• Weekly Roundup – 27-Nov-22

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) approaches Williton from the north on a DIESEL GALA service from Minehead on Saturday 11th June 2022. Photo by Paul Clark © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Firstly, apologies for the late publication of this edition of roundup, the delay being caused by the need to get the DEPG Newsletter out for printing as a matter of priority.

    The big news this week is that Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) is ready for inspection and test running in advance of being returned to service. This update was provided by volunteer Class 33 loco manager IAN ROBINS after he and Tom spent the whole of last weekend working on a low water pressure indication issue that followed the installation of the reconditioned heat exchanger. Assistance has also been provided by Ian FS (so many Ians at the depot these days) and Chris, so well done Team Crompton !

    This news will no doubt be appreciated by sister loco D6575 (33 057) who has carried the baton as the duty loco since mid August and will welcome the backup for the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that run on Fridays and Saturdays up to Friday 16th December, when they become almost daily and continue to the very end of the year.

    Bookings on these services are strong, especially for the earlier departure, so if you intend to take a ride then MAKE A BOOKING to secure your places.

    WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED WITH DELIVERING THESE WINTERLIGHTS SERVICES !

    Also running this weekend are the DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT services (Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd) and the SANTA EXPRESS services (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th) so it will be good to see Williton Station open for business again.

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – further progress on the transmission rebuild resulted in the turbine rail input shaft assembly being installed into the centre section of the housing, in readiness for the attachment of the first stage torque converter housing. Each component is being thoroughly cleaned and having any loose material removed before reassembly, because the oilways are very small and cleanliness is essential. The nice new (and expensive !) bearings need plenty of clean oil to keep them in good condition.

    Ian FN and Chris made further progress on the bodywork and Gordon attended to the sandbox doors, and we even made some progress on the underfloor wiring in ‘B’ cab. Here are some photos that show the progress:

    D1010 – the turbine rail input shaft assembly was completed at Williton on Monday 21st November 2022. The new bearings are encased within the housings and fed with oil via the port that is visible on the far left. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the input shaft assembly was then installed into the centre part of the housing and the oilway aligned with the oil pipe union. Pictured at Williton on Monday 21st November 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the first stage impeller is next in line for cleaning and inspection. This component will be attached to the input shaft via the Hirth joint (radial spline joint) that is visible in the centre of the impeller and in the previous photo. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the battery compartment doors on the ‘B’ side of the loco have been receiving attention from Ian FN who has been hard at work, filling, sanding, filling and sanding to get the finish up to his high standard. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and are still visible after sanding the paint away. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – covered previously.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be declared fit for traffic.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the planned engine run had to be deferred again because of other priorities, but we hope to get to this task during the coming weekend. The engine will be run for an hour to bring it and the transmission up to temperature and allow the transmission control pressures to be checked and adjusted if necessary. The loco will then need to have a number of small but important tasks dealt with during the winter months, in readiness for her return to service in the spring.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – progress on multiple fronts has become the norm as the team share out the tasks and maintain a very high level of co-ordination. As usual, the pictures tell the story:

    D9518 – Simon removes some very old hoses that need replacing while he can easily access the area that will soon be plated over. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the side plates are trial fitted – the green plate being a new part and the blue (ish) part being an original that is in need of replacement. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – an original side plate is being used as a template for the oval holes to be cut in the new plate for the battery cables to pass through. The lower part of the plate (RH) is not much use as a template, in fact it is not much use for anything at all. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – meanwhile, Terry and his team comprising Nick and Mike have been dismantling the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine that last ran in D9526 and will undergo a complete rebuild to form a zero-hours engine for D9518. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and continues to see a decent amount of use, clocking up 47.5 hours in November. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be back home at Williton by mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is receiving attention at the NYMR after a report of an oil leak from her engine governor. When investigated, it was found that the governor is in need of an overhaul, so a spare part will be despatched from Williton stock to get the loco back into service.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system of this loco continues to be the subject of attention and ‘hats off’ to new volunteer Tony for cleaning out the diesel tank and removing all of the sludge that has accumulated over the last 50 years – definitely not a pleasant job but someone has to do it. Tony also made a new gasket and fitted the inspection plate back into place loosely, in case further work needs to be done. Terry, Simon P and Colin G also lent a hand on this loco to remove the filter for the ‘British Twin Disc’ 3-stage torque converter (this design uses diesel fuel as the hydraulic fluid). The filter was found to be in a very poor condition and will be replaced. The project continues !

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the newly-made gasket is visible under the fuel tank inspection flange that has been loosely refitted by Tony. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    BR (LNER pattern) 20t Brake Van B952527 – this vehicle is in need of a significant amount of work and will need to have an allocation of resources so that progress can be made on the restoration. To roof is leaking quite badly, so to protect against further dilapidation, the van was sheeted over with a tarpaulin – but the stovepipe had to be removed first, and it didn’t want to budge so it had to be cut. It turns out that the stovepipe was made from a redundant boiler tube and was found to be cracked along almost the whole length, so it will have to be renewed anyway. The cast iron stove was also found to be cracked and will also need to be replaced. The first priority was to keep the rain out and that task was completed on Saturday by Martin (mostly) with a bit of help from Chris and Andy.

    The DEPG’s 1954 BR (Faverdale) 20t brake van B952527 has been sheeted over for the winter because it has a leaky roof. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    If you can help by donating your time to any of these projects, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 had a very encouraging uptake on this brand new book from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, which is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.

    This new book is offered for sale at £18.95 with all profits going to the D1010 Restoration Fund. We look forward to receiving and sharing a book review from a purchaser in the very near future.

     

     

    We have also been busy preparing more of our pre-owned book stock for online sales in time for Christmas, so keep an eye on our pre-owned book page because we are updating it regularly (or trying to!).

     

    The long-awaited DEPG 2023 CALENDAR is at the printers and we will start distributing it within the next week or so. NOW IS THE TIME TO PLACE YOUR ORDER because we are only ordering the minimum number that will guarantee that all copies are sold. This allows us to keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image above to place your order. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

    Click this link for the animated version (displays via our website).

     

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – as mentioned last week, our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    The many items are being photographed and examples have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    A selection of Christmas items that have been made by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale for £1.50 each at the Station or via the DEPG online store. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’, one of the seven surviving members of the Class, at the stabling point at Westbury where the Class were often to be found before or after working the heavy stone trains from the Mendips to London and elsewhere. Also in the picture is 47 026, formerly D1597, delivered new to Cardiff Canton Depot in June 1964 and destined for a 38-year career on the mainline before ending her days as 47 597 at EMR Kingsbury scrapyard. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.

    Class 52 survivor D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ was stabled at WESTBURY in January 1977 along with 47 026 (D1597, 47 597). Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the November Newsletter is being printed and will be mailed (or emailed) along with the synopses of recent Board Meetings to all registered DEPG members during the coming week. Please let me know if you have not received your copy by this time next week. Thanks !

     

    A very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event. 

    Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

       

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 20-Nov-22

    WINTERLIGHTS trains for 2022 run Fridays and Saturdays until the 16th December when the frequency steps up to most days right through to New Year’s Eve. Pictured at Bishops Lydeard by Liam Hebditch © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) returns the 19:00 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ train to Bishops Lydeard on Friday 18th November, the first night of the 2022 season. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The 2020 Christmas season kicked off in style on Friday 18th November with two ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services, the first departing Bishops Lydeard at 17:00 and the second at 19:00 with BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ leading for the outbound leg to Crowcombe Heathfield and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) leading on the return. The trains travel slowly because seasonal exhibits are placed along the line and the coloured lights on the carriages interact with those of the fixed displays to present additional effects, adding to the experience.

    Running these services in the evenings is very demanding for the volunteers who are essential to delivering these services, with car park attendants, marquee attendants and a whole range of support volunteers working together to make sure that visitors have a great experience – so that they will hopefully tell their friends and family about it.

    WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED WITH DELIVERING THESE WINTERLIGHTS SERVICES !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – another milestone was reached as we transitioned from ‘disassembly mode’ to ‘reassembly mode’ on the ‘B’ end transmission, with the input shaft being reassembled with new bearings and being prepared for re-fitting into the housings. This paves the way for the first stage torque converter to be reassembled around the shaft, while allowing us to build up our knowledge and improve our build techniques in preparation for the challenging reassembly stages to come. Well done to Colin F and his team members Geoff and Tim for this achievement, and to Paul K and Andy V for their invaluable help in getting us to this level. Great progress, thank you all !!!

