BR 1965 Crewe-built Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR‘ is now in regular service on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and doing a great job, including working ‘THE MOORLANDER’ Pullman service, pictured at Pickering on Wednesday 21st July 2022. Photo by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Continuing to make the news is our Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR‘ who has been out and about, running between Grosmont and Pickering on the NYMR on a daily basis, due to the very high fire risk in that area and the need to support steam loco operations. The very rugged nature of the NYMR route can be seen from the below picture of the loco and train near Moorgates, and the picture further below shows Newtondale Halt, which is a very remote place that cannot be reached by car. This halt was built by the NYMR for the benefit of walkers. The point from which the photo was taken is over a mile away from the nearest road, so it is rarely photographed !
Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR‘ is standing-in for the customary steam loco on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s ‘THE MOORLANDER’ Pullman service, pictured at Moorgates while heading for Pickering on Wednesday 21st July 2022. Photo by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR‘ is pictured while passing the Newtondale Halt request stop while hauling the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s ‘THE MOORLANDER’ Pullman service on Wednesday 21st July 2022. The remoteness and natural beauty of this location is apparent. Photo by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Many thanks to Martin Fisher for hiking across the moors to get these photographs !
Returning to events on our home line, Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 worked the 10:00 Minehead diagram (80 miles) on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July, the Sunday service being especially busy as a result of the WSR’s VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT drive that resulted in more than 70 people engaging with presenters from each of the main volunteering areas of the WSR (DEPG included), first receiving a presentation as a group and then splitting up into individual discussions with representatives from the volunteering areas.
The objective was to attract potential volunteers and showcase the very wide range of opportunities that exist on a railway that is the size of the WSR, and the objective was well and truly achieved. We hope to see several new faces joining the teams during the coming weeks !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 waits at the head of the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service on Sunday 24th July 2022, the first coach being reserved for the prospective volunteers who had expressed their interest in joining one or more of the volunteer groups on the WSR. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 hauled the scheduled ‘BLUE TIMETABLE‘ turns last weekend, and was pictured approaching Doniford Halt on Sunday 24th July 2022 with the 14:30 service from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0
Starting NEXT WEEK, the YELLOW timetable applies and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) will be working the 11:00 Bishops Lydeard to Minhead and the 15:25 return on most weekdays. Details can be found our new DIESEL RUNNING DATES page. Any additional or updated information will be announced via DIESELGEN as soon as possible. MANY THANKS for supporting this year’s DIESEL RUNNING program on the WSR.
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.
Another nice surprise this last weekend was the test run of the WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) between Minehead and Williton on Sunday afternoon, 24th July 2022. The 1960-vintage machine was pictured at Williton where it reversed direction and returned to Minehead with a fairly short task list of issues to be resolved before it can resume regular duties on the WSR. The DMU is booked as haulage on the Norton Fitzwarren shuttle services in connection with the WSRA’s STEAM & VINTAGE RALLY that takes place on 6th and 7th August 2022. WELL DONE TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THE DMU !
The WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) was out on a test run on Sunday afternoon, 24th July 2022 and according to driver Paul Fleet, she performed well, considering the length of time that she has been out of service. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER has reached its FIRST ANNIVERSARY and continues to progress well, with both the funds and the progress on restoration moving along at a decent pace. We are in the process of updating the fund contributions and adding the Gift Aid so that we can announce the total for the first year, and we will then refresh the campaign page on JustGiving and open up a few new fundraising sources as well.
WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP, so click on the images to make a donation. We know that times are hard, but please do what you can to help.
The ‘CAMPAIGNER’ team continue their work on restoring this massive and complex locomotive. Although bodywork repairs have progressed well, we still have a lot of rubbing down and painting to do, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !
D1010 – the ‘B’ (secondman’s) side of ‘A’ end gets attention from Geoff at Williton on Monday 18th July 2022, this time cleaning out the dirt and debris that has accumulated on the deck plate over the years. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the ‘B’ (secondman’s) side of ‘A’ end has been re-skinned after re-construction of the underlying framework. The plug welding technique has to be used to form a sufficiently deep and solid connection between the skin and the framework. Pictured at Williton on 19th July 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the newly installed skin patches have been marked up and allocated to 33 sponsors (a mixture of £25 patches and £50 patches), thereby raising another £1,000 towards the cost of restoring this locomotive. More sponsor names will be added this coming Saturday. Pictured at Williton on Sunday 24th July 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the cab floor structure at the secondman’s side of ‘A’ end has undergone extensive repair and now has sufficient strength and stiffness restored. Pictured at Williton on 19th July 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 !
