Weekly Roundup – 18-Feb-24

Weekly Roundup – 18-Feb-24

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 was in use on Saturday 17th February 2024 as motive power for the ‘Tidy Train’ that ran from Williton to Dunster and back, the volunteers gathering tree debris and life-expired materials from the trackside along the way. Pictured at Bye Farm Crossing by Seb Welsh © CC BY-NC 3.0 



On Saturday 17th February, a group of volunteers boarded the brake van of the ‘Tidy Train’ and headed off from Williton behind Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048), stopping to pick up tree debris, old sleepers and other redundant materials from along the route. The train was formed from flat wagons of various types, include some ex-MOD ‘Warwell’ tank carrier vehicles dating back to WWII – but ideally suited to their current and more peaceful purposes !


The photo shows the condition of the lineside after many hours of attention from the ‘Cutting Back Gang’ and the ‘Tidy Train Team’, all of whom have braved some unpleasant weather and given up big chunks of their time to get the line into this condition. WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED !

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 was pictured while slowing for a stop at Blue Anchor Station on Saturday 17th February 2024. the loco was in charge of the ‘Tidy Train’ that ran from Williton to Dunster and back. Photo by Robin Wichard © CC BY-NC 3.0 



The WSR is scheduled to re-open on Saturday 23rd March and the first diesel-hauled service will run on Sunday 7th April. The first major event of the year will be the SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR which will take place throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, 3rd through 6th May. Click here or on the image below for more information via the WSR’s website.



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

The WSR’s Diesel Gala will take place from Thursday 6th through to Saturday 8th June with mixed traction running on Sunday 9th, hopefully with at least one of the visiting locomotives at work.

The first visiting locomotive to be announced was English Electric Class 50 50033 (D433) ‘Glorious’, no doubt to the delight of the many followers of the class, and the second visitor has now been announced as BR-Derby Class 46 ‘Peak’ D182 (46 045), courtesy of the Peak Locomotive Company and a fine example of another well-loved ‘Type 4’ class. A further announcement will be made as soon as arrangements have been finalised. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE DATES and do your best to attend. It is going to be a great event !

BR-Derby Class 46 ‘Peak’ D182 (46045) will be attending the WSR’s 2024 DIESEL GALA that takes place between Thursday 6th and Saturday 8th June 2024, courtesy of the Peak Locomotive Company. Photo by Lee Robbins © 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’ – we start by reminding ourselves of D1010’s unsuccessful but valiant day out, 47 years ago on 20th February 1977 when she worked the ‘WESTERN REQUIEM‘ railtour from Paddington with the intention of repeating the triumphant experience of the previous week’s WESTERN REQUIEM RELIEF railtour to the South Wales Valleys via Gloucester. Sadly, D1010 developed a coolant leak on her ‘B’ engine shortly after leaving Paddington, but struggled on until relieved at Cardiff by steam-heat-equipped Class 37 37179 (D6879, 37612, 37691), much to the disappointment of travellers and lineside spectators alike. However, the tour was rescued by the appearance of D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ at Pontypridd, to the absolute delight of all !

D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ was at the head of the ‘WESTERN REQUIEM’ railtour on 20th February 1977, one week before the mainline diesel-hydraulic era came to an end. Unfortunately, the loco developed a coolant leak from her ‘B’ engine and was removed from the railtour at Cardiff. Pictured during the Swindon station stop by Robin Addison © CC BY-NC 3.0


English Electric Class 37 37179 (D6879, 37612, 37691) replaced D1010 on the ‘WESTERN REQUIEM’ railtour at Cardiff. The steam-heat-fitted loco was used to haul the 12-coach train up the valley of the river Taff to Treherbert then to Aberdare before being herself replaced at Pontypridd. Pictured approaching Pontypridd with two dejected spotters displaying their lack of enthusiasm, on 20th February 1977 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0


The saviour of the day, D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ waits at Pontypridd to take over the ‘WESTERN REQUIEM’ railtour to haul it up the Taff valley to Merthyr Tydfil and then back to Paddington via Cardiff Queen Street, reversing at Cardiff Central then through the Severn Tunnel to Bristol and Bath. Pictured on 20th February 1977 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0


On D1010 at Williton, the transmission team have now completed their overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission except for the re-installation of the oil pump, which is waiting on the delivery of some new parts. This gives us a chance to clean and paint the transmission casings, because they are not at all photogenic at the moment.

The focus has shifted to the restoration of the cooler groups from D1010 with preparations being made to patch the corroded header tank that forms the upper part of the cooler group. The known areas of leakage were prepared first, then exploratory work was conducted to find other weak areas that needed patching. In the end, it was decided that the whole length needed repair, which simplified matters !

Work continued on the loco body stands, which are gradually taking on a bright yellow colour, courtesy of Gordon and his paintbrush. The planning took a big step forward following discussions with the DTG and with the crane provider, with a meeting on site arranged for 5th March.

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 – devoid of paint and displaying a somewhat rusty hue, the ‘A’ transmission is now ready for a re-paint. The overhaul is complete with the exception of the oil pump, which is waiting for new parts to be delivered. Pictured at Williton on 14th February 2024 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – the corrosion in the header tank of the cooler group is evident but localised. Pictured at Williton on 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – the corrosion in the cooling element rail is more of an issue and will result in the whole section being repaired. Pictured at Williton on 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – the corrosion in the cooling element rail affects most of the length and will result in the whole section being repaired. Pictured at Williton on 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0



The certificates are now being emailed to the sponsors and we have hundreds to be sent out, so we are very busy with this work. Here’s an example of what we are sending out (we have changed the photo below compared to the last few weeks, just to show that we do actually have more than one sponsor!):

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 will be asking for an additional £2.50 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:

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.

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 as required.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the number 7 cylinder head was replaced on Saturday 17th and the coolant pipework completed and pressurised for an overnight leak test before continuing with the assembly of the rocker shaft and manifolds. All was well so work continued the following day and the loco was started up successfully. The team still have several tasks to complete, but progress is good and the loco should be ready to have the roof replaced during the next few weeks.

D6575 (33 057) – three members of the Tuesday team (clockwise from top left, Nick, Tony and Linda) were tasked with the refurbishment of the roof clamps, some of which had sheared off and had to be drilled and tapped. Pictured at Williton on 13th February 2024 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – the number 7 cylinder head was replaced with a refurbished unit from our stock, visible in the lighter colour at Williton on Saturday 17th February 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – the blue pipes carry the coolant and were re-fitted first to allow an overnight leak test to be conducted. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – the engine room roof is a steel-framed structure with a translucent fibreglass covering. The far end has already been cleaned and rest will follow suit before the roof section gets re-fitted to the loco. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © 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 – work has begun on the preparations for the removal of the transmission, which will then need to be lifted out of the locomotive by a hired-in crane. The transmission will then be cleaned externally before moving to our transmission overhaul area where disassembly will commence. The completion of D1010’s ‘A’ transmission times in well with the work needed on D7018.

With sufficient resource applied, we should be able to have the 6-tonne transmission ready to be lifted out when the heavy-duty crane is next on site on March 8th in connection with the re-location of some containers. This will minimise the cost of the lifting operation and gives us a clear target to aim at.

D7018 – the loco is currently stabled outdoors on number 3 road at Williton, with Barclay 578 (ROF 1) for company. Pictured on 17th February by Andy Royal © 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 of £10 or by buying our 64-page A4 HYMEK D7018 BOOKLET (£10) 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, available for £10.


Click here or on the donation image above to go to the donations page on our website. If you feel able to donate more than £10, simply increase the quantity when on the donations page. Thank you in advance for your support !


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continued on the preparation of the many small parts that are needed to complete the cab sub-assembly. Some parts were missing when the DEPG acquired the loco, so they have to be sourced or in some cases, made from scratch. In the photos below, the cover for an electrical junction box has been made from sheet steel by Tony, the new handle for the handbrake wheel was made by a subcontractor, and the new sanding valves were purchased as they are readily available parts. The team pushes ahead !

D9518 – the cover for one of the electrical junction boxes was missing … so Tony made a new one from sheet steel. No problem ! Terry (left) is obviously very happy with the work that Tony (right) has done. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the handbrake wheel has a handle with a spring-loaded sleeve that allows it to be parked in an inward position when not in use. The sleeve was missing, so a new one was made by a subcontractor and the handle now works perfectly. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 17th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the sanding valves were also missing when the DEPG acquired the locomotive, but luckily these are standard parts and are easily obtainable. The valve and nozzle were pictured before being connected to the pipework at Williton on Saturday 17th 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 has now resumed duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The loco was pictured when it returned to Grosmont, possibly after being used on Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) trains earlier in the day. We look forward to seeing her out and about on passenger services in the very near future.

Class 47 D1661/47077/47613/47840 ‘NORTH STAR’ has resumed her duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and was pictured when returning to Grosmont shed on Sunday 18th February 2024. Photo by Brenden Hill © CC BY-NC 3.0


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – last week, we reported that this loco has just had the benefit of the ‘JT’ treatment after many hours of care and attention being lavished by stalwart volunteer JON TOOKE. The photo showed the standard of work that had been achieved and resulted in several positive comments from readers, so well done JT, well done indeed !


Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – two more views of the cab repaint, showing the two tone colour scheme and the attention to detail. It’s a great piece of work and really adds to the locomotive. Well done JT ! Pictured at Williton on 10th February 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0



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 one NEW book and two more pre-owned books from a collection that has been very kindly donated to the DEPG.

First the NEW HARDBACK BOOK BY ROGER GEACH entitled HYDRAULIC MEMORIES’ and covering that rich period during the history of BR’s Western Region where seven classes of diesel-hydraulic mainline locomotives could be seen at work, covering all four power type classifications. By careful use of the image repository at TRANSPORT TREASURY, Roger has complied this book such as to create a virtual journey from Paddington to Penzance, a journey where many of the hydraulic classes could be seen at work in the wonderful backdrop of the West of England countryside. DEFINITELY A MUST HAVE and very good value at £17.50. In stock now and available from our online store by clicking HERE or by clicking on the image below.


In the pre-owned category, we have posted several new titles and they are selling as fast as we are posting them, so PLEASE SEND US YOUR UNWANTED BOOKS so that we can replenish our stocks and keep the funds flowing in. Click HERE for our contact form.

‘HYDRAULIC vs ELECTRIC’ by David N. Clough is an excellent buy and is in as-new condition. This book may not find favour with diehard hydraulic enthusiasts but it does provide great fuel for the never-ending debate about the two types of transmission. Very well worth a read, regardless of your preconceived views !

FAREWELL TO THE WESTERNS‘ by Geoffrey Kitchenside is a picture book that was published in 1975 when the locos were still to be seen on their traditional duties. The BW photos include some classic views along with unusual views of track formations that have long been swept away.

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: Hydraulic vs Electric

Author : David N Clough

Book: Farewell to the Westerns

Author: Geoffrey Kitchenside

Asking price : £20

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store

Asking price : £10

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 ! This week, we present a group of Class 37 photographs from ROB CRISPIN:

     “I noticed an announcement from SVR recently…..37409 Loch Awe will be attending their gala this Spring. I then looked at the accompanying photo and thought, ‘That is some major surgery’! I did a quick bit of research and found out that infact it was 37270. One of those South Wales based 37s I grew up seeing most days either at school, or on trips just down the line. My memories of Loch Awe were a bit different!  

     The ‘real’ Loch Awe was on a day trip from Glasgow to Oban (long story I won’t bore you with!). The three photos were taken on a very dark, very wet 1st April 1985. Location was Oban station. It was at a time when 37026 was still awaiting its headlights, when all boiler fitted 37s around it had theirs it seems. It did eventually have headlights fitted, later that year. Within months not only was 37026 Loch Awe reallocated to Motherwell and effectively condemned to life on the freight circuit thereafter, it was also stripped of its title, ‘Loch Awe’.

     By contrast, the other 37 in two of those photos was 37190, complete with headlight. That too transferred to Motherwell around a similar time, and like 37026 Loch Awe, converted to a 37/3 for a time. Unlike 37026 Loch Awe however, which was stripped for parts…..and its name….and scrapped in 2000, 37190 is still with us, at least for now I believe. As for 37409 (Loch Awe version two), 37270’s claim to fame was that it was the last loco to visit the ‘Dean Forest Railway’ on a revenue earning service, before it was closed by British Rail.”

Many thanks to Rob for sharing his photos and his memories with us all.

English Electric 37026 (D6726, 37320) ‘Loch Awe’ at Oban on 1st April 1985. Photo by Rob Crispin © CC BY-NC 3.0

An alternative view of English Electric 37026 (D6726, 37320) ‘Loch Awe’ in the rain at Oban on 1st April 1985. Photo by Rob Crispin © CC BY-NC 3.0

Two different nose-end treatments give away the age difference between 37026 (D6726, 37320) ‘Loch Awe’ of 1961 on the left, and 37190 (D6890, 37314) of 1964 on the right. Pictured at Oban on 1st April 1985 by Rob Crispin © CC BY-NC 3.0



DEPG NEWS – the latest 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 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 JOIN US and if you are already a member, please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you want to join or are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to open 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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