Williton station looked splendid after the light dusting of snow that covered the area on Wednesday 8th March 2023. The broad gauge origins of this station can be seen by the spacing between the tracks. Photo by Edward Martin © CC BY-NC 3.0
The very cold weather returned last week and caused some minor disruptions, but the snow was very short-lived and it seems like it has been raining almost constantly since !
Outdoor activities were not an attractive option last Saturday 11th March but several jobs had to be performed so our gallant volunteers got on with the tasks and kept themselves busy to keep warm. The priority task was to prepare Class 33 D6575 (33 057) for her move to Bishops Lydeard on Tuesday 14th, where she was needed to handle the return of BR(W) 4-6-0 7822 ‘FOXCOTE MANOR’ in the absence of Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019). Although Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was available for use at Bishops Lydeard, the pool of passed drivers has not yet been expanded so use of this loco was not an option. However, this coming Saturday, this will be remedied by a driver training session that will take place in the Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren section, where previous drivers can renew their ‘tickets’ for the forthcoming season.
Meanwhile, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was in use on Saturday 11th at Minehead in support of crew refresher training and competency testing, and will return to Williton on Friday 17th and will go straight into the Swindon Shed to undergo a full repaint, to be outshopped in the same green and cream livery as previously.
The outdoor maintenance work on shunter D4107 (09 019) was confined to the leaking oil cooler element and this was removed on Saturday 11th and prepared for shipment to APPLIED RADIATORS in Stoke-on-Trent for specialist repair.
Class 09 D4107 (09 019) – the radiator shutters at the nose end of the locomotive were opened up so that the leaking oil cooler element could be removed and sent to APPLIED RADIATORS for specialist repair. The photo shows the five water elements on the left and the two oil elements on the right, with Chris braving the weather to clean up as we went along. Pictured at Williton on Sunday 11th March by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
EVENT AT PLYMPTON
Well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS is going to be presenting ‘HEYDAY OF THE DIESEL-HYDRAULICS’ in Plympton near Plymouth on the evening of Saturday 13th May 2023, with all proceeds going to the PLYM VALLEY RAILWAY station appeal. This is certain to be a most interesting evening and is bound to be very well patronised. Please click on the below image to make a booking:
We offer several of Bernard’s excellent books on our website, such as BACKTRACKING volume V. Click here for details.
2023 TIMETABLE NEWS:
The WSR have announced the lineup for their SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR event which will run from Friday April 28th through to Bank Holiday Monday 1st May and will include three ‘MANORS’ and a ‘SAINT’ plus the rest of the home-based fleet ! For details, click this link to the WSR website.
The first scheduled diesel-hauled service for 2023 is booked for Friday 7th April and will feature haulage by one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Keep an eye on the DIESEL RUNNING DATES page and mark the days that interest you on your calendar, so that you can make a plan to come along and ride behind your favourite type of locomotive. Click on the banner below to go to the page on our website:
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress was made on various fronts last week as Gordon worked on the repaired headcode boxes and Roy dealt with several of the painting tasks on parts that have yet to be refitted to the loco. Steve, Andy and Natalie progressed with the cab wiring at ‘B’ end while Colin F, Geoff and Tim continued their excellent work on the ‘B’ transmission. Here are some photos:
D1010 – the top casting of the ‘B’ transmission housing was oriented vertically to allow easier access for cleaning and inspection. Pictured at Williton on 7th March 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the various pipes and manifolds were cleaned and inspected at Williton on 7th March 2023 to ensure that all welds and brazed connections were in good condition. One brazed joint was found to be cracked and had to be re-made, but all of the others were OK. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – on the very cold day of 8th March, Andy R was at work on the wiring under the driver’s desk in ‘B’ cab, identifying the life-expired wiring that needs to be replaced. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING and we give our thanks to everyone who has supported D1010 by sponsoring or donating during these difficult times. If you are able to do so, please SPONSOR 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, and we are applying more resources to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco has been in use for crew training at Minehead and will be returning to Williton on Friday 17th March for a re-paint.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco was treated to a cab clean-up at Williton on Saturday 11th and a face wash on the Sunday, in advance of her return to the Duty Loco role on Tuesday 14th March.
