Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) hauled the WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) from Williton to Minehead on 16th December 2021 with Diesel Traction Inspector John Leach and secondman Tom Courtney covering the duty. The loco is pictured having propelled the DMU into the Bay Siding at Minehead and is ready to return to Williton ‘Light Engine’ via the new Seaward Way level crossing. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
On Thursday 16th December and fresh from servicing at Williton, 60-year-old ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was put to work to haul the WSR’s 61-year-old BR-Derby Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) from Williton to Minehead. The move was necessary in order to make space at Williton for incoming locomotives that will go into the WSR Restoration facility in the ‘Swindon Shed’ and was the first time that the DMU had travelled over the new Seaward Way Level Crossing. The DMU is not yet ready for service and may need to return to Williton in the Spring, but for the time being she will be reside in the Bay Siding at Minehead. We hope to be able to report in more detail on the status of the DMU in January’s roundup.
The WSR’s BR-Derby Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) was hauled to Minehead from Williton on 16th December 2021 by Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) and is pictured stabled on the Bay Siding at Minehead. Photo by Paul Weldon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was used for the preparation run in advance of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ workings on 18th December 2021 and paused near Nornvis Bridge so that crew member Paul Fleet could power-up and adjust one of the lineside displays that form part of the spectacular journey from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe Heathfield and back during the hours of darkness. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) continues to support the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ specials which will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week and Monday through Friday next week. Some tickets are remaining on services from Tuesday 28th December through to 31st December, so grab your tickets while you can. Many thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who are putting so much work into delivering these highly successful services!
VERY IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY – the WSR’s 2022 Diesel Gala will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022, so keep these dates free and make a plan to attend ! Click this link to wsr.org.uk to view the dates for other WSR gala events that are planned for 2022.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – Gordon turned his attention to the ‘face’ of the locomotive and needle-gunned the ‘B’ end cab on Saturday 18th December so that Colin F can start the repair work in early January. Later that day, Mike and Andy set to work to disconnect the electrical conduits that have to be removed from beneath the cab floor, to allow Colin to gain access to the cab structure supports that have corroded where they meet the deck plate. These supports have to be repaired before cutting into the panels that form the outer skin, because, being a ‘stressed-skin’ design, the weight of the cab assembly is shared between the structural framework and the skin.
D1010 in the early stages of a ‘B’ end facelift at ‘Williton on Saturday 18th December 2021 after being needle-gunned by Gordon. The metalwork is in good condition and does not require any patching above the deckplate level, which is the point at which most of the corrosion has taken place. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010’s deck plate illuminated at ‘B’ end, viewed looking down from the cab, where the secondman’s seat would normally be. Several of the electrical conduits below the cab floor structure need to be removed to allow access for welding repairs that will ensure that the cab structure is properly supported before the external skin is repaired. This approach will ensure that the cab does not end up with a drooped appearance. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – in the space between the deck plate and the cab floor, there are dozens of pipes and conduits, all criss-crossing at various angles and making it difficult to get tools in position without removing other parts that will then lead to other work. The patient use of good tools gets the job done with the minimum of damage to other parts. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – view showing three of the electrical conduit couplings separated after several hours of work in the confined space between the deck plate and the cab floor, under the secondman’s seat. The cables are in very good condition inside the good quality steel conduits. The white material is talcum powder that was used to prevent the wires sticking together when the wires were originally fed into the conduits during the upgade to dual braking that took place at Swindon Works in 1969. Photo 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 was changed from yellow to black. D1010 wore this livery again back in 2001, for one season. For more information on liveries, see our booklet ‘D1010 – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD‘.
Our offering of a special LIMITED EDITION of 25 DAPOL OO-gauge models of D1010 in her original livery has been snapped up, generating income after expenses of more than £1000 for the D1010 Restoration Fund. Allocation of the few remaining models will take place tomorrow after giving priority to DEPG members. Many thanks to all who have participated in the purchase of these models for the benefit of D1010, and to all those who have expressed an interest we thank you and ask you to keep in touch with us, because we will have other models to offer in future.
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 returning D1010 to full operational condition.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco received a battery charge on Saturday 18th December in advance of an engine run that allowed her auxillary systems to be exercised and tested. The tests showed that they batteries are not in the best of condition, so this may be their last winter before having to be replaced. After charging, the engine started easily and ran well, and the run was captured on a short video clip that provides that special ‘Maybach Music’ that graced the air for an hour or so at Williton. Click on the photo below and enjoy !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco also received a battery charge on Saturday 18th December followed by an engine run, the first time she has been run since her last outing on the WSR in October. Periodic running keeps the engine, transmission and auxillary systems in good condition and allows us to catch any signs of deterioration before they become issues that may affect reliability. The batteries on this loco are showing signs of low charge capacity and may need to be replaced next year.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the rolling chassis is now stabled on number 2 road inside our loco shed at Williton, along with all of the major subassemblies. Having everything close together offers easier access to tasks and our volunteers are now challenged with a huge number of parts that have to be identified, restored and then fitted to the frames in the right order !
D9518’s ‘rolling chassis’ is now positioned on number 2 road in the DEPG loco shed where Colin G can be seen at work in the space between the frames on Saturday 18th December. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518’s frames carry identification marks that can be traced to the original manufacturers of the steel, in this case the Lilleshall Company of Oakengates near Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, who have proudly embossed the 1964-vintage rolled angle section as being ‘BRITISH STEEL’. The nationalised company ‘The British Steel Corporation’ was not formed until 1967, so Lilleshall were ahead of the game. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Work proceeds on the many other components and sub-assemblies of D9518 including the large and heavy ‘Holset Coupling’ that fits between the engine and the transmission. This coupling is used to isolate the transmission from the vibrations that are a characteristic of V6 engines and consists of two heavy steel discs with interlocking ‘fingers’ that are separated by close-fitting hard rubber cylinders. The rubber provides flexibility without introducing free play or ‘backlash’. The whole assembly is very tightly fitted together so that it can transmit the torque from the engine without wearing out. Here are some photos of the coupling after it was disassembled by Colin F at Williton last week:
D9518’s ‘Holset Coupling’ now separated into the two main steel parts, exposing the internal structure and whole lot of surface rust. The coupling is actually in very good condition from a mechanical viewpoint and can be cleaned up and reassembled without incurring any significant expenditure. Pictured at Williton on 18th December 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518’s ‘Holset Coupling’ rubber cylinders are actually built up from four separate rubber parts that are stacked on top of one another to create the ‘cylinders’ that fit between each pair of spokes. Photo by Terry Deacon © 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 and we have received confirmation that the loco will remain at the K&ESR until May 2022, by which time her older sister D9504 should have completed her heavy overhaul and be returned to traffic. We look forward to seeing D9526 back at Williton in time for the WSR’s 2022 Diesel Gala that takes place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is now expected to take place in Mid January 2022.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco was on the move last Saturday and is now housed within the WSR Restorations ‘Swindon Shed’ where it will receive further attention to its bodywork while under cover.
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 – this week we have to share some sad news because of the sudden death of well-known author ADRIAN CURTIS, a former football journalist who had a special interest in the Class 52 D1000 series ‘Westerns’ and went on to become an acknowledged expert in the field. His best known work was ‘CAST OF THOUSANDS‘ which ran to 331 pages and has become a sought-after reference work for the Class. Adrian was working on a series of books with a separate volume covering each locomotive in the 74-strong class and was only part-way through the series when he passed away at the age of 63. Our condolences go out to his family. The image below includes a link to his website where the many titles that he published (and had planned to publish) are listed.
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 don’t miss out on your chance to buy. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.
ON SHED – our participation in the RAILWAY STUDIES AND MODELLERS SHOW at Newton Abbot library has made us aware of the extensive collection of railway photographs and documents that comprise their Railway Studies Collection and are available online. One of our regular photographic contributors, Barry Gay, has shared a number of his own photographs of Newton Abbot depot that we will be featuring under this heading for the next few weeks, so here’s another one from Barry’s excellent collection:
In this view of Newton Abbot loco sheds, taken on 31st March 1972, a battered and beat-up Swindon-built Class 42 ‘Warship’ 825 ‘INTREPID’ stands in the running shed in the foreground, having been reinstated from withdrawn status for the 1972 summer season due to a loco shortage, while sisters 816 ‘ECLIPSE’ and 827 ‘KELLY’ (only just visible) stand condemned outside the old steam shed, along with a single car DMU. All three ‘Warships’ had served for only 11 years and all three had ceased to exist by October of that same year. Photo by Barry Gay © CC BY-NC 3.0
Many thanks to Barry for sharing his photos with us all !
DEPG NEWS – the synopsis of the DEPG Board Meeting that was held on Saturday 27th November has been delayed but is now available and will be shared with members (for whom we hold email addresses) in a separate email. The latest edition of the DEPG Newsletter has been mailed, so if you are a member and you have not received your newsletter, please use our CONTACT FORM to let us know. The same form can be used to advise us if you want to go fully paperless. Thanks !
DEPG WEBSITE – we have added three new products to our webstore, all of which have a seasonal bias, so click the photos or the links below to find out more !
WSR NEWS: The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ and ‘SANTA EXPRESS’ services continue to earn valuable winter income for the WSR with almost all seats fully booked this side of Christmas. Tickets are available for WINTERLIGHTS services that run between Christmas and New Year so there’s no need to miss out.
A visit to Williton station last Saturday was rewarded by a warm welcome from the station staff who are on duty whenever a ‘SANTA EXPRESS’ service is at the platform (11:00 and again at 13:30). The location offers a fine view of the steam locomotive running around its train and is well worth a visit if you are in the area from Tuesday to Friday this week.
Elsewhere on the line, the Permanent Way depot at Dunster was being shunted on the 13th December, offering the rare opportunity to witness the Minehead-based shunting locos in action outside of their normal operating area. There’s always something going on somewhere !
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 579 (ROF 2) was in use on shunting duties at Dunster West on 13th December 2021, as a reminder that the high-profile (and highly visible) Christmas services are not the only things that are happening on the railway. The permanent way team are always busy, particularly so when there are no public services running. Photo by Rich Hiscox © CC BY-NC 3.0
That brings us to the end of another edition of roundup, the last for 2021, so have a great Christmas and be sure to stay safe and stay well.