Top billing this week goes to our former Chairman and Past President BOB TILLER who has just had a locomotive of his creation, number 69002, named after him during a short and informal ceremony that that was held at Waterloo station on Saturday 10th July. The new Class 69 is based on redundant bodyshells and bogies from the old BR Class 56 and have been re-engineered to include an emission-compliant engine and new-generation electronics controls, similar to the well-known Class 66.
Bob, in his role as Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer (CM&EE) of GB Railfreight (GBRf), was the key driver behind the creation of this new locomotive class and it is only fitting that the achievements of his railway career are recognised. What better way than by his name being carried by one of this new class of locomotives. Click on the image below for a short video of the occasion:
Bob has many other achievements that also need to be recognised – his membership of the D+EG and successor DEPG goes back to the ’70s where he volunteered at Didcot on the restoration of ‘Hymek’ D7018. His official DEPG posts started in 1983 as Publicity Officer then became Secretary in 1984 and continued in that post until 1990 when he became Chairman, right through until he stepped down in 2009. In 2011 he became President and resigned this post in 2018 to concentrate on his GBRf projects, but still keeps in regular contact with the DEPG at Williton and visits when time allows.
He was instrumental in D7018’s initial overhaul at Didcot and was one of the first to drive D7018 in preservation. His attention then switched to D1010 and obtaining a lease on the locomotive to restore and run it and then purchasing it from Foster Yeoman. This was his ‘pet’ loco at the time – and we believe that it still is!
Two forms of transportation that were in use by Bob Tiller in 1986 – pictured after a hard day’s work preparing D1010 – then carrying the name and number of D1035 ‘WESTERN YEOMAN’ – for her move from Foster Yeoman’s Merehead quarry to the Didcot Railway Centre. Photo by Bob Tiller © CC BY-NC 3.0
Bob was the driving force in moving D1010 and D7018 from Didcot and uniting the DEPG fleet on the West Somerset Railway and he was one of the team that organised the purchasing and subsequent overhaul of Class 47 D1661 (47077 47613 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’. What a massive contribution over so many years !
We look forward to seeing 69002 running at a future WSR Diesel Gala !
Also making the news is our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, as she settles into her new surroundings while on hire to the KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY. The loco is going to be based at Rolvenden for the rest of this year, covering for sister loco D9504 while that loco undergoes a high-hour overhaul after giving many years of sterling service. We have learned that the side rods and brake gear of D9504 are undergoing repair at the moment.
D9526 was out and about on a test run on the K&ESR last Monday and a video clip was forwarded to our FaceBook account by the RAILWAY MAGAZINE, so thanks to the staff at the RM for bringing it to our attention. It can now be found on our Facebook account – but you don’t need to have an account or be a Facebook user to view it, you only need to click on the picture below to view our Facebook page, then scroll down to find this article and the video will play automatically:
We have also received an excellent photo of D9526 hauling some very old carriages during her test run on Monday of last week:
After her exertion during the previous day, D9526 ended up tucked away safe and sound inside the carriage shed at Rolvenden, Kent, and this will be her home during her six-month stay when not working on the K&ESR. Not so bad, eh ?
Meanwhile, our ‘celebrity’ Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ is still marooned at Bishops Lydeard because of delays in obtaining permission for her road haulage move from Bishops Lydeard to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This is very frustrating because the NYMR want to put the loco to work and the DEPG needs the income that will arise from it, but we are in the hands of Highways England and we all have to wait. We will send out a DIESELGEN bulletin as soon as we know the date, time and route for the move.
OTHER LOCO NEWS:
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – we are pleased to announce that the appeal for funds to support the £100,000 restoration of D1010 has opened to a great start because of the funds already generated by sales of our D1010 booklet and by sales of books by Roger Geach and sales of pre-owned books. We also have multiple pledges of help from DEPG members that will amount to significant sums and quickly take us past the 10% mark.
Although we intend to raise £100,000 for the whole restoration project, we don’t expect to raise this in one year. In fact, we only need to raise the amount needed for a specific phase of work and we will be devising a graphical means of showing how the funds are being allocated and applied as the restoration proceeds, but we do need fundraising to run in advance of restoration work so that we take the right decisions and progress as quickly as we can. Our objectives are achievable with a little help from all ‘Western’ fans, wherever you are and whichever group you belong to. We are fully inclusive !
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 DH number 578 alongside Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ in the main shed at Williton on 10th July 2021. Gordon is removing the sandbox filler trims as a precursor to bodyside repairs on this loco. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please consider joining so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – This loco emerged from the shed yesterday and was started up so that she could take some ‘exercise’ in the confines of our yard at Williton. All went well except for some problems with low battery voltage, probably caused by one or two failed cells in the 48-cell battery. This is being investigated and a temporary expedient will be to borrow some cells from another loco because D7018 is slated for front-line service starting next Saturday, 17th July 2021.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – having completed the radiator fan guard and retaining rings (see picture below), the ‘Tuesday team’ turned their attention to the battery boxes, one of which was retrieved from storage on the ‘LOWMAC’ wagon and taken to the shed for metalwork repairs. The extent of the corrosion, caused not only by weather but also by careless battery acid spillage when in service, is self-evident.
More excellent work by Colin F has allowed the air intake filter housing to be patched and the repaired component now awaits needle-gunning to remove the light corrosion in other areas before priming and painting. We can safely predict that Colin is not going to run short of work any time soon !
This loco is also the subject of an appeal that is shortly to be posted to our website along with restricted donation ‘products’ that will allow donors to select the precise value of their donations and be safe in the knowledge that their funds are only to be used for the specific purpose of restoring D9518. This online facility should be ready by next weekend.
If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please consider joining so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to operational condition – and see her haul passenger coaches for the first time in her life!
Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – this loco has now moved into the space in the loco shed that was vacated by D7018, so bodywork repairs can continue without exposing the loco to the glorious British summer weather. The next steps involve removing some of the worst-affected body panels so that they can be patched and repaired as necessary before priming and painting. The livery chosen for this loco will be the Government-standard (in 1972) deep bronze green that the loco carried during her days in service at the Royal Ordanace Factory (ROF) in Puriton, near Bridgwater, Somerset.
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !
BOOK REVIEW – we have reorganised our books into two categories on our online store, introducing a separate category for PRE-OWNED BOOKS. All such books have been donated by members and suporters and ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of pre-owned books goes directly to the D1010 restoration fund.
Here are three more of the well-known books from Bradford Barton publishers, dated 1974 and 1975. All three are first editions with hardback covers and are packed full of high-resolution black and white images. Two of these books are highly sought-after and the price reflects that status. All three have suffered from spending many years on a shelf, but that is to be expected of these 46-year old books. Remember, ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of these books goes directly to the D1010 restoration fund.
ON SHED: Last week, we featured a photo by Alan Walker showing three withdrawn Class 14s at Cardiff Canton depot in 1969, two of which were subsequently scrapped. We have since learned that those two locos did not go directly to the scrapyard but were routed via Stewarts & Lloyds steelworks at Corby where they were stripped down for spares to support the 14 members of the Class that had been acquired by S&L in 1968. It is therefore highly likely that parts from those two locos are still in use today, somewhere within the pool of preserved Class 14s, so they did ‘live on’ beyond 1969 – but in another form. Many thanks to Neale Long for providing this additional information.
This week, we feature a photo of our ‘Hymek’ D7018 when based at Didcot Railway Centre in the late ’80s, along with two of the steam locos that still reside at Didcot to this day, GWR 2-8-0 number 3822 (built 1940, alongside) and GWR 0-6-0PT number 3738 (built 1937, just visible inside the shed). Many thanks to Jon Tooke for sharing this photo with us all.
DEPG NEWS: With ‘Hymek’ D7018 prepped and ready for this coming Saturday, all we need is confirmation from the WSR so that we can send out a bulletin via Roundup and Dieselgen mailing lists, to communicate the final details and advise how to book tickets. The running days will be as follows (all are Saturdays):
- 17 July (‘Hymek’ D7018, possible extension to Norton Fitzwarren)
- 31 July (‘Hymek’ D7018)
- 07 August (‘Hymek’ D7018, possible extension to Norton Fitzwarren)
- 21 August (Crompton pair, top and tail, celebrating their 60th birthdays!)
- 25 September (‘Hymek’ D7018, possible extension to Norton Fitzwarren)
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, we have been advised that our diesels will be in use for the MIXED TRAFFIC WEEKEND on 17-18 September, the timetable for which has not yet been released. This new running opportunity will feature an extension to Norton Fitzwarren to provide both additional mileage and additional interest from this little-used section of the line. We will send out a DIESELGEN bulletin as soon as we have firm details. Mark the date in you diary !
OTHER DEPG NEWS: The Board Meeting synopsis is not quite ready so we will be including that in the next edition of roundup. As a REMINDER – the date for the next Annual General Meeting was confirmed as being 4th September. Formal notices will be sent to all registered paid-up members during August.
DEPG WEBSITE: Our ONLINE SHOP IS NOW LIVE so go ahead and visit our store!
Our website now carries details of the appeal for the RESTORATION OF D1010 and we are working on the additional pages need for the appeal for D9518, with special donation ‘products’ being added to support fundraising. The shop has been reorganised to introduce product categories and now includes a new category for PRE-OWNED BOOKS, the proceeds from which go directly to the fund for D1010.
WSR NEWS: The WSR are operating public services to Blue Anchor so we now need to support these services by buying tickets to ride!
The impact of the forthcoming change in the Government’s advice in respect of Covid-19 creates a lot of work for the small number of staff at the WSR, so the planning and ticketing of our diesel-hauled ‘specials’ has to take its place on the worklist.
We look forward to getting confirmation of the revised timetable and ticketing arrangements so that we can announce these services via DIESELGEN and on our website and through social media. We need to make sure that these trains are well loaded, so please help us make the most of the limited opportunity that is currently available to us.
Don’t forget to read about the WSR appeal by clicking this link – this appeal also needs our support because we need a thriving railway to run on !
All members of the WSR family have to do what we can to help and one easy way is to make a donation via the WSR website. Another way is to ensure that all of the timetabled services are a commercial success, so please buy a ticket if you can.