Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was pictured while stabled at Westridge Carriage Sidings, just south of Bishops Lydeard, on Saturday 18th March 2023 as Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 returned from Norton Fitzwarren on a driver refresher turn. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
The first two weekends of the 2023 running season have run to plan and the railway is now gearing up to prepare for two full weeks of almost daily running as we approach the Easter holiday period. Our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) will be working the 10:00 Minehead diagram under the BLUE timetable on Friday 7th April then again on Sunday 9th and Monday 10th. The timings of these services are as follows:
Depart Minehead at 10:00 arrive Bishops Lydeard at 11:30
Depart Bishops Lydeard at 12:30 arrive Minehead at 13:50
Depart Minehead at 14:30 arrive Bishops Lydeard at 15:55
Depart Bishops Lydeard at 16:35 arrive Minehead at 18:00
The ‘Crompton’ will also be covering this same working on Sunday 16th April although this working was previously allocated for Class 14 D9526 haulage. The reason for the change is that the Class 14 has a haulage limit of 4 coaches to maintain time on the long gradients of the WSR and the services that we had planned for the ‘Teddy Bear’ will now be formed of 6 or 7 coaches due to the commercial success of the ‘Fish and Chip’ and the ‘Cream Tea’ services which will take them beyond the haulage limit for the 650hp locomotive, therefore needing Class 33 or Class 35 haulage instead.
While disappointing for our Class 14 followers and volunteers, we cannot risk damaging the loco, so we will be working with the WSR to find suitable services that can be operated with 4 coaches or less and we will be publishing those dates as soon as possible. Meanwhile, our DIESEL RUNNING DATES page has been updated to reflect the changes.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 has been and is currently running on ‘green diesel’ or more accurately Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and has been starting easily and running with a clean exhaust. Although more expensive per litre, the benefits for a small loco such as the Class 14 are well worth considering. Pictured at Westridge, Bishops Lydeard on Saturday 18th March 2023 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
2023 TIMETABLE NEWS:
The next services on the WSR will be this coming weekend with two locos in steam under the RED ALL-STEAM timetable on the Saturday and one steam plus the Class 115 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) operating under the RED STEAM & DIESEL timetable on the Sunday, along with a steam-hauled ‘QUANTOCK BELLE SUNDAY LUNCH‘ dining service. Then, the railway is open most days throughout the first two weeks of April.
The lineup for the SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR event which will run from Friday April 28th through to Bank Holiday Monday 1st May has been further boosted with the planned appearance of GWR 4-6-0 4953 ‘PITCHFORD HALL’ plus three ‘MANORS’ and a ‘SAINT’ plus the rest of the home-based fleet, so an absolute feast for GWR fans ! For details, click this link to the WSR website.
The first scheduled diesel-hauled service for 2023 is booked for Friday 7th April and will feature haulage by Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057). Keep an eye on the DIESEL RUNNING DATES page and mark the days that interest you on your calendar, so that you can make a plan to come along and ride behind your favourite type of locomotive. Click on the banner below to go to the page on our website:
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – continuous effort on this loco is helping us make visible progress on multiple fronts, while detailed planning is also taking place in the background to arrange the major activities that will support the restoration plan, details of which will be provided in a future edition of ’roundup’. Meanwhile, the photos give just a taste of the various tasks that are being tackled at Williton:
D1010 – one of the set of brand new (and very expensive!) bearings that have just been delivered to Williton to allow the completion of the work on the ‘B’ transmission. This part has an outside diameter of 250mm (almost ten inches). Pictured on Saturday 25th March 2023 by Colin Foxhall © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – Natalie progressed with the cleanup of the pipes and conduits underneath the gangway plate on the ‘B’ side of the locomotive alongside ‘B’ engine on Saturday 25th March 2023. The objective is to allow inspection to be performed so that any corroded or damaged pipes or wiring can be scheduled for replacement. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
To continue our rate of progress requires FUNDING and we give our thanks to everyone who has supported D1010 by sponsoring or donating during these difficult times. If you are able to do so, please SPONSOR A PATCH because there is plenty of recently-added metal that still needs engraving. Photographs and certificates of sponsorship will be sent out to all who have sponsored this phase of the restoration work, and we are applying more resources to catch up with this obligation and deliver the documents. Click the image below to sponsor a patch. Thank you in advance for your support !
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is now inside the paint tunnel in the Swindon Shed at Williton for a paintwork refresh in the hands of WSR Restorations. This loco is expected to be out of traffic until late April.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is currently the Duty Loco at Bishops Lydeard and will be moving to Minehead on Monday 3rd April to be in position for her BLUE timetable duties from Friday 7th April onwards.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – the review of the oil samples resulted in a decision being taken to change the engine oil and return the loco to service, so this work will be arranged during the next few weeks. This loco is scheduled to work the BLUE timetable on the weekend of 13/14th May.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is awaiting attention to a short list of issues that were identified during the loaded test run that took place in December 2022. Work is expected to start on this loco in late April, after completion of sister loco D7017 and the issues addressed in time for the Diesel Gala on June 8th through 10th.
