Week ending 16-Jul-23

Week ending 16-Jul-23

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) worked the diesel diagram of the BLUE timetable last weekend and was pictured climbing Watts Bank just after leaving Bishops Lydeard on Sunday 16th July 2023, with secondman Mark Bladwell paying close attention to the volunteer Permanent Way gang who have stepped back to allow the train to pass. The weeds have evidently been enjoying the weather this year. Photo by Malcolm Anderson © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the focus last week was the preparation of the loco and the surrounding area for the crane that will be attending next week to lift out the two cooler groups and the ‘A’ transmission for overhaul. The lift plan also includes the movement of the completed ‘B’ transmission from the overhaul facility to a temporary storage facility where the transmission will be kept until the loco is ready for the re-installation.

D1010 – the loco was prepared for the cooler groups and transmission to be lifted out, and then covered up to prevent rainwater ingress. Gordon is pictured securing the tarpaulins at the end of the day on Saturday 15th July 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Meanwhile, the transmission team turned their attention to the leaking Serck pumps that drive the roof fans, one of which been leaking for some time. Both pumps will be overhauled and fitted with new seals and gaskets and the associated oil tanks will be pressure tested when the cooler groups are out of the way.

D1010 – the ‘A’ end Serck pump was stripped down at Williton on 10th July to replace the oil seals and gaskets. The pump comprises seven close-fitting plungers that are driven at an angle, resulting in linear movement of the plungers, pressurising the hydraulic fluid that in turn drives the roof fans. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


Click here or on the image below for a short video clip that shows the rotation action.



Having the loco outdoors has generated an increased interest in our SPONSOR A PATCH scheme, with several more patches being engraved with their sponsor’s names or messages. This initiative remains the single most successful fund-raising activity and has allowed us to make significant progress with the restoration work. PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP US FUND THIS PROJECT.

Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, and we are applying more resources to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. 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 the WSR Standby Loco and is stabled at Minehead, ready for her next duties under the BLUE timetable. See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details. She gave us an anxious moment when a driver reported a fault with the Driver’s Safety Device (DSD) not re-setting properly, so volunteer driver Robin and volunteer fitter Tom attended at Minehead to investigate. The problem was quickly traced to a sticking plunger on the secondman’s side, which was cleaned up and tested to confirm that the issue was resolved. This allowed the loco to take up her next duty without affecting her 100% despatch reliability since returning to service earlier this year. Thanks guys !

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) received some attention to the Driver’s Safety Device (DSD, aka ‘deadman’s pedal’) while stabled at Minehead on Thursday 13th July 2023. DEPG and WSR volunteer driver Robin was on hand to perform the tests and assist with the maintenance task. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is stabled at Williton and is also fully operational and available for use at short notice. The loco is expected to move to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday or Sunday 29/30th July to be ready for her YELLOW timetable duties.

The spare Sulzer LDA28 cylinder heads (allocated to our Class 33s) were removed from store for periodic cleaning and lubricating at Williton on Saturday 15th July 2023. The massive dimensions of these engine parts are apparent from these two photographs. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


The Sulzer LDA28 cylinder heads are relatively simple by comparison to their lightweight Maybach equivalents, and have two pushrod-operated valves per cylinder. The Class 33s use eight of these cylinder heads per engine. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 15th July 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – Good news – after some searching, the insulation fault that has been causing trouble on this loco was traced to a junction box that was found to be full of water ! The water was drained, the contacts cleaned, and the insulation rose to an acceptable level. Some more work will be carried out to check other junction boxes and ensure that they are watertight, and then the various cables that were removed for circuit testing will need to be reconnected and checked before the loco can be test run to re-establish her reliability. Several other tasks will also be dealt with, including the broken droplight window on the driver’s side at ‘A’ end. Progress indeed, and many thanks to Neil and John for their diligent investigative work on this loco.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – after receiving attention that involved some small mechanical adjustments to the linkages and actuator arms, the transmission covers have now been re-fitted and the loco is ready for an engine run, which will allow the reverser functionality to be tested. If all goes well, the loco will be exercised in the yard before deciding the next step. If the test does not go well, there is a backup plan that will require the loco to stay inside the loco shed for a few more weeks, after which the loco should be able to take up duties again.


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – work continued in several areas and the high quality standards of this rebuild are evidently being maintained, as can be seen from the photographs below. Away from the loco shed, work is taking place on the various door panels and covers that will be needed for the restoration of the driver’s desk. The brake rigging is also progressing, with several parts currently out at subcontractors for straightening and re-bushing.

D9518 – the main electrical conduit was painted in the customary orange by Andy P at Williton on Saturday 15th July 2023. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the ‘B’ end of the loco received a coat of yellow paint, carefully applied by Colin G at Williton on Saturday 15th July 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 is fully serviceable and ready for use in place of the DMU on some of the YELLOW timetable services during the peak summer period that starts on Tuesday 25th July. Take a look at our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details of the running dates and loco allocations.



Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a cylinder head overhaul (same massive type as the Class 33s, but 12 of them!) at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Good progress is being made, and current expectations are that the loco will be returned to service towards the end of this month.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is in full working order and is stabled in the South Yard. The cab is undergoing a repaint, but the loco remains serviceable and ready for action.



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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