Former DEPG Chairman the late John Cronin was presented with a special birthday cake on the occasion of his 75th Birthday in August 2017, after dining aboard the ‘Quantock Belle‘. Photo from the DEPG archives © CC BY-NC 3.0
Some sad news reached us as this edition of Roundup was being prepared. Our former Chairman John Cronin passed away in the early afternoon of Tuesday 4th October at the age of 80, after a long fight with illness that affected his mobility in recent years.
Well-known in railway circles, having been the manager of BR’s Bristol Bath Road Traction Maintenance Depot until its closure in 1995, John joined the DEPG after retirement from BR, quickly becoming involved in our quarterly newsletter production before becoming Company Secretary in the year 2000. John succeeded Bob Tiller as Chairman in 2009 and made his mark on the Group before stepping down from the role upon reaching the age of 75, back in 2017.
John was very proud of his Yorkshire roots and we have found some photos of the ‘Quantock Belle’ dining train that carried ‘THE YORKSHIREMAN’ headboard for the occasion of his 75th birthday. During this journey, John was presented with an appropriately decorated birthday cake !
We remember John for his massive contribution to the DEPG over many years and we offer our condolences to all affected by this loss.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 hauled the ‘Quantock Belle‘ dining service on 20th August 2017, during which our former Chairman the late John Cronin was presented with a special birthday cake on the occasion of his 75th Birthday. Pictured at Minehead, ready for the return leg of the journey. Photo from the DEPG archives © CC BY-NC 3.0
Those of us who have worked with John will know that his instructions following his demise would be simply “get on with it then“, so that is exactly what we intend to do.
Last Friday 30th September, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was employed on a freight working out and back from Minehead. This was an engineering train to pick up and drop off various items at various points along the line, so the travelling crane was included in the consist. The weather deteriorated as the day wore on, but a lucky glimpse at the Seaward Way Railcam allowed a screen shot to be captured just as the working cleared the level crossing, as below:
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured returning to Minehead after working an engineering train to Bishops Lydeard and back on Friday 30th September 2022. Image captured from the Seaward Way Railcam, courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR © CC BY-NC 3.0
As from Saturday 1st October, the RED timetable came into effect, with services reduced from 4 to 3 trains each way per day. THIS COMING WEEKEND 8th/9th and again on 15th/16th October, we have Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) running for 40 miles from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back, under the RED timetable.
We have kept our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page updated throughout all of the timetable and traction changes that took place during the year and will keep this page available as a detailed record of public running for 2022. We will create a new page for 2023 as soon as timetables have been agreed and published.
MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE TRAVELLED for supporting this year’s DIESEL RUNNING program on the WSR.
The last week was the ‘AUTUMN WORK WEEK’ where those volunteers who were able to spend a block of time at Williton engaged in the kind of tasks that otherwise take ages if stretched out over many weekends. MANY THANKS to all who gave their time at Williton last week.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this loco was the major beneficiary of the ‘work week’ effort and was painted in her first coat of maroon using gloss paint in case the loco has to spend some time outside during the winter. At present, D1010 occupies one of the two roads inside our loco shed at Williton, but if the covered space is needed for heavy maintenance on one of our other locos, D1010 will need to vacate to make space. In that eventuality, the use of gloss paint will give additional protection. While the loco remains inside the loco shed, the team will work along the locomotive in small areas, section by section, rubbing back, filling and painting again, to improve the surface finish and ensure proper protection.
Please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved 30 patches recently and we have another 100+ still to do, so the scheme has been very successful (well done Colin F for suggesting it). Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are stretched at the moment. Click the image below and sponsor a patch now. Thank you in advance for your support !
We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !
D1010 – long-time DEPG member and regular work week volunteer Gary was pictured while painting the buffer beam at the ‘A’ end of the loco at Williton on Wednesday 28th September 2022 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the ‘A’ end now carries the original colour scheme that the loco carried for the first 16 weeks of her BR service, prior to the addition of the small yellow warning panel. The finish will improve when our volunteers reach this area with their rubbing-down and filling work. Pictured at Williton on Thursday 29th September 2022 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – by Friday, the ‘B’ end was similary adorned and the ‘B’ side completed. CONGRATULATIONS to our whole team of volunteers and the many sponsors for transforming the fortunes of this loco during the last fifteen months. Pictured at Williton on Friday 30th September 2022 by Martin Howard © 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 of your choice will be engraved instead.
See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco continues to get attention to various small tasks while waiting for her heat exchanger to return from contract repair, which is expected some time in mid-October.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Minehead and being the WSR Duty Loco, is fully serviceable. She will move to Bishops Lydeard when convenient for the Operations Department, prior to taking up her remaining public service duties, as listed on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page, which shows that she has been the busiest loco of our home fleet this year. Well done D6575 !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the turbocharger oil feed issue that prevented the previous start-up attempt was resolved and the engine checked carefully in preparation for a start-up, but time ran out and the start was postponed to next weekend. We hope to bring news of this in the next roundup.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco was also the subject of attention during work week. The transmission casing was opened up so that the transmission control block could be exchanged with a known good spare that had to be taken out of the transmission that was last used in D7018 back in 1995. So, a known good spare, but dormant for 27 years, so fingers crossed !
