Weekly Roundup – 26-May-24

Weekly Roundup – 26-May-24

Class 24 D5054 (24054) ‘Phil Southern’ arrived at Westridge, Bishops Lydeard on Thursday 30th May 2024 to take part in the forthcoming WSR SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL that runs from Thursday 6th through Saturday 8th June, with a mixed traction day featuring some of the other visiting locos on Sunday 9th. Photo by Seb Welsh © CC BY-NC 3.0 


A GWR ‘Castle’ Class HST set will be operating on the WSR during the Saturday of the forthcoming SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL and will also be in use on Sunday 9th. The previous visit of a ‘Castle’ set in September last year showed how popular these veteran trains can be. Power car 43162 ‘Caerhays Castle’ was in the lead approaching Doniford on 23rd September 2023. Photo by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0 



There are only five days to go before the start of the WSR’s SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL so all of our attention is being directed at preparing our locomotives and preparing our depot to receive hopefully thousands of visitors.

The event is going to be action-packed with up to 11 locomotives in operation PLUS a GWR ‘Castle’ HST set on the Saturday and Sunday. The gala event runs from Thursday through Saturday and the Sunday features a significant expansion of the BLUE timetable with the HST and two of the visiting locos in use alongside a steam-hauled service.

NEW FOR 2024, our lineside viewing area at Williton will be set out with chairs and tables where visitors can relax and enjoy drinks and snacks from the mobile catering van ‘Irie 7’ while taking photos from the lineside. We look forward to seeing you at Williton next week !



The next scheduled diesel running will take place on Saturday and Sunday 1st/2nd June when Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) will be in action on the 80-mile diagram that starts from Minehead at 10:00 under the BLUE timetable

Then there is the WSR’s SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL for which the Gala TIMETABLES are now available on the WSR website – click this link then select the date of interest then click on VIEW TIMETABLE or click on the images below to download a pdf of the relevant timetable page:






The mixed traction offering on Sunday 9th has now been firmed up and EXPANDED with three visiting forms of traction in use: the Class 46, the Class 50 and the HST, in addition to both of our Class 33s, so this will be a very interesting day in itself and a great way to end the gala. WELL DONE to the WSR for making this happen – we now need YOUR support to make it a financial success !


Beyond the gala, Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 has been rostered for two weekends in June, the 15/16th and the 29/30th being under the BLUE timetable with 80-mile diagrams both days, originating from Minehead. Keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details of diesel-hauled public services and sign up to our DIESELGEN email bulletin service to get advance notice of non-public service running. 



The Diesel & Electric Preservation Group are collecting Coins and Banknotes from anywhere in the world, modern and any vintage, as part of their fund raising activities.

We can use any of the following:
– The old (large) 50p, 10p and 5p, together with ½ p
– Old £1 coins together with any old £1, £5 and £10 notes
– Euros & Cents; US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Dollars / cents coins and notes
– Pre-decimal coins (pre 1971)
– Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey coins and notes.
– In fact, any coins and notes from around the world.

A collection jar is at Williton Depot but we will be happy to receive items in the post. Contact Mark at publicity@depg.org  or write to Mark at The Old Goods Shed, Williton Station, Somerset, TA4 4RQ

Please bring your ‘treasure’ along to Williton during the ‘SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL‘ and donate it in support of the DEPG. Thanks !




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

The visiting locomotives are:

MAKE A NOTE OF THESE DATES and do your best to attend. It is definitely going to be a great event !

An additional bonus on Saturday 8th June will be a presentation by former BR Fleet Manager GEOFF HUDSON entitled ‘FIFTY YEARS WITH FIFTIES‘, taking place inside Williton Diesel Depot with 50033 (D433) ‘Glorious’ stabled outside the shed as a backdrop. Click here or on the image below for more information about this special event. Late night services depart from Williton in both directions after the presentation (click here for the Saturday timetable).



Last summer’s DEPG Raffle was reasonably successful and resulted in donations to our two main restoration projects D1010 and D9518 totalling around £1000, but this year we are DOING MUCH BETTER, probably because we have opted for cash prizes that will be of interest to all.

As you will see from the ticket image above, the draw will be made on Saturday 8th June at Williton Diesel Depot at 16:00 on the DEPG sales stand inside the main shed. Click here or on the ticket image to buy your tickets online, or use our CONTACT FORM to request paper tickets by post (although time is running our for the postal option). THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT !




Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the two Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD655 engines are ready to be lifted out of the loco, but with the gala fast approaching, we will have to defer such work until after the event. Meanwhile, there are other tasks to be progressed, such as the loosening of the bogie secondary suspension spring hanger nuts while the loco weight is holding everything down. These massive nuts have been in an exposed position for 50+years so they are not going to give up without a fight – and that is exactly what Colin F and Tim gave them, but to no avail.

At the ‘A’ end of the loco, Gordon was at work preparing for the air tank inspection and removing the flexible hoses that all need to be replaced before the loco returns to service. Considering the air hoses, hydraulic hoses and fuel hoses, that amounts to a lot of replacements – but is a necessary expense to achieve reliability in the future.

A big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers for progressing these tasks.

