Beyer Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 was busy working the Minehead to Bishops Lydeard return service (two full round trips) on both Saturday and Sunday 25th/26th June. The 60-year-old loco looked like new and sounded absolutely wonderful ! D7018 was pictured at the first Williton station stop of the day on Saturday 25th June 2022 with DEPG stalwart Terry Deacon covering the secondman duties. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
The highly variable weather of the last weekend was made all the more tolerable by the sight and sound of ‘Hymek’ D7018 working a six-coach train on the Minehead to Bishops Lydeard diagram that includes two round trips totalling 80 miles of running. The blustery weather provided spells of bright sunshine punctuated by frequent and very heavy thunderstorms, complete with hail at times !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 paused at Washford station just after a shower had passed through, providing a perfect opportunity for this wonderful photo of the storm in the background, complete with a rainbow ! This has to be a 2023 DEPG calendar candidate – do you have photos that you think would be good for the next calendar ? Now is the time to submit them for consideration. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
For our next two running dates, Sat/Sun 03/04 July, ‘Hymek’ D7018 will again be hauling the two return services that originate at Minehead, so make the most of this opportunity to enjoy the ‘Maybach Music’ and come along to the WSR and take a ride. The loco will be stabled at Minehead throughout this week, providing a nice early 1960s embellishment to the GWR-era branch terminus.
The BLUE timetable applies and can be found by clicking this link or by visiting our new DIESEL RUNNING DATES page. Any additional or updated information will be announced by the WSR and via DIESELGEN as soon as possible.
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.
Last week, we featured a link to a webpage for Railbus W79978 which is about to undergo restoration at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. This 1958-vintage machine will be showcased at the S&CR Diesel Gala on 2nd and 3rd July where locomotives of classes 03, 08, 09 and 73 will also be active. Click here or on the images below for more information about W79978 that has been provided by owner and DEPG member Martin Rouse.
Railbus W79978 was undergoing testing at Hayes Knoll on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway on 25th June 2022 in preparation for her appearance at the S&CR Diesel Gala on Sat/Sun 2/3 July 2022. Photo by Dave Herbert © CC BY-NC 3.0
Railbus W79978 was in use for driver training purposes on 25th June 2022, seen here at Hayes Knoll on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway resulting in owner and DEPG member Martin Rouse being passed as a driver in readiness for demonstration runs at the S&CR Diesel Gala on Sat/Sun 2/3 July 2022. Photo by Dave Herbert © CC BY-NC 3.0
Several readers have commented on this feature and we will keep the W79978 web page updated with information and photos as we receive them from Martin. We also received some wonderful BR-era colour photos from well-known railwayman and author BERNARD MILLS showing the Railbus ready for work at Boscarne Junction in December 1966, just six weeks before these public services were withdrawn from what is now the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Many thanks to Bernard for sharing these images with us (see the W79978 page). We wish Martin good luck and every success with this excellent and worthwhile heritage restoration project.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER has been boosted by donations and by sponsorship of patches, but WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP, so click on the images below for an update of fundraising status or to make a donation. We are making steady progress on the restoration of this massive locomotive but we have a lot of expenses ahead of us, so we need to keep our fund raising effort going for a while longer yet. We know that times are hard, but please do what you can to help.
Continued progress on D1010 has now reached a milestone as Colin and his team have just completed ALL BODYWORK REPAIRS ON THE ‘A’ SIDE OF THE LOCOMOTIVE and will now turn their attention to the ‘A’ cab front and the cab sheeting on the secondman’s side (‘A’ end, ‘B’ side). Work to refit the many parts that have been removed is lagging behind due to attention having been diverted to diesel gala tasks and the repair of ‘Hymek’ D7017, but the dedicated D1010 team are making steady progress behind the scenes. PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !
D1010 – this view of ‘A’ end shows the ‘A’ side corner has been fully repaired and is now ready for repainting and for the engraving of sponsor names and numbers (see our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme). Can anyone provide any information about the ‘WESTERN RED GRIFFIN‘ headboard ? Photo taken at Williton on Saturday 25th June 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the driver’s side window frame repair (‘A’ side) has been completed and awaits the installation of the fairing that provides the finished look. The underlying strength has been restored by fresh steel. Photo taken at Williton on Tuesday 21st June 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the driver’s side window frame (‘A’ side) with the fairing added, also showing the 6mm diameter drain hole that will be monitored for water egress in future. Small features such as this will allow the locomotive to resist the forces of nature and prevent internal corrosion damage that often remains hidden until it reaches the outer skin. Photo taken at Williton on Tuesday 21st June 2022 by Colin Foxhall © 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 has returned to the role of standby locomotive and was also used to position Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 at Minehead in preparation for her two weekends of BLUE timetable duties. The Class 33 wil then be used to provide a training platform for three qualified steam locomotive drivers who want to add the Class 33 diesel to their driving portfolios, under the supervision of WSR Traction Inspector John Leach.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) hauled Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 from Williton to Minehead on 23rd June 2022 to position the ‘Hymek’ for her weekend duties under the BLUE timetable. The Class 33 also had her own tasks to perform from Minehead the following week. Image by Railcam UK and the WSR © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently at Williton undergoing attention to some minor issues, but remains in a serviceable condition in case she is called upon to assist in the running of the railway.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the loco is ready to go under the crane so that the roof panels can be lifted off. This will then allow the air intake ducting and intercooler to be lifted out so that the cambox that runs across all eight cylinders in the bank can then be removed. This will then reveal the number 1 cylinder head so that the joint ring can be replaced and any other issues attended to. We hope to be able to move the loco under cover to attend to this work, because putting the roof back on after every work session is very tedious ! Keep an eye on the Williton Railcam to monitor the progress with this loco.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – as covered earlier, this loco is stabled at Minehead and is next due to perform on the 10:00 and 14:30 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard return services on Sat/Sun 2nd/3rd July. Keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for updates or join the DIESELGEN email bulletin group (which also includes information about non-public services, where the information is available to us sufficiently in advance). Please come along and ride behind the ‘Hymek’ and support our diesel running opportunities if you can. Thanks !
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – more progress this week as the brake frame assembly has now been re-mounted on the loco frames and is ready to be connected up to the various pipes and conduits. This meticulously-restored and complex assembly includes all of the brake system control valves as well as the compressor and the air receivers. In parallel, the task of acquiring replacement couplings for the generator drive shaft has progressed as far as the quotation stage, but they have become very expensive. We are currently looking for opportunities to acquire a pair of new couplings at a more realistic price.
D9518 – the brake frame assembly has now returned to its proper position, bolted to the frames and straddling the generator (which is now painted black as per the original paint scheme) at the ‘short end’ of the loco. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th June 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the Laycock ‘Layrub’ two-point flexible couplings that are used at each end of the generator drive shaft are in need of replacement. It is too risky to attempt to replace the rubber bushes alone because a failure of this component in service would cause serious damage to all of the parts in the vicinity. So, we need to dig deep and buy two new couplings. Can you help us ? Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th June 2022 by Andy Royal © 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 the loco has again been substituting for a steam loco on a scheduled public service and is performing well and sounding great ! Well done D9526 !
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 can be seen on the left in this view of the yard outside Tenterden Shed, behind Stroudley A1X ‘Terrier’ 2678 (aka ‘Knowle’), with classmate D9504 opposite on the right. Pictured on 18th June 2022 by Simon Purvis © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – the loco has been ‘in the works’ at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the latest news is that triple pump has been replaced. There are some overhaul tasks still to be completed, but we hope to get news of her being out on a test run soon.
Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ was shunted into the yard at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on 8th June 2022 by resident English Electric Class 37 37 264 (D6964). Photo by DEPG member Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
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 – the continuing ‘buzz’ that has been created by the highly successful visit of Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 to the WSR has prompted us to obtain stock of the excellent book by Anthony P. Sayer that was featured in a book review by Neale Long back in August last year. The book review has been posted on our website so please click here to read it and then buy the book from our online store. We are offering this £40 epic for a discounted price of £36 which is the same price as being offered by the publisher. THANK YOU VERY MUCH to Neale Long for providing us with a detailed review of this book.
PLEASE NOTE that we can supply any book from PLATFORM 5 or PEN & SWORD or AMBERLEY via our online store. If the title that you want is not listed on our webstore, just email us or use our CONTACT FORM to tell us what you want and we will arrange it, the profit margin on the sale going to the LOCO FUND OF YOUR CHOICE.
Don’t miss these two excellent new titles, the profits from which will go to the D9518 Restoration fund:
ON SHED – staying with the Class 17 ‘Claytons’, here’s another shot from regular contributor Barry Gay, taken at a time when the whole class were being withdrawn from service and put into store, awaiting a decision about their future. In the end, all except D8568 were cut up for scrap. Many thanks to Barry for continually sharing his work with us.
This photograph shows four Class 17 ‘Claytons’ on one of the ‘scrap lines’ at Polmadie depot, Glasgow in 1971. The loco in full view of the camera being D8548. All of these locos had been robbed of parts by this stage, so they were doomed to an early appointment with the cutter’s torch. Some had only worked for three years. Photo by Barry Gay © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the Board met online on Friday 24th June 2022 so that the Saturday could be kept free for supporting the diesel-hauled services under the BLUE timetable. A synopsis of this meeting will be prepared ASAP and will be shared with all DEPG members, either by email or by post in the next Newsletter mailing (August).
This meeting resulted in several changes, including the appointment of CHRIS SHIELDS as MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY and the approval for the introduction of the ‘Membermojo‘ GDPR-compliant membership system that will help us maintain our membership records up-to-date and encourage new members.
We have emailed all members for whom we hold email addresses and we will be writing to those who have chosen the ‘paper’ method of communication. We will continue to offer a fully-paper-based membership option including payment by cheque … even by cash for those calling-in at Williton or attending a sales stand at an event.
MANY THANKS to Chris for taking on more work for the benefit of the DEPG !
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 have been advised via the May Newsletter mailing. The AGM document package will be sent out in August along with the next Newsletter.
The DEPG hosted a visit to 25 members of the WELLS RAILWAY FRATERNITY on the very hot afternoon of Wednesday 22nd June 2022 and provided a tour of the depot including cab visits to Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017. The visitors were suitably impressed and made the most of every minute until they had to head for home on the 17:15 service to Bishops Lydeard. Many thanks to Carol, Natalie and Mark Ireland for attending at Williton in support of this visit !
WSR NEWS: the next event on the WSR will be the ‘FORTIES WEEKEND‘ that takes place from Saturday 10th through Sunday 11th September when the DEPG facility at Williton will again be open to the public, complete with ROD SAUNDERS and his model railway sales stand. Please make a plan to come along to this event in support of both the WSR and the DEPG. Timetables for planned diesel running are now being published via our new DIESEL RUNNING DATES page and any updates will be shared via our DIESELGEN email bulletin service.
Between now and then, the WSRA will be hosting the long-awaited return of the STEAM RALLY at Norton Fitzwarren, so keep these dates free and make a plan to attend what promises to be a very enjoyable event !
This photograph shows five locomotives on shed at Westridge, Bishops Lydeard on 23rd June 2022, all except one being visitors to the WSR. From left to right, BR ‘standard’ 4-6-2 70000 ‘BRITANNIA’, with Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 the sole representive of the home fleet, then SR ‘West Country’ 4-6-2 34046 ‘BRAUNTON’ then Clayton Class 17 D8568 then a glimpse of BR Class 25 D7612. What a fantastic sight ! Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0