Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was used to shunt the south yard at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 and was pictured at the southerly station limit along with a vivid rainbow as DEPG Chairman and driver Martin Howard prepared to change ends so that the loco could re-enter the station via Platform 2 to run around Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) in Platform 1. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
With no public train services running but with a signalman present at Williton, the opportunity was taken to shunt the yard at Williton and re-position non-operational Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1) so that she can enter the loco shed at the appropriate time to undergo remedial work on her fuel system. The little shunting loco was positioned outboard of ‘Hymek’ D7017 so the logical choice for the shunt was D7017 because she had to be moved anyway.
After the customary period of pre-heating, the engine fired up straight away. The recent engine repair work on D7017 has brought back the ‘Maybach Music’ and the engine sounds as good as ever. The swap-around will allow D7017 to go out for a test run when a suitable opportunity presents itself, although that is more likely to happen when sister loco D7018 is also ready for her test run. We are all looking forward to that !
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the railway, preparations are in full swing for the forthcoming ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ season, with coaches and locos being fitted with their lights and trial runs scheduled for 10th/11th of November. The generator will be carried inside the former Southern Region Parcels & Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) which will be coupled between Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) and the train, as last year.
The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains depart from Bishops Lydeard, mostly at 17:00 and 19:00 on Fridays and Saturdays starting Friday 18th November, and become daily in the run-up to Christmas. Click here for more information on these special services.
Volunteers gathered at Minehead on Saturday 5th November to prepare the strings of lights for attachment to the coaches for this season’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services. Photo courtesy of the WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0
The Southern Region ‘Parcels and Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) number S1464S was being prepared for its role as a mobile power supply at Minehead on Friday 28th October 2022, in good time for this season’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services. Photo courtesy of the WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0
The generator and power distribution equipment will be carried inside the ‘PMV’ which will be positioned between the train and the Class 33 ‘Crompton’ locomotive at the Taunton end of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains. Pictured at Minehead on Friday 28th October by the WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0
One of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ will be attached to the Taunton end of each ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ train and will assist the steam locomotive on the ascent to Crowcombe Heathfield. The ‘Crompton’ will then become the lead engine on the return to Bishops Lydeard, so we can look forward to 40 running opportunities in connection with these services.
In addition, the WSR will be running ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton (steam hauled but with the ‘Crompton’ on standby in case banking assistance is required) and ‘DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT‘ services on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December as a very appropriate means of getting to this well-known event.
Please do try to support these events if you can, and also let your family and friends know that they are taking place, to spread the word further. Thank you !
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress this week, with Chris working on the battery compartment restorations and Gordon and Roy cleaning and painting several parts that are being added back to the locomotive, now that we have passed the disassembly stage. The same applies to the transmission, with attention now being given to the processes and equipment needed for the rebuild, now that we have determined the rebuild plan and have evaluated the repair and replacement options for the parts that are damaged or approaching the end of their life. Exciting times indeed !
D1010 – the compressor access grille from ‘A’ side has been cleaned and painted and is now ready for re-fitting to the locomotive. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the third stage (top gear) impeller is a very interesting example of machining that would be challenging to produce to such a high standard, even on today’s computer-controlled machinery. The stains around the oval cutouts of this two-piece component show evidence of hard work at high speeds when in mainline service, back in the 1970s. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – probably a question only for our octogenarian readers, but did you make this part ? If so, then we would very much like to hear from you ! The inspection stamp seems to read ‘M P A H’. This close-up of the third stage impeller was pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. We engraved another 50 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 severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. 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 !
See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details:
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the work on cleaning up the engine room continued with more deck plates being removed and steam cleaned. LATEST UPDATE: The failed heat exchanger has been rebuilt by specialist subcontractor APPLIED RADIATORS in Stoke-On-Trent who provided an amazing service and turned this project around in one week ! The rebuilt heat exchanger is on its way back to us now and we should have it available for installation into the loco during this coming weekend.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for her next booked workings, which will be the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ test trains that will run on 10th and 11th November in preparation for the start of these special services on Friday 18th November.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as covered previously. This loco is waiting for formal completion of her Vehicle Inspection & Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can returned to traffic.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco has had to wait in line for her turn for attention. The work list on this loco comprises a number of small but important tasks that will be tackled during the coming weeks.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – continued progress on a wide number of work fronts has increased because disassembly work has started on the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine that last operated in sister loco D9526 until removed for overhaul in 2017. The engine will be completely stripped down, then each part cleaned, inspected and replaced or repaired as necessary. The required parts are already in stock, so what is needed now is many hundreds of hours of volunteer time to perform the overhaul.
