Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 runs onto the Dunster West siding on 16th October 2021 during the shunt-release manoeuvre. Photo taken from the cab of Class 03 D2133 while stationary by driver Robin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Sunday 31st October marked the end of the WSR’s 2021 running season, with the last timetabled train getting back to Bishops Lydeard at 1750, after dark now that the clocks have changed. This season has been notable for the late start due to Covid-19 restrictions and the inability to run through to Minehead because of the major upgrade to the Seaward Way Level Crossing, but indications are that the season has been a success, thanks to the dedication and hard work of all of the staff and volunteers involved, and to those who rode the trains and those who donated to the WSR and the ‘railway family’ charities, so well done all !
The level crossing project concluded on 26th October when the sigal box at Minehead returned to operational status, although the line between Dunster and Blue Anchor remains under Infrastructure Department ‘possession’ until Tuesday 2nd November, when the first train will run from Bishops Lydeard, steam hauled, comprising empty coaching stock for haulage to Minehead. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) will work from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead on Friday 5th November to collect empty coaching stock for transfer to Bishops Lydeard (details will be published via a DIESELGEN bulletin).
Pictured on 26 October 2021 in front of the crossing control console and CCTV monitor in the Minehead Signal Box are (left to right) John Jenkins, Signal Engineer; Peter Smith, Signalling Inspector and Steve Martin, Operations Officer. Photo by John Jenkins © CC BY-NC 3.0
On Sunday 31st October, on the occasion of the very last train to use the Dunster shunt-release procedure, our Chairman Martin Howard was in charge of the WSR’s Class 03 shunter D2133 and grabbed a photo of the line looking towards Minehead while the loco was stationary. The photo shows the yellow light of the ‘Fixed Distant’ signal and beyond that, the new signal 102 shining bright red, protecting the level crossing. The sleeper barrier and Stop board can be seen in the middle distance, so placed in July to prevent the line from being worked through to Minehead while the crossing was out of use. This view will change for the better from Tuesday 2nd November onwards, after the sleeper barrier and the Stop board have been removed.
The twilight view towards Minehead from Dunster, with the Stop board and sleeper barrier in the middle distance, the ‘Fixed Distant’ signal at caution and the new signal 102 at danger, protecting the level crossing. Photo taken from the cab of Class 03 D2133 while stationary by driver Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
The next task is to begin training the staff and crews on the new signalling layout and new procedures that apply to the improved layout at Minehead. This will take some time, but will be completed in time to allow the line to re-open through to Minehead in Spring 2022. We are really looking forward to being able to take our trains through to Minehead again !
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more great work has been carried out by Colin F on the restoration of the front valances. These fabricated steel sections are used to ‘dress’ the front of the locomotive and help give it the finished appearance that has made the design such an enduring success over the last sixty years. The new sheet steel was purchased using the funds raised by the D1010 RESTORATION APPEAL. Thank you very much !
The front valances can be see below the buffers in the below photo, along with one of the corner valances:
D1010 – this photograph, taken at Williton on 6th June 2016, shows the front valances below the buffers, either side of the drawhook, and also shows one of the corner valances with the two footsteps that show it is an authentic part (the corner valances at the other end only had one footstep, having been replaced in the 1980s). Photo by Mark Townsend © CC BY-NC 3.0
The photo below shows the progress that has been made in making a pair of replacement front valances for the ‘A’ end of the loco, to replace the non-authentic parts, and the restoration work being carried out on the authentic but heavily corroded parts from the ‘B’ end, with significant amounts of new sheet steel being applied – but using as much of the original material as possible:
D1010 – a pair of brand new front valances have been fabricated from new steel for the ‘A’ end of the locomotive and two existing authentic but corroded valances are undergoing restoration for the ‘B’ end of the locomotive, all work being performed by Colin F. Pictured at Williton on 30th October 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Meanwhile, the loco may be suffering an indentity crisis while she is in the shed in a state of undress. The peaked visor above the cab windscreen (visible in Mark Townsend’s photograph further above) at ‘A’ end has corroded quite badly and is in need of repair, so a suitable message was written on the loco as a reminder, but someone has seen the need to expand the message:
These photos give further evidence in support of our statement last week that the corrosion on D1010 is confined to small parts of a very large locomotive. Each area of corrosion is being dealt with systematically.
This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! 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 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco has moved to Bishops Lydeard to take over WSR support duties from sister loco D6575 and her first duty will take place on Tuesday 2nd November when she hauls empty coaching stock from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco has now returned to Williton so that an oil change and some other maintenance tasks can be performed. More details on this next week.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week – waiting for her turn over the pit in the Swindon Shed (now expected to be in the spring of 2022).
