Week ending 28-Nov-21

Week ending 28-Nov-21

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) is supporting the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services and qualified DEPG secondman Tom Courtney was also on duty on the cold and wintry evening of Friday 26th November 2021, pictured while the loco waited between turns at Bishops Lydeard by DEPG Chairman and loco driver Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


The WSR’s ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ services are evidently a big success and those that have already taken the journey have been delighted with the brightly coloured illuminations combined with the lineside displays that appear at nine locations along the route between Bishops Lydeard and Crowcombe Heathfield. The train, which is steam-hauled to Crowcombe Heathfield and diesel-hauled on the return leg, slows to walking pace as it passes the lineside features, so that passengers can take a good look and enjoy the sights.

The train crews need to observe special rules for operating these trains during their one-hour out-and-back running time, balancing the need to allow passengers to get the benefit of the displays with the need to maintain punctuality while running at night. The crew of the diesel locomotive are also responsible for travelling ‘light engine’ along the route before and after the public services, to activate and deactivate the remotely-sited lineside displays, so MANY THANKS TO ALL OF THE VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF WHO ARE WORKING LATE TO MAKE THESE EVENTS POSSIBLE ! Well done all !


VERY IMPORTANT NEWS THIS WEEK is that the WSR have announced the dates for their 2022 gala events, with the 2022 Diesel Gala taking place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022, so keep these dates free and make a plan to attend ! Click this link to wsr.org.uk to view the dates for other gala events that are planned for 2022.



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – more progress was made on the bodywork of D1010 this weekend, with Gordon and Ian F working on opposite sides of the loco, removing many layers of paint and uncovering areas that need repair before repainting can begin. The photo below shows a gash and a scrape on the bodyside near the ‘B’ end that dates back to BR days and was repaired at Swindon in 1972. Maybe a reader could throw some light on this and provide us with information as to what caused the damage, where and when ?

D1010 – the very thorough work by Ian F with the needle gun has revealed a diagonal gash near the ‘B’ end and a longitudinal scrape that dates back to BR days. The repairs are sound but unsightly, so they will be dressed and filled before the loco is repainted. Pictured at Williton on 27th November 2021 by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0


Meanwhile, with ear defenders in place, Colin F and Paul C were hard at work with the trial fitment of the valances at the ‘A’ end of the locomotive, dealing with some complications that resulted from damage that occurred at Merehead Quarry back in the late 1970s, when the loco was pushed into the buffer stops by a loaded stone train that was being shunted into the same siding. The loco was repaired at Merehead before she made the journey to Didcot in 1986, and has stood the test of time except for the non-standard valances that were fabricated at Merehead and have recently been replaced by brand new items made by Colin F using the original authentic valances from ‘B’ end as a pattern.

D1010 – brand new but authentic valances have been made by Colin F and trial fitted on the driver’s side of ‘A’ end, and after some adjustment, they line up very nicely. Pictured at Williton on 27th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


D1010 – to complete the set, the new valances have been trial fitted on the secondman’s side of ‘A’ end, and have also been adjusted to line up very nicely, although this corner of the loco did present a lot more of a challenge. Pictured at Williton on 27th November 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0


With his work on the valances now complete, Colin will now turn his attention to the cab structure and will start repairing the corrosion damage that has resulted from many years of water ingress since D1010 last received a major overhaul at Swindon Works in August 1969, during which she changed from maroon to blue livery.

On completion of the bodywork repairs, the loco will be repainted into the colour scheme that she wore when she first entered service in October 1962, overall maroon with a yellow buffer beam. The loco ran in this livery until March 1963 when the more familiar small yellow warning panel was added and the bufferbeam was changed from yellow to black. D1010 last wore this livery in 2001 – for more information on liveries, see our booklet ‘D1010 – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD‘.


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 ‘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 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco is the duty loco at Bishops Lydeard and has been operating regularly in support of the ‘Winterlights‘ trains that started on Friday 19th November 2021 in ‘top and tail’ mode, with steam haulage on the outward journey and diesel haulage on the return leg.


Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco is at Williton undergoing planned maintenance tasks that will include an engine oil change and a thorough inspection to ensure that she remains in good shape and is soon able to resume her support duties on the WSR.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – no change this week.

Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 –  a major milestone was reached on this loco on Saturday 27th November 2021 when the frames were lowered onto the wheelsets to create the rolling chassis and make D9518 mobile once again !

The work was performed on the lifting pad situated in the open area on the west side of the Swindon Shed at Williton, the cold and wintry conditions having to be endured by the team as they raised the frames using the four portable 25-tonne jacks that were acquired from Bristol Bath Road depot many years ago. The series of photographs below show the progress from frames and wheels to a rolling chassis, a major step forward for the restoration project, so WELL DONE TO ALL INVOLVED AND TO ALL WHO DONATED TO THE RESTORATION FUND. Thank you very much !

D9518’s newly painted frames in the blue and black colour scheme of the National Coal Board (NCB), being moved towards the concrete lifting pad outside the Swindon Shed at Williton on 27th November 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518’s newly painted wheelsets lined up and ready as the frames await the fourth lifting jack so that the lift can take place. Pictured outside the Swindon Shed at Williton on 27th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518’s frames await the arrival of the fourth portable lifting jack, which has just come into view, being carried by the Williton Fork Lift Truck driven by Liam Pope at Williton on Saturday 27th November 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518’s frames are in the air and her wheels are in position, ready for the frames to be lowered. The lifting jack control desk is visible in this picture, taken in challenging lighting conditions and freezing cold winds at Williton on 27th November 2021 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518’s frames are lowered onto the wheelsets at Williton on 27th November 2021, the low sun casting very long shadows and causing considerable trouble for the photographer, Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 is back on her wheels, the ‘rolling chassis’ being the result of a fantasic team effort in freezing cold conditions at Williton on 27th November 2021. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


All of this progress has been made possible by the efforts of volunteers and the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration AppealThank you all very much !

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 full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year and is receiving regular use on Permanent Way trains, which is good for the loco and good for the DEPG. The loco is going to remain at the K&ESR until older sister D9504 completes her heavy overhaul and is returned to traffic, so it could be some time yet. We look forward to seeing D9526 back at Williton in time for the WSR’s 2022 Diesel Gala that takes place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022.

Here’s a great picture of D9526 that has featured on our 2021 calendar throughout the month of November. For all of you who missed out on the 2021 calendar, here’s a sample of what you could have been enjoying. Make sure that you get your 2022 calendar while stocks last !


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 pauses at Crowcombe Heathfield while en route to Bishops Lydeard on 7th October 2018. This delightful photo was featured in the DEPG 2021 calendar for the month of November. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this little loco received a lot of attention this weekend as she was subjected to the attention of both Paul T and Graham, armed with needle guns and power sanders, with the objective of getting her external surfaces cleaned of old paint and debris and getting a coat of primer on to her before she gets evicted from the loco shed so that D9518’s rolling chassis can enter. We need more help on this loco so please come along and join the effort to complete this work (no prior experience is required, just regular DIY skills will be sufficient).

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF 1) received further attention to her paintwork from Paul T and Graham at Williton on Saturday 27th November 2021, but there is plenty more to do so please come along and help ! Photo by Mike Evans © CC BY-NC 3.0


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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