Weekly Roundup – 15-May-22

Weekly Roundup – 15-May-22

We have just had confirmation that the Diesel Traction Group’s (DTG) unique surviving Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 will be attending at the WSR’s ‘SIXTIES DIESEL GALA’ that will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022. This will be the very first time that this rare beast has visited the WSR and we look forward to the unique sight and sound of this twin-engined diesel-electric machine as she tackles the significant gradients along the line.

In addition to the ‘Clayton’, one more visiting locomotive is ‘in the frame’ and details will be announced as soon as the hire contract has been finalised. Add the two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ and the two Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ of our home fleet and this will make a very interesting lineup. The timetables are being adjusted to maximise the riding mileage available, and will be announced by the WSR and via DIESELGEN as soon as possible.


Also making the news this week …

… is the long-awaited publication of a 240-page book by DEPG driver and WSR Diesel Traction Inspection JOHN LEACH, the contents of which will be fascinating to heritage diesel lovers as well as footplate crew. This book is the culmination of many years of hard work and preparation and we hope that it becomes essential reading for all with a detailed interest in heritage diesel traction.


Here’s what John has to say about his new book:

     “The book is 240 pages long, hard back and in A4 format. It includes 87 diagrams, 39 tables and many photos, particularly of loco parts. Very roughly, it is a balance of 50/50 traction and the other knowledge required by a Driver. Please note that it is a manual for Drivers, and does not convey the depth of knowledge required by fitters, although there are cross references to other works (such as the BR manual ‘Diesel Traction’, 1962) for those requiring much deeper information. My own work is technical, but is a step down from ‘Diesel Traction’, with many of the diagrams being illustrative rather than technically correct, as I have tried to illustrate the basic working of various pieces of equipment. It is entitled ‘A manual for diesel loco and DMU drivers’.”

John’s new book is available for £34.95 from our DEPG online store by clicking on the image or on this link.


John is well known throughout the DEPG and WSR for his in-depth training courses for diesel footplate crew. He is highly knowledgeable and keen to teach others, so it is not surprising that this is what his publisher, Platform 5, had to say:

     “This book focuses on the role and duties of heritage railway diesel drivers and secondmen, but contains little that should not be comprehensible to anyone with an interest in diesel traction and footplate matters.

     The author is a fifth-generation railwayman who began his footplate career in 1970 and is now a diesel driver and traction inspector at the West Somerset Railway. Of the book, he writes, “It is the standard of knowledge that was required of me by BR, and that which I now seek to pass on to others”.”

We wish John every success with his new book !


DEPG driver John Leach and secondman Terry Deacon were in charge of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048), pictured in the sunshine during the Williton station stop on Saturday 14th May 2022 while working the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


DIESEL RUNNING DATES – we are now able to confirm further loco allocations for the diesel running days and we will be sending out a DIESELGEN bulletin to provide more details later this week. Here’s the allocation for the next coming months:

Date Timetable Loco type Mileage available
Saturday 14th May Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles – D6566 – completed
Sunday 15th May  Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles – D6566 – completed
Saturday 21st May Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Sunday 22nd May  Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Thursday 9th June DIESEL GALA Home fleet plus visitor(s) Norton Fitzwarren extension
Friday 10th June DIESEL GALA Home fleet plus visitor(s) Norton Fitzwarren extension
Saturday 11th June DIESEL GALA Home fleet plus visitor(s) Norton Fitzwarren extension
Sunday 12th June Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ or visitor 80 miles
Saturday 18th June Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ or visitor 80 miles
Sunday 19th June Blue No diesels rostered All steam (Fathers Day)
Saturday 25th June Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ or visitor 80 miles
Sunday 26th June Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ or visitor 80 miles
Saturday 2nd July Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Sunday 3rd July Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Saturday 9th July Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Sunday 10th July Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Saturday 16th July Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Sunday 17th July Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Saturday 23rd July Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Sunday 24th July Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Saturday 30th July Yellow No diesels rostered All services steam-hauled
Sunday 31st July Blue No diesels rostered All services steam-hauled
Saturday 3rd Sept Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Sunday 4th Sept Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Saturday 17th Sept Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Sunday 18th Sept Blue Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 80 miles
Saturday 24th Sept Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles
Sunday 25th Sept Blue Class 35 ‘Hymek’ 80 miles

The usual caveats of loco availability apply, but we will be aiming to deliver the above program of running with the locos indicated and we will provide as much advance notice of any change as possible, using our DIESELGEN and Twitter feeds, so sign up to keep up to date.


SOME 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 the WSR website to view the dates for other WSR events that are planned for 2022. We will be opening our depot to the public on these special event days.



