Beyer Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 went out for a test run on Saturday 4th June 2022 to ensure that they were ready to perform in the WSR’s ‘Sixties Diesel Gala’ that will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022. The pair were pictured standing at Allerford Junction in the Norton Fitzwarren section. The line to the former Barnstaple branch can be seen heading off to the right. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
D7017 and D7018 were photographed by DEPG member and volunteer Mark Ireland from his vantage point on Norton Bridge as they came to a stand at Allerford Junction in the Norton Fitzwarren section. No doubt he was hoping that the locos would pass under the bridge …. but they didn’t. Photo by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0
Our ‘Hymek’ crew got their own back by photographing the photographer – Mark Ireland – as he waited patiently on Norton Bridge for the locos to enter the triangle section. Telephoto shot by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
We are delighted to announce that both of our Class 35 ‘Hymek’ diesel-hydraulics have been declared service-ready after a proving run between Williton and Norton Fitzwarren last Saturday 4th June 2022. The pair were put through their paces on the climbs to the summit of the line at Crowcombe Heathfield and the additional testing in the Norton Fitzwarren section ensured that both locos were able to be load tested to an equal degree before returning to Williton.
These two locos will again leave Williton on Tuesday morning 7th June and will relocate to Bishops Lydeard for the duration of the WSR’s ‘Sixties Diesel Gala’ that will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022. This is also convenient for a ‘Quantock Belle’ private charter service that will depart from Bishops Lydeard at 13:15 on the Tuesday for a run to Minehead and back, the sight and sound of a ‘Hymek’ combining with the delights of ‘QB’ dining to make a highly memorable day for those on board.
Our two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ are already in position, with D6566 (33 048) at Bishops Lydeard and D6575 (33 057) at Minehead, and Class 25 D7612 (25 262, 25 901) will be arriving at Bishops Lydeard on Tuesday 7th from Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway and will be fuelled and inspected at Westridge Shed the following day.
The Diesel Traction Group’s (DTG) unique surviving Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 is also being prepared for loading at the Severn Valley Railway, although the transport arrangements have had to change due to an issue with the low-loader, so this loco will now be travelling to Somerset on Wednesday. The team from the DTG will be on hand when the loco arrives and together with the DEPG and WSR staff, will prepare the loco to enter service on the Thursday as planned, so multiple groups are working closely together on the preparations to make sure that the WSR put on a great show !
The timetables can be found by clicking the below links or by visiting our new DIESEL RUNNING DATES page. More details about the event can be found on the WSR website. Any additional or updated information will be announced by the WSR and via DIESELGEN as soon as possible.
|Thursday 9th June||TT for 09JUN22||D6575, D7017, D7018, D7612, D8568|
|Friday 10th June||TT for 10JUN22||D6566, D6575, D7017, D7018, D7612, D8568|
|Saturday 11th June||TT for 11JUN22||D6566, D6575, D7017, D7018, D7612, D8568|
The DTG’s unique Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 is pictured departing from Highley with a rake of vintage GWR coaches while on a shuttle service to Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway. Photo dated 19th May 2022 by Steve Hampton © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 25 D7612 (25 262, 25 901) is pictured leading classmate and SDDT stablemate D7535 (25 185) across Marsh Common on the approach to Minehead on 22nd June 2019. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
DIESEL RUNNING DATES – we have created a new page on our website and we will be updating it on a regular basis to provide a quick and easy reference to diesel running for the whole of the 2022 season. We will be adding the link to all of our most-visited pages soon, but meanwhile the link can be found on our home page or by looking under the DIESELGEN menu header.
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.
OTHER ARRANGEMENTS that are being made in advance of the WSR’s 2022 DIESEL GALA that will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022 are the introduction of new signs at our depot at Williton, to let the public know that the depot is OPEN TO VISITORS on each of the gala days. We will also be welcoming Rod Saunders and his Model Railway trading post to the depot again on each of the gala days, so please do come along and view the restoration work that is taking place on D1010 and D9518, and browse the model railway stand as well.
