The WSR’s Infrastructure Department are having a busy time as they take advantage of their ‘possession’ of the line, which basically means that they have control of the line and nothing can move without their express permission. This is primarily to ensure the safety of the staff and volunteers who are at work on the line in multiple locations. One example is Blue Anchor, where the ‘down’ line (away from Paddington) was dug out and relaid at the end of last year and the ‘up’ line (towards Paddington) was dealt with during the last two weeks. The line is now fit for trains to pass once again, and the next working is a ‘Tidy Train’ that will leave Williton on Saturday 20th behind Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and run as far as Dunster, with volunteers collecting redundant materials from along the lineside and off-loading it all at Dunster Station Yard for sorting and recycling.
Blue Anchor station – the ‘down’ line on the left had already been completely relaid and the ‘up’ line was undergoing spot repairs that have now been completed. Pictured on Tuesday 9th January 2024 by Robin Wichard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Away from the WSR, our friends at the DIESEL TRACTION GROUP (DTG) were making headline news by completing a successful test run of their mainline-registered Class 52 D1015 ‘WESTERN CHAMPION’. The photographers were out in force including our own Gary Lemon, who travelled to Gossington, Gloucestershire (near Stroud) to grab some shots as the ‘Western’ passed by hauling the GB Railfreight (GBRf) 6M42 Bristol Avonmouth to Penyffordd cement train including GBRf locomotive 66714 as far as the Haresfield Loop, just south of Gloucester. Former DEPG Chairman BOB TILLER was on board to make sure that everything went to plan. CONGRATULATIONS to the team at the DTG and many thanks to GBRf for providing the opportunity for this loaded test run. It is great to see a ‘Western’ working hard on the mainline again. Thanks also to Gary for sharing his work with us.
Class 52 D1015 ‘WESTERN CHAMPION’ leads GBRf 66714 while powering the 6M42 Bristol Avonmouth to Penyffordd cement train past Gossington, Gloucestershire (near Stroud) on Wednesday 10th January 2024. Photo by Gary Lemon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – work continued on the cooler group refurbishment with the ‘A-end’ assembly being inside the shed, therefore the obvious choice for attention on a freezing cold day. The cleaning up and repainting will be interrupted by the need for some welding repairs to patch some holes that have developed over the years. Luckily, these only amount to a few percent of the total area so are fairly easy to work around.
The transmission team made very good progress with the rebuild of the ‘A’ transmission, with the reverser gears and filling pump installed by the end of the week. Some checks need to be made to ensure that everything is in order before the upper casing section is fitted and bolted down, and we will then be able to proceed with confidence and finish the job.
In preparation for lifting the locomotive from her bogies, some photos were taken from underneath the locomotive, looking upwards at the dampers and thrust brackets that have to be removed before the loco body can be lifted. As expected, there was plenty of dirt and grime present, but the bolts were clearly visible and the pictures tell a thousand words.
Lifting the loco to release the bogies for overhaul will be a major piece of work and we will need MORE HANDS to help us get this work done. If you want to see this locomotive back on the rails soon, then PLEASE COME ALONG AND HELP US WITH THE WORK ! There is plenty more to do, so simply use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.
D1010 – Ian Fn and Roy (L-R) were hard at work on the ‘A’ end cooler group at Williton on Saturday 13th January 2024. This assembly needs some welding repairs before it can be re-assembled, so this will be a job for Tony. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – Geoff checks to make sure that the anti-rotation lugs of the intermediate reverser shaft bearing housings have engaged correctly within the ‘A’ transmission at Williton on Monday 8th January 2024. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the hydraulic fluid outlet port that sends the hot fluid to the heat exchanger is clearly visible in this view of the turbine rail installed into the ‘A’ transmission at Williton on Monday 8th January 2024. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – Looking upwards from underneath the loco, the bogie yaw damper can be seen at the point where it attaches to the thrust bracket. The dirt and grime is an accumulation since the loco was last lifted, back in BR days. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th January 2024 by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – Looking upwards from underneath the loco, one set of attachment fastenings for one of the four thrust brackets are visible, with double nuts and split pins for security. Removing these thrust brackets will not be the most pleasant of tasks. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th January 2024 by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Thanks to responses to our appeal for help, we now have two new volunteers working on the photographs and the certificates that will soon be on their way to all who have sponsored a patch on D1010. Almost all of the sponsored patches have now been engraved into the new metal on the loco and efforts are now focused on producing the certificates that will be emailed to each sponsor in recognition of their contribution. Here’s an example:
Sponsorship includes a photograph and a certificate via email, but we can print these certificates on photo paper and mail them out upon request, in which case we would like to ask for an additional £2 donation per certificate to cover photo paper, ink and postage (donate via our website or via Membermojo).
