The big event coming up next on the WSR is the FORTIES WEEKEND 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.
We may need to announce a deviation from the previous DIESELGEN and ROUNDUP announcements for Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ D6566 (33 048) and D6575 (33 057) running during the month of September. The details are not available to us yet, but it seems that running opportunities on Sat/Sun 23/24th September could be affected by a possible guest appearance that is in the planning stage at the time of writing. Here’s an updated table showing the situation as we currently see it:
September 2023 dates
To be advised
To be advised
Apologies in advance to all those who were hoping for a double-headed Class 33 ‘Crompton’ hauled service on Saturday 23rd because this is now very unlikely to happen, but continue to keep this date available in your diary and await further announcements !
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.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the DEPG took place at Williton on Saturday 2nd September and was well attended, providing a great opportunity for members old and new to meet up and exchange their views on how our charity should be run. The meeting returned all six trustees to the Board for the coming twelve months and approved the financial report for the year ended 31-Dec-22, which will now be filed with Companies House and the Charity Commission, and thereby available for public scrutiny. A detailed report will be included in the next DEPG Newsletter, expected later this month.
One notable event following the AGM was the unveiling of a nameplate for the new oil store at Williton depot, named in honour of the volunteer who kept on about having such a facility until we couldn’t take any more and gave in and built it (see below photo for details) !
The new gated oil store at Williton features separate sections for new and used oil, each area having separate bunds to capture any accidental spills. The unveiling of the ‘Warship-style’ nameplate was performed by Neil on Saturday 2nd September 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
The new gated oil store at Williton was completed by Graham and Paul T on Monday Saturday 28th August 2023. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0
The ‘WILLITON INFRASTRUCTURE DIVISION’ T-shirt was modelled by volunteer Graham at Williton on Saturday 12th August 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Volunteer Paul T, the other member of the WILLITON INFRASTRUCTURE DIVISION, was pictured taking a short break on Saturday 29th July 2023. Perhaps the caption should read ‘Phew, this kind of work is a lot harder than it used to be !’ Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0
Many thanks to our hard-working volunteers for their continuing efforts on infrastructure as well as loco maintenance and restoration !
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the main focus of activities at Williton last week was the preparation for the AGM, but some work did take place on the ‘A’ transmission. We will cover the progress in a combined update in the near future.
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. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during this last few weeks.
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 stabled at Bishops Lydeard.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was in use on the weekend of 2/3 September on the 10:00 Minehead 80-mile diagram. The loco was pictured while departing from Bishops Lydeard station with the 16:35 return working. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week, still awaiting electrical fault-finding work on the engine speeder valve circuit and the Vacuum Governor circuit.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the work taking place on this locomotive continues to be of an analytical nature as the Root Cause Analysis develops. The loco did get towed out of the loco shed for a few hours, which made for a rare appearance this summer – we needed the space for the AGM !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 was towed out into the open on 2nd September 2023 to make space for the AGM. Ahead of the errant ‘Hymek’ is Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 and the whole consist had been hauled out by Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1). Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues on several fronts, with progress even being made on the morning of the AGM, right up until the arrival of the members prevented the continuance of any kind of restoration activities. Details will be posted in a future roundup.
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 – now stabled at Williton and available for use at any time. This loco will be due for a 1000-hour service very soon.
Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 were pictured together in perfect late summer weather conditions at Williton on Saturday 2nd September 2023. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
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 was in use to shunt the yard on Saturday 2nd September. The cab is undergoing an internal 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 – we are now able to share the detailed book review that was prepared by regular contributor NEALE LONG in relation to the very interesting new book CHANGING ENGINES by Michael Hollick of the LNWR Society. Apologies to Neale for the delay in publishing his review, but here it is now:
“For many enthusiasts, one of the most fascinating periods in railway history was the period from the late 1950s to late 1960s when steam traction was replaced by diesel and electric traction on Britain’s railways. The need for economies and dire labour shortages drove this process and ……” CLICK HERE to read the rest of Neale’s review via our website.
This 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.
MANY THANKS to Neale for taking the time to provide us with this detailed review (and for buying the first copy of this new book) !
ON SHED – last week we shared this photo of D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ pouring on the power at Severn Tunnel Junction (STJ) on the through road heading towards Chepstow and Gloucester. What was not apparent was that the loco had just arrived from Paddington via the Severn Tunnel and had run around her train at STJ. Here’s some more detail from the photographer, Kelvin Lumb:
“D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ arrived at STJ via the tunnel, ran-round its train at the cross-over points in the distance and is photographed departing in the Chepstow direction on Sunday afternoon 22nd August 1976. D1033 ‘WESTERN TROOPER’ is in the background line-up of locos, together with a few ‘Spotters’”.
Does anyone have any information as to why this working reversed at STJ ? Perhaps engineering work on the Swindon-Cheltenham ‘Golden Valley’ line ?
Class 52 D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ pours on the power from a standing start at Severn Tunnel Junction depot, en route to Gloucester on Sunday 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 next Newsletter has been delayed by the need to prioritise the investigation work on D7018, but we expect to be able to distribute the Newsletter later this month. Work has begun on the 2024 Calendar and we hope to be able to sell an increased quantity this year.
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. Thank you very much !
KEY DATES for your diary:
WSR FORTIES WEEKEND: Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September