Weekly Roundup – 24-Mar-24

Weekly Roundup – 24-Mar-24

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33048) was called into use on Sunday 24th March 2024 to cover for a steam loco that needed attention. The spring sunshine added nicely to this picture of the loco as she made her way from Williton towards Minehead. Photo by Mike Lanning © CC BY-NC 3.0 


The WSR successfully re-opened for public services on Saturday 23rd March with two steam locos in use on the BLUE timetable (4 services each way) and it was a delight to see the railway come back to life again. The Sunday required the use of three steam locos because the ‘QUANTOCK BELLE‘ dining train was also in use, but a delay in readying the third steam loco resulted in Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) being called upon to work the diagram instead. The ‘Cromptons’ were built for BR’s Southern Region and were fitted with Electric Train Heating (ETH) from new (the first of the diesel designs to be so fitted) and as such are not capable of heating the WSR’s coaching stock. Luckily, the available steam loco was able to pre-heat the coaching stock before the first departure and the spring sunshine played its part in keeping the temperature comfortable for the rest of the day. The ‘Crompton’ will be in use again on Sunday 7th and Sunday 14th April on the 1000 departure from Minehead and the associated 80-mile diagram.


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 09 Shunter:

The broken window on Class 09 shunter D4107 (09019) has been repaired, the damage being caused by a failure in the ‘BECLAWAT’ droplight window scissors mechanism which then allowed the toughened glass window pane to fall and smash into thousands of pieces. The repair was carried out by DEPG and WSR volunteer JON TOOKE and he provided us with the following text and photos to describe the work involved:

     “Today at the DEPG, I had to replace a broken cab window which had shattered into thousands of pieces. A bit of an awkward task because of all the ancillary items that had to be removed first so that access could be gained to the mechanism that allows the window to rise and fall. After all the glass was hoovered up, the process of refitting could take place as well as adjustments and a general service of the moving parts. Once all the parts were reinstalled and tested the next job was to measure up for a new cover for the mechanism to be made which one of my colleagues will be doing when I shall be back doing my day job!”


THANK YOU VERY MUCH, JT, for getting this job done quickly and efficiently. Here are the photos that Jon has provided:

D4107 – the man at work – DEPG and WSR volunteer Jon Tooke, pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


D4107 – the shattered remains of the toughened glass window pane. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


D4107 – an alignment bar was used to temporarily substitute for the failed pin while testing the operation of the mechanism. A new pin was made and fitted to complete the repair. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


D4107 – the new glass window pane was then installed. The missing plywood trim panel has to be re-made and will be fitted ASAP so that the loco can be returned to service. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 09 Shunter D4107 (09 019) now has a new cabside droplight window following the repair of the ‘BECLAWAT’ mechanism by DEPG and WSR volunteer Jon Tooke. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0



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 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. Our Williton depot will be open to the public from Thursday through Sunday, with a number of unusual and interesting exhibits on display. More details soon.

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 !



DEPG member Martin Rouse will be operating his AC RAILBUS number W79978 on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway at a special event at the S&CR over the weekend of 6th and 7th AprilClick here or on the image below to go to the details of the event:




A private memorial event took place at the Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum near Bridgwater, Somerset on Sunday 24th March 2024, to commemorate the life of railway preservationist, journalist and DEPG member PETER NICHOLSON who passed away last October at the age of 75. The event included the running of two industrial narrow-gauge locomotives that all had been owned by Peter in the past and now reside at the museum. The museum’s wonderful collection of pumping engines, compressors and generators were steamed for the occasion and a flypast of vintage aircraft completed the event. Even the weather co-operated. Peter’s grandson Josh Brinsford has now stepped in to the railway journalism void and is providing articles and photographs to the railway press. Peter would be proud indeed.

Westonzoyland Museum hosted a memorial event for the late Peter Nicholson on Sunday 24th March 2024. Peter’s Grandson Josh Brinsford is pictured holding the headboard and standing alongside the Lister narrow gauge industrial locomotive that was bequeathed to him by his Grandad. The museum includes a circuit of narrow gauge track along with many other interesting (and mostly working) items – and a very nice cafe. Well worth a visit. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0




Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the preparation for the lifting of the loco took another step forward with further and very welcome help from the DIESEL TRACTION GROUP (DTG) and the WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION (WLA) in relation to the special lifting brackets and beams that need to be used when lifting the loco body from its bogies.

The loco is fitted with eight heavy-duty lifting points that connect with purpose-made brackets that in turn allow the loco to be lifted by crane or jacks, COMPLETE WITH BOGIES if necessary (total 108 tons). In the case of D1010, we do not want to lift the bogies, just the body of the loco which is already minus the two transmissions and cooler groups, so the load to be lifted is significantly reduced (currently at 61 tons) and can be lifted using four points. We are considering removing the two MD-655 engines to further reduce the body weight and provide a more generous Factor of Safety.

Any hardware used for lifting has to be certified as safe for the expected loads plus a generous margin. The benefit to reducing the weight of the loco body is a significant reduction in the overall cost of the lifting operation, but this has to be offset against the cost of removing the engines. The most significant obstacle to removing the engines is having to have two spare engine stands to mount them on, and then having somewhere safe and dry to keep them!


