Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured as she approached Williton with the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard service under the BLUE timetable on Sunday 16th April 2023. Photo by Edward Martin © CC BY-NC 3.0
As reported last week, the WSR 2023 running season has got off to an excellent start with all services being delivered as planned and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) working the 10:00 Minehead 80-mile diagram under the BLUE timetable (4 services each way per day) on Monday 10th and Sunday 16th April. The railway changed to the RED timetable (3 services each way per day) from Tuesday 18th which applies for the two weeks up to the SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR, and then the BLUE timetable returns and remains right through to the 25th July when the summer peak YELLOW timetable (5 services each way per day) comes into force. For details of planned DIESEL-HAULED public services, see the DIESEL RUNNING DATES page on our website.
Last Saturday 15th April saw the repeat of the WSR’s very succesful ‘VOLUNTEERING TRAIN‘ concept, where one carriage of the 10:00 Minehead service was dedicated to members of the public who were seeking volunteering opportunities within any of the organisations that make up the ‘WSR family’. During the trip to Bishops Lydeard, representatives of the various organisations and departments made their ‘pitch’ and explained what their organisations do and what kind of opportunities they offer. The train reversed at Bishops Lydeard, departing at 12:30 and a second carriage load received the same (or similar!) information on the way to Minehead.
The DEPG were represented by Natalie and Andy, who quickly became involved in discussions with several potential volunteers, some of whom have already completed their applications forms and requested dates for ‘taster’ days where they can come along to Williton and see how and where they could contribute. The event will be repeated again in May and we expect to be just as busy and continue to expand the team. The DEPG currently lists 59 active volunteers, a significant increase over the past few years, and all are welcomed. The depot at Williton still has three days per week where it is not in use, and this shows the untapped potential that needs to be resourced, so please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you are interested in volunteering !
WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 prepares to depart from Williton in the directon of Minehead with the 16:35 service from Bishops Lydeard while Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 (with engine running) watch and enjoy the welcome period of fine weather. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
On Wednesday 12th April, we welcomed Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 back to Williton, to the accompaniment of heavy rain and strong winds! The loco was swapped with Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019) who returned to Bishops Lydeard where her winter maintenance programme could be completed by a session over the pit at Westridge Shed for traction motor inspection and lubrication. The return of D9526 was captured on a short video clip that can be viewed via our website by clicking this link or clicking on the photo below:
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 returned to Williton on the very wet morning of Wednesday 12th April 2023 after an absence of just over 22 months. Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 is on Number 2 road and Class 09 D4107 (09 019) stands ahead of the ’14 on No 1 road’, ready to return to Bishops Lydeard after receiving winter maintenance in the care of the DEPG. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
2023 TIMETABLE NEWS:
The railway is now open mostly five days per week (closed on Mondays and Fridays except for bank holidays and special events) and dates scheduled for diesel locomotive haulage are listed on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page
The next special event will be the SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR which will run from Friday April 28th through to Bank Holiday Monday 1st May, with the planned appearance of GWR 4-6-0 4953 ‘PITCHFORD HALL’ plus three ‘MANORS’ and a ‘SAINT’ plus the rest of the home-based fleet, so an absolute feast for GWR fans ! The DEPG depot at Williton will be open to visitors and will feature ROD’S MODEL RAILWAY sales stand alongside our own DEPG sales stand. For details, click this link to the WSR website.
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’ – the team continued their diverse work in multiple areas of the loco, moving their tasks along on a step-by-step basis. The most significant visual progress was again made by Colin F and the ‘transmission team’ as the filling pump assembly and the output shaft assembly were completed and made ready for re-attachment to the casing. The progress in other areas was not so camera-worthy, but useful just the same, with Ian at work on the bodyside finish and Gordon disconnecting the cooler group at ‘A’ end, while Steve continued with the cab wiring at ‘B’ end. Here are some photos:
D1010 – the filling pump assembly (in the foreground) and the output shaft assembly (with the large double-helical gear) were completed by the team at Williton on 11th April 2023. These two assemblies are now ready to be re-attached to the ‘B’ transmission casing. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the large and heavy output shaft assembly was re-attached to the ‘B’ transmission casing at Williton on Wednesday 12th April 2023. The assembly is shown attached to it’s own subsidiary casing before being jacked into position and bolted into place. Photo by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the timeline for this restoration project has been published in the DEPG Spring 2023 Newsletter that has been sent to all registered DEPG members. The narrative that goes with this timeline will be published on our website ASAP and covered in a future roundup. DEPG © 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 is now inside the paint tunnel in the Swindon Shed at Williton for a paintwork refresh in the hands of WSR Restorations. This loco is expected to be out of traffic until late April.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – Tom checked the engine oil sump drain again on Saturday and found a very small amount of coolant present. This could be a left-over from last week or it could be fresh leakage, so the engine was pre-heated and started again to allow it to run for a longer period. The check will be conducted again next week, and a decision on changing the oil will be taken when more information is available. To rush the decision would increase the risk, so we will use the time that we have and make a careful and informed decision. The loco is expected to be available for return to service in 2023 either way, the decision having more impact on the 2024 running season and the longer-term plans for overhauling the locomotive.
