Week ending 22-Aug-21

Week ending 22-Aug-21

After a very wet and unseasonal start to the day, the 60th birthday special for our two Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ ran between Bishops Lydeard and Dunster yesterday with the best loading yet achieved on our diesel-hauled ‘excursion’ trains, so a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came along for the celebration and to everyone involved in the preparations that went on behind the scenes.

The locos performed admirably and gave a very good account of themselves (as usual) with D6575 (33 057) hauling the train to Dunster and D6566 (33 048) hauling for the return leg.


Also notable on Saturday was the first official duty as “passed secondman” for 18-year-old Tom Courtney, who is also a member of the volunteer team that looks after these 60-year-old machines and keeps them in fine form, so CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS to Tom!


Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) arrives at Dunster Station at the head of the ‘Crompton 60th birthday special’ on Saturday 21st August 2021. Sister loco D6566 (33 048) was attached at the rear of the train and hauled the train on the return journey to Bishops Lydeard. Photo by Dave Fowler © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) positions at Bishops Lydeard ‘up’ siding while shunting her train on Saturday 21st August. Photo by secondman Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0


An additional bonus last Saturday was the substitution of ‘Hymek’ D7018 for the steam loco on the 12:35 service to Dunster (with onward heritage bus connection to Minehead) and the return working, due to an issue that had arisen with the booked steam loco and could not be resolved in time for her duty. The sight and sound of the ‘Hymek’ hauling six coaches was picked up by several members and supporters including Mark Ireland who released the following video of D7018 at Stogumber. Many thanks to all who have provided us with their photos and videos!



Special thanks also to RAILCAM UK for setting their railcams to ‘capture’ mode so that we could create a video of the event using the railcams at Bishops Lydeard, Crowcombe Heathfield, Williton and Blue Anchor. The footage is currently being edited and will be released later this week. Meanwhile, here are some stills to whet your appetite:

Class 33 D6575 (33 057) hauls the 60th birthday ‘special’ non-stop through Williton on Saturday 21st August 2021 with sister D6566 (33 048) trailing. Image by Railcam UK and the WSR ©


Unique WSR ‘Mogul’ 2-6-0 9351 waits at Williton for ‘Hymek’ D7018 to clear the section and release the token so that she can continue on the return leg of her journey on Saturday 21st August 2021. Image by Railcam UK and the WSR ©


Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

Our next scheduled diesel-hauled services are during the MIXED TRACTION WEEKEND (Friday 17th and Saturday 18th September) where all three of our available locos will be in service on an intensive timetable.


A very big THANK YOU to all who have bought and are buying tickets in support of our 2021 diesel-hauled services, and an equally big thank you to all of the volunteers who have been and are involved in putting on the shows !


If you have a question, please reply to this email or fill in the contact form on our website. Thanks ! Please help us and help the WSR make these diesel-hauled services a success by buying a ticket to ride !



Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is currently out of action at the KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY because of a misfire that developed last weekend. The loco has racked up almost 100 hours of work at the K&ESR but showed signs of a temperature difference between ‘A’ bank and ‘B’ bank of her Paxman 6-cylinder V-type engine and this developed into a misfire shortly afterwards. The spare fuel pumps and injectors have been sent from Williton to a specialist company for calibration and balancing, and will then be sent to the K&ESR for installation into the loco. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue and allow the loco to return to service.

Class 14 D9526 waits for ex-Longmoor Military Railway Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST number 25 to pass at Wittersham Road Station on 2nd August 2021. Photo by Jacky Duncan © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – our ‘celebrity’ remains marooned at Bishops Lydeard because of delays in obtaining permission for her oversize road haulage move from Bishops Lydeard to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The latest indications are that the loco will now be moved by rail, but we do not have the date or route information yet. As soon as we do, it will be shared via a DIESELGEN bulletin.


Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – we continue to receive donations towards the restoration of this much-loved loco and we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the fund to support the £100,000 restoration of D1010. We have had a great start, but this is a big project so please keep the funds rolling in. Rapid progress towards our fund-raising target will result in rapid progress on the restoration work because we can engage sub-contract specialists who can work on the loco 5 days a week, not just on Saturdays.

DEPG volunteer Gordon carefully chips away the life-expired Prestolith filler from the bodyside of D1010 at Williton on 21st August 2021. Photo by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0


DEPG volunteer Ian F also hard at work removing the life-expired Prestolith filler from the bodyside of D1010 at Williton on 21st August 2021. Photo by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0


We intend to raise £100,000 for the whole restoration project so please help us by clicking this link to make a donation.



In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ 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 D1010 to full operational condition.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week – this loco is waiting for its turn to go into the Swindon Shed for bogie disconnection and lifting to replace the weak leaf spring. We are planning to make a start on this work in late October/early November.


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – we are very happy to report that donations to our D9518 restoration fund continue to build and as a result, we are now able to approve the re-installation of the springs, hornguides and wheels. This specialised riveting and alignment work will be performed by WSR Restorations at the Swindon Shed, Williton.

This week, our ‘Tuesday Team’ were concentrating on gathering the many parts required for the restoration of the cab assembly. Each part has to be positively identified then cleaned up, repaired as necessary then painted prior to starting the re-assembly work. Meanwhile, the frames await their turn for the rivetting work that will then allow the re-installation of the wheelsets. There’s plenty to be done, that’s for sure.

D9518 frames mounted on trolleys in the Swindon Shed at Williton for alignment and rivetting of the hornguides (one of which is shown in light green primer) as a precursor to the installation of the wheelsets. Pictured on 3rd August 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


We intend to raise £10,000 for the whole restoration project so please help us by clicking this link to make a donation.


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 operational condition – and see her haul passenger coaches for the first time in her life!


Andrew Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – this loco is undergoing bodywork repairs prior to priming and painting. The livery chosen for this loco will be the Government-standard (in 1972) deep bronze green that the loco carried during her days in service at the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) in Puriton, near Bridgwater, Somerset.


Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !


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