After the news bonanza of last week, it is a bit quieter this week because we only had two volunteers back to Williton since then to perform repairs on a malfunctioning door lock on Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ number D9526. Maintaining the security of our heritage assets is a priority task, so that issue was resolved first, then the loco was started up and moved back to her previous resting place, closer to the Old Goods Shed, with ‘Hymek’ D7017 in tow.
Just a reminder, last week, we had to move the locos away from the Old Goods Shed to allow access for a structural survey, but now that has been conducted, we need them back up tight to the Old Goods Shed to maximise the space available to the WSR infrastructure team who are using part of our yard for materials handling in connection with the Doniford track relaying project.
Here’s a couple of photos of D9526 from 2018, to give us a taste of what we hope to see later this year, after restrictions have been eased:
Last week, we provided some background to the pre-heating equipment that is fitted to all of our Maybach-engined locomotives. The article stated that it takes four or more hours to get the coolant up to the required temperature, but I have been informed that it only takes that long if the pre-heater is playing up !
In normal circumstances with a fully functional pre-heater, it will take between 60 and 90 minutes to warm up from cold and this period is built into the three-hour preparation period that the driver allows when readying the loco for service. Interestingly, in ‘railway speak’, the name given to the opposite process that takes place at the end of the day is ‘disposal’. A detailed account of the ‘Preparation and Disposal’ of a ‘Hymek’ locomotive is given in Chapter 5 of our booklet “HYMEK D7018”.
While on the subject of corrections, the WSR’s Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 diesel-hydraulic shunter, works number 578, ex-ROF Puriton ‘Number 1’ uses a 24V electrical system, not 48V as I had stated last week. Two errors in one roundup ? What a dunce ! Must try harder, as my school teachers used to say.
LOCO NEWS: Other than that reported above, the status of our locos remains unchanged this week, due to lockdown.
44 YEARS .. and a week … AGO: Last week, we covered the last working of the ‘Westerns’ on BR, the ‘WESTERN TRIBUTE’ railtour of 26th February 1977. Several of our readers have sent comments and photos, so we can now share their feedback:
From Neale Long:
“Although I was not present, it has been established that D1013 ran Newport-Plymouth on one engine due to a split engine coolant vent pipe which was replaced at Laira before the final leg of the tour from Plymouth to London. Interestingly, the original routing of the tour was London-Plymouth-Swansea-London but this was changed after objections from Laira who wanted to fuel the ‘Westerns’ for one last time, so the itinerary was reversed enabling Laira to service their locomotives for the last time. Thankfully, the diesel hydraulic story didn’t end that fateful night !”
From Paul Mear (with expansion from the editor):
“D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ led from Swansea to Plymouth. Here’s a great photo by Brian Aston showing the locos climbing out from the Severn Tunnel on the Bristol side, having already passed through Pilning station. The two tracks are at different levels along this section of the line. The photographer is probably at Ash Lane footbridge or Over Lane bridge, just west of Patchway tunnel. By the way, the M5 goes over the top of Patchway Tunnel. The Bristol Channel and the hills of Wales are visible in the background.”
Many thanks to our contributors for sharing their knowledge and experience.
This and other ‘Western’-hauled railtours will be covered in our forthcoming booklet “D1010 – from Merehead to Minehead”.
DEPG NEWS: The February 2020 edition of our quarterly newsletter has now been mailed out and all members should have received their copy by now. Please let me know if you didn’t get your copy.
A word of explanation on the current policy of mailing all of our members 4 times per year. A few years back, we asked members to indicate if they would prefer to have an electronic copy of the newsletter rather than a hard copy. This database of preferences was not GDPR compliant so it could not be copied across to the new and compliant DEPG email system.
We intend to set up a new system for member preferences and we will describe our intentions in a future newsletter, including a method of verifying that members do actually receive the emails that we send to them. Meanwhile, we will continue to mail out the Newsletter on a quarterly basis because this is the most inclusive and reliable method of reaching all of our members.
The synopsis from last weeks’ DEPG Board Meeting is not yet ready but we hope to include it in the roundup next week.
DEPG WEBSITE: Our ONLINE SHOP IS NOW LIVE so go ahead and visit our store!
We have placed orders for our new range of coasters to complement the mugs that we featured last week and we are expecting stock to be delivered in the next few days. We will then be able to offer mugs and coasters for each of the locomotive types that are in our fleet. We will add these to our online store as soon as we can take photographs of the different designs and get the products uploaded.
We now have stock of the caps including four colour scheme options with the DEPG logo and two options for D1010 (let me know if you want a cap that is specific to your favourite loco) and we are standing by, ready to ship !
WSR NEWS: The unofficial WSR website wsr.org.uk carries an update on the status of the replacement of Seaward Way level crossing, just outside Minehead station. The detailed news article is available by clicking this link.
Also posted on wsr.org.uk are the minutes of the Partnership Development Group (PDG) which is a multi-interest group that is tasked with looking at the ‘big picture’ for the WSR and the surrounding area. The report is well worth a read and is available by clicking this link.
Finally, there is a warning on wsr.org.uk/news regarding the increased incidence of trespassing on the railway since lockdown began. The railway must be considered as ‘live’ at all times. Engineering trains will be operating during this coming week and we have to make sure that the railway can be operated safely. With the improvement in the Covid situation and the planned relaxation of restrictions, we are getting closer to a re-opening – so let’s not jeopardise anything by reckless behaviour.