After a very wet and unseasonal start to the day, the 60th birthday special for our two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ ran between Bishops Lydeard and Dunster yesterday with the best loading yet achieved on our diesel-hauled ‘excursion’ trains, so a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came along for the celebration and to everyone involved in the preparations that went on behind the scenes.
Also notable on Saturday was the first official duty as “passed secondman” for 18-year-old Tom Courtney, who is also a member of the volunteer team that looks after these 60-year-old machines and keeps them in fine form, so CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS to Tom!
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) arrives at Dunster Station at the head of the ‘Crompton 60th birthday special’ on Saturday 21st August 2021. Sister loco D6566 (33 048) was attached at the rear of the train and hauled the train on the return journey to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Dave Fowler © CC BY-NC 3.0
An additional bonus last Saturday was the substitution of ‘Hymek’ D7018 for the steam loco on the 12:35 service to Dunster (with onward heritage bus connection to Minehead) and the return working, due to an issue that had arisen with the booked steam loco and could not be resolved in time for her duty. The sight and sound of the ‘Hymek’ hauling six coaches was picked up by several members and supporters including Mark Ireland who released the following video of D7018 at Stogumber. Many thanks to all who have provided us with their photos and videos!
Special thanks also to RAILCAM UK for setting their railcams to ‘capture’ mode so that we could create a video of the event using the railcams at Bishops Lydeard, Crowcombe Heathfield, Williton and Blue Anchor. The footage is currently being edited and will be released later this week. Meanwhile, here are some stills to whet your appetite:
Unique WSR ‘Mogul’ 2-6-0 9351 waits at Williton for ‘Hymek’ D7018 to clear the section and release the token so that she can continue on the return leg of her journey on Saturday 21st August 2021. Image by Railcam UK and the WSR ©
Our next scheduled diesel-hauled services are during the MIXED TRACTION WEEKEND (Friday 17th and Saturday 18th September) where all three of our available locos will be in service on an intensive timetable.
A very big THANK YOU to all who have bought and are buying tickets in support of our 2021 diesel-hauled services, and an equally big thank you to all of the volunteers who have been and are involved in putting on the shows !
If you have a question, please reply to this email or fill in the contact form on our website. Thanks ! Please help us and help the WSR make these diesel-hauled services a success by buying a ticket to ride !
OTHER LOCO NEWS:
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is currently out of action at the KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY because of a misfire that developed last weekend. The loco has racked up almost 100 hours of work at the K&ESR but showed signs of a temperature difference between ‘A’ bank and ‘B’ bank of her Paxman 6-cylinder V-type engine and this developed into a misfire shortly afterwards. The spare fuel pumps and injectors have been sent from Williton to a specialist company for calibration and balancing, and will then be sent to the K&ESR for installation into the loco. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue and allow the loco to return to service.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – our ‘celebrity’ remains marooned 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. The latest indications are that the loco will now be moved by rail, but we do not have the date or route information yet. As soon as we do, it will be shared via a DIESELGEN bulletin.
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.
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:
Donate £1 to D1010£1.00
Booklet – D1013 WESTERN RANGER£7.50 incl VAT excl P&P
Booklet – D1062 WESTERN COURIER£7.50 incl VAT excl P&P
Booklet Pair – D1013 and D1062£10.00 incl VAT excl P&P
Donate £10 to D1010£10.00
Booklet – D1010 – From Merehead to Minehead£15.00 incl VAT excl P&P
Book – Western Venture£15.00 incl VAT excl P&P
Book – Plymouth to Penzance£20.00 incl VAT excl P&P
Book – Class 37s in the Far West£22.00 incl VAT excl P&P
Donate £25 to D1010£25.00
Sponsor a Patch on D1010£25.00
Replica number plate – D1010£60.00 incl VAT excl P&P
After selecting a donation link, you will then be able to use the quantity buttons to select the precise value that you want to donate. Please remember to select 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 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 to replace the weak leaf spring. We are planning to make a start on this work in late October/early November.
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.
This week, our ‘Tuesday Team’ were concentrating on gathering the many parts required for the restoration of the cab assembly. Each part has to be positively identified then cleaned up, repaired as necessary then painted prior to starting the re-assembly work. Meanwhile, the frames await their turn for the rivetting work that will then allow the re-installation of the wheelsets. There’s plenty to be done, that’s for sure.
D9518 frames mounted on trolleys in the Swindon Shed at Williton for alignment and rivetting of the hornguides (one of which is shown in light green primer) as a precursor to the installation of the wheelsets. Pictured on 3rd August 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
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 then be able to use the quantity buttons to select the precise value that you want to donate. Please remember to select 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 !
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 – instead of a book review, we will use this space to cover something new and different that may open up another avenue for fund-raising via our webstore. Member and volunteer Wendy has produced a piece of artwork that has been used to create greeting cards with a DEPG theme, her first featuring Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) on a crew refresher special working approaching Williton in May of this year. Wendy has also donated her original artwork and it will be auctioned at the forthcoming AGM to raise funds for the DEPG.
Many thanks to Wendy for her initiative to both expand our range of DEPG-themed products and contribute to our fund-raising efforts. Much appreciated !
Check out growing number of PRE-OWNED BOOKS that are available from our online store. 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: continuing with our theme from the last few weeks, here’s another photo of Bury Bolton Street shed on the East Lancs Railway for the 50th anniversary gathering of preserved Class 14s including our own D9526. Although ten locos gathered for the celebration, one loco developed a fault and was unable to participate in the running that day, the culmination of which was nine Class 14’s coupled together at the head of a passenger train !
Can you tell which of the locos in this photo is D9526 ?
Many thanks to Simon for sharing his photos, more of which will be shared next week. If you were there and if you have a story to tell, then we would love to hear from you.
DEPG NEWS: Following the success of the ‘excursion’ season so far, we can now focus on selling tickets for the fifth and final run, which takes place on Saturday 25th September with haulage from our Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 with an extension to Norton Fitzwarren on the return leg. The ticketing links for this service is 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 Friday 17th and Saturday 18th September, the draft timetable for which was reviewed at a Gala Planning Meeting recently, the details of which should be released this week. 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. We will also be operating a diesel during the AUTUMN STEAM GALA (believe it or not!) on Friday 1st October and Saturday 2nd October (probably D7018). Mark the dates in you diary !
OTHER DEPG NEWS: Board member and Treasurer Julien Weston also completed his secondman training last week and joined the ranks of ‘passed secondmen’. This is an important step on the path to driving our locomotives, to eventually boost our number of qualified drivers.
One important date for the diaries of all volunteers is the FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER because we are planning a WILLITON WORK WEEK so that we can make significant progress on major projects, including D7017.
REMINDER: This coming Friday 27th August is the closing date for attendance, apologies, nomination and proxy forms to be returned to Ian Robins, our company secretary, in preparation for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM). Only fully paid-up members can vote at the AGM so please renew your membership online by clicking this link.
The date for the next AGM is set for 14:30 on Saturday 4th September, at Williton Diesel Depot.
DEPG WEBSITE: Our ONLINE SHOP IS NOW LIVE so go ahead and visit our store! Our next new product will be the 2022 calendar, so if you have photos that you would like us to include, please let me know ASAP because we will be making our final selection during this coming week. Thanks !
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 !
The WSR’s Class 03 shunter D2133 hauled the empty coaching stock that delivered passengers to Dunster towards Minehead as part of the shunt-release operation that allows the train engine to change ends. The sleeper barrier marking the limit of operation can be seen in the distance on this bright and sunny Sunday 8th August 2021. Photo taken while stationary by driver Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
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.