Week ending 07-Jan-24

Week ending 07-Jan-24

The DEPG yard at Williton was shunted on Saturday 23rd December 2023 to move D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ outside so that Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) could go into the shed for attention to her exhaust system. The shunt lineup also included Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 and the whole consist was being propelled by Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 while Barclay 578 (ROF 1) kept hold of the brake van on number 4 road. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 



The new DEPG year started with a flourish of activity that took advantage of the revised loco positions in the shed, with a start being made on the dismantling of the exhaust system of Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057). This loco has been a star performer over recent years and volunteer loco manager Ian R wants to keep her in top condition by addressing a developing issue before it affects reliability.

Both Ian and Tom had been noticing increasing amounts of leakage from her exhaust system due to aging seals and gaskets, and had worked out a programme of winter maintenance that could be addressed during the traditionally quiet period between Christmas and Easter. The work involves removing the roof of the ‘Crompton’ so that the heavy components can be lifted out using the 2-tonne crane in the shed. Having the loco under cover will also allow some areas of bodywork corrosion to be repaired. Overall, the work is expected to take around two months.

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was moved into the loco shed on Saturday 23rd December 2023 for winter maintenance involving repairs to her exhaust system and attention to some bodywork corrosion. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – with the loco outdoors and the weather at the start of the year being somewhat wet, attention turned to those tasks that could be done from within the loco shed, the cooler group refurbishment being an obvious target. The cooler groups each comprise a 2-tonne steel structure containing hollow sections for the water tanks and attachment points for 48 radiator elements, 24 per side. The upper part of the structure forms a roof section and includes two hydrostatically-driven fans. All in all, when including the pipework, valves, sensors and switches, it amounts to a lot of work …. x2 !

The transmission team took a break from D1010 during the first week of the year, but we have plenty of progress to report in the next edition of roundup.

Further work took place on the behind-the-scenes with the detailed planning for the lifting of the loco to release the bogies for overhaul. This will be a major piece of work and we will need MORE HANDS to help us get this 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 more to do, so simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

D1010 – Ian Fn turned his attention to the ‘A’ end cooler group at Williton on Saturday 30th December 2023. The various liveries carried by D1010 were gradually turned to grey. 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. Almost all of the sponsored patches have now been engraved into the new metal on the loco and efforts are now focused on producing the certificates that will be emailed to each sponsor in recognition of their contribution. Here’s an example:

Sponsorship includes a photograph and a certificate via email, but we can print these certificates on photo paper and mail them out upon request, in which case we would need to ask for an additional £2 donation per certificate to cover paper, ink and postage.

The drawings that have been developed in parallel will provide 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 back at Williton and was in use on Saturday 6th January for a practical demonstration session for a new batch of trainee secondmen, under the instruction of WSR Diesel Traction Inspector John Leach. The loco was repeatedly coupled and uncoupled to the brake van and each of the trainees had an opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with what must have been some very cold steel ! Many thanks to John for running these training courses !


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – work is progressing rapidly on the exhaust system overhaul, the exhaust system having been completely removed from the locomotive by the end of the week. The rocker covers were also removed from the eight cylinder heads, and this showed that one cylinder head was suffering with leakage through the valve guides. This one head will be removed and replaced with a spare from our stock to prevent any delays in completing the work. The roof section is a steel framework which is covered with translucent fibreglass, so the opportunity will be taken to clean this assembly in parallel to the work taking place withing the loco. Here are some photos showing the progress:

D6575 (33 057) – the exhaust system comprises several very large and heavy sections that have to be unbolted and lifted out of the loco. The once-white heat resistant tape wrapping does not contain asbestos. Volunteers Ian and Tom were pictured while hard at work at Williton on Saturday 6th January 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – the view of the engine at the end of the day, with all of the exhaust system removed and the exhaust ports of the eight cylinder heads clearly visible. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 6th January 2024 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – some of the exhaust system components awaiting cleanup and inspection after being removed from the loco at Williton on Saturday 6th January 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D6575 (33 057) – the roof section is awaiting a cleanup after being removed from the loco. The huge exhaust port will be the first area for attention. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 6th January 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is ready to return to service subject to some test runs that will be used to accumulate hours and ensure reliability. Our spare Westinghouse air compressor (one in each ‘Hymek’ and two in the ‘Western’) was painted by Linda at Williton last Tuesday, and is now ready to go back into storage until it is needed. The worksplate fitted during it’s last overhaul states that the warranty expired in October 1993 !

The recently-acquired spare Westinghouse compressor was painted by Linda at Williton on Tuesday 2nd January 2024 and is now ready to go back into storage. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


The worksplate on the spare Westinghouse compressor advises us that the warranty expired in October 1993, a mere 30 years ago. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 6th January 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


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


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the investigation into the repair or replacement options for the cardan shafts is continuing and visits have been made to review spares held by other groups. The most likely outcome is that several ‘old’ shafts will need to be gathered up and sent to a specialist subcontractor so that at least one set of serviceable shafts can be made from them. The easier option is to buy a set of new shafts, but this will cost upwards of £10,000 and would be the subject of additional fund raising, so it is being viewed as a last resort.

Meanwhile, work proceeds on the many other tasks associated with the cab rebuild. The electrical cable conduits and trunkings are in the process of being restored by Andy P at Williton to ensure that they are all ready and waiting for when their re-installation time comes along.

D9518 – The electrical cable trunking covers were restored and repainted by Andy P at Williton on Saturday 30th December 2023. 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 moved to Bishops Lydeard on Sunday 31st December 2023 and is on standby in case a need for an engineering train working arises.


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has been undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway but we are pleased to report that the work has been completed and the loco has also completed her static testing. The loco was taken out on a loaded test run on Friday 22nd December and some additional faults flagged for attention. The plan is for this loco to be in use during February.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco stabled on number 3 road at Williton and is ready for use if required.


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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