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER is still running and WE NEED YOUR HELP, so click on the images below for an update of fundraising status or to make a donation. It all adds up, that’s for sure!


The heavier nature of the repairs required at ‘A’ end can be seen in this series of four photographs that were provided by DEPG volunteer (and master of the art of welding, amongst many other talents) Colin Foxhall, and it goes without saying that we are very grateful for his contribution to the restoration of D1010. Here goes:

D1010 – the ‘A’ end of the loco has corroded to a greater extent than the ‘B’ end so the repairs are more invasive and require more metal to be removed so that the underlying structure can be rebuilt with sufficient strength. Pictured at Williton on Monday 9th May 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – each section supports another, so it is important to build up from the solid metal of the buffer beam and then restore the sub-structure before adding the skin. More patches that need sponsoring ! Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 10th May 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – trial-fitting a piece of sheet steel that has been formed and shaped in three dimensions. There’s no flat sheet metal parts on a ‘Western’ ! Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 10th May 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – job done ! The corner of ‘A’ end on ‘A’ side has now been repaired and the rigidity has been restored, along with the curves that are characteristic of a ‘Western’. More excellent work by DEPG volunteer Colin and his assistants Geoff and Tim. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 10th May 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


On Saturday, Brian continued his work on the battery compartment doors, some of which have been repaired in the past so just need cleaning and painitng, and other that have rusted through and will need to be removed for repair on the bench. There are eight doors, four on each side of the loco, and they are quite substantial in construction to cope with the weight of the batteries, which have to be pulled out for periodic maintenance or replacement:

D1010 – two of the eight battery compartment doors were opened up for attention at Williton on Saturday 14th May 2022. The doors, hinges and stays are strong enough to carry the full weight of the batteries, visible in their black plastic carriers in the upper right quadrant of the picture. Photo by Brian Litherland © CC BY-NC 3.0


To support the work that is progressing in multiple areas on D1010, we launched our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER by offering ‘SPONSOR A PATCH’ where you can donate in support of the bodywork repairs that are taking place on D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ and HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED ON THE SPONSORED PATCH or PART.

For the sum of £25, this scheme offers you a chance to sponsor the restoration of this much-loved locomotive, with your personal contribution being recorded and documented on a set of drawings that will be made available at our Williton depot on running days and open days. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, a unique reference number will be allocated and engraved instead.

See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

NOTE: EVERYONE WHO HAS ALREADY DONATED £25 OR MORE SINCE JULY 2021 WILL BE RECOGNISED and will be allocated an appropriate area on one of the patches or parts that have already been applied to the loco. Donations of smaller sums that accumulate to £25 are also eligible, so donate what you can when you can, and we will keep track of your total donations. Use our CONTACT FORM if you want to register your previous donations to D1010 for this campaign.


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco was in action for both days of the weekend on the 10:00 Minehead diagram under the blue timetable as per our recent DIESELGEN bulletin.

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) covered the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard workings on both days of the weekend and is pictured on Sunday 15th May 2022 on the first return leg of the 80-mile diagram, leaving Bishops Lydeard just after a shower had passed through. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0


ADVANCE INFORMATION – the 10:00 Minehead diagram will again be hauled by one of the Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ on Sat/Sun 21/22 May. The BLUE TIMETABLE offers 80 miles of diesel-haulage with two return trips starting at Minehead. Keep up to date about future diesel running via DIESELGEN.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is based at Bishops Lydeard and is available for use as required.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is now receiving attention for a fairly short list of tasks that need to be dealt with before she can be returned to service. This loco will swap places with D1010 for the weekend of 21/22 May and go into the loco shed so that her paintwork can be cleaned and varnished in time for the Diesel Gala that takes place between 9th and 11th June.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – an engine run was performed on Saturday 14th May 2022 to ensure that all of her systems were functional. There is a short list of tasks that need to be completed to get this loco ready for service, so she will be the focus of attention in the coming weeks.

The loco was being used for target practice by the local seagull population, so sales team volunteer Mark took pity on her and treated her to a thorough wash-and-brush-up, and also provided us with the following photograph. Mark – many thanks for doing such a great job !

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 had attracted the ‘wrong kind of attention’ from the seagulls, so volunteer Mark used his day off as an opportunity to bring the loco back up to her usual sparkling-clean condition. Pictured at Williton on Monday 9th May 2022 by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues behind the scenes on the many small parts that need to be restored or replaced to allow the major assemblies to be re-installed. This week, a pair of new brake return springs were delivered, having been made to the original Swindon drawing and paid for by donations to the D9518 Restoration Fund. Thank you to all who have been donating to support the work being done on this loco !

