The Diesel Traction Group’s (DTG) unique surviving Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 was in fine form during the Severn Valley Railway’s Spring Diesel Festival that took place last week, the loco being used on a shuttle service between Kidderminster and Bewdley in top-and-tail mode with Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9551 at the other end of the train. Both locos are ‘centre cab’ designs, but the much larger ‘Clayton’ is a 900 HP twin-engined diesel-electric machine that was designed to overcome the issue of restricted forward visibility that affected the earlier ‘Type 1’ long-bonnet designs of Classes 15, 16 and 20. The ‘Claytons’ certainly addressed that issue with their low bonnet lines and their big windows.
The only survivor from a class of 117 examples, this loco will be headlining at the WSR’s ‘SIXTIES DIESEL GALA’ that will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022 and this will be the very first time that this locomotive class will have run on the Minehead branch, so we look forward to enjoying a real treat !
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.
Another loco making the news is the Western Locomotive Association’s (WLA’s) Class 52 D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ in her temporary guise as D1040 ‘WESTERN QUEEN’ to mark the 70th Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. This splendid loco will run as D1040 for the remainder of this season. The headcode 1M64 is that of a Class 1 (express passenger) working from the Western Region to the Midland Region – can anyone provide details on the specific working?
The WLA’s Class 52 D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ running as D1040 ‘WESTERN QUEEN’ was pictured at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway on Sunday 22nd May 2022. Photo by DEPG member Paul Mear © CC BY-NC 3.0
Back on our home turf, the WSR’s ‘SIXTIES DIESEL GALA’ is fast approaching and both of our Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 are undergoing attention to final details to prepare them for service. During the last weekend, D7017 moved inside the loco shed so that she could get a fresh coat of varnish to lift her tired paintwork and make her ‘look the part’ for her 60th year. The loco will need attention to some small areas of corrosion in advance of her next full repaint, but for this year, it was a case of a quick tidy-up and a focus on completion of remedial work associated with her recent bogie spring replacement. The two 60-year-olds made a fine sight in the sunshine, together again on number 1 road at Williton:
Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 are being prepared for service at Williton. D7017 has just received a fresh coat of varnish and this has made a tremendous difference to her appearance – thank you Graham ! Pictured on Sunday 22nd May 2022 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0
On Saturday 21st May 2022, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) hauled the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service as planned but remained attached to the ‘Taunton’ end when the train arrived at Bishops Lydeard. This was to allow sister loco D6575 (33 057) to take over the diagram for the rest of the day and again on Sunday. The reason for the switch was to allow D6566 to return to Williton for attention to a minor water leak that had been identified by a crew member on a previous working. The loco travelled back to Williton on the tail end of the 12:30 departure from Bishops Lydeard. The issue has now been resolved by Ian and Paul and both locos are available for service.
It was great to see Stuart Nelhams (now General Manager of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway) back in charge of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) with DEPG and WSR volunteer Chris Lawton as secondman, pictured during the Williton station stop on Sunday 22nd May 2022 while working the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard 80-mile diagram. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
DIESEL RUNNING DATES – the table of dates that we shared last week contained an error because the WSR have planned a full steam service for Sunday 19th June because it will be Father’s Day. The table below has been updated accordingly and we will be sending out a DIESELGEN bulletin to provide more details ASAP. Here’s the allocation for the 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’||20 miles D6566, 60 miles D6575 completed|
|Sunday 22nd May||Blue||Class 33 ‘Crompton’||80 miles – D6575 – completed|
|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 services steam-hauled (Father’s 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 please sign up to keep up to date.
FAST APPROACHING – 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. Your support is essential to help us maintain the pace of the restoration programme and get this majestic loco back into service as quickly as possible!
The need to get ‘Hymek’ D7017 under cover for her varnish top coat presented an opportunity to get D1010 out of the loco shed and into the sunshine. Here’s some photos showing the progress made during the last week:
D1010 – the ‘B’ end of the loco has progressed very well and attention is now being given to the surface finish by Roy and Bob so that the undercoat layer can be applied. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) can also be seen in this picture, taken at Williton on Saturday 21st May 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – a closer look at the ‘B’ end of the loco shows that the welding work has been completed and Roy is now able to concentrate on the paintwork. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st May 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – meanwhile, at the ‘A’ end of the loco, this view shows a series of re-purposed steel patches totalling eleven feet (3.3m) in length, all resulting from the corrosion caused by rain water ingress that accumulates on the deck plate when the loco is stored outdoors and not in regular use. The patches had to be applied in small sections and include plug-welds because the skin of the loco forms part of the load-bearing structure and it cannot be simply cut open and seam welded around the edges. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st May 2022 by Mark Ireland © 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 the first leg of the 10:00 Minehead diagram under the blue timetable as per our recent DIESELGEN bulletin but handed over to sister loco D6575 (33 057) for the rest of the diagram so that she could return to Williton for a repair to a minor coolant leak. The issue was resolved within a matter of hours and the loco was made ready to take up her new duty as standby locomotive.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) worked the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service on Saturday 21st May 2022 before handing over to sister loco D6575 (33 057) and tagging along for the ride back to Williton where the loco was detached from the rear of the train. The loco then made her way to the South Yard and is pictured receiving attention to a coolant leak. The minor repairs were completed by Ian and Paul within a matter of hours and the loco was again made available for service. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently based at Minehead and is available for use as required.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is now gleaming again, thanks to a fresh coat of varnish that has been applied by Graham. There are a few small tasks remaining to be completed, after which the loco will be ready to be returned to service. We are looking forward to seeing her back in action during the Diesel Gala that takes place between 9th and 11th June.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – with all of our attention having been diverted onto other things during the past few weeks, the decision was taken to leave the transmission of this loco locked in second gear for the immediate future, to ensure that she is available for the Diesel Gala and beyond. This loco operated in second gear for the whole of the 2021 season without difficulty, although it will mean that the power controller may need to be opened up a bit more to maintain timings with a 6-coach load. This should result in plenty of ‘Maybach Music’ to accompany her efforts !
