Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) has been busy, running crew training specials and also moving Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) so that the newly-painted coaches are positioned at Bishops Lydeard in readiness for the restart of public services on Saturday 22nd May 2021. Here’s a great view of Castle Hill, just south of Williton, resplendent in Spring colours, showing D6566 (33 048) at work:
On Saturday 1st May 2021, D6566 (33 048) has just taken over from sister D6575 (33 057) at Williton and now works the return leg of the crew training special past Castle Hill and towards Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Adam Hiscock © CC BY-NC 3.0
This loco is in action again this weekend, working on Saturday and Sunday afternoon between Bishops Lydeard and Williton on crew refresher training specials. To keep up to date with our diesel loco workings, sign up to our DIESELGEN email bulletin service.
There has been more progress at Williton, mostly directed at 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518. We again managed to have volunteers on site for four days out of the last seven, minimising risk and making better use of facilities.
47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – After running some tests, it soon became clear that the batteries were beyond redemption, so a decision was taken to place an order for new batteries at a cost of almost £5,000 for the set (48 in total). This expenditure will allow reliable starting for the next 10 years.
The batteries are housed in four separate compartments, each holding 12 separate cells that are wired together. Each cell is larger than a heavy duty car battery! Each compartment will now need to be cleaned out in readiness for the new batteries to be installed. The battery box doors were removed, cleaned and painted last Sunday and the rest of the task will be tackled this weekend.
Other attention focused on correcting an issue that had existed since the loco had her vacuum braking system re-instated by Brush at Loughborough in 2007. The strainer that is used to protect the vacuum exhausters from dirt and debris had been installed at an unusual angle and was difficult to clean. After many hours of wrestling with pipework in the very cramped and crowded equipment room, our Chairman Martin Howard succeeded in removing and correcting the pipework and refitting the strainer so it now takes up its correct position and is easy to maintain.
The Davies & Metcalfe exhauster strainer (the large grey object!) now re-installed in its correct position in the equipment room of Class 47 number 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ at Williton Depot on 4th May 2021. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
At the other end of the locomotive, attention was given to a cleanup and repaint of the number 2 cab, the photos below show the work in progress. There’s a lot of detailing still to do, but the ‘office’ is looking very much better already.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – The ‘Tuesday’ crew continued work on the wheelsets, filling and sanding the surfaces to provide a good smooth surface for painting. The photo below shows the wheelsets have now reached the primer stage, getting closer to the gloss black finish that will signify completion of the task.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – this loco is undergoing an assessment of the work that needs to be done before she can be returned to service. The work has to be evaluated and costed because this loco will be the subject of a fund raising campaign to raise money to cover the cost of the work. The revenue generated by our new booklet “D1010 WESTERN CAMPAIGNER – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD” will go into this fund, along with revenue from sales of pre-owned books, so please help the fund grow by buying from our online store. Thanks !
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is waiting for an opportunity to run to Bishops Lydeard so that she can go over the pit at Westridge shed and have an underframe examination. After that, she will be ready for service !
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !