Weekly Roundup

  • Weekly Roundup – 22-Jan-23

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 is back on the WSR, enjoying the company of Class 09 D4107 (09 019) at Westridge Loco Shelter, Bishops Lydeard. Pictured on Saturday 21st January 2023 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 has returned to the WSR after being on hire to the K&ESR for the last 18 months and has taken up residence at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard where she will remain until the start of the 2023 running season. The loco arrived via road transport on Friday 20th and was inspected and tested by Colin G and Simon P on Saturday 21st, and confirmed as being in full working order and available for service, should the need arise.

    After clocking up almost 750 hours of use at the K&ESR during her very successful visit, our thanks go to Mike Grimwood and the D9504 team for looking after D9526 and keeping her in such great condition. MUCH APPRECIATED !

     

    WSR TIMETABLE NEWS:

    The WSR have released the details of their 2023 timetable and we have updated our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page to show the services that will include DEPG loco haulage. Further details will be added as soon as we have agreed the allocations for the diesel-hauled services, which will now be a selection from three loco classes, namely Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ or Class 33 ‘Crompton’ or Class 35 ‘Hymek’.

    The WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) will also feature in the running on several other days, the details of which can be found on the WSR’s timetable page.

    The WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) was pictured while basking in the winter sunshine at Minehead on 17th January 2023. Photo by Dave Fowler © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Keep an eye on the DIESEL RUNNING DATES page and mark the days that interest you on your calendar, so that you can make a plan to come along and ride behind your favourite type of locomotive. Click on the banner below to go to the page on our website:

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the continuing cold weather affected progress on the bodywork restoration, so the opportunity was taken to clean up and wire up the batteries that were removed from D7017 last week and keep them at hand for electrical circuit testing that will be necessary once the cab wiring in D1010 has been reinstated and checked. Further work on the ‘B’ transmission gathered pace as the turbine components were reassembled with new bearings, ready for the secondary shaft to be fitted next week. Here’s some photos showing the progress:

    D1010 – the relatively new batteries from D1010 have been transferred to D7017 to make better use of them while D1010 is ‘stopped’ for overhaul. The old and tired batteries from D7017 were cleaned and wired up so that they can be used when testing the new wiring in D1010. Ian F and Tom (L-R) were pictured at work at Williton on Saturday 21st January 2023 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the fixed blade rings of the first torque converter stage are clearly visible in this view taken at Williton on Tuesday 17th January 2023. The impeller will attach to the Hirth joint (radial splined joint) of the primary shaft that is visible in the centre. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the first stage impeller is shown in the centre of this view, taken at Williton on Tuesday 17th January 2023. The first stage turbine runner is shown in position around the impeller. The fixed guide ring (previous picture) fits between the two when the Hirth joints are mated up. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the cover of the second stage turbine includes two of the three bearings that support the secondary shaft. The angular contact bearing (very expensive!!) is shown in position within the cover. This bearing controls the axial float or play of the secondary shaft, so it is quite important ! A roller bearing fits outboard of this and carries the radial loads. Pictured at Williton on 16th January 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING and we give our thanks to everyone who has supported D1010 by sponsoring or donating during these difficult times. If you are able to do so, please SPONSOR A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, and we are applying more resources to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    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 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco has now taken up the role of duty loco and is available for use by the WSR. The loco currently stands at the head of the ‘Type 3’ line up at Williton, ready for action.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) stands on number 1 road at Williton, ahead of sister D6575 (33 057). Next in the line-up is the GWR ‘Toad’ brake van, then Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018. Pictured on Saturday 21st January 2023 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the maintenance worklist is being tackled and this loco will be ready for service again some time during the next few weeks. The next task is to change the air and vacuum gauges for calibrated spares and send the removed gauges for calibration. Preparations for the changeover are well advanced and the work will be completed next weekend.

    D6566 (33 048) and D6575 (33 057) show the evidence of the very cold temperatures that prevailed at Williton on Saturday 21st January 2023. Not very welcoming to volunteers, that’s for sure. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the batteries on this loco were replaced with those from D1010 last weekend and were put on charge on Saturday 21st to get them up to the required performance level. By the end of the day, the batteries were still charging but close to completion, so the decision to move them to D7017 to put them back in use was not a moment too soon.

    D7017 and D7018 – both locos stand together on number 1 road outside the Old Goods Shed at Williton on the very cold and frosty morning of Saturday 21st January 2023. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – there are a number of tasks outstanding on this loco and all will be tackled in good time for the start of the new season.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – some great progress can be witnessed on the battery boxes, which have now been fully refurbished and are ready to go back onto the loco. Note the ‘NCB Ashington Blue’ colour and the high standard of finish that is characteristic of Colin G’s work. Here’s some photos:

    D9518 – the battery boxes have been completely refurbished and are now ready to be re-installed on the loco. The colour is ‘NCB Ashington Blue’ because the loco will return to service in the guise of ‘NCB No. 7’. Photo dated 19th January 2023 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the speed governor is mounted on the top of the Voith L217u 3-speed hydraulic transmission and includes the overspeed trip and vacuum release valve that automatically applies the brakes if excessive speed is detected. Pictured at Williton on 14th January 2023 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 – as already reported, this loco has now returned to the WSR and will remain under cover at Westridge shed, Bishops Lydeard until the start of the 2023 running season.

    D9526 – in difficult lighting conditions that are characteristic of this time of year, the loco is pictured aboard the road transport shortly after arrival at Bishops Lydeard on Friday 20th January 2023. Photo by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is currently stabled at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and will undergo winter maintenance to prepare her for what should be a very busy season on the NYMR. We will provide more details about the maintenance program in a future roundup.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the oil filter was found to be unfit for further use, so a modern replacement is being identified and ordered. This will allow the winter maintenance effort to be completed. The fuel system flush and refill will then be the only task standing in the way of an engine start.

     

    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 are trialling a different approach this week and we are offering a selection of pre-owned books that have been donated by members and supporters, but on the basis of a bid. To get started, here is a book by well-known author DAVID CABLE, comprising 198 pages covering this very popular loco class:

    CLASS 50 – A PICTORIAL JOURNEY by David Cable ISBN 1473864410

    If you want to donate to the DEPG loco of your choice and get a good book in return, use our CONTACT FORM to express your interest and make a bid. Thanks !

     

     

    ON SHED – staying with the series of photos by Kelvin Lumb, this week we feature one of the seven Class 52 survivors, D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ as she heads towards Paddington with an ‘up’ West Country service passing Fairwood Junction and taking the Westbury avoiding line. Happily, D1041 was saved and now resides on the EAST LANCASHIRE RAILWAY in the care of the Bury Hydraulic Group. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another of his photos with us all.

    Never looking its best in its final years, Class 52 D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ passes Fairwood Junction signal box and takes the Westbury avoiding line at speed with a West Country express to the capital on a gloomy day in 1976. D1041 was one of the few that made it into 1977, soldiering on until 22nd February of that year. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the next Board meeting will take place at Williton this coming Saturday 28th January, so please use our CONTACT FORM if you are a DEPG member and have a question that you would like to have submitted to the Board for consideration.

     

     

    KEY DATES for your diary:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 15-Jan-23

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 is pictured climbing away from Wittersham Road station on the K&ESR on 2nd August 2022, during the heatwave and dry spell that resulted in the loco being used intensively during the summer months. Photo by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    After being away from home on hire to the K&ESR for the last 18 months, our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 is returning to the WSR on Friday 20th January to take up residence at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard, until such time as she is able to return to Williton. During her time at the K&ESR, this little loco has racked up almost 750 hours of use and has performed very well, with only occasional attention being needed for scheduled maintenance and the replacement of “wear-and-tear” items.

