Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019) was pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield on Saturday 3rd December 2022 while performing the generator start-up and check duty that preceedes and follows the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
It may seem a bit strange to feature a Class 09 as our lead story, but strange things do happens now and then. Such was the case last Friday 2nd December when Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was ‘borrowed’ to attach the rear of the 1630 ‘DUNSTER BY CANDELIGHT’ service which was being hauled from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back by BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’, the addition of the ’33’ being to ensure that the train ran to time in the event of slippery rails on the steeper gradients, given the foggy conditions.
The ‘Manor’ didn’t slip, not even when hauling the ’33’ in addition to its 6-coach load, so the ’33’ was not attached the following day and the went back to its normal duties on ‘WINTERLIGHTS’.
What about ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ on the Friday, I hear you ask ? Well, with no ’33’ available, the Class 09 was used instead and provided a very rare opportunity to photograph this humble workhorse in charge of a passenger service. So rare – but so unusual and unexpected that we have yet to see a single photograph of the occurrence !
DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT is a Christmas market event that takes place in early December each year. The WSR offers two special services for visitors to enjoy the dual treat of heritage travel and delightful Dunster. You’ll have to wait until next year for the next opportunity !
Saturday 3rd December was particularly busy because it marked the start of the very popular ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services that run between Bishops Lydeard and Williton. It was great to see the station come alive again!
The ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ approaches Platform 2 at Williton Station behind WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 on Saturday 3rd December 2022. Photo taken from the footbridge by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
These ‘SANTA‘ trains are booking up very quickly, with most services already sold out, so act now and click here if you want to ride on one of the available services.
WELL DONE to all volunteers and staff who are braving the cold conditions and working late to support these seasonal services.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress on the transmission rebuild this week resulted in the assembly of the first stage torque converter housing which is now ready for the turbine runner to be re-installed into the bulbous housing that includes the hydraulic fluid passageways. Attention then shifted from the turbine rail to the main transmission casing to assess the remaining parts and arrange the special tools and fixtures that will be needed to perform the bearing replacement on the other shafts.
Further progress was made on the electrical work in ‘B’ cab with most of the corroded steel conduit now removed and the redundant Automatic Warning System (AWS) wiring being removed with it. This coming weekend should see the completion of this task.
D1010 – the fixed guide vane assembly of the first stage torque converter was re-assembled at Williton on Monday 28th November 2022. All of the parts that form this assembly have been cleaned, inspected and re-built by Colin, Geoff and Tim. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the casing of the first stage torque converter was re-attached at Williton on Monday 28th November 2022. This casing includes the channels for filling and emptying the hydraulic fluid. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the main transmission casing includes other shafts such as the engine-driven input shaft shown on the right. This shaft needs to be separated to allow the bearings to be replaced. Pictured at Williton on Monday 28th November 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and are still visible after sanding the paint away. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th 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. 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) – this loco is being prepared for a test run that will probably take place on Saturday 17th December, subject to a suitable path being available. The engine was started on Saturday 3rd after filling the cooling system with a mixture of water and anti-freeze that will protect the loco down to -30C and no leaks were detected, so we are very close to a return to service.
D6566 (33 048) – this loco is getting closer to her return to service and is now ready for an inspection and a test run before going back on duty. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and is in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be declared fit for traffic.
D7017 – this loco is also ready for an inspection and a test run before going back on the operational list. Pictured at Williton on Friday 2nd December 2022 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week, but hopefully we can do the engine run and adjustments this coming weekend.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the team were busy on multiple fronts as usual, but one notable event was that the brake frame assembly was provided with compressed air from the depot system and this allowed the many pipes, valves and joints to be leak tested. The pressure was then increased to 110 psi (7.58 bar) to ensure that the safety device came into effect – which it did. Well done Team D9518 !
D9518 – the electrical cubicle was moved so that it could be cleaned and painted. Team members (L-R) Mike and Terry kindly provided the blue background which helped make the photo slightly less confusing. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the electrical cubicle surfaces were prepared for painting by Colin G at Williton on 3rd December 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – one of the new side sheets was fitted by Andy P at Williton on 3rd December 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – meanwhile, Simon P uncovered the reverser mechanism on the Hunslet final drive so that it could be cleaned and inspected before rigging up the pneumatic control. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 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 is currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and continues to see a decent amount of use, clocking up 47.5 hours in November. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be back home at Williton by mid-January 2023.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is receiving attention at the NYMR after it was discovered that her engine governor was reaching the point of failure. Luckily, we have a reconditioned spare part in stock, so it was made ready for despatch to get the loco back into service. This un-used spare was acquired along with the loco back in 2007, and carries warranty plates that show that the warranty expired in 2005 !
47077 – The governor controls the power output from the engine by matching the fuel supply to the load and regulating the engine speed to that required by the driver. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
47077 – they are hard to read but the plates on our un-used spare governor show that it was last overhauled in April 2004 and the warranty expired in April 2005. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the torque converter on this little diesel-hydraulic locomotive uses diesel fuel as its hydraulic fluid, so it has a dedicated filter to ensure that that dirt and debris from the fuel tank does not find its way into the hydraulic circuit. However, this filter is of the cloth type and has certainly seen better days. The replacement that has been supplied by the same firm is of the more conventional cartridge type and will be much more effective as well as being easier to maintain.
Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the torque converter fluid filter was found to be of the cloth type and was definitely in need of attention. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the replacement that was supplied by the original equipment manufacturer is shown on the right and is of the cartridge element type. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
If you can help by donating your time to any of these projects, 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 – we continue to have a very good uptake on this brand new book from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, which is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.
This new book is offered for sale at £18.95 with all profits going to the D1010 Restoration Fund. We look forward to receiving and sharing a book review from a purchaser in the very near future.
We have also been busy preparing more of our pre-owned book stock for online sales in time for Christmas, so keep an eye on our pre-owned book page because we are updating it regularly (or trying to!).
The long-awaited DEPG 2023 CALENDAR is now in stock and we will start distributing it on Monday next week, so NOW IS THE TIME TO PLACE YOUR ORDER because we are only ordering the minimum number that will guarantee that all copies are sold. This allows us to keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image above to place your order. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.
Click this link for the animated version (displays via our website).
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 !
Several of the items have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !
A selection of Christmas items that have been made by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale for £1.50 each at the Station or via the DEPG online store. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of D1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ at Cardiff Canton Depot in the summer of 1976, the last full year of Class 52 operations. Considering that the loco only had a handful of months left to run before being withdrawn from service on 10th November 1976, she is looking in remarkably good external condition. Can anyone tell us the reason why she didn’t make it into 1977 ?
Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.
Class 52 D1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ was stabled with engines running at CARDIFF CANTON in the summer of 1976 alongside an unidentified Class 37. The ‘Western was introduced to service on 24th September of 1962, just a few weeks before our own D1010, and worked for 14 years before being reduced to scrap at Swindon in 1978. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the November Newsletter #62 has been mailed (or emailed) along with the synopses of recent Board Meetings to all registered DEPG members. Please let us know if you have not yet received your copy. Thanks !
The roof of the OLD GOODS SHED at Williton has been fitted with fine mesh netting to protect against any loose slates from sliding off and falling to the ground. This temporary measure has allowed the scaffolding to be taken down while the project for the renovation and re-purposing of the 160-year-old Grade II listed building is going through the preliminary planning phase. The scaffolding will need to go back up at some point in the future, after the funding has been put in place, so that the repairs to the roof and the underlying timber structure can take place.
The ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ comes to a halt opposite the Old Goods Shed at Williton Station behind WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 on Saturday 3rd December 2022 as Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) bursts into life for an engine test run, the puff of blue smoke indicating a cold start. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
A very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.
IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:
WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023
DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.
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 let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via firstname.lastname@example.org
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 using your email address (no need to remember yet another password) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !
The WSR is operating the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which are steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using (mostly) one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton.
Demand is 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 both 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.