Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 worked the 1000 Minehead 80-mile diagram on Saturday 20th May 2023. The loco was pictured departing from Williton in glorious sunshine, heading for Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0
What an eventful weekend ! Some of it good, some of it not so good. Saturday went very well with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 preheated and started up at Williton, well in advance of the booked 0855 departure to join her train at Minehead. Driver Paul T was in charge with Matt as secondman, and the day went very well with the loco performing nicely and making a great picture in the brilliant sunshine. Click here or on the image below for a short video clip showing D7017 departing from Williton with the 1230 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service:
Another triumph on Saturday 20th was the return of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) from her visit to the WSR Restorations paint shop in the Swindon Shed (Williton North Yard) where she had received a paintwork refresh for her 1960s BR deep bronze green livery complete with ‘Swanage sand’ cab window surrounds and bodyside stripe. With all of the details carefully attended to by Harry and team at WSR Restorations, the loco looked absolutely pristine and a real credit to the railway. Here are some photos:
The repaint of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was completed by WSR Restorations last week and the loco returned to the DEPG’s South Yard on Saturday 20th May 2023 looking as good as new. Photo by Paul Clark © CC BY-NC 3.0
Tom (inside the cab) and Ian R fitted new windscreen wipers to Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) on Saturday 20th May 2023 to complete the external makeover that was carried out by WSR Restorations. Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 hides under her covers on number 1 road at Williton and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 is just visible beyond. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
In preparation for her return to service, D6566 (33 048) was worked to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday afternoon so that she could be positioned over the pit at Westridge Steam Shed for an underframe inspection and to allow her traction motor gearboxes and suspension tubes to be lubricated. The journey was also used to make sure that everything was functioning as it should be – and it was. Click here or on the image below to watch a short video clip of D6566 (33 048) departing from Williton Station en route to Bishops Lydeard:
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) departing ‘light engine’ from Williton on Saturday 20th May 2023 – video clip (37 seconds) by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Unfortunately, the next day did not bring more joy but quite the opposite, because ‘Hymek’ D7017 developed an electrical fault that prevented her engine from running and the errant loco had to be substituted by Class 33 D6575 (33 057) who happened to be stabled at Minehead as the ‘duty’ loco. Luckily, all of our ‘Hymek’ drivers are also passed ‘Crompton’ drivers so the service departed from Minehead just 15 minutes late, a delay that was easily recovered during the first leg of the diagram.
Although driver Neil and secondman Tom were more than capable of resolving the issue on D7017 given time, the booked diesel-hauled service had to take priority so they switched their attention to the ‘Crompton’ and Martin and Paul T prepared Class 33 D6566 (33 048) for an unplanned ‘Thunderbird’ duty and set off from Williton to Minehead to recover the ‘Hymek’ and return her to Williton for attention.
Disgraced Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 had paused at Blue Anchor while being towed back to Williton by Class 33 D6566 (33 048) on Sunday 21st May 2023 when the pair were passed by Class 33 D6575 (33 057) going in the other direction with the 1230 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
The issues that affected D7017 are minor and mostly due to lack of use, but we do have access to spares and the loco will be sorted out during this coming weekend. Apologies to supporters who made a visit to the WSR to see the ‘Hymek’ running, but hopefully she will return to her previously reliable form very soon, and put in her characteristic performances during the 2023 SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL that takes place on the WSR on Thursday 8th June through to Saturday 10th June. This is going to be an excellent event, so GET YOUR TICKETS NOW and enjoy the early discount. Here’s the list of visiting locos:
Class 50 50008 (D408) ‘Thunderer’ courtesy of Hanson and Hall
Click here or on the ticket image below to get more details and/or buy a ticket. Special rates apply for 5 to 15 year olds on Saturday 10th June – see the notes on the WSR website booking page or click on one of the images below. Hope to see you at the WSR for what is going to be an excellent event !