D9518 – this view shows the new flexible connection (upper centre) and other new pipework components that have been purchased to complete the compressor installation. Also visible to the centre left is the black valve at the top of the vertical section of the white vacuum pipe that applies the brakes automatically when demanded by the Drivers Safety Device (DSD), sometimes known as the ‘Deadmans’ device. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – this shaft provides the drive from the transmission to the generator (visible in the previous picture) via the ‘Layrub’ flexible couplings that are in stock and awaiting installation. Once installed, there is even less room in which to work between the frames, so this part will not be fitted until other work has been completed. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – meanwhile, John C continued his careful work on the overhaul of the electrical cubicle, wiring up the new rotary switches that control the vacuum exhausters. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 5th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – one of the crankcase covers of the Paxman 6YJXL 26-litre V6 diesel engine that last ran in D9526 in 2017 was removed to allow a peek inside. The outside is messy because of a failed gasket, but inside looks very good. Pictured on Saturday 5th November 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 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 although her time in the far South-East is coming to an end because sister loco D9504 has now completed her overhaul and will be returning to work shortly. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be heading home to Williton in mid-January 2023.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has seen regular use at the NYMR though to the end of October, when public services ceased. The mileage run by this loco during the past four months is listed below:
Number of operating days
Average of 65 miles per day
We can safely say that her first season in service on the NYMR has been a big success !
47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ approaches Goathland station with a 7-coach train from Pickering on Monday 1st August 2022. This loco covered 3,763 miles on the NYMR between mid July and the end of October. Photo by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel injection pump has been sent out to COLCHESTER FUEL INJECTION Ltd for a thorough overhaul. The loco has been repositioned outside the loco shed on number 3 road and will enter the loco shed when lead volunteer Simon B is ready to disassemble the fuel system to find the source of the contamination. We expect this loco to be out of use for several months while this work takes place.
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 are pleased to report that a number of pre-owned books that have been donated by members and supporters have been catalogued and photographed and are going to be added to our online store this week. Here’s a sample of what will be added:
These eight titles are amongst a set of 17 pristine condition books that were donated by a DEPG member and active volunteer, for which we are very grateful. Some of these as-new books are difficult to get, so we will be setting prices in the range from £15 upwards. Please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you are interested in any of the above or any other books by Kevin Derrick, because we have more titles in stock. Thank you very much to all who have donated books, photographs and video tapes for the benefit of our locomotives.
A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.
WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !
The many items are being photographed and examples will be placed on our online store during the next few days, in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !
ON SHED – last week, we put out a request for ‘on shed’ photos and we had some fantastic responses, such as the below photograph of D1058 ‘WESTERN NOBLEMAN’ departing from Westbury with a long and heavy train of ‘Presflo’ wagons bound for Exeter in 1976, the very last summer of mainline operation of the type. Photographer Kelvin Lumb also provided us with the caption that goes with his photograph. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing this gem with us all.
D1058 WESTERN NOBLEMAN crawls out of the south side sidings at Westbury hauling its loaded Presflo cement wagons bound for Exeter. You can almost hear the wheels screeching and grinding and those Maybachs throbbing as the driver controls his mammoth load. Photo taken from the West Signal Box, Summer ’76 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0
Do you have a photo of one of our locos that would make for a good Christmas Card ? If yes, let us know by using our CONTACT FORM because we are always on the lookout for interesting and unusual images for various purposes, all profits going to DEPG funds. Thanks !
DEPG NEWS – the BOARD MEETING took place at Williton last Saturday, 5th November 2022 and a synopsis will be shared with all members for whom we have a valid email address ASAP. The next meeting will be held on 17th December.
The dates for the WSR DIESEL GALA for 2023 have been firmed up. The event will follow a similar pattern to that of this year, running from Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023 as diesel-only and then with a mixed traction day on the Sunday.
The DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS will also involve diesel running later in the year, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023. Details of both events will be announced as soon as possible. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IMPORTANT DATES.
Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just use our CONTACT FORM or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via email@example.com
Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !
For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !
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, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event.
Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below:
Thank you for supporting the DEPG and the WSR !