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Welcome to the 
WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION

Owners and operators of 2 x CLASS 52 DIESEL HYDRAULIC LOCOMOTIVES on the 
Severn Valley Railway....... and at large.

Upcoming Events

SWINDON '16

Saturday 12th November '16

EVENT & AGM TO CELEBRATE THE PURCHASE OF D1062
40 YEARS AGO
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THE FIRST WESTERN IN PRESERVATION

Photo courtesy of : Stephen Taverner

NEW! 10th April 2016 - D1062's first move of the year when she'll take the light engine trip to Kidderminster in readiness for her lift on the jacks in the diesel shed.

10th April 2016 - OUT NOW!

The Spring Edition of WESTERN COURIER Magazine is now back from the printers and will be mailed this coming weekend. Remember, non-members may purchase a copy of this 28 page Magazine from the website at £2.55 (£2.00 plus £0.55 p&p)

2016 Running Dates

D1062's scheduled running dates are now out and available HERE 

D1062 Move to Kidderminster for Winter Appeal Work

First locos enter the new maintenance shed at Kidderminster. What a great sight they make!

2016 Diesel Roster - SVR

Also see D1062's turns here.

Locomotives Current Status:-

D1062 - Working 2016 season before scheduled lift to investigate and effect repairs to No.8 axle-box alignment and equalising beams.

Above picture shows D1062 heading undercover on 17th October 2015.

D1013 - At the present time Ranger is undergoing a major overhaul, which includes a complete rewire and component overhaul, having been taken out of service at the end of 2009. This is likely to be completed in 2018 (but we'd love to make this for the 50 year anniversary in 2017, and certainly not impossible), subject to raising sufficient funds and people to help us with the work. The project will bring the loco up to a very high standard to ensure its continued reliability. Currently located under tarpaulin at our base at Bridgnorth, rewiring continues. Air receivers may be pressure tested along with the equipment from D1062 in the next few weeks.

2015 Gala - And what an Event It Was!

A comprehensive report on the success of the 2015 Gala with extensive photo collection will follow in the next edition of Western Courier magazine. Click the link for a quick preview.

SVR Timetable for 2016 Released

Available for download here.

