Weekly Roundup – 02-Jul-23

Weekly Roundup – 02-Jul-23

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 worked the diesel diagram of the BLUE timetable on Saturday and Sunday 1st/2nd July 2023 and made a delightful 1960s summer holiday picture as she approached Nornvis Bridge with the 1630 service from Bishops Lydeard on the Saturday. Photo by Bernard Bates © CC BY-NC 3.0


The weekend diesel diagram of the BLUE timetable was covered by Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 with a faultless performance on the Saturday, but the start to the Sunday service ran into trouble and raised our stress levels for a while !

The issue was a failed electrical solenoid, which is a device that converts an electric current into a physical movement. In this particular case, it meant that the ‘Hymek’ could only operate at engine idling speed, so the progress out of Minehead was slow and the loco was held at Dunster station while the trouble was investigated. Luckily, our footplate crew of Paul T, Neil and Tom were able to quickly identify the issue and effect a temporary repair. The loco was late bringing the first train of the day into Bishops Lydeard, but a slick turnaround resulted in an on-time departure that saved the day !

This loco has encountered several similar issues over the past few weeks and the root cause is a ground fault, which occurs when current leaks from the intended path to the body of the locomotive, which, unlike that of a car, is not connected to either terminal of the battery. This kind of fault is usually the result of an insulation failure within an electric motor, relay, valve or solenoid, but can also be caused by water ingress into cable conduits. Such faults can be very difficult to locate and correct. The additional electrical stress over time causes various components to fail, starting with the weakest link. Here’s a photo of the damaged internal windings of the engine run solenoid that failed back in May, the first in the series of similar occurences:

The ‘engine run solenoid’ from Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was sent to Carwood Rewind in Yeovil for repair. The winding was found to comprise of 10,000 turns of enamelled copper wire, but the insulation had failed at winding 9526, near to the inner core of the component. Pictured at Yeovil in June 2023 by Carwood Rewind © CC BY-NC 3.0


This weekend, Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 will be the focus of attention at Williton as we start the process of locating the ground fault. Meanwhile, and as advertised, the BLUE TIMETABLE will be covered by one of our Class 33s on both Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July, so come along if you can and ride behind the ‘Crompton’ on this 80-mile diagram!


Making BIG NEWS last weekend was the triumphant return to service of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7076 on the East Lancs Railway (ELR) after a gap of five years during which her engine has been completely overhauled. The BR-blue loco appeared at the ELR’s Diesel Gala along with another diesel-hydraulic ‘celebrity’, the Diesel Traction Group’s Class 42 ‘Warship’ D821 ‘GREYHOUND’, the first ex-BR mainline diesel locomotive that was saved for preservation, way back in 1973. Some excellent photo opportunities arose and there were plenty of cameras there to grab the images. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BURY HYDRAULIC GROUP for their success in returning D7076 to service in such style !

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7076 was back in action at the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) Summer 2023 Diesel Gala after a gap of five years during which her engine was completely overhauled. Pictured on 29th June 2023 by Chris Shields © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7076 was in a BR-blue diesel-hydraulic line-up at the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) Summer 2023 Diesel Gala along with Class 42 ‘Warships D832 ‘ONSLAUGHT’ and D821 ‘GREYHOUND’ and Class 52 D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’. Pictured on 28th June 2023 by the Bury Hydraulic Group © CC BY-NC 3.0



Back at home, this coming weekend is the WSR’s SIXTIES WEEKEND with several additional attractions and the now-customary dance on the platform at Minehead on Saturday evening. Click here or on the image below to visit the WSR’s event page:



See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details of public diesel-hauled services this year. This page is updated several times per week and is kept as accurate as we can make it. The loco allocations are subject to availability (of course), but we do try to field the allocated loco wherever possible. Click on the banner below to go to the website page:

The DIESEL RUNNING DATES pages is supplemented by our DIESELGEN bulletin service which captures non-public running such as special trains and engineering workings (where we have sufficient notice to publish such workings). Sign up for DIESELGEN emails or keep an eye on our website homepage.




Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – further progress was made on the preparation for the ‘A’ transmission to be removed from the loco, with the draining of the hydraulic fluid taking place on Monday 3rd July. The fluid was found to be the correct colour and consistency and appeared to be free from contamination, which bodes well and will hopefully allow the planned overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission to be straight-forward and less expensive than that of the ‘B’ end, where a bearing failure had already occurred.

