We are pleased to announce that D6948 (37248) will be visiting the West Somerset Railway during May, June and early July this year.
As well as appearing at the WSR’s Diesel Gala from the 20thto the 22ndJune and the line’s 40thAnniversary Weekend on 8thand 9thJune, D6948 will be working a number of scheduled and additional passenger services over the 20 mile long route from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead during the course of its stay.
This will be a unique opportunity to ride behind D6948 and experience the sight and sounds of an English Electric class 37 working hard as it climbs the gradients of this scenic west country route to the coast. Class 37s have a particular niche in WSR history, as they were the staple motive power for the heavy stone trains which operated from Westbury to Minehead in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The route also has special significance for D6948, and for some her owners and Group members too, as the coastal section from Watchet to Minehead will bring the loco within sight of her ‘traditional’ home in South Wales once again – being a Cardiff Canton engine for the
This year's AGM took place on the 3rd March 2019 in the Terry Cresswell Building at Winchcombe Station. As well as a satisfactory review of the Group's finances from Treasurer, Kev Jarvis, and reports from the Technical Officer, Paul Good, on what has happened to 37215 and D6948 during the past 12 months, a new Constitution for the Group was discussed and agreed by the required quorum at the meeting.
The new Constitution was seen as essential in order to reflect and keep pace with the many changes to legislation over the years since the Group was founded and the original constitution put in place. It uses the model constitution produced and recommended for use by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and as such, offers maximum protection for members, the trustees (the committee), our finances and the locomotives. The newly adopted Constitution can be downloaded here.
With the 2019 running season now over, both D6948 and 37215 are now 'stored' along with the rest of the GWR diesel fleet pending the start of services in March. This is the time for winter maintenance and both locomotives will have a comprehensive 'B' exam before being signed off as fit to run on the GWR system in accordance with the GWR's Safety Management System when they emerge from winter hibernation. Initial examination over the pit has thrown up some issues as both locomotives' traction motor sets have started to show evidence of wear and tear.
37215 has shown much more wear and tear (not a surprise considering it was last given a heavy overhaul some time ago) and the decision has been made to keep the locomotive out of traffic until a convenient time can be arranged for the loco to be lifted and a refurbishment of some of the older bogie components, traction motors and air systems can take place and hence the loco will not be available for the first part of 2019. D6948 has also shown some evidence of minor issues with a traction motor, but nothing that requires the loco to be withdrawn from service. D6948 will instead take