Our SALES STANDS will be up and running at both Williton and Minehead throughout the event, and this year we are offering a LIMITED NUMBER of wooden replica D1010 numberplates that have been very carefully made by Rob Riley. These are very high quality items and are sure to sell out very quickly. The selling price is £75 each but fully-paid-up members will be eligible for a £15 discount – but ONLY AT THE GALA – so come along and buy your plate during the event ! (we will gladly take orders for delivery in the future, though)
Photo by Chris Shields © CC BY-NC 3.0
Also courtesy of Rob Riley, we have the LONGEST ‘Western’ NAMEPLATE EVER with our fantastic ‘CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER’ nameplate that measures just over THREE METRES in length (9ft 11″ in fact) and is intended to draw attention to the campaign for the restoration of this much loved machine. We are making excellent progress with the restoration so COME ALONG TO WILLITON and take a look for yourself !
Many thanks to Rob for his excellent craftmanship and for working so hard to get our order completed in time for the gala, and thanks also to our own volunteers for restoring the loco so that she could proudly wear this plate ! Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND AT THE DIESEL GALA – then watch the action from the webcams that have been provided by RAILCAM UK covering six different views along the line (seven if you sign up with Railcam UK). MANY THANKS to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these excellent services free of charge and therefore inclusive to all. Brilliant !
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. We are making good progress on the restoration of this massive locomotive, but our fund raising needs to keep pace so that our volunteers can obtain the materials and spare parts as we go along. We know that there are a lot of competing causes at present, but please do what you can to help.
More progress on D1010 was made last week with the repair of the driver’s side window surround and handrail attachment on the other side of the ‘A’ end of the locomotive (currently the ‘Minehead’ end). We won’t go into details in this roundup because we want to focus on the gala, but we will be on hand to show you the work that is taking place when you visit the depot.
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.
We will also be engraving more patches during quiet moments during the gala, so SPONSOR A PATCH and watch it being engraved at the depot !
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 is at Bishops Lydeard and is ready for gala duties.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is at Minehead and is ready for gala duties.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco will move to Bishops Lydeard on Tuesday 7th June for fuelling and will work her gala services from the Bishops Lydeard end of the line.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – as above, but this loco will also work a ‘Quantock Belle’ private charter from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back on Tuesday 7th June – more on this very special charter service next week.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – some HIGHLY visible progress was made on this loco over the last weekend, but we will hold back on the photos until next week’s instalment.
This loco is on display and the quality of the restoration work will quickly become apparent upon inspection, so please do come along and take a look.
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 and will miss the diesel gala this year, but we hope to have her back next year, perhaps with her current stablemate D9504 who is currently undergoing an overhaul at the K&ESR. Let’s see what the new year brings !
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 on WEDNESDAY 8th June 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. We hope to share the evidence of the move soon !
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is currently stabled in the yard at Williton and will be on display in her new livery of MOD deep bronze green. We have yet to complete the signwriting for her cabside detail and we also need to add the black diagonals to her buffer beams, but all will be done in the fullness of time. Take a look at this very useful locomotive when you visit the depot.
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 – we will skip this feature this week, but next week we will announce additional titles that will be added to our online store and will also be available on our sales stands, should the shipment arrive in time !
ON SHED – we have received a number of photos from Neville Sloper’s collection and one that is quite appropriate as we celebrate the return to service of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 is this photo of the loco shortly after purchase from BR by the D+EG (forerunner of the DEPG) and before the loco was able to move to its new home on the fledgling WSR. Many thanks to Neville for sharing his photos with us all.
Ex-BR Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 stands between Bagnall 0-6-0ST 2994 ‘VULCAN’ and a pair of Class 25s at Taunton stabling point, some time between August 1975 and March 1976. Photo by Neville Sloper © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the May Newsletter has been mailed out and should be delivered this week, except for those members who have stated that they wanted an electronic copy, in which case they should have already received it. Just let me know if you want to go ‘paperless’ in future, and also let me know if you don’t receive your copy one way or another by the end of the week.
Just a quick look at the statistics, we emailed the members for whom we hold email addresses (two thirds of our total number) and half of those emails were replied to within a matter of days (which is a very creditable response rate). Of those members who replied, three quarters opted for PAPERLESS, so the trend is clear. Thank you to all who responded so quickly. For those who opted for PAPER, we will be reviewing the options for a higher quality and larger sized newsletter when we review our membership rates, and will announce our plans in advance of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on Saturday 3rd September.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE FOR YOUR DIARY – the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the DEPG is scheduled to take place in 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 ‘SIXTIES DIESEL GALA’ takes place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June and also includes additional entertainment and items of interest, the details of which can be found on the WSR website. 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 now been published on our new DIESEL RUNNING DATES page and any updates will be shared via our DIESELGEN email bulletin service.