The special Class 52 lifting brackets (yellow) that are owned by the WLA were trial fitted to D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ at Kidderminster on Wednesday 20th March 2024 so that they could be evaluated and the clearances measured before being loaned to the DEPG. The spreader beam (red) belongs to the DTG and is one of four that are used to lift the ‘Westerns’ at Kidderminster using the four jack method. Extracts from a photo by Bob Clegg © CC BY-NC 3.0


In parallel with the planning work for the lifting, Gordon, Ian F and Steve ploughed ahead with the overhaul of the cooler groups and internal panels while Viv continued digging the accumulations of brake dust from the inside of the bogie frames. The overhauled ‘A’ transmission received a coat of light grey primer and was moved into temporary storage to make way for the transmission from D7018, which will now occupy the attention of the ‘transmission team’ for at least the next few months.

As stated previously, 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 a wide range of tasks that need to be done, so simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

D1010 – the overhauled ‘A’ transmission has now received a coat of light grey primer and is starting to look more like a fully overhauled assembly. Pictured at Williton on Wednesday 19th March 2024 by Andy Royal © 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:

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:

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) – as already covered, this loco has been fitted with a replacement droplight window. We plan to complete the remedial work inside the cab during the next week or so, after which the loco will be returned to Bishops Lydeard.


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – as already covered, this loco is currently based at Bishops Lydeard and will next be in use on Sunday 7th April on the 1000 departure from Minehead and the subsequent 80-mile diagram.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the bodyside corrosion repairs have been completed by Tony and are now displaying their glossy finish and standing out against the rest of the locomotive. The paintwork is only five years old but has taken on a cloudy look because the top layer of varnish has weathered. The loco will need a thorough clean and a re-varnish to bring back the shine and get a few more years out of the paint. This is the true cost of the locos spending almost their entire life outdoors in all weathers, the sun being as bad for the paint as the rain and brake dust.

D6575 (33 057) displaying the gloss green that now covers the repaired areas on the bodyside. Another excellent job completed by multi-talented volunteer Tony. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – 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 cleaned and has been moved to the overhaul facility so that the repair can commence in the hands of the ‘transmission team’. The first step will be to take measurements of the torque converter and geartrain end floats before disassembly begins, so that this information is available for reference when establishing the root cause of the issues.

D7018 – the Stone Maybach Mekydro K184u transmission has been cleaned and has now moved to the overhaul facility where the repairs will be undertaken. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Martin Howard © 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 – the team continue to make progress on the cab assembly and the re-installation of the controls, switches, indicators and instruments that adorn the driver’s desk. Each item has had to be restored individually before being made available to volunteer master electrician John for re-installation with new wiring. Meanwhile, more parts are being recovered from storage for restoration elsewhere on the loco while work continues on resolving the cardan shaft issues.

D9518 – the re-fitting and re-wiring of the cab assembly is progressing at Williton, with some of the desk-to-cubicle wiring now becoming visible at both ends. Pictured on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – this view of the driver’s desk shows the wiring is progressing, with a top quality, professional job being performed by volunteer master electrician John. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 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. The loco had not been used for a while, so she received some TLC from Terry and Colin G and had her engine run up on Saturday 23rd March to make sure that everything was functioning correctly – which it was. The loco will remain on standby at Bishops Lydeard for another week or two.


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has now resumed duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and we hope that she will get regular use as part of the ‘home fleet’ this year.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco has been busy shunting the yard and was moved onto number 5 road last Saturday to help free the ‘Lowmac’ wagon from the mud ! This was an easy task in itself, but the time was taken up by the amount of shunting that had to be done to get to number 5 road and then put everything back where it was. Here are some photos of this powerful little engine at work:

Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – this powerful little loco made light work of pulling the ‘Lowmac’ wagon out of the mud. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the loco then shunted the yard to move the loaded ‘Turbot’ wagon to number 1 road so that it can taken away and emptied by the WSR Infrastructure team. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 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 – we continue to feature this 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 now in stock and is available at £19.95 per copy. If you have already ordered, you should be receiving your copy next week. Thank you for your support !


We also recommend the NEW HARDBACK BOOK BY ROGER GEACH entitled HYDRAULIC MEMORIES’ comprising a very 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 DONATE 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.

With D1010 on the cover !

Book: Taunton West

Author : Roger Siviter

Book: Seventies Spotting Days – chasing the Westerns

Author: Kevin Derrick

Price : £5.00

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store

Price : £15.00

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store



ON SHED – last week, we shared some photos of Laira Depot’s Open Day (1982) by ROB CRISPIN and we asked a question about the ALMOST total dominance by diesel-electric traction. The response came instantly from Neale Long who correctly pointed out that preserved (National Collection) D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ was also present at that event, and of course the Experimental Railbus in last week’s photo was the prototype for the ‘Pacers’, all of which had hydraulic transmissions (as did the Sprinters that came along later). Many thanks to Rob for sharing his photos and to Neale for his fast response.

The last of the Class 52s to receive a general overhaul at Swindon Works was D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ which was then ‘claimed’ by the National Collection in 1977. The loco was the star of the show at Laira Depot Open day on 2th April 1982 and these days is on static display at Didcot Railway Centre. Photo by Rob Crispin © CC BY-NC 3.0



DEPG NEWS – more progress was made by the ‘Williton Infrastructure Division’ last weekend as Graham and Paul T continued their work on the replacement of the tool store container. By the end of another long weekend, the old container had been stripped down and was ready for collection by the scrap merchants, and the new container was equipped with shelves and made watertight against the wall of the shed to make sure that it will last for a very long time. The improvements to the infrastructure at the yard are both highly visible and highly beneficial, so WELL DONE GUYS !


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 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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