There is plenty to report this week because multiple activities have come together to allow our BR-Brush Type 4 Class 47 number 47 077 ‘NORTH STAR’ to emerge into the daylight under her own power and eventually reposition herself on what we call ‘number 1 road’ – which is the track that is parallel to the platform of Williton station.
The ‘new order’ at Williton Diesel Depot following the shunt that took place on 5th June 2021, resulting in 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ coming out of the shed and D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ going into the shed. Image courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR ©
‘NORTH STAR’ had been hidden away inside the loco shed since October 2019 which is when she was moved from the WSR Restorations paint shop in the North corner of the ‘Swindon Shed’ at Williton after being repainted into BR blue, in a style that she carried in the late 1970s when she was based at Cardiff Canton depot.
For the last 19 months she has been undergoing completion work and internal repainting following her bodywork repairs, but various Lockdowns have conspired to keep her out of sight for so long.
LATEST NEWS ON THIS LOCO is that she will soon be heading north to work on the NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY for a year or two. The loco will remain under the ownership of the DEPG so she will be earning much-needed income for the DEPG in a period when our normal level of income has been so badly affected by Covid-19. ‘NORTH STAR’ will be maintained by the NYMR while on her Yorkshire holiday and may see some use on the Network Rail metals to Whitby, so her maintenance will be performed to mainline standards. This is exciting news for both groups and for followers of this celebrity loco ! The date of the move will be announced ASAP but is expected to be around the middle of this month. We will keep you posted.
Our Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ were busy again last weekend as they provided the ‘top and tail’ support for the WSR’s services to and from Watchet. This duty was covered by Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 on Saturday 29th May and it was great to see her out and about after such a long time, looking great and sounding so good. From Sunday through Wednesday 2nd June, the twice-daily working was covered by D6566 (33 048).
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 hauls the empty coaching stock that will form the 1345 Watchet to Bishops Lydeard departure past Splash Point, just east of Watchet on Saturday 29th May 2021. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
The next step in the return of WSR services was the extension to Blue Anchor that commenced on Saturday 5th June 2021 using BR(W) 4-6-0 7828 ‘ODNEY MANOR’. These services do not need to be ‘top-and-tailed’ because there is a passing loop at Blue Anchor where the loco can run around its train for the return journey.
With the build-up of services continuing, it is necessary to perform more route refresher training for the drivers, guards and secondmen that will be involved, so another special working took place on Saturday 5th June using the Hawkworth-designed Taunton Inspector’s Observation Saloon W80976W with haulage provided by Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048). These training runs repeat again on Monday and Friday this week – see our DIESELGEN bulletins for detailed information.
The return leg of the route refresher training special waits at Blue Anchor to pass the incoming steam-hauled service on Saturday 5th June 2021 with Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) at the head and driver John Leach in charge. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
OTHER LOCO NEWS:
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this loco was started up at Williton on Saturday 5th June so that she could move under her own power to take up a temporary position in the yard before taking the place of 47 077 in the loco shed. However, the ‘Run Oil Pressure Switch’ had other ideas, and although the oil pressure was good, the switch refused to acknowledge this and as a result, the engine would not continue to run once the start button was released. This was a disappointment but it could not be allowed to disrupt the shunt plans, so 47 077 pushed D1010 along to number 4 road so that 0-4-0 diesel-hydraulic shunting loco ANDREW BARCLAY number 578 (ROF 1) could be coupled up to D1010 for the remainder of the shunt.
D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ is sandwiched between ‘Hymek’ D7017, Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) and 47 077 ‘NORTH STAR’ on number 1 road at Williton on 5th June 2021. Image courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR ©
The short length of Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) was very useful when trying to move a very long locomotive in a small yard. The map below is an extract from that most useful of resources, wsr.org.uk and can be found under ‘Detailed Maps – WN’ on the ‘Maps of the Line’ page:
An extract from the above has been marked up to show the designations of the lines in and around Williton Diesel Depot as follows:
At the end of the shunt, D1010 was safely under cover in the loco shed on number 3 road so that body repairs can commence. Now all we have to do is raise money and start the restoration work. Do you have your copy of our new 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 !
MANY THANKS to all of our volunteers for preparing the yard and for working througout the day to get the shunt completed in a careful and safe way. Well done, much appreciated !
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 was reported as having had some trouble maintaining the specified air pressure in her main air reservoir so Ian R prepared the spare Westinghouse compressor governor and Ian F gave it a fresh coat of paint. The spare was fitted to the loco and tested during the evening of Monday 31st May, and the loco was passed as fit to work her booked ‘top and tail’ duty the following day. Thanks to all for a quick response to an issue that was dealt with before it became a problem.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 was the subject of remedial work to her fuel supply system last week so the opportunity was taken on Saturday 5th June to run to Crowcombe Heathfield and back in the company of sister loco D6566 (acting as both a test load and as insurance). The run went well so D6575 is now ready for duty as required.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the ‘Tuesday team’ continue their work fabricating a new set of steps from scratch. The new set follow the same pattern and have made using authentic ‘Admiralty pattern’ chequer plate so that there is no difference to the other three sets on the loco. Such attention to detail is important for a restoration project where the loco is being rebuilt from zero base.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – after her support work on the Watchet services last week, it was no surprise that D9526 would be called into action again as the primary motive power for the depot shunt. Everything went smoothly and the loco remains available for duties if required.
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work maintaining, restoring, shifting, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !