety in terms of motive power.

    We very much look forward to running through to Minehead next season, not just for the mileage but for the additional interest of Minehead station and all of the activities that take place there. The Seaward Way Level Crossing work has moved to the testing and commissioning phase, which will then be followed by crew training to allow the line to re-open through to Minehead in Spring 2022.

    Seaward Way level crossing has been completely renewed and upgraded to full barrier and CCTV surveillance to meet modern safety standards and to take account of the increased traffic on this relatively new road. Photo taken on 18th October 2021 by Richard Neal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The 2021 running season is behind us now, so our focus is shifting to the winter maintenance program and the preparations necessary for our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ to support the ‘Winterlights‘ and ‘Santa Express‘ services, but more about that next week.

    There is still one more week of timetabled steam running on the WSR, and our Chairman Martin Howard has been covering the Sunday Class 03 ‘shunt-release’ driving turn today and will also be covering the same turn next Sunday. Many thanks to Martin for covering so many driving turns this season, while also covering all of his DEPG duties and activities !

    The WSR’s Class 03 D2133 has put in a lot of hours this season, with the thrice-daily shunt-release operation at Dunster West. This ex-BR and ex-British Cellophane locomotive is pictured with WSR/DEPG driver Robin Fisher working the shunt-release on the ‘excursion’ special on 16th October 2021. Photo by Ian Monkton © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    MANY THANKS to all who have worked so hard to deliver this running program and also to those who bought a ticket or merchandise during this 2021 running season, and in doing so contributed to making the case for more diesel-hauled services on the WSR next year !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more great news this week – more brand new parts have been fabricated for the body repairs by Colin F, using steel that has been purchased using the funds raised by the D1010 RESTORATION APPEALThank you very much !

    The photos below show the progress that has been made in making a replacement valance for the buffer beam of the loco. Each end of the loco carries two such valances, each a mirror image of the other.

    D1010 – brand new steel sheet being cut and formed for the skin of the replacement valance required at the ‘A’ end of the locomotive. Pictured at Williton on 19th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the skin is clamped into place on the newly constructed framework by volunteer Colin F before welding it into place. Pictured at Williton on 19th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the skin and the frame have been welded by Colin F to create the replacement valance required at the ‘A’ end of the locomotive. Pictured at Williton on 19th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – careful copying of the dimensions and curvature of the authentic ‘B’ end valances has allowed Colin to create the pair of brand new valances required to replace the ‘temporary’ parts at ‘A’ end that were fitted in 1986 following shunt damage that occurred at Merehead Quarry in 1979. Pictured at Williton on 19th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Having done a great job in creating brand new parts for ‘A’ end, Colin then turned his hand to restoring the heavily corroded original parts from ‘B’ end. These parts are original BR-Swindon fabrications and were holed in multiple places, but Colin has cut out the material that is beyond further use and is welding new steel into the places where it is needed. Take a look at these photos:

    D1010 – with the corroded steel cut away, a replacement outer frame has been formed from new steel and the extent of the new sheet metal required becomes clearly visible. Pictured at Williton on 23rd October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – old metal meets new metal in the course of restoration of one of the ‘B’ end valances being performed by volunteer Colin F at Williton on 23rd October 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    These photos give evidence in support of our statement last week that the corrosion on D1010 is confined to small parts of a very large locomotive. Each area of corrosion will be dealt with systematically.

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – the outstanding work on this loco has been completed and the engine room has been cleaned up by Tom in preparation for the loco to take over WSR support duties from sister loco D6575.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco will be standing down from WSR duties and will be returning to Williton so that an oil change and some other maintenance tasks can be performed. More details on this next week.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week – waiting for her turn over the pit in the Swindon Shed.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – several tasks are lined up for this loco during the coming months. More details on this next week.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – continual progress from the team, as preparations are made for the re-wheeling of this loco. The manganese steel wear plates were prepared, measured and re-fitted to the hornguides while the frames were given a coat of black paint by Colin G. Several other components have also been re-fitted to the frames and painted.

    The ‘Tuesday’ team have made progress on the cleaning of the Voith hydraulic transmission unit so that it can be painted before re-fitting to the frames. All of this rapid progress has been made possible by the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you very much !

