Following the success of our first diesel-hauled service last Saturday, this last weekend presented a great opportunity to perform some maintenance tasks on ‘Hymek’ D7018 to make sure that she is ready for her next outing which takes place this coming weekend, on Saturday 31st July.
The 31st July run will take place between Bishops Lydeard and Dunster where passengers will disembark for 30 minutes or so while the train performs the ‘shunt release’ with the assistance of the WSR’s Minehead-based Class 03 D2133. This procedure allows the train loco to be repositioned to the Bishops Lydeard end so that the train can be hauled back to complete the 36-mile round trip.
Extension to Norton Fitzwarren will not be possible on the 31st July because there will be a steam-hauled mainline excursion arriving on the WSR that day and the steam loco has to occupy the Norton Fitzwarren section to turn around and take on coal, so the ticket prices are a little lower to reflect the reduced mileage.
Here’s some information about the ‘shunt release’ operation that is being conducted at Dunster to allow the loco engine to run around the train in the absence of a passing loop:
The WSR’s Minehead-based Class 03 D2133 waits on the southeast leg of the Dunster West siding crossover. When the loco detaches from the train and enters the siding towards the northwest, the ’03’ shunter will head out by running forward then back to couple up to the train to haul it forward towards Minehead. The train loco will then exit the siding and couple up to the other end of the train and run southeastward to position the train in the platform at Dunster, ready for the return journey. The ’03’ will then return to the siding to wait for the next train.
Here’s some photos from DEPG drivers Robin Fisher and Martin Howard who covered this working last weekend:
GWR 2-6-2T number 5199 enters Dunster West siding on 24th July 2021, as viewed from the cab of the ’03’. Photo by Driver Robin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 03 D2133 stabled at Blue Anchor at the end of the day on 25th July 2021, showing the wheel ‘scotches’ applied to the centre axle as an additional means of preventing the loco from wandering off. Photo by Driver Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
OTHER LOCO NEWS:
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – on Saturday 17th July, volunteer Class 14 loco manager Simon, along with Colin G and Terry went to visit their ‘baby’ to see how she had settled into her new surroundings while on hire to the KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY. Ironically, the loco did not run on the day that they attended, but she did run on the very next day, when she was called into action to cover for the BR(WR) 0-6-0PT steam loco number 1638 that was rostered but had developed a fault. We have since learned that D9526 has already put in 50 hours of work at the K&ESR and is now undergoing an ‘A’ check to prepare her for regular running on the August timetable. Well done D9526 !
Rolvenden-based Class 14 D9504 awaits her turn for an overhaul that will involve the replacement of the coupling rod bearings and bushings after many thousands of miles of running on the K&ESR. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – our ‘celebrity’ remains at Bishops Lydeard because of delays in obtaining permission for her oversize road haulage move from Bishops Lydeard to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Last week, the loco successfully underwent Ultrasonic Axle Testing (UAT) in preparation for a possible rail move, but we have now been advised that it is likely that the loco will be moving move by road later this week. We do not have the date or route information yet, but when we do, it will be shared via a DIESELGEN bulletin.
Here’s some photos of the UAT process that took place under cover at Westridge Steam Shed, Bishops Lydeard, on Wednesday last week:
47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ undergoing Ultrasonic Axle Testing (UAT) at Westridge Steam Shed, Bishps Lydeard, on 21st July 2021 in the company of (left to right) Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019), BR(WR) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ and GWR 2-6-2T number 5199. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ axle end after removing the end cap, revealing the works markings and inspection stamps, in this case dated 1965 (these won’t be the original axles as the loco has had many bogie changes during her 42 years of mainline service, but this one clearly dates from the same year as the loco herself). Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
The loco was started up yesterday afternoon and checked over to ensure that everything was OK for her journey northwards, regardless of the mode of transport. Let’s hope that she does move this week so that we can start to report on her appearances at the NYMR – we already have a local correspondent lined up to feed us news and photos!
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – many thanks to all who have contributed to the appeal for funds to support the £100,000 restoration of D1010 – we are very appreciative of your support, which will allow quick progress on the bodyside repairs, which comprise the bulk of the first phase of the restoration work. We have had a great start but we have a long way to go, so please keep the funds rolling in !
