Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was pictured on the approach to the delightful Stogumber station with the 11:00 departure from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead on Tuesday 22nd August 2023. Photo by Shirley Turner © CC BY-NC 3.0
The WSR’s Yellow Timetable came to an end on Saturday 26th August with Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 working the final service of the peak season. Public services from now until 28th September have reverted to the BLUE timetable and include diesel-hauled services on most weekends except for the FORTIES WEEKEND (9th and 10th) which will be an all-steam event, which is both appropriate and accurate, given that all of our locos date from the 1960s onwards! See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details of loco allocations.
As a result of the suspension of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ operations as announced in the previous DIESELGEN and ROUNDUP, our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ D6566 (33 048) and D6575 (33 057) will be covering the diesel loco-hauled workings throughout the month of September, as per the WSR’s BLUE timetable. Note that Saturday 16th has a slightly modified timetable, available via the link in the table below:
|September 2023 dates
|D6575 (33 057)
|D6575 (33 057)
|D6575 (33 057)
|MODIFIED BLUE timetable
|D6575 (33 057)
|D6566 (33 048) and D6575 (33 057) DOUBLE HEADING
|D6566 (33 048)
We will be running a double-headed Class 33 ‘Crompton’ hauled service on Saturday 23rd so keep this date available in your diary!
Here’s the plan for Saturday 23rd September:
10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard worked by D6575 (33 057)
16:35 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead worked by D6566 (33 048)
We look forward to welcoming you on board these enhanced services (standard WSR ticketing applies).
An unexpected but most welcome event took place at Minehead Station on the evening of Saturday 26th August when the WSR invited all volunteers from all branches of the ‘WSR family’ to attend a BBQ and social evening, during which a steam loco provided footplate rides and basic footplate tuition. Several of our active volunteers attended and were tempted to try out the steam footplate rides. Two of the ‘defectors’ were caught on camera. No, seriously, I love steam locos as well so I am only sorry that I couldn’t attend !
BR(WR) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ provided the basic footplate experiences during the BBQ evening at Minehead station on Saturday 26th August 2023. DEPG volunteers Pat (left) and Steve (right) were tempted by the magic of steam. Photos by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Well done to the WSR for recognising the invaluable contribution of volunteers from all of the related WSR support organisations.
Speaking of steam, the FORTIES WEEKEND event will take place on September 9th and 10th and is always very popular with a wide range of related exhibits and themed activities, including the now-customary evening dance on the platform at Minehead ! Click here to go to the WSR website for details of this event.
Our DIESEL RUNNING DATES 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’ – the transmission work is progressing and the peripherals are being dealt with in the early stages so that known good assemblies can be stored and cleared from the working area before the turbine rail is opened up. The amount of space required to disassemble such complex and inter-related parts is staggering, so good houskeeping is essential. Apologies for the lack of photos this week.
On the loco itself, the electrical wiring under the driver’s desk at ‘B’ end is being carefully reinstated by Steve, with each crimp terminal being inspected and replaced whenever any doubt exists about the integrity of the existing part. We want this loco to be reliable so that we can attract swarms of vistors to ride behind the loco on the WSR as soon as we are up and running again.
The bodywork of the loco continues to progress, with ‘A’ end already having been repainted. There are still some patches waiting for sponsors at the ‘B’ end of the loco, so GET IN QUICK TO HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED before the painters reach this end (the weather is delaying this work). Many thanks to those who placed their orders during this last week.
Having the loco outdoors has generated an increased 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, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is the WSR Standby Loco and is now stabled at Bishops Lydeard after working Blue timetable duties for the past three months. See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details. As you will have noticed from your DEPG calendars, this loco enjoyed her 62nd birthday on Saturday 26th August !
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is outstationed at Minehead and will handle the Blue timetable until handing the baton back to her slightly older sister on the last Bishops Lydeard to Minehead service of the day on 23rd September.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was in use on Sunday 27th August 2023 with DEPG and PW volunteer Chris L (right) on secondman duties and former Eurostar driver Baz (left) on route learning duties. Pictured while standing at Williton Station by driver Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – both ‘Hymeks’ were ‘grounded’ while our updated Risk Assessment was being scrutinised by the WSR, but this document has now been approved so we can at least move the locos subject to the additional control measures being put in place.
However, we still have two electrical faults to deal with on this loco, then we will need to do a Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT), then arrange a test run to ensure that the loco is reliable enough to be rostered for duty. This is not going to happen in time for the loco to do any public service work this year, which is why the two ‘Cromptons’ have stepped in to cover the remaining turns that were formerly booked for the ‘Hymeks’.