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – several tasks are lined up for this loco during the coming months, the primary task being the repair to the transmission control block to bring the automatic gear change back into use.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – this loco has just celebrated her 57th birthday, having entered into service at Cardiff Canton depot on 30th October 1964. She worked in the Cardiff area for 5 years before heading northeast to Northumberland and the NCB’s Ashington colliery and worked there until 1986, before making her way to the DEPG and back to Western Region territory in 2011.
This week, the underframes have been receiving the attention of Colin C and his paint spray gun, so we can expect to see some nice photos as soon as he has finished his work. Meanwhile, there are plenty of component parts that need a clean-up and a re-paint before re-mounting them on the frames:
The ‘Tuesday’ team continue to make progress on the cleaning of the Voith hydraulic transmission unit so that it can be painted before re-fitting to the frames.
All of this rapid progress has been made possible by the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration Appeal. Thank you very much !
This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. 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 full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and has just undergone a 50-hour check that involved some minor attention to a coolant leak and a small air leak. The most significant repair item has been the fitting of a new starter motor to resolve a repetitive ground fault. The failed starter motor will need to be examined to find the cause of the problem and may need a full overhaul before it can be returned to the spares pool. The loco is now fit and ready to resume duties. Many thanks to Simon for travelling a long distance to carry out this work alongside the team at Tenterden.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This loco will be re-fuelled and started up on Tuesday 2nd November to ensure that she remains in good condition.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ (D1661, 47613, 47840) stands in the bay platform at Bishops Lydeard under the watchful eye of the signalman on a surprisingly clear Saturday 30th October 2021. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is now in need of needle-gunning to remove loose paint and rust before priming and painting in undercoat. We need volunteers to step forward to work on this loco, so please come along and join the effort to complete the work on this little loco.
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 – last week, we announced that our online store now includes a new book from well-known author Roger Geach and associate Michael Mercer, covering all 74 of the much-loved Class 52 ‘WESTERN’ locomotives. This new A4 softback book is entitled ‘WESTERN VENTURE‘ and is available by clicking on the image below:
All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the D1010 Restoration Fund, as per the agreement with Roger Geach. Please get your copy while stocks last.
Our regular correspondent Neale Long has already purchased a copy and provided a full review, the details of which will be included in next week’s roundup. Many thanks Neale !
And speaking of new publications, our DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is now IN STOCK in glossy A3 landscape format. Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year:
There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.
We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.
ON SHED – we will have to skip this feature this week due to lack of space.
DEPG NEWS – The Autumn ‘work week’ started on Saturday 30th October and runs until Saturday 6th November, so we welcome volunteers old and new to come along and help us with tasks that are both loco-related and infrastructure-related. We have tasks to suit all capabilities, so we look forward to seeing you.
A Board meeting took place last Saturday and a synopsis is being prepared and will be included with the next issue of roundup.
The lighting within the loco shed at Williton has been transformed by the installation of a number of high power LED light fittings that were very kindly donated to the DEPG. The lights were installed by Graham and Paul and the working environment has been significantly improved as a result. We can now see all of the dust that has accumulated over the last few years, so we will have to have a clean-up ! Many thanks to all involved !
The bright and energy-efficient LED light fittings installed alongside number 3 road within the loco shed have highlighted the amount of dust that has gathered during the removal of the ‘Prestolith’ filler from the bodyside of D1010. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0
OTHER NEWS – Forty-five years ago, two of the last remaining Class 52 ‘Westerns’ hauled the ‘WESTERNS SOUTH WESTERN‘ railtour from Paddington to Meldon Quarry near Okehampton, Devon and back to Paddington via Salisbury using the LSWR main line as far as Basingstoke. The two locos used on the railtour were 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ and 1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’. The former LSWR line to Meldon Quarry still exists and passenger services are set to return to Okehampton on 20th November this year, which is great news after almost 40 years since the withdrawal of services.
Class 52 1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ leads 1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ into Okehampton station from the direction of Meldon Quarry on 30th October 1976 with the return leg of the ‘WESTERNS SOUTH WESTERN‘ railtour. Photo by Roger Geach ©
WSR NEWS: last Saturday 30th October, the WSR held an event at Bishops Lydeard where all of the support organisations across the railway gathered to welcome prospective volunteers and explain the opportunities available, covering all kinds of work from engineering through to gardening to administration and historical records archiving.
The event was very successful and the WSR now intend to hold similar events at both ends of the line at a future date. The DEPG were represented by Chris Shields, a very well-known member of our sales team who gives so much of his time at events and at home, where he keeps our merchandise shipments flowing. Many thanks to Chris and to all who participated.