The QUANTOCK BELLE dining set will be in use and will be offering their legendary BREAKFASTS, so make your reservation when you book your advance ticket. Click here or on the image below and select the QUANTOCK BELLE BREAFAST ADD-ON:
The BLUE timetable runs throughout May and June, featuring diesel haulage each weekend, with a Class 33 ‘Crompton’ working on 27/28/29th May, visiting Class 25 D7659 (25 309, 25 909) in use on Sunday 11th June and again on 24/25th June, and a Class 35 ‘Hymek’ working on 17/18th June. For details of planned DIESEL-HAULED public services, see the DIESEL RUNNING DATES page on our website.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the effort has swung around to preparing this loco for her gala appearance as a static exhibit, with one cab (at ‘A’ end) open to visitors. This means that the various works in progress need to be tidied up and made safe for the public to view. The loco will be displayed outside the loco shed all through the gala, but she may need to be sheeted over if the weather breaks because she has not yet been made watertight (welding repairs at roof level require special safety staging to be in place and this will not be available until a later date). Let’s hope for this current spell of fine weather to continue.
Meanwhile, the ‘transmission team’ have been busy working on the ancillary equipment that will allow the ‘B’ transmission to be considered as completed. The governor was the target last week, and this simple but very important piece of machinery was disassembled for cleaning and to allow the bearings to be replaced. The governor controls the automatic changeover between the three different speed stages, and includes a piston arrangement called the ‘primary influence’ to adjust the changeover point according to the engine speed. This component was found to have a significant amount of water trapped inside it, but showed no signs of distress as a result. Here are some photos:
D1010 – the components of the governor from ‘B’ transmission have been separated and laid out for cleaning and inspection. New bearings will be fitted when the assembly goes back together. Pictured at Williton on 15th May 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the housing of the ‘primary influence’ device that provides engine speed information to the transmission governor was found to contain a significant amount of water when opened up for inspection and cleaning at Williton on 15th May 2023. Photo by by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
The work on the ‘B’ transmission will be completed during the coming weeks and the whole assembly will then be moved to a holding area to make way for the ‘A’ transmission which will soon be lifted out of the loco to undergo a similar overhaul to ensure that it is fit for many more years of reliable service.
A delay in proceedings has been caused by our 10-tonne crane developing a fault that requires staging to be constructed around it so that our volunteers can access the mechanism safely. However, while it is out of use, it has been taken over by a family of Jackdaws who seem quite content with its ‘DO NOT USE’ status and are likely to remain in residence for several weeks to come. Nature always wins !
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) – as previously reported, the repaint of this loco has been completed by Harry and team at WSR Restorations in the Swindon Shed at Williton, and what a fine job they have done. The loco looks absolutely splendid !
The repaint of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was completed by WSR Restorations at Williton on Friday 19th May 2023 and the team gathered around the loco to rightly take credit for the quality of the work that has been done. Liam, Phil, Josh, Harry and Chris shared the task with Matt and John. Photo by WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – as previously reported, this loco was unexpectedly in use for the BLUE timetable duties on Saturday and Sunday 20/21st May covering for failed Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017, but she had also been busy earlier in the week on an engineering train that ran the length of the line from Minehead to Norton Fitzwarren and back. Tom was secondman on that working and was able to take some photos when it was safe to do so. Here’s one showing the working at Norton Fitzwarren:
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was in use on an engineering train on Monday 15th May 2023, pictured while taking a break at the Norton Fitzwarren bay platform. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – after performing well on Saturday 20th, the loco was unable to take up her Sunday duty because the Water Temperature Switch would not stay closed, even though the water was at the right temperature. This resulted in the engine starting but not continuing to run, and repeated attempts at sustained running caused the start contactors to weld closed, so then it was game over !
The loco will receive attention during this coming weekend and will soon be put right, in readiness for the WSR’s SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL that takes place from Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – with the attention focused back on sister D7017, this loco did not receive the attention that was planned for Sunday 21st May, but she will be receiving attention to her reverser mechanism this coming Saturday 27th May. The work is confined to a single adjustment of a pushrod length because the other possibilities have already been investigated and eliminated. In the worst case, the loco will still operate during the gala, but will require manual intervention when changing direction.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continued in multiple areas, with Colin G starting work within the cab assembly, removing components that will need to be stripped, cleaned and refurbished while the cab structure undergoes a thorough restoration. This will be a complex task and will soak up a lot of volunteer hours. Elsewhere on the loco, John is continuing his work on the rewiring while Tony works on the finer details of the nose end doors. The brake rigging took a big step forward when the brake hangers for the leading and trailing wheelsets were fitted by Terry and Nick, leaving only the centre axle to be done.
D9518 – the driver’s desk is just a shell within the shell of the cab assembly. There is plenty of work to be done in this area, but a start has been made and momentum will quickly build as we move along. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th May 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the brake hanger assembly (not yet fitted with the brake block) has also been installed on the leading wheelset, leaving only the centre wheelset to be dealt with. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 20th May 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 – this loco is fully serviceable and ready for use in the forthcoming SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL, during which she will carry a wreath and black ribbons in memory of volunteer Class 14 loco manager, the late Simon Purvis.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has been suffering from some engine trouble and has been found to have a fractured cylinder head bolt that will need remedial work before the loco can return to service. The team at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway are investigating further and the DEPG will be sending spare parts to assist with the repair work. We will provide more details as soon as they become available.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is in full working order and is stabled in the South Yard, ready for action. An attempt to apply her cabside lettering had to be abandoned due to the breeze that was blowing, but the otherwise fine weather did allow the side rods to get treated to a coat of yellow paint !
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 will need to skip this feature again this week due to having so many other items to cover (it’s a nice problem to have).
ON SHED – a complete change this week as we feature a rare type of 0-6-0 shunter built by Ruston & Hornsby and designated as BR Class 07. Only 14 of these little off-centre-cab diesel-electric machines were built, and all entered service at Southampton Docks in 1962. The relentless march of standardisation rendered them obsolete ten years later, although some soldiered on until 1977 before starting a new life in industry. Now, more than 60 years after their introduction, half of the class have been saved and perform useful functions on heritage railways. Many thanks to Neale Long for bringing this rare beast to our attention.
A beautifully preserved example of the Ruston & Hornsby Class 07 diesel-electric 0-6-0 shunter, this loco D2996 (07 012) worked for almost 15 years at Southampton Docks before moving into industrial use then preservation. Pictured at Barrow Hill on 18th May 2023 by Neale Long © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the next DEPG Board Meeting will be held at Williton on Saturday 27th May. Please let me know if you have any questions that you would like to have placed before the Board.
The funeral of the late SIMON PURVIS will take place on Friday 2nd June 2023 and is likely to be well attended by the many from far and wide who wish to pay their respects to a much-loved member of the railway preservation movement. Simon’s family have set up a tribute site that includes information about the funeral as well as photographs and messages, with all donations going to Simon’s favourite cause, the D9518 Restoration Fund.
Last but not least, the erstwhile DEPG infrastructure team have been busy fitting the gates to the new oil store at Williton, and their hard work in all weathers deserves to be recognised. The oil store is now close to being ready for use, with some concrete to be laid in the weeks after the diesel gala to provide the finishing touches. Well done guys !
The steel gates for the new oil storage area were undergoing assembly in the capable hands of (L-R) Graham and Paul T at Williton on Sunday 21st May 2023. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Fully enclosed with wide gates for easy access, the new oil storage area provides a home for both new and used oils and includes bunds to prevent environmental contamination. Paul T and Graham (L-R) pose for the camera at Williton on Sunday 21st May 2023. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members so please make sure that your membership is up to date. 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 SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL: Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023
WSRA STEAM RALLY : Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2023.
DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.