Day 1 of the WSR’s SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL started very well with all of the visiting locomotives in position and performing nicely. The weather was perfect, the timetable was workable, the day was almost done, the mood was good – and then the gremlins pounced and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 failed to take power on departure from Watchet with the 18:15 service from Minehead !
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was sent out from Williton as ‘Thunderbird loco’ to rescue the situation and hauled the train and loco to Bishops Lydeard. The loss of D7017 combined with the non-availability of sister D7018 and necessitated a change to the timetable for the Friday, with loco allocations and crew rostering all having to be sorted out before bedtime.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was towed from the platform at Williton to the diesel depot by Barclay 578 (ROF1) for attention from DEPG volunteers. Pictured on Friday 9th June 2023 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
Day 2 began with Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 covering some of the diagrams that were to have been worked by the errant ‘Hymeks’. Meanwhile, D7017 was recovered to Williton on the back of the 12:35 service from Bishops Lydeard and moved from the platform to number 2 road by the Williton Depot Shunter, Barclay 578 (ROF1) where DEPG volunteers set to work to trace the issue. The culprit was an open circuit in a solenoid that was preventing the transmission from being engaged. Sister loco D7018 loaned a part to her slightly older sister and D7017 was soon declared as available for service, after a quick trundle up and down the yard.
From left to right, Class 52 ‘Western’ D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ was outdoors for the first time in many months, with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 with engine running alongside, with Barclay 578 (ROF1) completing the diesel-hydraulic trio at Williton on Friday 9th June 2023. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
And the prospects for Day 3 – The timetable for Saturday had already been modified and released by the time that D7017 was declared as available, but we do hope to have D7017 attached at Williton to the head of a Minehead-bound service tomorrow, probably the 12:25 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead (13:25 from Williton) because the loco needs to be at Minehead and ready for service on the BLUE timetable next weekend. APOLOGIES to all who had hoped to ride behind a ‘Hymek’, but the loco is back in action and some regular use will bring her back to her former reliable condition.
Here are some of the many images from the last two days, for your enjoyment.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 33002 (D6501) ‘Sea King’ was pictured while crossing the original route of the A39 Bridgwater road as she departed from Williton on Friday 9th June 2023, heading towards Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
No doubt, tomorrow will be a busy day, but there will be seats available so 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 BUT ONLY IF ADVANCE PURCHASED – see the notes on the WSR website booking page or click on one of the images below. We 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 in addition to BREAKFAST BAPS, 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 GAUGE MUSEUM at Bishops Lydeard has just unveiled their LOCO OF THE MONTH and the honours go to our very own Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017, so be sure to visit the museum on Platform 1 at Bishops Lydeard and also view the MODEL RAILWAY that will be running an early 1960s diesel-themed layout for the duration of the gala event. MANY THANKS to the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust for supporting the diesel gala in such a positive way.
The generous dimensions make this storyboard both easy to find and easy to read. This and the diesel theming of the Gauge Junction Model Railway make the GAUGE MUSEUM well worth a visit ! Photo by the WSRHT © CC BY-NC 3.0
The BLUE timetable runs throughout June, featuring diesel haulage each weekend, with visiting Class 25 D7659 (25 309, 25 909) in use on Sunday 11th June and again on 24/25th June, and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 working in between on 17/18th June. For details of planned DIESEL-HAULED public services, see the DIESEL RUNNING DATES page on our website.
Here’s a reminder that we are now approaching the LAST FEW HOURS in which RAFFLE TICKETS for the DEPG SUMMER DRAW can be purchased, because the draw will take place on SATURDAY 10th June at approximately 3pm at Minehead. Please click here or on the image below to buy your tickets. MANY THANKS for supporting the DEPG !
KEY DATES for your diary:
WSR SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL: Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023
WSRA AUGUST STEAM RALLY: Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August at Norton Fitzwarren
DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.