D7018 was pictured on number 1 road at Williton on Saturday 18th March 2023 with sister loco D7017 next in line. The effects of four years outdoors has robbed D7018 of her gloss and she is now being outshone by her slightly older sister. Photo by Brenden Hill © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the team have been hard at work on this loco and have progressed several tasks in parallel while also taking the time to participate in the annual meeting of the Class 14 Owners Group, which is an important forum at which to share information and knowledge, aimed at keeping the whole UK-wide fleet in good condition and in work for the long-term. Here below are some photos of the progress made during the last few weeks:
D9518 – Terry, Nick and Tony attended at the Yeovil Hydraulics facility on Tuesday 21st March 2023 to use their press to install the new bushings into the brake hangers. The bushings had been made by Yeovil Hydraulics who kindly offered the use of their press so that we could install the new parts. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the brake hangers were pictured complete with their new bushings upon return to Williton on Tuesday 21st March 2023. The new bushings were made by Yeovil Hydraulics who also made new pins that will feature in next weeks’ update. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – Terry was pictured at Williton on Tuesday 14th March 2023 while making new pipework sections for the braking system. Next week’s roundup will show these new sections in place on the loco. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – the transmission tunnel has been painted in primer after being carefully restored by Andy P and is now ready for the final paint layers before re-installation on the loco frames. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th March 2023 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518 – in parallel with the other activities, John continued his work on the reinstatement of the loco wiring, with every wire being clearly labelled. Pictured at Williton on Saturday 25th March 2023 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 – as stated previously, the haulage turns that were allocated to this loco have had to be cancelled due to the need to haul 6 or 7 coaches on those days. This is the result of the commercial success of the WSR’s ‘Fish and Chip’ and ‘Cream Tea’ specials which require the full length rake of coaches. We are in discussion with the WSR about suitable alternative dates where the Class 14 could be loaded with no more than 5 coaches and we will send out a DIESELGEN bulletin as soon as we have that information.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the engine was started up on Tuesday 21st March 2023 and run for a short time to check that everything was OK. The loco was started again, later in the day, after attending to an issue with the battery isolator switch, which although brand new and suitably rated, did not last the course and was removed and scrapped. The sub-standard new part will be replaced with an old but reliable part that has been recovered from some redundant equipment.
Congratulations and many thanks to Tony for his excellent work on getting this very useful loco back into running condition and ready to undergo her Vehicle Inspection and Brake Test (VIBT) so that she can resume duties. The short video clip below shows the second engine run, made before attending to the governor settings. Click here or on the image below to launch the video:
Barclay 578 (ROF 1) – Tony performed an engine start at Williton on 21st March 2023. Video clip by Natalie Royal © 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 !
BOOK REVIEW – we have started shipping copies of the latest in the DIESEL DAWN series of booklets that are published by Mortons Media Group, VOLUME 7: WESTERN REGION CLASS 14 DIESEL-HYDRAULICS so order your copy now ! This book is on sale via our website for the benefit of the D9518 restoration fund. PLEASE BUY A COPY to support D9518 !
We can also supply any of the previous six volumes, so please let us know if you would like to purchase any of the volumes in this interesting series. Please also take a look at our webstore for NEW BOOKS and PRE-OWNED BOOKS, the profits from which will go directly towards the upkeep of our loco fleet. Thank you very much for your support !
Just as a reminder, we can also supply PLATFORM 5 publications either from stock or against a special order, the profits from such sales going towards our general loco maintenance funds.
ON SHED – last week, we featured a photo by Kelvin Lumb showing an unidentified Class 25 standing on the down goods relief line at Severn Tunnel Junction (STJ) in the summer of 1976 with a train of ‘Sealion’ ballast hopper wagons. A quick chat with former BR driver and DEPG volunteer Mike Harris revealed that this loco would have been returning the empty hoppers to Machen Quarry (to the west of Newport) for re-loading. The wagons would either have been consolidated with others already at STJ or worked onward to East Usk yard, to be trip worked to Machen by a Class 37. MANY THANKS to Kelvin for the photo and to Mike for the background information.
An unidentified Class 25 was pictured standing on the down goods relief line at Severn Tunnel Junction with a train of empty ‘Sealion’ ballast hoppers. The old steam shed (86E) can be seen beyond the footbridge. Photo dated summer 1976 by Kelvin Lumb © CC BY-NC 3.0
This week, we feature a photo from long-time DEPG member and Publicity Officer Mark Bladwell, with a memory of an enjoyable Open Day at Bristol Bath Road shed, long before the days of rigorous Health & Safety, with locomotives on the move while visitors wander around the yard. We are having some trouble identifying the participating locos, so please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you were also there and have a list of what locos were ‘on shed’ that day. Many thanks to Mark for sharing his photo.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7047 was passing through the washer during the Open Day at Bristol Bath Road depot on 22nd October 1966. Class 42 ‘Warship’ D815 ‘DRUID’ stands to the left in maroon livery while members of classes 14 and 45 also get into the frame, along with another ‘Hymek’. Photo by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – a Board Meeting was held at Williton on Saturday 25th March and a synopsis of the meeting is being prepared and will be emailed to all DEPG members for whom we hold a valid email address.
The paper version of the SPRING 2023 DEPG Newsletter (issue #63) has been delayed but is being distributed this weekend, so keep an eye out for it and let us know if you haven’t received it by the end of next week. The electronic version has already been sent out, so again please let us know by using our CONTACT FORM if you were expecting an electronic version but have not yet received it.
Please make sure that your membership is up to date so that we can continue to send you a copy of this quarterly newsletter (via email or post at your choice). The newsletter includes detailed updates on the plans for our two restoration projects (D1010 and D9518), plus other information that is specific to DEPG members.
If you are not sure about your membership status, please click here or on the image below to access your membership record via MEMBERMOJO.
KEY DATES for your diary:
EGGSTRAVAGANZA : Saturday 1st through Thursday 16th April
WSR SPRING STEAM SPECTACULAR : Friday 28th April through Monday 1st May 2023
WSR DIESEL GALA : Thursday 8th through Saturday 10th June 2023
DEPG 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS : Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023.