Remembrance day 2021 and Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 carries a wreath for all those railway workers who lost their lives in conflicts around the world. The inscription is in the memory of all those who are “still on patrol”. Pictured at Williton on 13th November by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
The DEPG was among the thousands of organisations across the country who took time out today to remember those who lost their lives in conflicts around the world. Railways played an important part in supporting large scale military action as well as being essential to the logistics network at home, so they became a strategic military target in their own right, with awful consequences for those who were caught up in the conflict. Those times and events seem so far away now, but we remind ourselves about them at least annually to make sure that they will never be repeated.
Brightening up the mood, the WSR has been busy preparing for the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that will run from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe Heathfield on Friday and Saturday evenings initially and then most evenings up to and after Christmas. Although there will be many who frown at such things, the facts are that they are a massive success with the public and the tickets have been snapped up to the extent that the WSR added more dates after Christmas to make the most of the demand. The net result will be a healthy income that will support the railway through the winter season, so please support these services and the daytime ‘Santa Express‘ services if you can. Thanks !
In preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ workings that start on Friday 19th November, the WSR have completed the fitting of the many thousands of coloured lights that will be illuminated along the length of the train. The power will be provided by two self-contained generator sets that have been temporarily housed within former Southern Railway ‘Parcels & Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) vehicle number 1464, which has been repainted for the occasion by the WSR wagon team:
Ex-Southern Railway ‘Parcels and Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) number 1464 has been repainted by the WSR wagon team and fitted with temporary self-contained generator packages at Minehead in preparation for the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that start on Friday 19th November 2021. Photo by Seb Welsh © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress this weekend as the dry weather allowed the loco to be towed out of the shed for further work on the bodyside using the noisy but effective ‘needle guns’. This time, we had two volunteers on needle-gunning (Leroy and Ian F) while Gordon used the angle grinder and the power sander to prepare the surface for priming and painting.
D1010 – on the opposite side, Ian F set up another needle gun and started removing the multiple layers of paint that had been applied since the days at Didcot. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the restored front-side valances were prepared for trial fitment by Colin F, seen here while drilling the holes for the attachment bolts. The assemblies should be ready for trial fitting next weekend. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
On completion of the bodywork repairs, the loco will be repainted into the colour scheme that she wore when she first entered service in October 1962, overall maroon with a yellow buffer beam. The loco ran in this livery until March 1963 when the more familiar small yellow warning panel was added and the bufferbeam changed to black. D1010 last wore this livery in 2001 – for more information on liveries, see our booklet ‘D1010 – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD‘.
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 is the duty loco at Bishops Lydeard and will be operating in support of the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that start on Friday 19th November 2021 in ‘top and tail’ mode, with steam haulage on the outward journey and diesel haulage on the return leg.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco is at Williton undergoing planned maintenance tasks that will include an engine oil change and a thorough inspection to ensure that she remains in good shape and is soon able to resume her support duties on the WSR.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – continued progress was made on this loco on both Tuesday and Saturday as the component parts for the rolling chassis were gathered, cleaned, inspected and painted in preparation for re-fitting to the frames. The electrical control cubicle also received attention from John C who has taken on the challenge of restoring the functionality and appearance of a complex assembly that has not seen any use for 35 years !
D9518’s cab assembly waits in line for attention while the Voith L217 hydraulic transmission boasts a smart new coat of grey primer. Pictured at Williton on 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518’s electrical cubicle is receiving an overhaul from John C at Williton. This is a project in itself and will take some time, given the age of the parts and the period out of use. This inside view was captured on 13th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518’s electrical cubicle will undergo a thorough and careful overhaul in the hands of John C at Williton. This view dated 13th November 2021 shows the exterior condition and hints at the work that is needed to restore this assembly and replace the missing parts. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
All of this progress has been made possible by the efforts of volunteers and the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration Appeal. Thank you all 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 is receiving regular use, which is good for the loco and good for the DEPG. The loco is likely to remain at the K&ESR until older sister D9504 completes her heavy overhaul and is returned to traffic, so it could be some time yet.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this very useful loco was in use on Saturday 13th November 2021 to haul D1010 out of the shed for attention to her bodywork. Although D1010 is capable of moving under her own power, it is wasteful and time-consuming to warm up and run a 1,350 hp engine when a 302 hp shunting loco is available for the purpose.
In between shunting turns last Saturday, the little loco received some attention to her paintwork from Carol, but there is a lot more paintwork to be tackled so we need volunteers to step forward to work on this little loco during each of the next few weeks. Please come along and join the effort to complete this work (no prior experience required, just regular DIY skills will be sufficient).
Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) was in action on Saturday 13th November 2021, seen here while returning to her temporary resting place inside the shed while her paintwork remains incomplete. DEPG Chairman Martin Howard is in control and ensures clearance from the access platforms that have been used when working on D1010. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who give up so much of their time to work on the cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !
BOOK REVIEW – following the launch of their new railway magazine recently, the editors of ‘TRACKSIDE‘ magazine contacted us to check the status of our two ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 in support of an article that they have just published in their November edition, featuring the class. Launching a magazine into a very crowded sector is a very brave thing to do, but it is certainly worth buying a copy to judge the quality and relevance for yourself. It is a very good sign that the editor contacted us when preparing their feature and we wish them every success with their new initiative.
Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year and are now presented in this 12-page A3-size glossy heavyweight calendar:
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 skip this feature this week, but next week, in anticipation of an event that DEPG will be attending in Newton Abbot on Saturday 4th December 2021, we will feature a photo of Newton Abbot diesel depot that shows the significance that was attached to this location in the heyday of the diesel-hydraulics. The depot closed to steam in 1965 and closed to diesels in 1970 but continued as a stabling and refuelling point until 1981. The library in Newton Abbot became the custodian of the many railway documents and photographs from the area and they are putting on a show to widen the awareness of their Railway Studies Collection. We are pleased to confirm that the DEPG will be in attendance !
Put the date of Saturday 4th December 2021 in your diary if you are within travelling distance of Newton Abbot, and come along and explore the resources of the Railway Studies Collection.
DEPG NEWS – the next Board meeting will take place on 27th November 2021 at Williton.
OTHER NEWS – last week, we shared a photo from member and regular volunteer Mike Evans showing a GWR Class 166 ‘Networker Turbo’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit making a call at Okehampton station, in advance of the line re-opening to the public (scheduled for 20th Noveber 2021). Regular contributor Jon Tooke commented as follows:
“Regarding the Networker (Thames) Turbo at Okehampton station the other day as seen by Mike, it was there on a route gauging run to clear them for working on the line.
I understand that when the line reopens on Saturday it will be pairs of 150s and the 158s as the mainstay with the Turbos 165s and 166s to be used if demand dictates.
Platform 2 at Okehampton will not be used again and the track beyond the station towards Meldon Quarry has been officially mothballed, the points have been clipped and padlocked and the groundframe has been removed.
What remains of the Dartmoor Railway have a small museum in the station building.”
Many thanks to Jon for providing this additional informtion, and also for obtaining the following photographs:
GWR Class 150 ‘Sprinter’ diesel-hydraulic multiple unit number 150 243 stands on brand-new track at the soon-to-be-reopened Okehampton station on a dull day in November 2021. Photo by SPT © CC BY-NC 3.0
WSR NEWS: Last week, it was announced that well-known professional photographer and long-term DEPG member Don Bishop was stepping down from the chairmanship of the WSR Gala Planning Team after 26 years at the helm. This fantastic effort deserves recognition from those of us who have enjoyed the many events that have been delivered during his time in the chair. Don will continue to organise photograhy charters and hopefully 2022 will see the return of these popular events, in addition to the galas that will now be organised under the chairmanship of Seb Welsh. Many thanks to Don, and we also extend our congratulations to Seb and we look forward to supporting the Gala Planning Team whenever we can.