This is going to be the last “Depot News” update of 2020 so let’s start by saying a massive “thank you very much” to our volunteers for their tireless work in far-from-ideal circumstances this year.
As if dealing with Covid was not enough of a challenge for our group, we have also had to endure the diversion of effort caused by the roof of the Old Goods Shed reaching it’s own limit of endurance. The building has now been cleared and the many Class 14 items from D9518 that were undergoing restoration have now been distributed amongst the various other spare part stores and inside our main loco shed as well. All far from ideal, but driven by necessity.
The above photograph from 12th December 2020 shows the inside of the Old Goods Shed after the Heritage Centre has been removed. The floor is the surface of the loading dock and the little doorway now revealed is the entrance to the office for the Goods Clerk. The black post on the right acting as a ladder rest is the central pillar of the original goods crane. Photo by Martin Howard (c) CC BY-NC 3.0
Scaffolding has now been erected around the building to ensure that there is no danger from falling debris, the next step being a structural survey to quantify the work that will be needed to restore the building for the next phase of its life. The WSR have reinstated the ‘Williton Strategy Group’ to determine if the building could take on a different role in future, as part of a wider-ranging review of the entire Williton site, and the DEPG will be fully involved in this process.
The photo below shows the scaffolding protecting Platform 1 at Williton while our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) stands at Platform 2 with the return leg of the 1100 “SANTA EXPRESS” service from Bishops Lydeard.
As mentioned last week, although the “SANTA EXPRESS” is steam hauled, the first service of the day is “top-n-tailed” to make light work of the climbs to Crowcombe Heathfield, even on a wet and slippery railhead.
Some tickets are still available on these Covid-secure services and the WSR are planning to run some additional services after Christmas to cater for the pent-up demand, so please use the following links to find out more:
CONGRATULATIONS to the WSR and all of the volunteers from so many support groups within the “WSR family” who have worked so hard to re-open the railway and bring revenue-earning trains back again. Great job !
Trains are running both before and after Christmas, so keep an eye on the DIESELGEN posts on our website for dates and times of diesel-assisted services.
No update about the status of our fleet this week – this is because our focus continues to be on the Old Goods Shed, so all other work has had to be suspended for the time being. Effort will be re-focused to our loco fleet after Christmas.