    D1010 – a milestone moment as new bearings are fitted around the input shaft by Tim (L) and Colin F (R) at Williton on Tuesday 15th November 2022 after ensuring that the oilway drillings were clear of debris and fully functional. The next step will be to fit this shaft assembly into the housing and then build the first stage torque converter around it. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On Saturday 19th November, Gordon and Leroy refitted the headcode blind boxes to the doors at the ‘A’ end of the locomotive, and set them to an appropriate headcode, one that was carried by the loco from 1975 to the end of her days in BR service. At the other end of the loco, Andy R was working on reinstating the wiring that had been disconnected when welding repairs were carried out underneath the cab floor, and Chris painted two more of the battery compartments, so good progress all round !

    D1010 – now proudly displaying her running number in the fully-functional headcode boxes, the loco is taking on a much more ‘dressed’ appearance as work progresses. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and are still visible after sanding the paint away. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the low water pressure issue was investigated by Ian R and Tom, starting with the water pump which was examined for signs of wear or damage but passed as OK. The next area of attention was the triple pump motor, to make sure that it was running at the proper speed. The ballast resistors that allow the motor to reach the designed speed were found to have been damaged by overheating, so they were replaced and the water pressure edged up, but was still insufficient to allow the engine to be started.

    Finally, after cleaning out the pipework that connected the water pressure gauge and sensor to the pump, everything came together and the engine started !

    Well done to ‘Team Crompton’ for getting to the stage where a test run can be planned !

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be declared fit for traffic.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – with attention being concentrated elsewhere, the planned engine run was deferred to next weekend, when the transmission control pressures will be checked and adjusted if necessary. The loco will then need to have a number of small but important tasks dealt with during the winter months, in readiness for her return to service in the spring.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – plenty of work is taking place on multiple fronts as usual, with each member of the team engaged on different tasks. Here’s some photos to show what has been taking place:

    D9518 – viewed from the ‘B’ cab of D1010 at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022, Colin G can be seen applying grey undercoat to the side frames of the ‘B’ end of the locomotive. No doubt we will see these being painted in ‘NCB Ashington Blue’ soon. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the nose end doors of the loco are in need of some TLC, especially at the bottom, below the apertures for the glass panels. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the two cab doors, one in the ‘before’ condition with door furniture removed, the other in the ‘after’ condition, with a great gloss finish and nice shiny handles. Pictured Saturday 19th November 2022 by Colin Girle © 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway although her time in the far South-East is coming to an end because sister loco D9504 has now completed her overhaul and will be returning to work shortly. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be heading home to Williton in mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has seen regular use at the NYMR though to the end of October, when public services ceased. Hopefully, the loco will see occasional use during the winter to keep her in good condition.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system of this loco is being disassembled for cleaning and to find the source of contamination that resulted in damage to the fuel injection pump. On Saturday at Williton, new volunteer Tony used his wide ranging skills to make a bracket that will be used to hold a cartridge-type fuel filter that can be replaced on a periodic basis to protect the injection pump. Thank you Tony, and welcome to the DEPG !

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the newly-made bracket is ready to be installed and will be used to support a cartridge-type fuel filter to protect the fuel injection pump from contamination in the fuel system. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 – this week, we are featuring a brand new book from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, in fact it is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow !

    This new book is offered for sale at £18.95 with all profits going to the D1010 Restoration Fund. We look forward to receiving and sharing a book review from a purchaser in the very near future.

     

     

    We have also been busy preparing more of our pre-owned book stock for online sales in time for Christmas, so keep an eye on our pre-owned book page because we are updating it regularly.

     

     

    A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – as mentioned last week, our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    The many items are being photographed and examples have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    A fine display of Christmas items that have been made by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale at the Station or via the DEPG online store. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of our Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 on shed at Barry Open Day in August 1990, along with the WLA’s Class 52 D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ and a host of other locos that are listed on the BR OPEN DAYS website. Those were the days when a massive array of locos could be assembled from all over the country without the huge expenses that we encounter now. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.

    The DEPG’s Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 shares the road with the WLA’s Class 52 D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ at Barry in South Wales on the occasion of their open day, 19th August 1990. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – a very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event. 

    Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

       

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 13-Nov-22

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) shows red tail lights at the trailing end of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ test train, on the first night of testing, Thursday 10th November 2022. Pictured at Bishops Lydeard by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The WSR took a step closer to the start of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ season by running a test train from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe Heathfield and back on the evening of Thursday 10th November 2022, followed by another test on Friday 11th, paving the way for the ‘official’ services that start this Friday 18th November.

    A steam loco is provided at the leading end and the six Mark 1 coaches are fully adorned with high-tech light strings that change colour and intensity as the train travels along the line, passing the various exhibits that complement the train itself, putting on quite a show. Power is provided by a generator set that is mounted inside the restored Southern Region ‘Parcels & Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) which is coupled between Class 33 and the train, as last year.

    The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ test train operated on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th November 2022 to make sure that everything worked properly and to provide crew training opportunities in advance of the commencement of the ‘official’ services. BR(W) 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ was pictured at Bishops Lydeard on the 10th by Dave Fowler © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains depart from Bishops Lydeard, mostly at 17:00 and 19:00 on Fridays and Saturdays starting Friday 18th November, and become daily in the run-up to Christmas. Click here for more information on these special services.

    In addition, the WSR will be running ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton (steam hauled but with the ‘Crompton’ on standby in case banking assistance is required) and ‘DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT services on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December as a very appropriate means of getting to this well-known event.

    Please do try to support these events if you can, and also let your family and friends know that they are taking place, to spread the word further. Thank you !

     

    Now for an update on a project that we featured in early summer, the AC Railbus W79978 that is owned by DEPG member Martin Rouse and based at Hayes Knoll on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. We have received two updates from Martin, covering September and October, and both will be posted to our AC Railbus W79978 website page ASAP.

    Here’s an extract from the October update to give a flavour to the progress being made:

       “The pneumatically-operated folding steps and handrails have been un-seized. These were fitted to allow passengers to board and alight at low height “platforms” constructed from wooden sleepers. They are controlled from the driver’s desk and can only be operated when the brakes are applied.

       The step treads require replacing on this side, the handrails and steps are missing from the other side of the railbus and so replacement items will need to be fabricated.”

    The pneumatically-operated folding steps of AC Railbus W79978 are undergoing restoration at Hayes Knoll on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. Photo dated October 2022 by Martin Rouse © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    AC Railbus W79978 update September 2022

    AC Railbus W79978 update October 2022

    Many thanks to Martin for keeping us updated on the progress of this very interesting project. Also mentioned in Martin’s September update is a new book that is due to be released by well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS entitled ‘Backtracking from Plymouth to Padstow‘ so we look forward to hearing more about this new title soon.

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more steps were taken toward re-assembling the locomotive, with Gordon continuing his work on the headcode boxes and indicator blinds, while Chris and Ian Fn tackled the battery compartment doors and Richard worked on reinstating the electrical wiring that runs under the cab floor at ‘B’ end. In parallel, work on inspection and measurement of the many individual parts that make up the hydraulic transmission continued, to allow conclusions to be reached for the repair or replacement of the parts that were damaged when bearing 3-152 failed back in 2018.

    D1010 – the four sets of headcode indicator blind mechanisms are being overhauled by Gordon and one set is almost ready for re-fitting to the ‘A’ end of the locomotive. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 12th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – two of the eight battery compartment doors were cleaned up and given a grey primer coat by Chris at Williton on Saturday 12th November 2022. On the other side of the locomotive, Ian Fn was hard at work on the external cosmetic appearance of the two other battery compartment doors. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the second stage (bottom) and third stage (top) impellers from the ‘B’ transmission underwent inspection and measurement at Williton on Saturday 12th November 2022 to allow the repair options to be determined. These parts are driven from the ‘B’ engine and impart the energy to the hydraulic fluid when the relevant stage is selected and filled. The blue area of the stage 3 shaft has been damaged by the seized bearing and several blades of the stage 2 impeller have notches caused by internal collisions that resulted from the failure. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved another 50 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it). Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the repaired heat exchanger has been delivered by specialist subcontractor APPLIED RADIATORS in Stoke-On-Trent who provided an amazing service and turned this project around in one week ! The core of of the heat exchanger has been completely rebuilt and should now give many years of reliable service before it next needs attention.

    D6566 – the rebuilt heat exchanger as returned by APPLIED RADIATORS of Stoke-on-Trent is pictured on the pallet at Williton on Saturday 12th November 2022. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The rebuilt part was re-installed in the loco by Ian R, Ian Fs, Chris and Martin on Saturday 12th November and the water and anti-freeze mixture pumped back in the following day by Ian R and Tom so that the engine could be started up, but low water pressure prevented the engine from starting so the system was drained down again and the water pump disassembled to check it for proper operation. The reduced resistance of the rebuilt heat exchanger had resulted in a higher water flow rate, but the pump could not create sufficient pressure to override the engine safety devices. No doubt that this issue will be resolved quickly and the loco will soon be able to take up her duties as standby loco.

