Daily Archives: Sunday, March 28, 2021

  • Depot News – week ending 28-Mar-21

    This week, we have plenty of photographs showing Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) in action on the ballast train workings that took place last Monday. The day started with some shunting in Williton, with D6566 (33 048) moving to take up a position in the DEPG yard so that she could get some attention later in the week. This then left D6575 free to run around her train of three ‘DOGFISH’ wagons and position them for filling with fresh ballast. Then, D6575 hauled the train to Doniford, where the ballast was distributed along the newly re-laid formation. The empty wagons were then taken to the Permanent Way yard at Dunster and the loco returned to Williton light engine.

    A number of our members and supporters were all safely positioned with cameras at the ready, so we received several excellent images of these workings, some of which are included below:

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) approaches the Doniford worksite with fresh ballast on 22nd March 2021. Photo by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0


    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) waits at Helwell Bay after delivering fresh ballast to the Doniford worksite on 22nd March 2021. Photo by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0


    New trackwork at Doniford Halt, seen just after the delivery of fresh ballast on 22nd March 2021. Photo by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0


    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) pauses at Blue Anchor on her way home to Williton after delivering the empty ballast hoppers to Dunster PW yard. Pictured on 22nd March 2021 by Tim Johnson © CC BY-NC 3.0


    DEPG volunteer Class 33 loco manager Ian Robins and DEPG volunteer Tom Courtney have been attending to D6566 at Williton and have started to replace the fuel injectors with newly-refurbished parts. One of the high pressure fuel injection pumps will also be replaced as part of a programme of work to trace a possible fuel leak that appears to be gradually diluting the engine oil. Analysis reports show that the engine oil is currently at its lower limit for viscosity, so we hope that a solution is found before having to replace the engine oil.

    The next scheduled working of our locos will take place in mid-April in support of the crew refresher training workings that will take place prior to the RE-OPENING of the West Somerset Railway ! We can keep you informed of diesel loco workings if you join our DIESELGEN e-mail bulletin service.


    LOCO NEWS: This weekend, a small team comprising Gordon, Leroy and John Cooke attended at Williton to work on our Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ and get her started up, the objective being to prepare her to move under her own power so that our Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ can be extracted from the loco shed. This work has become essential due to the need to prepare our celebrity ’47’ for hire to another railway… but more about that at a later date!

    Below is a short video clip by Tom that shows the Maybach MD655 V-12 engine at ‘A’ end being started up for the first time since November 2019 and a longer series of clips from two different perspectives that have been provided by Leroy:



    The below picture, captured by the Williton Depot security system, shows the moment when the ‘A’ engine burst into life:

    Other than reported above, the status of our locos remains unchanged this week, due to lockdown. Many thanks to all of our volunteers for their continuing work to keep our locomotives in the best condition possible, considering the circumstances.


    BOOK REVIEW – This week, we are very pleased to have received a copy of a booklet dating back to 1985 entitled “IAN ALLAN MODERN RAILWAYS PICTORIAL PROFILE:8 The HYMEKS”. This booklet is in excellent condition and has been donated by member Ian Harden, to whom we are extremely grateful. We intend to raffle this booklet so that we can generate a contribution to DEPG funds while allowing the maximum number of people to participate, each with an equal chance of success. We will provide more details in a future roundup.

    Also this week, we received two books from the daughter of the late Roy Hudson who passed away in 2013 after a lifelong love of railways. These books were produced in the late ‘seventies by our predecessors, the DIESEL + ELECTRIC GROUP in conjunction with Bradford Barton. We will also be including these books in the forthcoming raffle. We are very grateful to Roy’s daughter, Kim, for taking the time and trouble to send these books to us.

    If you have books or magazines that you want to donate to us, please email us at contact@depg.org or USE OUR CONTACT FORM so that we can provide a postal address to you. Our diesel depot is only open for a few days of the week, so it won’t do to have a pile of packages outside the gate, but we will work out an alternative arrangement. We intend to offer pre-owned books on our website, starting soon !


    DEPG NEWS: A Board Meeting was held yesterday via Zoom and many issues were discussed, not least of which was the impending re-opening of the WSR and the preparations that the DEPG has to make in order to be fully ready to support that re-opening. A synopsis of the meeting will be released as soon as possible.


    DEPG WEBSITE: Our ONLINE SHOP IS NOW LIVE so go ahead and visit our store!

    As mention earlier, we intend to create a new product category for pre-owned books, where we will offer items for sale that have been donated to the DEPG for the purpose of fund-raising. It may be possible to find some of these books on other pre-owned book websites, perhaps cheaper, but buying from the DEPG will ensure that 100% of your purchase goes straight into our loco funds – and you will get an interesting book in the bargain.


    WSR NEWS: The WSR have now posted details of the ‘excursion style‘ public services that will start on Saturday 22nd May 2021, subject to the reduction of Government restrictions in force at that time. The timetable is colour-coded, so to find the details of a particular ‘excursion’ day, click on the appropriate coloured dot that is below the calendar graphics. For example, the BLUE timetable can be studied in detail by clicking this link.

    We want to help to make sure that these services, and especially the diesel-hauled services, will be a commercial success, so please visit the WSR website and consider buying a ticket to ride.

    To support the return to scheduled running, the WSR have announced that training and competence assessment of traincrews is restarting on Saturday 17th April and will run for 5 consecutive weekends prior to reopening on 22nd May. 

    The WSR will be running another of their Zoom sessions for volunteers on Wednesday 31st March at 1800 and we encourage all of our volunteers to join these sessions. The next session will be hosted by Steve Williams and will cover Business Development on the WSR.

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