     

    D9518 manganese steel wear plates (12 in total) were cleaned up by Mike E at Williton on 23rd October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 manganese steel wear plates (12 in total) were carefully measured before fitting to the hornguides at Williton on 23rd October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 manganese steel wear plates were re-fitted to the hornguides by Simon while Colin G progressed with the painting at Williton on 23rd October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 manganese steel wear plates were re-fitted to the hornguides by Simon at Williton on 23rd October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 Voith L217 hydraulic transmission gets a cleanup from Chris (left) and Nick at Williton on 19th October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 Voith L217 hydraulic transmission almost ready for painting at Williton on 19th October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is now back in action after receiving attention to her engine governor.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is now in need of needle-gunning to remove loose paint and rust before priming and painting in undercoat. We need volunteers to step forward to work on this loco, so please come along and join the effort to complete the work on this little loco.

    Andrew Barclay number 578 (ROF No. 1) is waiting for a volunteer to carry out needle-gunning for loose paint and rust removal before priming and painting. Pictured at Williton on 23rd October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

    BOOK REVIEW – we are pleased to announce that our online store now includes a new book from well-known author Roger Geach and associate Michael Mercer, covering all 74 of the much-loved Class 52 ‘WESTERN’ locomotives, featuring photos from Barry Nicolle and others, taken during the period late-1960s through to the withdrawal of the class on that fateful day in February 1977.

    This new A4 softback book is entitled ‘WESTERN VENTURE‘ and is available by clicking on the image below:

    All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the D1010 Restoration Fund, as per the agreement with Roger Geach. Please get your copy while stocks last.

     

    And speaking of new publications, our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is now IN STOCK in glossy A3 landscape format. Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year:

    There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

    ON SHED – a new theme this week as we feature one of the excellent photographs by BARRY GAY, who has kindly donated many of his photographs to the DEPG for use in our publications and to share in the roundups. Many thanks to Barry for his generosity and for his support.

    HST power car 43002 (from set 253 001) ‘Sir Kenneth Grange’ (now part of the National Collection) heads ‘The Somerset Explorer’ railtour out of Bishops Lydeard past Westridge Shed where the silhouette of Class 09 D4107 (09 019) is clearly visible. Class 52  D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ stands at the platform carrying ‘THE BRISTOLIAN’ headboard on Saturday 13th May 2017. Photo by Barry Gay © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – The Autumn ‘work week’ starts on Saturday 30th October and runs until Saturday 6th November, so we welcome volunteers old and new to come along during that week and help us with tasks that are both loco-related and infrastructure-related. We have tasks to suit all capabilities, so we look forward to seeing you.

    We are gathering information and articles for the next edition of the DEPG Newsletter, so please let me know if you have a story to contribute or if you have suggestions for content that you would like to see included.

    We held a DEPG Board Meeting on Saturday 23rd October and we will share a synopsis in the next roundup or as soon as possible. We hope to hold a volunteers’ meeting at Williton on Saturday 30th, after lunch.

     

    OTHER DEPG NEWS – social media coverage of the return to service of Class 44 ‘Peak’ D4 ‘GREAT GABLE’ resulted in discussion about the railtours that were organised by the DIESEL & ELECTRIC GROUP (the forerunner of the DEPG) back in 1977. The first railtour ran on 1st October 1977, to commemorate the class of heavyweight 1-Co-Co-1 diesel-electrics designed and built by BR at Derby Works, and was a total sell-out, so a second run was organised for 15th October.

    The re-run carried an improved headboard and we still have this headboard today, so Ian rescued it from the shed and mounted it on D6566 (33 048) which is another Sulzer-engined machine (besides which, it wouldn’t fit on a ‘Hymek’ or a ‘Western’ at all – and evidently, because of the headlamp, didn’t quite fit on the ‘Crompton’ either!).

    THE PEAKS EXPRESS rerun on 15th October 1977 featured haulage from three of the class members, including survivor D4 ‘GREAT GABLE’ from Toton to Manchester, pictured at Penistone by Julian Ogle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    BRCW Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) poses at Williton on 16th October 2021 with the headboard of ‘THE PEAKS EXPRESS‘ rerun from 15th October 1977. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

    Many thanks to Julian for providing permission to use his photograph.

     

    DEPG WEBSITE: Please take a look at our online store – we now have our new 2022 CALENDAR and the newly-added PRE-OWNED BOOKS (there are plenty more yet to be added so keep an eye on this product category) and much more. Thanks in advance ! We intend to add DEPG beanie hats and DEPG fleece jackets soon, but please let us know if there is something else that you think we should be offering.

     

    WSR NEWSThis coming Saturday 30th October will see an event being hosted at Bishops Lydeard where all of the support organisations across the railway will gather to welcome prospective volunteers and explain the opportunities available, covering all kinds of work from engineering through to gardening to administration and historical records archiving.

    The railway (and the DEPG) depends on volunteers and we certainly need the help, so if you have some time and you want to make new friends and/or learn new skills, come along to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday or click on the image below or follow this link to find out more.

     

     

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  • Weekly Roundup – 17-Oct-21

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 runs non-stop through the delightful Crowcombe Heathfield station while heading for Dunster on 16th October 2021 with the last ‘excursion special’ of the 2021 season. Photo by Tim Edmonds © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 crosses Ker Moor, heading for Dunster with the 1135 Bishops Lydeard to Dunster excursion service, enjoying blue skies and warm sunshine on Saturday 16th October 2021. Photo by Tony Latham © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The last of the diesel-hauled ‘excursion’ specials for the 2021 season ran yesterday, Saturday 16th October 2021 and haulage was provided by Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 including an extension to Norton Fitzwarren on the return leg of the journey. The weather was excellent with blue skies and warm sunshine for most of the journey, marking a great end to a sucessful season.

     

    The 59-year-old loco performed admirably and provided some great sights for photographers along the length of the line, including Norton Fitzwarren. We only have space to include some of the many excellent photos that we have been sent, and more can be found on the wsr.org.uk website by clicking this link. Many thanks to all who sent photos of this event !

    ‘Hymek’ D7018 stands at Blue Anchor as BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ approaches with a return working from Dunster. Video by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 prepares for the shunt-release operation at Dunster West on Saturday 16th October 2021. Photo taken from the cab of Class 03 D2133 while at standstill by driver Robin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D7018 captured just after departure from Blue Anchor with the 1325 return service from Dunster to Norton Fitzwarren, heading for Horse Parks and the climb to Washford, on Saturday 16th October 2021. Photo by Tony Latham © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D7018 stands at Norton Fitzwarren platform before uncoupling and running around her train via Barnstaple Junction and the East Chord for the last leg of the ‘excursion special’ on Saturday 16th October 2021. Photo by Ian Monkton © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    MANY THANKS to all who have worked so hard to deliver this running program and also to those who bought a ticket or merchandise during this 2021 running season, and in doing so contributed to making the case for more diesel-hauled services on the WSR next year !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – some great news this week – the VERY FIRST brand new parts were fabricated for the body repairs, using steel that has been purchased using the funds raised by the D1010 RESTORATION APPEAL. Thank you very much !

    The photos below show the progress that has been made in making a replacement valance for the buffer beam of the loco. The heavily corroded original part can be seen in the first photograph. Each end of the loco carries two such valances, each a mirror image of the other.

    D1010 – inside view of one of the heavily corroded buffer beam valances. Pictured at Williton on 16th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – buffer beam valance components being prepared by Colin F at Williton on 16th October 2021. Photo by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the replacement buffer beam valance framework assembly has been created on the bench with authentic shape and detail by Colin F at Williton on 16th October 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Some readers have expressed concern after seeing last week’s photos of heavily corroded parts in the cab floor structure of D1010, but please be reassured that the corrosion affects some small parts of what is a very large locomotive, and all such parts can be restored or replaced as part of the project.

     

    Here is another area that will be receiving attention – the horns are mounted in the cab roof and water ingress over the years has corroded the horn enclosure so that rainwater was getting into the cab. This repair will involve some more cutting and welding, but this is straightforward repair work that is to be expected in a loco of this vintage. It’s another task that needs to be done, but it is nothing to worry about.

    D1010 – the roof-mounted air horn enclosure in Cab B has corroded at the edges and is no longer watertight. Repairs will involve cutting out the corroded section and welding new metal into place. Pictured at Williton on 9th October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – an update will be provided next week.

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – no change this week.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – we have been advised that this loco will have to wait her turn in the ‘Swindon Shed’ where she needs to go over the pit for the bogies to be disconnected before the body can be lifted. This work will be delayed by higher priority work that has to be performed by the WSR Restorations team in that area of the ‘Swindon Shed’, but we still hope to have our work done by Spring 2022 so that the loco can perform on the WSR in her 60th year since introduction to BR service.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was powered up and exercised in the yard at Williton on 16th October 2021, to keep her in full working order pending her bogie suspension spring replacement work. The loco was pictured in the yard as her slightly younger sister D7018 passed through Williton with the last ‘excursion special’ of the 2021 season. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0  

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – we have more progress to report this week as the team prepares the frames for re-wheeling the loco. The frames were given a coat of grey undercoat by Colin G while the hornguides were measured up by Simon and Terry for bearing clearance adjustments to be made. This rapid progress has been made possible by the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you very much !