    D6566 – the rebuilt heat exchanger was re-installed in the loco at Williton on Saturday 12th November 2022. The blue pipes feed the water through the core and the engine oil is fed via the pink pipes and circulates around the core, transferring heat from hottest to coolest. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    D6566 – the water pump was disassembled at Williton on Sunday 13th November 2022. The hole in the centre of the blue housing is for the incoming water, which is then picked up by the impeller that is visible on the end of the grey triple pump motor, and thrown outward at motor speed to the output port on the blue housing. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for her next booked workings, which will be the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services that will run on 18th and 19th November and every weekend until Christmas week, during which they will run each day.

     

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco was started up so that Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) could be shunted into the loco shed. The opportunity was also used to perform some engine checks and take an oil sample, once operating temperature had been reached.

    D7017 – this loco was started up on Saturday 12th November 2022 and used to shunt Barclay 578 (ROF 1) into the loco shed.  This loco is waiting for formal completion of her Vehicle Inspection & Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be returned to traffic. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – with attention being concentrated on sister D7017, the planned engine run was deferred to next weekend, when the transmission control pressures will be checked and adjusted if necessary. The loco will then need to have a number of small but important tasks dealt with during the winter months, in readiness for her return to service in the spring.

    D7018 – one of our star performers that achieved 100% availability during 14 days of running during 2022, this 60-year-old is currently stabled on number 1 road in the South Yard at Williton. Pictured in the evening of Friday 11th November 2022 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work on the disassembly of the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine is taking place under Terry’s supervision on Tuesdays and Saturdays, while Simon, Colin G and Andy P work on the reassembly of the ‘B’ end of the loco and John C works on the electrical cubicle. Progress on multiple fronts, but a shortage of photographs – which we will hopefully remedy next week.

    D9518 – orange is the designated colour for electrical items and there is plenty of orange in this view of the ‘B’ end of the locomotive at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – this view, looking to the right and upwards of the previous view, shows one of the Westinghouse solenoid valves that operates as a switch for compressed air (through the white pipes) when the internal electrical coil is energised. The two terminals of the coil have yet to be wired up (via the orange conduit. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway although her time in the far South-East is coming to an end because sister loco D9504 has now completed her overhaul and will be returning to work shortly. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be heading home to Williton in mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has seen regular use at the NYMR though to the end of October, when public services ceased. Hopefully, the loco will see occasional use during the winter to keep her in good condition.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco has now moved into the loco shed so that work can progress on the investigation into the fuel contamination that resulted in damage to her fuel injection pump. Such work needs clean and dry conditions, and being outdoors in November is unlikely to tick that box !

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – pictured outside the shed on number 3 road at Williton in the evening of Friday 11th November 2022. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – pictured inside the shed on number 3 road at Williton in the afternoon of Saturday 12th November 2022. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 !

    Click here for our CONTACT FORM.

     

     

    BOOK REVIEW – this week, we are pleased to report that more pre-owned books that have been donated by members and supporters have been catalogued and photographed and are going to be added to our online store this week. The targets this week are 12 volumes in the ‘RAIL PORTFOLIO‘ series, as follows:

    These twelve titles were amongst a large collection of pristine condition books that were donated by a DEPG member and active volunteer, for which we are very grateful. Some of these as-new books are difficult to get, so we will be setting prices individually in the range from £10 upwards (we are after all, raising funds for our fleet). Please use our CONTACT FORM if you are interested in any of the above or any other books in the Rail Portfolio series, because we may have more titles in stock. Thank you very much to all who have donated books, photographs and video tapes for the benefit of our locomotives.

     

    A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – as mentioned last week, our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    The many items are being photographed and examples will be placed on our online store during the next few days, in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    Another example of the work being done by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale at the Station or via the DEPG online store.

     

    ON SHED – we recently put out a request for ‘on shed’ photos and we had some fantastic responses including ‘in service’ photographs such as the below image of our own D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ departing from Westbury with a long rake of ‘YEOMAN’ hoppers in the summer of 1976, the very last summer of mainline operation of the type. Photographer Kelvin Lumb also provided us with the caption that goes with his photograph. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.

    D1010 WESTERN CAMPAIGNER hauls its Yeoman set away from Westbury with a trip to Merehead Quarry (maybe?). Photo taken from the West Signal Box, summer ’76 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – a very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, use our CONTACT FORM or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event. 

    Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

       

       

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 06-Nov-22

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was used to shunt the south yard at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 and was pictured at the southerly station limit along with a vivid rainbow as DEPG Chairman and driver Martin Howard prepared to change ends so that the loco could re-enter the station via Platform 2 to run around Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) in Platform 1. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    With no public train services running but with a signalman present at Williton, the opportunity was taken to shunt the yard at Williton and re-position non-operational Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1) so that she can enter the loco shed at the appropriate time to undergo remedial work on her fuel system. The little shunting loco was positioned outboard of ‘Hymek’ D7017 so the logical choice for the shunt was D7017 because she had to be moved anyway.

    After the customary period of pre-heating, the engine fired up straight away. The recent engine repair work on D7017 has brought back the ‘Maybach Music’ and the engine sounds as good as ever. The swap-around will allow D7017 to go out for a test run when a suitable opportunity presents itself, although that is more likely to happen when sister loco D7018 is also ready for her test run. We are all looking forward to that !

     

    Meanwhile, elsewhere on the railway, preparations are in full swing for the forthcoming ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ season, with coaches and locos being fitted with their lights and trial runs scheduled for 10th/11th of November. The generator will be carried inside the former Southern Region Parcels & Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) which will be coupled between Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) and the train, as last year.

    The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains depart from Bishops Lydeard, mostly at 17:00 and 19:00 on Fridays and Saturdays starting Friday 18th November, and become daily in the run-up to Christmas. Click here for more information on these special services.

    Volunteers gathered at Minehead on Saturday 5th November to prepare the strings of lights for attachment to the coaches for this season’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services. Photo courtesy of the WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The Southern Region ‘Parcels and Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) number S1464S was being prepared for its role as a mobile power supply at Minehead on Friday 28th October 2022, in good time for this season’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services. Photo courtesy of the WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The generator and power distribution equipment will be carried inside the ‘PMV’ which will be positioned between the train and the Class 33 ‘Crompton’ locomotive at the Taunton end of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains. Pictured at Minehead on Friday 28th October by the WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    One of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ will be attached to the Taunton end of each ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ train and will assist the steam locomotive on the ascent to Crowcombe Heathfield. The ‘Crompton’ will then become the lead engine on the return to Bishops Lydeard, so we can look forward to 40 running opportunities in connection with these services.

    In addition, the WSR will be running ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton (steam hauled but with the ‘Crompton’ on standby in case banking assistance is required) and ‘DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT services on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December as a very appropriate means of getting to this well-known event.

    Please do try to support these events if you can, and also let your family and friends know that they are taking place, to spread the word further. Thank you !

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress this week, with Chris working on the battery compartment restorations and Gordon and Roy cleaning and painting several parts that are being added back to the locomotive, now that we have passed the disassembly stage. The same applies to the transmission, with attention now being given to the processes and equipment needed for the rebuild, now that we have determined the rebuild plan and have evaluated the repair and replacement options for the parts that are damaged or approaching the end of their life. Exciting times indeed !

    D1010 – the compressor access grille from ‘A’ side has been cleaned and painted and is now ready for re-fitting to the locomotive. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the third stage (top gear) impeller is a very interesting example of machining that would be challenging to produce to such a high standard, even on today’s computer-controlled machinery. The stains around the oval cutouts of this two-piece component show evidence of hard work at high speeds when in mainline service, back in the 1970s. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – probably a question only for our octogenarian readers, but did you make this part ? If so, then we would very much like to hear from you ! The inspection stamp seems to read ‘M P A H’. This close-up of the third stage impeller was pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved another 50 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it). Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details:

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the work on cleaning up the engine room continued with more deck plates being removed and steam cleaned. LATEST UPDATE: The failed heat exchanger has been rebuilt by specialist subcontractor APPLIED RADIATORS in Stoke-On-Trent who provided an amazing service and turned this project around in one week ! The rebuilt heat exchanger is on its way back to us now and we should have it available for installation into the loco during this coming weekend. 

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for her next booked workings, which will be the ‘WINTERLIGHTS test trains that will run on 10th and 11th November in preparation for the start of these special services on Friday 18th November. 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as covered previously. This loco is waiting for formal completion of her Vehicle Inspection & Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can returned to traffic.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco has had to wait in line for her turn for attention. The work list on this loco comprises a number of small but important tasks that will be tackled during the coming weeks.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – continued progress on a wide number of work fronts has increased because disassembly work has started on the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine that last operated in sister loco D9526 until removed for overhaul in 2017. The engine will be completely stripped down, then each part cleaned, inspected and replaced or repaired as necessary. The required parts are already in stock, so what is needed now is many hundreds of hours of volunteer time to perform the overhaul.

    D9518 – two of the side sheets that will soon be fitted to the side frames were undergoing painting at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – this view shows the new flexible connection (upper centre) and other new pipework components that have been purchased to complete the compressor installation. Also visible to the centre left is the black valve at the top of the vertical section of the white vacuum pipe that applies the brakes automatically when demanded by the Drivers Safety Device (DSD), sometimes known as the ‘Deadmans’ device. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – this shaft provides the drive from the transmission to the generator (visible in the previous picture) via the ‘Layrub’ flexible couplings that are in stock and awaiting installation. Once installed, there is even less room in which to work between the frames, so this part will not be fitted until other work has been completed. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – meanwhile, John C continued his careful work on the overhaul of the electrical cubicle, wiring up the new rotary switches that control the vacuum exhausters. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – one of the crankcase covers of the Paxman 6YJXL 26-litre V6 diesel engine that last ran in D9526 in 2017 was removed to allow a peek inside. The outside is messy because of a failed gasket, but inside looks very good. Pictured on Saturday 5th November 2022 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway although her time in the far South-East is coming to an end because sister loco D9504 has now completed her overhaul and will be returning to work shortly. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be heading home to Williton in mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has seen regular use at the NYMR though to the end of October, when public services ceased. The mileage run by this loco during the past four months is listed below:

    Month

    Miles run

    Number of operating days

    July

    1183

    14

    August

    1194

    17

    September

    522

    9

    October

    864

    18

    TOTAL

    3763

    58

     

     

    Average of 65 miles per day

    We can safely say that her first season in service on the NYMR has been a big success !

    47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ approaches Goathland station with a 7-coach train from Pickering on Monday 1st August 2022. This loco covered 3,763 miles on the NYMR between mid July and the end of October. Photo by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel injection pump has been sent out to COLCHESTER FUEL INJECTION Ltd for a thorough overhaul. The loco has been repositioned outside the loco shed on number 3 road and will enter the loco shed when lead volunteer Simon B is ready to disassemble the fuel system to find the source of the contamination. We expect this loco to be out of use for several months while this work takes place.

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 – this week, we are pleased to report that a number of pre-owned books that have been donated by members and supporters have been catalogued and photographed and are going to be added to our online store this week. Here’s a sample of what will be added:

     

    These eight titles are amongst a set of 17 pristine condition books that were donated by a DEPG member and active volunteer, for which we are very grateful. Some of these as-new books are difficult to get, so we will be setting prices in the range from £15 upwards. Please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you are interested in any of the above or any other books by Kevin Derrick, because we have more titles in stock. Thank you very much to all who have donated books, photographs and video tapes for the benefit of our locomotives.

     

    A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

     

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    The many items are being photographed and examples will be placed on our online store during the next few days, in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    An example of the work being done by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale at the Station or via the DEPG online store.

     

     

    ON SHED – last week, we put out a request for ‘on shed’ photos and we had some fantastic responses, such as the below photograph of D1058 ‘WESTERN NOBLEMAN’ departing from Westbury with a long and heavy train of ‘Presflo’ wagons bound for Exeter in 1976, the very last summer of mainline operation of the type. Photographer Kelvin Lumb also provided us with the caption that goes with his photograph. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing this gem with us all.

    D1058 WESTERN NOBLEMAN crawls out of the south side sidings at Westbury hauling its loaded Presflo cement wagons bound for Exeter. You can almost hear the wheels screeching and grinding and those Maybachs throbbing as the driver controls his mammoth load. Photo taken from the West Signal Box, Summer ’76 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Do you have a photo of one of our locos that would make for a good Christmas Card ? If yes, let us know by using our CONTACT FORM because we are always on the lookout for interesting and unusual images for various purposes, all profits going to DEPG funds. Thanks !

     

    DEPG NEWS –  the BOARD MEETING took place at Williton last Saturday, 5th November 2022 and a synopsis will be shared with all members for whom we have a valid email address ASAP. The next meeting will be held on 17th December.

    The dates for the WSR DIESEL GALA for 2023 have been firmed up. The event will follow a similar pattern to that of this year, running from Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023 as diesel-only and then with a mixed traction day on the Sunday.

    The DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS will also involve diesel running later in the year, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023. Details of both events will be announced as soon as possible. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IMPORTANT DATES.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just use our CONTACT FORM or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event. 

    Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below:

         

     

    Thank you for supporting the DEPG and the WSR !

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 30-Oct-22

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) worked the DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE on Saturday 29th October 2022, the first such course to run since 2019. D6575 was pictured approaching Williton on the return leg from Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead. Photo by Peter Nicholson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was hard at work hauling the DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE that ran along the full length of the line on Saturday 29th October, fulfilling bookings that were taken in 2019. The heritage goods train was used for the working, adding interest and variety on a day that also include the penultimate steam-hauled services, with two locos in steam, BR(W) 4-6-0 7822 ‘FOXCOTE MANOR’ and GWR 2-6-2T No. 5199.

    The loco and expanded crew had to take on additional tasks last Saturday, starting with a shunt at Williton to collect a coach that had to be delivered to Minehead, and add it between the loco and the brake van. Then, upon arrival at Minehead, the coach had to be shunted to the ‘right place’ and the heritage goods train collected instead.

    The train then headed along the full length of the line toward Norton Fitzwarren, where the ‘Norton Triangle’ was used to turn the complete train so that the brake van would be in the right place for the final leg, the return to Williton at the end of the day. This gave a rare photo opportunity, placing one of our diesels on the truncated line that once reached to Barnstaple, 43 miles distant.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) made a rare visit to Allerford, on the remains of the line that once ran to Barnstaple, while working the DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE on Saturday 29th October 2022. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The East and West chords of the ‘Norton Triangle’ allow complete trains to be turned around. The train arrives from the north via Allerford Junction and takes the East Chord to Barnstaple Junction, then reverses towards Allerford until the train is clear of Orchard Junction, then the train heads northward via the West Chord. Map 10 extract courtesy of WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The course participants were treated to an even more action-packed day than usual, and there were plenty of envious onlookers, myself included ! The DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSES are offered by the WSR and when dates are published for 2023, we will update the link on the ‘Drive a Locomotive’ page on our website to point at the relevant page on the WSR website. Be sure to make your booking early, as places are limited and will be snapped up very quickly.

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress this week, with bodywork details being attended to by Gordon and Ian FN while Paul K and Andy V carried out inspection and assessment of transmission components that had been separated by Colin F, Geoff and Tim. Here’s some photos:

    D1010 engine air intake on ‘A’ side at ‘A’ end was opened up for cleaning and painting by Ian FN at Williton on Saturday 29th October 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the stator (guide vane) assembly from the first stage (low gear) torque converter of the ‘B’ end transmission, exposing the large diameter multi-groove ‘labyrinth seals’ that prevent pressurised hydraulic fluid from taking the easy route out of the turbine. These non-contacting seals depend on very close tolerances: any leakage will reduce the efficiency of the transmission. The turbine fits around the outside, the impeller fits inside. Pictured at Williton on 29th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the ‘B’ transmission failed because bearing 3-152 (between the second and third stage torque converters) broke up and jammed. The bearing failed because the oilways that feed oil to the bearing had become blocked with debris over the 47 years since the bearing last saw the light of day, resulting in severe overheating and loss of hardness. Pictured at Williton on 29th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – a close-up view of the failed bearing 3-152 shows the blackened and distorted lumps of metal that were once shiny and smooth rollers, giving an idea of the temperature that was reached at the moment of failure. The brass cage that held the rollers in place had completely disintegrated, with only a few traces of it remaining. Pictured at Williton on 29th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved another 50 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it). Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the work on cleaning up the engine room continued with the deck plates being removed and steam cleaned. LATEST UPDATE: The failed heat exchanger has been delivered to specialist subcontractor APPLIED RADIATORS in Stoke-On-Trent who have the capability to re-manufacture the core that comprises 630 tubes of 6mm diameter (1/4″). The work will cost almost £2,500 and will completed by the middle of this month.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – now that she has completed her DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE (DDEC) duties and relocated to Bishops Lydeard, her next booked workings will be the ‘WINTERLIGHTS test trains that will run on 10th and 11th November in preparation for the start of these special services on Friday 18th November. 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week. This loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection & Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can returned to traffic.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco also has to wait in line for her turn for attention. The work list on this loco comprises a number of small but important tasks that will be tackled during the coming weeks.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the number of work fronts has increased because disassembly work has started on the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine that last operated in sister loco D9526 until removed for overhaul in 2017. The engine will be completely stripped down, then each part cleaned, inspected and replaced or repaired as necessary. The required parts are already in stock, so what is needed now is many hundreds of hours of volunteer time to perform the overhaul.

    D9518 – the overhaul of the Paxman 6YJXL 26-litre V6 diesel engine that last ran in D9526 in 2017 has commenced at Williton. Pictured on Saturday 29th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – meanwhile, Colin G continued his work on re-installing the cables and conduits and painting them in the designated colours (white for air/vacuum, orange for electrical). Pictured at Williton on Saturday 29th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – this view, taken between the frames and looking up at the brake cylinders and return springs, shows the new valves and pipework associated with the system that allows condensed moisture to be drained from the brake cylinders. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 29th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – another brake relay valve has been attached to the side frames and now awaits the fitting of the associated pipework. The large grey object is the Voith L217U hydraulic transmission. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 29th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the 58-year-old DC electric motor for the fuel lift pump has just arrived back at Williton after a thorough overhaul that was performed by BOWERS ELECTRICAL at Heanor, Derbyshire. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 29th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the manufacturer’s identification plate for the DC electric motor for the fuel lift pump shows that it was made by Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) in Newcastle, Staffordshire. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 29th October 2022 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway although her time in the far South-East is coming to an end, because sister loco D9504 has now completed her overhaul and will be returning to work shortly. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be heading home to Williton some time in the next few months.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco continues to be in regular use at the NYMR, although usage is reducing as autumn sets in. During the last three months, this loco has covered more than 2,500 miles, so her first season in service has been a big success !

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system has been dismantled so that the fuel injection pump can be sent out to COLCHESTER FUEL INJECTION Ltd for a thorough overhaul. The loco will need to be moved inside the loco shed so that the fuel system can be investigated to find out where the contamination is coming from. We expect this loco to be out of use for several months while this work takes place.

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 – last week’s book review by regular contributor Neale Long resulted in several orders for the recently-released book ‘THE BEATEN TRACK – VOLUME 2’Click here or on the image below to go to the full article on our website:

    A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

     

    ON SHED – we almost had to skip this feature this week because of a lack of suitable photos ! If you like this feature, please SEND US YOUR PHOTOS with a bit of explanation of where and when they were taken, so that we can share them with our readers. Luckily, we have Barry Gay and his vast collection of photos to call upon, so thank you very much, Barry, for saving the day yet again !

    D1032 ‘WESTERN MARKSMAN’ roars out of Exeter St Davids during what is thought to be her final full year of operation, 1972, before becoming one of the very first of the Class to be withdrawn from service in May 1973 after BR took the decision to cancel all further works overhauls. The loco became a parts donor at Laira before being cut up at Swindon Works in December of 1974. Photo by Barry Gay © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Do you have a photo of one of our locos that would make for a good Christmas Card ? If yes, let me know because we are always on the lookout for interesting and unusual images for various purposes, all profits going to DEPG funds. Thanks !

     

    DEPG NEWS – First, a reminder – the funeral of former DEPG Chairman JOHN CRONIN will take place in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, on Friday 4th November 2022. Please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you plan to attend at the memorial service that will take place at 12:45 later that day.

    Former DEPG Chairman the late John Cronin was pictured at Williton on 15th July 2017 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    If you want to make a donation to John’s chosen causes (the DEPG and the RNLI), a JustGiving page has been set up for that purpose. Here’s the link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/johncronin

     

    The next BOARD MEETING of the DEPG will take place at Williton this coming Saturday, 5th November 2022. Please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you have a question that you would like to put to the board.

     

    The dates for the WSR DIESEL GALA for 2023 have been firmed up. The event will follow a similar pattern to that of this year, running from Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June as diesel-only and then with a mixed traction day on the Sunday. The DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS will also involve diesel running later in the year, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September. Details of both events will be announced as soon as possible. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IMPORTANT DATES.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, by using the form attached or available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just use our CONTACT FORM or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

     

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’.

    The colours and sights of last years’ services resulted in a sell-out and demand is going to be solid again this year, so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family want to experience it, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here or click on the image below.

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

  • DIESELGEN – D6575 Driver Experience 29 Oct

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured at Williton on a DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE on 15th June 2013 by Ian Robins© CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    UPDATE 28-Oct-22 at 15:00 hrs : the DDEC course that is planned for SATURDAY 29th is still expected to take place. Timings are shown below.

     

       Depart WN 09:30 arrive MD 10:06

       Depart MD 10:55 arrive NF 12:32

       Depart NF 12:57 arrive MD 15:06

       Depart MD 15:25 arrive WN 16:09

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) will be in action again on Saturday 29th October, on a DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE (DDEC) that starts at Williton (WN) with a brake van in tow and travels first to Minehead (MD) where the goods train is collected before travelling the full length of the line to Norton Fitzwarren (NF) and back. Upon return to MD, the goods train is returned to the siding and the loco returns to WN with the brake van.

    The four DDEC participants will share the roles of driver and secondman interspersed with sessions riding in the brake van, so a highly enjoyable and interesting day is on the cards, regardless of the weather.

    This is a special train, subject to variation according to operational requirements, so timings may differ from those given. The steam-hauled public service trains that will be operating under the RED timetable will have priority.

     

    Our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page has been updated and now carries both the detail and a summary of the 2022 diesel-hauled public services. This page is used in conjunction with DIESELGEN to provide a complete picture of diesel locomotive activities on the WSR:

     

    The webcams provide a very good way of watching the action from afar. Click this link: http://www.wsr.org.uk/cams.htm or click on the image below to go to the webcams via wsr.org.uk:

     

    Webcams are available at Bishops Lydeard, Crowcombe Heathfield, Williton, Blue Anchor, Minehead Seaward Way and Minehead Station. Select the appropriate webcam by clicking on the blue button on the webcam page. Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

     

    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.

     

    Social media channels:

     

    Back to home page

    Locomotive Status page


     

  • Weekly Roundup – 23-Oct-22

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) will be working the DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE on Saturday 29th October. D6575 was pictured at Williton while working a course on 15th June 2013 by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Although the 2022 running season has drawn to a close, there is no rest for Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) because she is working the DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE that is scheduled to run on Saturday 29th October, fulfilling bookings that were taken in 2019 !

    These courses start at Williton, where four participants attend for a safety briefing before joining the train. The loco and brake van depart from Williton with two participants in the cab, one driving and one secondman, along with two DEPG drivers who are responsible for instruction, supervision and safety. The other two participants travel in the brake van along with the Guard.

    At Minehead, the goods train is collected and the consist heads for Bishops Lydeard (or sometimes Norton Fitzwarren), where the loco runs around the train and re-attaches for the journey back to Minehead. Upon arrival at Minehead, the goods train is returned to the siding and the loco and brake van then returns to Williton. The participants change places at appropriate points along the journey so that each participant gets a decent chance at each role.

    Having been a participant myself, I can say for sure that it is a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting day, and highly recommended. The courses are offered by the WSR and when dates are published for 2023, we will update the link on the ‘Drive a Locomotive’ page on our website to point at the relevant page on the WSR website.

     

    Did you know that our locos worked public services on the WSR on 46 different days of the 2022 season and covered more than 4,000 miles in the process ?

     

    We have kept our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page updated throughout all of the timetable and traction changes that took place during the year and will keep this page available as a detailed record of public running for 2022. The running statistics have now been added to the page. We will create a new page for 2023 as soon as timetables have been agreed and published.

    MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE TRAVELLED for supporting this year’s DIESEL RUNNING program on the WSR.

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – after the birthday celebrations of last week, it was back to normal and the team continued with their hard work on improving the body finish (more rubbing down and repainting) and the re-fitting of body items such as marker lights and sandbox doors. The battery compartment doors were treated to a coat of primer over the repaired metal. The batteries will not be re-installed for a few more weeks, not until several more coats of paint have been applied.

    D1010 pictured at Williton on her 60th birthday, 15th October 2022, inside the loco shed with another Swindon product alongside, namely Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the turbine rail of the ‘B’ end transmission has now been stripped down to the component parts, with the damaged bearings removed so that the shafts can be cleaned up for inspection and measurement. The centre section of the shaft that transmits the drive from the engine to the turbines was pictured at Williton on 15th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the turbine from the first stage (low gear) torque converter of the ‘B’ end transmission is the major component in this stack of parts and first indications are that this magnificent piece of 1960s engineering is in very good condition. Pictured at Williton on 15th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved 50 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it). Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the failed heat exchanger has been shipped to another subcontractor for assessment but is expected to need a new core. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to find a spare that a Class 33 owner group may be willing to sell or willing to loan, although it is highly likely that a spare will also need some degree of refurbishment before it can be put to use, given that it will have been stored for 20+ years since it was last used.