D1010 – the nuts that adjust the suspension ride heights have 2″ BSW (50mm) threads, and such massive nuts take some shifting, especially after being exposed to the elements and untouched for 50+ years. Volunteer Tim tries out his rowing technique at Williton on Tuesday 28th May 2024. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D1010 – the speedometer sensors (one per bogie) have been disconnected by Gordon in preparation for the lifting of the loco body. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


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 THIS 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.


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 holding ‘live’ engraving sessions during the gala, so please come along to find your existing patch and sponsor another one !

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. We can even put them in frame for you.

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 during the WSR SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVALTHANK 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) – this loco is based at Bishops Lydeard and will be working ‘top and tail’ with Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 on a ‘DMU Drag’ on Saturday 8th, departing Bishops Lydeard for Norton Fitzwarren at 12:20 so ’09’ HAULAGE IS ON OFFER ! See the gala timetables for further details.


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is currently stabled at Williton and last week received an overhauled Driver’s Safety Device (DSD) timing valve in response to the reports of ‘fierce’ engagement of the DSD (aka ‘Deadmans’ pedal). The issue has now been fully resolved and the loco is ready for a wash and brush up before returning to service during the gala.

D6566 (33048) – this loco is ready to return to service after undergoing maintenance at Williton followed by an ‘A’ exam. Volunteer Tom was pictured with the loco (and a few choice weeds) at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – currently stabled at Minehead, this loco will operate the weekend services from Minehead on the 1st and 2nd June and will be the standby loco for the duration of the gala, returning to action on Sunday 9th June. See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco has undergone an oil change and just needs her oil filters renewed before being passed as ready for gala service on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th JuneWe have also rostered this loco for two weekends of public services in June, the first being 15/16th June and the second being 29/30th June, under the BLUE timetable. Additional dates will be allocated ASAP. Keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page or sign up to our DIESELGEN email bulletin service to get the news as soon as it is released.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco will be missing the gala, but will be on display at Williton and available for cab visits. The ‘transmission team’ have progressed with their disassembly and examination of the transmission and have discovered several broken bolts in addition to the sheared studs that we pictured last week. Work continues to identify all of the issues and the extent of the damage. The disassembly of the spare transmissions will be undertaken after the gala so that the condition of our spare parts can be established.

D7018 – one of the M16 bolts that has been sheared by the excessive forces that were applied to the drivetrain when the directional clutch failure occurred. The castings will need dye penetrant inspection to determine the extent of the damage. Pictured at Williton on 20th May 2024 by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0


D7018 – the ‘rusty spare’ Mekydro K184u transmission that was acquired via a scrapyard many years ago – and was found to be full of water. The castings may be OK but will need disassembly and dye penetrant inspection. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 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 replace the oil. 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 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 diversion of effort to prepare sister loco D9526 for gala duty has had some impact, but there has been plenty of progress on the cab restoration, as the below photos show:

D9518 – the cab locker has been fully restored and is ready to be re-fitted to the loco. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – more excellent workmanship is evident in these cab panels with their wooden surrounds and grey ‘Formica’ coverings. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – more wires can be seen sprouting from every piece of cable conduit as electrical system re-wire makes steady progress. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the driver’s master controller has been wired up and the engine start and stop buttons have also been wired up, although the restored panel is awaiting final installation. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 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 stabled at Williton and is ready for the gala action, having undergone some checks and a tidy-up in the hands of volunteers Terry, Nick, Linda and Colin G.

D9526 – the connecting rods received special clean-up attention from Terry at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D9526 – looking the part and ready for her appearances at the gala (apart from that oily hand print!). Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D9526 – ready for the gala – let’s hope that the seagulls turn their attention elsewhere ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 



Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has worked several services between Pickering and Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway recently and we continue to received plenty of feedback on our social media channels, proving that this loco is actually the most popular member of our entire fleet ! We would welcome some more photographs though !


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this useful little loco continues to be busy almost every Saturday, handling the various shunt moves in the yard. This loco will be on display on number 1 road at the depot throughout the gala.


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 have just received stock of PART 2 of ‘WATERLOO TO THE ATLANTIC COAST’ by Bernard Mills and have just added it to our website. Part 1 of this series has been very well received and we are looking forward to another good read and another decent amount of fund-raising sales. Well done and thank you very much, Bernard !

Price : £19.95

Click here for a link to the DEPG online store



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.


ON SHED – we will skip this feature this week, due to lack of time and the need to focus on the gala. We will be back with this popular feature in a week or two from now.



DEPG NEWS – the tidy-up of the yard in anticipation of the crowds of visitors has required an ‘all hands on deck’ approach. So much so, that well-known veteran volunteer MIKE HARRIS had to don his hi-vis and have a go at the weeds that are making a bid to take over parts of the yard. It goes without saying that there might have been some mickey-taking !

D6566 (33048) watches over the northern approaches on a very sunny and pleasant day while volunteer MIKE HARRIS worked on the yard tidy-up. Pictured at at Williton on Saturday 25th May 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Thank you very much to all of the new members and new volunteers who have come forward to help and support the DEPG during the last few months. We certainly are very grateful of the additional help !


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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