Week ending 10-Mar-24

Week ending 10-Mar-24

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 has had her ‘Mekydro’ hydraulic transmission lifted out so that repairs can take place. Pictured with the mobile crane alongside at Williton on 8th March 2024 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D7018 – with her transmission in the air and ready to be lowered onto the purpose-built stand at Williton on 8th March 2024. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0 


A major step forward in the plan to return Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 to service took place on Friday 8th March when the damaged Stone-Maybach ‘Mekydro’ hydraulic transmission was lifted out of the loco at Williton to allow repairs to take place. The lift was performed by contractors HEAVER BROTHERS and coincided with the delivery to Williton of two new 20 ft ISO containers, so that the cost of bringing the crane on site could be shared across multiple activities.

The 6-tonne transmission was lowered onto a purpose-made stand that will allow the transmission to be cleaned then safely moved into our ‘clean work’ area using the Fork Lift Truck. The stand had previously been occupied by a ‘spare’ but non-functional transmission that had to be lifted onto a temporary stand, which was made by Tony using our Maybach MD870 engine stand as a base. The hard work involved in disconnecting the transmission and preparing for the lift was shared between the ‘Transmission Team’ and the ‘Infrastructure Team’, involving eight volunteers in total and the work took place during the two weeks prior to the lift. Repairs are expected to take several months, but the loco should be back in service later this year.

D7018 – the Stone-Maybach ‘Mekydro’ K184U hydraulic transmission from D7018 has now been mounted in the purpose-built stand and is ready for external cleaning before being moved into the ‘clean work’ area for dismantling and repair. Pictured at Williton on 8th March 2024 by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0 




Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – last week, we welcomed a team from the DIESEL TRACTION GROUP (DTG) to Williton to help us with our planning for the lifting of D1010 so that the bogies can be overhauled. Our loco has not been lifted since BR days and we need to be very well prepared before we book the cranes and organise the actual lifting, because it is a very expensive exercise and we don’t want to have to stop and do it all again another day because we missed a detail.

We are eager to get the work done but we want to prepare thoroughly, and these two requirements are at the opposite ends of the timescale. The way to pull them closer together is to engage with people who have done this kind of bogie work before, and that includes the DTG and the WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION (WLA), who have also kindly offered their help and expertise. The degree of co-operation between all of the owning groups is commendable, and is all aimed at keeping as many of these marvellous machines as possible fit for service for as long as possible.

Back to D1010 and the lifting plan, our Stress Analysis Report is being finalised but the conclusion is that the ex-BR stands that we have at Williton are capable of supporting the loco body without any further alteration. they are also capable of handling a 100-mph side wind while still maintaining a high Factor of Safety. So, with that hurdle overcome, the work has now progressed to defining exactly how we intend to use the stands, where and when, and with what additional safety measures. It is a project within a project !

Meanwhile, the ‘Transmission Team’ have received the replacement oil pump shaft and have installed it into the ‘A’ transmission, which is now COMPLETE and ready for painting. We now have TWO overhauled transmissions ready and waiting, so WELL DONE TEAM !


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 use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.

D1010 – pictured in the yard at Williton on 23rd December 2023 while being shunted outdoors for the winter. The move will be reversed in the near future and D1010 will go back inside the shed, to the relief of the volunteers! Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 09 D4107 (09019) – this loco is outstationed at Bishops Lydeard and has suffered a broken droplight window on the driver’s side, as a result of a failure of the scissors mechanism that supports the window. A new window is on hand but the larger part of the task will be to remove and replace the scissors mechanism and clean out the broken glass fragments and other debris that will have accumulated over the years. More on this next week.

D4107 – this very useful engine was pictured at Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 10th June 2023 while positioning to work the shuttle service to and from Norton Fitzwarren, providing 6 miles of rare haulage per round trip at the WSR’s Diesel Gala. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is currently based at Williton and will next be in use on a ‘Tidy Train’ working to Norton Fitzwarren on Friday 22nd March.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the fibreglass roof section has been lifted back onto the locomotive and is now ready to be secured in place. The completion of the exhaust system work has been delayed by the need to wait for a replacement expansion joint (bellows) to be delivered, (expected at the end of this month or early April) and then the work will be completed. The loco will be given a thorough cleanup and will then undergo inspection and testing before being returned to service.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – as reported last week, this loco is ready to return to service subject to some loaded test running that will be used to accumulate hours and ensure reliability. We are planning to run this loco for three consecutive days during April, hauling empty coaching stock across the length of the WSR to thoroughly exercise all of her systems and allow us to deal with any small issues arising from her lack of use.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the transmission has now been removed from the loco and will undergo repair in the hands of our ‘Transmission Team’. The work will involve removal of the command blocks and the removal of the gear train so that the reverser clutch can be replaced. While out of the loco, the transmission control block will be examined and will be tested to ensure that all of the valves are fully functional.

D7018 – Williton’s ‘Transmission Team’ leader Colin F was pictured while working inside the cooler group tunnel to remove some pipework to provide clearance so that the transmission could be lifted out of the loco later in the week. Pictured at Williton on Monday 4th March 2024 by Geoff Miles © CC BY-NC 3.0


D7018 – A rare sighting – ‘Transmission Team’ leader Colin F was captured at Williton on Friday 8th March 2024. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – with so much activity going on around the yard, it was inevitable that some resources would be drawn away from the major projects but visible progress was made, especially in relation to the new pipework and the re-fitting of the sanding valves (these were missing from the loco when it was acquired by the DEPG). The new valves are standard parts but the pipework and bracketry all had to be made specially to fit the loco. Meanwhile, Colin G continued his work on the components for the cab assembly and master electrician John C progressed with the wiring of the driver’s desk. Well done all !

D9518 – the new pipework for the sanding valve is clearly visible in this view, pictured at Williton on Tuesday 5th March 2024 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the sanding valve pipework was treated to a coat of paint by team member Andy P at Williton on Saturday 9th March 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the first signs of wiring returning to the driver’s desk were visible at Williton on Saturday 9th March 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is on standby at Bishops Lydeard for use on engineering trains. The loco has not been used for a while, so she will be checked over and the engine run up on Tuesday 19th March to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. 


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has now resumed duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and was pictured while hauling  Empty Coaching Stock, both last week and this week. We look forward to seeing her out and about on scheduled passenger services in the very near future.

47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ was in use for Empty Coaching Stock moves on Tuesday 5th March 2024, pictured alongside the new carriage shed at Trout Farm, just outside Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo by Antony Kornas © CC BY-NC 3.0


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 !


Go to next Depot News page