Weekly Roundup – 16-Jun-24

Weekly Roundup – 16-Jun-24

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was back in action on Saturday 15th June 2024 when she worked the 80-mile diagram out and back from Minehead (two roundtrips to Bishops Lydeard) with driver Tucker in charge. Pictured in the headshunt at Minehead while running around her train, with BR(WR) ‘Modified Hall’ 6990 ‘WITHERSLACK HALL’ alongside. Photo by Steve Speck © CC BY-NC 3.0


After her sparkling performances during the WSR’s Summer Diesel Festival, it was great to see Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 out and about again, with another set of highly entertaining BLUE timetable runs with a 6-coach load, totalling 80 miles of haulage. The loco had been stabled at Minehead following the gala and will remain there for a few more weeks because she is scheduled to haul the weekend services on Saturday and Sunday 29/30th June and the Saturday service on the 14th July. We hope to schedule addition ‘Hymek’ running later in the summer.



Well-known and respected photographer DON BISHOP has organised a PHOTO CHARTER for 22nd July using Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 and has carefully defined the rolling stock requirements and the optimum movements to get the best photographic experience. Below is an extract from his webpage: 

Right loco, right stock and right line…. something we all crave for. 

     “I am organising a photo charter day with a Hymek diesel hydraulic at the West Somerset Railway. This idea has proved popular from the messages of support I received, and subsequent bookings from my regular photo charter followers. It has taken quite a while to pull this together, but I have now agreed plan & date etc. on which this charter can be run.

      The Diesel & Electric Preservation Group (DEPG) as main providers of diesel traction on the WSR made Hymek D7017 available for the charter. As you probably know, D7017 is one of very few locos to have spent their heritage era career on one railway, having been based at the WSR for some 49 years, since its arrival in 1975. Hymeks were once a regular motive power on the Minehead branch in the 1960s, often seen hauling stopping and through holiday trains between Taunton and Minehead. These trains could often be formed, as they were elsewhere on the Western Region, of mixed Maroon and Choc/cream rakes of coaches – the later having been split from previously formed named express sets. I’ve requested a short rake of 4 coaches, very typical of many Western Region secondary trains of the period. This will be a chance to recreate an authentic scene from the 1960s.

     The charter will commence from Minehead at 09.00hrs. We will proceed and stop for run pasts along the line, using the train as our transport, at both lineside and some stations, through to Bishops Lydeard. A lunch break will be taken here, and the cafe will be available. In the afternoon we will return to Minehead with run pasts at various locations, in the opposite direction of course for different picture opportunities. The charter is expected to finish around 17.00 – 17.30hrs.

     These events do cost quite considerable sums to put on, so will only be available to those booking a place and paying for the privilege. All funds collected are to cover direct costs and provide a revenue for the WSR & DEPG.

     Cost for the day is £96.00 per head.”

To book your place please click on the link below, which will take you direct to the correct page on Don’s website.



Many thanks to Don for choosing a DEPG loco as the basis for his photo charter !




The next scheduled diesel running will take place on Saturday and Sunday 22nd/23rd June when Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33048) will be in action on the 80-mile diagram that starts from Minehead at 10:00 under the BLUE timetable

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. 



Forthcoming events on the WSR (click on the links below for more details):

Wednesday and Thursday 26/27th June – services running between Minehead and Williton only

Tuesday and Wednesday 2nd and 3rd July – services running between Bishops Lydeard and Watchet only

Week of Tuesday 16th July – 150th anniversary of the WSR extension to Minehead

Don Bishop’s D7017 Photo Charter – Monday 22nd July

Saturday and Sunday 27th and 28th July – Grange, Manor and Hall weekend

Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th August – the WSRA Steam Rally at Norton Fitzwarren.

Saturday and Sunday 14th and 15th September – The Forties event




Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this loco is stabled on number 4 road in the yard, and plans are now well advanced for the loco body to be lifted from its bogies using a pair of cranes and slewed across to the adjacent number 5 road where the ex-BR Swindon Works stands will be positioned, ready and waiting for her. This will then allow the bogies to be rolled into our loco shed for overhaul. The lift will be carried out using two 120-ton road cranes, one at each end of the loco, and will leave the loco body on the stands where she will remain until the bogies are ready. The process will then be reversed and the loco will become mobile again.

Railcam view of Williton Yard on the evening of Friday 21st June 2024, showing (L-R) Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF1), Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057), Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 and in the distance, Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’. Image courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR © CC BY-NC 3.0


Zooming-in on the Railcam view of Williton Yard on the evening of Friday 21st June 2024, Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ is stabled on number 4 road where her bogies will remain for a short while. Her body will be lifted across to the adjacent number 5 road that is currently occupied by a ‘Lowmac’ wagon (which will be moved out of the way!). Image courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR © CC BY-NC 3.0


The genuine ex-BR Swindon Works stands that were used for ‘Westerns’ right up until the end of their days, after which they were were modified with wider platforms to suit the Mark 1 coach frames that were the basis of the Kent Coast Electrification Project work. Pictured alongside D7018 at Williton on Saturday 15th June 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


The hire of two 120 ton cranes is a very expensive undertaking and will be paid for by the funds raised from D1010’s SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, where the sponsor’s name is engraved into the new steelwork that has been used to repair the corrosion that has resulted from many years of exposure to the weather. MANY THANKS to ALL WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TOWARDS THIS MAJOR OVERHAUL !

Click here or on the image above to have your name engraved onto D1010 !