    D6566 (33 048) – the space that would normally be occupied by the heat exchanger was cleaned up by volunteer Ian FS at Williton on Saturday 22nd October 2022. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D6566 (33 048) – the space that would normally be occupied by the heat exchanger was cleaned up by volunteer Ian FS at Williton on Saturday 22nd October 2022. The deck plates will be lifted out this coming weekend for further cleaning to take place. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is the WSR Duty Loco and is fully serviceable. This loco will be in use on Saturday 29th for a DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE (DDEC), the first since 2019 !

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – there was no time available to continue the inspection work on this loco because of other priorities, and this coming weekend, our inspector will be involved in the DDEC, so this loco will wait patiently for her turn to come along.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco also has to wait in line for her turn for attention. The work list on this loco comprises a number of small but important tasks that will be tackled during the coming weeks.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the progress continues on several fronts with Terry, Nick and Paul C working on the brake rigging while John C worked on the rebuild of the electrical cubicle, leaving Simon and Colin to figure out the reassembly sequence for the myriad of pipes and conduits that need to be re-installed at the ‘B’ end of the locomotive. Here’s some pictures to tell the story:

    D9518 – trial fitting of the compressed air system pipework (white) took place at Williton on Saturday 22nd October 2022. The unpainted pipes will be removed for painting once their bends have been finalised. The solenoid valves will also be removed for refurbishment and painting before re-fitting. Photo by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the steam-age brake rigging components were evaluated so that new pins and/or bushings could be fitted where necessary at Williton on Saturday 22nd October 2022. Photo by Paul Clark © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – one of the brake hangers is being held horizontal by the steady hands of Nick while a new bushing is pressed into place. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 18th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – one of the brand-new ‘Layrub’ couplings was pictured alongside the original at Williton on Tuesday 18th October 2022. The new couplings will allow the generator drive shaft assembly to be prepared for re-installation between the transmission and the generator. 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and has now reached 700 hours of use, which means another ‘A’ exam is needed and this is taking place this week.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco continues to be in regular use at the NYMR, although usage is reducing as autumn sets in. During the last three months, this loco has covered more than 2,500 miles, so her first season in service has been a big success !

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – investigations into the fuel system issue that is preventing the engine from starting have pointed to the fuel injection pump, which has now been removed from the loco and will be sent out for specialist overhaul. The pump appears to have been affected by contamination in the fuel system, so the fuel tank will be drained and flushed and upgraded fuel filters will be fitted. The diesel fuel is also used as hydraulic fluid for the torque converter, so it is possible that the contamination is coming from the breakdown of the seals within the 50-year-old torque converter. This will be investigated while the loco is out of use.

    Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the malfunctioning fuel injection pump was removed from the loco at Williton on Saturday 22nd October 2022 and will be sent out for specialist repair and overhaul. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – this close-up of the fuel injection pump shows that it is an original CAV (Charles Anthony Vandervell) part that probably dates back to the loco build date of 1972. Although owned by Lucas since 1926, the company did not use the name Lucas CAV until 1978. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 22nd October 2022 by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 – this week, we have a book review from regular contributor Neale Long in relation to the recently-released book ‘THE BEATEN TRACK – VOLUME 2’, a short taste of which is reproduced below. Click here or on the image to go to the full article on our website:

       “This 176-page hard back book published by Platform 5 builds on the picture that was created by the very successfuVolume 1, with author Andy Chard again skilfully compiling an excellent set of images which explore some of the less familiar rail routes that existed within the period 1970-1985.

       Using a wider group of photographers than the first volume, this second volume also draws on the talents of Roger Geach, Bernard Mills and Gavin Morrison amongst others. The mix of rare locations, both passenger and freight, some still existing and some sadly not, will provide a reminder to those fortunate enough to have visited, and a glimpse of long gone locations to those not so fortunate. The traction of the period is well covered, with several long-lost classes …

    Continued on a separate page, click this link to read more.

    Many thanks to Neale for his efforts in support of DEPG fundraising. It is much appreciated !

     

    A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

     

     

    ON SHED – this week, we have a photo of our very own 47840 (D1661 47077 47613) ‘NORTH STAR’ wearing the BR-blue livery in which she was painted in 2002 for her last five years of operation on the main line. The main differences from the livery that she currently wears as ’47 077′ are the headcode blinds that were reinstated in 2007, and the removal of the Electric Train Heating (ETH) jumper cables (the orange connections on the bufferbeam) that took place in 2019, although the loco remains ETH-capable. Many thanks to Terry for sharing his photo with us all.

    Class 47 ‘celebrity’ 47840 (D1661 47077 47613) ‘NORTH STAR’ was pictured while at rest in a very scruffy corner of Crewe Station in October 2003. This loco had the honour of working the very last scheduled cross-country loco-hauled service which ran from Penzance to Manchester on the 19th August 2002. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – First, a reminder – we have received confirmation that the funeral of former DEPG Chairman JOHN CRONIN will take place in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, on Friday 4th November 2022. Please let me know if you plan to attend at the memorial service that will take place at 12:45 later that day.

    Former DEPG Chairman the late John Cronin was presented with a special birthday cake on the occasion of his 75th Birthday in August 2017, after dining aboard the ‘Quantock Belle‘. Photo from the DEPG archives © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    If you want to make a donation to John’s chosen causes, a JustGiving page has been set up for that purpose. Here’s the link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/johncronin

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, by using the form attached or available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

     

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

     

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’.

    The colours and sights of last years’ services resulted in a sell-out and demand is going to be solid again this year, so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family want to experience it, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here or click on the image below.

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

     

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 16-Oct-22

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) had the honour of working the last scheduled diesel-hauled service of the 2022 season on Sunday 16th October 2022. Pictured when hauling her train up the rising gradient into Blue Anchor station on Saturday 8th October 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The 2022 running season drew to a close last Sunday 16th October when Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) worked the last of the scheduled diesel-hauled trains of the 2022 timetable, the 14:30 from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard.

    In total, our locos worked public services on 46 different days of the 2022 season and covered more than 4,000 miles in the process !

     

    Reliability was good with almost all scheduled diesel-hauled trains starting as booked. The star performers this year have been Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) with 100% despatch reliability, covering 1,935 miles over 27 days without any issues, and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 also with 100% despatch reliability and covering 1,070 miles over 14 days without any issues.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) started well with 100% reliability through to mid-August when the heat got to her and she suffered a number of issues resulting in her withdrawal from service on the 18th August. This loco still managed to run a creditable 1,056 miles over 15 days before running into trouble, the result of which was that 11 of her booked departures were covered by the DMU and the rest by sister loco D6575.

    The other casualty was ‘Hymek’ D7017 back in June when she suffered a cylinder head joint ring failure on the first day of the Diesel Gala. Her place was taken by other locos from the home fleet and only one service was changed to steam haulage as a result of the failure.

    So, the overall reliability total for the year was 202 actual DEPG departures out of 216 booked departures, therefore 94% which does not seem unreasonable for a fleet of 60-year old locos, especially considering that we had not expected to be running diesels at all during August.

     

    We have kept our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page updated throughout all of the timetable and traction changes that took place during the year and will keep this page available as a detailed record of public running for 2022. The above running statistics have now been added to that page. We will create a new page for 2023 as soon as timetables have been agreed and published.

    MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE TRAVELLED for supporting this year’s DIESEL RUNNING program on the WSR.

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this loco celebrated her 60th birthday last Saturday – and that gave us the opportunity for a bit of fun and a slice of cake !

    D1010 pictured at Williton on her 60th birthday, 15th October 2022, with Gordon about to cut the cake. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 entered service at Old Oak Common depot on 15th October 1962 making her the oldest survivor of this famous class of locomotives that once totalled 74 machines. Do you have a photo of her from her early days ? If yes, please consider sharing it with us all. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 pictured at Williton on her 60th birthday, 15th October 2022 with Gordon on the left and Ian F on the right. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The restoration of D1010 continues to make progress, with the bodywork of the loco improving every week as our volunteers continue their work. In parallel with the bodywork, we are making progress on the disassembly of the ‘B’ end hydraulic transmission and achieved the separation of the first stage turbine from the housing. This revealed evidence of severe corrosion on the input shaft bearings, clear evidence of water ingress in years gone by. The complete set of bearings will be replaced when the transmission is reassembled.

    D1010 – the input shaft bearing on the first torque converter stage of the ‘B’-end transmission shows clear evidence of corrosion caused by water ingress. This bearing will be replaced along with all of the others on the turbine rail assembly. Pictured through a greasy lens at Williton on 10th October 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved 50 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it).

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the failed heat exchanger appears to be beyond repair, so the next option being investigated is to have the core of the heat exchanger rebuilt. This is the most expensive option and will also take a long time. The next best option is to acquire a used heat exchanger from one of the Class 33 owner groups and have it overhauled. Hopefully it will be fully functional or repairable without too much time or expense. The third option is to adapt a heat exchanger from a Class 56 (of which we have several) and have new pipework made to compensate for the slightly shorter length (the reduced heat transfer capacity will not be an issue when used at heritage railway speeds and loads). All three options are being investigated at the moment.