    D9518 frames get a coating of grey undercoat from Colin G at the Swindon Shed in Williton as the diminutive Ruston 0-4-0DM number 200793 looks on. Photo taken on 16th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 brake components awaiting glass bead blasting and painting before being re-fitted to the loco frames. Photo taken at Williton on 16th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is now back in action after receiving attention to her engine governor.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Unfortunately this running season has passed us by and the loco hasn’t been able to work (or earn). We really hope that this issue is resolved soon and the loco can move to the NYMR as planned.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – no change this week.

     

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – we have been made aware of several new books that have been announced recently, the subjects of which are likely to be highly relevant to our supporters. The titles are:

    Subject Publisher Expected date
    BR Class 15 and 16 diesel-electric locos  Pen & Sword 30-Dec-2021
    BR Class 14 diesel-hydraulic locos – Vol. 1 Pen & Sword 30-Mar-2022
    Preserved diesel-hydraulic locos Author – Fred Kerr Early 2022

    Many thanks to Neale Long for making us aware of these forthcoming publications. We will provide more information ASAP.

     

    And speaking of new publications, our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is now IN STOCK in glossy A3 landscape format. Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year:

    There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

    ON SHED – staying with the theme of last week’s photo by Alan Walker showing two Class 14s and a Class 37 on a mixed freight from Healey Mills to Hull, we have another very rare photo that was also captured by Alan, this time on 1st September 1967 in which two Class 14s are clearly working very hard on the climb from Featherstone (Yorkshire) in the direction of Hull:

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bears’ D9543 and D9549 haul a mixed freight in the direction of Hull on 1st September 1967, while these two locos were based at Hull Dairycoates depot. Photographed at Featherstone, Yorkshire by Alan Walker ©

     

    Many thanks to Alan for sharing these very rare photos with us; it is much appreciated.

     

    DEPG NEWS – The Autumn ‘work week’ starts on Saturday 30th October and runs until Sunday 7th November, so we welcome volunteers old and new to come along during that week and help us with tasks that are both loco-related and infrastructure-related. We look forward to seeing you.

    We are gathering information and articles for the next edition of the DEPG Newsletter, so please let me know if you have a story to contribute or if you have suggestions for content that you would like to see included. We have a DEPG Board Meeting scheduled for next Saturday 23rd October, so if you have questions that you would like to put to the Board, please let me have your questions ASAP.

     

    DEPG WEBSITE: Please take a look at our online store – we now have our new 2022 CALENDAR and the newly-added PRE-OWNED BOOKS (there are plenty more yet to be added so keep an eye on this product category) and much more. Thanks in advance ! We intend to add DEPG beanie hats and DEPG fleece jackets soon, but please let us know if there is something else that you think we should be offering.

     

    WSR NEWS: There has been some highly visible progress on the Seaward Way Level Crossing and several photos have appeared on wsr.org.uk including the following:

    The new level crossing equipment has been installed at Seaward Way, providing tangible evidence of the progress that has been made in the background over the preceeding months. We hope to see Minehead re-connected in the very near future. Photo taken on 15th October 2021 by Keith Sanders © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    No doubt the good people of Minehead will be very pleased to see the progress and will be looking forward to through services being restored for the opening of the 2022 season. We have certainly missed being able to run to Minehead this year and we are ready to play our part in providing ‘diesels to the seaside’ in 2022.

     

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  • DIESELGEN – D7018 on 16-Oct-21

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 waits alongside the signalbox at Bishops Lydeard with a service to Norton Fitzwarren during the Mixed Traction Event on Saturday 18th September 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This season’s final chance to ride behind ‘Hymek’ D7018 will be the ‘excursion special‘ that will run this Saturday 16th October 2021 featuring haulage from Bishops Lydeard to Dunster and return with an extension to Norton Fitzwarren on the return leg. The load will be five Mark 1 coaches so there will be plenty of ‘Maybach Music’.

    The departure time is 1135 from Bishops Lydeard, returning at 1535.

    Tickets can be pre-booked via the WSR website or can be purchased on the day.

    The departure time is 1135 from Bishops Lydeard, returning at 1535.

    Please do try to come along and support the WSR and the DEPG and enjoy the occasion !

     

    If you are unable to attend, the webcams provide a very good way of watching the action from afar. Here are the links:

    BL: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-bl2.htm

    CH: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-ch1.htm

    WN: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-wn2.htm

    BA: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-ba1.htm

     

    Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

    Have you considered joining the WEEKLY ROUNDUP e-newsletter list? Click here for details.