D7018 – the spare Stone-Maybach Mekydro K184u transmission was opened up to extract the control block which was then exchanged for the defective part in D7018 that was preventing the automatic gear change from functioning. Pictured at Williton on 28th September 2022 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Static testing was then performed with pressure gauges hooked up to the various test points, and it was confirmed that the elusive ‘FDR’ pressure had been restored, so the prognosis is good. Being of German (Maybach) design, ‘FDR’ is an acronym for Flüssigkeitsdruckregelung which translates to Fluid Pressure Regulator. The next step is to perform more testing and make sure that the various pressure settings are all correctly adjusted before arranging a test run. There is plenty more news to come on this story !
D7018 – after installation of the spare Stone-Maybach Mekydro K184u control block, the engine was started up and the repaired transmission was subjected to pressure monitoring. The ‘FD’ and ‘FDR’ pressures were shown to be back to normal. Pictured at Williton on 29th September 2022 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continued on the side frames and end frame for the short nose-end structure. These outer frames provide the attachment points for the many pipes and cables around the compressor and generator. Work proceeded in parallel on the overhaul of the brake relay valves that will be mounted to the frames. Here’s some photos to show the progress:
D9518 – the side frames for the short nose end were painted at Williton on Saturday 1st October 2022, pictured while being inspected under the keen eye of Colin G with D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ providing the background. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the nose end frames were also painted at Williton on Saturday 1st October 2022. The chains will be re-attached to the nose end doors, to prevent them being opened too far. Pictured alongside ‘Hymek’ D7017 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – one of several brake relay valves undergoing stripdown and inspection at Williton on Saturday 1st October 2022. The fact that all of the components remain fully serviceable after more then 40 years without use is a testament to the quality of the original materials. 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 fully 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 working alongside the steam locos and the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU), sharing the work of hauling the public services. Work on locally-based sister D9504 has progressed well, so we expect to see D9526 returning to Williton early in the New Year.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco continues to be in regular use at the NYMR, although usage is reducing as autumn sets in. During the last three months, this loco has covered more than 2,500 miles, so her first season in service has been a big success !
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – after receiving diagonal stripes on her leading buffer beam, this little loco now awaits similar attention to her trailing buffer beam and also the restoration of cabside lettering. We hope to make further progress on this work during October.
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 – our website now carries the book review of the first volume of ‘THE BEATEN TRACK’ provided by long-time DEPG member and regular correspondent, Neale Long, and we look forward to receiving his review of the second volume soon. We have stock of both volumes and are ready to mail out, so please follow this link to our ONLINE STORE.
Another interesting book that has been reviewed and reported upon by Neale recently is Anthony P. Sayer’s analysis of the Clayton Type 1, BR’s Class 17, the last surviving example of which proved to be a crowd puller at the WSR’s diesel gala last June. Click here or on the image below to find out more about this excellent book, including links to the book review by Neale Long.
We have added several other NEW BOOKS to our online store recently including GREEN DIESEL DAYS, so please visit our online store and browse then buy to support the work that is taking place on our locomotives. Thanks !
ON SHED – this week, we mix it up a little and feature a photo that could almost be an in-service on-shed view from the late 1960s, but not quite. The glimpse of Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 43106 on the far right would set the date at August 1968 or before, because that loco lasted in BR service to the end, being withdrawn from Lostock Hall shed at the very end of steam on BR. The ‘Westerns’ were amongst the first locos on BR to carry the new corporate image, so this could easily have been 1968 – except that D1040 ‘WESTERN QUEEN’ did not receive her blue overcoat until April 1970. So, what do we have here ?
Class 52 D1040 ‘WESTERN QUEEN’ in a scene that could almost be from 1968, disregarding the JCB on coaling duties! In fact, it is D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ pictured at Bridgnorth on the SVR on Sunday 2nd October 2022 by Paul Mear © CC BY-NC 3.0
The loco pictured is in fact the resplendent D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’, owned by the Western Locomotive Association and based on the Severn Valley Railway, carrying the special identity for this special year. As D1062, this loco went blue in October of 1968 and entered preservation in November 1976, but D1040 was not one of the survivors, being withdrawn from service in February 1976 and reduced to scrap by August of that same year.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing his photograph with us.
DEPG NEWS – The DEPG Board Meeting took place last Saturday as planned and the synopsis will be prepared and shared with DEPG members (for whom we hold valid email addresses) ASAP.
Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, even though some anomalies have had to be corrected here and there. 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@example.com or use the CONTACT FORM on our website.
WSR NEWS: this coming weekend is the penultimate weekend for scheduled diesel haulage under the RED timetable. We expect to run a diesel-hauled service again on 15/16th October, but that will then be the end of scheduled diesel running for this season, although it is possible that a diesel may be rostered on other days at short notice. Keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for the latest information.
The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg.
Love it or loathe it, the colours and sights of last years’ services resulted in a sell-out and demand is going to be solid again this year, so don’t leave it until later. If you want to experience it, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here or click on the image below.