Weekly Roundups – 02 and 09-Jun-24

Weekly Roundups – 02 and 09-Jun-24

The WSR’s 2024 Summer Diesel Festival saw the welcome return of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 on the Friday and Saturday, delivering several highly entertaining performances. The diesel-hydraulic was pictured on 7th June 2024 alongside Helwell Bay on the approach to Doniford Halt with the WSR’s Class 115 DMU in tow. Photo by Mike Lanning © CC BY-NC 3.0


Visiting Class 50 50033 (D433) ‘Glorious’ was a very popular loco, fresh from overhaul at Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway and delivering some fine performances over a four-day period. Pictured on the approach to Crowcombe Heathfield on 7th June 2024 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0


Visiting Class 46 D182 (46045) entertained with several spirited departures, demonstrating that her 2,500hp Sulzer engine was well capable of accelerating her well-loaded trains from the standing start. Pictured at Ker Moor en route to Minehead on Saturday 8th June 2024 by Gary Lemon © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 24 D5054 (24054) ‘Phil Southern’ was positioned inside Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33048) to replicate the configuration that was once commonplace on the Southern Region (SR) in the early 1960s, before the SR coaching stock had been upgraded to electric train heating. The ’24’ or ’25’ would have provided the steam heating service ! Pictured when departing from Crowcombe Heathfield on Friday 7th June 2024 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 ‘delivered the goods’ throughout the gala, building upon her reputation as a good solid performer on freight or passenger, working some trains as ‘top and tail’ with the DEPG’s Class 09 Shunter D4107 (09019). Pictured approaching Dene Bridge on the climb from Norton Fitzwarren on Thursday 6th June 2024 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0


The pair of Class 20s, one of which (20142) was in London Transport livery, were not the only unusual sights at Williton on Thursday 6th June 2024, as DEPG Publicity Officer and Secondman Mark Bladwell acknowledged the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings with a very patriotic waistcoat ! Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


On the Saturday and Sunday (not a gala day but a mixed traction day), a GWR ‘Castle’ Class HST set comprising power cars 43155 (formerly ‘Rougemont Castle’, leading) and 43154 (formerly ‘Compton Castle’, trailing) and four coaches provided a very interesting alternative form of transport, ideal for a smooth and quiet journey along the picturesque West Somerset Railway. Pictured at Stogumber on Sunday 9th June 2024 by Mark Ireland © CC BY-NC 3.0 



The WSR’s SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVAL took place over the three days Thursday 6th through Saturday 8th June, with a mixed traction day on the Sunday with seven services each way, two of which were operated by steam. The weather co-operated with clear blue skies on the Thursday and a decent amount of sunny spells on the other days, and the interesting mix of traction combined with some clever timetabling to make the event very attractive to the public and A BIG SUCCESS !


The DEPG hosted an ‘open yard’ with Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ on display outside the ‘Swindon Shed’ and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 open for cab visits outside the DEPG loco shed, with major Class 14 restoration project D9518 (NCB No.7) on display within the shed. Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) was on display in the yard but found herself pressed into action on the first day of the gala when one of the DMU power cars developed a knocking noise in the transmission and had to be stopped for investigation. The DMU was in use as coaching stock so the engines were not being run, therefore the final drives had to be locked out of mesh so that transmission damage did not occur when being towed. The mechanism on one axle was not remaining fully disengaged, so the rogue power car was making occasional unwelcome noises and had to be removed from the consist when the train, hauled by Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, arrived at Williton.

Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) and WSR engineer/driver Rich Hiscox came to the rescue in the late afternoon of Thursday 6th June 2024 to shunt the defective DMU power car to the North Yard so that it could receive attention from the WSR engineering team. The repaired vehicle was towed to Minehead early the following morning by ‘Hymek’ D7017 so that it could re-join the set and provide more seats for the waiting travellers. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


The issue with the DMU caused a bit of a delay because splitting a DMU while it is at the platform is not the easiest of tasks, but the delay was soon overcome. The event ran close to time on the subsequent days, showing that the timetable had sufficient resilience and recovery time built-in. The designated ‘Thunderbird’ loco was Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) based at Minehead, but this loco did not have to be called upon because, apart from some minor and quickly-resolved teething troubles with the recently-overhauled Class ’50’, there were no reliability issues throughout the event.


NEW FOR 2024, our lineside viewing area at Williton was a big success and we will be making this a regular feature for future gala events, with additional chairs and tables where visitors can relax and enjoy drinks and hot snacks from the mobile catering van ‘Irie 7’ while safely taking photos from the lineside. Our sales stand was very busy throughout and the ever-popular model railway trading stand was provided by Rod Saunders, enjoying very good business over the three days of the event.

The Sunday was always going to be a bit of an unknown in terms of visitor numbers because the mixed traction offerings were only defined at a late stage, but we took a chance and opened the depot, and achieved a FIRST for the DEPG by having the depot staffed entirely by our lady volunteers !


Overall, the event was a big success, and we send out a correspondingly big THANK YOU to the volunteers across the entire WSR family plus the WSR staff, the Gala Planning Team, the loco owners, the crews, the weather and of course the PUBLIC for attending and making it such an enjoyable experience !

Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ provides the backdrop for (L-R) Linda, Carolyn, Natalie and Julie, all regular volunteers at the DEPG, each holding Personal Track Safety (PTS) certificates and fully IN CHARGE of the depot on Sunday 9th June 2024. Many thanks and well done indeed! Photo by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0




The next scheduled diesel running will take place on Saturday 15th June when Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 will be in action on the 80-mile diagram that starts from Minehead at 10:00 under the BLUE timetable

NOTE: the Sunday 16th June working has had to revert to Class 33 haulage because of crew availability issues. Apologies for this late change of traction.


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 2024 DEPG Summer Draw took place at Williton depot on Saturday 8th June, with our celebrity guest GEOFF HUDSON (of Class 50 fame) pulling out the winning numbers which were as follows:

FIRST PRIZE Ticket 0185 Jon Pain
Second Prize Ticket 3587 Steve Thorn
Third Prize Ticket 1992 Mrs. S. Churchill
Fourth Prize Ticket 0227 Rob Franklin

The overall proceeds of £2,663 included many donations, for which we are most grateful, and which will be allocated to the funds specified by the donors. The net proceeds of the raffle will then be distributed evenly between our two main restoration projects D1010 and D9518. Full details will be included in the next ’roundup’ and will be posted on our website ASAP.




LOCO NEWS (in brief):

Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this loco is now positioned on No. 4 road at the north end of the DEPG yard, undergoing preparations for her two Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD655 engines to be lifted out, hopefully next week. If all goes well and the paperwork can be completed in time, the lift could be taking place during the following week, leaving the loco body mounted on stands on the adjacent No. 5 road.


Class 09 D4107 (09019) – this loco joined in with the gala activities on Saturday 8th June by working ‘top and tail’ with Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 on the ‘DMU drag’ between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren. Rare haulage indeed !

D4107 (09019)– this loco (the most recent addition to the DEPG fleet) was pictured while attaching to the WSR’s Class 115 DMU at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for a round trip to Norton Fitzwarren on Saturday 8th June 2024. Photo by Tim Zilkha © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is now stabled at Minehead after working several services during the gala, mostly in conjunction with visiting Class 24 D5054 (24054) ‘Phil Southern’ and alone on the Sunday.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – currently stabled at Minehead, this loco was the standby loco for the duration of the gala and was (thankfully) not called upon, but she did get her slice of the action on Sunday 9th June.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco performed beautifully during the gala, as was evident from the delight on the faces of the passengers when they disembarked at Minehead at the end of the event. We have rostered this loco for three public services in June, the first being Saturday 15th June and then Saturday and Sunday 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.

D7018 – pictured arriving at Minehead with the last service of the day on Friday 7th June 2024, with DEPG Publicity Officer and Secondman Mark Bladwell at the ready and DEPG Chairman Martin Howard at the controls. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco was on display at Williton and available for cab visits, and was well patronised. During the gala, several groups of visitors were taken to the transmission repair area to take a look at the damaged castings and discuss the repair plan with ‘transmission team’ leader Colin F. We have a clear plan and Colin and Geoff were back in action immediately after the gala to make further progress – to be covered in the next edition of ’roundup’.

D7018 – the damaged centre section of the transmission housing was made available for viewing (by arrangement only) at Williton during the gala. Pictured at Williton on 29th May 2024 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the chassis, engine and cab of this major restoration project were on display at Williton throughout the gala and were the subject of much interest, especially as this loco is going to be restored in NCB ‘Ashington Blue’ livery with the running number ‘NCB No.7’. This loco attracted some major donations from visitors to the gala and we are now able to proceed with the completion of the work, without the worry of funding. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SUPPORTING D9518 !

D9518 – some of the team members involved in the restoration work stand proudly beside the chassis of the loco – (L-R) – Tony, Linda, Nick and Gwyn. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 11th June 2024 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco performed perfectly throughout the gala and was also in use on the day before the gala when she lifted the equivalent of a 6-coach trailing load out of Williton station with ease, as part of a positioning move to Minehead. What a show off!

D9526 – on a positioning move from Williton to Minehead in preparation for the gala, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) and Class 46 ‘Peak’ D182 (46045) were whisked away from a standing start in an impressive demonstration of diesel-hydraulic tractive effort! Pictured at Williton on Wednesday 5th June 2024 by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 



Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has been making frequent appearances on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway recently and continues to feature on social media channels. Please send us your photos if you are lucky enough to see this loco in action !


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this very useful loco proved her worth again on the first day of the gala when she shunted the failed DMU power car from the south yard to the north yard at Williton. This manoeuvre involved a 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.

Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) was lavished with attention from Natalie and Tony at Williton on Wednesday 5th June 2024, ready to be put on display and in case of being called into action – which was the case the following day, as reported previously. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0




Almost the whole length of the south yard was open to visitors, with a dedicated area for seating and a hot drinks and hot snack van available to tempt visitors to stay a while and find out more about what goes on at Williton. The plan was a success and we will be building on this for future galas and events, with more exhibits and other attractions to cater for a wider interest.

This development was only possible because of the hard work of our volunteers in clearing the yard, painting the floors, re-organising our container storage areas and with the help of the WSRA STEAM RALLY team, who loaned the crowd fencing that was essential for maintaining public safety. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO GAVE THEIR TIME AND ENERGY TO ACHIEVE THIS !

The DEPG loco shed at Williton was cleaned and the floor re-painted in time for the gala weekend. Many thanks to all involved in making the depot safe and welcoming for the many visitors who came along. Pictured on 2nd June 2024 by Paul Tucker © CC BY-NC 3.0


It is hard to believe that it was a week ago already, but that means that we only have 51 weeks before we have to do it all again, bigger and better and even more entertaining. We had better get back to work !


Go to the previous Weekly Roundup post