    Many thanks go to Mike Grimwood and the D9504 team at the K&ESR for looking after D9526 and giving her the same level of care and attention as they give to their own locomotive. MUCH APPRECIATED !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – Ian continued his painstaking work on improving the repaired surfaces of the loco, even though the cold temperatures made it impractical for filling and painting. More progress was made with the reinstatement of the wiring under the ‘B’ cab floor, and once this is completed, the floor will be replaced and the electrical equipment frames and the desk controls will get an overhaul. The major area of progress has been the reassembly of the ‘B’ transmission turbine rail which has received a lot of attention during the last few weeks. As usual, the photos tell the story:

    D1010 – the input shaft of ‘B’ transmission was separated into its component parts at Williton on 9th January 2023 so that the corroded bearings can be replaced. The photo shows the dynastarter drive pinion being released from the tapered shaft using oil injection, plus a little hydraulic assistance in the axial direction. Photo by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the working area was reorganised at Williton on 10th January 2023 to allow more space for the turbine rail sections to be re-combined. The main transmission housing can be seen on the yellow stand, giving a clear impression of the size of this piece of 1960s engineering. Photo by Colin Foxhall  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the three main sections of turbine rail housings of the ‘B’ transmission were combined into one large assembly at Williton on 10th January 2023. The housing at the bottom is for the first stage torque converter (first or low “gear”). Just above that, the drive pinion is visible through the aperture. Above that, the housing accomodates the small diameter third stage (third or top “gear”) before expanding out again for the second stage (second or middle “gear”). Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the batteries were removed from the loco some time ago to allow the battery compartments to be repaired, but before the batteries are re-installed, they will be loaned to ‘Hymek’ D7017 for the 2023 season to avoid the need to buy a new set for that loco. Batteries deteriorate when not in use, so fitting them to an active loco is a logical step and avoids waste. From L-R, Chris, Simon B and Karl were on battery duty at Williton on 14th January 2023. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING and we give our thanks to everyone who has supported D1010 by sponsoring or donating during these difficult times. If you are able to do so, please SPONSOR A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are in short supply, but we will get it done soon. Click the image further below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    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 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco has now taken up the role of duty loco and is available for use by the WSR.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – attention has been focused on the compressor because of reports of excessive oil consumption and evidence of oil leaks. The initial examination showed that oil was being pushed out from the crankcase, perhaps from leaking piston rings which would suggest that a full overhaul would be required. Further inspection showed that the leakage was around the low pressure cylinder, so the bolts were retorqued as a simple step that may lead to a solution. In the background, the options for a replacement compressor are being studied, just in case.

    D6575 (33 057) – volunteer Ian F cleans up the cover from the Davies & Metcalfe compressor that has been consuming more oil than it should. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 14th January 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the batteries on this loco are old and tired, and were only just able to start the loco for its test run last month, even though they had been on charge for some time prior to the start attempt. So, the opportunity was taken to move the batteries from D1010 to make better use of them during a period when D1010 doesn’t need them, and when they are liable to deterioration as a result. This will allow a new set of batteries to be purchased at a later date for whichever loco needs them at that time, and avoid waste. The last time we bought a set of batteries (in 2021) they cost £4,500 so the price today is likely to be somewhat higher !

    D7017 – the battery rack (now located in the former boiler room) was cleared of the old tired batteries at Williton on Saturday 14th January 2023. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D7017 – the batteries from D1010 were re-organised and re-wired to fit in the rack and will now allow the loco to start reliably and without having to be charged beforehand. Ian R and Karl were pictured at Williton on Saturday 14th January 2023 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco quietly celebrated her 61st ‘birthday’ on the 18th of this month, at the end of a long line of locos that have a higher priority in the short term, but the spotlight will swing onto her again as soon as the weather improves. There are a number of tasks outstanding on this loco and all will be tackled in good time for the start of the new season.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – more progress on multiple fronts, with even more work going on in the background. Here’s a few photos that give an impression of what is going on:

    D9518 – the photographer catches Colin G by surprise as he re-fits the electrical terminal strips to the control cubicle frames after appying a coat of paint. Pictured at Williton on 14th January 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – and what a difference – the inside surfaces in cream gloss and the outside surfaces in grey undercoat. Pictured at Williton on 14th January 2023 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – and the electrical control cubicle viewed from the rear. Pictured at Williton on 14th January 2023 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the pneumatically-operated reverser mechanism was trial assembled and operated to make sure that everything was in working order before making the final installation with new pipework. Pictured at Williton on 14th January 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the Westinghouse solenoid valves that control the reverser mechanism were operated manually to test for the correct function (the electrical installation will come later). Pictured at Williton on 14th January 2023 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 – as already reported, this loco is expected to return to the WSR on Friday of this week via road transport. The loco will remain under cover at Westridge shed, Bishops Lydeard until she is able to make her way to Williton. 

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – it was one year ago this very week when our ‘celebrity’ loco made her 300-mile journey from Bishops Lydeard to the NYMR and it was even colder then than it is now, a detail that can be gleaned from the YouTube video that we produced on the day of the move. Click here for a link to the video on our YouTube channel.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – attention shifted from the fuel system to the lubricating oil system, because the engine oil looked like it was well overdue for a refresh. The loco will get a complete maintenance check and inspection before an engine start is attempted, and hopefully she will be back in running order within the next few weeks. 

     

    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 – many thanks to all who have supported our sales of books both new and old during 2022. We will be adding new titles to our online store soon, but meanwhile please take a look at what we already have for sale and help us raise funds to support our restoration work. Thank you very much !

     

    ON SHED – yet another gem from the collection of photographs taken by Kelvin Lumb, staying at Severn Tunnel Junction but this time with one of the seven ‘thousands’ that made it into 1977 and almost made it to the very end of the diesel-hydraulic mainline era. The photo shows Class 52 D1058 ‘WESTERN NOBLEMAN’ as she departs from Severn Tunnel Junction from the ‘up’ yard, hauling a long train of vans bound for Exeter. This loco remained in service until the 20th of January when she suffered a fire in one of her dynastarters and was withdrawn the following day, just five weeks before the withdrawal of the remaining members of the class. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another of his photos with us all.

    Class 52 D1058 ‘WESTERN NOBLEMAN’ makes a smoky departure as she powers out from Severn Tunnel Junction with the 7B61 service bound for Exeter Riverside Yard on either the 6th or 7th of January 1977. The secondman does not seem too happy! Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the next Board meeting will take place at Williton on Saturday 28th January, so please let me know if you have a question that you would like to have submitted to the Board for consideration.

    The running dates for 2023 are under discussion at present and the WSR are very close to finalising the details. As last year, the information will be posted on our website on a dedicated page that will provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for diesel running on the WSR.

    Meanwhile, mark the following dates in your diaries:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 08-Jan-23

    Apologies for the late release of this edition of roundup.

    An unusual view from the cab of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) while working top-and-tail with BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ on the re-routed ‘Santa Express’ service on Friday 23rd December 2022. The loco was standing at Orchard Junction, alongside the main line at Norton Fitzwarren, when a GWR ‘Castle’ set led by 43189 ‘LAUNCESTON CASTLE’ cruised by. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On Tuesday 3rd January, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) returned to Williton for planned maintenance, drawing a line under her outstanding performance throughout 2022 where she achieved 100% despatch reliability and encountered only minor issues that were quickly resolved by the crews. For a loco of 61 years of age, that is indeed a creditable performance, so WELL DONE D6575 !

     

    Some issues have started to become evident on D6575 towards the end of the year, in particular the high oil consumption of the compressor, providing advance warning that a compressor overhaul is likely to be required. These issues will be dealt with during the quiet winter period while sister D6566 (33 048) is the duty loco and is available for engineering trains or any special workings.

    The return of D6575 to Williton now provides us with a four-loco line-up on number 1 road comprising two ‘Hymeks’ D7018 (nearest the Old Goods Shed) and D7017, then a GWR ‘Toad’ brake van, then two ‘Cromptons’ D6575 and D6566. In the event of a ‘Tug-of-War’, the poor old ‘Toad’ would have to take some serious punishment !

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) stands at the head of a 6,500 hp lineup that includes sister D6575 (33 057) and Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018. Pictured at Williton on Sunday 8th January 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The return of D6575 to Williton (and the return of the two steam locos and the empty coaching stock to Minehead) was made possible due to special permission that was granted to cross the embankment at Coombe Florey after an inspection and test run had been made earlier that day. The trackbed and embankment sustained significant damage on Tuesday 19th December due to excessive and uncontrolled run-off from fields above the railway. This caused the line between Bishops Lydeard and Crowcombe Heathfield to be closed to all traffic, resulting in the re-routing of the ‘Santa Express’ and ‘Winterlights’ services to make use of the Norton Fitzwarren section instead.

     

    The Chairman of the WSR, Jonathan Jones-Pratt, wrote to all volunteers and gave thanks for the wide-ranging support that the railway had received from the WSR ‘family’ in adapting to the situation, and also gave thanks to specialists both local and further afield, who offered their help in relation to the assessment of the damage and the determination of the steps to be taken to resolve the issue. We will bring further news as it becomes available.

    The cess alongside the trackbed has been filled with mud deposited by run-off from the adjacent farmland. Pictured at Coombe Florey on 8th January 2023 by Malcolm Anderson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – work resumed in January in several areas of the loco, including the reinstatement of the wiring that had to be removed to allow welding work to take place under the cab floors. The remains of the old and badly corroded cable conduits were removed in preparation for new conduits to be fitted later this month.

    Progress continued on the ‘B’ transmission with the preparation of tooling and fixtures to aid the disassembly of the input shaft to allow the corrosion-damaged bearings to be replaced. This shaft shows the evidence of having being rebuilt many times during BR service, so great care will be needed when rebuilding it yet again.

    D1010 – the input shaft of ‘B’ transmission was prepared for disassembly at Williton and displays damage from multiple bearing changes that took place during 15 years of BR service. The housing and shaft will need a good cleanup before rebuilding once again. Pictured on 31st December 2022 by Andy Royal  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the roller bearing of the input shaft has evidently suffered from corrosion caused by condensation. The bearing will be replaced and the corrosion removed from the shaft before rebuilding the transmission. Pictured at Williton on 31st December 2022 by Andy Royal  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING and we give our thanks to everyone who has supported D1010 by sponsoring or donating during these difficult times. If you are able to do so, please SPONSOR A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are in short supply, but we will get it done soon. Click the image further below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    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 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco has now taken up the role of duty loco and is available for use by the WSR.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – already covered.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the test run that was conducted in December 2022 went well and there are no essential tasks outstanding on this loco. The sanding gear was removed for the bogie spring change and has yet to be refitted, but this is not used in service because it is not needed, the ‘Hymeks’ being very sure-footed with all four axles mechanically coupled. The task remains on the ‘to-do’ list for completeness.

    D7017 made a fine sight at Williton on the 61st anniversary of her entry into BR service at Bristol Bath Road depot. Pictured on 8th January 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco needs some adjustment to her reverser mechanism to ensure that direction changes can be performed from the cab rather than having to move the mechanism manually. There are several other maintenance tasks on the list so this loco will receive attention to resolve the issues before undertaking a repeat test run in the springtime. This loco celebrates her 61st ‘birthday’ on the 18th of this month.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – much of the work on this loco involves the careful reconditioning of original parts which are then fitted to the loco frames at the appropriate point in the rebuild process. The time taken to attach the reconditioned part to the loco may just be minutes, but the work that was involved behind the scenes to prepare the parts oftens runs to hundreds of hours. Here’s some photos to give a flavour of the most recent activities:

    D9518 – the electrical control cubicle is receiving a careful re-paint while still partially assembled. This makes the painting task very difficult indeed, and ideal for the patience and care available from John C and Colin G. Pictured at Williton on 31st December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – two fully-reconditioned lamps were fitted to the ‘B’ end of the loco on 31st December 2022. Pictured at Williton by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – even the bolts for the side sheets need careful preparation to avoid premature rusting. Class 14 team member Andy P has spray painted the primer on the 100+ bolts that will be needed for ‘B’ end. Pictured at Williton on 31st December 2022 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 – another loco that celebrated her birthday earlier this month, becoming 58 years old on the 6th of January, this loco has now completed her 18-month stay at the Kent & East Sussex Railway and is expected to return to the WSR this month via road transport. The loco is likely to remain under cover at Westridge shed, Bishops Lydeard until she is able to make her way to Williton. 

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco was back in action on the NYMR on a couple of occasions in December, after the replacement of her engine governor with the reconditioned part from Williton stock. On the 22nd, she shared the workload on the ‘Santa’ specials, and on the 31st she hauled a flat wagon carrying a reconditioned steam loco boiler from Pickering to Grosmont, resplendent in the spotlessly clean condition that is a credit to the Grosmont depot volunteers. Thank you very much for looking after ‘NORTH STAR’ !

    47077 joined the festivities by working in ‘top-and-tail’ mode with a steam engine on the ‘Santa’ services, on Thursday 22nd December 2022. Photo by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the overhauled fuel injection pump returned from Colchester Fuel Injection Ltd. in sparkling clean condition and has been re-installed on the loco along with new fuel filters of the modern ‘spin-on’ type. The next step is to flush the system with fresh fuel and check that the fuel remains clear. The engine oil will then be changed and everything checked over before attempting an engine start.

    Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 ‘ROF 1’ – the refurbished fuel injection pump looks like a new part after overhaul by Colchester Fuel Injection Ltd., but it is in fact an original part dating back to 1972. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 ‘ROF 1’ – the refurbished fuel injection pump was re-installed at Williton on Tuesday 3rd January 2023. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    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 – many thanks to all who have supported our sales of books both new and old during 2022. We will be adding new titles to our online store soon, but meanwhile please take a look at what we already have for sale and help us raise funds to support our restoration work. Thank you very much !

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, this time we have a photo of our very own Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ at Severn Tunnel Junction down hump marshalling yard, pictured after leaving her train and while heading for the loco servicing depot on the other side of the South Wales main line. The movements of the remaining Class 52s were closely monitored in their last years, so perhaps one of our readers could provide information about the working that had taken her to ‘the tunnel’. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his impressive collection with us all.

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ goes over the hump at Severn Tunnel Junction after leaving her train and heads for the loco servicing depot. Pictured from the road bridge using a 200mm lens on a gloomy day in early 1976 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the combined fund-raising efforts of the Williton Station staff and the volunteers at the DEPG have come together to deliver a result for the railway and for the local community by the installation of a defibrillator in the car park at Williton Station. The weatherproof housing contains a Zoll portable defibrillator that is both safe and very easy to use. The facility has been registered with the emergency services, but let’s hope that it never has to be called into action.

     

    The Zoll portable defibrillator installation in the car park at Williton Station is available to the whole community. Pictured on 7th January 2023 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    VERY IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

    Many thanks for supporting the DEPG – your help is essential and is very much appreciated !

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Roundup of the year 2022

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured at the tail end of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ service on 27th December 2022 as the train was being prepared for the 17:00 departure from Bishops Lydeard station. The lights will be turned on approximately 10 minutes before departure time. Photo by Mike Collins © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our members and supporters ! Let’s hope that 2023 is going to be a good year for everyone, wherever they are in the world !

     

    Here’s a quick roundup of the last 12 months to remind us of what has been achieved and prepare us for the challenges that lie ahead:

     

    JANUARY 2022 – Our ‘celebrity’ 47 077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ finally left Bishops Lydeard by road and travelled 300 miles to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR).

    The DEPG’s BR-corporate-blue Class 47 47077 (D1661 47613 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ was loaded onto an Allelys Heavy Haulage trailer at Bishops Lydeard on a very cold Thursday morning 13th January 2022, in preparation for a 300-mile trip to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, where the loco will operate for the next two or more years. The loco wears a perfect halo that was created by the early morning sunrise. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    FEBRUARY 2022 – former ROF Puriton 0-4-0 Diesel-Hydraulic shunter Barclay 578 (ROF 1) moved to the WSR RESTORATIONS paint shop for a contract repaint following attention to bodywork.

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 DH number 578 (ROF 1) is seen in the WSR Restorations paint shop at Williton receiving attention from Harry in his own time on Saturday 19th February 2022. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    MARCH 2022 – Beyer Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7017 was lifted so that her bogie springs could be changed. This was her first lift since BR days and it was fitting that she was lifted using the jacks that were acquired from her first home depot, Bristol Bath Road.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was lifted at the WSR Restorations ‘Swindon Shed’ on Tuesday 29th March 2022 so that her bogies could be rolled out for spring replacement work. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    APRIL 2022 – we celebrated the RETURN TO MINEHEAD after two years of isolation due to the combined effects of Covid and the upgrading of the Seaward Way Level Crossing.

    DEPG Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was outstationed at Minehead as ‘Thunderbird’ loco and was placed on display on the same road as the restored Southern Region ‘PMV’ Parcels and Miscellaneous Van that it would have worked with during its earlier career as a mainline locomotive when based in the South East. Pictured on Saturday 2nd April 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    MAY 2022 – now sporting new bogie springs that were paid for by donations from members, ‘Hymek’ D7017 was readied for service and given a fresh coat of varnish to freshen up her appearance.

    Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 were readied for service at Williton. D7017 has just received a fresh coat of varnish and this has made a tremendous difference to her appearance – thank you Graham ! Pictured on Sunday 22nd May 2022 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    JUNE 2022 – we welcomed the return of the WSR’s annual DIESEL GALA which took place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June and featured two guest locomotives, Class 25 D7612 (25 262, 25 901) from South Devon Diesel Traction and the unique Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 from the Diesel Traction Group.

    DEPG Beyer Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 arriving at Minehead, viewed from the cab of visiting Class 25 D7612 (25 262, 25 901) on the first day of the gala, Thursday 9th June 2022. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The DTG’s unique Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 was pictured with five Mark 1 coaches, working hard on the 3-mile climb from Norton Fitzwarren to Bishops Lydeard. This was the view from Longlands Bridge on Friday 10th June 2022. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    JULY 2022 – our ‘celebrity’ Class 47 started work on the NYMR during a period of very hot weather and became an instant hit with passengers and crew. The loco worked alongside three other BR-blue diesels and allowed the railway to continue to operate their timetabled services during a period when steam locos were banned due to the very high lineside fire risk.

    BR 1965 Crewe-built Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ hauled her first revenue-earning turn on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on Monday 18th July 2022, pictured at Goathland by Martin Fisher © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    AUGUST 2022 – the heatwave continued and resulted in a steam ban on the WSR and also at the Kent & East Sussex Railway (KESR) where our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was working service trains on a daily basis. An incoming mainline charter saw a pair of West Coast Railways Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ visit Minehead, providing the rare spectacle of four ‘Cromptons’ and a ‘Hymek’ at work on the WSR – and no steam!

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 was at the tail end of the 16:30 departure from Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 13th August 2022, seen here at Crowcombe Heathfield where the service crossed with the return leg of the WEST SOMERSET STEAM EXPRESS railtour from Minehead to London Paddington, which was being hauled by West Coast Railways ‘Crompton’ pair 33029 (D6547) leading 33025 (D6543, formerly ‘SULTAN’). Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9526 was pictured while crossing Hexden Channel on 2nd August 2022 with a service train on the Kent and East Sussex Railway. Photo by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    SEPTEMBER 2022 – the annual ‘work week’ occupied the last week of the month, with volunteers on site throughout the week, and Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ going maroon in the process!

    D1010 – Paul T stands aside before resuming his work on the ‘A’ side of the ‘B’ end of the loco at Williton on Wednesday 28th September 2022. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    OCTOBER 2022 – our former chairman JOHN CRONIN passed away at the age of 80. John joined our group following retirement from BR and held officer roles from 2000 onwards, becoming chairman in 2009 until his ‘second retirement’ at the age of 75 in 2017. One of his ‘pet projects’ was supporting the restoration of Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 (NCB Ashington No. 7) and it was fitting that major progress could be demonstrated on that loco throughout the year, including a major step in October.

    Former DEPG Chairman the late 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

     

    D9518 – the short nose end (‘B’ end) of the loco takes shape following the re-fitting of the side and end frames at Williton on Saturday 8th October 2022. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    NOVEMBER 2022 – a major step forward was the commencement of the re-assembly process for the Voith L630rV hydraulic transmission from the ‘B’ end of Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’, after a period of development of the special tools and special processes that are required to handle this very complex piece of precision engineering.

    D1010 – a milestone moment as new bearings are fitted around the input shaft by Tim (L) and Colin F (R) at Williton on Tuesday 15th November 2022 after ensuring that the oilway drillings were clear of debris and fully functional. The next step will be to fit this shaft assembly into the housing and then build the first stage torque converter around it. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DECEMBER 2022 – our fleet strength was boosted by the successful test running of three locomotives, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 from Williton to Bishops Lydeard and back.

    Three DEPG locomotives were out on test on Saturday 17th December 2022. From left to right, Class 33 D6566 (33 048), Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 and sister D7017 take a break at Stogumber while on the return journey from Bishops Lydeard to Williton. Photo by Phil Hall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Our test run was well timed, because only two days later, heavy rain caused excessive run-off from an adjacent landowner’s field and led to a landslip near Tribble Bridge, two miles north of Bishops Lydeard, closing the route to normal services. The remedial work will be expensive and complex and no doubt involve a significant effort from staff and volunteers, to ensure that the line re-opens in springtime.

    The contaminated trackbed is unfit for use and the embankment now needs to be surveyed by experts to determine the best way forward. Pictured at Coombe Florey on 20th December 2022 by Jon Jones-Pratt © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    As so often happens, achievements are followed by new challenges, and those challenges will be met by new achievements, with the support of volunteers from the wider railway ‘family’ and the continued patronage and financial help from all who support the railway and the locomotives that run upon it.

     

    Many more items of news from 2022 can be found by browsing our website. Sign up for ROUNDUP to have the news delivered to your emailbox on a weekly basis.

     

    VERY IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY – the WSR’s 2023 Diesel Gala will take place from Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023, and the 50th anniversary celebrations of the DEPG will take place on Friday/Saturday 22/23 September, so keep these dates free and make a plan to attend ! Click this link to the WSR website to view the dates for other WSR events that are planned for 2023.

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 18-Dec-22

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 leads sister D7018 and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) on the return leg of a test run between Williton and Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 17th December 2022. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On Saturday 17th December, we operated a SUCCESSFUL TEST RUN of all three locos that had undergone significant work since the summer. All three locos performed well on the out-and-back 20-mile run between Williton and Bishops Lydeard, with D7017 showing no issues at all while the other two locos will need some small tasks attended to before they are also pronounced ready to re-enter service. Overall, this was an EXCELLENT RESULT and we congratulate our volunteers who have worked so hard on these three locomotives to get them ready to re-enter service. WELL DONE TEAM DEPG !

    The event was captured by several photographers who submitted their work to wsr.org.uk and these have been compiled along with some video clips to form a 4-minute video that has been uploaded to the DEPG YouTube channel. Click on this link or click on the image below to watch the video on YouTube:

    Here’s the feedback from our Chairman Martin Howard, who participated in the test run and was in charge of ‘Hymek’ D7018:

       ” D7017 – clean bill of health 👍

         D6566 – successful but some minor snagging was highlighted. An oil leak from a pressure switch to attend to.

         D7018 was very interesting. I only just got the engine to start after a very long preheating period. This was down to weak batteries, even after charging. We started with a known reverser fault in that she won’t change direction from the cab. The direction has to be set manually. This done, we set off.

         On leaving Williton (WN) there was a terrible racket from the engine room. I thought at first that an auxiliary cardan shaft had failed but they were both OK. What was actually happening was excessive ratchetting from the gearbox. The directional solenoid hadn’t fully engaged and the red control link was oscillating back and forth. I pulled it into the correct position and the racket stopped but there was a new loud buzzing from the control block. I decided this was the directional solenoid not fully setting in place. Surprising how noisy that was!

         Due to the nature of the trial, I couldn’t do much more on the outward journey, but it did change gear.

         On the return journey, Tom joined me at Crowcombe Heathfield (CH) and we arranged to try the loco under power. First check: would she go from 3rd gear she was in on arrival at CH down to 1st when Notch 1 was selected? YES!

         Would she change up as speed increased under power? YES! ✅

         Would she change to direction B on arrival at WN? NO!

         Would she take power in direction B? NO! 🤬

         So partial success only. More work needed 🙄 “

     

    Many thanks to Martin for providing this additional information.

     

    It is just as well that we did our test run last Saturday, because overnight on Monday 19th, the WSR sustained significant damage due to a landslip near Tribble Bridge (Coombe Florey) that has resulted from excessive and uncontrolled run-off from fields above the railway. This run-off is the same issue that has caused the A358 Taunton to Minehead road to be closed to traffic several times recently, due to mud – and potatoes – all over the road. This time, the railway was also a casualty, as the photos below show:

    During the night of Monday 19th December 2022, the retaining wall of the Coombe Florey embankment was undermined by the flow of slurry from the field above the railway, leading to a major landslip. Pictured on 20th December 2022 by Jon Jones-Pratt © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The contaminated trackbed is unfit for use and the embankment now needs to be surveyed by experts to determine the best way forward. Pictured at Coombe Florey on 20th December 2022 by Jon Jones-Pratt © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Click on this link or on the image below to watch the video that has been posted by WSR Chairman Jon Jones-Pratt where he explains the situation and outlines the immediate response:

     

    Meanwhile, the railway family has responded in the usual way by rallying round to keep the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ and ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services running by using the section of the line between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren, which sounds like a quick and easy solution, but involved a lot of work by an army of staff and volunteers, re-locating the illuminated lineside displays and setting up the equipment so that only the one night of entertainment (and income) was lost. Services resumed on Wednesday with the revised format, so again we say VERY WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED !

     

    BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ was pictured at Orchard Junction alongside the Bristol to Exeter main line as a Cross-Country HST headed westward. The ‘Manor’ is working the revised ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ service with Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) at the other end of the train. Photo by Malcolm Anderson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the last working weekend of the year saw further progress on several fronts, with Ian Fn working on the cab doors while Gordon prepared to install another refurbished headcode indicator, this time at the ‘B’ end of the locomotive. Further progress also took place on the transmission with bearings being removed from the auxilliary shaft that drives the dynastarter:

    D1010 – the auxilliary shaft of ‘B’ transmission was disassembled at Williton on Tuesday 13th December 2022 using the recently-acquired oil injection equipment. The shaft was mounted vertically and wrapped to prevent any parts from being launched by the very high pressures involved. Tuesday volunteer Tim was taking the necessary precautions to ensure safe working. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – further proof that preparation is everything. Once properly set up and protected, the release of the pinion from the very slight taper of the shaft was achieved without drama or fuss. The bearing within the housing (uppermost) was then inspected and found to be in very good condition. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the gear-type oil pump that provides the transmission control oil pressure was disassembled for inspection and will need to be reconditioned before further use. Pictured at Williton on Monday 12th December 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the ‘B’ end cab door was the target for Ian Fn at Williton on Saturday 17th December 2022. The four holes visible in the cab side sheet are tell-tale signs of the cast aluminium BR emblem that the loco once carried in preservation, when demonstrating the original livery of class doyen D1000 ‘WESTERN ENTERPRISE’. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the ‘B’ end of the locomotive is looking good (thank you Ian !) and is ready to receive the refurbished headcode indicator boxes. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are in short supply, but we will get it done soon. Click the image further below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and will still be visible after sanding the paint away in years to come. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco performed well during her test run and will soon be ready to re-enter service, after attention to some minor issues.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently based at Bishops Lydeard and is in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS and now also on the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Tribble Bridge and Orchard Junction (Norton Fitzwarren).

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco performed very well during the test run and is awaiting a formal declaration of readiness to resume duties.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco demonstrated that her transmission control block is now working properly (big sigh of relief) but there are some issues related to the reverser which we suspect are just a matter of adjustment. No doubt this will be sorted out early in the New Year.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the progress continues on multiple fronts with work also taking place on the Paxman engine and various other componet parts. Here are some photos of some of the work taking place: 

    D9518 – new side sheets are now being fitted to the other side of the loco by Andy P who was pictured at Williton on a very cold 17th December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the reason why new side sheets were necessary – metal worm ! Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the repaint of the electrical control cubicle is a painstaking task that is in the very careful hands of Colin G. Pictured at Wiliton on 17th December 2022 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 currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and enjoying the last month of its Kentish holiday before heading home some time in mid-January 2023. The loco is likely to remain at Westridge shed, Bishops Lydeard until she is able to make her way to Williton. 

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco was fitted with the reconditioned engine speed governor by the team led by Bob Fussey at the NYMR and was due to undertake some test running this week. We look forward to receiving more news soon.

    47077 – the governor is the mid-grey rectangular item, the engine is light grey and the dark grey circular item houses the vane motor and displacement sensor that provides information to the electronic load regulator that was fitted to this loco during her conversion to Electric Train Heating (ETH) in 1984. Pictured at Grosmont on 19th December 2022 by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system overhaul is making good progress and the reconditioned fuel injection pump has been returned from overhaul and will be re-installed in the New Year. One big step was the discovery of the original worksplates that were thought to have been lost, and they were temporarily mounted on the loco so that a photo could be taken to show evidence of their existence:

    Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 ‘ROF 1’ – the original worksplates were temporarily mounted on the loco on Saturday 17th December 2022. Refurbishment of the plates had been undertaken previously by Roy but the plates had then become mislaid. Luckily, they have now resurfaced! Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    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 – many thanks to all who have supported our sales of books both new and old during 2022. We will be back with more titles in the New Year.

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have another photo that was taken at Cardiff Canton Depot in April 1976, this time featuring Class 52 D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ threading her way through the by-now predominant class 45, 46 and 47 Sulzer-engined diesel-electrics. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his vast collection with us all.

    Class 52 D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’ departed the yard at CARDIFF CANTON depot to make her way to the carriage siding to collect the stock for the 15:30 Cardiff to Paddington via Gloucester return service. Photo taken around April 1976 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    DEPG NEWS – the November Newsletter #62 has been mailed (or emailed) along with the synopses of recent Board Meetings to all registered DEPG members. Please let us know if you have not yet received your copy. Thanks !

     

    A board meeting was held at Williton during the afternoon of Saturday 17th December. A synopsis will be prepared ASAP and shared with all members for whom we hold valid email addresses.

    One important decision that goes against the current tide, THE DEPG HAS DEFERRED THE MEMBERSHIP COST INCREASE that was under consideration. This is because we would rather keep the members that we have, rather than risk losing some because we have raised the cost of membership. The rates will need to be reviewed at some time, but now is not that time.

    Our membership renewal rate is holding up quite well, considering the economic climate, so we very much appreciate the ongoing support that we are seeing from our members.

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in using your email address (no need to remember yet another password) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

    In addition to our online membership system, WE ALSO OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let us know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

     

    VERY IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is operating the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains on a modified diagram as a result of the closure of the line north of Tribble Bridge. The modified service are steam hauled on the journey from Bishops Lydeard to Tribble Bridge where they reverse and are led to Norton Fitzwarren by Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057). Upon leaving Norton Fitzwarren, the train is hauled by steam on the continuous climb to Bishops Lydeard, with assistance from the ‘Crompton’ at the rear.

    The ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services have been modified similarly and now include a top-and-tailed daylight trip to (and a pause at) Orchard Junction alongside the Bristol to Exeter main line, but these services are now FULLY BOOKED.

    If you and/or your family or friends want to experience the modified ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ specials, then now is the time to book. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the image below.

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 11-Dec-22

    Apologies for the late posting of this edition of roundup.

    There was no need for ‘pretend’ snow at Crowcombe Heathfield on Sunday 11th December 2022, nature having made a wonderful vista for the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services that ran later that day. Photo by Malcolm Anderson© CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    As we reach the penultimate roundup for 2022, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) continues to be a regular performer on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ services that will increase their frequency to almost daily from Friday this week, right through to the last day of this year. Several great photos have appeared on the wsr.org.uk website and deserve to be shared here also:

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured while preparing for the first of the two ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services at Bishops Lydeard on Friday 9th December 2022. Photo by Liam Hebditch © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) leads the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ service on the return journey to Bishops Lydeard on Friday 9th December 2022. Photo by Dave Fowler © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Both the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ and the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ trains are booking up very quickly, with most services already sold out, so act now and click here if you want to ride on one of the available services.

     

    Once again we say WELL DONE to all volunteers and staff who are braving the cold conditions and working late to support these seasonal services.

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – progress tends to slow at this time of year as our volunteers attend to their other duties, but we still fielded a good size team on this loco last weekend and cleared up some tasks as shown in the photos that follow:

    D1010 – the input shaft of ‘B’ transmission was examined at Williton on Monday 5th December 2022 and revealed severely corroded bearings, all of which will soon be replaced when the shaft is separated into its component parts. This shaft is driven by the engine so it revolves at speeds up to 1500 rpm. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the helical gear on the dynastarter shaft engages with the smaller of the two helical gears in the previous photo and is next in line to be separated into its component parts for a bearing inspection. Pictured at Williton on Monday 5th December 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – component parts from the ‘B’ transmission are lined up awaiting cleaning and inspection. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 10th December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the battery compartment doors were in need of some cosmetic treatment after their corrosion repairs, so this is being dealt with by Ian Fn in his usual diligent way. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 10th December 2022 by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the repaired compressor access grille on ‘A’ side of the locomotive was re-fitted by Mike and Leroy at Williton on Saturday 10th December 2022. Photo by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and will still be visible after sanding the paint away in years to come. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco was subjected to an ‘A’ exam on Saturday 10th and was passed as ready to partake in a test run that will probably take place on Saturday 17th December. The engine was started and checked to ensure that everything was in order and confirmed that she is ready to run, so WELL DONE Team CROMPTON for resolving the issues and allowing this 61-year-old to run again in 2022.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently based at Bishops Lydeard and is in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco has also been prepared for a test run, and if conditions allow, may be able to join stablemate D6566 on a test run this coming Saturday 17th December.

    D7017 – pictured in the yard at Williton in the early morning of Saturday 10th December 2022, covered in ice and looking forward to warmer running days in 2023. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco also enjoyed an engine run on Saturday 10th, with some checks and adjustments being made by Neil just in case we can fit in a test run before the end of this year.

    D7018 – pictured from the GWR-pattern ‘TOAD’ brake van W114751 in the yard at Williton on a very cold and dark Saturday morning, 10th December 2022. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the progress continues on multiple fronts with additional activities going on at subcontractors and at other sites, to keep the fitters supplied with refurbished parts. Here’s some recent photos of work in progress: 

    D9518 – a view from the mezzanine of the Paxman 6YJXL 650 hp V6 diesel engine that last ran in D9526 and is mounted on the turnover frame so that it can be completely dismantled for a thorough overhaul and rebuild under the watchful eyes of Terry before being installed into D9518. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – a view through one of the crankcase covers of the Paxman 6YJXL reveals the fork-and-blade big-end arrangement and one of the fork-type connecting rods. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the wiring for the heavy duty (and 1965 vintage) Battery Isolator Switch (BIS) was installed by John C at Williton on 26th November 2022. Photo 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 currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and enjoying the last month of its Kentish holiday before heading home to Williton some time in mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is being fitted with the reconditioned engine speed governor by the team led by Bob Fussey at the NYMR which should allow her to return to duty on a standby basis in case any work opportunity comes along.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system overhaul on this locomotive continues and is likely to be an ongoing task for several months, because they system has to be cleaned out then flushed then rebuilt and the overhauled fuel injection pump installed, along with the new fuel filters. The opportunity will be taken to perform some other tasks while the loco is inside the shed and easy to work on.

     

     

    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 – apologies for the blatant sales push, but our locos need their funding and selling books is one of the many ways in which we raise money for the cause. Below is a selection of new books – and don’t forget to browse our PRE-OWNED BOOKS selection as well.

    Our LATEST addition is from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, which is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.

     

    Backtracking Vol 5 by Bernard Mills

    £18.95

    The Beaten Track Vol 1 by Andy Chard

    £29.95

    The Beaten Track Vol 2 by Andy Chard

    £34.95

    The Clayton Type 1 by Anthony P Sayer

    £36.00

    BR Swindon Type1 Vol 1 by Anthony Sayer

    £27.00

    BR Swindon Type1 Vol 2 by Anthony Sayer

    £27.00

    Western Venture by Roger Geach and Michael Mercer

    £15.00

    Class 37s in the Far West by Stephen C Marshall and Roger Geach

    £22.00

    A manual for diesel locomotive and DMU drivers by John Leach

    £34.95

     

    DEPG 2023 CALENDARS – LAST FEW AVAILABLE:

    The long-awaited DEPG 2023 CALENDAR is flying off the shelves so PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW to avoid disappointment. Strangely for these times, the price is the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image above to place your order. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important fund-raising purpose.

    Click this link for the animated version (displays via our website).

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – this week is also the last opportunity to order the Christmas items that have been made by our friends at our local WSR station. A selection of the many items have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

     

    ON SHED – last week, we featured a photograph of D1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ on shed at Cardiff Canton depot in the summer of 1976 and we asked if anyone knew the reason why this splendid-looking loco did not make it into 1977. Almost immediate responses were received from Nev Sloper and Neale Long, referencing the book ‘CAST of THOUSANDS’ by the late Adrian Curtis, where it was recorded that a failed bogie coil spring was the reason why the loco was withdrawn, her fully serviceable engines and cooler groups being resold to a Dutch businessman. Guys, many thanks for this information.

    Continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of our very own D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ in the company of an unidentified Class 46 ‘Peak’, again at Cardiff Canton Depot in the summer of 1976, and looking a little shabby, especially compared to the photo that we shared last week. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his vast collection with us all.

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ was stabled at CARDIFF CANTON in the summer of 1976 alongside an unidentified Class 46 ‘Peak’ in an unusually quiet yard. The ‘Western’ has her cab doors and one of the engine room windows open to provide some through ventilation. The large glass area resulted in the cabs getting very hot on a sunny day. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    DEPG NEWS – the November Newsletter #62 has been mailed (or emailed) along with the synopses of recent Board Meetings to all registered DEPG members. Please let us know if you have not yet received your copy. Thanks !

     

    The first stages of constructing our new OIL STORAGE AREA took place on Saturday 10th December during extremely cold weather but our contractor and DEPG supporter COLIN GILBERT and his colleague were undeterred and worked well into the hours of darkness to complete their part of the job.

    The covered oil storage area was under construction at Williton on the very cold morning of Saturday 10th December 2022 with the steel uprights in place and the timber frame being installed. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    By early evening, the roof was on and the framework now awaits the mesh doors and sides that will allow us to keep new and used oil secure and properly segregated. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 10th December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    A very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let us know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in using your email address (no need to remember yet another password) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is operating the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which are steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using (mostly) one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton. 

    Demand is strong with only a few seats left on some services, so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or both of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 04-Dec-22

    Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019) was pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield on Saturday 3rd December 2022 while performing the generator start-up and check duty that preceedes and follows the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    It may seem a bit strange to feature a Class 09 as our lead story, but strange things do happens now and then. Such was the case last Friday 2nd December when Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was ‘borrowed’ to attach the rear of the 1630 ‘DUNSTER BY CANDELIGHT’ service which was being hauled from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back by BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’, the addition of the ’33’ being to ensure that the train ran to time in the event of slippery rails on the steeper gradients, given the foggy conditions.

    The ‘Manor’ didn’t slip, not even when hauling the ’33’ in addition to its 6-coach load, so the ’33’ was not attached the following day and the went back to its normal duties on ‘WINTERLIGHTS’.

    What about ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ on the Friday, I hear you ask ? Well, with no ’33’ available, the Class 09 was used instead and provided a very rare opportunity to photograph this humble workhorse in charge of a passenger service. So rare – but so unusual and unexpected that we have yet to see a single photograph of the occurrence !

     

    DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT is a Christmas market event that takes place in early December each year. The WSR offers two special services for visitors to enjoy the dual treat of heritage travel and delightful Dunster. You’ll have to wait until next year for the next opportunity !

     

    Saturday 3rd December was particularly busy because it marked the start of the very popular ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services that run between Bishops Lydeard and Williton. It was great to see the station come alive again!

    The ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ approaches Platform 2 at Williton Station behind WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 on Saturday 3rd December 2022. Photo taken from the footbridge by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    These ‘SANTA‘ trains are booking up very quickly, with most services already sold out, so act now and click here if you want to ride on one of the available services.

    WELL DONE to all volunteers and staff who are braving the cold conditions and working late to support these seasonal services.

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress on the transmission rebuild this week resulted in the assembly of the first stage torque converter housing which is now ready for the turbine runner to be re-installed into the bulbous housing that includes the hydraulic fluid passageways. Attention then shifted from the turbine rail to the main transmission casing to assess the remaining parts and arrange the special tools and fixtures that will be needed to perform the bearing replacement on the other shafts.

    Further progress was made on the electrical work in ‘B’ cab with most of the corroded steel conduit now removed and the redundant Automatic Warning System (AWS) wiring being removed with it. This coming weekend should see the completion of this task.

    D1010 – the fixed guide vane assembly of the first stage torque converter was re-assembled at Williton on Monday 28th November 2022. All of the parts that form this assembly have been cleaned, inspected and re-built by Colin, Geoff and Tim. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the casing of the first stage torque converter was re-attached at Williton on Monday 28th November 2022. This casing includes the channels for filling and emptying the hydraulic fluid. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the main transmission casing includes other shafts such as the engine-driven input shaft shown on the right. This shaft needs to be separated to allow the bearings to be replaced. Pictured at Williton on Monday 28th November 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and are still visible after sanding the paint away. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is being prepared for a test run that will probably take place on Saturday 17th December, subject to a suitable path being available. The engine was started on Saturday 3rd after filling the cooling system with a mixture of water and anti-freeze that will protect the loco down to -30C and no leaks were detected, so we are very close to a return to service.

    D6566 (33 048) – this loco is getting closer to her return to service and is now ready for an inspection and a test run before going back on duty. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and is in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be declared fit for traffic.

    D7017 – this loco is also ready for an inspection and a test run before going back on the operational list. Pictured at Williton on Friday 2nd December 2022 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week, but hopefully we can do the engine run and adjustments this coming weekend. 

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the team were busy on multiple fronts as usual, but one notable event was that the brake frame assembly was provided with compressed air from the depot system and this allowed the many pipes, valves and joints to be leak tested. The pressure was then increased to 110 psi (7.58 bar) to ensure that the safety device came into effect – which it did. Well done Team D9518 !

    D9518 – the electrical cubicle was moved so that it could be cleaned and painted. Team members (L-R) Mike and Terry kindly provided the blue background which helped make the photo slightly less confusing. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the electrical cubicle surfaces were prepared for painting by Colin G at Williton on 3rd December 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – one of the new side sheets was fitted by Andy P at Williton on 3rd December 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – meanwhile, Simon P uncovered the reverser mechanism on the Hunslet final drive so that it could be cleaned and inspected before rigging up the pneumatic control. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 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 currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and continues to see a decent amount of use, clocking up 47.5 hours in November. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be back home at Williton by mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is receiving attention at the NYMR after it was discovered that her engine governor was reaching the point of failure. Luckily, we have a reconditioned spare part in stock, so it was made ready for despatch to get the loco back into service. This un-used spare was acquired along with the loco back in 2007, and carries warranty plates that show that the warranty expired in 2005 !

    47077 – The governor controls the power output from the engine by matching the fuel supply to the load and regulating the engine speed to that required by the driver. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    47077 – they are hard to read but the plates on our un-used spare governor show that it was last overhauled in April 2004 and the warranty expired in April 2005. Pictured at Williton on 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the torque converter on this little diesel-hydraulic locomotive uses diesel fuel as its hydraulic fluid, so it has a dedicated filter to ensure that that dirt and debris from the fuel tank does not find its way into the hydraulic circuit. However, this filter is of the cloth type and has certainly seen better days. The replacement that has been supplied by the same firm is of the more conventional cartridge type and will be much more effective as well as being easier to maintain.

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the torque converter fluid filter was found to be of the cloth type and was definitely in need of attention. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the replacement that was supplied by the original equipment manufacturer is shown on the right and is of the cartridge element type. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 3rd December 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    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 continue to have a very good uptake on this brand new book from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, which is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.

    This new book is offered for sale at £18.95 with all profits going to the D1010 Restoration Fund. We look forward to receiving and sharing a book review from a purchaser in the very near future.

     

    We have also been busy preparing more of our pre-owned book stock for online sales in time for Christmas, so keep an eye on our pre-owned book page because we are updating it regularly (or trying to!).

     

    The long-awaited DEPG 2023 CALENDAR is now in stock and we will start distributing it on Monday next week, so NOW IS THE TIME TO PLACE YOUR ORDER because we are only ordering the minimum number that will guarantee that all copies are sold. This allows us to keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image above to place your order. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

    Click this link for the animated version (displays via our website).

