Daily Archives: Saturday, February 3, 2024

  • Weekly Roundup – 28-Jan-24

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) is undergoing an exhaust system overhaul in the loco shed at Williton. Pictured on Friday 26th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    Tucked away out of sight inside the loco shed at Williton, work is proceeding on the exhaust system overhaul of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) to get her ready for a return to service before the end of March. This time of year, the demand for the occasional engineering train is easily met by sister Class 33 D6566 (33 048) or by Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, both locos being available for use by the WSR at any time, but this will change when the line reopens in March, with the need to support operations and the need to run special services for refreshing the train crews.

    Progress on D6575 has been held up by having to wait for the exhaust gaskets to be delivered. The first batch were incorrect and the second batch were rejected by the manufacturer before shipment, so the third batch ought to be right !

    The photo below shows that the roof of the loco has been lifted off to allow easier access to the large and heavy exhaust system components, most of which have now been removed from the loco for clean up and inspection. The Sulzer 8-cylinder diesel engine has been checked over and one of the cylinder heads was found to have worn valve guides, which reduces efficiency and increases oil consumption. This issue has been caught at an early stage and the cylinder head replaced with a known good spare from DEPG stock. Other cleanup work will continue while we wait for the gaskets, then we will need a few weeks to put everything back together and perform the necessary checks and inspections before the loco returns to service.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) viewed from the Mezzanine floor inside the loco shed at Williton. Pictured on Saturday 27th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    Meanwhile, the WSR Infrastructure team continue their work on the sections of the line where issues were reported last year. One such area is west of Washford Station, where a section of trackbed had become waterlogged. When this happens, mud fills the spaces between the individual stones of the ballast and forms what is known as a ‘wet bed. This requires digging out and the ballast replacing with fresh material. The source of the excess water has to be dealt with as well, to prevent a recurrence. Given the weather extremes of the last few years, the team are busy indeed !

    Members of the WSR Infrastructure team were at work on the ‘wet bed’ west of Washford Station during late January 2024. Photo by Jake Genge © CC BY-NC 3.0 


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

    As covered last week, 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 (D433) ‘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 (D433) ‘Glorious’ will be attending the WSR’s 2024 DIESEL GALA that takes place between Thursday 6th and Saturday 8th June 2024. Photo by Tony Middleton © CC BY-NC 3.0



    Our popular ‘DIESEL RUNNING DATES‘ page has been updated to cover the WSR public services that are planned for diesel haulage this year, so CLICK HERE or on the image below to visit the page and see the range of dates available. We will be providing the loco allocations soon and will keep this page up to date as we get clarification on the details.



    An update has been received from DEPG member Martin Rouse covering the recent progress on his AC Railbus W79978 based on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. It was great to read that the Railbus has been operated succesfully and we look forward to seeing this project make further progress. The January 2024 news update can be found by clicking on this link.

    AC Railbus W79978 was in use at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway in September 2023 and was very popular with visitors. This interesting piece of railway history is undergoing restoration at Hayes Knoll. Photo by Martin Rouse © CC BY-NC 3.0



    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the focus for the team at the moment is the planning of the lifting operation that will allow the bogies to be rolled out so that they can be overhauled. The plan is for the loco be lifted by two 100-ton road cranes working in tandem, that will be able to slew the loco body aside so that the bogies can be moved out of the way and the stands placed in position instead. The loco body would then be slewed back into position and lowered onto the stands.

    The stands themselves are massive steel fabrications, each weighing more than 1 tonne and dating back to the 1960s. They were used at Swindon Works until made redundant by the withdrawal of the Class 52s. As the picture below shows, they are in need of a clean up, after which they will be inspected to ensure integrity then given a fresh coat of paint. That’s another job that needs to be done ASAP !

    Meanwhile, the transmission team have made very good progress and have re-fitted the top cover to the overhauled ‘A’ transmission. It is not photogenic because it has yet to be painted, but it has now been overhauled and only needs the rest of the peripherals reattached to become a complete working unit once again. WELL DONE TEAM !

    The restoration of D1010 is a major project and we will need MORE HANDS to help us get the 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.

    D1010 – the genuine ex-Swindon Works Class 52 loco stands were relocated to be alongside the loco at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024. The stands will be cleaned up and inspected before being painted. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    D1010 – the cooler group continues to receive attention from Ian F and Roy, the grey primer gradually extending to cover most of the structure. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    D1010 – the overhauled transmission from ‘A’ end is approaching completion after the fitting of the top cover (left) and the installation of the governor (right). Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 23rd January 2024 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    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 has now been distributed to DEPG members. A summary will be posted via roundup soon, but JOIN THE DEPG to get the information in more detail and more quickly.

    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. 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. Here’s a close-up:

    Sponsorship includes a photograph and a certificate via email, but we can print the 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!

    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) – as outlined earlier, the replacement cylinder head for number 5 cylinder has now been installed, so the team can now return their focus to the exhaust system.We hope to have this loco back in service some time in March.

    D6575 (33 057) – a close look at the valve gear of cylinder head No. 5 showing the rocker arms and central support. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D6575 (33 057) – cylinder head No. 5 is carrying a new exhaust outlet gasket (green) in readiness for the re-fitting of the exhaust pipe. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © 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 – the temporary pressure gauges that were being used to monitor the control pressures have been reorganised and relocated to make them easier to read. This also makes them easier to film, the video evidence of the pressures at startup being essential information in the fault-finding process. The next step is to check that the six control pistons are correctly set and can achieve full and free travel. These checks will ensure that the maximum amount of useful information is obtained from the next engine startup.


    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the team continued their preparations for the electrical re-wiring and the installation of the cab by completing the restoration of several more electrical junction box enclosures along with the associated specially-shaped trunking. In parallel, work continued on the cardan shaft replacement activities and on the compressed air pipework for the windscreen wipers. 

    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 has now been distributed to DEPG members. A summary will be posted via roundup soon, but JOIN THE DEPG to get the information in more detail and more quickly.

    D9518 – an elevated view of the ‘A’ end of the locomotive at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024 showed the cooler group (grey) dominating the scene, with the two exhausters  to the left (green) and the cab assembly to the right. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D9518 – the quality of finish on these humble electrical enclosures gives a taste of what to expect when this loco reaches completion. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D9518 – the painted pegboard lining provides the authentic 1960s look and feel for the cab. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024 by Jon Tooke © 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 later this month.


    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 and offered at very good prices. The book by David Clough is of particular interest. 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: BR Standard Diesels of the 1960s

    Author : David Clough

    Book: BR Traction in Colour – 2

    Author: Paul Shannon

    Asking price : £15

    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 now been distributed in both hard copy and online form. The 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. Please let us know if you are a member and you are still waiting for your copy beyond the middle of next week.


    A Board Meeting was held at Williton on Saturday 27th January 2024. A synopsis is being prepared and will be emailed ASAP to all DEPG members for whom we hold a valid email address.


    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 !




    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post