NOTE : Apologies for the lateness of the roundup posting this week.
The WSR’s ex-BR 1960 Swindon-built Class 03 shunter D2133 was in action offering brake van rides at Norton Fitzwarren over the weekend of 6/7 August 2022. The loco is running on the truncated remains of the Taunton to Barnstaple line, so the headboard of the famous Paddington to Penzance express seems to have inadvertently become placed on the wrong loco. Photo by CRE driver Rich Hiscox © CC BY-NC 3.0
The major event of last weekend was the WSRA’s STEAM AND VINTAGE RALLY that occupied a massive area at Norton Fitwarren and turned out to be a wonderful occasion that was very well supported by the public with in excess of 8,000 people attending over the two days. The weather was perfect (on the hot side of perfect for me) and the events and exhibits were plentiful. All of this was supported by some excellent refreshment vendors and a very large dose of happy atmosphere and friendliness all around. WELL DONE TEAM WSRA ! OUTSTANDING !!
Rare Italian McLaren traction engine 1148 ‘HERCULES’ was in operation at the STEAM AND VINTAGE RALLY on 6/7 August 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
1900-built Aveling & Porter steam roller number 4604 ‘MONA’ was in fine form at the STEAM AND VINTAGE RALLY on 6/7 August 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
The WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) was pictured while resting between trips on the free shuttle service that ran between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren throughout the STEAM AND VINTAGE RALLY on Sat/Sun 06/07 August 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Back to DEPG activities and our ‘celebrity’ Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR‘ had to take a break last weekend due to needing a new set of brake blocks. However, she was snapped while out and about on the Wednesday by our area correspondent Martin Fisher, who provided us with more great views of the loco and the NYMR, one of which appears below. Many thanks to Martin for sharing his work with us.
Also making the news last week was Class 14 D9526 because of a steam ban in the dry and parched area of the Kent & East Sussex Railway which meant that the ‘Teddy Bear’ and their resident DMU were the only forms of usable motive power on the railway. So, after having fractured her exhaust bellows the week before and returning to operation after that repair, D9526 was undergoing a scheduled inspection when what looked like a loose spring support bracket was discovered and the loco was stopped again! When things go wrong, they tend to go wrong on multiple locos at the same time, so I’ll say no more about this until the next roundup. Watch this space !
D9526 was pictured while working hard on the short sharp 1:70 climb out of Wittersham Road station on 2nd August 2022. Note the low height signals on this ‘Colonel Stephens’ light railway. Photo by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0
And now for a light-hearted take on the various steam bans that are in force across much of the UK … a very imaginative piece of artwork, courtesy of the KESR !
The modified YELLOW timetable went into force on the WSR last Tuesday 2nd August and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) worked the 11:00 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and the 15:25 return service on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as planned. The weekend was all steam except for the DMU running to Norton Fitzwarren on the Rally shuttle, but the continuing dry spell had left the embankments tinder dry and two significant fires broke out, one near Williton on Saturday 6th and another near Blue Anchor on Sunday 7th, so the WSR decided to impose a steam ban and revert to the BLUE timetable with the two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ providing the haulage as from Monday 8th.
As mentioned before, things tend to happen in clusters and we again ran into trouble with Class 33 D6566 (33 048) on the Monday and the DMU had to be pressed into service to save the day. More about this in the next roundup, but suffice to say that all locos have returned to serviceable status now.
We kept our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page updated throughout the affected days and we have a DIESELGEN bulletin lined up for later today to spread the news about the planned running this coming weekend (FOUR ‘Cromptons’ on the WSR). 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.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – we will need to keep it brief this week but there was plenty of progress on this loco, as can be seen from the photos below. Please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of fresh metal that needs engraving ! Thank you in advance for your support !
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 corroded upper buffer beam valance strip at ‘A’ end was removed to assess the underlying structure and this is what we found ! Evidence of previous collision damage, probably dating back to 1972 which was when the loco was last repaired at Swindon Works. Don’t worry, it will all be sorted out by the next roundup. Pictured at Williton on 2nd August 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – Step 1 is to put shape and strength back into the structure that sits behind the valance strip, as this photo of the left side of ‘A’ end shows. Step 2 will be presented in the next roundup. Pictured at Williton on 2nd August 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – one of the headcode frames has been fitted with new rubber seals around the glass – a task that was every bit as difficult as it looks. Well done Gordon for persevering ! Pictured at Williton on 6th August 2022 by Tom Courtney © 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 or code word will be allocated and engraved instead.
See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco was stabled at Williton throughout the weekend and moved to Minehead on Monday morning to take up her unexpected additional duties. The rest, as they say, is history!
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change last week due to non-availaibilty of the people with the appropriate knowledge and the continuing need to perform some maintenance tasks on sister loco D7018. Progress is expected to resume THIS Saturday with a view to getting the loco out on test later this month.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – some light maintenance tasks were performed on this loco last weekend.
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 – efforts are currently focussed on the restoration of the braking mechanism, with the various components such as bushes and pins needing replacing to return the system to the working tolerances that are needed for safe and reliable operation. The photo below shows the trial fitment of one of the brake blocks. In parallel, John Cooke continued his work on the restoration of the electrical control cubicle, having removed all of the control parts from the hinged front panel so that it can be repainted.
D9518 – the braking mechanism is currently undergoing refurbishment at Williton. This view shows the trial fitment of one of the new cast iron brake blocks mounted on the brake hanger. Pictured on 6th August 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 – as already covered, this loco is in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. The week before last, a fractured exhaust bellows caused a bit of an uproar (literally) but the local team saved the day and installed a new spare part from their stock. Here’s a picture of the fractured part that was returned to Williton by Colin G, who went to the KESR last week for driver refresher training.
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. We need help to complete the livery details on this locomotive. Please let us know if you could help with this work. Click here for the CONTACT form. Thanks !
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 – here’s a reminder that we have added a new book to our online store 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 – apologies, but we will have to skip this feature this week.
DEPG NEWS – the August Newsletter has been printed and will be mailed out to DEPG members on Friday 12th August 2022, along with the AGM calling notice and the synopses of the last three Board Meetings. For those members with the ‘FULLY PAPERLESS’ option selected via Membermojo, the Newsletter and other documents will be delivered to you by email, either on Friday or Saturday 12/13 August.
Please let us know (click here for the CONTACT form) if you have not received your copy by Monday or Tuesday next week, so that we can check and resend the package.
Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive. Membership is INCREASING STEADILY ! 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 Membership Secretary Chris Shields using email address: email@example.com
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.