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – more new parts have been sourced to assist with the restoration of this loco, the latest acquisitions being a new set of steel pins and collars for the brake rigging, machined by Yeovil-based VGG Group 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 – a set of new brake pins and collars have been machined by Yeovil-based VGG Group to complete the brake rigging on this loco, paid for by donations to the D9518 Restoration Fund. The good quality work and the excellent turnaround time tells us that we have found another good supplier that we can use for other parts in the future. One of the ‘old parts’ is shown in the foreground for reference. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 17th May 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – The two reconditioned Reavell exhausters that create the vacuum for the train braking system were retrieved from storage and are undergoing a re-paint before installing them onto the loco frames. Click here for a very interesting story of engineering work that was performed by Terry Deacon with materials specialist TENMAT during the restoration work on these machines. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st May 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – The engine-driven (via the transmission) 110 VDC auxillary generator was retrieved from storage and is ready to be re-installed onto the loco frames. This machine was completely reconditioned by well-known firm BOWERS ELECTRICAL, in Heanor, Derbyshire. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st May 2022 by Terry Deacon © 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 news is that loco continues to perform well and is being looked after by the Class 14 experts at the railway in addition to the periodic visits from our own Class 14 team leader Simon. We hope to include some photographs of this loco soon.
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.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this very useful locomotive was in use again over the weekend, shunting our locos around so that D7017 could get into the loco shed. Here’s a photo showing the loco in action:
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) was in use again on 21st and 22nd May 2022 and is pictured shunting D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ and ‘Hymek’ D7018 into number 1 road at Williton. Photo by Paul Clark © CC BY-NC 3.0
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 – the excellent new 240-page book entitled ‘A Manual for Diesel Locomotive and DMU Drivers‘ by WSR and DEPG volunteer John Leach is selling very well, which is no surprise because it is a very high quality piece of work and is very well produced. It has even been printed in the UK, which is even more good news! This book is available from our stock for the discounted price of £34.95 from our ONLINE STORE. We will be offering this book for sale from both the Williton and Minehead DEPG sales stands at the WSR’s ‘SIXTIES DIESEL GALA’ from Thursday 9th June through Saturday 11th June 2022.
ON SHED – last week, we featured a photo of a Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8598 that we said had been transferred to the Railway Technical Centre at Derby for use as a mobile generator. This was not the case, as pointed out by long-term DEPG member Neville Sloper who wrote as follows:
“D8521 was the RTC mobile generator. D8598 was used for in-cab signalling trials on the Styal line, hence it often being seen at Longsight. It was also the test bed for the E70 brake unit, as used in the HST and class 56 and the pipes seen coming from the former tablet catcher recess are actually air brake pipes (the brake pipe is visible on the buffer beam on the Longsight photo).
Many thanks to Neville for taking the time to set the record straight. We always welcome such feedback, aimed at ensuring the accuracy and reliability of information that we are presenting. As a result, the photo below now has a revised caption:
This photograph shows Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8598 at Longsight Diesel Depot (Manchester) 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 test bed for in-cab signalling and for the E70 brake control unit (note the additional pipework emanating from the tablet catcher recess and also on the right hand side of the buffer beam). Photo by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0
A new on-shed photo that is highly topical has been provided by well-known heritage railway engineer Bob Meanley and shows another appropriately-named Class 52 ‘Western’, in this case D1064 ‘WESTERN REGENT’ at the Exeter St. Davids ‘stabling point’ (a term that often denotes a place that was formerly a ‘proper’ shed in steam days, but has been downgraded subsequently). The photo was taken from Platform 6 and shows one of the many water columns that were fed from the giant water tank at the south end of the station (off to the left of this picture). The former steam shed (off to the right of the picture) was just a collection of walls by this time, the roof having been removed some time previously. Open countryside and the banks of the River Exe form the background. Many thanks to Bob for sending his photograph to us to share.
This photograph shows Class 52 D1064 ‘WESTERN REGENT’ at Exeter St. Davids stabling point in July 1968. This loco was built at Crewe and entered service in May 1963, initially based at Cardiff Canton depot. The loco was painted into BR-blue livery in March 1968, just four months prior to this photo being taken. Withdrawal came in December 1975 due to minor accident damage that was deemed beyond economic repair. Photo by Bob Meanley © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the Board will be meeting at Williton at 1030 on the morning of Saturday 28th May so please let me know if you have a question that you would like to have tabled at that meeting.
The May Newsletter is in the works and is planned for distribution next week. We have a short list of members who have stated that they only want an electronic copy, but all other members will be sent a paper copy. Let me know if you want to go ‘paperless’.
AN IMPORTANT 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.