• From all of us at the DEPG ….

    … we thank you for the support that you have provided throughout 2022 and we look forward to your continued support for 2023 and beyond.

    The DEPG is an entirely volunteer-based organisation and is a registered charity. All donations or profits from our online store go towards the upkeep and restoration of the locomotives in our care. We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR !


  • John Cronin 1942-2022 RIP

    Our former Chairman John Cronin passed away in the early afternoon of Tuesday 4th October at the age of 80, after a long fight with illness that affected his mobility in recent years.

    Well-known in railway circles, having been the manager of BR’s Bristol Bath Road Traction Maintenance Depot until its closure in 1995, John joined the DEPG after retirement from BR, quickly becoming involved in our quarterly newsletter production before becoming Company Secretary in the year 2000. John succeeded Bob Tiller as Chairman in 2009 and made his mark on the Group before stepping down from the role upon reaching the age of 75, back in 2017.

    John was very proud of his Yorkshire roots and we have found some photos of the ‘Quantock Belle‘ dining train that carried ‘THE YORKSHIREMAN‘ headboard for the occasion of his 75th birthday. During this journey, John was presented with an appropriately decorated birthday cake !

    We remember John for his massive contribution to the DEPG over many years and we offer our condolences to all affected by this loss.

    Former DEPG Chairman John Cronin was presented with a special birthday cake on the occasion of his 75th Birthday in August 2017, after dining aboard the ‘Quantock Belle‘. Photo from the DEPG archives © CC BY-NC 3.0



    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured on 8th August 2022 while preparing to shunt delinquent sister loco D6566 (33 048) to the DEPG yard at Williton for attention to an oil leak that she had developed in her Serck system (radiator fan drive). Photo by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0


    Following the temporary suspension of steam haulage from 08th August due to the prolonged dry weather, the WSR turned to our two ‘Cromptons’ to handle the running under the BLUE timetable, only for D6566 to fail on the first morning of the new arrangement with an oil leak from the Serck tank (the hydraulic system that powers the radiator fan). The DMU stepped in valiantly to keep services running on the Monday afternoon through to Wednesday, and D6566 returned to service on the morning of Thursday 11th August and is now fully operational. Apologies to all for the inconvenience caused to those affected by this technical issue.


    All public services on Saturday through Monday 13-15 August will be hauled by the two ‘Cromptons’ although a steam special will run with the Quantock Belle Dining Train on Sunday 14th.



    The WEST SOMERSET STEAM EXPRESS railtour from Paddington being operated by the Railway Touring Company is due to arrive on the WSR on Saturday. This special was to be steam hauled but is now going to be hauled by WEST COAST RAILWAYS Class 33s 33025 and 33029 throughout from Paddington to Minehead and back.

    The planned arrival times are as follows (approx):

    1Z50 : Depart BL 11:05 arrive MD 12:15 (these are updated timings)

    1Z51 : Depart MD 15:45 arrive BL 17:00


    This means that there will be FOUR ‘CROMPTONS’ RUNNING ON THE WSR ON SATURDAY 13-AUG-22 !

    West Coast Railways 33025 was pictured at Bristol Temple Meads on 28th July 2019 by Geoff Sheppard © CC BY-SA 4.0


    A decision regarding a possible resumption of steam services from Tuesday 16th August onwards will be taken after a review of the situation nearer the date. The WSR timetable page and WSR news pages are being updated accordingly.


    Our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page carries the latest information on diesel-hauled public services:


    The webcams provide a very good way of watching the action from afar. Click this link: http://www.wsr.org.uk/cams.htm or click on the image below to go to the webcams via wsr.org.uk:


    Webcams are available at Bishops Lydeard, Crowcombe Heathfield, Williton, Blue Anchor, Minehead Seaward Way and Minehead Station. Select the appropriate webcam by clicking on the blue button on the webcam page. Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.


    Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

    Have you considered joining the WEEKLY ROUNDUP e-newsletter list? Click here for details.


    Social media channels:


    Back to home page

    Locomotive Status page