D9518 – the two brand new brake return springs that were made to the BR-Swindon drawing by the Tested Spring Company at Tividale in the West Midlands (great service, by the way!) and paid for by donations to the D9518 Restoration Fund. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 14th May 2022 by Simon Purvis © CC BY-NC 3.0


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 continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. The latest readings from the meters on the loco show that the loco has been used for 364 hours and has covered 7,408 miles while out on hire in the southeast. This is remarkable and shows how well-suited the ‘Teddy Bear’ is to duties on this line. Well done D9526 !

As promised a few weeks’ ago, here are the photos from another excellent supplier, ICS Online in Preston, who have reconditioned the ‘spare’ starter motor for D9526 and turned the complete job around in less than two weeks. Fantastic service !

D9526 – the armature of the spare starter motor had suffered from overheating, so the team at ICS Online performed a thorough reconditoning of the part, restoring it to as-new performance. Photo dated 28th April 2022 by Iain Parker, ICS Online © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9526 – the field coils of the spare starter motor were removed and re-insulated to ensure reliable operation of this 110 V DC machine for many years to come. What an excellent service from the team at ICS Online in Preston. Photo dated 28th April 2022 by Iain Parker, ICS Online © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is currently stabled at Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and is expected to move to Grosmont during the coming week to enter the loco works for completion of some overhaul tasks, including the replacement of the ‘triple pump’ using the spare that has been shipped from Williton to Grosmont. After removal, the worn triple pump will be sent to a specialist firm for complete refurbishment and will become the new spare, and will be stored at Williton.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – no change this week.


If you can help by donating your time, then please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.

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 – see article above regarding ‘A Manual for Diesel Locomotive and DMU Drivers‘ by John Leach, available from our ONLINE STORE.


ON SHED – this week, with the news that Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 will be visiting the WSR, this is a good opportunity to present a photo of another class member that very nearly made it into preservation, after being transferred to the Railway Technical Centre (RTC) at Derby for use as a mobile generator. The loco is D8598, one of the batch that was built by Beyer Peacock in Manchester, to the ‘BR standard Type 1’ design, entering service in August of 1964. Unfortunately, the design was flawed and there was no real effort made to correct the issues, so all 117 locomotives were withdrawn from service by the end of 1971. Some had been cut up when less than four years old, but D8598 managed to avoid the cutting torch until 1979. Only D8568 survived into preservation, by working in industry until 1982, being acquired by our good friends at the DTG in 1983.

This photograph shows Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8598 at Longsight Diesel Depot on 19th January 1975. This loco only worked for seven years before being withdrawn from service at the end of 1971 – but survived until 1979 due to being of some use to the RTC who used it as a mobile generator (note the additional electrical conduits emanating from the tablet catcher recess near the double arrows logo). Photo by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0


DEPG NEWS – the station car park at Williton was dominated by twelve vintage Land Rovers on Saturday 14th May 2022 as the Somerset Series 1 Land Rover Club had arranged a visit to Williton depot for a guided tour. The tour lasted nearly three hours during which the group viewed our restoration projects and witnessed the start-up of ‘Hymek’ D7018, before heading off in convoy for a cream tea at Stogumber station. A very useful donation was received as a token of their appreciation !

Twelve Series 1 (1948 through 1958) Land Rovers gathered at Williton on Saturday 14th May 2022. Pictured in Williton Station car park by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


The 3-year lease for Unit 9 Roughmoor Business Centre (adjacent to our Williton depot) has been agreed and the DEPG will take over the unit later this month. This will provide us with sufficient covered and clean working space to allow the further disassembly and subsequent repair of the ‘B’ transmission from D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’. The DEPG already leases the adjacent Unit 8 but since the loss of use of the Old Goods Shed at Williton Station, Unit 8 is too crowded to permit further disassembly of the turbine rail.


ANOTHER NOTE FOR YOUR DIARY – the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the DEPG is scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd September 2022, at Williton. All members will be advised via the forthcoming Newsletter mailing, which will also include a nomination form for board appointments.


WSR NEWS: the next event will be the ‘SIXTIES DIESEL GALA’ that takes place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June when the DEPG facility at Williton will again be open to the public. Please make a plan to come along to this important event in support of both the WSR and the DEPG. Timetables for this gala have not yet been published but are expected very soon and will be shared via our DIESELGEN email bulletin service.

The timetables and the dates for the 2022 special events are as follows, so please make a note and ADD THESE DATES TO YOUR DEPG CALENDARS:


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