Meanwhile, the lift planning is not the only activity that is absorbing the D1010 team’s time at Williton, with various items being prepared to go to specialist subcontractors for overhaul in parallel to the planned bogie work. The cardan shafts that drive the auxiliary machines were gathered up by Gordon at the yard on Saturday and prepared for shipment. These shafts are used for connecting the dynastarter (a combined starter motor and generator) and for driving the Serck pump (a hydraulic pump that drives the radiator fans), so they are quite important !

D1010 – the cardan shafts for the auxiliary machines were gathered up by Gordon at Williton on Saturday 15th June 2024 and prepared for shipment to a specialist subcontractor for overhaul. The longer shafts fit between the transmissions and the dynastarters, the shorter shafts fit between the transmissions and the Serck pumps. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


FEEDBACK on a QUESTION: During the WSR Summer Diesel Festival, several visitors enquired as to why D1010 was covered up with tarpaulins and not properly ‘on show’. The reason for this was that the cooler groups had been removed from the loco so there were large sections of roof missing, so fitting and removing the tarpaulins is not a quick job (it is MUCH harder than it looks). The weather forecast was good but not perfect, so we couldn’t take the chance of letting the internals of the loco get a soaking while we cleared the area and gathered an army of volunteers. Apologies to the photographers, but we hope to have her properly dressed in good time for the next gala !


Class 09 D4107 (09019) – this loco is based at Bishops Lydeard and is in regular use in support of WSR activities, including the loading and unloading of visiting locomotives !


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is now stabled at Minehead as the ‘Duty Loco’ and will be in service on Saturday and Sunday 22nd/23rd June and again on 6th and 7th of July under the BLUE timetable.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco was in use on Sunday 16th June and has now returned to Williton where she will undergo an ‘A’ examination and attention to minor issues. While Ian, Tom and Ashley were devoid of any ‘Cromptons’ on shed, the opportunity was taken to clean up and start remedial work on the two cylinder heads that were removed from the loco during the winter. These massive items will be refurbished and put back into stock for use on a future occasion.

D6575 (33057) – the two Sulzer cylinder heads that were removed from the loco during the winter were cleaned up prior to being refurbished at Williton on Saturday 15th June 2024. Volunteer loco manager Ian R was pictured while adminstering the degreaser. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as already covered, this loco is in full working order and will next be in use on 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.

D7017 – pictured while departing from Williton with the 1000 service from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 15th June 2024. Visit our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page to view other dates for diesel haulage on the WSR. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the repairs to the transmission of this loco took another step forward last week when the ‘spare’ transmission that previously ran in D7018 back in 1995 was moved into the loco shed to be dismantled. The plan is to use the casings from the ‘spare’ to replace the cracked parts from D7018‘s current transmission, to avoid the expensive and long-winded process of repairing multiple cracks in the very large and heavy steel castings.

To allow the work to proceed, it was necessary to fabricate another transmission stand so that the casings could be properly supported while being worked on. In a matter of days, the steelwork was cut to size and fitted together so that it could be welded into the finished product. Made entirely from steel recovered from the ‘scrap bin’, the stand does not look ‘new’ but it certainly is new and is more than strong enough for the task. Well done to Tony and Colin F for producing this very useful piece of equipment with the minimum of expenditure !

D7018 – the new stand for the transmission was fabricated from strong but rusty sections of steel recovered from the ‘scrap bin’ at Williton. Pictured on 15th June 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D7018 – the ‘spare’ transmission last ran in the loco in 1995 and has become the spares donor to the ‘new’ transmission on three occasions already – and there is about to be a fourth! Pictured at Williton on 15th June 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – some VERY GOOD NEWSwe now have two cardan shafts that are fit for further service ! The two shafts (the long one goes between the engine and the transmission, the short one goes between the transmission and the final drive) have now been re-balanced and are almost ready to be re-installed in the locomotive (just some paint touch-up to deal with first).

Having these shafts available allows us to move forward with the work between the frames in parallel with the restoration of the cab, and we can now start planning for the day when the cab assembly gets re-mounted onto the frames and the loco starts to take on its true shape !


D9518 – the massive cardan shafts have now returned from inspection and balancing, and are about to be painted by Andy P before being installed into the locomotive. THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all who donated to the D9518 fund and made this giant step forward possible ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th June 2024 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is now stabled at Williton and is available for service – which might be sooner rather than later !


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco was a very popular attraction at the DIESEL GALA that took place on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway last weekend. The loco performed faultlessly and fitted right in with a number of other ‘BR Blue’ locomotives, as pictured in the ‘on shed’ scene at Grosmont, further below. Top marks to the Diesel team at Grosmont for keeping her in such good condition !

47077 – pictured at Levisham on 15th June 2024 while waiting for the ‘Peak’ to clear the section, our ‘celebrity’ was a very popular locomotive and performed faultlessly throughout the NYMR‘s Diesel Gala. Only the weather could have been better. Photo by Neale Long © CC BY-NC 3.0


47077 – pictured while powering away from Levisham on 15th June 2024, this loco is a firm favourite on the NYMR, with both the crews and the passengers – and the photographers ! Photo by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0


Grosmont shed on 16th June 2024 was an authentic reproduction of the ‘BR-blue’ era, with (L-R) Class 45 ‘Peak 45108 (D120), Class 31 31128 ‘CHARYBDIS’, Class 20 20189 and our very own 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ on shed. Photo by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – stabled outdoors on number 1 road, this loco is fully serviceable and available for yard pilot duties.



BOOK REVIEW: apologies, but we will have to skip this feature this week because we are still in ‘catch-up’ mode !

ON SHED: apologies, as above !

DEPG NEWS: apologies again, there is plenty to report, but unfortunately we are out of time for this week.


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 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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