The drawings that have been developed in parallel will provide a formal record of the position of each sponsored patch and this will allow sponsors to look up the location of their patch when they visit the depot at Williton. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT – and your PATIENCE !
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 based at Williton for the time being and will be in use on Saturday 20th January, working the ‘Tidy Train’ between Williton and Dunster. The train will move slowly along route, gathering up any redundant materials such as old sleepers and any large remnants from the cutting back activities. The mixed material will be taken to Dunster Station Yard, where it will be off-loaded for sorting and recycling. Many thanks to the teams of volunteers involved with these activities.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the defective cylinder head was removed from the loco last Saturday and preparations were made for the fitting of the replacement cylinder head, hopefully this coming weekend. The defective head will need a new set of valve guides, valves and springs, and it will then be ready for re-use at a future date (these large and heavy parts can be refurbished many times over). There are some areas of bodywork that need repair, and this work will also be dealt with while the loco is under cover.
D6575 (33 057) – the team at work on this loco has been expanded by the welcome addition of driver Neil C (second from left) and new volunteer Ashley (right). Volunteer loco manager Ian R is on the left and secondman Tom is furthest from the camera. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th January 2024 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
D6575 (33 057) – the exhaust system comprises several very large and heavy sections. The once-white heat resistant tape wrapping does not contain asbestos. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th January 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is ready to return to service subject to some test runs that will be used to accumulate hours and ensure reliability. This loco will undergo an oil change when warmer weather returns and will be ready for test running as soon as the WSR re-opens.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the next steps for the investigation into the control block issues were planned out and the necessary pressure gauges obtained. To eliminate several probable causes, the loco will need to undergo a static engine run during which the additional risk mitigation measures will be put in place to prevent un-commanded movement. The test run will include data gathering from additional pressure monitoring points and will clear the way for the control block to be removed from the loco for inspection and corrective action. This work will take place over the next 4 weeks.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the investigation into the repair or replacement options for the cardan shafts is continuing, but meanwhile, work proceeds on the many other tasks associated with the cab rebuild. The electrical cable conduits and trunkings are in the process of being restored by Andy P and the cab lining is being re-installed by Colin G while Terry works on the restoration of the many parts that are lining up for re-fitting.
D9518 – another specially-shaped length of electrical cable trunking has been restored and is being repainted by Andy P at Williton. Pictured on Saturday 13th January 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – always the perfectionist, Colin G traces the existing hole positions for the fixing screws before drilling the pegboard cab lining. This careful approach prevents drilling and tapping additional holes and will result in a much better job, so well done Colin ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 13th January 2024 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 moved to Bishops Lydeard on Sunday 31st December 2023 and is on standby in case a need for an engineering train working arises.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – after receiving a top-end overhaul at Grosmont Works, this loco is now ready to take up duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The plan is for this loco to be in use during February.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco stabled on number 3 road at Williton and is ready for use if required.
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 – this week, we feature two more pre-owned books from a collection that has been very kindly donated to the DEPG, this time showcasing the Class 50s. All monies gathered from the sale of pre-owned books go directly to DEPG funds for the upkeep of our locomotive fleet, so we would like to say thank you very much to all who have donated and all who have purchased from our online store. Check our online store regularly and change the ‘default sorting’ to ‘sort by latest’ to keep an eye on new postings.
Book: 50s to Exeter
Author : Roger Siviter
Book: 50s West Exeter to Penzance
Author: Roger Siviter
Asking price : £5
Asking price : £5
The VERY last few copies of our 2024 DEPG CALENDAR are still in stock at Williton, so this is DEFINITELY your last opportunity to obtain your own copy of this A3-sized 12-page glossy publication which has a theme of DEPG locomotives in ‘then and now’ liveries. Quantities are very limited so PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW to ensure that you get your copy.
ON SHED – a bit of a cheat this week because the photograph is outside the date scope of this roundup, but hopefully we will be forgiven because the weather is about to change and this scene won’t exist this time next week. We are actually SHORT of on-shed photographs, which is hard to believe, but is true. To help us maintain this popular feature, please SEND US YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ! Please use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you have photographs that you could share. Thanks in advance !
The DEPG’s ‘celebrity’ Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ takes on a polar appearance outside Grosmont shed on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Pictured on Thursday 18th January 2024 by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – we aim to produce our ‘DIESEL & ELECTRIC’ Newsletters on a quarterly basis, but events back in August took their toll on the available resource and other catch-up activities have prevented us from completing the Autumn edition. This will be rectified in the coming weeks with a combined Autumn and Winter edition that will be distributed before the end of January. Apologies for this delay.
The next DEPG Board Meeting will take place on Saturday 27th January at Williton. Please use the CONTACT FORM on our website to let us know if you have a question that you would like to have placed before the board.
The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !
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. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !