Top billing this week goes to our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, out on hire to the KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY for the rest of this year. Our loco was prepared for road transportation last Tuesday 28th June and was loaded on Thursday 1st July evening for the 220-mile trip to Wittersham Road near Rolvenden, which is approximately 20 miles from Ashford, in Kent. The loco was prepared for the loading ramp by removing the sand delivery nozzles, valves and pipework that would otherwise become bent and twisted by contacting the rail at the ramp transition point. Here’s a pictorial feast covering the move:
Class 14 D9526 under cover in the Swindon Shed at Williton on 29th June 2021, being prepared for road haulage. Class 14 volunteer loco manager Simon Purvis looks on. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 14 D9526 lined up on the approach to the low-loader at Williton North Yard on 1st July 2021. The loco will be winched forward using the steel tow cable that is visible between the rails. Photo by Simon Purvis © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9526 is spending the rest of this year at the K&ESR to cover for sister loco D9504 while that loco undergoes a high-hour overhaul after giving many years of sterling service. The class gets regular use at the K&ESR and this will be a good opportunity to generate some much-needed income for the DEPG. We will be keeping in touch with correspondents in the “Garden of England” and hope to feature news and photos on a regular basis.
Not wanting to be left out of the limelight, our ‘celebrity’ Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ has been dressed up with banners in preparation for her road haulage move from Bishops Lydeard to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. One banner shows our social media ‘handles’ and the other banner shows the breadth of our fleet, the objective being to promote awareness of the DEPG as the loco covers in excess of 300 miles on her journey to the northeast. The banners were designed by our social media volunteer Natalie and were produced by Bristol Banners. Here are some photos:
Here’s an interesting photograph taken by young Josh Brinsford before the ’47’ was masked-up:
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ at Westridge, Bishops Lydeard, in the company of the WSRA’s ‘Quantock Belle’ dining set and an ex-GWR ‘TOAD’ brake van (guard’s van) along with some very well maintained railway furniture, pictured on 26th June 2021. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
The road haulage on the journey northward will be provided by well-known firm Allelys, but there are restrictions on the M1/M18 route that are still preventing Allelys from getting permission from Highways England for the move to take place. The alternative route via the M6/M62 is also unavailable because of major roadworks at the junction of these two motorways, so the date for the move has not yet been determined. This is frustrating because the NYMR are keen to put the loco to work. We will send out a DIESELGEN bulletin as soon as we can.
On a wet and dismal Monday, 28th June, Class 33 D6575 (33 057) departed Williton hauling the WSRA’s Hawksworth-designed Taunton Inspector’s Observation Saloon W80976W to Bishops Lydeard after a period of fairly intensive use on the Route Refresher specials. The loco is now outstationed at Bishops Lydeard in its role as the ‘Thunderbird’ loco for the WSR public services.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) hauls the WSRA’s Hawksworth-designed Taunton Inspector’s Observation Saloon W80976W away from Williton towards Bishops Lydeard on 28th June 2021. Photo by Steve Edge © CC BY-NC 3.0
OTHER LOCO NEWS:
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – work has started on the bodyside repairs, the first step being the removal of the loose ‘Prestolith’ filler as a precursor to corrosion treatment and subsequent repair. This loco is the subject of an appeal that is shortly to be posted to our website along with restricted donation ‘products’ that will allow donors to select the precise value of their donations and be safe in the knowledge that their funds are only to be used for the specific purpose of restoring D1010. This online facility should be ready in a few days from now.
If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please consider joining so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to a decent and operational condition.
Some of the roller bearings from the ‘B’-end transmission of Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ are in very good condition. Others are in need of replacement – please JOIN US in our efforts to bring this loco back up to operational standard. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Our fund-raising efforts have already commenced with the recent publication of our booklet “D1010 WESTERN CAMPAIGNER – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD”. All of the revenue from the sales of this booklet will go into the D1010 restoration fund, along with revenue from sales of pre-owned books, so please help the fund grow by buying from our online store. Thanks !
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – This loco remains on standby at Williton and may soon see some use on the ‘shunt release’ operations when the WSR extend the running to Dunster, starting from Friday 17th July 2021. Meanwhile, the loco will need to undergo an oil change because the most recent oil sample suggests further dilution which does not appear to be from dilution with diesel fuel. The oil change will involve 80 gallons (360 litres) of oil and a set of new oil filters, so it is not a 10-minute job and it will cost a bundle !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – This loco is being prepared for service and is expected to emerge from the shed next weekend after completion of maintenance and inspection tasks. There is not enough time before the first public service for the transmission control block issue to be resolved, so the transmission will be locked in second gear. This is no problem for a ‘Hymek’; the loco will operate in the same way as she did for the 2019 running season.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the work continues on restoring the smaller assemblies, but in the background, preparations are being made for the hornguides to be re-fitted the the loco frames, which in turn will allow the frames to be re-mounted on the wheelsets. The delay arose due to the need to acquire ‘the right type of rivet’ but this is close to being resolved. A quotation for the alignment and riveting work has been received from WSR Restorations, so this major phase of restoration work will commence soon.
This loco is also the subject of an appeal that is shortly to be posted to our website along with restricted donation ‘products’ that will allow donors to select the precise value of their donations and be safe in the knowledge that their funds are only to be used for the specific purpose of restoring D9518. This online facility should be ready in a few days from now.
If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please consider joining so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to operational condition – and see her haul passenger coaches for the first time in her life!
Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – bodywork repairs have started, along with some electrical repairs that will help return this loco to full operational condition and ensure that she has a long life. We expect this loco to take the place of D7018 in the loco shed during the coming weeks so that body panels can be removed for restoration.
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !