Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) has again been busy, running crew training specials between Bishops Lydeard and Williton in preparation for the restart of public services next Saturday 22nd May 2021. Here’s a view of D6566 at the head of a return working at Williton from earlier this month:
On Saturday 1st May 2021, D6566 (33 048) had just taken over from sister D6575 (33 057) at Williton and was preparing to work the return leg of the crew training special to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Josh Brinsford © CC BY-NC 3.0
Also booked for a run from Williton to Bishops Lydeard on Saturday was Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526, the purpose of the trip being a visit to Westridge Shed to go over the pit for an underframe examination. Unfortunately, a snag was encountered and the loco didn’t get to leave Williton, although she did make several runs within station limits while shunting D7017 and D6575 so that she could get out of the yard. More details on this next week.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 runs within station limits at Williton on Saturday 15th May 2021. Image captured from the Williton North railcam, courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR ©
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Progress at Williton has been focused on 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ during the last week as we try to close down some of the tasks that are preventing us from starting the engine. Again we managed to open the depot for four days out of the last seven, so this is becoming a ‘new normal’ now.
47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – The old batteries, 48 in total, were removed and were palletised for return to the supplier for recycling. The four battery boxes were tidied up in readiness for the new batteries to go straight in. Once installed, the new batteries will allow us to start the engine, which will then allow us to check the various pieces of equipment that are run from the auxillary generator (compressors, exhausters, blowers and control circuits).
Further progress was made on the detailing of the number 2 cab, the photo below shows the work evolving:
The number 2 cab of Class 47 number 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ now looking much better with the instrument binnacle repainted in black at Williton Depot on 10th May 2021. Photo by Natalie Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
In addition to the tasks already mentioned, effort was put into rectifying a leak in the cooling system and resolving an issue with a faulty drain valve in the compressed air system, so thanks go out to our volunteers who paused their work on their ‘normal’ projects to join in with the work on the ’47’.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 was the subject of a trial of a set of axle weighbars on Monday 10th May 2021 when Liam and Harry from WSR Restorations put their efforts into pumping the hydraulic jacks that lift the axle just clear of the rail so that the axle load can be read from a pressure gauge that is calibrated in tons. The trial was abandoned because the track at that particular point was not sufficiently flat, so the readings were erroneous. The weighing will be repeated on another occasion when the loco can be moved to a section of level track that has easy access on both sides.
Really useful engines – Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) faces off with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 on number 1 road at Williton Diesel Depot on a bright and sunny Spring day, Monday 10th May 2021. Photo by Harry Spencer © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – an engine run was undertaken on Saturday 15th May 2021 and all went well. Details will be provided next week.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – an engine run was undertaken on Saturday 15th May 2021 and all went well. Details will be provided next 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’ D9518 – no change this week.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – as mentioned earlier, this loco had been scheduled for an underframe examination at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard, but a snag developed and the loco did not leave Williton, although she did perform several shunts and run arounds with station limits. More details on this next week.
Yard clearance – last Saturday and again last Tuesday, several volunteers exerted some serious effort to shift two stacks of life-expired concrete sleepers that had been left in the yard during the winter period. This clearance will allow us to move locos that are on number 2 and 3 roads, eventually allowing 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ to escape from the confines of the loco shed, her place being eagerly awaited by D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’.
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 !