D6575 (33 057) – the driver’s side of the ‘No. 2’ cab cleaned up quite nicely at Williton on Saturday 11th 2023, in advance of the loco returning to front line duty on Tuesday 14th. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D6575 (33 057) – the secondman’s side of the ‘No. 2’ cab shows the duplicated basic driving controls that were specified by BR’s Southern Region to allow the driver to work from either side of the cab – which was a very useful feature at ferry ports. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 11th 2023 by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the engine was pre-heated by Leroy so that the engine oil drain points could be sampled and the oil examined by Neil, to determine if there was any water in the drains. So far so good, but there are few more drain points to be checked next weekend.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the batteries were put on charge by Leroy to keep them in good condition and keep them ready for an engine test run at some point in the near future.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the cardan shaft safety bows were cleaned and painted by Colin G and the transmission tunnel cleaned up and painted with a coat of primer by Andy P. These preparatory steps will allow the cardan shafts to be re-fitted to the loco during the next few weeks. Meanwhile, John continued his diligent work on the re-wiring of the loco, with each wire clearly identified and properly connected while Terry and Nick continued their progress with the engine overhaul.
D9518 – two of the ‘safety bows’ that fit around the cardan shafts were cleaned and painted by Colin G at Williton on Saturday 11th March 2023. The purpose of these heavy-duty parts is to constrain the flailing shaft in the event of a coupling failure while rotating at speed. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the transmission tunnel fits over the cardan shafts and includes an inspection door that is used when checking the universal joints and applying grease at the prescribed intervals. Pictured along with volunteer Andy P at Williton on Saturday 11th March 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the rewiring of the locomotive took another step forward at Williton on Saturday 11th March 2023 when John C installed several new cable runs and terminated them at the refurbished junction box. 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 will be in use in the Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren section on Saturday 18th March for driver refresher training under the guidance of Colin G. This loco has been rostered to work the 80-mile ‘BLUE’ timetable services on the WSR on the following dates:
- Sunday 16th April
- Sunday 21st May
- Saturday 3rd June
- Sunday 4th June
More dates for later in the year will be added in the very near future. Keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page or sign up to DIESELGEN email bullletin service to get the information as soon as it becomes available.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is waiting for delivery of the new oil filter and housing that are being specially made by BRITISH FILTERS in Plymouth to be directly compatible with the original Vokes type. Meanwhile, the oil has arrived so we just need the filters now !
A 205-litre barrel of Fuchs Titan 15W-40 engine oil has been delivered to Williton for use in Barclay 578 and for top-up of the two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Pictured on 8th March 2023 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 – this week, we will receive our stock of the latest in the DIESEL DAWN series of booklets that are published by Mortons Media Group, VOLUME 7: WESTERN REGION CLASS 14 DIESEL-HYDRAULICS and this book is on sale via our website for the benefit of the D9518 restoration fund. PLEASE BUY A COPY to support D9518 !
We can also supply any of the previous six volumes, so please let us know if you would like to purchase any of the volumes in this interesting series. Please also take a look at our webstore for NEW BOOKS and PRE-OWNED BOOKS, the profits from which will go directly towards the upkeep of our loco fleet. Thank you very much for your support !
ON SHED – staying with the Class 47 theme from last week, and not very far from Landore shed ….. we see 47 229 (formerly D1905) hauling a Ford Motor Co train loaded with brand new Mark II Ford Escorts eastwards through Bridgend station on Saturday 26th February 1977. This loco was delivered new to Cardiff Canton depot on 23rd September 1965 and ended her days working out of Bescot depot until the last day of 2006, a very useful career spanning 41 years. As to why the Escorts were heading east towards Cardiff, we can’t really say, unless they were imported through Fishguard Harbour. Can you help us explain this working ? Use our CONTACT FORM if you can help answer this question.
47 229 (D1905) hauled a Ford Motor Co train loaded with Mk II Ford Escorts through Bridgend heading east on Saturday 26th February 1977, on the same day as the ‘WESTERN TRIBUTE’ railtour … which was the working that our photographer was really waiting for, if the truth be told. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – a Board Meeting was held at Williton on Saturday 25th February and a synopsis is being prepared and will be sent out with the forthcoming Newsletter mailing (or emailing, depending on your stated preference in ‘Membermojo‘). The next Board Meeting will take place on Saturday 25th March so let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you have a question that you would like to have tabled at this meeting.
The next DEPG Newsletter is running late (apologies for this delay) but is almost completed and will be distributed next week. We could really use some help with the preparation of future quarterly Newsletters, so please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you have copy editing skills that could be made available for this.
Please make sure that your membership is up to date so that we can continue to send you a copy of this quarterly newsletter (via email or post at your choice). The newsletter will include detailed updates on the plans for our two restoration projects (D1010 and D9518), plus other information that is specific to DEPG members.
If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO.
KEY DATES for your diary:
WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023
DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.