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is at Williton and has undergone the planned 50-hour ‘A’ exam and has been subjected to an evaluation of her engine oil heat exchanger. Recent oil sample tests have reported the presence of water and traces of copper in the oil, which points at the heat exchanger because this is basically a set of copper tubes with hot engine oil flowing through the tubes and cool water flowing around the tubes. Although a leak is suspected, the amount of leakage is minor and the loco has been cleared for a return to service, subject to regular monitoring. A replacement heat exchanger is being sourced and will be fitted as soon as it is available.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently at Bishops Lydeard and is available for service.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – Major progress was made with the help of Maybach specialist Bob Clegg, supported by Leroy and Simon B, resulting in the errant cylinder head being removed and replaced along with a new sealing ring, and the engine is now being reassembled again. Inspection of the piston and bore revealed no other causes for concern, so the issue has been confined to the cylinder head and sealing ring. Both were replaced as a precautionary measure, using spares from our stock. Leroy and Simon B then continued with the re-assembly stages, with the cam box lowered into position and ready for alignment and bolting down this coming Saturday. The photos below show the progress, so VERY WELL DONE GUYS !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 number 1 cylinder head was removed and inspected at Williton on Saturday 23rd July 2022. The six valves (three inlet, three exhaust) can be seen, equally spaced around the central combustion chamber. Apart from the areas marked as ‘leaks’, the cylinder head is in very good condition after approximately ten years of running since the last overhaul. Photo by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the single-piece cam box was prepared for re-installation by Simon B (left) and Leroy at Williton on Saturday 23rd July 2022. By the end of the day, it was back in place on the engine. Well done guys ! Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is currently stabled at Minehead and is due to return to Williton as a ‘light engine’ move on Saturday 30th July, scheduled to depart from Minehead at 11:35 and planned to arrive at Williton at 12:20 so our yard will be starting to fill up again !
The next scheduled dates for ‘Hymek’ running are the 10:00 and 14:30 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard return services on Sat/Sun 3rd/4th September. Between now and then, our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ will be in regular use, so 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).
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – progress continues with work being done on key components before they can be refitted to the frames. Last week saw further progress on braking system components such as the slack adjusters pictured below, and also on various other small parts that all need to be cleaned, inspected and restored before the next major stage of reassembly can take place.
D9518 – the loco shed at Williton, pictured when quiet at the end of the day on Sunday 24th July 2022, shows three major projects in progress, with the Class 14 in the foreground, ‘Hymek’ D7017 right behind and D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ on the right, the view partly blocked by the Paxman V6 engine for D9518, wrapped up until space becomes available for the engine overhaul to begin. Photo 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 is still in regular use and performing well on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. Here’s a photo showing our loco at the head of a 4-coach train from Bodiam, this time comprising BR Mark 1 coaching stock rather than the much older wooden-bodied coaches visible on the other side of the water tower:
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this little loco is fully operational and is stabled in the yard at Williton. She is hiding under a tarpaulin to prevent the fresh paintwork from being damaged by seagull droppings.
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 – this week, we have added a new book to our online store, this time from Amberley Publishing and featuring GREEN DIESELS from the late 1950s through to the 1970s. This softcover book is an interesting read and is well worth the price of £14.99 so please support our online store and click here to buy your copy. Thanks !
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 – this week, we feature a photograph that was taken at Old Oak Common diesel depot (3 miles from Paddington) by long-time DEPG member Neville Sloper some time in 1975, showing our very own D7017 along with sister loco D7029, also preserved and undergoing restoration in the hands of the Diesel Traction Group (DTG) on the Severn Valley Railway. A Class 50 and a Class 47 also get a look in, but their numbers were not recorded at the time. The date can only have been between 13th March 1975 which was when the last four ‘Hymeks’ were withdrawn from service, and July 1975 because that is when D7017 was towed to Taunton in the ownership of the D+EG (forerunner of the DEPG). Looking at the work that was being undertaken on the loco, it was probably in June or July (we will try to find out). Many thanks to Neville for sharing his photo with us.
Two of the four Class 35 ‘Hymek’ survivors D7017 and D7029 were pictured together at Old Oak Common depot, some time after their withdrawal from service in 1975. Photo by Neville Sloper © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – a Board Meeting was held at Williton and via Zoom last Friday evening and a wide range of issues were discussed and decisions taken. A synopsis will be produced ASAP and will be sent to all members for whom we hold a valid email address. A hard copy of the last three synopses will be sent out with the next edition of the quarterly DEPG NEWSLETTER, which is scheduled for mailing in early August.
Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive. If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at your membership record and make sure that it is correct. You will also be able to select ‘paper’, ‘paperless’ or ‘paperless except newsletter’ communication, according to your preference. In the event of any discrepancies, please email Chris Shields using firstname.lastname@example.org
The DEPG is well known as a major supporter of the West Somerset Railway, and what better way to show our support than to have our Chairman (and duty ‘Hymek’ driver), Martin Howard and our Maybach engine specialist Bob Clegg ‘do their bit’ to keep the trains running on time – as you will see from the photo below:
Sheep on the line at Williton Station on Saturday 23rd July 2022, shepherded expertly by the DEPG’s Bob Clegg (hi-vis) and Chairman and duty loco driver Martin Howard, with the permission of the signalman and in full view of the signalbox. Photo by Steve Bailey © CC BY-NC 3.0
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 & VINTAGE RALLY at Norton Fitzwarren, so keep these dates free and make a plan to attend what promises to be a very enjoyable event !