Several former mainline diesel-hydraulics gathered for the Severn Valley Railway’s Magnificent Severn’ event. From left to right, D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’, D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ and D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ were pictured together at Kidderminster Station on Saturday 30th September 2023. Photo by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0
Congratulations to the SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY and to all of the loco owning groups and volunteers who pulled together to deliver the ‘Magnificent Severn’ event last weekend, featuring a whole host of locos but with particular focus on the preserved mainline diesel-hydraulics, with five such locos in traffic and three on static display. Although our two ‘Hymeks’ had been invited, they were sadly unable to attend due to issues explained in an earlier roundup.
The Diesel Traction Group (DTG) operated their Class 42 ‘Warship’ D821 ‘GREYHOUND’ and their mainline-registered Class 52 D1015 ‘WESTERN CHAMPION’ and had their Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7029 on static display. The Bury Hydraulic Group operated their Class 42 ‘Warship’ D832 ‘ONSLAUGHT’ and their recently overhauled Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7076, and the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) operated their Class 52 D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ and displayed D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’.
A surprise but very welcome guest was privately-owned Class 52 D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ making a very rare appearance away from her usual home at the Midland Railway Centre in Butterley, Derbyshire, the visit being facilitated by the WLA. The ‘Lady’ has recently undergone bodywork repairs and was resplendent in her BR-blue livery, further adding to the atmosphere of the event and bolstering the recreations of the Old Oak Common turntable scenes of the early 1970s – except that these locos were all clean and shiny, which was certainly not the case when the locos were in service!
The classic lines and symmetry of Sir Misha Black’s design seem to be accentuated in this view of D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ on the low loader, as if placed on a pedestal. The loco was pictured on Thursday 19th September 2023 while waiting in a layby for the rush hour to pass before making the final leg of the journey into Kidderminster. Photo by Paul Finch © CC BY-NC 3.0
Here are some photos that show the strength of the diesel-hydraulic presence at the SVR event:
Three of the seven surviving Class 52 ‘Westerns’ were gathered outside Kidderminster diesel shed on the evening of Tuesday 26th September 2023. From left to right, D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ then D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ then D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’. Photo by Paul Finch © CC BY-NC 3.0
Re-kindling the distant memories of the turntable at Old Oak Common depot, three classes of diesel-hydraulic locomotives were gathered around the turntable at Kidderminster for this evocative night scene. Pictured on Tuesday 26th September 2023 by Paul Finch © CC BY-NC 3.0
Well done to all of the volunteers who worked so hard to deliver so much at this event. We hope to be able to participate next time.
Our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page has been updated to include the three October Sundays of the RED timetable when the WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) is scheduled to run, but the DMU has had a tough year and may not be available for service. At the time of writing, it is not known if these workings will run with diesel haulage or revert to steam haulage, as per the other Red timetable days. Click here or 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’ – attention has now moved to the input and auxiliary shafts while the findings of the turbine rail disassembly work are being collated for review by the DEPG board. The turbine rail is well protected and remains coated in a film of oil after use, but the other shafts are exposed to the condensation that forms inside the top cover of the transmission and subsequently drips down onto the shafts, getting into the bearings and initiating corrosion during the long periods when the loco is out of use. As we anticipated, these bearings will all need to be replaced and the budget already includes provision for them.
D1010 – the ‘Group 8’ input shaft of the ‘A’ end transmission has now been disassembled. The corrosion damage is self-evident on the inner raceway of bearing 8/30. All such parts will be replaced during the rebuild, but the operating and storage conditions of the loco will need to be revised to minimise the risk of future damage. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 26th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the disassembly of the ‘Group 8’ input shaft of the ‘A’ end revealed corrosion damage to all four bearings on this shaft. The damage to bearing 8/42 above is less severe than that affecting bearing 8/30, but is still way past being fit for further use. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 26th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
New bearings have also been fitted to the governor assembly (Group 7), which is now fully reassembled and ready for use. A curious finding in this assembly was a thrust bearing (part 7/27) that had been fitted the wrong way around, and had resulted in overheating of the bearing and associated pressure plate (part 7/28). This was easily resolved with a new bearing of the correct type, fitted the right way around !
D1010 – pictured exactly as removed from the governor of the ‘A’ end transmission, the heat damage is evidenced by the blue discolouration of thrust bearing 7/27 and pressure plate 7/28. During the previous overhaul, probably at Swindon Works in the 1970s, this small bearing had been fitted the wrong way around. Pictured at Williton on Monday 18th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the transmission governor fitted to the Class 52s uses the centrifugal force generated by rotating weight(s) 19 to balance the pressure that is generated by pre-set springs (96 and 97) acting through lever arms 38 and 48. The resultant movement allows valve spindle 23 to control the gear selection. Drawing by Voith GmbH © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the complete governor assembly includes the hydraulic cylinder (yellow) that is fed by the engine-driven hydraulic pump (not shown) and is used to provide feedback to the governor and adjust the gear-change speeds according to the power setting selected by the driver. Pictured at Williton on 18th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
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 the 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 currently stabled at Minehead as the standby locomotive but will return to Williton on Saturday 14th October and will eventually move to Bishops Lydeard in time for ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ duties.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is now stabled at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for an underframe and traction motor examination that will take place during this coming weekend. The loco also needs a brake block change, so the team are going to be busy indeed !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the electrical fault-finding work has been completed by Neil, John, Ian and Tom and everything checked out OK. This was confirmed during a static engine run and system check at Williton on Saturday 30th September. Click here or on the image below to view a short video clip of the startup.
Following the successful static test, Ian finished the electrical work by dressing and securing the wiring in readiness for a formal brake test this coming weekend (or next), and a test run on the WSR, probably during the weekend of 21st October. The finished control cubicle can be seen in the view below:
Electrical work on Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was completed by Ian R on Sunday 1st October 2023. The control cubicle pictured above shows (clockwise from upper left) the exhauster contactor (white), High Transmission Temperature Relay (HTTR), Shutdown Transmission Temperature Relay (STTR), Converter Relay (CR), another exhauster contactor (white) and the newly-added 100A fuse for the second exhauster (EXF2). Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco has now been towed out of the loco shed to allow work on other locos to take place under cover. The quarantine on this loco has now been lifted but the Root Cause Analysis is still in progress, so the transmission will not be touched until that analytical work reaches the relevant stage. Other work on the loco can now resume.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues on the restoration of the cab assembly and the replacement of the electrical wiring loom that runs inside the driver’s ‘desk’. The Class 14 team is currently sharing its time between this project and the 1000-hour service on sister D9526, so we would welcome additional help to keep both sets of tasks moving along. Just respond to this email if you feel that you could help. Thanks !
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 inside the shed at Williton and work is proceeding on the 1000-hour service. The tasks involved with this service are quite invasive and labour intensive, so the work is likely to take several weeks. Upon completion, the loco will move to Bishops Lydeard to cover for Class 09 D4107 (09 019) while that loco undergoes bodywork repairs.
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 for a while yet, but she will be in very good shape for 2024 and beyond.
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 have just added a new title to our online store and we now have stock available of the THIRD VOLUME in the very successful ‘THE BEATEN TRACK’ series by Andy Chard, published by Platform 5. These popular books are very interesting, very well produced and will no doubt sell quickly. Click here or on the image below to buy this book from our online store. Well done Andy !
Here’s an extract from the publisher’s website:
“The Beaten Track was first published in 2021. Its combination of outstanding colour photography from 1970–1985, featuring superseded motive power and long-lost extremities of the British railway network received widespread critical acclaim.
Although originally intended to be a single volume, the success of The Beaten Track gave rise to a second volume, published in 2022, which continued in the same vein and received similar praise in reviews.
We’re now proud to present The Beaten Track Volume 3 – a third selection of the best colour photography from 1970–1985. More than 250 high quality colour images illustrate an assortment of traction types, very few of which can still be seen on the main line, many at railway locations that have long since disappeared or have changed out of all recognition.
All the photographs are accompanied by extensive captions, containing considerable historical and anecdotal information relating to the lines, stations and trains depicted. Hardback. A4 size. 176 pages.”
ON SHED – not on shed, in fact the total opposite being so very far from home, WSR and DEPG driver Paul Fleet has provided us with this photograph of D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ in the late days of her mainline service life, looking very much in need of the tender loving care that she was soon to receive in her preservation days. Here’s some background to the image:
“Taken from an overbridge about a 1/4 mile south of Luton Station, the train, 6V76 13.20 Luton to Westbury is still crawling out of Crescent Road Yard at the start of its return journey via Cricklewood (Brent Curve) and Acton Wells to Acton Main Line and on to Westbury. The inbound working came to Leagrave (a northern suburb of Luton) via Didcot, Oxford, Bletchley (Flyover) to Bedford, where it reversed and headed south along the Midland Main Line. The train usually comprised of a loco plus 32 loaded MSV stone tipplers, so was a reasonable load on the continual incline up from Bedford into Leagrave Yard. Manned by a Didcot driver and Guard, Bedford Depot provided a conductor driver between Bletchley and Acton. The photo is uncredited, but dated 15th April 1976, just under a year before the last ‘Western’ was withdrawn from service.”
D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ was pictured far from home on 15th April 1976, working the 6V76 Luton Crescent Road Yard to Westbury stone empties. This loco survived in service to the very end of the diesel-hydraulic era and is now cared for by the Bury Hydraulic Group on the East Lancashire Railway. Photographer unknown.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing this very unusual image with us all.
DEPG NEWS – our well-known volunteer Secondman, Trustee and Board Member TOM COURTNEY celebrated his 21st birthday last week by sharing a buffet lunch and chocolate birthday cake with his fellow volunteers at Williton depot. Congratulations Tom, and thanks for the lunch !
DEPG volunteer Secondman, Trustee and Board Member TOM COURTNEY celebrated his 21st birthday with a buffet lunch and a slice of chocolate cake at Williton on Saturday 30th September 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. 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 !