Depot News – week ending 21-Feb-21

Depot News – week ending 21-Feb-21

Another week of lockdown and another week of highly variable weather. The Webcam capture below shows some of our locos being lashed by rain driven by the gusty wind, with temperatures in double digits! Compare this to the scene last week (see previous depot news article).

Wet and windy weather can be seen on the Williton North webcam on 20th February 2021, courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR ©

WSR Operations Manager and DEPG member Paul Fleet attended at Williton last Tuesday (16-Feb) to run D6575 and he reported a minor issue with a control switch that will need some attention. Hopefully the weather will be good enough so that Ian will be able to attend to inspect and hopefully resolve the issue. Paul took the opportunity to move the loco further along the platform, to the extent allowed by the signal, to allow easier access to the bogies and underframe for inspection (as shown in the webcam capture above).

Paul also attended at Bishops Lydeard last Tuesday to run the Class 09 shunter D4107 and our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048). No issues were reported with either locomotive.

This coming Tuesday (23-Feb), DEPG member and Maybach specialist Bob Clegg and a small team will attend at Williton and perform checks on the Maybach engines that are installed in our ‘Hymeks’ and in our Class 52 ‘Western’ D1010. Terry will also attend to run a check over our Paxman-engined Class 14 D9526.

Around half of our regular volunteers have now had their vaccinations, so there are continual signs that progress is being made. We can’t wait to get back to Williton and get on with the work!

 

LOCO NEWS: Other than that reported above, the status of our locos remains unchanged this week, due to lockdown.


Last week, we covered the 44th anniversary of the “WESTERN REQUIEM RELIEF” railtour that ran from Paddington to Aberdare, Merthyr and Treherbert at the heads of the valleys of South Wales with our very own D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ doing the heavy hauling.

The ‘relief’ railtour ran one week before the main tour, meaning that it was 44 years ago TODAY that D1010 hauled the actual “WESTERN REQUIEM” railtour over the same route as covered by the ‘relief’ … well, that was the plan …

Unfortunately, D1010 developed a coolant leak from her ‘B’ engine somewhere between Paddington and Reading, resulting in the engine shutting down. The loco battled on with only one engine running, losing time, until she arrived at Cardiff, where she was removed from the railtour. The tour continued, but under the control of a dirty Class 37, number 37 179 until the ’37’ was herself replaced at Pontypridd on the return leg by 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ – much to the delight of the fans !

Here’s a photo of 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ at the head of the return leg, at Pontypridd:

Class 52 number 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ takes over the return leg of the ‘WESTERN REQUIEM’ railtour at Pontypridd on the 20th February 1977. Photo by Barry Lewis via Wikimedia Commons © CC BY-NC 3.0

The photos that are available on Wikimedia showed that the steam heating boiler of D1010 was working well on the outbound leg, but I wonder if the ’37’ that took over at Cardiff had an operational boiler, given that it’s normal duties were working freight around the South Wales area. Does anyone know the answer to this question ? Perhaps this was another reason why everyone was so delighted to have a ‘Wizzo’ back on the front for the long haul back to Paddington ?

This railtour, and others, will be covered in detail in our forthcoming booklet “D1010 – from Merehead to Minehead”.

 

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