Arrangements for the lift of both cooler groups and the ‘A’ transmission are well advanced, with the weather set to play an important part because the loco will need to go back inside the loco shed as soon as possible after removal of these major assemblies and the loss of the roof sections that are part of them. The earliest date will be Tuesday 11th July but Tuesday 18th July is also a possibility. The 5-tonne lift will be performed by a road crane and the removed transmission will then be cleaned externally before being moved to the transmission overhaul area for dismantling. The two cooler groups require repairs to corroded metalwork that has been the cause of repetitive water leaks for many years. The welding will be carried out by Tony.

D1010 – the ‘A’ transmission was drained of hydraulic fluid by Geoff at Williton on Monday 3rd July 2023 and the 300 litres of extracted fluid was found to be in very good condition. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0



Having the loco outdoors has generated quite an interest in our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, with several more patches being engraved with their sponsor’s names or messages. This initiative remains the single most successful fund-raising activity and has allowed us to make significant progress with the restoration work. PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP US FUND THIS PROJECT.

Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored 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 and your patience!

See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details. We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !



Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is the WSR Standby Loco and is stabled at Minehead, ready for her next duties under the BLUE timetable. See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is stabled at Williton and is also fully operational and available for use at short notice.

D6575 is also on standby and available for use, and was pictured at Williton on Saturday 24th June 2023 in the company of Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as already stated, this loco is back at Williton for investigations into her electrical system – and the replacement of a cabside window.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – also at Williton for ongoing investigations into her ‘Mekydro’ hydraulic transmission.


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continued on multiple fronts, with electrical work progressing while further dismantling of the driver’s desk released more component parts for refurbishment. The loco also gained a genuine GWR-pattern lamp that can be seen in the photo below, mounted neatly on top of the marker light housing. These GWR-pattern lamps have the mounting bracket on the side, not on the back as was the practice of ‘other regions’.

D9518 – the steady and highly visible restoration progress was being explained to an interested visitor by Colin G when this photo opportunity arose on Saturday 1st July 2023. 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 is fully serviceable and ready for use. We hope to be able to use D9526 in support of the DMU on some of the YELLOW timetable services during the summer. Keep and eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for additional running dates, as they get released.



Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a cylinder head overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Our volunteer loco manager Ian Robins was there last week and he has sent us some photos of the progress being made. Current expectations are that the loco will be returned to service towards the end of this month.

47077 – the loco has been out of service since failing in May 2023 with a fractured cylinder head bolt. The loco is currently undergoing attention at the Grosmont works of the NYMR. Photo dated 28th June 2023 by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0


47077 – all twelve cylinder heads have been removed, exposing the cylinders and pistons so that they can be cleaned up and inspected. Pictured at Grosmont Works on 28th June 2023 by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0


47077 – some of the removed cylinder heads can be seen in this picture, awaiting cleaning and inspection. Pictured at Grosmont Works on 28th June 2023 by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0


47077 – the removed exhaust manifolds are lined up alongside the loco, waiting for cleaning and inspection. Pictured at Grosmont Works on 28th June 2023 by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is in full working order and is stabled in the South Yard, ready for action. The opportunity has been taken to start work on a cab internal repaint, the first step for which is corrosion control on the 51-year old loco. The work will be carried out by well-known WSR and DEPG volunteer Jon Tooke.



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 !



ON SHED – well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS has provided us with a photo of former ScotRail push-pull loco 47 703 ‘The Queen Mother’ at Bishops Lydeard on 27th April 1994. The loco had arrived at the head of the ‘Exmoor Explorer’ railtour from Peterborough and handed over to WSR steam locos at Bishops Lydeard. Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was there to observe the proceedings! Many thanks to Bernard for sharing his photo with us all.

Class 47 47 703 ‘The Queen Mother’ was pictured at Bishops Lydeard on 27th April 1994 after handing over the ‘Exmoor Explorer’ railtour to WSR steam locomotives for the onward leg to Minehead. Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was stabled in the bay platform alongside. Photo by Bernard Mills © CC BY-NC 3.0



DEPG NEWS – a Board Meeting was held at Williton on Saturday 24th June and a synopsis will be prepared and will be shared ASAP with all DEPG members for whom we hold a valid email address.


Further progress was made on the upgraded Oil Storage area, with the shuttering now in place awaiting the delivery of 7 cubic metres of concrete. Thanks again to Paul T and Graham for their continuing efforts to upgrade this facility.

Williton Depot – Graham was pictured on Saturday 1st July 2023 while preparing the area for the arrival of 7 cubic metres of concrete that will allow the ground in the vicinity of the oil store to be levelled for safe use by the fork lfift truck. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0



KEY DATES for your diary:

WSR SIXTIES WEEKEND: Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July

WSRA AUGUST STEAM RALLY: Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August at Norton Fitzwarren

WSR FORTIES WEEKEND: Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September

DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September.



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