Saturday 7th August saw the third of our diesel-hauled ‘excursions’ behind Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018, this time including an extension to Norton Fitzwarren on the return leg. The weather was not kind during the first leg of the journey, so our diehard lineside photographers had to endure some very heavy rain to be able to get their pictures.
Here’s a link to a video compilation that has been posted on YouTube by member and supporter Mark Ireland – the ‘Maybach Music’ on this video is amazing!
A very big THANK YOU to all who bought a ticket and rode the train and to all of the volunteers involved in putting on this show !
And now a correction to my statement last week about passenger loading being lighter on the 31st July compared to 17th July. This observation was not borne out by the facts because each of these ‘excursion’ services has actually carried more passengers than the previous run. We are hoping for a similar success for the forthcoming ‘Crompton Birthday Special excursion’ that will run between Bishops Lydeard and Dunster on the 21st August 2021
To commemorate their 60th birthdays, we will be running BOTH of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ in top-and-tail mode on the 21st and this will allow supporters to sample haulage from both machines during the same journey. Extension to Norton Fitzwarren will not be possible on the 21st August because the Norton Fitzwarren section is in use that day for other services.
Tickets for Saturday 21st August are still available so BUY YOUR TICKET NOW !
Some more questions have been raised by our followers and travellers, so this would be a good time to answer those questions:
Q: Are these ‘excursion’ services Covid-secure ?
A: The WSR have taken a hard line on Covid precautions throughout the pandemic in the interest of public safety and are still requesting that passengers use facemasks and refrain from changing seats during the journey. The staff on the train will intervene in any cases where passengers may be disregarding the safety of others. Loadings on these services have been set to ensure that there is plenty of room on the train.
Q: I booked and paid a deposit for a Diesel Experience Course in 2019/20 and I am still waiting to hear about it.
A: The WSR have recently been in contact with the DEPG to arrange dates for DECs that will allow previous bookings to be honoured. We will include more information as soon as it has been confirmed by the WSR.
If you have a question, please reply to this email or fill in the contact form on our website. Thanks !
OTHER LOCO NEWS:
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be busy at the KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY and has covered her booked workings and received favourable comments from the K&ESR crews. One issue that arose was an oil leak that was quickly dealt with by the Class 14 team that normally look after sister loco D9504 on the K&ESR. Our loco is clearly in safe hands and it is great to hear that she has been so well received by our southeastern friends.
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. Sadly, we still do not have the date or route information yet, but when we do, it will be shared via a DIESELGEN bulletin.
47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ stabled in the bay platform at Bishops Lydeard on 1st August 2021, sandwiched between an ex-GWR ‘TOAD’ brakevan and our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057). The banner proclaims ‘ON TOUR’ but the only tour she has had so far is around the yard at Westridge steam shed ! Photo by Liam Hebditch © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – we continue to receive donations towards the restoration of this much-loved loco and we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the fund to support the £100,000 restoration of D1010.
We have had a great start, but this is a big project so please keep the funds rolling in !
Rapid progress towards our fund-raising target will result in rapid progress on the restoration work because we can engage sub-contract specialists who can work on the loco 5 days a week, not just on Saturdays.
This weekend, the areas around the cab window frames were probed to determine the extent of the damage. Although the photos below may give a different impression, this kind of corrosion can easily be cut out and new metal welded in. The window frames will have to be removed, but we were expecting that. So far, there are no showstoppers so we will continue with our plan (read our restoration plan by clicking on this link).
We intend to raise £100,000 for the whole restoration project so please help us by using one of the below links to make a donation:
After selecting a donation link, you will be able to use the quantity buttons to select the precise value that you are able to donate. Please remember to add the GiftAid option if you are eligible because this will give us a 20% boost via a contribution from HM Government. Thank you very much for supporting the D1010 Restoration Appeal !
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 join us 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 is stabled at Williton and is fully operational and ready to work with sister D6575 (33 057) on the ‘excursion’ special on Saturday 21st August in top-and-tail mode to celebrate their 60th birthdays !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change – this loco is waiting for its turn to go into the Swindon Shed for bogie disconnection and lifting to replace the weak leaf spring.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – we are very happy to report that donations to our D9518 restoration fund continue to build and as a result, we are now able to approve 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.