     

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    Several of the items have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    A selection of Christmas items that have been made by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale for £1.50 each at the Station or via the DEPG online store. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of D1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ at Cardiff Canton Depot in the summer of 1976, the last full year of Class 52 operations. Considering that the loco only had a handful of months left to run before being withdrawn from service on 10th November 1976, she is looking in remarkably good external condition. Can anyone tell us the reason why she didn’t make it into 1977 ?

    Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.

    Class 52 D1009 ‘WESTERN INVADER’ was stabled with engines running at CARDIFF CANTON in the summer of 1976 alongside an unidentified Class 37. The ‘Western was introduced to service on 24th September of 1962, just a few weeks before our own D1010, and worked for 14 years before being reduced to scrap at Swindon in 1978. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the November Newsletter #62 has been mailed (or emailed) along with the synopses of recent Board Meetings to all registered DEPG members. Please let us know if you have not yet received your copy. Thanks !

    The roof of the OLD GOODS SHED at Williton has been fitted with fine mesh netting to protect against any loose slates from sliding off and falling to the ground. This temporary measure has allowed the scaffolding to be taken down while the project for the renovation and re-purposing of the 160-year-old Grade II listed building is going through the preliminary planning phase. The scaffolding will need to go back up at some point in the future, after the funding has been put in place, so that the repairs to the roof and the underlying timber structure can take place.

    The ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ comes to a halt opposite the Old Goods Shed at Williton Station behind WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 on Saturday 3rd December 2022 as Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) bursts into life for an engine test run, the puff of blue smoke indicating a cold start. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    A very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in using your email address (no need to remember yet another password) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is operating the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which are steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using (mostly) one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton. 

    Demand is strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or both of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

     

       

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 27-Nov-22

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) approaches Williton from the north on a DIESEL GALA service from Minehead on Saturday 11th June 2022. Photo by Paul Clark © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Firstly, apologies for the late publication of this edition of roundup, the delay being caused by the need to get the DEPG Newsletter out for printing as a matter of priority.

    The big news this week is that Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) is ready for inspection and test running in advance of being returned to service. This update was provided by volunteer Class 33 loco manager IAN ROBINS after he and Tom spent the whole of last weekend working on a low water pressure indication issue that followed the installation of the reconditioned heat exchanger. Assistance has also been provided by Ian FS (so many Ians at the depot these days) and Chris, so well done Team Crompton !

    This news will no doubt be appreciated by sister loco D6575 (33 057) who has carried the baton as the duty loco since mid August and will welcome the backup for the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that run on Fridays and Saturdays up to Friday 16th December, when they become almost daily and continue to the very end of the year.

    Bookings on these services are strong, especially for the earlier departure, so if you intend to take a ride then MAKE A BOOKING to secure your places.

    WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED WITH DELIVERING THESE WINTERLIGHTS SERVICES !

    Also running this weekend are the DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT services (Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd) and the SANTA EXPRESS services (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th) so it will be good to see Williton Station open for business again.

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – further progress on the transmission rebuild resulted in the turbine rail input shaft assembly being installed into the centre section of the housing, in readiness for the attachment of the first stage torque converter housing. Each component is being thoroughly cleaned and having any loose material removed before reassembly, because the oilways are very small and cleanliness is essential. The nice new (and expensive !) bearings need plenty of clean oil to keep them in good condition.

    Ian FN and Chris made further progress on the bodywork and Gordon attended to the sandbox doors, and we even made some progress on the underfloor wiring in ‘B’ cab. Here are some photos that show the progress:

    D1010 – the turbine rail input shaft assembly was completed at Williton on Monday 21st November 2022. The new bearings are encased within the housings and fed with oil via the port that is visible on the far left. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the input shaft assembly was then installed into the centre part of the housing and the oilway aligned with the oil pipe union. Pictured at Williton on Monday 21st November 2022 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the first stage impeller is next in line for cleaning and inspection. This component will be attached to the input shaft via the Hirth joint (radial spline joint) that is visible in the centre of the impeller and in the previous photo. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the battery compartment doors on the ‘B’ side of the loco have been receiving attention from Ian FN who has been hard at work, filling, sanding, filling and sanding to get the finish up to his high standard. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and are still visible after sanding the paint away. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – covered previously.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be declared fit for traffic.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the planned engine run had to be deferred again because of other priorities, but we hope to get to this task during the coming weekend. The engine will be run for an hour to bring it and the transmission up to temperature and allow the transmission control pressures to be checked and adjusted if necessary. The loco will then need to have a number of small but important tasks dealt with during the winter months, in readiness for her return to service in the spring.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – progress on multiple fronts has become the norm as the team share out the tasks and maintain a very high level of co-ordination. As usual, the pictures tell the story:

    D9518 – Simon removes some very old hoses that need replacing while he can easily access the area that will soon be plated over. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the side plates are trial fitted – the green plate being a new part and the blue (ish) part being an original that is in need of replacement. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – an original side plate is being used as a template for the oval holes to be cut in the new plate for the battery cables to pass through. The lower part of the plate (RH) is not much use as a template, in fact it is not much use for anything at all. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – meanwhile, Terry and his team comprising Nick and Mike have been dismantling the Paxman 6YJXL V6 diesel engine that last ran in D9526 and will undergo a complete rebuild to form a zero-hours engine for D9518. Pictured at Williton on 26th November 2022 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 currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway and continues to see a decent amount of use, clocking up 47.5 hours in November. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be back home at Williton by mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is receiving attention at the NYMR after a report of an oil leak from her engine governor. When investigated, it was found that the governor is in need of an overhaul, so a spare part will be despatched from Williton stock to get the loco back into service.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system of this loco continues to be the subject of attention and ‘hats off’ to new volunteer Tony for cleaning out the diesel tank and removing all of the sludge that has accumulated over the last 50 years – definitely not a pleasant job but someone has to do it. Tony also made a new gasket and fitted the inspection plate back into place loosely, in case further work needs to be done. Terry, Simon P and Colin G also lent a hand on this loco to remove the filter for the ‘British Twin Disc’ 3-stage torque converter (this design uses diesel fuel as the hydraulic fluid). The filter was found to be in a very poor condition and will be replaced. The project continues !

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the newly-made gasket is visible under the fuel tank inspection flange that has been loosely refitted by Tony. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    BR (LNER pattern) 20t Brake Van B952527 – this vehicle is in need of a significant amount of work and will need to have an allocation of resources so that progress can be made on the restoration. To roof is leaking quite badly, so to protect against further dilapidation, the van was sheeted over with a tarpaulin – but the stovepipe had to be removed first, and it didn’t want to budge so it had to be cut. It turns out that the stovepipe was made from a redundant boiler tube and was found to be cracked along almost the whole length, so it will have to be renewed anyway. The cast iron stove was also found to be cracked and will also need to be replaced. The first priority was to keep the rain out and that task was completed on Saturday by Martin (mostly) with a bit of help from Chris and Andy.

    The DEPG’s 1954 BR (Faverdale) 20t brake van B952527 has been sheeted over for the winter because it has a leaky roof. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 26th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    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 had a very encouraging uptake on this brand new book from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, which is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow.

    This new book is offered for sale at £18.95 with all profits going to the D1010 Restoration Fund. We look forward to receiving and sharing a book review from a purchaser in the very near future.

     

     

    We have also been busy preparing more of our pre-owned book stock for online sales in time for Christmas, so keep an eye on our pre-owned book page because we are updating it regularly (or trying to!).

     

    The long-awaited DEPG 2023 CALENDAR is at the printers and we will start distributing it within the next week or so. NOW IS THE TIME TO PLACE YOUR ORDER because we are only ordering the minimum number that will guarantee that all copies are sold. This allows us to keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image above to place your order. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

    Click this link for the animated version (displays via our website).

     

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – as mentioned last week, our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    The many items are being photographed and examples have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    A selection of Christmas items that have been made by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale for £1.50 each at the Station or via the DEPG online store. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’, one of the seven surviving members of the Class, at the stabling point at Westbury where the Class were often to be found before or after working the heavy stone trains from the Mendips to London and elsewhere. Also in the picture is 47 026, formerly D1597, delivered new to Cardiff Canton Depot in June 1964 and destined for a 38-year career on the mainline before ending her days as 47 597 at EMR Kingsbury scrapyard. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.

    Class 52 survivor D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ was stabled at WESTBURY in January 1977 along with 47 026 (D1597, 47 597). Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the November Newsletter is being printed and will be mailed (or emailed) along with the synopses of recent Board Meetings to all registered DEPG members during the coming week. Please let me know if you have not received your copy by this time next week. Thanks !

     

    A very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event. 

    Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

       

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 20-Nov-22

    WINTERLIGHTS trains for 2022 run Fridays and Saturdays until the 16th December when the frequency steps up to most days right through to New Year’s Eve. Pictured at Bishops Lydeard by Liam Hebditch © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) returns the 19:00 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ train to Bishops Lydeard on Friday 18th November, the first night of the 2022 season. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The 2020 Christmas season kicked off in style on Friday 18th November with two ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services, the first departing Bishops Lydeard at 17:00 and the second at 19:00 with BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ leading for the outbound leg to Crowcombe Heathfield and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) leading on the return. The trains travel slowly because seasonal exhibits are placed along the line and the coloured lights on the carriages interact with those of the fixed displays to present additional effects, adding to the experience.

    Running these services in the evenings is very demanding for the volunteers who are essential to delivering these services, with car park attendants, marquee attendants and a whole range of support volunteers working together to make sure that visitors have a great experience – so that they will hopefully tell their friends and family about it.

    WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED WITH DELIVERING THESE WINTERLIGHTS SERVICES !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – another milestone was reached as we transitioned from ‘disassembly mode’ to ‘reassembly mode’ on the ‘B’ end transmission, with the input shaft being reassembled with new bearings and being prepared for re-fitting into the housings. This paves the way for the first stage torque converter to be reassembled around the shaft, while allowing us to build up our knowledge and improve our build techniques in preparation for the challenging reassembly stages to come. Well done to Colin F and his team members Geoff and Tim for this achievement, and to Paul K and Andy V for their invaluable help in getting us to this level. Great progress, thank you all !!!

    D1010 – a milestone moment as new bearings are fitted around the input shaft by Tim (L) and Colin F (R) at Williton on Tuesday 15th November 2022 after ensuring that the oilway drillings were clear of debris and fully functional. The next step will be to fit this shaft assembly into the housing and then build the first stage torque converter around it. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    On Saturday 19th November, Gordon and Leroy refitted the headcode blind boxes to the doors at the ‘A’ end of the locomotive, and set them to an appropriate headcode, one that was carried by the loco from 1975 to the end of her days in BR service. At the other end of the loco, Andy R was working on reinstating the wiring that had been disconnected when welding repairs were carried out underneath the cab floor, and Chris painted two more of the battery compartments, so good progress all round !

    D1010 – now proudly displaying her running number in the fully-functional headcode boxes, the loco is taking on a much more ‘dressed’ appearance as work progresses. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the spaces bounded by the yellow marks are patches that are waiting for their sponsors. The patches are marked using a vibratory engraver so the markings are in the metal, not just in the paint, and are still visible after sanding the paint away. To SPONSOR A PATCH, see below ! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING which is becoming harder to get as belts are being tightened everywhere. If you are able to do so, please consider SPONSORING A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, but please bear with us because our admin resources are severely stretched at the moment. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !

    We still have a lot of work to do on this massive locomotive, so PLEASE DO COME ALONG AND HELP IF YOU CAN !

    See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !

     

     

    Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – the low water pressure issue was investigated by Ian R and Tom, starting with the water pump which was examined for signs of wear or damage but passed as OK. The next area of attention was the triple pump motor, to make sure that it was running at the proper speed. The ballast resistors that allow the motor to reach the designed speed were found to have been damaged by overheating, so they were replaced and the water pressure edged up, but was still insufficient to allow the engine to be started.

    Finally, after cleaning out the pipework that connected the water pressure gauge and sensor to the pump, everything came together and the engine started !

    Well done to ‘Team Crompton’ for getting to the stage where a test run can be planned !

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently stabled at Bishops Lydeard and in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS services.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting for completion of her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) and a test run before she can be declared fit for traffic.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – with attention being concentrated elsewhere, the planned engine run was deferred to next weekend, when the transmission control pressures will be checked and adjusted if necessary. The loco will then need to have a number of small but important tasks dealt with during the winter months, in readiness for her return to service in the spring.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – plenty of work is taking place on multiple fronts as usual, with each member of the team engaged on different tasks. Here’s some photos to show what has been taking place:

    D9518 – viewed from the ‘B’ cab of D1010 at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022, Colin G can be seen applying grey undercoat to the side frames of the ‘B’ end of the locomotive. No doubt we will see these being painted in ‘NCB Ashington Blue’ soon. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the nose end doors of the loco are in need of some TLC, especially at the bottom, below the apertures for the glass panels. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the two cab doors, one in the ‘before’ condition with door furniture removed, the other in the ‘after’ condition, with a great gloss finish and nice shiny handles. Pictured Saturday 19th November 2022 by Colin Girle © 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 currently based on the Kent & East Sussex Railway although her time in the far South-East is coming to an end because sister loco D9504 has now completed her overhaul and will be returning to work shortly. We expect that our ‘Teddy Bear’ will be heading home to Williton in mid-January 2023.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has seen regular use at the NYMR though to the end of October, when public services ceased. Hopefully, the loco will see occasional use during the winter to keep her in good condition.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the fuel system of this loco is being disassembled for cleaning and to find the source of contamination that resulted in damage to the fuel injection pump. On Saturday at Williton, new volunteer Tony used his wide ranging skills to make a bracket that will be used to hold a cartridge-type fuel filter that can be replaced on a periodic basis to protect the injection pump. Thank you Tony, and welcome to the DEPG !

    Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the newly-made bracket is ready to be installed and will be used to support a cartridge-type fuel filter to protect the fuel injection pump from contamination in the fuel system. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 19th November 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    If you can help by donating your time, 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 – this week, we are featuring a brand new book from well-known author and DEPG member BERNARD MILLS, in fact it is the fifth volume in his very popular ‘BACKTRACKING AROUND’ series of ‘THEN & NOW’ studies, this time covering the lines around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard and Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow !

    This new book is offered for sale at £18.95 with all profits going to the D1010 Restoration Fund. We look forward to receiving and sharing a book review from a purchaser in the very near future.

     

     

    We have also been busy preparing more of our pre-owned book stock for online sales in time for Christmas, so keep an eye on our pre-owned book page because we are updating it regularly.

     

     

    A quick reminder that we are now taking advance orders for the DEPG 2023 CALENDAR, further details of which will be posted here and on our webstore soon. To prevent waste and maximise the contribution to DEPG funds, we will be limiting the number of calendars that we order to match demand and no more. The printing costs have risen but if we control the quantity that we order, we can keep the price the same as last year, which is £12 including VAT excluding postage. Click here or on the image below to place your ADVANCE ORDER. Thank you to all of our contributors for allowing us to use their work for this important purpose.

     

    WILLITON STATION FUNDRAISING – as mentioned last week, our friends at our local WSR station have been busy making a range of embroidered Christmas cards, gift tags and decorations that will be of interest to many, as well as being a departure from what one would normally expect to find on the DEPG website !

    The many items are being photographed and examples have been placed on our online store in the ‘Christmas Items‘ category. All monies raised from the sale of these items goes to Williton Station funds. Thank you for your support !

    A fine display of Christmas items that have been made by volunteers at Williton Station. Each item is for sale at the Station or via the DEPG online store. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    ON SHED – continuing with a series of photographs that have been provided by Kelvin Lumb, we have a photo of our Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 on shed at Barry Open Day in August 1990, along with the WLA’s Class 52 D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ and a host of other locos that are listed on the BR OPEN DAYS website. Those were the days when a massive array of locos could be assembled from all over the country without the huge expenses that we encounter now. Many thanks to Kelvin for sharing another item from his collection with us all.

    The DEPG’s Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 shares the road with the WLA’s Class 52 D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ at Barry in South Wales on the occasion of their open day, 19th August 1990. Photo by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – a very useful item that won’t break the bank is our new DEPG keyring LED torch, now in stock and selling for £2.50 with the option of five different colours. The aluminium body, simple on/off switch, swivel keyring, great brightness and replaceable batteries make this a decent purchase. Available from our online store.

     

     

    IMPORTANT DATES for 2023:

    WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023

    DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.

     

     

    Our new online membership system is working well and feedback has been very positive, but please be aware that WE STILL OFFER THE TRADITIONAL PAPER-BASED MEMBERSHIP via cheques and mail, available via this link. If you want a form mailed to you, just let me know or email our Membership Secretary CHRIS SHIELDS via members@depg.org

    Of particular importance is the GIFT AID option. If you are a taxpayer, please consider setting your GIFT AID status to YES so that the DEPG can claim the tax that you paid on your subscription and/or donation. This increases the value of your payment by 25% and that makes a significant amount of difference to our fundraising. Thanks !

    For our new online membership system, click here or on the image below and log in (no password required) to create a new membership or to check the details of your current membership. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE DEPG !

     

     

    WSR NEWS: 

    The WSR is now taking bookings for the 2022 ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ trains which will be steam hauled on the journey to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel hauled on the return leg, using one of our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’. Also running are the ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and two special trains on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December for visitors to the ‘DUNSTER by CANDLELIGHT‘ event. 

    Demand is expected to be strong so don’t leave it until later to make a booking. If you and/or your family or friends want to experience one or more of these events, then now is the time to make a booking. Click here for the events page on the WSR website or click on the images below.

       

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

     

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