    D6566 (33 048) – the complications with the repair of the failed heat exchanger are likely to keep this loco confined to barracks for some considerable time. Pictured in the yard at Williton on 8th October 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is the WSR Duty Loco and is fully serviceable. Following the completion of her scheduled public service duties on Sunday 16th, she moved from Bishops Lydeard to Williton ‘light engine’ to be in position for the first DIESEL DRIVER EXPERIENCE COURSE (DDEC) to be run since 2019 !

    There are two DDECs scheduled this month, the first on Friday 28th October and the second on Saturday 29th. These have not been advertised because they are already fully booked, fulfilling obligations from 2020. There will be a new program of DDECs for 2023 and the WSR will soon be announcing the dates for these very popular courses.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – there was no time available to continue the inspection work on this loco because of the need to re-organise the loco shed to put everything back in the position it was in before this loco had to be accomodated for her engine work. Everything in the shed had been compressed into the smallest possible space, so one project blocked another, and this had to be rectified. Hopefully, D7017 will get her inspection next weekend.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco also has to wait in line for her turn for attention. The work list on this loco comprises a number of small but important tasks that will be tackled during the coming weeks.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the work on this loco is continuing on several fronts, both on-site at Williton and off-site at subcontractors, where specialised components such as drive shafts and electric motors are being evaluated and reconditioned. The team purchased some brand-new heavy-duty electrical switches for the vacuum exhauster control panel and these expensive items were paid for by a matching donation from one of the restoration team members, which reminds us that the rapid progress on this loco is due to the generosity and support of the many donors who are so keen to see this project through to its conclusion. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO ALL WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED !

    D9518 – team leader Simon P was pictured between the frames at Williton on Saturday 15th October 2022 as he continued the re-installation of the many pipes and conduits that connect the brake frame and generator. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – one of the recently refurbished brake relay valves was re-fitted to the relevant side frame at Williton on Saturday 15th October 2022. It looks like new, but it is 58 years old ! Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – two brand-new ‘Santon’ heavy-duty rotary switches were purchased to provide high reliability for the vacuum exhauster controls. These switches were made to the exact same specification as the original equipment that was fitted to the loco when built in 1964. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th October 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine has been repositioned to allow workbenches to be erected alongside. This will allow Terry to make a start on the overhaul of this engine (previously used in D9526). Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th October 2022 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway working alongside the steam locos and the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU), sharing the work of hauling the public services. Work on locally-based sister D9504 has progressed well, so we expect to see D9526 returning to Williton early in the New Year.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco continues to be in regular use at the NYMR, although usage is reducing as autumn sets in. During the last three months, this loco has covered more than 2,500 miles, so her first season in service has been a big success !

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – after receiving attention to her paintwork over the last few weeks, our smallest loco did not repay the favour and decided to develop a fuel system fault which prevented her engine from starting. The fuel lift pump was serviced and the various seals and gaskets replaced, then the fuel lines were primed, but she still refused to start. Further work will take place this coming weekend, weather permitting.

     

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 – many thanks to all who placed their advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

    We have added several other NEW BOOKS to our online store recently including THE BEATEN TRACK Vol.1 and Vol.2 and GREEN DIESEL DAYS, so please visit our online store and browse then buy to support the work that is taking place on our locomotives. Thanks !

     

     

    ON SHED – regular contributor and DEPG member Keith Fender has provided us with some shots of our very own D6575 (33 057) in BR livery, taken when the loco was a regular performer on the South Coast to South Wales route. The journey involved a change of direction and a change of traction at Bristol Temple Meads, with one Class 33 hauling the train in and detaching while another Class 33 attached at the other end to haul the train out again. This meant that the same loco would appear on it’s relevant ‘shuttle’ leg for several days at a time. Luckily, Keith has captured some images from those memorable days. Here’s one such image below:

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 33 057 (D6575) was pictured at Brighton Station at the head of the 0830 service to Cardiff on 26th March 1988. The dull and dirty appearance was typical of the era, although a clean and shiny ‘namer’ did appear on this working on more than one occasion. Photo by Keith Fender © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Many thanks to Keith for sharing his work with us.

     

     

    DEPG NEWS:

    We have received confirmation that the funeral of former DEPG Chairman JOHN CRONIN will take place in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, on Friday 4th November 2022. Please use our CONTACT FORM or email contact@depg.org to let us know if you want to attend at the memorial service that will take place at 12:45 later that day.

    Former DEPG Chairman the late John Cronin was pictured at Bishops Lydeard on 20th August 2017 by Bob Tiller © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    If you want to make a donation to John’s chosen causes, a JustGiving page has been set up for that purpose. Here’s the link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/johncronin

     

    The synopsis of the DEPG Board Meeting that took place on 1st October 2022 has been prepared and will be shared with DEPG members (for whom we hold valid email addresses) later this week (apologies for the delay).

     

    While reorganising our loco shed last weekend, a decision was taken to dismantle a 2-tonne manual gantry crane and offer it for sale, because it has been made redundant by a larger 5-tonne electric gantry crane that gets used in preference. Here’s a picture of the crane that is now available for sale:

    This two-tonne gantry crane with manual hoist (dated 2008) is available for sale, with proceeds to go to the DEPG general fund. Use our CONTACT FORM or email contact@depg.org if you are interested in acquiring this crane. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    This two-tonne gantry crane with manual hoist (dated 2008) is available for sale, with proceeds to go to the DEPG general fund. Use our CONTACT FORM or email contact@depg.org if you are interested in acquiring this crane. Pictured after disassembly at Williton on Saturday 15th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, by using the form available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just use our CONTACT FORM or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

     

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

     

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’.

    The colours and sights of last years’ services resulted in a sell-out and demand is going to be solid again this year, so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family want to experience it, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here or click on the image below.

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 09-Oct-22

    DEPG volunteers gathered as a mark of respect for former DEPG Chairman the late John Cronin who passed away on Tuesday 4th October 2022. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was suitably adorned with a wreath and carried the headcode ‘JC’ in tribute to the well-known railwayman. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Following on from the sad news that our former Chairman John Cronin passed away in the early afternoon of Tuesday 4th October at the age of 80, our volunteers gathered for a minute of silence and for a group photograph in front of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) at Williton on Saturday. The loco carried a wreath and displayed the headcode ‘JC’ as a mark of respect for the man who led the DEPG from 2009 through to 2017 and who continued to work for the benefit of the group after retirement from the role.

    Tributes have been reaching us from his former colleagues throughout the railway fraternity, but John was the kind of person who would not have wanted any fuss to be made and he would have simply said “get on with it then“, so that is exactly what we are going to do.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 hauled the ‘Quantock Belle‘ dining service on 20th August 2017, during which our former Chairman the late John Cronin was presented with a special birthday cake on the occasion of his 75th Birthday and his second ‘retirement’. Pictured at Bishops Lydeard by Bob Tiller © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Returning to the activities of last weekend, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) worked the 12:30 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and the 14:30 return service under the RED timetable on both Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October and is rostered for the same services this coming weekend, which will be the last of the diesel-hauled public services for the 2022 season. One of our two ‘Cromptons’ will be in use on the Christmas ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ services that start on 18th November, but this coming weekend is the last chance for a scheduled diesel-hauled round trip along the length of the line, so grab the opportunity, if you can.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) came to a stand at Blue Anchor Signal Box on Saturday 8th October 2022 so that the signlman could converse with loco driver Paul Fleet. The loco was working the 14:30 service from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    THIS COMING WEEKEND 15th/16th October, we have the LAST opportunity for scheduled public service diesel haulage with Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) running for 40 miles from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back each day, under the RED timetable.

     

    We have kept our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page updated throughout all of the timetable and traction changes that took place during the year and will keep this page available as a detailed record of public running for 2022. We will create a new page for 2023 as soon as timetables have been agreed and published.

    MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE TRAVELLED for supporting this year’s DIESEL RUNNING program on the WSR.

    The usual caveats of loco availability apply, but we aim to provide as much advance notice of any change as possible, using our DIESELGEN and Twitter feeds, so please sign up to keep up to date.

     

    Another activity that took place at Williton last week was the visit of Williton Beaver Scout Troop on the late afternoon of Monday 3rd October, where the children were given a lesson in railway safety before touring the depot and visiting the cabs of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 in addition to a look inside our BR standard 20t Brake Van B952527. The youngsters had a great time, the culmination of which was a very carefully supervised group photo staged on the smallest locomotive in our care, Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF No. 1). Overall, a very worthwhile event for everyone involved, and a very much appreciated donation to Depot funds !