We intend to raise £10,000 for the whole restoration project so please help us by using one of the below links to make a donation:
After selecting a donation link, you will be able to use the quantity buttons to select the precise value that you are able to donate. Please remember to add the GiftAid option if you are eligible because this will give us a 20% boost via a contribution from HM Government. Thank you very much for supporting the D9518 Restoration Appeal !
Here’s some photos of last week’s progress on this loco:
The frames of D9518 are now inside the Swindon Shed for alignment and rivetting of the hornguides after which the frames will be reunited with the wheelsets. Photo taken at Williton on 3rd August 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us 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 – this week we feature a review from regular contributor Neale Long covering a recent book “The Clayton Type 1 Bo-Bo Diesel-Electric Locomotives – British Railways Class 17 by Anthony P. Sayer”.
This major hardback reference work was published by Pen & Sword on 28th May 2021 and runs to 374 pages. Here’s the report from Neale:
“For his third edition focusing on some of the less successful British Railways Diesel Locomotives, author Anthony Sayer turns his attention to the ill-fated Clayton Class 17s.
Conceived as the standard British Railway Type 1 locomotive primarily to be used on local freight/trip working, they were to replace earlier Modernisation Plan locomotives whose designs fell short of requirements due to having single cabs with limited vision requiring double-manning. Extensively researched and beautifully written, Anthony tells the fascinating though essentially sad story of these ill-fated locomotives from conception through to design, construction, their lamentably short life actually in service, rundown, demise and disposal. Told in great detail and copiously illustrated, this excellent publication contains 374 pages.
The level of detail unearthed by the author is very likely to ensure that this is the principal reference book devoted to this sadly overlooked and little-known class of locomotives. This fine study sheds much light on to the very short lives of the class. Readers may already be aware of the principal issue the class suffered, namely the Paxman horizontal diesel engines which became so problematic that two locomotives were fitted with alternative Rolls-Royce designs. What is not so generally known is that the many problems associated with the class could have been avoided had BR listened to the engine manufacturer and fitted cast iron crankcases and cylinder heads, thoroughly tested a prototype and possibly used an alternative to the Napier turbocharger.
Particularly interesting was the problems the state-owned industry had in creating a suitable support structure that could ensure that a coherent spare parts supply and stock management system existed. Money inevitably resulted in conflicting objectives within the BRB CMEE and the more regionally focused Performance and Service committee. However, as history was to prove, the work for which they were designed was generally lost and what hastened their departure from BR was that the Class 20 became viable when operated in pairs to become in effect a type 4, suitable for long distance heavy freight work.
Anthony Sayer’s superb tome offers much to diesel historians on a class which prior to this publication has been overlooked. This book redresses this oversight and is highly recommended.”
ISBN: 9781526762009 “The Clayton Type 1 Bo-Bo Diesel-Electric Locomotives – British Railways Class 17 by Anthony P. Sayer – published by Pen & Sword on 28th May 2021
Hardback, 374 pages, 280 photos/diagrams.
Many thanks to Neale for providing us with this review.
We don’t have this one (yet) but we do have many other PRE-OWNED BOOKS that will be added to our online store ASAP. 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. 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: and now for something completely different – this week we are posing some questions about the following shot of a number of Class 14s on shed at the end of a hard day’s work. Where and when ?
If you can provide at least one correct answer, you will be eligible to make a donation to the restoration of D9518. All will be revealed next week.
DEPG NEWS: Following the success of the first three runs of ‘Hymek’ D7018, we can now focus on selling tickets for the fourth run, which takes place on Saturday 21st August with haulage from our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ D6566 (33 048) and D6575 (33 057).
A reminder of the remaining running days follows (both are Saturdays):
- 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 draft timetable for which will be reviewed at a Gala Planning Meeting later this week and hopefully released in time for the next edition of roundup. 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 timetable details. Meanwhile, 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 the next few days. Please let us know if you DO NOT want paper copies and you would prefer to have pdf copies of the AGM documents (there is no need to respond again if you have already responded to a previous email on the subject).
DEPG WEBSITE: Our ONLINE SHOP IS NOW LIVE so go ahead and visit our store!
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!
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.