Weekly Roundup – 30-Jun-24

Weekly Roundup – 30-Jun-24

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was back in action on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June 2024 when she worked 60 of the 80 miles available on the diagram originating at Minehead. One leg of the journey had to be handed over to a visiting celebrity steam loco, but the rest of the diagram was blessed with Maybach Music throughout. Pictured on the Saturday while departing from Williton, by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was kept busy last weekend, hauling the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard diagram on both days and performing very well, with driver Tucker in charge on Saturday and driver McCannon in charge on Sunday, both volunteers also being DEPG Trustees and Board Members. In an unscheduled change, the first return service on the Saturday raised concerns when the ‘Hymek’ stayed on the end of the train and a very shiny visiting ‘celebrity’ locomotive coupled on the front to haul the train back to Minehead. The loco was new-build 4-6-0 number 6880 ‘BETTON GRANGE’, no doubt a rare treat for the steam fans who happened to be on board.

Apologies to all who had travelled to the WSR to ride behind the ‘Hymek’ on that service. The substitution was the result of a need to get the steam loco to Minehead for planned work to be carried out later that day, and to combine the movement with a loaded test run. Thank you very much to all our supporters who attend on weekends to ride behind our diesels, please keep on coming, to demonstrate the increasing level of interest in diesel traction !

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was pictured while departing from Washford Station on Sunday 30th June 2024 with a service for Bishops Lydeard. The foreground shows a raft of sleepers that will be used by the volunteer Permanent Way team to renovate the trackwork in Washford Station Yard. Photo by Malcolm Anderson © CC BY-NC 3.0


If you were wondering about the curious timetable changes and the occasionally offline webcams last week, the explanation is that the WSR was hosting a private charter for a total of six days, in connection with filming work, in turn providing plenty of work for our two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. We wonder if they will get included in the credits ….

Well done all, and no doubt this filming work will have generated a useful income for the railway and will result in increased tourism in the area in the future !

The filming work that was the purpose behind the private charter on the WSR involved the use of BR(W) 4-6-0 number 6990 ‘WITHERSLACK HALL’ and, in a supporting role, both of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons. In this view taken at Blue Anchor on Tuesday 2nd July 2024, D6575 (33057) waits for the token before leaving for Minehead. Photo by Paul Fleet © CC BY-NC 3.0


This coming weekend, it is the turn of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) to haul the BLUE timetable turns on 6th and 7th July, with 80 miles of haulage each day. The following weekend, the turns are shared between Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 on Saturday 13th July, with one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ being in use on Sunday 14th.

The rest of July is rostered for steam haulage. We are close to finalising the plan for the August weekends, each of which include diesel haulage on both days. 

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.




BR(W), DTG, GWR and latterly DEPG railway engineer, the late Andy Venn was evidently enjoying his work on D1010‘s Voith L630rV transmission at Williton on 23rd April 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


We are saddened to announce that the heritage diesel preservation movement has lost another of its well known and highly capable volunteers, with the loss of ANDY VENN who passed away on Monday 1st July 2024. A legend amongst diesel-hydraulic locomotive owning groups, Andy was also known by his nickname ‘SLEDGE‘ (no doubt there is a story behind that). He had not long started his retirement from GWR’s Reading Traction Maintenance Depot when he developed prostrate cancer, so he sadly didn’t get to live out his retirement dreams.

Andy played a major role in the initial repair stages of D1010‘s Voith L630rV transmission and along with his former boss Paul Koch, provided essential information and guidance to our own team, led by Colin F.

With condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Andy Venn, R.I.P.



Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 PHOTO CHARTER:

As advised last week, here’s a reminder that 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.”

To learn more and book your place please click on the link below, which will take you directly to the page on Don’s website.



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



FORTHCOMING EVENTS on the WSR (click on the links below for more details):

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’ – the date of Monday 8th July is approaching fast ! This date has been set for the body of this loco to be lifted from her bogies and slewed over to the adjacent track, where the ex-BR Swindon stands will be positioned and levelled, ready to carry the 50-tonne load. The lift will be performed by two 120-tonne road cranes that will be supplied by BALDWINS CRANE HIRE working in tandem. The lifting will start by removing the two Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD-655 engines, each of which weighs close to 6 tonnes each, to reduce the weight of the loco body and minimise the stresses on the 62-year-old loco body structure. The transmissions and cooler groups were removed for overhaul last year, so the interior of the loco will be easy to access and will be ready for a thorough clean-up and re-paint once the body is safely lowered onto the stands.

Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ provides the backdrop against which we see Gordon holding the handbrake linkage that he removed from the locomotive on Saturday 29th June 2024. All connections between the body and the bogie have now been removed or released, ready for the lift. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


The updated diagram below was drawn up by DEPG volunteer Barry Quest and shows the planned positions of the two cranes relative to the locomotive. After the body of the loco has been placed down on the stands on No. 5 road, the cranes will vacate the area and the bogies will be rolled from No 4 road into the DEPG loco shed, a little further south. The loco body and stands on No. 5 road will then be protected by sleeper barriers and/or ballast bags, to ensure that the loco is not disturbed by errant road or rail vehicles during her wait for her bogies to be overhauled, a process that we expect to take 6 to 9 months in total.

