Weekly Roundup – 21-Jan-24

Weekly Roundup – 21-Jan-24

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was out and about on a ‘Tidy Train’ working from Williton to Dunster and back on Saturday 20th January 2024. Photo by trainee secondman Karl Lambert © CC BY-NC 3.0 


The ‘Tidy Train’ ran from Williton to Dunster and back on Saturday 20th and was well manned and had plenty of work to do as it trundled along the line, the volunteers gathering redundant and recycleable materials from the trackside and placing it on the flat wagons that were being towed behind the Class 33 ‘Crompton’. The plan was to take the consignment to Dunster Station to off-load it in the yard there, but points trouble prevented the train from entering the yard so the train returned to Williton with the wagons still loaded, to be dealt with on another day. MANY THANKS to all of the volunteers who braved the cold weather to get this important work done.

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was pictured as it left Williton with three empty flat wagons and a well-filled Brake Van on Saturday 20th January 2024. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) propelled the ‘Tidy Train’ back from Dunster and deposited the wagons in the ‘up’ platform at Williton station. The loco was pictured alongside Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 in fading light on Saturday 20th January 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 



Meanwhile, the WSR Infrastructure Department were busy working near Tribble Bridge where a new retaining wall is being built alongside the embankment. As the wall gains in height, the gap between it and the wall is being filled with graded aggregate to ensure sufficient drainage. The photo below shows one of the WSR’s Road-Rail Vehicles (RRVs) positioned on the line above the new wall. Upon completion of the wall, the track will be removed and relaid with fresh ballast. Hopefully, the 5 mph speed restriction will be lifted some time later this year.

The new retaining wall is being built along the embankment near Tribble Bridge as part of the remediation for the flood damage that occurred back in December 2022. Pictured on Tuesday 23rd January 2024 by Chris Lawton © CC BY-NC 3.0



WSR DIESEL GALA 2024 – Thursday 6th through Saturday 8th JUNE

Following the success of the WSR’s Diesel Gala last year, contracts are being negotiated to get another good selection of visiting locomotives for the 2024 event which will take place from Thursday 6th through to Saturday 8th June. The Sunday will feature mixed traction, hopefully with at least one visiting locomotive at work.

The first visiting locomotive to be announced is English Electric Class 50 50033 (D449) ‘Glorious’, no doubt to the delight of the many followers of the class. We will provide details of the other visiting locomotives as soon as arrangements for their visits have been finalised. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE DATES and do your best to attend. It is going to be a great event !

English Electric Class 50 50033 (D449) ‘Glorious’ will be attending the WSR’s 2024 DIESEL GALA that will take place between Thursday 6th and Saturday 8th June 2024. Photo by Tony Middleton © CC BY-NC 3.0




Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the very cold wind prevented all but the hardiest souls from working on the loco outdoors last weekend, but new volunteer Viv did do exactly that and put several hours of work into cleaning the accumulations of dirt from the bogies. There is plenty more of such work to be done, so we look forward to warmer weather and getting more volunteers working on this aspect of the restoration.

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 reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

The transmission team continued to make very good progress with the rebuild of the ‘A’ transmission, and the assembly checks that took place last Saturday confirmed that everything was in order and it would be OK to proceed to fit the upper casing. We look forward to this rapidly approaching milestone.


D1010 – new volunteer Viv braved the very cold wind at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024 to carry out more cleaning work on the bogies. Well done that man ! Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D1010 – the assembly checks that were carried out on the ‘A’ transmission at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024 showed that everything was in order, clearing the way for the upper casing to be fitted. Photo by Colin Foxhall © 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:

The marking process involves the use of an ink pen to allocate a patch number and define the patch boundaries, then the sponsor’s name or chosen message is written using the ink pen. The vibratory engraving tool is then used to trace the marking while making a deep impression into the steel of the patch. Here’s a close-up:

The patch is then painted over using multiple coats, but the engraving remains in the metal and will withstand many rubdowns and repaints, in fact it is very difficult to remove (which is how we learned to write the text using the ink pen first!). The engraving will last as long as the metal !


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!


Details of the work remaining to be done on this restoration project along with a status report of the funding have been included in the new issue of the DEPG Newsletter, which is becoming available for distribution to DEPG members during the next few days. A summary will be posted via roundup soon, but JOIN THE DEPG to get the information in more detail and more quickly.


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 currently based at Williton and is available for duty.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the replacement cylinder head has now been installed and the eight bolts tightened to the massive torque setting of 750 lb.ft or 1,000 Nm with the use of a torque multiplier and a whole lot of effort from Tom and Ashley. The bolts will need to be re-tightened next week after allowing the bolting stresses to even out, so the lads will be getting another workout soon. The completion of the cylinder head change will allow the team to return their attention to the exhaust system parts, to prepare them for re-fitting. We hope to have this loco back in service some time in March.

D6575 (33 057) – Tom and Ashley (L-R) have their hard hats on in readiness for the lifting of the replacement cylinder head that is visible suspended from the chains alongside the loco. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – a closer view of the replacement Sulzer cylinder head before it was lifted into the loco at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – after lowering the replacement cylinder head into position, volunteer loco manager Ian R (L) checks and explains the critical points to new volunteer Ashley at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – Tom and Ashley provided the turning force to the torque multiplier to achieve the massive 750 lb.ft (1000 Nm) of torque for the cylinder head bolts at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as reported last week, 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 – as reported last week, 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 re-instatement of the sanding gear was the target for Tony this week, with several sander brackets having to be fabricated from scratch due to them being missing when the loco first came to the DEPG back in 2011 (probably as a result of damage due to the frequent derailments in the colliery yards).

Details of the work remaining to be done on this restoration project along with a status report of the funding have been included in the new issue of the DEPG Newsletter, which is becoming available for distribution to DEPG members during the next few days. A summary will be posted via roundup soon, but JOIN THE DEPG to get the information in more detail and more quickly.


D9518 – a new sanding valve bracket was being fabricated by Tony at Williton on Saturday 20th January 2024, to replace parts that were missing when the loco was acquired by the DEPG back in 2011. 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 on standby at Bishops Lydeard for use on engineering trains.


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 is 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, both of great interest to readers with a soft spot for the Western Region and offered at very good prices. 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:     All change for the West

Author : G F Gillham

Book:    35 years of main line diesel traction

Author: Colin Marsden

Asking price : £7.50

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store

Asking price : £5

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store



ON SHED – as mentioned last 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 ! Thanks in advance !



DEPG NEWS – the new issue of the DEPG Newsletter has been completed and will be ready for distribution next week (the online version will be emailed on Sunday 28th). The 44-page A5 newsletter includes information that is not currently available via our website or via the roundup, so JOIN THE DEPG to get the detailed information at the earliest opportunity.

The next DEPG Board Meeting will take place on Saturday 27th January at Williton. Please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you have any questions 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 !




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