     


     

  • Weekly Roundup – 10-Oct-21

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 runs across Blue Anchor level crossing at the tail end of the 1405 Dunster to Norton Fitzwarren service (headed by WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351) on 1st October 2021. Photo by Steve Edge © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 stands at Crowcombe Heathfield with the 1230 Bishops Lydeard to Dunster (for Minehead) service on the very wet second day of the Autumn Steam Gala, on 2nd October 2021. Photo by Joseph Hart © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    After the intensive timetable of the previous weekend, the WSR has returned to the ‘RED’ timetable for the remainder of October, with the addition of some ‘Quantock Belle’ dining services and some Steam Experience Courses. The Diesel Experience Courses will not restart until next year because the heritage freight train is stranded at Minehead until the Seaward Way level crossing is re-opened. Click here for an update on the Seaward Way project.

    There is only one diesel-hauled ‘excursion’ special remaining this season, and it will run on this coming Saturday 16th October with haulage to be provided by Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 including an extension to Norton Fitzwarren on the return leg of the journey. This is going to be a great opportunity to get some diesel-hydraulic haulage and listen to that Maybach Music, so please come along and ride the ‘excursion’ special on Saturday 16th October.

     

    MANY THANKS to all who have bought a ticket or merchandise during this 2021 running season and in doing so contributed to making the case for more diesel-hauled services on the WSR next year !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this week, as the depot was closed to the public, we were able to make noise and make more progress on D1010, the first task being to remove the seats from the ‘B’ end cab and lift the floor panels so that the sub-frame that supports the cab could be inspected. The subframe is supported by four sets of columns and the frontmost set had corroded away many years ago and had been replaced by new box-section supports. However, our inspection showed that the second-from-front row of supports have now corroded away and have to be replaced, but the third and fourth rows are OK. This is important information because it tells us how much disaasembly we have to do to be able to get at the corroded supports to perform the repairs.

    The photo of the corroded support may look bad, but it is just a very small piece of metal in a very large locomotive, so it will be dealt with as soon as we can clear the area around it.

     

    D1010 cab B driver’s seat has been removed to allow the cab floor to be lifted. The lifted section is shown alongside, leaning against the cab wall. Pictured at Williton on 9th October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 cab B secondman’s seat has been removed to allow the cab floor to be lifted. One of the lifted sections is shown alongside, leaning against the cab wall. Pictured at Williton on 9th October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 cab B second row subframe supports have been completely eaten away and will need to be replaced. To the right of the support are two electrical wiring conduits, both of which are also in the final stages of dissolving. Pictured at Williton on 9th October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 cab B third row subframe supports are rusty but still capable of doing their job. The ‘1010 B’ identification tag dates back to the original construction that took place at Swindon Works in 1962. Pictured at Williton on 9th October 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.

     

    We also want to share some news about similar work that is being performed on D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ at the Midland Railway in Butterley, Derbyshire. This information came to us via the excellent newsletters from the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) and the photograph below was taken by WLA member Adrian Worgan during a recent visit to the MR-B. Many thanks to Adrian and the WLA for updating us on the progress with D1048.

    Crewe-built Class 52 D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ undergoing cab end repairs at the Midland Railway in Butterley Derbyshire. Photograph taken during a recent visit to Butterley by Adrian Worgan © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco is stabled at Williton and will undergo some maintenance work during the next few weeks while sister D6575 remains on ‘Thunderbird’ duty at Bishops Lydeard.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) pictured while stabled at Williton during the very wet weather on the second day of the Autumn Steam Gala, 2nd October 2021. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco was also in use at the recent Autumn Steam Gala and is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard to cover any duties that may arise.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) crosses Lower Ker Moor on the approach to Blue Anchor at the tail end of the 1020 Dunster to Bishops Lydeard service on Friday 1st October 2021, the best weather day of the Autumn Steam Gala. Photo by Steve Edge © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting patiently for her turn in the ‘Swindon Shed’ where she needs to go over the pit for the bogies to be disconnected before the body can be lifted. This work is pencilled-in for the ‘work week’ that will take place in the first week of November, subject to space being available in the ‘Swindon Shed’.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was open to the public but did get many visitors during the very wet weather on the second day of the Autumn Steam Gala, 2nd October 2021. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is booked and is being readied for the last ‘excursion’ special of the 2021 season that will run this coming Saturday 16th October and will include an extension to Norton Fitzwarren. Please do try to come along if you can. Tickets are available via this link or by clicking on the ticket graphic below (this is a link to the WSR website):

     

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – we have some MAJOR progress to report on this loco this week because the team led by Ryan Pope at WSR Restorations have completed the rivetting work and the hornguides are now back in the frames and preparations are being made to re-wheel the loco. This is great news and has been made possible by the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you very much !

    D9518 hornguides were rivetted in place by the WSR Restorations team at the Swindon Shed in Williton. Photo taken on 9th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 frames and hornguides being prepared for re-wheeling at the Swindon Shed in Williton. Photo taken on 9th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 sandboxes and electrical enclosures get a coat of gloss from Roy J at Williton on 9th October 2021, with the loco cab providing the backdrop. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is expected to be back in action during this coming week after receiving attention to her engine governor.

     

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Unfortunately this running season has passed us by and the loco hasn’t been able to work (or earn). We really hope that this issue is resolved soon and the loco can move to the NYMR as planned.

     

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the engine governor override lever has now been repaired by John C so attention has moved back to bodywork repairs that need to be completed while the loco is residing inside the loco shed.

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1) with the engine doors removed to reveal the Paxman 6RPHL V6 diesel engine at Williton on 9th October 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – after covering two new books during the last two weeks, we will skip this feature this week and just use the space for a brazen plug for our 2022 calendar using this new image by DEPG Publicity Officer Mark Bladwell:

    Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 displays ‘2022’ as a reminder to everyone to get their DEPG 2022 calendars on order while stocks last. Photo taken at Williton on 5th October 2021 by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    And here it is, our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is now IN STOCK in glossy A3 landscape format. Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year:

    We have also produced an animated video that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.

    We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.

     

     

    ON SHED – last week’s photo of three Class 14s at Gloucester Horton Road depot on their way to Hull Dairycoates depot triggered several responses from readers who remembered the transfer of 33 Class 14 locomotives to the Eastern Region in 1967. We received this response from WSR Director of Mechanical Engineering Bob Meanley: 

    “The photo of the ‘Teddy Bears’ at Gloucester reminds me that I saw several train loads of them passing through Tamworth whilst en route to Hull. By the time that they got to us, they were usually formed up with a couple of vans between each engine to spread the load on bridges. That wasn’t always the case as I recall that we occasionally had trains of anything up to 5 light loco’s coupled together on balancing turns from Saltley to Toton. The most I saw were three 9F’s coupled up to two 8F’s. I recall one Saturday afternoon when a train of ‘Teddy Bears’ came through headed unbelievably by a ‘Hymek’. We did have a couple of previous occasions where ‘Hymeks’ got through to Derby but it was very very rare. The ‘Hymek’ must have been taken off at Toton, I would think, as it came back light engine some hours later.”

    Many thanks to Bob for sharing this information with us all. We also have a photo of a transfer move from Alan Walker, showing a Class 37 hauling a mixed goods train but with two class 14s included in the mix! Quite a rare treat for the Eastern Region photographers of the day.

    Class 37 D6736 (37036, 37507, 37605) hauls a mixed freight from Healey Mills (Wakefield) towards Hull on 5th July 1967 with two Class 14 ‘Teddy Bears’ D9548 and D9512 en route to Hull Dairycoates depot. Photographed at Featherstone, Yorkshire by Alan Walker ©

     

    Many thanks to Bob and Alan for sharing this information, it is much appreciated

     

    DEPG NEWS – we continue to focus on preparing the locos and the depot for the upcoming winter period, ensuring that the right locos are in the right places for the work that is planned to take place over winter. The Autumn ‘work week’ starts on Saturday 30th October and runs until Sunday 7th November, so we welcome volunteers old and new to come along during that week and help us with tasks that are both loco-related and infrastructure-related. We look forward to seeing you.

     

    DEPG WEBSITE: Please take a look at our online store – we now have our new 2022 CALENDAR and the newly-added PRE-OWNED BOOKS (there are plenty more yet to be added so keep an eye on this product category) and much more. Thanks in advance ! We intend to add DEPG beanie hats and DEPG fleece jackets soon, but please let us know if there is something else that you think we should be offering.

     

    WSR NEWS: The unofficial WSR news and information site wsr.org.uk carries a news item giving feedback on the questions that were raised during the recent AGM of the WSR. The information has been provided by the WSR and is available by clicking this link. Many thanks to Steve Edge for his excellent website and for the work that he does to make it the go-to source for WSR news and photographs.

     

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