Daily Archives: Saturday, February 10, 2024

  • Weekly Roundup – 04-Feb-24

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 was fresh from overhaul when pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield station on 6th October 2019. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    After missing the Diesel Gala and causing us a lot of trouble in August of last year, investigation work on the transmission of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 has now revealed physical damage to one of her directional clutches that will require the transmission to be removed from the locomotive so that repairs can take place. We had already suspected that D7018 would not be available for service until later this year, but this new finding confirms this and we are allocating resources to make sure that the work gets done in good time so that the loco can demonstrate reliability by March 2025, which will be her 50th anniversary of entering preservation.


    After withdrawal from BR service at Old Oak Common in March 1975, D7018 was purchased by a private individual and moved to Didcot Railway Centre. The loco was later acquired by the D+EG (forerunner of the DEPG) when the owner had the opportunity to purchase a ‘Western’ instead. The ‘Hymek’ was restored at Didcot in parallel with work that was taking place on preserved sister D7017 at Minehead, and the two locos eventually came together at Williton in 1991.


    In 1995, D7018 suffered an engine failure when departing from Williton with a service train, and this signified the start of a thorough overhaul that was to take 24 years, the loco returning to service at the WSR ‘Diesels to the Seaside’ event in June 2019.


    During overhaul, it was found that the gear train within the transmission was badly damaged and was not fit for further use. Luckily, we had a spare transmission that appeared to be a ‘zero hours’ unit, but it had no pedigree so it was completely dismantled and inspected before re-assembling it and installing it into D7018. When first operated, it worked well and entirely as expected, but this was not the case for long, as difficulties with gear changing started to show during the Diesel Gala in 2019 and the transmission was locked in second gear as a work-around. The ‘Hymeks’ are sufficiently powerful to be able to start their trains in second gear, so apart from a loss of performance and efficiency at very low speeds, the loco is otherwise unaffected.


    After the completion of D7018’s successful running season in 2022, the control block of the ‘new’ transmission was swapped with that of the ‘old’ transmission in an attempt to resolve the gear change issue. The result of this was to expose another fault that has resulted in damage to one of the directional clutches. Luckily, the ‘old’ transmission carries a set of clutches which appear to be in good condition so the relevant parts can be swapped over. We also have one other transmission which is complete but corroded due to water ingress in the years before being acquired by the DEPG. This transmission may also be used as a parts donor.


    The repair work will be carried out by the ‘transmission team’ at Williton as soon as they complete their work on the ‘A’ transmission from D1010. The repairs will be followed by a period of careful testing before the transmission is subjected to any power. This will protect our dwindling sources of spare parts and minimise the risk of further trouble. We expect to have the loco out and about on test trains this time next year, to work her up to full reliability in anticipation of her golden anniversary.


    D7018 – graphic showing the power flow through the Mekydro K184U transmission. Engaging clutch 5 or 6 (in the green zone) determines the direction of movement. © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    D7018 – the damaged #5 clutch – the slopes on the teeth should only go in one direction. The yellow ovals highlight the damaged areas. Pictured at Williton on 29th January 2024 by Geoff Miles  © CC BY-NC 3.0 


    D7018 – by comparison, clutch #6 for the opposite direction appears to be in good condition. The slopes on the facing surfaces are intentional. Pictured at Williton on 29th January 2024 by Geoff Miles  © CC BY-NC 3.0 



    Although we hope to be able to use spare parts that we have available, we will still need to replace seals, bearings, gaskets as necessary and we also need to drain the oil and have new oil available. All of these things cost money. PLEASE HELP by making a donation or by buying our 64-page A4 HYMEK D7018 BOOKLET, which covers the history of this locomotive from build through to her return to service in 2019 following her major overhaul. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !

    Click here or on the image above to order your copy of our ‘HYMEK D7018’ booklet.




    Last weekend saw the first of several mandatory briefing sessions that were held at Wellington school, during which the managers and officers of the WSR delivered information and provided training for the many hundreds of volunteers who engage in operations (drivers, guards, ticket staff, station staff). The DEPG was allocated a slot and our chairman MARTIN HOWARD took the stage with a presentation covering the background and future outlook for the DEPG. The information was well received and Martin can be assured of plenty of work in this regard, both at the next staff briefing session and in the future. WELL DONE MARTIN !


    DEPG history – one of the slides that Martin presented at the WSR Staff Briefing on Sunday 4th February 2024. Photo by Barry Gay © CC BY-NC 3.0


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

    The WSR’s Summer Diesel Festival will take place from Thursday 6th through to Saturday 8th June with mixed traction running on Sunday 9th, 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.



    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the massive steel stands that were acquired from BR-Swindon many years ago underwent the first stage of a clean-up at Williton when they received attention from Gordon. These stands each weigh more than 1 tonne and date back to the 1960s, with a modification added later to extend their versatility. These stands feature prominently in photos of locos undergoing overhaul at Swindon Works, many of which are contained in the books about the history of the class.

