Week ending 21-Apr-24

Week ending 21-Apr-24

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) was pictured in the company of sister D6566 (33048) on the Allerford Spur (the remains of the former Barnstaple line that closed in 1966) while out on a test run on Saturday 20th April 2024. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 


After spending the winter undergoing an exhaust system overhaul inside the loco shed at Williton, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) has now re-entered service and has taken over the role of ‘Duty Loco’ from sister D6566 (33048). The changeover took place on Saturday 20th April after a test run that involved D6575 running ‘Light Engine’ from Williton to Bishops Lydeard, where she attached to D6566, the pair of them then heading down to Norton Fitzwarren.

The test run involved multiple changes of direction and a test of the multiple working jumper cables. D6575 hauled her slightly older sister uphill for the three miles from Norton Fitzwarren to Bishops Lydeard and this was repeated several times, with the exhaust system being checked for leaks between each test run. The locos were swapped upon their return to Bishops Lydeard and D6566 ran to Williton ‘Light Engine’ to undergo maintenance, which will include a brake block change and an ‘A’ examination.

D6575 hauled the 1230 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and return service under the RED timetable on Sunday 21st and will be back in action on Sunday 28th. See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for information about planned public workings.

Congratulations to volunteer loco manager Ian R and his team comprising Tom, Ashley, Tony and Ian F for their great work over the past few months. Well done guys !


Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33057) was pictured while waiting in the wonderful countryside setting of Crowcombe Heathfield station on Saturday 20th April 2024, en route to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33048) was pictured at the very end of the Allerford Spur on Saturday 20th April 2024, with the Pontispool Equestrian Centre visible ahead and extending to the left. Today, this is the limit of the former Devon & Somerset route to Barnstaple via Dulverton and South Molton, that line having been closed since 1966. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0 


This extract from the WSR Rule Book, Map 10 shows that the Allerford spur is all that remains of the Barnstaple branch. To see the Rule Book maps and many more, go to the wsr.org.uk website by clicking this link. Image courtesy of WSR plc © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – our report this week will be brief because we have been concentrating on the lifting plan and the many activities that have to come together to allow a successful, safe and economical lift. The first step is to disconnect the bogie thrust brackets that transmit the traction forces and braking forces from body to bogie and vice versa. The loco has to be positioned over a pit before these large and heavy brackets can be disconnected, so that is the first of the many challenges that we have to overcome. A window of opportunity may be opening up, and we need to be ready for it. More news will be released as soon as possible.

Our website now carries a new page, ‘D1010 Progress Report – Jan 2024‘, the content of which will be familiar to DEPG members because it was included in the January Newsletter. This information is now available to all by clicking on this link.

As stated previously, 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 THIS WORK ! There is a wide range of tasks that need to be done, so simply reply to this email or use the CONTACT FORM on our website if you can lend a hand.


Sponsorships for patches on D1010 continue to come in, for which we are VERY grateful indeed. We have many more patches waiting for sponsors, so please support the CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER and click here or on the image further below to get your name engraved into the metal of the locomotive. We will be having another engraving session this weekend.

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 during the WSR SUMMER DIESEL FESTIVALTHANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT – and your PATIENCE !

Click the image below to sponsor a patch:

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 09 D4107 (09019) – this loco is stabled at Bishops Lydeard and is in regular use.


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – now back at Williton for some planned maintenance work.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – now based at Bishops Lydeard as the Duty Loco and in use on Sunday 28th April on the 1230 service to Minehead and return. See our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page for details.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is ready to return to service apart from a very short list of minor issues that will be addressed at Williton over the next few weekends. We hope to get this loco rostered for some weekend public services in June, so keep an eye on our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page or sign up to our DIESELGEN email bulletin service to get the news as soon as it is released.

D7017 – pictured at Williton on Tuesday 9th April 2024 on the first leg of the three-day test ‘shakedown’ – with Class 33 D6566 (33048) tagging along for extra ballast (and insurance!). Photo by Dean Goodenough © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the ‘transmission team’ continued their work on the careful disassembly of the damaged transmission, taking great care to ensure that evidence of the root cause is not lost in the process. This methodical approach does slow the progress, but we have to do it so that we can learn and ensure that we make the transmission reliable and fit for the long term. This work is not trivial and we don’t want to have to do it all again.

The damaged clutch has now been exposed by the separation of the casing halves and the next phase of work will be the removal of the geartrains and the separation of the key components, which will give us a look inside the failed No. 5 clutch. Interesting times indeed.

D7018 – the top half of the gear train casing casing was lifted off by Tim and Colin F at Williton on Tuesday 16th April 2024. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0


D7018 – the concentric input shaft (larger diameter gear wheel) and output shaft (smaller gear wheel) of the Torque Converter are clearly visible in this view, captured at Williton on Saturday 20th April 2024. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D7018 – volunteers James (left) and Barry (right) were pictured at Williton on Saturday 20th April 2024, studying the inner workings of this marvellous example of 1960s engineering. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Although we hope to be able to use spare parts that we have available, we will still need to replace seals, bearings, gaskets as necessary and we also need to drain the oil and have new oil available. All of these things cost money. PLEASE HELP by making a donation of £10 or by buying our 64-page A4 HYMEK D7018 BOOKLET (£10) which covers the history of this locomotive from build through to her return to service in 2019 following her major overhaul. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !

Click here or on the image above to order your copy of our ‘HYMEK D7018’ booklet, available for £10.


Click here or on the donation image above to go to the donations page on our website. If you feel able to donate more than £10, simply increase the quantity when on the donations page. Thank you in advance for your support !



Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – following the re-arrangement of the working area on number 3 road within the loco shed, the Tuesday Team were able to re-commence their work on the overhaul of the PAXMAN 6YJXL engine at Williton on Tuesday 16th April 2024 and the first step was to ensure that all parts that had already been removed were labelled and properly organised. The second photo below shows just a small number of the component parts of the engine !

D9518 – the overhaul of the PAXMAN 6YJXL engine was under way in the hands of (L-R) Nick and Terry at Williton on Tuesday 16th April 2024. Photo by Anthony Austin © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – Linda had the task of identifying and tagging all of the parts that have been removed from the PAXMAN 6YJXL engine at Williton on Tuesday 16th April 2024. Photo by Anthony Austin © 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 has now relocated to Williton and is being rostered for use on several goods trains and positioning workings over the next few weeks, including a full day of work on Saturday 27th April. Keep an eye on our DIESELGEN postings for details.


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco worked several services between Pickering and Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway during the week and we continue to received plenty of feedback on our social media channels, proving that this loco is actually the most popular member of our entire fleet !


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this useful little loco is stabled in the yard at Williton and has been busy of late, handling the various shunt moves in the yard.

Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 (ROF 1) was in the yard at Williton and was pictured after sunset on Friday 19th April 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


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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