Week ending 24-Mar-24

Week ending 24-Mar-24

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33048) was called into use on Sunday 24th March 2024 to cover for a steam loco that needed attention. The spring sunshine added nicely to this picture of the loco as she made her way from Williton towards Minehead. Photo by Mike Lanning © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Our popular ‘DIESEL RUNNING DATES‘ page has been updated to cover the WSR public services that are planned for diesel haulage this year, so CLICK HERE or on the image below to visit the page and see the range of dates available. We will be providing the loco allocations soon and will keep this page up to date as we get clarification on the details.


CLASS 09 Shunter:

The broken window on Class 09 shunter D4107 (09019) has been repaired, the damage being caused by a failure in the ‘BECLAWAT’ droplight window scissors mechanism which then allowed the toughened glass window pane to fall and smash into thousands of pieces. The repair was carried out by DEPG and WSR volunteer JON TOOKE and he provided us with the following text and photos to describe the work involved:

     “Today at the DEPG, I had to replace a broken cab window which had shattered into thousands of pieces. A bit of an awkward task because of all the ancillary items that had to be removed first so that access could be gained to the mechanism that allows the window to rise and fall. After all the glass was hoovered up, the process of refitting could take place as well as adjustments and a general service of the moving parts. Once all the parts were reinstalled and tested the next job was to measure up for a new cover for the mechanism to be made which one of my colleagues will be doing when I shall be back doing my day job!”


THANK YOU VERY MUCH, JT, for getting this job done quickly and efficiently. Here are the photos that Jon has provided:

D4107 – the man at work – DEPG and WSR volunteer Jon Tooke, pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


D4107 – the shattered remains of the toughened glass window pane. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


D4107 – an alignment bar was used to temporarily substitute for the failed pin while testing the operation of the mechanism. A new pin was made and fitted to complete the repair. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


D4107 – the new glass window pane was then installed. The missing plywood trim panel has to be re-made and will be fitted ASAP so that the loco can be returned to service. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 09 Shunter D4107 (09 019) now has a new cabside droplight window following the repair of the ‘BECLAWAT’ mechanism by DEPG and WSR volunteer Jon Tooke. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the preparation for the lifting of the loco took another step forward with further and very welcome help from the DIESEL TRACTION GROUP (DTG) and the WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION (WLA) in relation to the special lifting brackets and beams that need to be used when lifting the loco body from its bogies.

The loco is fitted with eight heavy-duty lifting points that connect with purpose-made brackets that in turn allow the loco to be lifted by crane or jacks, COMPLETE WITH BOGIES if necessary (total 108 tons). In the case of D1010, we do not want to lift the bogies, just the body of the loco which is already minus the two transmissions and cooler groups, so the load to be lifted is significantly reduced (currently at 61 tons) and can be lifted using four points. We are considering removing the two MD-655 engines to further reduce the body weight and provide a more generous Factor of Safety.

Any hardware used for lifting has to be certified as safe for the expected loads plus a generous margin. The benefit to reducing the weight of the loco body is a significant reduction in the overall cost of the lifting operation, but this has to be offset against the cost of removing the engines. The most significant obstacle to removing the engines is having to have two spare engine stands to mount them on, and then having somewhere safe and dry to keep them!


The special Class 52 lifting brackets (yellow) that are owned by the WLA were trial fitted to D1062 ‘WESTERN COURIER’ at Kidderminster on Wednesday 20th March 2024 so that they could be evaluated and the clearances measured before being loaned to the DEPG. The spreader beam (red) belongs to the DTG and is one of four that are used to lift the ‘Westerns’ at Kidderminster using the four jack method. Extracts from a photo by Bob Clegg © CC BY-NC 3.0


In parallel with the planning work for the lifting, Gordon, Ian F and Steve ploughed ahead with the overhaul of the cooler groups and internal panels while Viv continued digging the accumulations of brake dust from the inside of the bogie frames. The overhauled ‘A’ transmission received a coat of light grey primer and was moved into temporary storage to make way for the transmission from D7018, which will now occupy the attention of the ‘transmission team’ for at least the next few months.

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 THE 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.

D1010 – the overhauled ‘A’ transmission has now received a coat of light grey primer and is starting to look more like a fully overhauled assembly. Pictured at Williton on Wednesday 19th March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 09 D4107 (09019) – as already covered, this loco has been fitted with a replacement droplight window. We plan to complete the remedial work inside the cab during the next week or so, after which the loco will be returned to Bishops Lydeard.


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – as already covered, this loco is currently based at Bishops Lydeard and will next be in use on Sunday 7th April on the 1000 departure from Minehead and the subsequent 80-mile diagram.


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – the bodyside corrosion repairs have been completed by Tony and are now displaying their glossy finish and standing out against the rest of the locomotive. The paintwork is only five years old but has taken on a cloudy look because the top layer of varnish has weathered. The loco will need a thorough clean and a re-varnish to bring back the shine and get a few more years out of the paint. This is the true cost of the locos spending almost their entire life outdoors in all weathers, the sun being as bad for the paint as the rain and brake dust.

D6575 (33 057) displaying the gloss green that now covers the repaired areas on the bodyside. Another excellent job completed by multi-talented volunteer Tony. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – 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 cleaned and has been moved to the overhaul facility so that the repair can commence in the hands of the ‘transmission team’. The first step will be to take measurements of the torque converter and geartrain end floats before disassembly begins, so that this information is available for reference when establishing the root cause of the issues.

D7018 – the Stone Maybach Mekydro K184u transmission has been cleaned and has now moved to the overhaul facility where the repairs will be undertaken. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Martin Howard © 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 – the team continue to make progress on the cab assembly and the re-installation of the controls, switches, indicators and instruments that adorn the driver’s desk. Each item has had to be restored individually before being made available to volunteer master electrician John for re-installation with new wiring. Meanwhile, more parts are being recovered from storage for restoration elsewhere on the loco while work continues on resolving the cardan shaft issues.

D9518 – the re-fitting and re-wiring of the cab assembly is progressing at Williton, with some of the desk-to-cubicle wiring now becoming visible at both ends. Pictured on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – this view of the driver’s desk shows the wiring is progressing, with a top quality, professional job being performed by volunteer master electrician John. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 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 on standby at Bishops Lydeard. The loco had not been used for a while, so she received some TLC from Terry and Colin G and had her engine run up on Saturday 23rd March to make sure that everything was functioning correctly – which it was. The loco will remain on standby at Bishops Lydeard for another week or two.


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco has now resumed duties on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and we hope that she will get regular use as part of the ‘home fleet’ this year.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco has been busy shunting the yard and was moved onto number 5 road last Saturday to help free the ‘Lowmac’ wagon from the mud ! This was an easy task in itself, but the time was taken up by the amount of shunting that had to be done to get to number 5 road and then put everything back where it was. Here are some photos of this powerful little engine at work:

Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – this powerful little loco made light work of pulling the ‘Lowmac’ wagon out of the mud. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 2024 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – the loco then shunted the yard to move the loaded ‘Turbot’ wagon to number 1 road so that it can taken away and emptied by the WSR Infrastructure team. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 23rd March 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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