Weekly Roundup – 10-Mar-24

Weekly Roundup – 10-Mar-24

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 has had her ‘Mekydro’ hydraulic transmission lifted out so that repairs can take place. Pictured with the mobile crane alongside at Williton on 8th March 2024 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D7018 – with her transmission in the air and ready to be lowered onto the purpose-built stand at Williton on 8th March 2024. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0 


A major step forward in the plan to return Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 to service took place on Friday 8th March when the damaged Stone-Maybach ‘Mekydro’ hydraulic transmission was lifted out of the loco at Williton to allow repairs to take place. The lift was performed by contractors HEAVER BROTHERS and coincided with the delivery to Williton of two new 20 ft ISO containers, so that the cost of bringing the crane on site could be shared across multiple activities.

The 6-tonne transmission was lowered onto a purpose-made stand that will allow the transmission to be cleaned then safely moved into our ‘clean work’ area using the Fork Lift Truck. The stand had previously been occupied by a ‘spare’ but non-functional transmission that had to be lifted onto a temporary stand, which was made by Tony using our Maybach MD870 engine stand as a base. The hard work involved in disconnecting the transmission and preparing for the lift was shared between the ‘Transmission Team’ and the ‘Infrastructure Team’, involving eight volunteers in total and the work took place during the two weeks prior to the lift. Repairs are expected to take several months, but the loco should be back in service later this year.

D7018 – the Stone-Maybach ‘Mekydro’ K184U hydraulic transmission from D7018 has now been mounted in the purpose-built stand and is ready for external cleaning before being moved into the ‘clean work’ area for dismantling and repair. Pictured at Williton on 8th March 2024 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0 



Friday 8th March was a very busy day, with two new 20 ft containers arriving at the yard to replace two old and corroded examples that were leaking badly and putting our spare parts and special tools at risk. We now have four new (one trip) containers that were supplied and delivered by HEAVER BROTHERS and were supplied with power connections and LED lighting, and one included a side door that was cut out of the old container and welded into the new one, so that it would line up with the doorway from our loco shed. We have found an excellent supplier and we are very happy with their products and service. Thank you to everyone involved in the upgrading of our infrastructure !

The fourth of a batch of new (one trip) 20 ft containers was supplied and delivered to our yard at Williton on Friday 8th March 2024 by HEAVER BROTHERS of Broadclyst, near Exeter. The on-board crane will leave the new container on the left while it slews over to the right to pick up the old corroded container (out of picture) and place it on it’s flat bed, then will pick up the new container and slew over again before lowering it into the proper place. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0



The embankment repair work at TRIBBLE BRIDGE has been completed in good time for the re-opening date for the WSR (23rd March), with the addition of plenty of steel and concrete at the base of the embankment to provide strength, and the provision of drainage to prevent a repeat of the issue. To recap, the embankment collapsed back in December 2022 (see roundup dated 18-Dec-22) when rainwater running off fields on the higher ground to the northeast of the line resulted in too much pressure building up behind the wall. The photos below show the additional strength and quality of finish of the new wall:


Photos taken from the WSR Facebook page, all attributable to the WSR’s Infrastructure Department.

An excellent job, completed on time and to a very high standard, so well done to all involved !


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, during which our loco shed will be open to the public, with Rod’s Model Railway sales stand alongside our own DEPG sales standClick 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 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 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 !


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’ – last week, we welcomed a team from the DIESEL TRACTION GROUP (DTG) to Williton to help us with our planning for the lifting of D1010 so that the bogies can be overhauled. Our loco has not been lifted since BR days and we need to be very well prepared before we book the cranes and organise the actual lifting, because it is a very expensive exercise and we don’t want to have to stop and do it all again another day because we missed a detail.

We are eager to get the work done but we want to prepare thoroughly, and these two requirements are at the opposite ends of the timescale. The way to pull them closer together is to engage with people who have done this kind of bogie work before, and that includes the DTG and the WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION (WLA), who have also kindly offered their help and expertise. The degree of co-operation between all of the owning groups is commendable, and is all aimed at keeping as many of these marvellous machines as possible fit for service for as long as possible.

Although not within the scope of this edition of Roundup, we bend the rules to include the news of the SUCCESSFUL MAINLINE TEST RUN carried out by the DTG’s D1015 ‘WESTERN CHAMPION’ on Tuesday 12th March 2024. The loco ran from Kidderminster to Oxford, to Didcot, to Cheltenham and back to Kidderminster at speed, and performed perfectly. As a result, the loco has been lined up for two mainline railtours and no doubt more will follow. CONGRATULATIONS to the team at the DTG who have put a huge amount of time and effort into reaching this stage of readiness. What a fantastic sight (and sound) !

The DTG’s D1015 ‘WESTERN CHAMPION’ was pictured passing Haresfield, Gloucestershire, at speed on Tuesday 12th March 2024, heading for home on the final leg of its round trip test run. Picture taken from a video by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0


Back to D1010 and the lifting plan, our Stress Analysis Report is being finalised but the conclusion is that the ex-BR stands that we have at Williton are capable of supporting the loco body without any further alteration. they are also capable of handling a 100-mph side wind while still maintaining a high Factor of Safety. So, with that hurdle overcome, the work has now progressed to defining exactly how we intend to use the stands, where and when, and with what additional safety measures. It is a project within a project !

Meanwhile, the ‘Transmission Team’ have received the replacement oil pump shaft and have installed it into the ‘A’ transmission, which is now COMPLETE and ready for painting. We now have TWO overhauled transmissions ready and waiting, so WELL DONE TEAM !


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 use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

D1010 – pictured in the yard at Williton on 23rd December 2023 while being shunted outdoors for the winter. The move will be reversed in the near future and D1010 will go back inside the shed, to the relief of the volunteers! Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0


Sponsorships for patches on D1010 continue to come in, for which we are VERY grateful indeed. We have many more patches waiting for sponsors, so please support the CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER and click here or on the image further below to get your name engraved into the metal of the locomotive. We will be having another engraving session as soon as the weather allows.

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 09 D4107 (09019) – this loco is outstationed at Bishops Lydeard and has suffered a broken droplight window on the driver’s side, as a result of a failure of the scissors mechanism that supports the window. A new window is on hand but the larger part of the task will be to remove and replace the scissors mechanism and clean out the broken glass fragments and other debris that will have accumulated over the years. More on this next week.

D4107 – this very useful engine was pictured at Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 10th June 2023 while positioning to work the shuttle service to and from Norton Fitzwarren, providing 6 miles of rare haulage per round trip at the WSR’s Diesel Gala. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is currently based at Williton and will next be in use on a ‘Tidy Train’ working to Norton Fitzwarren on Friday 22nd March.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the fibreglass roof section has been lifted back onto the locomotive and is now ready to be secured in place. The completion of the exhaust system work has been delayed by the need to wait for a replacement expansion joint (bellows) to be delivered, (expected at the end of this month or early April) and then the work will be completed. The loco will be given a thorough cleanup and will then undergo inspection and testing before being returned to service.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as reported last week, this loco is ready to return to service subject to some loaded test running that will be used to accumulate hours and ensure reliability. We are planning to run this loco for three consecutive days during April, hauling empty coaching stock across the length of the WSR to thoroughly exercise all of her systems and allow us to deal with any small issues arising from her lack of use.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the transmission has now been removed from the loco and will undergo repair in the hands of our ‘Transmission Team’. The work will involve removal of the command blocks and the removal of the gear train so that the reverser clutch can be replaced. While out of the loco, the transmission control block will be examined and will be tested to ensure that all of the valves are fully functional.

D7018 – Williton’s ‘Transmission Team’ leader Colin F was pictured while working inside the cooler group tunnel to remove some pipework to provide clearance so that the transmission could be lifted out of the loco later in the week. Pictured at Williton on Monday 4th March 2024 by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0


D7018 – A rare sighting – ‘Transmission Team’ leader Colin F was captured at Williton on Friday 8th March 2024. Photo by Graham Perry © 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 – with so much activity going on around the yard, it was inevitable that some resources would be drawn away from the major projects but visible progress was made, especially in relation to the new pipework and the re-fitting of the sanding valves (these were missing from the loco when it was acquired by the DEPG). The new valves are standard parts but the pipework and bracketry all had to be made specially to fit the loco. Meanwhile, Colin G continued his work on the components for the cab assembly and master electrician John C progressed with the wiring of the driver’s desk. Well done all !

D9518 – the new pipework for the sanding valve is clearly visible in this view, pictured at Williton on Tuesday 5th March 2024 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the sanding valve pipework was treated to a coat of paint by team member Andy P at Williton on Saturday 9th March 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the first signs of wiring returning to the driver’s desk were visible at Williton on Saturday 9th March 2024. Photo 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. The loco has not been used for a while, so she will be checked over and the engine run up on Tuesday 19th March to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. 


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has now resumed duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and was pictured while hauling  Empty Coaching Stock, both last week and this week. We look forward to seeing her out and about on scheduled passenger services in the very near future.

47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ was in use for Empty Coaching Stock moves on Tuesday 5th March 2024, pictured alongside the new carriage shed at Trout Farm, just outside Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo by Antony Kornas © CC BY-NC 3.0


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is stabled in the yard at Williton, sporting her cabside lettering and looking the part with a gleaming cab, in readiness for the busy year ahead.


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 a NEW BOOK by well-known railwayman, photographer and author BERNARD MILLS, his latest work being Part 1 of the journey from Waterloo to the Atlantic Coast in the era of the diesel. This 96-page A4 book is due to be released next week but we already have our stock on order and we are TAKING ORDERS at £19.95 per copy. We will start mailing this book as soon as we receive it from the publishers, Platform 5. Well done Bernard !



We also recommend the NEW HARDBACK BOOK BY ROGER GEACH entitled HYDRAULIC MEMORIES’ comprising a well-selected set of colour images derived from the vast image repository at TRANSPORT TREASURY. We have received a BOOK REVIEW from regular contributor Neale Long and have posted it to our website; click on this link to find out what Neale thinks of this new book. Here’s an extract:

     “In his latest publication, well known railwayman, photographer and enthusiast, Roger Geach takes us on a virtual journey over the former Western Region from Paddington to Penzance with a few diversions, depicting the days when ‘Westerns’, ‘Warships’, ‘Hymeks’ and North British Class 22s ruled supreme in their relatively short heyday in the mid to late 1960s …” CLICK HERE to read further.


This book is 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. By agreement with Roger, all proceeds go to the D1010 Restoration Fund.


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 SURPLUS BOOKS so that we can replenish our stocks and keep the funds flowing in. Click HERE for our contact form.

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: Diesels on the Regions – WR

Author : Brian Morrison

Book: North-West Rails in Colour

Author: Kevin Derrick

Price : £7.50

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store

Price : £5.00

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store



ON SHED – we will need to skip this feature this week, due to lack of space, but we will be back with more unpublished photos next week.


DEPG NEWS – a Board Meeting took place on Saturday 9th March and was a long and arduous session that covered an unusually long list of subjects. A synopsis will be 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 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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