    Meanwhile, the transmission team continue their progress towards the completion of the overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission with the testing and adjustment of the reverser assembly. This work is expected to be completed during the coming weeks and will provide us with two fully-overhauled transmissions in support of returning D1010 to service !

    We still have plenty of work ahead of us on other aspects, in particular the bogies, 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 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 cleaned up by Gordon at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024. The stands will be inspected before being painted. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


    Happily, we also have another batch of sponsored patches that need to be engraved into the new metal on the loco, so we just need some dry weather to be able to do this (the loco is outdoors at present). 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. Starting next week, we will be emailing the certificates to each sponsor in recognition of their contribution, so the wait is almost over ! Here’s an example of what we will be sending:

    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 !

    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.


    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is currently based at Williton and was put to use for the Secondman training course that is being run by WSR volunteer Diesel Traction Inspector John Leach. The trainees practiced coupling and uncoupling the loco to Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 who was conveniently stabled along the same road at Williton. MANY THANKS to John for the thorough and diligent training that he provides.

    D6566 (33 048) is currently based at Williton and was in use for Secondman training purposes on Saturday 3rd February 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the period of enforced waiting for the ‘correct’ exhaust gaskets was put to use by resolving an oil leak that has been a nuisance for some time. The leak came from a defective oil seal on the fuel rack pointer shaft, and replacement involved having to remove the engine governor assembly. The mess that this small issue has made is apparent from the photograph below, with the yellow circle highlighting the location of the shaft and showing the level of difficulty in accessing the area. Anyway, it is another job ticked off the list. The exhaust gaskets are expected in time for this coming weekend, so we are still hopeful that this loco will be back in service some time in March.

    D6575 (33 057) – the engine governor sits at the generator end of the engine and controls the setting of the fuel rack. The location of the leaking oil seal is highlighted by the yellow circle. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D6575 (33 057) – the fuel rack pointer shaft has been the source of an annoying oil leak from the engine governor. The issue has been resolved by removing the governor and replacing the seal. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024 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 – already covered.


    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – a significant step forward was made on Saturday 3rd February when the electrical control cubicle was re-installed into the cab assembly so that the electrical re-wiring work can be continued. The cubicle has been carefully restored by Jon and Colin G and certainly looks the part. When not involved with the handling of the cubicle, Terry was busy installing the sanding equipment, including the new bracket that was made by Tony the week previously. Well done Team !

    D9518 – the restored electrical control cubicle was relocated by Terry and Martin to go under the crane at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D9518 – the cab wall had been prepared by Colin G so the the electrical control cubicle could be lowered into place and connected up. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D9518 – the restored electrical control cubicle was lowered into the cab assembly at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D9518 – the restored electrical control cubicle was re-installed in the cab assembly at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


    D9518 – the sanding brackets were the subject of attention from Terry, pictured while making a small adjustment to the alignment before installation. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd February 2024 by Andy Royal © 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.

    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 Class 33 book by Simon Lilley is much sought after and we also feature a book by David Clough, of particular interest to Class 50 fans. 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: The Class 33s – a 60 year history

    Author : Simon Lilley

    Book: Class 50s in Operation

    Author: David N Clough

    Asking price : £20

    Click here for a link to the DEPG online store

    Asking price : £15

    Click here for a link to the DEPG online store



    ON SHED – following our appeal for photographs, we are delighted to say that we received several batches of photos, enough to allow us to reinstate this feature for the next month or two. If you were poised to send your photos, please don’t let this deter you because we NEED MORE ! Here’s the story that goes with this photograph, with many thanks to ROB CRISPIN:

         “My first ever photo of a train was 08836. Often station pilot at Gloucester ‘in my day’, as the photo shows. Taken on 27th August, 1981. I was about a week away from starting my 2nd year at secondary school. I wasn’t enjoying school much (already decided which subjects to drop), I wanted to join in something to make my school experience a bit less tedious/endless study. In the long list of societies, ‘The Railway Society’ seemed as good an option as any. My school backed onto the Bristol to Cheltenham mainline. Things could have gone either way as during 1st year, I hadn’t really taken any notice of the trains. I bought myself a 1981 Ian Allan Locoshed book and went to Gloucester station armed with a borrowed ‘point and shoot’ camera. 08836 was there. It really didn’t do that much, but because I was new to it, I almost certainly mistakenly arrived, and then departed, during an extensive lull in the timetable! However, it was enough to get me started and the society (led by a fantastic teacher) was the highlight of my school career (as the final results indicated). 

         I bought a few books recently, having restarted my interest in Summer 2021. One of those was ‘Diesel and Electric Loco Register’ by Andy Chard. First loco I looked up…….08836.”

    Class 08 ‘Shunter’ 08836 was pictured on a bright and sunny day at Gloucester Station on 27th August 1981. This sturdy machine was delivered to Old Oak Common on 12th November 1960 as D4004 and is still at work on the mainline today. Photo by Rob Crispin © CC BY-NC 3.0



    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 by using our CONTACT FORM if you are a DEPG member and are still waiting for your copy.

    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 responding to this email or 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