Although this is disappointing for all of us, it does provide a breathing space to allow us resolve the issues properly and get the loco reliable again, so that she can perform as often as possible in 2024.
D7017 – the engine speeder valve solenoid that failed while the loco was in service on Sunday 2nd July 2023 has now been fitted with a new winding, thanks to Carwood Rewind of Yeovil. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the work taking place on this locomotive continues to be of an analytical nature, digging deeper into the inner workings of the transmission control block to establish the list of probable causes and rank them in order of criticality. This work will take a few more weeks and will then clear the way for the transmission to be partly disassembled to check if the theories fit with the actual findings.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – although some effort has had to be diverted towards classmate D9526, several tasks on D9518 have been moving along in the background. The cardan shafts are currently undergoing inspection before being balanced at H J Chard in Bristol. Results will be shared ASAP, but early indications were not good, so we are braced for some expensive news. Back at Williton, the driver’s power and direction controller has been disamantled for cleaning and inspection. This task was very kindly carried out by Martin R and revealed some areas of wear that will need to be assessed and possibly repaired before the controller is re-assembled. Master electrician John C has resumed his work on the driver’s desk wiring loom and is in the process of mapping out the many conenctions so that a replacement loom can be assembled. There is plenty of work to be done on this restoration project !
D9518 – the driver’s power and direction controller has been stripped down for cleaning. It will now be inspected and any areas of wear corrected before being reassembled. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 26th August 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 was in use for three of the five weeks of the YELLOW timetable services that ran during the peak summer period, concluding on Saturday 26th August. These 4-coach workings were ideal for the quiet and purposeful 650 HP loco and also provided opportunities for six different drivers to develop experience on the type, making rostering much easier in future. Well done D9526 !
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Work is proceeding well, but the amount of work being done means that the loco is unlikely to emerge until after the main running season ends, but she will be in very good shape for 2024 and beyond.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is in full working order and is stabled in the South Yard. The cab is undergoing a repaint in the capable hands of Jon T, but the loco remains serviceable and ready for action.
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 – the weight of other news has caused us to miss several weeks of book reviews, but waiting patiently to be presented via Roundup is a very interesting new book CHANGING ENGINES by Michael Hollick of the LNWR Society, covering a very interesting period in early diesel traction history. We already have a full book review from Neale Long and will include that next week, but to get us started, here is an extract from the publisher’s own press release:
“CHANGING ENGINES tells the story of the transition from steam power to diesel and electric traction in the Birmingham and Rugby Districts of the London Midland Region, encompassing the former London and North Western Lines, and those of other companies subsumed into the Birmingham Division in the 1960s.
Starting with the early prototype diesel locomotives, it then covers the introduction of diesel shunters and multiple units during the 1950s, working through to the final elimination of steam in 1967 and the changes made to the end of the decade.
The book covers the organisation of the changes, ordering and allocation of locomotives, development of diesel and electric depots, reliability issues with the new traction, and the final rundown of steam duties. It is based on extensive research into surviving official records as well as contemporary reports and the reminisces of some of those involved, backed up with a comprehensive selection of colour and black and white photographs.”
This 140-page A4 hardback book is in stock at Williton and is priced at £30 per copy. It can be ordered from our online store by clicking on the image above or by clicking this link.
ON SHED – or close to a shed in this case, we see D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ at Severn Tunnel Junction on the through road towards Chepstow and Gloucester, complete with a coach or two full of ‘Western’ admirers making the most of her last months in front-line service. Just look at the array of motive power lined up in the yard – classes 25, 37, 45, 47 and 52 with 11 locos visible and probably more out of camera. Many thanks to Kelvin Lumb for sharing his image with us all.
Class 52 D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ pours on the power at Severn Tunnel Junction depot en route to Gloucester on 22nd August 1976. This loco has been preserved and is now at the Midland Railway in Butterley, Derbyshire. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) will take place at Williton on Saturday 2nd September, starting at 14:00 and all DEPG members are entitled to attend (formal calling notices were sent by post or email earlier this month). To save paper and postage, any member who wishes to see the minutes of the previous AGM or the draft of the accounts for the year ended 31st December 2022 is asked to contact us via our CONTACT FORM and we will respond by sending the requested items. This approach has saved reams of paper and £££s of ink, most of which would otherwise have gone straight from the doormat to the recycling container. Thank you for your understanding.
NOTE – Members will not need to show their membership cards at the AGM (we ony issue cards on special request these days), but the register of members will be checked to ensure that all present are fully paid-up members.
The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. To vote at the AGM, it is essential 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. Thank you very much !
KEY DATES for your diary:
WSR FORTIES WEEKEND: Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September