     

    On Saturday 8th, the DEPG hosted a visit from a convoy of vintage trucks from the South West Vintage Truck Road Run group, bringing some additional interest to the South Yard at Williton on what turned out to be a very busy day. Although we had expected a seven-truck convoy, only four actually made it into our yard, which given the lack of turning space was probably just as well ! Click here to see more photos on the South West Road Runs Twitter account.

    This 1939 Bedford dropside truck was the oldest of the four vehicles that visited the South Yard at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022 as part of the SOUTH WEST VINTAGE TRUCK ROAD RUN. Photo by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    LOCO NEWS:

     

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress has been made on multiple fronts on this loco as she approaches her 60th birthday – this coming Saturday !

    Introduced to service on 15th October 1962, our loco was put to work on the Paddington to Birmingham services which were heavily loaded at that time due to the construction work taking place at Euston station and elsewhere on the West Coast Main Line. The loco entered service in overall maroon with a yellow buffer beam and apron, and ran in this condition for 16 weeks before making a short visit to Swindon Works for remedial work and being outshopped with a small yellow warning panel and black bufferbeams. Photos of D1010 in her early livery are rare, but we do have one on our website. We would welcome any additional photos from those early days.

     

    Bringing the story right up to date, our team at Williton have started to transition from disassembly mode to reassembly mode. The various parts that were removed to allow body repairs to take place are now being restored and re-fitted, although there is still a lot of filling and rubbing down to be done before the bodywork can be considered as finished.

    Please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved 30 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it). Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are stretched at the moment. Click the image below and sponsor a patch now. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    D1010 – long-time DEPG member and volunteer Geoff was pictured re-installing the secondman’s side window at the ‘A’ end of the loco at Williton on Monday 3rd October 2022. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – where necessary, the repaired battery compartment doors now have new hinges and are ready for priming and painting, which will then allow the batteries to be re-installed, releasing some floor space in the loco shed. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – Roy attends to the details of painting around the headcode apertures at ‘A’ end at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the ‘A’ end of the loco has undergone major reconstruction and is now structually sound, although the cosmetic work of filling and sanding still needs to be done before it can be considered as finished. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    To support the work that is progressing in multiple areas on D1010, we launched our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER by offering ‘SPONSOR A PATCH’ where you can donate in support of the bodywork repairs that are taking place on D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ and HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED ON THE SPONSORED PATCH or PART.

    For the sum of £25, this scheme offers you a chance to sponsor the restoration of this much-loved locomotive, with your personal contribution being recorded and documented on a set of drawings that will be made available at our Williton depot on running days and open days. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, a unique reference number or code word of your choice will be engraved instead.

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the subcontractor that has been assessing the failed heat exchanger has now reported that it is beyond repair because of severe erosion of the tube plate, which has allowed leaks to develop in multiple areas. The tubeplate will have to be replaced and all 600 joints re-made, so it is probably more cost-effective to have the complete core replaced. We are assessing the options which include repair, replacement or modification of the end plates to allow a heat exchanger from a Class 56 to be used instead. We have several in our spares stock, so this might become the lowest cost option, if it meets the technical requirements.

    D6566 (33 048) – close-up view of the heavily eroded tubeplate on the leaking heat exchanger, showing unrepairable damage to the joints between the majority of tubes and the tubeplate. Photo dated 5th October 2022 via Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D6575 (33 057) – for comparison, this photo shows the tubeplate for the heat exchanger fitted to sister loco D6575, pictured during planned maintenance cleaning in January 2019. There are approximately 600 tubes of 6mm (1/4 inch) diameter and 1.65m (65 inches) in length through which the cooling water flows. The engine oil flows around the outside of these tubes via the pink pipes. The heat transfers from the hottest fluid to the coolest fluid. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and being the WSR Duty Loco, is fully serviceable. She has one more weekend of scheduled public service duties to perform, as listed on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page, but it is already evident that she has been the busiest loco of our home fleet this year. Well done D6575 !

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the BIG NEWS is that the loco was checked over carefully then started up on Saturday 8th October 2022 and everything went to plan, with the engine running smoothly again. WELL DONE to all of our volunteers who have been involved with this work ! We are preparing a collection of video clips covering the successful engine run and will post them on the DEPG YouTube channel shortly. Click here or on the image below for a short clip of the engine running with the cam box covers removed for inspection purposes (beware – it is LOUD!):

     

    D7017 has now vacated the loco shed and is standing on Number 3 road so that she can undergo her Vehicle Inspection & Brake Test (VIBT) and completion of some other outstanding work before going out on a test run at some time in the near future. Pictured on Saturday 8th October 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco watched and waited patiently as her sister received all of the attention during last weekend. The work list on this loco comprises a number of small but important tasks that will be tackled during the coming weeks.

    D7018 has now been reunited with her sister loco D7017 in the South Yard at Williton and they both await completion of various small tasks before going out on a test run at some time in the near future. Pictured on Saturday 8th October 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the re-fitting of the side and end frames at the ‘B’ end of the main frames has transformed her appearance and she is now starting to look like a locomotive again ! These frames provide anchor points for many of the pipes and items of electrical control gear, so they needed to be back in place to allow work to progress. Well done Team D9518 !

    D9518 – the short nose end (‘B’ end) of the loco takes shape following the re-fitting of the side and end frames at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – highly visible progress at the ‘B’ end of the locomotive – the side frames and end frames were re-fitted at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022. 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 fully operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway working alongside the steam locos and the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU), sharing the work of hauling the public services. Work on locally-based sister D9504 has progressed well, so we expect to see D9526 returning to Williton early in the New Year.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco continues to be in regular use at the NYMR, although usage is reducing as autumn sets in. During the last three months, this loco has covered more than 2,500 miles, so her first season in service has been a big success !

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this little loco received plenty of attention last weekend when a team including Darren and Karl and led by Jon set about the completion of the detail paintwork at the buffer beams. Having prevously attended to the leading end of the loco and done a great job, Jon marked out the diagonal stripes at the trailing end with his customary level of care, and then painted the black stripes. Meanwhile, Karl and Darren attended to the orange paint for the electrical conduits and the red and yellow paint for the air pipes. Some small details remain to be completed and then we will be ready for the cabside lettering to be reinstated. GREAT JOB, well done guys ! 

    Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF No. 1) received plenty of attention at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022. This picture shows Karl painting the electrical conduit with the designated colour, orange. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF No. 1) at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022, showing her newly-acquired diagonal stripes at her ‘short end’, carefully applied by Jon. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF No. 1) at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022, with Darren attending to the details at the ‘long end’ of the loco. The air pipe connections and levers are in grey undercoat in this view. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF No. 1) at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022, with the detailing around the buffer beam completed and looking very good indeed. Photo by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

    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 – not a book but a printed item so worthy of a mention here, we are now taking orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

    We have added several other NEW BOOKS to our online store recently including THE BEATEN TRACK Vol.1 and Vol.2 and GREEN DIESEL DAYS, so please visit our online store and browse then buy to support the work that is taking place on our locomotives. Thanks !

     

     

    ON SHED – as we approach the middle of October, it is my annual opportunity to indulge in a picture of Class 43 ‘Warship’ D842 ‘ROYAL OAK‘, named after the battleship upon which my grandfather lost his life on 14th October 1939, along with 833 other men and boys in what was the first major naval loss of WWII. The pictured diesel-hydraulic did not make it into preservation, but the name was carried again by successor Class 50 number 50 017 and that loco survives today and can be seen at work on the Great Central Railway.

    North British Locomotive Co. Class 43 ‘Warship’ D842 ‘Royal Oak’ was pictured while moving the empty coaching stock of the 2B84 Exeter St. Davids to Newton Abbot service from Exeter carriage siding on 15th June 1971. Photo by Barry Gay © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Many thanks to Barry for sharing his photograph with us. As this locomotive is a particular favourite of mine, if any readers have photos of D842 (or 50017) that they would be willing to share, then please do let me know. Thank you.

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – The synopsis of the DEPG Board Meeting that took place on 1st October 2022 is being prepared and will be shared with DEPG members (for whom we hold valid email addresses) later this week.

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, even though some anomalies have had to be corrected here and there. Membership is INCREASING STEADILY ! If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at your membership record and make sure that it is correct. You will also be able to select ‘paper’, ‘paperless’ or ‘paperless except newsletter’ communication, according to your preference. In the event of any discrepancies, please email Membership Secretary Chris Shields using members@depg.org or use the CONTACT FORM on our website.

     

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

     

    WSR NEWS: this coming weekend is the final weekend for scheduled diesel haulage under the RED timetable. It is possible that a diesel may be rostered on other days at short notice, to cover for a steam locomotive, but such things are unplanned and unpredictable. Keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for the latest information.

     

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’.

    Love it or loathe it, the colours and sights of last years’ services resulted in a sell-out and demand is going to be solid again this year, so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you want to experience it, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here or click on the image below.

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

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