Weekly Roundup

  • Weekly Roundup – 03-Dec-23

    RAILWAYS ILLUSTRATED magazine issue 251 dated January 2024 features a 5-page article about the DEPG and the sensational West Somerset Railway ! Well worth a read, this article is great news for both the DEPG and the WSR. Many thanks to our Publicity Officer Mark Bladwell for working with Andy Coward at RI on the detail of this article. The above photo of the first page of the article has been purposefully blurred to respect the copyright © MORTONS MEDIA GROUP LTD.

     

     

    Following a visit to the WSR that took place on Saturday 23rd September 2023, we are delighted to see that a 5-page article has been published in RAILWAYS ILLUSTRATED magazine (issue 251 dated Jan 2024) where both the history and the current activities of the DEPG have been covered in some detail. The role played by the DEPG in supporting the WSR was also highlighted and from reading the article, it seems that RI editor Andy Coward had a very enjoyable day in West Somerset !

     

    Many thanks for DEPG Publicity Officer Mark Bladwell and all of the DEPG volunteers who were on site to meet Andy Coward that day and contribute to this excellent article. Well done all !

     

     

    The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services are running on Fridays and Saturdays from now until the end of the year with additional days directly before and after Christmas, and on Saturdays and Sundays up until the big day, the SANTA EXPRESS services are running, mostly between Bishops Lydeard and Williton but on the 19th December, from Minehead to Williton. In addition to the above, there are CAROL TRAINS, DINING TRAINS and FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA TRAINS, so the railway is really pulling out all the stops this year. Take a look at the WSR’s EVENTS page for more details. Some trains are already sold out, so don’t delay, book now while choices exist.

     

    The fully booked steam-hauled DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT service that ran on Saturday night 2nd December encountered very frosty and slippery rail conditions on the return leg and lost time on the climb from Blue Anchor to Washford. Our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was despatched from Bishops Lydeard to meet the train at Williton and assist the heavy train on the six mile climb to Crowcombe Heathfield. Well done to the volunteers who took on these late night duties !

     

    The DEPG depends on the WSR as our home base and primary running line, so please support and enjoy these seasonal services and in doing so, support both the WSR and the DEPG !

     

    WSRA ‘BUY A BAG OF BALLAST‘ CAMPAIGN

    The West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA) is a registered charity that operates in support of activities across the West Somerset Railway, and raises considerable sums of money for use for the development and long-term preservation of this wonderful heritage line. Each year, the WSRA run their ‘buy a bag of ballast‘ campaign and it is successful because it is simple. Each bag of ballast (approximately half a ton per bag) costs £13 and each year, the railway needs hundreds of bags of fresh ballast, so CLICK HERE or on the image below to buy a bag of ballast. THANK YOU VERY MUCH and well done to the WSRA and all their supporters !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – undeterred by the very cold weather, Ian F and Roy continued their work on the filling and sanding of the ‘A’ side at ‘A’ end. This side was previously the worst area on the locomotive in terms of corrosion and now carries more new metal than any other area of the locomotive. As the below photograph shows, the diligent work by these two volunteers has put shape back into the loco and she is close to being ready for a top coat of BR coach maroon (to replicate her original livery of 1962). Well done guys !

    Progress on the ‘A’ transmission reached a milestone when the end plate of the turbine rail was re-fitted on Tuesday 28th November, completing the overhaul of this sensitive and complex assembly in an overall timeframe of less than 3 months. There are still several more stages of re-assembly to go before the transmission can be considered complete, but the work is of a more straightforward nature. Again, well done team !

    Meanwhile, new volunteer Vivian made a start on the ‘B’-end bogie, removing the flaking paint and dirt from the outer framework in readiness for inspection and re-painting. It is great to report that we have new hands at work, but don’t leave it to others, if you want to see this locomotive back on the rails soon, then PLEASE COME ALONG AND HELP US WITH THE WORK ! There is plenty more to do, so simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

    D1010 – the weather was too cold for top coat at Williton on Saturday 2nd December 2023 so the team applied the paint as an additional undercoat, after working on the filling and sanding. Roy and Ian F are doing a great job, as this view of ‘A’ end shows. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the very robust and heavy turbine rail output shaft was lowered into the turbine housing at Williton on Monday 27th November 2023 while being guided by Geoff. This part will become attached to the secondary shaft (visible in the centre) via a tapered fit that will become a precise and very tight fit by injecting oil under very high pressure. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the end cover of the turbine rail output shaft was pressed on at Williton on Tuesday 28th November 2023, with Tim watching over the process. This closes up the assembly in readiness for the milestone completion stage (next photo). Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the sensitive and complex phases of the turbine rail assembly of the ‘A’ transmission have now been completed and the assembly is ready for the fitting of the reverser gear wheels. This photo dated 28th November 2023 marks a milestone in the overhaul process and comes less than 3 months after the start of the overhaul. WELL DONE TEAM ! Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the bogie at ‘B’ end was the focus of attention of new volunteer Vivian on Saturday 2nd December 2023, with attention being given to removal of flaking paint and accumulated dirt. Not a glamorous task, but essential just the same. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Thanks to responses to our appeal for help, we now have two new volunteers working on the photographs and the certificates that will soon be on their way to all who have sponsored a patch on D1010. More patches have been marked out and are due to be engraved this weekend, to bring us right up to date !

    The drawings are being developed in parallel so that we have a formal record of the position of each sponsored patch and this will allow sponsors to look up the location of their patch when they visit the depot at Williton. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT – and your PATIENCE !

    Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is now in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that started on Friday 24th November and run through to the end of the year. Click here or on the ticket icon below to go to the WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ page:

    D6566 – the ‘Cromptons’ are the workhorses of the WSR and are often found out and about in all seasons, as in the case of this engineering ‘tidy train’ working led by D6566 (33 048) on Monday 27th November 2023, picking up life-expired materials at Castle Hill, near Williton. Photo by Malcolm Anderson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco has been receiving attention to a leak in a control air pipe that was in a difficult-to-reach place (of course), but the issue has now been resolved by the Class 33 team plus a little help from Terry, and the loco has been returned to service status. This will be a short-lived condition because the loco is due to go into the loco shed on Saturday 23rd December for approximately two months to undergo attention to a leaking exhaust manifold.

    D6575 – the leaking control air pipe was isolated and bypassed at Williton on Saturday 2nd December 2023. The driver’s seat had to be removed and the floor lifted to gain access to the delinquent pipework. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D6575 – the view under the driver’s desk at Williton on Saturday 2nd December 2023, with the Driver’s Safety Device (DSD or ‘deadmans’) pedal removed and the side panels also removed. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D6575 – the light was fading fast when this picture was taken at Williton on Saturday 2nd December 2023, with volunteer loco manager Ian R and Tom at work inside the cab, braving the very cold conditions that prevailed that day. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – after another static engine test run that was conducted by Neil, John and Bob last Saturday 2nd December, the issue with the engine governor has been resolved and the loco has been pronounced as ready to return to service. There is no work scheduled for this loco until next spring, so the opportunity will be taken to perform an oil change and hopefully get some loaded test runs carried out as soon as the line is available again (expected to be March 2024). We are determined that this loco is going to have a very good year in 2024.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the bad news about the cardan shafts last week has dampened the spirits of the team, but no doubt a solution will be found and the necessary funds raised to support the work. Meanwhile, work on the cab assembly is moving forward and this gives a new focus and restores the impetus. The cab assembly involves many small parts, all of which need to be cleaned, inspected and painted, so there is in fact a lot of work to be done.

    D9518 – the pegboard lining of the cab roof section has been replaced with new material, pictured here at Williton on Saturday 2nd December 2023. The sealing strips around the outside edge of the panel have been removed and will also be replaced with new material. 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 stabled at Williton and is available for service, if called upon.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The progress on ‘NORTH STAR’ continues in between having to work on the other diesel locos in their care but a milestone has been reached because all twelve cylinder heads have now been re-fitted and work on re-attaching the manifolds and services has begun. We look forward to seeing the loco completed in the very near future.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the internal cab repaint being carried out by ‘JT’ has progressed well, but he is keeping us in suspense and not providing photos until he has finished the job. We look forward to seeing the internal photos in the near future. Thanks Jon !

     

    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 – this week, we again pause the book reviews to use the space to promote our new 2024 DEPG CALENDAR which has a theme of DEPG locomotives in ‘then and now’ liveries. More details will be provided next week but PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW to ensure that you get your copy (we are only ordering a limited quantity to prevent waste).

    Regrettably, we have had to increase the price to £14 but this still represents great value at £1 per month plus VAT.

    Click HERE or on the image below to order you 2024 Calendar

     

    ON SHED – regular correspondent NEALE LONG was out and about on his local station at York on the 25th November 2023 when he came across this wonderfully presented example of the famous English Electric Class 55 ‘Deltic’, in this case D9000 ‘ROYAL SCOTS GREY’ stabled on the former parcels sidings alongside the station. Wonderful stuff indeed. Thank you Neale for sharing your sighting with us ! 

    English Electric Class 55 ‘DELTIC’ D9000 ‘ROYAL SCOTS GREY’ was stabled in the former parcels sidings at York Station on Saturday 25th November 2023. Photo by Neale Long © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – a board meeting was held at Williton last Saturday, the synopsis of which will be prepared and sent out ASAP to all DEPG members for whom we hold a valid email address.

    The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by responding to this email or by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 26-Nov-23

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was in charge of the ‘tidy train’ on Monday 27th November 2023 and was pictured at Williton, coupled to three flat wagons and a brake van. The train worked slowly along the line, with a gang of volunteers picking up the life-expired sleepers and other scrap materials that had been left behind after maintenance work. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    The railway is most definitely in full swing for the Christmas season, with the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services running on Fridays and Saturdays from now until the end of the year, with additional days directly before and after Christmas. On Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd December, there will a special non-stop steam-hauled service departing Bishops Lydeard at 1630 for the DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT event, and on Saturdays and Sundays up until the big day, the SANTA EXPRESS services are running, mostly between Bishops Lydeard and Williton but on the 19th December, from Minehead to Williton.

     

    These services generate essential income for the WSR that will carry the railway through the winter season, when expenses are high due to the increased level of maintenance activities that are undertaken while the railway is not operating. Although these trains may not be everybody’s ‘cup of tea’, they are valuable in many ways, including giving young children memories that will stay with them and bring them back to the railway in later years, right through to when they have their own children, even their own grandchildren. So, they are an investment in the long-term future of the railway and need everyone’s support.

    The WSR’s unique 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ number 9351 was pictured departing from Bishops Lydeard with the first ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ service of the 2023 season on Friday 24th November 2023. Photo by Chris Haig © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    In addition to the above, there are CAROL TRAINS, DINING TRAINS and FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA TRAINS, so the railway is really pulling out all the stops this year. Take a look at the WSR’s EVENTS page for more details. Some trains are already sold out, so don’t delay, book now while choices exist.

    The DEPG depends on the WSR as our home base and primary running line, so please support and enjoy these seasonal services and in doing so, support both the WSR and the DEPG !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress was made on the overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission, with the turbine rail being re-assembled with new bearings, where necessary. The overall condition of this complex precision assembly is amazing, considering that it has been almost 50 years since the internals last saw the light of day. Many of the internal components are gleaming as if they were brand new. The parts that are external to the turbine rail but still internal to the transmission housing have all suffered the effects of condensation corrosion, but experimentation by Colin F has shown how the internal humidity level of the housing can be managed with very little energy consumption. We will share more information on this at some point in the future.

