THE West Somerset Railway’s June 7-10 diesel gala was declared a success, with more than 2,000 visitors carried and receipts well up on previous diesel events.
The loco line-up was enhanced from recent years with five visitors: ‘Deltic’ No. 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier, Class 50 No. 50035 Ark Royal, Class 45 No. 45041 Royal Tank Regiment, and Class 20s Nos. 20142 Sir John Betjeman and 20189.
The event did not pass without incident, however. Resident Class 52 No. D1010 Western Campaigner suffered a B-end transmission failure on Friday evening at Bishops Lydeard.
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The transmission was manually locked in neutral to permit the loco to be towed to the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group’s base at Williton. Only after removing the cooler group will it be possible to look inside the gearbox to see the extent of the problem.
The loco was still at Bishops Lydeard more than a week later, and it is thought it will be out of action for the rest of this year.
No. D1010 had returned to service in June 2016 following a major overhaul, and in 2017 clocked up its highest annual mileage for many years.
Its place in this year’s gala was taken by Class 33 No. D6566, newly returned to traffic following overhaul. This meant splitting it from No. D6575, the two ‘Cromptons’ having been booked to double-head for the weekend.
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