Week ending 03-Mar-24

Week ending 03-Mar-24

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33048) took up her position at the head of the WSR Infrastructure ‘Tidy Train’ working before departing Williton on Sunday morning, 3rd March 2024. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the focus last week was preparing the loco for lifting so that the bogies can be released for overhaul. This is a project in itself and involves a lot of detailed planning, with Risk Assessments having to be prepared for each aspect of the lifting operation. Our knowledge is expanding with every week that passes, so our lift plan is being refined and developed accordingly.

The ex-BR Class 52 loco body stands that were acquired by the DEPG many years ago have recently undergone a clean-up and re-paint in the hands of Gordon and Ian F, and detailed measurements were taken by Paul C and Barry for the purposes of creating a solid model for stress analysis. The solid model comprises three sections – the original stands as built for the construction and maintenance of the ‘Westerns’, and the small modification made in the late 1960s when the locos were having dual brakes (vacuum and air) installed to make them compatible with the newer freight and passenger vehicles. The need to install an additional compressor underneath the loco resulted in the need to raise the height of the stands to provide the necessary clearance.

Then, in the late 1970s when the stands were made redundant by the withdrawal of the ‘Westerns’ from service, the stands were again modified to increase their height, but also their width, to make them compatible with Mark 1 coach frames, as needed for the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme work that was underway at Swindon Works. This second modification needed to be evaluated mathematically to ensure that a sufficiently high Factor of Safety was achievable, both for indoor use as designed and also for outdoor use, where side winds of up to 100 mph would need to be taken into account.

The Finite Element Analysis has now been completed and the results are being reviewed (but appear to be favourable). More news on this will be shared next week.

Above – solid model of Class 52 loco body stand, as modified by BR at Swindon Works for the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme.

Below – with the two modifications and their heights identified.


Meanwhile, with the transmission team temporarily diverted onto ‘Hymek’ D7018 and Tony temporarily diverted onto the bodyside repair on ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057), the resources on D1010 were limited and the progress was confined to the bogies and the planning, but this is set to change with a more diverse effort this coming weekend.

We still have plenty of work ahead of us on other aspects, in particular the bogies, and we will need MORE HANDS to help us get the work done. 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 to do, so simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

D1010 – two of the service doors from the bottom of the cooler group. When installed inside the cooler group in the loco, these doors can be opened to reveal the transmission below. The cooler group frame lies on its side in the background.  Pictured at Williton on 24th February 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


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 based at Williton and was in use on Sunday 3rd March on an engineering train (as reported above).


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the corrosion damage to the bodyside was swiftly dealt with by Tony, who cut out the corroded metal and welded-in the patches of new sheet steel. The first layer of filler has already been applied and the job will be completed within the next week or two after the application of several coats of paint.

The fibreglass roof section that fits above the engine had previously been pressure washed by Ian R and the team and looks much cleaner, but it needed re-sealing using a two-part protective coating of the type that is commonly used on boats. The coating task didn’t take very long, but the chemical odour hung around for quite some time!

We are waiting for a replacement exhaust bellows to be delivered before we can close up the engine work, but this is expected to arrive in time to allow the loco to return to service later this month.

D6575 (33 057) – Tony has completed the welding work and has moved on to the filling and sanding stage. Another week or two and these tasks will be completed. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 2nd March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – the fibreglass roof section that covers the engine room has been pressure washed and needed re-sealing using a clear two-part coating. Ashley got the task of coating the edges with what was left of the first batch while Tom and Ian R (in the background) mixed another batch of coating material. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 2nd March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – Ian R was pictured at work with the roller on the roof section of the loco at Williton on Saturday 2nd March 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as reported last week, this loco is ready to return to service subject to some test runs that will be used to accumulate hours and ensure reliability. This loco will undergo an oil change when warmer weather returns and will be ready for test running as soon as the WSR re-opens.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – work has progressed well with the preparations for the removal of the transmission, which was due to be lifted out of the locomotive on Friday 8th March using a hired-in crane. The transmission will then be cleaned externally before moving to our transmission overhaul area where disassembly will commence.

D7018 – this loco is being prepared for transmission removal and was pictured on No. 3 road at Williton on 1st March 2024 alongside one of the two loco body stands that will be used under D1010. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continued on the many small parts that each need to be cleaned, inspected and renovated before joining the queue for re-fitting to the loco. The standard of the work is excellent as usual, and will show through when the loco is completed and returned to service.

D9518 – a selection of parts in various colours, the gloss red and dull red undercoated parts being for the fire suppression system. Pictured at Williton on Friday 1st March 2024 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – this unusually-shaped container will be mounted on the cab wall and is for the emergency flags and detonators. Pictured at Williton on Friday 1st March 2024 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the handbrake wheel has now been re-assembled and painted and is ready to be re-installed at the appropriate point in the re-assembly sequence. Pictured at Williton on Friday 1st March 2024 by Colin Girle © CC BY-NC 3.0


Details of the work remaining to be done on this restoration project along with a status report of the funding have been included in the new issue of the DEPG Newsletter, which has now been distributed to DEPG members. A summary will be posted via roundup soon, but JOIN THE DEPG to get the information in more detail and more quickly.

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 on standby at Bishops Lydeard for use on engineering trains.


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – after receiving a top-end overhaul at Grosmont Works, this loco has now resumed duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. We look forward to seeing her out and about on passenger services in the very near future.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is stabled in the yard at Williton, sporting her cabside lettering and looking the part with a gleaming cab, in readiness for the busy year ahead.


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 !


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