    Meanwhile, Gordon continued his work on preparing the bogies for their overhaul, the details and the plan for which will be explained in the forthcoming issue of the DEPG Newsletter (available only to DEPG members). SIGN UP NOW to be sure of receiving your copy. There is much to do, so PLEASE COME ALONG AND HELP US WITH THE WORK ON THIS LOCO. Simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

    D1010 – the very robust and heavy turbine rail output shaft was readied for re-installation at Williton on Tuesday 21st November 2023. This part is attached to the turbine rail secondary shaft via a tapered fit that is adjusted to a precise fit by injecting oil under very high pressure. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Although there was no time to mark any sponsored patches last Saturday, there has been progress on the drawings that record the position of each patch. These drawings are needed so that we can write to each sponsor and show the position of their sponsored patch, along with a photograph of the engraved patch. We are backlogged with this work so please bear with us a little longer while we ramp up the administrative resources on this highly successful fundraising campaign. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT !

    D1010 – the ‘B’ end of the locomotive carries 86 patches, each of which is numbered and has been engraved with the name of (or the message provided by) the sponsor. Drawing by Barry Quest © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is now in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that started on Friday 24th November and run through to the end of the year. Click here or on the ticket icon below to go to the WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ page:

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco has been stood down from service while a leak in a control air pipe is being dealt with. As often happens, the leaking pipe is in a very difficult-to-reach area, but parts have been ordered that will allow a repair to be effected. Hopefully this loco will be able to resume standby duties soon.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco received attention from Neil, John and Bob last Saturday, when they performed an engine test and made adjustments to the engine governor. This loco is close to being ready for service.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – some bad news reached us regarding the cardan shafts, which had been sent out to a specialist firm for balancing some weeks previously. The level of wear in the splined joints prevented the shafts from being spun fast enough for balancing, so both shafts are beyond repair and will have to be replaced. The estimated cost of replacement parts is £10,000 for the pair, so we are going to need to fund-raise before we can place an order. More details will be included in the next edition of the DEPG Newsletter.

    Meanwhile, the focus remains on the restoration of the cab assembly, to allow the re-installation of the electrical control cubicle to take place. Here are a few photos that give the flavour of the work that is in progress:

    D9518 – the pegboard lining of the cab is being replaced with new material, pictured here at Williton on Saturday 25th November 2023 while receiving a coat of primer from Colin G to improve its moisture resistance. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the inside faces of the cab skin have been painted and now carry a layer of insulation of the same type of material that is used in trucks and buses. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th November 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the removable section of the cab roof has been turned over so that the seals can be replaced and the metalwork painted before being set aside for refitting at a later date. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th November 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – a selection of parts that have been cleaned, inspected, painted and tested in the careful hands of Colin G are now ready to be re-attached to the locomotive when their turn comes. Pictured on Thursday 23rd November 2023 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 stabled at Williton and is available for service, if called upon.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The progress on ‘NORTH STAR’ continues in between having to work on the other diesel locos in their care but a milestone has been reached because all twelve cylinder heads have now been re-fitted and work on re-attaching the manifolds and services has begun. We look forward to seeing the loco completed in the very near future.

    47077 – the progress with the ‘top end’ overhaul of the twelve-cylinder twin bank SULZER diesel engine is apparent in this view taken at Grosmont Works of the NYMR on 23rd November 2023. Photo by Pete Dawson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    47077 – the air intake manifold, fuel injection pumps and pushrod tubes are all in place in this view taken at Grosmont Works of the NYMR on 23rd November 2023. Photo by Pete Dawson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    47077 – the blue-painted coolant tubes are visible in this view taken at Grosmont Works of the NYMR on 23rd November 2023. Photo by Pete Dawson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the internal cab repaint being carried out by ‘JT’ has progressed well, but he is keeping us in suspense and not providing photos until he has finished the job. We look forward to seeing the internal photos in the near future. Thanks Jon !

     

    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 – this week, we again pause the book reviews to use the space to promote our new 2024 DEPG CALENDAR which has a theme of DEPG locomotives in ‘then and now’ liveries. More details will be provided next week but PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW to ensure that you get your copy (we are only ordering a limited quantity to prevent waste).

    Regrettably, we have had to increase the price to £14 but this still represents great value at £1 per month plus VAT.

    Click HERE or on the image below to order you 2024 Calendar

     

    ON SHED – the photo that we featured a few weeks ago continues to fascinate as several of the acknowledged ‘experts’ in the field of Western Region diesel-hydraulics provide their opinions about the identity of the locomotives in the picture. This week, we include the feedback from author and photographer ANDREW VINES who provided us with the following information:

         “Regarding the picture on your website by Phil Gray at Old Oak Common, the green ‘Western’ is D1004 ‘WESTERN CRUSADER’. Each of the three green ‘Westerns’ built at Swindon had their Overhead Line Warning (OLHLW) flashes placed in slightly different positions on the nose (and were also different to the Crewe-built green ‘Westerns’). The exact position shown here was unique to D1004 among the green ones, so mystery solved!  Unfortunately I don’t think it’s possible to identify any of the three maroon locos in the picture.”

    Many thanks to ANDREW VINES for his comments and to Phil Gray for providing us with this photograph.

    There were 60 ‘Westerns’ in service by July 1963 and six of that 60 have been preserved (D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSLILIER’ came along later), so there is a very good chance that one of the four maroon locos in this photograph is still with us today.

    Five Class 52 ‘WESTERNS’ gather around one of the four turntables that were under the roof of the old steam shed at Old Oak Common Depot near Paddington. FOUR in maroon and one in green, does anyone have any information that might help identify the locomotives in this July 1963 photograph ? Photo by Phil Gray © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – well, the Calendar has been done, the Board Meeting Synopses have been done (and will be sent out after this roundup) and the Newsletter is the next task to be caught up with. Apologies for these delays.

    The next board meeting will take place tomorrow afternoon, Saturday 2nd December, so please let me know if you have a question that you would like to have put to the board.

     

    The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

     

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 19-Nov-23

    Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF1) dominated this view of the south yard at Williton on the damp and dismal Saturday 18th November 2023. Visible in the background are Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) on number 1 road, then Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 on number 2 road and ‘Hymek’ D7018 on number 3 road. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    The railway has come back to life with the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services running on Fridays and Saturdays from now until the end of the year, with additional days directly before and after Christmas. This Saturday there will also be a special non-stop steam-hauled service departing Bishops Lydeard at 1000 in support of the MINEHEAD CHRISTMAS MARKET, and next weekend, the SANTA EXPRESS services and DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT services are operating (predictably, the Saturday service has already sold out).

     

     

    Some detail about the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services follows, as this might help explain the unusual movements that are visible via the Railcams (thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these facilities). Before darkness falls, a diesel loco runs along the route and checks that the displays are all functioning correctly. Any maintenance needed is then carried out while daylight remains. The ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ train itself is ‘top and tailed’ with a steam loco at one end and a diesel at the other and performs two runs from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe Heathfield and back, slowing down at each lineside display so that the travellers have time to see everything. After the second run gets back to Bishops Lydeard (just after 8pm), the diesel goes out again to shut down the displays. The diesel loco tasked with the train duty this year is Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and the Class 09 Shunter D4107 (09 019) is booked to cover the switch on and shut down trips, to minimise the costs. It will be almost 10 o’clock before the crews put their locos away and book off, so spare a thought for the staff and volunteers, especially on the cold and wet nights.

    Class 09 D4107 (09 019) was pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 during a ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ test run that provided a thorough test of the arrangements and provided training for the staff and volunteers who will be working late nights to deliver these highly successful services. Photo by Liam Hebditch © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Just a reminder, the steam-hauled ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services start on 1st December, running on Saturdays and Sundays from Bishops Lydeard to Williton and back, and this year there is one day where the ‘SANTA EXPRESS’ runs from Minehead to Williton instead. Intermingled with these services are CAROL TRAINS, DINING TRAINS, FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA TRAINS and the fast-selling ‘DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT‘ trains, so take a look at the WSR’s EVENTS page for more details. Some trains are already sold out, so don’t delay, book now while choices exist.

    The DEPG depends on the WSR as our home base and primary running line, so please support and enjoy these seasonal services and in doing so, support the DEPG !

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – Ian F and Roy returned to their bodywork tasks last Saturday and made further progress on the ‘A’ side at ‘A’ end while Gordon continued to chip away at the debris that had accumulated on the inside of the bogie frames over the years. One lump of dirt dislodged after a major effort was bigger than a cricket ball !

    PLEASE COME ALONG AND HELP US WITH THE WORK ON THIS LOCO. Simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

    Transmission rebuilding work also made good progress, with the output shaft assembly being jacked into place and the the filling pump being overhauled. There were also some very clean and shiny turbine rail components being reassembled, with careful checks taking place on a step-by-step basis. Here are some of the photos:

    D1010 – Roy holds the piece of dirt that had been removed from the inside of the bogie frame by Gordon earlier in the day. Quite an accumulation and hard as rock! Pictured at Williton on Saturday 18th November 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the large and heavy output shaft assembly was slowly jacked into place at Williton on Monday 13th November 2023, using two pieces of studding and a bottle jack. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – by comparison, the filling pump bearings are small and easy to change ! Pictured at Williton on Monday 13th November 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – two days later, the filling pump is reassembled and is ready to be refitted to the transmission. Pictured at Williton on Wednesday 15th November 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – Tim watches carefully as he guides the second stage turbine runner into position within the turbine rail. Note the clean and shiny condition of these parts, which is amazing considering that their previous works overhaul would have been in the mid 1970s. Pictured at Williton on Wednesday 15th November 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    There was no time to mark any patches last Saturday due to the more urgent need to hold discussions about the plan to lift the loco so that the bogie overhaul could proceed, so there are still 46 patches to be engraved on the loco this coming weekend. There is still plenty of new metal to be marked and we certainly need the funds to continue with the pace of progress, so please keep up this amazing level of support and help get D1010 back to working order ASAP. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is now in regular use on the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that start on Friday 24th November and run through to the end of the year. Click here or on the ticket icon below to go to the WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ page:

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – while undergoing routine maintenance at Williton on Saturday 18th November, the air system was charged up from the depot compressor (to avoid the need to start the engine) and checks were made on the control air pressures that result from the different positions of the driver’s controller. It had become apparent that the same setting gave different performance results when applied from a different end of the locomotive. While performing these tests, a leak developed when a pinhole opened up in a control air pipe, so the loco has been stood down while a repair is effected. As is often the case, access to the leaking pipe is very restricted, so it is likely that a temporary repair will have to be made and the corroded pipe replaced at the next opportunity.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 shared the yard with other locos that were hidden from view on the damp and dismal Saturday 18th November 2023. The compressed air line from the shed supply can be seen attached to the air reservoir hose on the locomotive. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco received attention from Neil and John as they dealt with some minor issues that had been identified during October’s test run. This loco is close to being ready for service.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the focus has switched to the restoration of the cab assembly, to allow the re-installation of the electrical control cubicle to take place. There is a lot of work involved in this complex assembly, much of which takes place in the background, but we will try to keep the photographs coming as each sub-assembly reaches completion.

    D9518 – the inner cab wall is now ready for the insulation material to be added prior to the installation of the pegboard cladding, after which the electrical control cubicle can be moved into position so that work can continue on the rewiring. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 18th November 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the various ‘Traffolyte’ cab placards are beyond redemption and will be replaced with new parts that are produced in the exact same style. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 18th November 2023 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 stabled at Williton and is available for service, if called upon.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The progress on ‘NORTH STAR’ continues in between having to work on the other diesel locos in their care. The NYMR released a 6-minute YouTube video on Monday 20th November and our ’47’ could be seen in the shed at Grosmont. The quality of the work is evident from the view looking down into the engine room (starts at t=4.17 in the video).

    47077 – the NYMR released an update via YouTube and our ’47’ could be seen in the works at Grosmont. Screenshot from the YouTube video by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the internal cab repaint being carried out by ‘JT’ has progressed well, but he is keeping us in suspense and not providing photos until he has finished the job. We look forward to seeing the internal photos in the near future. Thanks Jon !

     

    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 – this week, we need to pause the book reviews to use the space to promote our new 2024 DEPG CALENDAR which has a theme of DEPG locomotives in ‘then and now’ liveries. More details will be provided next week but PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW to ensure that you get your copy (we are only ordering a limited quantity to prevent waste).

    Regrettably, we have had to increase the price to £14 but this still represents great value at £1 per month plus VAT.

    Click HERE or on the image below to order you 2024 Calendar

     

     

    ON SHED – last week, we featured a photo of FOUR Class 52 ‘WESTERNS’ at Old Oak Common depot, near Paddington in July 1963, but closer examination reveals a fifth, only just visible in the middle of the photograph. Count the buffers and the fifth loco will be revealed.

    We asked for help in identifying these locomotives and we had a very fast response from well-known photographer and author  ROGER GEACH who provided us with the following information:

         “The green ‘Western’ in the picture is either D1002 or D1003 or D1004 as it is Swindon built (don’t know which it is though). D1003 was in Swindon Works 15/7 to 2/8/63 so may rule that one out, D1004 12/7/63 to 16/7/63, so D1002 may be favourite, but hard to tell without the actual date. The maroon one next to it further away is also a Swindon-built ‘Western’. The one furthest away is from Crewe and the nearest is uncertain.

         Nothing I can see to help identify the ‘Westerns’ really, but the picture is a bit early for me. Nice shot, but hard to identify the locos.”

     

    Many thanks to Roger Geach for his comments and to Phil Gray for providing us with this photograph.

    There were 60 ‘Westerns’ in service by July 1963 and six of that 60 have been preserved, so there is a very good chance that one of the locos in this photograph is still with us today.

    Five Class 52 ‘WESTERNS’ gather around one of the four turntables that were under the roof of the old steam shed at Old Oak Common Depot near Paddington. FOUR in maroon and one in green, does anyone have any information that might help identify the locomotives in this July 1963 photograph ? Photo by Phil Gray © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – well, the Calendar has been done, which now leaves the Board Meeting Synopses and the Newsletter to be caught up. Apologies for these delays.

    The next board meeting will take place on Saturday 2nd December, so please use our CONTACT FORM to let us know if you have a question that you would like to have put to the board.

     

    The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 12-Nov-23

    The autumn line-up at Williton comprises Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) on number 1 road with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 hiding behind, then Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 in the middle on number 2 road, and ‘Hymek’ D7018 on number 3 road. Pictured on Saturday 11th November 2023 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    The WSR’s Permanent Way (PW) teams have been busy working at several areas along the line, taking advantage of an ‘engineering possession’ which gives them control of the line during the periods when the line is closed to the public. This provides uninterrupted access for specialist equipment to be moved to the places where the work is needed. The work ranges from changing sleepers to the complete relaying of sections of the track and pointwork, such as is taking place at Blue Anchor Station at the moment.

    The WSR’s volunteer PW team were busy changing sleepers at Horse Parks near Blue Anchor on Sunday 5th November 2023. Photo by Malcom Anderson © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Their window of opportunity is quite short because this coming week will see the empty coaching stock move from Minehead, where it has been decorated in preparation for the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services, to Bishops Lydeard which will be the departure point for most (but not all) of the Christmas services this year.

    The first of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services will run on the evening of Friday 24th November and will be ‘top and tailed’ with a steam loco at one end and a diesel at the other. The loco tasked with the diesel duty this year is Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and the loco is ready and waiting at Bishops Lydeard.

    The scene at Minehead on Saturday 11th November 2023 when volunteers gathered to dress the coaches in their festive regalia, both inside and outside. Photo by Robin Wichard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The steam-hauled ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services start on 1st December, running on Saturdays and Sundays from Bishops Lydeard to Williton and back, and this year there is one day where the ‘SANTA EXPRESS’ runs from Minehead to Williton instead.

    Intermingled with these services are CAROL TRAINS, DINING TRAINS, FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA TRAINS and the fast-selling ‘DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT‘ trains, so take a look at the WSR’s EVENTS page for more details. Some trains are already sold out, so don’t delay, book now while choices exist.

    The DEPG depends on the WSR as our home base and primary running line, so please support and enjoy these seasonal services and in doing so, support the DEPG !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the bodywork was left alone this week as the effort moved to the revision of the plans to lift the loco from her bogies so that the suspension components and brake rigging can be overhauled. Being no stranger to hard work, Gordon made a start on cleaning 50 years worth of dirt and grime from the bogie frame at ‘A’ end, his efforts revealing just how much work is involved in just the preparation for the overhaul. PLEASE COME ALONG AND HELP US WITH THE WORK ON THIS LOCO. Simply use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

    The re-assembly of the ‘A’ transmission is making very good progress, with the new bearings being fitted and the oilways checked as the work proceeds. In parallel, Steve continues to work diligently on the wiring in the ‘B’ cab and Tony has been pressure testing all of the radiator elements and now has a small pile requiring repair and a much larger pile that are fit for further service. The ‘A’ end cooler group frame has also been the subject of his attention and has now swapped positions with the ‘B’ frame so that he can assess the repairs that need to be made to the corroded areas. The photos below show the progress:

    D1010 – Gordon was working in the space that is normally occupied by the transmission at ‘A’ end, to make a start with scraping off the 50-years-worth of dirt and grime that has accumulated since the loco was last lifted from its bogies. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 11th November 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – Gordon stands aside to let the camera capture an image looking down on the bogie at ‘A’ end. Two of the six brake cylinders are clearly visible along with one of the two cardan shafts that connect the final drive gearboxes of the three axles in the bogie. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 11th November 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – The cooler group frame from ‘A’ end has now been moved into the yard to await repairs to the corroded and in some places distorted metalwork. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 11th November 2023 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – The cooler group frame from ‘B’ end has now moved into the loco shed to allow repair assessment work to take place. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 11th November 2023 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – Geoff was pictured at Williton on Monday 6th November 2023 with Tony observing the fitting of the new bearing on the input shaft of the ‘A’ transmission. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – Geoff continued with the rebuild of the input shaft and was pictured at Williton on Monday 6th November 2023 while testing the alignment of the oilways that keep the bearing lubricated. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – a rare photo featuring Colin F as he applies oil injection pressure to achieve the correct taper fit position for the massive output gear wheel of the ‘A’ transmission. Pictured at Williton on Wednesday 7th November 2023 by Tim Zilkha © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    We engraved another 20 patches on the ‘B’ side of the ‘B’ end of the locomotive last Saturday and we still have another 46 patches to engrave on the loco this coming weekend. There is still plenty of new metal to be marked and we certainly need the funds to continue with the pace of progress, so please keep up this amazing level of support and help get D1010 back to working order ASAP. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is now stabled at Bishops Lydeard to take on the role of ‘Duty Loco’ and will be covering the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that start on Friday 24th November. Test runs for staff training will be carried out on 22nd and 23rd November.

    Click here or on the ticket icon below to go to the WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ page:

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco returned to Williton on Saturday 21st October to undergo winter maintenance, including an overhaul of her exhaust system. The loco will remain available for service until December and is scheduled to go into the loco shed on 23rd December, and will probably remain there for two months while the work is being done.

    D6575 (33 057) – a night photoshoot at Williton on Friday 10th November 2023 caught this sturdy and reliable 1961-vintage machine in the yard on number 1 road, alongside the platform. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – apart from some minor details that will be sorted out during the coming weeks, this loco is ready for action and will be sent out for a loaded test run as soon as possible when the line re-opens in the spring. Meanwhile, the loco will be ‘winterised’ to protect her from the elements, as far as possible, while she rides out the winter in the yard at Williton.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the Root Cause Analysis has identified several probable causes for the uncommanded engagement of the torque converter and each has been ranked for probability, based on the available evidence. Some additional testing will need to be performed to focus in on the most probable cause. Meanwhile, several other maintenance tasks are outstanding on this locomotive and will be progressed during the winter.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the focus has switched to the restoration of the cab assembly, to allow the re-installation of the electrical control cubicle to take place. There is a lot of work involved in this complex assembly, much of which takes place in the background, but we will try to keep the photographs coming as each sub-assembly reaches completion.

    D9518 – Colin G was hard at work at Williton on Saturday 11th November 2023, preparing to paint the metalwork in the cab so that the electrical control cubicle can be fitted into place, in turn allowing the re-wiring work to continue. 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 stabled at Williton and is available for service, if called upon.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The progress on ‘NORTH STAR’ continues in between having to work on the other diesel locos in their care. We look forward to her being back out and about again.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the internal cab repaint being carried out by ‘JT’ has progressed well, but he is keeping us in suspense and not providing photos until he has finished the job. It is already apparent from the outside view below that the cab is looking so much brighter and cleaner, so we look forward to seeing the internal photos in the near future. Thanks Jon !

    Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – Pictured in the autumn sunshine in the yard at Williton on Saturday 11th November 2023, this loco has been benefiting from an internal cab repaint in the careful hands of ‘JT’. Photo by Jon Tooke © 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 received the book review of ‘THE BEATEN TRACK Volume 3‘ from NEALE LONG but regret that we haven’t had chance to create the associated book review page on our website. We will try and get this done during the next few days, and then the book review will be available via our BOOK REVIEWS page and via our online store. Thanks again Neale !

    Meanwhile, click on the images below to buy these books from our online store and in doing so, support the DEPG.

      

     

    Also available via the DEPG ONLINE STORE is this sought-after new book by former BR apprentices Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell describing the ‘PYRAMID OF DIESEL HYDRAULICS‘ that comprise the D600, D800, D1000, D6300, D7000 and D9500 series of locomotives (classes 41, 42/43, 52, 22, 35 and 14). This book has been selling like hot cakes and has already had to be reprinted to meet the demand !

    Available from the DEPG for £15 plus £3.50 P&P. Click here or on the image below to order this book.

     

    We are grateful to regular contributor NEALE LONG for providing a very thorough and detailed book review, an extract from which is reproduced below. Click here to go to the full review on our website.

         “Of the many books published about British Rail’s foray into diesel-hydraulic traction over the years, very few have featured any account by staff involved in either the operation or maintenance of the fleet. This handily sized A5, 146-page softback by two ex-British Railways Engineering Limited apprentices, Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell, sets out to redress this particular imbalance. The book tells the fascinating story from within British Rail from the planning of the diesel-hydraulic pyramid as part of the 1955 Modernisation Plan, to its final collapse in 1977. This story is presented …..” click here to read more.

     

    Many thanks to Neale for putting so much time and effort into this book review to help prospective buyers decide. Much appreciated !

     

     

    ON SHED – one of the many photographs that adorn the wall in the classroom at Williton Depot caught my eye as it depicted FOUR Class 52 ‘WESTERNS’ around one of the four turntables that used to be under the roof of the old steam shed at Old Oak Common depot, near Paddington. The depot no longer exists as the site is being used for HS2, but there is a fighting chance that one of the locomotives in this photo might still be with us. This is a challenge for those with the detailed knowledge of the slight differences between the various members of the 74-strong class of locomotives. Many thanks to Phil Gray for providing us with this photograph.

    Four Class 52 ‘WESTERNS’ gather around one of the four turntables that were under the roof of the old steam shed at Old Oak Common Depot near Paddington. Three in maroon and one in green, does anyone have any information that might help identify the locomotives in this July 1963 photograph ? Photo by Phil Gray © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – significant effort has been put into the planning of the D1010 lifting and the DEPG yard improvements during the last week, leaving little time to catch up with the administrative and editorial tasks. The coming week will hopefully be a little quieter and allow work to resume on the Board Meeting Synopses, the Newsletter and the 2024 calendar. Apologies for these delays.

     

    The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 05-Nov-23

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was pictured in the South Yard at Williton on 4th November 2023, enjoying the late afternoon sun. This 58-year-old loco is wearing her tarpaulins because she is destined to spend the winter outdoors. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    The public services on the West Somerset Railway came to their seasonal end on Sunday 29th October, marking the start of an almost 4-week gap until the first day of the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ illuminated services, on the evening of Friday 24th November. These very popular trains are ‘top and tailed’ with a steam loco at one end and a diesel at the other. The loco tasked with this diesel duty this year is Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and the loco is ready and waiting at Bishops Lydeard.

    The steam-hauled ‘SANTA EXPRESS‘ services run on Saturdays and Sundays from Bishops Lydeard to Williton and back, and this year there is one day where the ‘SANTA EXPRESS’ runs from Minehead to Williton instead.

    Intermingled with these services are CAROL TRAINS, DINING TRAINS, FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA TRAINS and the invariably fully booked ‘DUNSTER BY CANDLELIGHT‘ trains (book now if you want a chance of a seat), so take a look at the WSR’s EVENTS page for more details.

    The DEPG depends on the WSR as our home base and primary running line, so please support and enjoy these seasonal services and in doing so, support the DEPG !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the team are taking advantage of having the loco back under cover, with Ian F and Roy hard at work on the ‘A’ side of the loco, doing the filling, sanding and painting. This loco is going to look fabulous when all of the work is done and a complete top coat of the original carriage maroon is applied. Great job guys !

    Meanwhile, Gordon has been overhauling the auxiliary cardan shafts and replacing the needle roller bearings where necessary, and Colin F and his team are hard at work on the reassembly of the ‘A’ transmission, complete with a new set of bearings and the necessary attention to oilways. The ‘A’ transmission presented a different set of challenges compared to the ‘B’ transmission that was completed earlier this year. The ‘A’ turbine rail was in perfect internal condition except for the overheated bearing 3/152, but the auxiliary shafts and the cast steel housings needed to be carefully restored for further service. Almost the exact opposite applied at the ‘B’ end, where the turbine rail had suffered the worst damage following the seizure of bearing 3/152, but the housings were in good condition. Soon, we will have two good transmissions ready and waiting to be re-installed into the locomotive. Here are some photos:

    D1010 – above and below – the ‘A’ side of the ‘A’ end of the locomotive received attention from Roy and Ian F at Williton on Saturday 4th November 2023. The sanded areas have been sprayed with primer to prevent corrosion pending another weekend of sanding and the application of multiple coats of paint. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the auxiliary cardan shafts received attention from Gordon at Williton on Saturday 4th November 2023. There are two shafts at each end of the loco, one being the dynastarter shaft (for engine starting and power generation) and the other being the Serck pump shaft (for the cooling fans). Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the cast steel transmission housing sections needed careful remediation work to restore damaged threads, but time spent now will make the re-assembly task that much easier. Geoff was obviously enjoying his work when photographed at Williton on Monday 30th October 2023. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – one of the many large and expensive bearings that have been purchased for the overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 1st November 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – Tim installs the spur gear onto the auxiliary shaft (Group 8) by using a combination of oil injection at the shaft taper and gentle pressure from the hydraulic cylinder. The pressure controls are basic and manual so that Tim can maintain a close feel for the progress as the two parts slide into place. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 1st November 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – The completed auxiliary shaft (Group 8) now runs smoothly and silently in new bearings. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 1st November 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    We engraved 20 patches on the ‘B’ end of the locomotive last Saturday and we still have another 60 patches to engrave on the loco this coming weekend, starting at the ‘B’ side at the ‘B’ end. There is still plenty of new metal to be marked, so please keep up this amazing level of support and help get D1010 back to working order ASAP. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is now stabled at Bishops Lydeard to take on the role of ‘Duty Loco’ and will be covering the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that start on Friday 24th November. Test runs for staff training will be carried out on 22nd and 23rd November.

    Click here or on the ticket icon below to go to the WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ page:

     

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco returned to Williton on Saturday 21st October to undergo winter maintenance, including an overhaul of her exhaust system. The loco will remain available for service until December and is scheduled to go into the loco shed on 23rd December, and will probably remain there for two months while the work is being done.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – apart from some minor details that will be sorted out during the coming weeks, this loco is ready for action and will be sent out for a loaded test run as soon as possible when the line re-opens in the spring. Meanwhile, the loco will be ‘winterised’ to protect her from the elements, as far as possible, while she rides out the winter in the yard at Williton.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the Root Cause Analysis has identified several probable causes for the uncommanded engagement of the torque converter and each has been ranked for probability, based on the available evidence. Some additional testing will need to be performed to focus in on the most probable cause. Meanwhile, several other maintenance tasks are outstanding on this locomotive and will be progressed during the winter.

    D7018 – this loco was enjoying the peace and quite on Number 3 road outside the loco shed in Williton when pictured on the calm and sunny afternoon of Saturday 4th November 2023. Photo by Andy Royal  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the focus is now switching to the installation of the electrical control cubicle and the refurbishment of the driver’s desk, complete with the new wiring and overhauled controllers. There are many parts that have to be cleaned, inspected and restored in the background before major steps forward can be reported. All of this work takes a huge amount of time and effort and is often unsung. The following five photos amount to a lot of volunteer hours !

    D9518 – the vacuum brake controllers have been carefully restored and are ready to be re-installed onto the driver’s desk when that subassembly is ready for them. Photo by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – above and below (x3) – the various sheet steel components from the cab assembly have been restored and spray painted in grey undercoat. Photo 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 stabled at Williton and is fully serviceable. As reported earlier, her covers have been applied to try and keep the worst of the weather out of her more delicate workings.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The progress on ‘NORTH STAR’ continues in between having to work on the other diesel locos in their care. We look forward to her being back out and about again.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – to correct last week’s report, the two drivers who were evaluated at Williton on Saturday 28th October were Colin G and Martin, both undergoing their re-certification. Neil and Paul T will get their turn soon !

     

    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 will continue to promote these three best selling titles this week, partly because we have them in stock and partly because we don’t have time left this week to include the next book review from NEALE LONG (thanks again Neale !).

    Click on the images below to buy these books from our online store and in doing so, support the DEPG.

      

     

    Also available via the DEPG ONLINE STORE is this sought-after new book by former BR apprentices Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell describing the ‘PYRAMID OF DIESEL HYDRAULICS‘ that comprise the D600, D800, D1000, D6300, D7000 and D9500 series of locomotives (classes 41, 42/43, 52, 22, 35 and 14). This book has been selling like hot cakes and has already had to be reprinted to meet the demand !

    Available from the DEPG for £15 plus £3.50 P&P. Click here or on the image below to order this book.

     

    We are grateful to regular contributor NEALE LONG for providing a very thorough and detailed book review, an extract from which is reproduced below. Click here to go to the full review on our website.

         “Of the many books published about British Rail’s foray into diesel-hydraulic traction over the years, very few have featured any account by staff involved in either the operation or maintenance of the fleet. This handily sized A5, 146-page softback by two ex-British Railways Engineering Limited apprentices, Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell, sets out to redress this particular imbalance. The book tells the fascinating story from within British Rail from the planning of the diesel-hydraulic pyramid as part of the 1955 Modernisation Plan, to its final collapse in 1977. This story is presented …..” click here to read more.

     

    Many thanks to Neale for putting so much time and effort into this book review to help prospective buyers decide. Much appreciated !

     

     

    ON SHED – a few weeks ago, we featured this photo of D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ on the Midland Main Line (MML) near Luton:

    D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ was pictured far from home on 15th April 1976, working the 6V76 Luton Crescent Road Yard to Westbury stone empties. This loco survived in service to the very end of the diesel-hydraulic era and is now cared for by the Bury Hydraulic Group on the East Lancashire Railway. Photographer unknown.

     

    This photo was brought to our attention by PAUL FLEET and he reports below on the workings that took the ‘WESTERNS’ onto the MML in the late days of their careers:

     

         “During my (many) years working on the Midland Main Line, we had a period where we were privileged to two ‘WESTERN’ workings on a regular basis! From memory starting late ‘75 through to late ‘77 we had a freight flow from ARC Tytherington through to Hendon, north London which used the same route as the Westbury-Leagrave workings ie via Oxford, Bletchley and Bedford. 

         A ‘WESTERN’ plus 30 or so MSV’s, the aggregate was used to complete the southern end of the M1 Motorway through to Staples Corner – and getting lorries off the road is a new concept ???

         The ‘WESTERNS’ on this working seemed to be even more unkempt than those from Westbury, but it was an opportunity to see them in ‘full flight’ as their southbound (through Luton) path was after the evening peak almost guaranteeing a clear run – and spectacular they always were!

         Having access to TOPS we were able to see which loco was working the train and of course there was always disappointment if a 47 was ‘subbed ’ for a ‘WESTERN’, a permanent situation after February 77 of course! However pictures of this working seem to be extremely rare – unless anyone out there knows better ? “

     

    Does anyone else have photos of the Class 52s working on the MML ? Many thanks to PAUL FLEET for sharing this information with us.

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the exceptional workload of 2023 has taken a toll on some administrative and editorial tasks, the delivery of the Board Meeting Synopses and the Newsletter to name but two. These important items are ‘in the works’ and will be distributed as soon as possible. Apologies for these delays.

     

    The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 29-Oct-23

    WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 stands at Williton Station on Sunday 29th October 2023 carrying a wreath in memory of the WSR and DEPG volunteers who have passed away during 2023. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 behind and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 alongside, all stand silently as a mark of respect for Simon, Chris and Mike. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Autumn is well and truly upon us, and the last public services of the 2023 season ran last weekend and featured steam haulage in both directions, to ensure that the occupants were kept warm. As a fitting tribute to those volunteers from all across the ‘WSR family’ that have passed away recently, both trains on Sunday 29th October carried wreaths in remembrance of those who gave so much of their time, effort and skills for the causes that they loved. We took a moment while the trains crossed at Williton to be silent and pay our respects to our friends, Simon, Chris and Mike.

     

    PETER NICHOLSON 1948-2023 R.I.P.

    Sadly, the following day, we learned via young DEPG member Josh Brinsford that his Grandad, well-known railway journalist and photographer PETER NICHOLSON had passed away at the age of 75 and would no longer be reporting via his ‘Classic Traction’ columns in the ‘Railway Magazine’ and elsewhere. Peter was a frequent visitor to the WSR and introduced his grandson to the joy of heritage railways at a very early age. The pair would often be seen on platform ends and on bridges, capturing images for the benefit of all. Peter will be sorely missed, and we send our condolences to young Josh and the entire family.

    The late Peter Nicholson on board Class 17 ‘Clayton’ D8568 at Bishops Lydeard on 18th June 2022. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    The poor weather during this last week has reminded us that most of our locomotives are stabled outdoors, having to endure the ever-changing conditions, from heatwaves in October to gale-force winds in November. The creation of covered accommodation for all of our locomotives is a priority for the DEPG and we are currently working on plans that will achieve this objective, subject to funding, of course.

    Meanwhile, we have to do what we can to cover up the locos and try and keep the worst of the weather out of them, which is always a challenge. We also have wagons and spares that are kept outdoors, and these also deteriorate and need regular refurbishment. Where is this leading, I hear you ask ? …. FUND RAISING is the answer !

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the loco is back inside the loco shed and will remain there until late December, after which the covered space is needed for an exhaust system overhaul on Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057). This gives us two months to get as much of the bodywork completed as possible and get another coat of gloss applied for protection against the elements for when the loco goes outside again. While waiting for the new bearings that are on order for the ‘A’ transmission, the team has continued with the cleanup and inspection of the casings and the oil pipework, in preparation for the reassembly operation and to allow the rate of progress to be sustained. This is one task that looks like it is going to be completed ahead of schedule!

    D1010 – the inside of the intermediate casing of ‘A’ transmission was the subject of Geoff’s attention at Williton on Monday 23rd October 2023. Each piece of pipework was removed for cleaning and careful inspection. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the inside of the lower casing of ‘A’ transmission was also cleaned up and readied for reassembly. Pictured at Williton on Monday 23rd October 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    We now have almost 80 patches to engrave on the loco this coming weekend, starting at the ‘B’ end and then going to the ‘A’ side behind the ‘A’ cab, where there is a significant area of new metal that can carry the names of the sponsors. There is still plenty of new metal to be marked, so please keep up this amazing level of support and help get D1010 back to working order ASAP. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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) – after a through check of her cooling system to confirm that there were no leaks, this loco has now moved to Bishops Lydeard to take on the role of ‘Duty Loco’ and will be covering the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that start on Friday 24th November. Test runs for staff training will be carried out on 22nd and 23rd November.

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) departed from Williton on Wednesday 25th October 2023 for a ‘light engine’ move to Bishops Lydeard to take up her winter position as WSR Duty locomotive. The ‘Crompton’ was pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield while waiting for the ‘down’ service to pass. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Click here or on the ticket icon below to go to the WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ page:

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco returned to Williton on Saturday 21st October to undergo winter maintenance, including an overhaul of her exhaust system. The loco will remain available for service until December and is scheduled to go into the loco shed on 23rd December, and will probably remain there for two months while the work is being done.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – there are some minor tasks to be carried out on this loco, but nothing major and nothing preventing her from being returned to service at short notice.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the Root Cause Analysis has identified several probable causes for the uncommanded engagement of the torque converter and each has been ranked for probability, based on the available evidence. Some additional testing will need to be performed to focus in on the most probable cause. Meanwhile, several other maintenance tasks are outstanding on this locomotive and will be progressed during the winter.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – a significant step forward has been made by the reinstatement of the brake rigging after many months of hard work by the team, including the manufacture of new parts and the straightening of some original parts that had been bent following derailments during the loco’s years of hard labour at Ashington Colliery. The photos below show the progress:

    D9518 – a view of one of the six brake hangers, now attached to the crossbeam and rigging that connects to the air brake cylinders that are hidden between the frames. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 24th October 2023 by Terry Deacon  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the centre axle provides a clearer view of the crossbeam and rigging that connects each brake hanger to the air brake cylinders. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 24th October 2023 by Terry Deacon  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – a view of the underside, looking from the front of the loco (the long end), showing the three crossbeams linked by the tension rods. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 24th October 2023 by Terry Deacon  © 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 stabled at Williton and is fully serviceable. This loco may move to Bishops Lydeard later in the year if Class 09 shunter D4017 (09 019) is to have her bodywork repaired at West Somerset Restorations Swindon Shed. The ’09’ is used during the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ season and is also the backup loco in the event of a last-minute issue arising with either the booked steam or diesel loco.

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was pictured in the South Yard at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023 while shunting D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ into the loco shed. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) can be seen on the left and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 can be seen on the right. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The photos below show the size of the task and the careful progress being made. We certainly look forward to her being back out and about again.

    47077 – in this view of the engine room on on Wednesday 25th October 2023, four of the twelve large and heavy cylinder heads had been lowered into place via the roof-mounted access doors. The work is being carried out by Finn (pictured) and Josh at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    47077 – in this picture taken from the other direction later in the day on Wednesday 25th October 2023, five of the twelve cylinder heads had been installed and bolted down. Photo by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – to make this powerful little loco even more useful, a driver recertification session was held at Williton last Saturday 28th October, resulting in Colin G and Martin being passed to continue as drivers by WSR Chief Traction Inspector Merv Hebditch. Well done guys !

     

    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 – in stock and selling well are these three new titles, each available from our online store. Click on the images below to buy these books from our online store and in doing so, support the DEPG.

     

     

    Also available via the DEPG ONLINE STORE is this sought-after new book by former BR apprentices Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell describing the ‘PYRAMID OF DIESEL HYDRAULICS‘ that comprise the D600, D800, D1000, D6300, D7000 and D9500 series of locomotives (classes 41, 42/43, 52, 22, 35 and 14). This book has been selling like hot cakes and has already had to be reprinted to meet the demand !

    Available from the DEPG for £15 plus £3.50 P&P. Click here or on the image below to order this book.

     

    We are grateful to regular contributor NEALE LONG for providing a very thorough and detailed book review, an extract from which is reproduced below. Click here to go to the full review on our website.

         “Of the many books published about British Rail’s foray into diesel-hydraulic traction over the years, very few have featured any account by staff involved in either the operation or maintenance of the fleet. This handily sized A5, 146-page softback by two ex-British Railways Engineering Limited apprentices, Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell, sets out to redress this particular imbalance. The book tells the fascinating story from within British Rail from the planning of the diesel-hydraulic pyramid as part of the 1955 Modernisation Plan, to its final collapse in 1977. This story is presented …..” click here to read more.

    Many thanks to Neale for putting so much time and effort into this book review to help prospective buyers decide. Much appreciated !

     

    ON SHED – the DEPG is fortunate in having more than one example of three different classes of locomotive under its care. We have two Class 14s, two Class 33s and two Class 35s. However, it is very difficult to find photographs from BR days featuring both of our locos, but one such find was made by volunteer Class 33 loco manager Ian Robins when searching on Facebook, and is featured below. We would very much like to find out more details about this photograph and hopefully get permission to use this photo in a forthcoming publication about our locos. Can you help ?

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ 33 057 (D6575) leads 33 011 (D6512) at Exeter St. Davids station on an arrival from Brighton while 33 048 (D6566) runs through to attach to a service to Barnstaple, some time in 1984. Photographer unknown.

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – a scheduled Board Meeting took place at Williton last Saturday 28th October 2023, a synopsis of which is being prepared and will be shared ASAP with all DEPG members for whom we hold a valid email address.

    The DEPG is entirely run by volunteers and we need to expand our volunteer numbers if we are going to be able to continue making progress on so many fronts simultaneously. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO. It is very quick and easy, and does not require you to remember yet another password. Thank you very much !

     

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

  • Weekly Roundup – 22-Oct-23

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023, coupled up to Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and waiting for Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 to join the consist for a combined test run to Bishops Lydeard and back. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    It is ‘thumbs up’ from Tom on Saturday 21st October 2023 as he prepares to couple Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 to Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) in advance of the test run to Bishops Lydeard and back. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was pictured at Westridge Steam Shed, Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 21st October 2023, together with Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, both positioned over the pit for an underframe inspection. Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ D6575 (33 057) (L) and  D6566 (33 048) (R) wait on the south side and will later return to Williton as part of the 4-loco consist. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    We are very pleased to report that Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 both enjoyed a successful test run to Bishops Lydeard and back on Saturday 21st October. The outbound trip from Williton included Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) for ‘insurance’ and to act as a load (the engine was running but the loco was not providing any power), with the ‘Hymek’ doing the work. The intention was to leave D6566 at Bishops Lydeard to take over the role of Duty Loco from sister D6575 (33 057), who was due to return to Williton for winter maintenance and attention to leaking exhaust manifold gaskets.

    In the event, D6566 was showing a low coolant level and the team decided to take her back to Williton for topping up and a leak check, so the return run was VERY unusual in that it included BOTH ‘Cromptons’ and turned some heads as the rare 4-loco consist passed by, with the ‘Teddy Bear’ having a proper workout !

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was the workhorse for the return leg of the journey from Bishops Lydeard to Williton, a task that she completed easily and without fuss. Pictured from the cab on Saturday 21st October 2023 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    The last public services of the 2023 season will run this coming weekend under the BLUE timetable and will feature steam haulage in both directions. As a fitting tribute to those volunteers from all across the ‘WSR family’ that have passed away this year, both trains on Sunday 29th October will carry a wreath in remembrance of those who gave so much of their time, effort and skills for the causes that they loved.

     

     

    MIKE EVANS 1959-2023 R. I. P.

    We are saddened to report that we lost DEPG volunteer MIKE EVANS on Saturday 21st October after he had endured a long and arduous battle with cancer. He passed away just a few weeks before his 64th birthday.

    Mike was born in Cardiff but lived near Newton Abbot where he worked as a surveyor for the local authority. His love for diesel-hydraulics was legendary and he was often to be found working on one of our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bears’ or on D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’. Mike was a good all-rounder and would lend a hand to any project that needed his help, and he was even caught working on a ‘Crompton’ once or twice !

    A natural prankster with a passion for gadgets of all sorts, Mike will be sorely missed by all of his friends at Williton, but most of all by his loving family.

    With sincere thanks for years of work for the DEPG in support of diesel-hydraulic preservation. Rest In Peace.

     

    Here are just a few of the many images showing Mike at work for the benefit of the DEPG. He will definitely be missed.

    Above: Mike and Warren (L-R) at work on the engine of D9526 at Williton on 11-Mar-17 (TD)

    Above: Mike doing DEPG sales stand duty at the Newton Abbot Railway Exhibition on 04-Dec-21 (AR)
    Above: Mike tides up after needle gunning the bodyside of D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ at Williton on 26-Feb-22 (AR) Above: Mike outdoors, needle gunning the bodyside of D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ at Williton on 26-Mar-22 (AR)
    Above: Paul C and Mike (L-R) at Williton on 02-Apr-22 working on D7017 bogie parts (AR) Above: Mike and Terry (L-R) hold up a tarpaulin as a background for a photo of the electrical cubicle of D9518 at Williton on 03-Dec-22 (AR)
     
    Above: Mike shows off his brand new DEPG hi-viz jacket at Williton on 31-Dec-22 (AR)  

    Photos by Terry Deacon and Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD870 exhibit

    Last week, we reported that the DEPG had just taken delivery of a wonderful exhibit that was previously on display in the ROLLS-ROYCE HERITAGE TRUST museum in Coventry, showcasing the fine work that was done in the 1950s and 60s by Bristol Siddeley Engines Limited when they took on the licence manufacture of the Maybach high-speed diesel engine family. The photos below show the size and magnificence of this 87-litre beauty, which includes a cutaway section and an electric motor that rotates the engine slowly, so that the inner workings can be studied.

    We are very grateful to the ROLLS-ROYCE HERITAGE TRUST for donating this  engine to the DEPG. Former DEPG Chairman BOB TILLER was instrumental in securing this marvellous exhibit for the DEPG and he also very kindly donated the considerable transportation cost of moving this 6-ton artefact from Derby to Williton. We hope to repay his kindness by having the engine on display in our future Williton museum area, for the benefit of future generations.

    This giant 87-litre Bristol Siddeley Maybach V-16 diesel engine dominates the temporary storage area at Williton and will certainly be a major feature of our planned future exhibition area. Pictured at Williton on 21st October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The exhibition engine features several cutaway areas protected by transparent covers, and is powered by a small electric motor so that it can be turned slowly to show the inner workings. How about that ! Pictured at Williton on 21st October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the new bearings are on order for the ‘A’ transmission, so while we wait for them to arrive, the team has moved on to the cleanup and inspection of the casings and the oil pipework, in preparation for the reassembly operation. The loco has now been moved back into the loco shed, which will be a blessing for Ian F and Roy, as they have been struggling with the inclement weather which slows down the progress of their bodywork tasks. The weather has also prevented us from marking the many patches that have been sponsored of late, for which we are very grateful. Hopefully, we will catch up this weekend.