Work continues on the removal of the ‘Prestolith’ filler on the bodyside of the loco – which means plenty of hot and dusty work. The underlying metalwork will then be inspected and any corroded metal will be treated or replaced. This work is being progressed on a section-by-section basis so that we can repaint the loco in sections and prevent further deterioration. It will also help us keep the loco shed tidy !
We intend to raise £100,000 for the whole restoration project, which if put into context, is probably only £10 contribution from each person who has enjoyed watching this locomotive over her years in preservation. 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 !
Our Treasurer has confirmed that funds donated to D1010 are ‘ring-fenced’ and are not used for any other purpose. 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 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco worked the ‘shunt release’ duties last week and has now returned to Williton for an ‘A’ exam after clocking up 50 hours of use, after which she will return to operational standby duty.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week – this loco is waiting for its turn to go into the Swindon Shed for bogie disconnection and lifting.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues as we push towards getting the loco back together as a rolling chassis. We are very happy to report that donations to our D9518 restoration fund have had a great start and that we are now able to fund the re-installation of the springs, hornguides and wheels. This specialised riveting and alignment work will be performed by WSR Restorations at the Swindon Shed, Williton.
Our Treasurer has confirmed that funds donated to D9518 are ‘ring-fenced’ and are not used for any other purpose. Here’s a link to the D9518 donations ‘product page’ where, by using combinations of products and quantities, a donation of any value that you want can be created easily. Many thanks for supporting D9518 !
Here’s some photos of last week’s progress on this loco:
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 is undergoing bodywork repairs prior to 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 Ordnance 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 supporters and ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of pre-owned books goes directly to the D1010 restoration fund.
The first group of books from the huge pile that were donated last week by Geoff Miles is being posted on our website during the coming days. These books form part of a vast and popular series known as ‘The Power of’ series, published by Oxford Publishing in the late seventies/early eighties. Here’s a glimpse of what is coming – keep an eye on the PRE-OWNED BOOKS section of our webstore to grab that one that you want:
Remember, ALL PROCEEDS from the sale of these books goes directly to the D1010 restoration fund.
Many thanks to Geoff and to everyone who has donated books to help D1010. Please reply to this email or use our contact form if you have books that you would like to donate. We welcome your donations!
ON SHED: Staying with Jon Tooke’s collection of photographs, this week we feature a 2016 view of our Class 47 ‘NORTH STAR’ in her earlier guise as D1661, passing Westridge Steam Shed, Bishops Lydeard, on a training run for GWR. On shed at Westridge is Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) and Class 09 D4107 (09 019) and further inside the shed, there appears to be a steam loco, probably the 4F or one of the 7Fs that were based on the WSR at that time.
A visit to this same location today would show the same two DEPG locos – but carrying fresh coats of paint! Many thanks to Jon Tooke for sharing this photo with us all.
Class 47 D1661 ‘NORTH STAR’ (47077 47613 47840) powers past Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) on 4th June 2016 while working a training special between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren for GWR staff. Photo provided by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS: Following the success of the first run of ‘Hymek’ D7018 we can now focus on selling tickets for the next run, which takes place this coming Saturday 31st July.
A reminder of the running days follows (all are Saturdays):
- 31 July – ‘Hymek’ D7018
- 07 August – ‘Hymek’ D7018, with an extension to Norton Fitzwarren
- 21 August – Crompton pair, top and tail, celebrating their 60th birthdays!
- 25 September – ‘Hymek’ D7018, with an extension to Norton Fitzwarren
The ticketing links for these services are as below (these are links to the WSR website):
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, we have been advised that our diesels will be in use for the MIXED TRACTION 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: August is approaching and all members need to have their memberships up to date in order to be eligible to vote at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM). Please renew your membership online by clicking this link.
As a REMINDER – the date for the next AGM is set for the afternoon of Saturday 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’ already 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. More pages and products will be added to the website as soon as time allows.
WSR NEWS: The WSR are now operating public services to Minehead via a connecting bus service between Dunster and Minehead, so please support these services by buying tickets to ride!
The second vintage open-top bus from Dunster, a Bristol VRT/ECW, is seen arriving at Minehead Station on 16th July 2021. The bus service is included in the excursion ticket and an accessible bus is also operating. Photo by Alan Grieve © CC BY-NC 3.0
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.