D1010 Restoration Appeal

D1010 Restoration Appeal


The delays to work on other locos caused by multiple Covid-19 lockdowns resulted in our flagship loco having to suffer the attention of the seagulls for a lot longer than was originally planned. Although protected by tarpaulins throughout both winters, her 19-month stay on number 3 road in the South Yard at Williton has resulted in her paintwork becoming faded and given her a decidedly down-at-heel look. Her appearance was made worse by the removal of her heavily corroded lower front valances and more recently by the removal of her nameplates and numberplates.

All this is set to change because the loco has now moved inside the shed so that a programme of bodywork repairs can commence.

Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ outside the loco shed on number 3 road at Williton on 20th April 2021, minus her lower front valances (already removed for restoration) and clearly in need of some bodywork repairs. Photo by Chris Shields © CC BY-NC 3.0



Apart from some localised corrosion damage, mostly around the bodyside windows and vents, the level of repair required for the main body of the locomotive is limited to removal and replacement of the ‘Prestolith’ filler that was applied when new to smooth out the surface distortions caused by welding the relatively thin outer skin panels to the framework beneath. One side was dealt with back in the late ‘80s when the loco was undergoing restoration at Didcot, but the other side is now crying out for the same level of attention.

D1010 undergoes Prestolith removal at Didcot in 1986 photo by Paul Tucker (c) CC BY-NC 3.0


The ‘Westerns’ have the same stressed skin design as the ‘Warships’ and both are more akin to aircraft structures than conventional locomotive structures. This design approach gave the benefit of light weight but introduced some difficulties that had to be overcome by development of suitable cosmetic finishing techniques. Our team at the DEPG are up for the challenge, so this aspect of the restoration can commence fairly quickly.


 The cab sections are a different situation and are likely to need extensive renovation. This is because the frame upon which the cabs are mounted has corroded away, allowing the cabs to sag. This in turn hastens the corrosion of the attachment points because they become stressed.

Corrosion affecting the nose end of Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ is clearly visible in this photo dated 9th August 2019. Photo by Gordon Crook © CC BY-NC 3.0


The extent of this work cannot be determined until the corroded areas are exposed, so it is difficult to assess the amount of work needed to rebuild the cab supports. Taking the worst case, both ends of the locomotive will need to be completely rebuilt and this will take time and may involve subcontract expenditure.


To ensure that work proceeds in parallel where possible, the cooler groups will be removed from both ends of the loco so that they can be repaired and made watertight for another 10+ years of service. The loco will need to be shunted outside in order to do this, so the shunt will need to be arranged before the cab repairs get too far advanced.


Then there is the subject of the ‘B’ end transmission that seized up during the first day of the 2018 Diesel Gala. The transmission has been out of the loco for the last two years but the progress has been very slow indeed. The initial dismantling confirmed that the failure was within the converter rail, as suspected, but the general condition of the transmission was encouraging. The disassembly of the rail is a complex affair that will be made more complex by the need to avoid causing further damage when considering that a collapsed internal bearing is the most likely cause of the seizure.

The converter rail from the ‘B’ end transmission of D1010 at Williton, pictured on 4th October 2019 by Gordon Crook © CC BY-NC 3.0


The tools for the job are available on loan from the Western Locomotive Association (WLA) but the knowhow in the form of Diesel Traction Group (DTG) members Paul Koch and Andy Venn have been prevented from attending at Williton due to the various lockdowns. This situation may change soon, but backlog of other work may still prevent their attendance, so a backup plan is being worked out.

There are no spare transmissions available. Taking a worst-case view on the transmission, if the converter rail is not repairable, the transmission will be rendered useless and will have to go back into the loco as non-functional ballast so that the loco remains in-gauge. This would mean that D1010 would spend the rest of her days with a single working engine and transmission, but she would still be able to handle the typical workload for a heritage railway.

Damaged bearing race on the ‘B’-end transmission of D1010 pictured at Williton on 4th October 2019. Photo by Gordon Crook (c) CC BY-NC 3.0

In the best case, the damaged bearings will be replaced with new parts and the transmission will be recoverable at an affordable cost. We will just have to wait and see which version of events unfolds.


Both engines are known to be in good condition. The ‘A’ end transmission had also been performing well with no cause for concern. Other aspects of the loco that would most likely need attention are the bogies, where many of the issues faced by the WLA and DTG on their locomotives are also likely to be affecting D1010, and the braking system where corrosion within the steel pipework may have resulted in debris that can contaminate the brake valves and create brake faults if not dealt with in time.


The electrical wiring will also need to be thoroughly inspected and renewed where necessary, so there is a lot to be done and it will take time and it will cost money.


What is it going to cost ?


This is a very difficult question to answer with the limited information available, but here’s a rough estimate:


Work package

Estimated cost £

Main items of expenditure

Bodyside repairs


Raw materials

Cab repairs


Subcontract services

Cooler group repairs


Subcontract services

Transmission repairs


Bearings and shaft repairs

Bogie repairs


Spring reconditioning

Braking system repairs


Pipework, air receivers

Electrical system


Wiring, switchgear



Not yet identified





This is actually a modest amount of money for a loco that is as large and as complex as a ‘Western’ so the huge number of volunteer man-hours that will be absorbed by this project also has to be considered. It is the availability of suitably-skilled volunteer manpower that will determine the pace at which this project proceeds, providing that the fundraising is leading the way.


If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please consider joining so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to a decent and operational condition.


As a first step and to allow bodyside repairs and cooler group repairs to proceed, this loco is already the subject of a fund-raising campaign that commenced with the publication of our new booklet:


Cover of the DEPG publication “D1010 – From Merehead to Minehead”. (c) DEPG CC BY-NC 3.0


 All of the revenue from the sales of this booklet will go into the D1010 restoration fund, along with revenue from sales of pre-owned books, so please help the fund grow by buying from our online store.

We also welcome DONATIONS to the D1010 Restoration Fund and our online shop includes several ‘donation products’ that can be combined and multiplied using the quantity buttons to reach the precise figure that you want to contribute. The DEPG is a registered charity so funds received into the D1010 Restoration Fund are ‘restricted funds’ and can only be used for the purposes of restoring D1010.

As an alternative to the donation ‘products’, we also have a PayPal account using email address donations@depg.org. We can accept online bank payments or good-old-fashioned cheques.


Please donate as much as you can so that we can progress the restoration at a decent pace and get D1010 ‘back in business’ !

Thank you very much !!!


Funds raised from the sale of the following books and booklets also go to the D1010 RESTORATION FUND:

Funds raised from the sale of the following D1010 collectibles also go to the D1010 RESTORATION FUND:


Go to D1010 loco page

Go to D1010 timeline page

Go to Join Us page

Go to Welcome page

Go to Home page