    D1010 – the loco was moved into the loco shed by D9526 on Saturday 21st October and will remain under cover until 23rd December 2023, after which the space is needed for one of the ‘Cromptons’. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the inside of the top casing of ‘A’ transmission has been badly affected by condensation corrosion. This will be cleaned up after removal of the hydraulic pipework. Pictured at Williton on Monday 16th October 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the high pressure oil injection equipment was put to use on the reverser shaft from ‘A’ transmission at Williton on Monday 16th October 2023. This will allow the bearing beneath the double-helical gear wheel to be replaced. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    There are still some patches waiting for sponsors at the ‘B’ end of the loco, so GET IN QUICK TO HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED before Roy and Ian reach this end. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Having the loco outdoors has generated an increased interest in our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, with several more patches being engraved with their sponsor’s names or messages. This initiative remains the single most successful fund-raising activity and has allowed us to make significant progress with the restoration work. PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP US FUND THIS PROJECT.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 on the role of ‘Duty Loco’ and will soon move to Bishops Lydeard to cover the Christmas workings.

    The Class 33 ‘Crompton’ pairing of D6566 (33 048) on the left and D6575 (33 057) on the right was the result of the former having to return to Williton for precautionary attention to lower-than-desirable coolant levels. Pictured shortly after arrival from Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 21st October 2023 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco returned to Williton on Saturday 21st October to undergo winter maintenance, including an overhaul of her exhaust system.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as previously reported, the test run was successful and this loco is close to being returned to service.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023, shortly after returning from her successful test run to Bishops Lydeard and back. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is waiting patiently for work to be completed on sister D7017.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues on the restoration of the cab assembly and the replacement of the electrical wiring loom that runs inside the driver’s ‘desk’. The Class 14 team is currently sharing its time between this project and the 1000-hour service on sister D9526, so we would welcome additional help to keep both sets of tasks moving along. Just respond to this email if you feel that you could help. Thanks !

    D9518 – the view towards the ‘B’ end (short end) shows just how complex a kit of parts it is. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023 by Martin Howard  © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – the view towards the ‘A’ end (long end) shows many more parts being gathered for re-fitting at the appropriate time. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023 by Martin Howard  © 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 completed her test run successfully on Saturday 21st October and is now classified as fully serviceable again. The loco will remain at Williton until needed at Bishops Lydeard in the New Year.

    D9526 performed well during her test run and is now classified as fully serviceable. The loco is seen in the South Yard at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023 in the company of Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ D6566 (33 048), D6575 (33 057) and D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ on No. 1 road, and on No. 3 road we see Barclay 578 (ROF1) standing in front of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photos will be provided ASAP.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco now looks the part, wearing her 1970s cabside markings as ‘R. O. F. BRIDGWATER No. 1‘. The number of drivers trained to drive this powerful little loco will be increased in the coming weeks to give more flexibility at the depot and allow locos undergoing maintenance to be repositioned more frequently.

    Barclay 578 (ROF1) was pictured in the South Yard at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023, proudly wearing her new cabside lettering. Photo by Jon Tooke © 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 just added a new title to our online store and we now have stock available of the THIRD VOLUME in the very successful ‘THE BEATEN TRACK’ series by Andy Chard, published by Platform 5. These popular books are very interesting, very well produced and are selling quickly. Click here or on the image below to buy this book from our online store.

     

    Also available via the DEPG ONLINE STORE is this sought-after new book by former BR apprentices Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell describing the ‘PYRAMID OF DIESEL HYDRAULICS‘ that comprise the D600, D800, D1000, D6300, D7000 and D9500 series of locomotives (classes 41, 42/43, 52, 22, 35 and 14). This book has been selling like hot cakes and has already had to be reprinted to meet the demand !

    Available from the DEPG from Friday 20th October for £15 plus £3.50 P&P. Click here or on the image below to order this book.

    We will be featuring a book review from regular contributor NEALE LONG in next week’s roundup.

     

    ON SHED – sorry, but we will need to skip this popular feature this week due to lack of space.

     

    DEPG NEWS – A BOARD MEETING will take place tomorrow, Saturday 28th October 2023, starting at 1300. The synopses of previous meeting are running late and will be distributed next week to DEPG members for whom we hold email address details. Apologies for the delay.

    We have sadly lost several fine and capable volunteers this year, so we have to acknowledge that we are feeling the pressure. The activities at the DEPG continue to place significant demands on our volunteers and we need to share the load among more hands. This does not just apply to the maintenance and restoration of our locos, but it also applies to the hidden background tasks such as running the online store, producing the newsletters, publishing booklets, handling the pre-owned books and selling them to raise funds. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by responding to this email or by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJOThank you very much !

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 15-Oct-23

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) worked a short freight train from Minehead to Williton on Saturday 14th October 2023. This very unusual view was captured from within the brake van while the consist was being prepared at Minehead. Photo by Seb Welsh © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was put to work on Saturday 14th October 2023 to move a flat wagon loaded with tender wheelsets from Minehead to the Swindon Shed at Williton for restoration. This photo was taken by secondman Tom Courtney while the train was being prepared at Minehead. © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    Although the scheduled diesel running of the 2023 season is behind us, there are still occasions when our diesels are in use, such as last Saturday, when a flat wagon loaded with steam loco tender wheelsets needed to be moved from Minehead to Williton. As we needed the loco back at Williton to support the planned test running of Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 (Saturday 21st October, see our DIESELGEN posting), the obvious choice for the job was Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and several interesting photos resulted from this working, two of which are above. Follow this link to wsr.org.uk for more photos of this and other October workings.

     

    The RED timetable is in force for the coming weekend (21/22 October) then the BLUE timetable runs for most of the following week, bringing the season to a close on Sunday 29th. Christmas services begin on Friday November 24th with the return of the very popular ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ specials. Click here for a link to the events page on the WSR website.

     

     

    CHRIS SHIELDS 1959-2023 R. I. P.

    Sadly, on the morning of Saturday 14th October, we lost CHRIS SHIELDS at the age of 64 due to Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a degenerative condition that had affected him for several months and had caused him to gradually have to give up his many DEPG roles, of which there was quite a list – Membership Secretary, Sales team member, Online Storekeeper, D1010 team volunteer and trainee secondman.

    Following retirement from his 40-year career with Lloyds Bank, Chris dedicated himself to supporting the many railway-oriented causes that he loved, the list including the Western Locomotive Association (WLA), the Deltic Preservation Society (DPS), the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (owners of 60163 ‘TORNADO’), the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway (where he was a passed firemen) and of course the DEPG, where Chris always carried out his duties to the fullest extent and always went the extra mile to raise money for the group or to take on a task that just needed to be done. When considering that Chris worked for so many other groups, including several model railway clubs, it is remarkable that he had any free time at all – but that was just the way he wanted it to be.

    With sincere thanks for his tireless work for so many railway causes, Rest In Peace.

     

    Here are just a few of the many images showing Chris at work for the benefit of the DEPG. He will certainly be missed.

    Above: Chris at work on D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ on 19-Mar-22 (JB)

    Above: Chris (in black) at the Bristol Model Railway Exhibition with Mark T and John K on 01-May-22 (MB)

    Above: Chris at work on Class 09 D4107 (09 019) on 11-Mar-23 (AR)

    Above: Chris (furthest from camera) participating in secondman training on 04-Feb-23 (AR)

    Above: Chris minding the store at Williton on 29-Apr-23 (MI)

    And as we remember him best, happy and smiling, Chris in the cab of D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ on 07-May-23 (PB)

    Photos by Josh Brinsford, Mark Bladwell, Andy Royal, Mark Ireland and Peter Bamber © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD870 exhibit

    The DEPG have just taken delivery of a wonderful exhibit that was previously on display in the ROLLS-ROYCE HERITAGE TRUST museum in Coventry, showcasing the fine work that was done in the 1960s by Bristol Siddeley Engines Limited when they took on the licence manufacture of the Maybach high-speed diesel engine family, in support of British Rail’s Class 35, 42 and 52 locomotive programmes. The engines were produced at the former Armstrong Siddeley factory in Ansty, Coventry and were renowned for their quality and performance. The licenced designs were also supplied to marine and power generation users, in addition to their more well-known railway applications.

    We are very grateful to the ROLLS-ROYCE HERITAGE TRUST for donating this  engine to the DEPG. Former DEPG Chairman BOB TILLER was instrumental in securing this marvellous exhibit for the DEPG and he also very kindly donated the considerable transportation cost of moving this 6-ton artefact from Derby to Williton. We hope to repay his kindness by having the engine on display in our future Williton museum area, for the benefit of future generations.

    Possibly the cleanest diesel engine ever seen, this Bristol Siddeley Maybach MD870 diesel engine has cutaway sections and is motor driven to show the key principles and the major components. This wonderful 6-ton exhibition piece has been very kindly donated to the DEPG by the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust thanks to the efforts of BOB TILLER, who also kindly donated to cover the transportation cost from Derby to Williton. Photo by Bob Tiller © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – further progress on the overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission has allowed the team to move on to the reverser assembly, where condensation and the subsequent corrosion damage have rendered the large diameter and very expensive bearings as beyond further use. This was expected and had been budgeted, but we had been hoping for some good luck to conserve funds. Several ideas have come forward to find ways of preventing or reducing internal condensation and extending the lives of the new bearings that are now being fitted, and all such ideas will be thoroughly evaluated.

    Elsewhere on the loco, Ian F continues his painstaking work on filling and smoothing the bodysides of this giant loco. His quiet and careful approach has resulted in significant progress and he can justly feel great satisfaction with the work that he been doing. Thank you Ian !

    Steve has been busy in ‘B’ cab with the overhaul of the driver’s desk and associated wiring, while Gordon has been working on the auxiliary shafts and has been dismantling the universal joints of the cardan shafts to find out why they were feeling ‘sticky’. Some of the needle roller bearings were found to be well past their best and will need to be replaced. These shafts are difficult to get at when in normal use, so now is the time to overhaul them, while access is easy.

    D1010 – the auxiliary cardan shafts from the ‘B’ end were retrieved from the container and will be stripped down for cleaning and inspection. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 14th October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the disassembly of the ‘A’ end auxiliary cardan shafts by Gordon revealed that the universal joints were not fit for further service and will need to be replaced. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 14th October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – Ian F, the volunteer who has done most of the work on the surface finish of this giant loco, was pictured while filling and smoothing at Williton on Saturday 14th October 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    There are still some patches waiting for sponsors at the ‘B’ end of the loco, so GET IN QUICK TO HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED before Roy and Ian reach this end. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Having the loco outdoors has generated an increased interest in our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, with several more patches being engraved with their sponsor’s names or messages. This initiative remains the single most successful fund-raising activity and has allowed us to make significant progress with the restoration work. PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP US FUND THIS PROJECT.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is currently stabled at Williton but will move to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 21st October to cover the Christmas workings.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco will move to Williton on Saturday 21st October to undergo winter maintenance, including an overhaul of her exhaust system.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – a test run has been arranged for this loco on Saturday 21st October. See our DIESELGEN posting for details.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is waiting patiently for work to be completed on sister D7017.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues on the restoration of the cab assembly and the replacement of the electrical wiring loom that runs inside the driver’s ‘desk’. The Class 14 team is currently sharing its time between this project and the 1000-hour service on sister D9526, so we would welcome additional help to keep both sets of tasks moving along. Just respond to this email if you feel that you could help. Thanks !