Plan view of the cranes positioned at each end of Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ on number 4 road at Williton, showing the stands positioned on number 5 road. The loco body will be lifted up to a height of 2m to clear the bogies, then will be slewed over and lowered onto the stands. When the cranes have left the area, the bogies will be rolled into the DEPG loco shed (left of this view) for overhaul. Drawing by Barry Quest © CC BY-NC 3.0


The below photo, reproduced from one of the Bradford Barton books, shows D1025 ‘WESTERN GUARDSMAN’ under construction in Swindon Works in the Autumn of 1963. The loco body was mounted on stands, a method that was commonly used in the ‘Works’, both for new builds and overhauls.

Class 52 D1025 ‘WESTERN GUARDSMAN’ under construction at Swindon Works in Autumn 1963. The loco body is supported on stands. From an original photo by L. Waters ©


The sight of a ‘Western’ on the stands will be a ‘first’ for preservation, because the last time such a sight would have been seen would have been during the parts recovery from the withdrawn locos as they made their way to meet the cutter’s torch in the killing fields at Swindon Works in the late 1970s. The stands were modified several times during their working lives at Swindon, eventually being used to support Mark 1 coach bodies that were being converted for use on the Kent Coast Electrification project. We are lucky to have two of these modified stands available to support D1010.


The lifting of D1010 will be filmed by DEPG volunteers and shared via Social Media and YouTube. The Williton Station webcam may not be functional during the lift period, but keep an eye on our website for links to the videos and photo galleries, which we will post online as soon as we are able to do so.


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 !


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 was in use during the last two weeks on private charter filming support duties, and is now stabled at Bishops Lydeard as a standby locomotive.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco will be in use this coming weekend (6th/7th July) on the 10:00 Minehead to Bishops Lydeard and return service (x2) under the BLUE timetable, covering 80 miles each running day.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as already stated, this loco is in full working order and will next be in use on Saturday 13th July, 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 – the ‘spare’ transmission that previously ran in D7018 back in 1995 has now been disassembled so that the housings can be inspected and hopefully used as replacements for the transmission that is currently undergoing repair. The focus has temporarily switched to preparing D1010 for her body lift, but the ‘transmission team’ will be back on the Mekydro case ASAP !

Please help us with this very important work by making a donation to DEPG funds and allowing us to support the repair work that is taking place right now. Thank you in advance for your help.



Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – more VERY GOOD NEWSwe now have one of the two cardan shafts re-installed in the loco ! This aspect of the restoration has taken some time due to the large and expensive nature of the parts involved, but we have now have a solution, WITH THANKS TO OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS, and the shorter (but chunkier) of the two shafts has now been re-installed in the locomotive.

D9518 – the massive cardan shaft that connects the transmission to the final drive was lowered into the locomotive at Williton on Saturday 29th June 2024. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the output shaft was re-installed between the transmission and the final drive by Colin G and Terry at Williton on Saturday 29th June 2024. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – at the end of the day, with all of the bolts tightened and the the safety bow in place, camera-shy Colin G was caught with a satisfied smile on his face, looking down at the result of many hours of his and Terry’s hard graft. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 29th June 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


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 !



Click here or on the image below to make a donation towards the restoration of D9518. Thank you very much for your support !


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is stabled at Williton and is available for service.


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 recently, but has now been withdrawn from service for a few weeks to allow a leaking exhaust silencer to be repaired and a split turbo input bellows to be replaced. Work is in progress and the loco should be back in service for the peak of summer.

47077 – the massive but somewhat corroded silencer after removal from the loco. They probably don’t have one in stock at the local Kwik-Fit, so we might have to get this one repaired ! Pictured at Grosmont on 25th June 2024 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: this week, we have a NEW book on offer:THE NORTH BRITISH CLASS 22 by Anthony P. Sayer.

These curious beasts were designed and built by the North British Locomotive Company in the late 1950s and soon gained a reputation for unreliability and erratic performance that was not helped by their builder going into liquidation in 1962. This book tells the story of the origins and development of the NBL Class 22 locos, and covers each member of the class in some detail, in the usual style of the author.

Highly recommended and offered at £26 per copy via the DEPG online store. Click here or on the image above to get your copy and in doing so, support the DEPG !

NOTE: We can supply many other titles from Pen & Sword or Platform 5 upon request. Please use our CONTACT FORM to let us know what you would like us to be offering from our online store. Thanks !


ON SHED: apologies, but due to the workload on the planning for D1010‘s lifting, we will need to skip this feature again this week.


DEPG NEWS: the DEPG is a charity and is run entirely by volunteers, many of whom give both their time and their money to the continuance of work on the locos in the DEPG fleet. If you have been enjoying the the roundup for free, have you considered joining us for just £1 a month ? You can then add your name to all of those helping out on the above projects and play your part in the future of our locos for a lot less than the price of a cup of coffee!


JOIN US using whichever membership class is appropriate for your situation and means. CLICK HERE or on the image below for details.


If you would like to go one step further and come along to help with the work on the locos in our fleet, then please use our CONTACT FORM to let us know that you would like to volunteer and we will respond with more details.

We look forward to hearing from you !


Go to the previous Weekly Roundup post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *