Week ending 29-Oct-23

Week ending 29-Oct-23

WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 stands at Williton Station on Sunday 29th October 2023 carrying a wreath in memory of the WSR and DEPG volunteers who have passed away during 2023. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 behind and Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 alongside, all stand silently as a mark of respect for Simon, Chris and Mike. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 


The poor weather during this last week has reminded us that most of our locomotives are stabled outdoors, having to endure the ever-changing conditions, from heatwaves in October to gale-force winds in November. The creation of covered accommodation for all of our locomotives is a priority for the DEPG and we are currently working on plans that will achieve this objective, subject to funding, of course.

Meanwhile, we have to do what we can to cover up the locos and try and keep the worst of the weather out of them, which is always a challenge. We also have wagons and spares that are kept outdoors, and these also deteriorate and need regular refurbishment. Where is this leading, I hear you ask ? …. FUND RAISING is the answer !



Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – the loco is back inside the loco shed and will remain there until late December, after which the covered space is needed for an exhaust system overhaul on Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057). This gives us two months to get as much of the bodywork completed as possible and get another coat of gloss applied for protection against the elements for when the loco goes outside again. While waiting for the new bearings that are on order for the ‘A’ transmission, the team has continued with the cleanup and inspection of the casings and the oil pipework, in preparation for the reassembly operation and to allow the rate of progress to be sustained. This is one task that looks like it is going to be completed ahead of schedule!

D1010 – the inside of the intermediate casing of ‘A’ transmission was the subject of Geoff’s attention at Williton on Monday 23rd October 2023. Each piece of pipework was removed for cleaning and careful inspection. Photo by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 


D1010 – the inside of the lower casing of ‘A’ transmission was also cleaned up and readied for reassembly. Pictured at Williton on Monday 23rd October 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0 


We now have almost 80 patches to engrave on the loco this coming weekend, starting at the ‘B’ end and then going to the ‘A’ side behind the ‘A’ cab, where there is a significant area of new metal that can carry the names of the sponsors. There is still plenty of new metal to be marked, so please keep up this amazing level of support and help get D1010 back to working order ASAP. Many thanks to those who placed their orders during the last few weeks.

Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored the restoration work, but we are still short of volunteer resources and have not yet been able to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Apologies for the delay, we will get it done ASAP. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support and your patience!

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 33 D6566 (33 048) – after a through check of her cooling system to confirm that there were no leaks, this loco has now moved to Bishops Lydeard to take on the role of ‘Duty Loco’ and will be covering the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ services that start on Friday 24th November. Test runs for staff training will be carried out on 22nd and 23rd November.

Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) departed from Williton on Wednesday 25th October 2023 for a ‘light engine’ move to Bishops Lydeard to take up her winter position as WSR Duty locomotive. The ‘Crompton’ was pictured at Crowcombe Heathfield while waiting for the ‘down’ service to pass. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0 


Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco returned to Williton on Saturday 21st October to undergo winter maintenance, including an overhaul of her exhaust system. The loco will remain available for service until December and is scheduled to go into the loco shed on 23rd December, and will probably remain there for two months while the work is being done.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – there are some minor tasks to be carried out on this loco, but nothing major and nothing preventing her from being returned to service at short notice.


Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – the Root Cause Analysis has identified several probable causes for the uncommanded engagement of the torque converter and each has been ranked for probability, based on the available evidence. Some additional testing will need to be performed to focus in on the most probable cause. Meanwhile, several other maintenance tasks are outstanding on this locomotive and will be progressed during the winter.


Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – a significant step forward has been made by the reinstatement of the brake rigging after many months of hard work by the team, including the manufacture of new parts and the straightening of some original parts that had been bent following derailments during the loco’s years of hard labour at Ashington Colliery. The photos below show the progress:

D9518 – a view of one of the six brake hangers, now attached to the crossbeam and rigging that connects to the air brake cylinders that are hidden between the frames. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 24th October 2023 by Terry Deacon  © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – the centre axle provides a clearer view of the crossbeam and rigging that connects each brake hanger to the air brake cylinders. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 24th October 2023 by Terry Deacon  © CC BY-NC 3.0


D9518 – a view of the underside, looking from the front of the loco (the long end), showing the three crossbeams linked by the tension rods. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 24th October 2023 by Terry Deacon  © 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 stabled at Williton and is fully serviceable. This loco may move to Bishops Lydeard later in the year if Class 09 shunter D4017 (09 019) is to have her bodywork repaired at West Somerset Restorations Swindon Shed. The ’09’ is used during the ‘WINTERLIGHTS‘ season and is also the backup loco in the event of a last-minute issue arising with either the booked steam or diesel loco.

Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 was pictured in the South Yard at Williton on Saturday 21st October 2023 while shunting D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ into the loco shed. Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) can be seen on the left and Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 can be seen on the right. Photo by Jon Tooke © CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is undergoing a ‘top end’ engine overhaul at Grosmont Works on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The photos below show the size of the task and the careful progress being made. We certainly look forward to her being back out and about again.

47077 – in this view of the engine room on on Wednesday 25th October 2023, four of the twelve large and heavy cylinder heads had been lowered into place via the roof-mounted access doors. The work is being carried out by Finn (pictured) and Josh at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0


47077 – in this picture taken from the other direction later in the day on Wednesday 25th October 2023, five of the twelve cylinder heads had been installed and bolted down. Photo by Josh Smith © CC BY-NC 3.0


Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – to make this powerful little loco even more useful, a driver recertification session was held at Williton last Saturday 28th October, resulting in Colin G and Martin being passed to continue as drivers by WSR Chief Traction Inspector Merv Hebditch. Well done guys !


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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