    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 inside the shed at Williton where work on the 1000-hour service has now been completed. The loco will undergo inspection at Williton on Saturday 21st October and will then go out on a test run to Bishops Lydeard and back, to bed in her new brake blocks and ensure that everything is as it should be. 

    D9526 has had a 1000-hour service performed and is now ready for a test run. Attention was being given to replacing a cable conduit on the governor assembly (the brightly lit region) while inside the loco shed at Williton on Saturday 14th October 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9526 has been fitted with a set of new brake blocks while undergoing her 1000-hour service at Williton. Pictured on Saturday 14th October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photos will be provided ASAP.

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is currently undergoing an internal cab repaint in the hands of volunteer Jon Tooke. Photos will be provided ASAP.

     

    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 just added a new title to our online store and we now have stock available of the THIRD VOLUME in the very successful ‘THE BEATEN TRACK’ series by Andy Chard, published by Platform 5. These popular books are very interesting, very well produced and are selling quickly. Click here or on the image below to buy this book from our online store.

     

    Also available via the DEPG ONLINE STORE is this sought-after new book by former BR apprentices Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell describing the ‘PYRAMID OF DIESEL HYDRAULICS‘ that comprise the D600, D800, D1000, D6300, D7000 and D9500 series of locomotives (classes 41, 42/43, 52, 22, 35 and 14). This book has been selling like hot cakes and has already had to be reprinted to meet the demand !

    Available now from the DEPG  for £15 plus £3.50 P&P. Click here or on the image below to order this book.

     

     

    ON SHED – last week, we featured a photo of D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ that had been brought to our attention by Paul Fleet, and it resulted in a flurry of information from a number of regular correspondents including Andrew Royle and Paul Mear, all of whom quickly identified the location as being Westbury. Thank you to all who replied !

    We can’t include all of the responses, but here is the information received from long-time DEPG member Brian Ringer, based on his experiences when based at Westbury in BR days:

         “In answer to the question of the location of D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ photographed in 1976 is almost certainly Westbury, the shot being taken from the platform looking west towards the yard, with the servicing shed just visible in the background. D1041 appears to have been uncoupled or about to be coupled to a train of MSV aggregate tipplers in the background. I spent some time at Westbury in 1975/76 at the start of my railway career and remember these scenes well. Happy days!”

     

    Well-known railway author Roger Geach provided the following information, along with a photo of ‘PRINCE’ bearing similar battle scars, taken in October 1976:

         “1041 is at Westbury, photographed from the up side platform clearly 1976, I would say late summer or autumn time. It is hard to know what the working might be as 1041 was at Westbury quite a bit during January 1977 alone. As it is light loco in the picture, it makes it harder to identify as several stone trains worked out of here. I think its possibly coming on or off the depot at this point.

         I’ve enclosed a picture you can use of 1041 also showing the rusty front. It is on the 4B08 1050 Plymouth to Penzance vans at Moorswater, Liskeard, on 19th October 1976.”

     MANY THANKS to Brian and Roger and to all who responded to this challenge !

     

    D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ was looking very rough but still fully active when photographed at Moorswater near Liskeard while working the 4B08 1050 Plymouth to Penzance vans on 19th October 1976. Photo by Roger Geach © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – we have sadly lost several fine and capable volunteers this year, so we have to say that we are feeling the pressure. The activities at the DEPG continue to place significant demands on our volunteers and we need to share the load among more hands. This does not just apply to the maintenance and restoration of our locos, but it also applies to the hidden background tasks such as running the online store, producing the newsletters, publishing booklets, handling the pre-owned books and selling them to raise funds. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by responding to this email or by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. We look forward to hearing from you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJOThank you very much !

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 08-Oct-23

    Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was called upon to take over a steam-hauled service due to a technical issue arising with the rostered loco on Sunday 8th October 2023. The loco is pictured at Williton later in the day, having just returned ‘Light Engine’ from Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    The 2023 running season is drawing to a close, with steam locomotives rostered for the remaining timetabled services during October because of the need to heat the carriages. The WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) was rostered for the Sunday services, but these have had to be re-planned for steam haulage due to the ongoing maintenance work on the DMU.

     

    However, things don’t always go to plan, and on Sunday 8th October, BR(W) 0-6-0PT 9466 developed a fault while working the ‘QUANTOCK BELLE‘ dining train and had to wait at Blue Anchor to be rescued by BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’ which was ‘borrowed’ from the 1430 departure from Minehead. This left the 1430 in the capable hands of standby loco Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) and with no carriage heating – but luckily, the unseasonably warm weather and pleasant sunshine kept the passengers comfortable throughout the journey to Bishops Lydeard !

    Well done to driver John G and Secondman Tom C for stepping in at short notice to crew the ‘Crompton’ last Sunday.

     

    Last week, we covered the surprise appearance of privately-owned Class 52 D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ at the SVR’s ‘Magnificent Severn’ event, but the good news keeps coming because the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) have announced that the loco has been gifted to their care and will now remain at Kidderminster for the time being while a technical assessment is undertaken. Once the condition of the loco has been established and the cost of restoration to running condition estimated, the membership will need to decide on the next steps. This appears to be good news for the ‘Lady’ and we look forward to hearing more about her in the near future.

    Ownership of D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ has now transferred to the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) and the loco will be remaining at Kidderminster for the time being. The ‘Lady’ was pictured when on static display at Kidderminster station on Sunday 1st October 2023 by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – further progress has been made on the overhaul of the ‘A’ transmission, with the auxiliary shafts now receiving the bulk of the attention. The majority of the bearings on these shafts will need to be replaced because of corrosion damage caused by condensation that has formed within the transmission housing and has dripped onto the shafts. Some of these bearings are very large and expensive, so we will need to find a way to prevent this kind of damage from happening again. This is an issue that affects most preserved locomotives and arises from infrequent use and the need to be worked to get up to operating temperature. We will come up with a solution, although it may take some experimentation. Aside from the transmission work, Gordon has been cleaning up the auxiliary cardan shafts and pipework, as can be seen from the photo below:

    D1010 – the auxiliary cardan shafts and some of the pipework from the ‘B’ end were cleaned up and given a coat of primer by Gordon at Williton on Saturday 7th October 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the disassembly of the ‘Group 9’ output shaft of the ‘A’ end transmission was under way at Williton on Friday 6th October 2023, with Peter S doing the heavy lifting (with his fingertips). Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the inner race of bearing 9/28 from the ‘A’ end transmission shows a corrosion mark that has been caused by condensation finding its way along the shaft and into the bearing, and then staying in the same place for a long time. This bearing will be replaced before reassembly. Pictured at Williton on Friday 6th October 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the ‘Group 9’ oil control ring should be held in position by a small pin (marked on the photo above) but the pin was missing, resulting in misalignment of the ring and a reduced oil feed to the bearing. Pictured at Williton on Friday 6th October 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the massive bulk of the ‘Group 9’ output shaft is visible in this view, taken after removal of the bearings and the output pinion. Apart from the corrosion and wear in the bearings, the shaft and pinion are in good condition and are fully serviceable. Pictured at Williton on Friday 6th October 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    There are still some patches waiting for sponsors at the ‘B’ end of the loco, so GET IN QUICK TO HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED before the painters reach this end. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Having the loco outdoors has generated an increased interest in our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, with several more patches being engraved with their sponsor’s names or messages. This initiative remains the single most successful fund-raising activity and has allowed us to make significant progress with the restoration work. PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP US FUND THIS PROJECT.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click here or on the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is currently stabled at Minehead but will move to Williton on Saturday 14th October and will subsequently move to Bishops Lydeard to cover the Christmas workings.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco underwent a brake block change at Bishops Lydeard last weekend, followed by an underframe inspection and traction motor inspection before being given the green light to return to duties. Many thanks to Ian R, Tom C and Ian F for getting this work done.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – further progress with the engine being run up again to check other systems and to exercise the electrical system to ensure reliability. The power check raised some points for further attention, so the engine will undergo a timing check this coming weekend and the injection timing will be corrected if found to be wanting.

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is waiting patiently for work to be completed on sister D7017.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues on the restoration of the cab assembly and the replacement of the electrical wiring loom that runs inside the driver’s ‘desk’. The Class 14 team is currently sharing its time between this project and the 1000-hour service on sister D9526, so we would welcome additional help to keep both sets of tasks moving along. Just respond to this email if you feel that you could help. Thanks !

    D9518 is sharing the Williton loco shed with her younger sister D9526 while the latter undergoes a 1000-hour service. Pictured on Sunday 8th October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9518 – a collection of sheet steel parts have been restored and painted and are lined up for re-installation at Williton. Pictured on Sunday 8th October 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 – this loco is inside the shed at Williton and work is proceeding on the 1000-hour service. The tasks involved with this service have been quite invasive and labour intensive, but the work is close to completion. This loco will then move to Bishops Lydeard to cover for Class 09 D4107 (09 019) while that loco undergoes bodywork repairs.

    D9526 is undergoing a 1000-hour service inside the loco shed at Williton before she heads off to Bishops Lydeard for winter duties. Pictured from the ‘B’ end on Sunday 8th October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D9526 is undergoing a 1000-hour service inside the loco shed at Williton before she heads off to Bishops Lydeard for winter duties. Pictured from the ‘A’ end on Sunday 8th October 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. After a delay in obtaining replacement cylinder head studs, work has now reached the reassembly stage. Here are some photos that were taken during a recent visit by our Tom Courtney:

    47077 – the loco has been out of service for the whole 2023 season because of fractured cylinder head bolts, but remedial action is being taken and the loco has been undergoing a thorough ‘top end’ overhaul at Grosmont works. Pictured inside the shed at Grosmont on Monday 10th October 2023 by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    47077 – this photo of the top of the engine block shows the high standard of work that is being carried out by the team at Grosmont. Pictured at Grosmont on Monday 10th October 2023 by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    47077 – the twelve cylinder heads have already been refurbished and are ready and waiting to be re-installed. Pictured at Grosmont on Monday 10th October 2023 by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is currently inside the loco shed but is ready to take up her place outside the shed, where she can proudly display her new cabside lettering.

     

    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 just added a new title to our online store and we now have stock available of the THIRD VOLUME in the very successful ‘THE BEATEN TRACK’ series by Andy Chard, published by Platform 5. These popular books are very interesting, very well produced and will no doubt sell quickly. Click here or on the image below to buy this book from our online store. Well done Andy !

     

    Also becoming available via the DEPG ONLINE STORE is this sought-after new book by former BR apprentices Mike Woodhouse and Graham Howell describing the ‘PYRAMID OF DIESEL HYDRAULICS‘ that comprise the D600, D800, D1000, D6300, D7000 and D9500 series of locomotives (classes 41, 42/43, 52, 22, 35 and 14). This book has been selling like hot cakes and has already had to be reprinted to meet the demand !

    Available from the DEPG from Friday 20th October for £15 plus £3.50 P&P. Click here or on the image below to order this book.

     

     

    ON SHED – last week, we featured a photo of D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ that had been brought to our attention by Paul Fleet, and this week we have another shot of the same loco at an unknown location and an unknown date. The headcode displaying the loco number puts this in the 1976-77 period, but if any of our readers have more information to share, then we will be pleased to report the details next week, including the name of the photographer, if known.

    D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ was looking the worse for wear when photographed at this unknown location, some time in 1976 or early 1977. This loco survived in service to the very end of the diesel-hydraulic era (Feb 1977) and is now cared for by the Bury Hydraulic Group on the East Lancashire Railway. Photographer unknown.

     

     

    DEPG NEWS – the activities at the DEPG continue to place significant demands on our volunteers and we need to share the load among more hands. This does not just apply to the maintenance and restoration of our locos, but it also applies to the hidden background tasks such as running the online store, producing the newsletters, publishing booklets, handling the pre-owned books and selling them to raise funds. If you have some time and feel able to help, please let us know by clicking this link to use our online CONTACT form. Thank you !

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJOThank you very much !

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

  • Weekly Roundup – 01-Oct-23

    Several former mainline diesel-hydraulics gathered for the Severn Valley Railway’s Magnificent Severn’ event. From left to right, D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ and D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ were pictured together at Kidderminster Station on Saturday 30th September 2023. Photo by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Congratulations to the SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY and to all of the loco owning groups and volunteers who pulled together to deliver the ‘Magnificent Severn’ event last weekend, featuring a whole host of locos but with particular focus on the preserved mainline diesel-hydraulics, with five such locos in traffic and three on static display. Although our two ‘Hymeks’ had been invited, they were sadly unable to attend due to issues explained in an earlier roundup.

     

    The Diesel Traction Group (DTG) operated their Class 42 ‘Warship’ D821 ‘GREYHOUND’ and their mainline-registered Class 52 D1015 ‘WESTERN CHAMPION’ and had their Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7029 on static display. The Bury Hydraulic Group operated their Class 42 ‘Warship’ D832 ‘ONSLAUGHT’ and their recently overhauled Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7076, and the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) operated their Class 52 D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ and displayed D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’.

     

    A surprise but very welcome guest was privately-owned Class 52 D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ making a very rare appearance away from her usual home at the Midland Railway Centre in Butterley, Derbyshire, the visit being facilitated by the WLA. The ‘Lady’ has recently undergone bodywork repairs and was resplendent in her BR-blue livery, further adding to the atmosphere of the event and bolstering the recreations of the Old Oak Common turntable scenes of the early 1970s – except that these locos were all clean and shiny, which was certainly not the case when the locos were in service!

    The classic lines and symmetry of Sir Misha Black’s design seem to be accentuated in this view of D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ on the low loader, as if placed on a pedestal. The loco was pictured on Thursday 19th September 2023 while waiting in a layby for the rush hour to pass before making the final leg of the journey into Kidderminster. Photo by Paul Finch © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Here are some photos that show the strength of the diesel-hydraulic presence at the SVR event:

    The DTG’s Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7029 was on static display at Kidderminster Station on Saturday 30th September 2023. Photo by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Three of the seven surviving Class 52 ‘Westerns’ were gathered outside Kidderminster diesel shed on the evening of Tuesday 26th September 2023. From left to right, D1013 ‘WESTERN RANGER’ then D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ then D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’. Photo by Paul Finch © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Re-kindling the distant memories of the turntable at Old Oak Common depot, three classes of diesel-hydraulic locomotives were gathered around the turntable at Kidderminster for this evocative night scene. Pictured on Tuesday 26th September 2023 by Paul Finch © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

     

    Well done to all of the volunteers who worked so hard to deliver so much at this event. We hope to be able to participate next time.

     

     

     

    Our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page has been updated to include the three October Sundays of the RED timetable when the WSR’s Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) is scheduled to run, but the DMU has had a tough year and may not be available for service. At the time of writing, it is not known if these workings will run with diesel haulage or revert to steam haulage, as per the other Red timetable days. Click here or on the banner below to go to the website page:

    The DIESEL RUNNING DATES pages is supplemented by our DIESELGEN bulletin service which captures non-public running such as special trains and engineering workings (where we have sufficient notice to publish such workings). Sign up for DIESELGEN emails or keep an eye on our website homepage.

     

     

    LOCO NEWS:

    Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – attention has now moved to the input and auxiliary shafts while the findings of the turbine rail disassembly work are being collated for review by the DEPG board. The turbine rail is well protected and remains coated in a film of oil after use, but the other shafts are exposed to the condensation that forms inside the top cover of the transmission and subsequently drips down onto the shafts, getting into the bearings and initiating corrosion during the long periods when the loco is out of use. As we anticipated, these bearings will all need to be replaced and the budget already includes provision for them.

    D1010 – the ‘Group 8’ input shaft of the ‘A’ end transmission has now been disassembled. The corrosion damage is self-evident on the inner raceway of bearing 8/30. All such parts will be replaced during the rebuild, but the operating and storage conditions of the loco will need to be revised to minimise the risk of future damage. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 26th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    D1010 – the disassembly of the ‘Group 8’ input shaft of the ‘A’ end revealed corrosion damage to all four bearings on this shaft. The damage to bearing 8/42 above is less severe than that affecting bearing 8/30, but is still way past being fit for further use. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 26th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    New bearings have also been fitted to the governor assembly (Group 7), which is now fully reassembled and ready for use. A curious finding in this assembly was a thrust bearing (part 7/27) that had been fitted the wrong way around, and had resulted in overheating of the bearing and associated pressure plate (part 7/28). This was easily resolved with a new bearing of the correct type, fitted the right way around !

    D1010 – pictured exactly as removed from the governor of the ‘A’ end transmission, the heat damage is evidenced by the blue discolouration of thrust bearing 7/27 and pressure plate 7/28. During the previous overhaul, probably at Swindon Works in the 1970s, this small bearing had been fitted the wrong way around. Pictured at Williton on Monday 18th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the transmission governor fitted to the Class 52s uses the centrifugal force generated by rotating weight(s) 19 to balance the pressure that is generated by pre-set springs (96 and 97) acting through lever arms 38 and 48. The resultant movement allows valve spindle 23 to control the gear selection. Drawing by Voith GmbH © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    D1010 – the complete governor assembly includes the hydraulic cylinder (yellow) that is fed by the engine-driven hydraulic pump (not shown) and is used to provide feedback to the governor and adjust the gear-change speeds according to the power setting selected by the driver. Pictured at Williton on 18th September 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    There are still some patches waiting for sponsors at the ‘B’ end of the loco, so GET IN QUICK TO HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED before the painters reach this end. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

    Having the loco outdoors has generated an increased interest in our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, with several more patches being engraved with their sponsor’s names or messages. This initiative remains the single most successful fund-raising activity and has allowed us to make significant progress with the restoration work. PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP US FUND THIS PROJECT.

    Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

    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 is currently stabled at Minehead as the standby locomotive but will return to Williton on Saturday 14th October and will eventually move to Bishops Lydeard in time for ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ duties.

     

    Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is now stabled at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for an underframe and traction motor examination that will take place during this coming weekend. The loco also needs a brake block change, so the team are going to be busy indeed !

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the electrical fault-finding work has been completed by Neil, John, Ian and Tom and everything checked out OK. This was confirmed during a static engine run and system check at Williton on Saturday 30th September. Click here or on the image below to view a short video clip of the startup.

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was started up on Saturday 30th September 2023 to check and confirm the correct operation of the electrical circuity. Video clip by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Following the successful static test, Ian finished the electrical work by dressing and securing the wiring in readiness for a formal brake test this coming weekend (or next), and a test run on the WSR, probably during the weekend of 21st October. The finished control cubicle can be seen in the view below:

    Electrical work on Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was completed by Ian R on Sunday 1st October 2023. The control cubicle pictured above shows (clockwise from upper left) the exhauster contactor (white), High Transmission Temperature Relay (HTTR), Shutdown Transmission Temperature Relay (STTR), Converter Relay (CR), another exhauster contactor (white) and the newly-added 100A fuse for the second exhauster (EXF2). Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0 

     

    Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco has now been towed out of the loco shed to allow work on other locos to take place under cover. The quarantine on this loco has now been lifted but the Root Cause Analysis is still in progress, so the transmission will not be touched until that analytical work reaches the relevant stage. Other work on the loco can now resume.

     

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continues on the restoration of the cab assembly and the replacement of the electrical wiring loom that runs inside the driver’s ‘desk’. The Class 14 team is currently sharing its time between this project and the 1000-hour service on sister D9526, so we would welcome additional help to keep both sets of tasks moving along. Just respond to this email if you feel that you could help. Thanks !

    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 inside the shed at Williton and work is proceeding on the 1000-hour service. The tasks involved with this service are quite invasive and labour intensive, so the work is likely to take several weeks. Upon completion, the loco will move to Bishops Lydeard to cover for Class 09 D4107 (09 019) while that loco undergoes bodywork repairs.

     

    Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Work is proceeding well, but the amount of work being done means that the loco is unlikely to emerge for a while yet, but she will be in very good shape for 2024 and beyond. 

     

    Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is inside the loco shed and will remain there until the 1000-hour service has been completed on Class 14 D9526.

     

    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 just added a new title to our online store and we now have stock available of the THIRD VOLUME in the very successful ‘THE BEATEN TRACK’ series by Andy Chard, published by Platform 5. These popular books are very interesting, very well produced and will no doubt sell quickly. Click here or on the image below to buy this book from our online store. Well done Andy !

     

    Here’s an extract from the publisher’s website:

         “The Beaten Track was first published in 2021. Its combination of outstanding colour photography from 1970–1985, featuring superseded motive power and long-lost extremities of the British railway network received widespread critical acclaim.

         Although originally intended to be a single volume, the success of The Beaten Track gave rise to a second volume, published in 2022, which continued in the same vein and received similar praise in reviews.

         We’re now proud to present The Beaten Track Volume 3 – a third selection of the best colour photography from 1970–1985. More than 250 high quality colour images illustrate an assortment of traction types, very few of which can still be seen on the main line, many at railway locations that have long since disappeared or have changed out of all recognition.

         All the photographs are accompanied by extensive captions, containing considerable historical and anecdotal information relating to the lines, stations and trains depicted. Hardback. A4 size. 176 pages.”

     

     

    ON SHED – not on shed, in fact the total opposite being so very far from home, WSR and DEPG driver Paul Fleet has provided us with this photograph of D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ in the late days of her mainline service life, looking very much in need of the tender loving care that she was soon to receive in her preservation days. Here’s some background to the image:

         “Taken from an overbridge about a 1/4 mile south of Luton Station, the train, 6V76 13.20 Luton to Westbury is still crawling out of Crescent Road Yard at the start of its return journey via Cricklewood (Brent Curve) and Acton Wells to Acton Main Line and on to Westbury. The inbound working came to Leagrave (a northern suburb of Luton) via Didcot, Oxford, Bletchley (Flyover) to Bedford, where it reversed and headed south along the Midland Main Line. The train usually comprised of a loco plus 32 loaded MSV stone tipplers, so was a reasonable load on the continual incline up from Bedford into Leagrave Yard. Manned by a Didcot driver and Guard, Bedford Depot provided a conductor driver between Bletchley and Acton. The photo is uncredited, but dated 15th April 1976, just under a year before the last ‘Western’ was withdrawn from service.”

    D1041 ‘WESTERN PRINCE’ was pictured far from home on 15th April 1976, working the 6V76 Luton Crescent Road Yard to Westbury stone empties. This loco survived in service to the very end of the diesel-hydraulic era and is now cared for by the Bury Hydraulic Group on the East Lancashire Railway. Photographer unknown.

     

    Many thanks to Paul for sharing this very unusual image with us all.

     

    DEPG NEWS – our well-known volunteer Secondman, Trustee and Board Member TOM COURTNEY celebrated his 21st birthday last week by sharing a buffet lunch and chocolate birthday cake with his fellow volunteers at Williton depot. Congratulations Tom, and thanks for the lunch !

    DEPG volunteer Secondman, Trustee and Board Member TOM COURTNEY celebrated his 21st birthday with a buffet lunch and a slice of chocolate cake at Williton on Saturday 30th September 2023. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

     

    The DEPG depends on the support of all of our members, so please make sure that your membership is up to date. To vote at the AGM, it is essential that your membership is up to date. If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJOThank you very much !

     

     

    Go to previous Weekly Roundup post

     

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