D7017 was started up while stabled on number 2 road at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023 while Barclay 578 (ROF 1) was also running and out of the shed under her own power for the first time this year. The weather was perfect for the occasion. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is awaiting attention to a short list of issues that were identified during the loaded test run that took place in December 2022. Work is expected to start on this loco in late April, after completion of sister loco D7017. The issues will be addressed in time for the Diesel Gala on June 8th through 10th.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – making up for the lack of photos last week, the following selection provides the evidence that proves that this project is constantly moving along:
D9518 – one of the six refurbished brake hangers is held in the vertical position by Terry at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023. Also visible is the lower attachment to one of the three crossbeams that will eventually be re-fitted underneath the frames of the loco. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – one of the six refurbished brake hangers has been attached to one of the brackets on the loco frame and now includes the brake shoe. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – Terry provides some foot power to show how the brake hanger swings over to bring the brake shoe into perfect contact with the tyre of the wheel. The brake actuation is normally done by two powerful air brake cylinders between the frames, the force being transmitted to the hangers via the linkages. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – one of the two refurbished battery boxes has now been re-fitted to the side of the loco and is giving off the characteristic Colin G shine ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – still on the subject of that characteristic Colin G shine, take a look at the gleam around the works plate and the British Transport Commission (BTC) registration plate. The BTC plate was originally fitted to a steam locomotive that was made redundant by D9518, so the plate was transferred to D9518 and the registration records updated. The old ways were so simple. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023 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 – as previously reported, this loco returned to Williton on Wednesday 12th April and will now undergo attention to some maintenance items that have become due. The loco is fully serviceable and ready for use as soon as suitable opportunities arise.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is now back in regular use on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and we have been receiving reports from our correspondent in the area, Martin Fisher, including the below photograph that showcases the amazing scenery through which this line traverses. Here’s some information that Martin provided about the location:
“This vantage point is about a mile walk from the lane that goes down to Levisham station – a relatively easy walk from the lane to the ruined Skelton Tower (built around 1830 by Rev Skelton, either as a shooting lodge or as a place to escape to for a quiet drink!). You only get a view of the NYMR northwards from here so the southbound trains are trundling downhill at this point, but the scenery is nice!”
Many thanks to Martin for keeping us fed with photographs of ‘NORTH STAR‘ and information about his ‘neck of the woods’.
47077 (D1661, 47613 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ heads downhill toward Levisham on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on Sunday 16th April 2023 with a train from Grosmont to Pickering. Pictured from the ruins of Skelton Tower by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco underwent an engine test run and a Vehicle Inspection & Brake Test (VIBT) on Saturday 15th April 2023 and passed with flying colours, so well done to Tony and our supporting volunteers for doing such a great job of looking after her ! The next step is to give the little loco a wash and brush up and apply the cabside lettering that has been waiting for warmer weather – which at last seems to be arriving.
Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) was subjected to an engine test run at Williton on Saturday 15th April 2023 during which the engine speed was held steady at 1,500 rpm and the governor behaviour was checked and confirmed to be OK. Photo by Martin Howard © 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 have started shipping copies 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 so order your copy now ! This book is on sale via our website for the benefit of the D9518 restoration fund. PLEASE BUY A COPY to support D9518 ! We have been provided with a Book Review by regular contributor Neale Long and we will be including this in the next edition of Roundup (apologies for the delay).
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 !
Just as a reminder, we can also supply PLATFORM 5 publications either from stock or against a special order, the profits from such sales going towards our general loco maintenance funds.
ON SHED – this week, we have been made aware of a YouTube video that has recently been made available showing our very own D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ but in the guise of D1035 ‘WESTERN YEOMAN’ and wearing ‘Desert Sand’ livery. The video footage was taken by Martin Smith at Didcot Railway Centre in 1990 and also features glimpses of ‘Hymek’ D7018 and the occasional passing ’47’. The relaxed health & safety approach of the time is quite interesting, and the video is well worth watching. Click here or on the image below to go to the YouTube video. Many thanks to Martin for bringing his video to our attention.
DEPG NEWS – a Board Meeting will be held at Williton on Saturday 22nd April. Please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you have a question that you would like to have put to the board on your behalf.
Please make sure that your membership is up to date so that we can continue to send you a copy of our quarterly newsletter (via email or post at your choice). The Spring newsletter included 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 SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR : Friday 28th April through Monday 1st May 2023
WSR SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL: Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023
DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.