Dapol OO Special Edition D1013

First 25 Number and Nameplates sets have arrived 08/08/16 - Just awaiting the packing and certificates for the first batch!

~~~ FIRST MODELS HAVE ARRIVED ~~~

First examples assembled, plates added, and prepared for release. I Allcroft.

***** UPDATE *****

The first models have safely arrived. We're waiting on the name-plates and number-plates, and also the packaging and certificates.

Won't be long now! 24/07/16.

Dapol OO Gauge "WESTERN"

Our very own D1013 WESTERN RANGER depicted by the excellent Dapol model. Pre-orders being taken here.

WLA Secretary 
- Applications Invited

Following some 30 years in the post, Henry Coates presented us with initial notice of his intention to stand down as Secretary at the AGM feeling, in his own words, "it's perhaps time for young blood". This decision was affirmed at the recent Committee Meeting 27/2/16, where we were delighted to hear that, whilst taking a step back, Henry will remain an active and staunch supporter and advisor to the Group. We will commence the process of identifying candidates for election to the post at the next AGM, and therefore invite interested parties to please come forward.

It's Renewal Season!

Don't forget renewals run from 1st January to 31st December and you can now renew your membership online here! So why not join the growing number of members taking advantage of this simple online facility... you know it makes sense!

Of course, you can always renew using mail or e-mail, and your next edition of WESTERN COURIER magazine will have your membership application form enclosed should you prefer.

For joining information, click here.

For Menbership and Renewal, click here.

Simples!

D1054 - Courtesy of Chris Nuthall "down under" - lovely shot!

The 2016 Driver Experience courses are OUT NOW! Click the link above for details.

For details of membership benefits and options, please click on the following link

Why we're here........

The “Westerns” were always a little special, ever since their inception in 1961, and were the final development of the Western Region diesels using hydraulic transmission. Other regions based their designs on electric transmissions utilising large medium-speed diesel engines. The “Westerns” married superb bodywork styling and German-designed high-speed Maybach engines and Voith transmissions to produce a locomotive that was extremely powerful and considerably lighter than an equivalent diesel-electric.

A decision to rationalise the diesel locomotive types on British Rail marked the beginning of the end for the diesel-hydraulics. The “Westerns” were the last survivors and struggled on magnificently despite their neglected state until the final locomotives were withdrawn in February 1977.

With their impressive design, awesome engine sound and cast name and number plates, the “Westerns” had many marks of distinction. All 74 “Westerns” were named, proud names such as “Western Glory”, “Western Thunderer” and “Western Crusader”, and these endeared them to enthusiasts who saw them as the last sign of the spirit and traditions of the Great Western Railway.

The demise of the mighty “Westerns” evoked a fanatical following, the like of which had not been seen since the end of steam traction, and this led to the early efforts of the W.L.A. to preserve an example of the class. The results of these efforts, “Western Courier” and “Western Ranger”, can be seen on the Severn Valley Railway today.

WORKING MEMBER WEEKEND UPDATE GALLERY

A fitting service took place on Platform 1 at 11.

Sunday proved another very good day with progress on several fronts. Firstly '62 needed a move over the inspection pit. Here she is on her way......

Over the pit, the inspection required the removal of the lower cover plate to expose the labyrinth and bearings ready to take the grease sample for analysis.

With cover plate removed, the grease sample was taken, and a visual inspection revealed no further deterioration in the state of the inner labyrinth......

Our new chairman even gets his hands dirty!

For much more on the day's work, see the Remembrance Sunday 2015 photo gallery.

07/11/15 - 2015 WLA - AGM

7th November 2015

Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham

An enjoyable and eventful AGM was successfully negotiated earlier today. The day will be memorable with the confirmed appointment of new Chairman, Darren Shelmerdine, but also marked the end of an era with previous Chairman, Roger Smith (11 years), and long standing Editor and Publications Officer Steve Draper (26 years) both handing over their batons following long and successful periods in office with the Association. We extend our thanks to both for the sterling service to the cause, and votes of thanks were appropriately recorded. For Steve, his final Western Courier magazine proved to be his 74th - one for each member of the class, and a most appropriate number as many will agree. 


We also extend a warm welcome to Darren who has since commented.....


"I joined the group back in May 1992. When I asked for a Membership Form as I was interested in joining the reply was that there were none left (it was a Gala and had ran out), but I could have one the following week if I attended Bridgnorth with a set of overalls. So the following week I did and been involved as a Working Member ever since.
I feel very privileged to have been elected as the association is one of oldest and most successful Diesel Locomotive Preservation Groups in country."


Well said Darren.


Details of the Officer's reports will follow in the Winter edition of your Western Courier Magazine, along with some exciting news around anniversary celebrations in 2016! Watch this space - more details shortly.

Above - the Sales table in preparation for the AGM.

01/11/15 Roger Fry continued his sterling work on the spare pre-heater control panel. Great to have a standby all ready to go.

Not great news on the injectors front as we managed to test six of the injectors removed by Paul and Jack yesterday, but four fails - 

No. 20525 - Seal leak score "8" poor

No. 48461 - Seal leak score "5" borderline fail

No. 36911 - Nozzle leak "7" poor

No. 48616 - Nozzle leak "5" borderline fail

08/11/15 - There will be working parties at Bridgnorth on Sunday 8th November when the pit inspection and grease samples will be taken from D1062. Work will also continue on D1013 and on the injector testing from '62's B End.

30/10/15 Kidderminster Diesel Depot

Take a look at the New Diesel Depot - fantastic progress is being made. 

Picture credit - Jonathan Dunster.

28/10/15

Appeal to working members for assistance this weekend. It's the grease check under '62..... great chance to get oily (again!) - Contact Pete Sandham.

24 & 25/10/2015

The bogie project received further attention with a trial run removal of a equalising beam. All seems to have gone well, and the beam is set to be refurbished and new bearings fitted ready for a safe return.

18/10/12 - So Saturday's working party did a great job of preparing '62 for her winter hibernation, albeit that it will be short lived this year as there's no time to sleep! We've got to crack on with the extensive schedule of work..... starting with the air tanks...... Hello? What's this - they're already out! Saturday's shift managed to remove them all, and here are some (the big ones) lined up for removal on the end couplings and then ready for the testing over the coming weeks. Very well done to all involvedBelieve it or not, there are some 14 tanks involved, of various sizes, as the Swindon design team seemed to squeeze a tank into every available space!

And a few more......

Then our thoughts turned to the missing bolts required to fix the flywheel to the spare engine. That meant a trip to the rear containers and, after removing a particularly large obstructing vehicle, we discovered that.......  our electricity supply to the containers has been severed! (And no, it wasn't that we hadn't put the fuse in, Jack!). Sorry to report, we've been ex-electricitified. A complaint has been lodged in the strongest terms, and normal service will be restored.... don't hold your breath!

Finally, the day was completed with some sorting of just the odd 500 or so valve caps into their various manufacturers (B.R. and Maybach) and sizes (03 through to 7). We also changes a couple of these in the latest cylinder-head to undergo the Jackson-Killick-Allcroft treatment, with the Dial Test Indicator giving a rewarding reading for the picture (we'll gloss over the others!).
17/10/15 - Pressure testing and certification of the air receivers is a priority for the team, and work commenced this weekend.  

17/10/15 - safely removed and on the bench.

The Sunday shift faced an uphill struggle from the start, needing to replace a 10m length of leaking air-hose from the main reservoir by the boiler-shop. That done, it was more grief as we discovered that the anti-freeze reserve was at an all time low.... An emergency trip to the Tesco's garage (Ed. Oi! Watch that advertising!) produced a miserly 4 litres which were added to the meager reserves. However, with his new magical dipstick thingy measuring whatsit in hand, Mr Jackson declared we had achieved a critical anti-freeze fluid density, with just enough to do both engines. After nearly right royally screwing things up by putting anti-freeze into the "pink" nipple (It's the blue one you idiot!), the remainder of the exercise passed off without further incident.

12/10/15 - The 2016 SVR Diesel Gala will take place from Thurs 19th - Sat 21st May. Visiting loco's to be confirmed in due course, and the home fleet will of course be in action. There might be some exciting changes to the format for this event, so watch this space!

10/10/15 - Joint Committee and Working Members Meeting held at Kidderminster.

10/10/15 - Focus for the working members over the next two weekends will be D1062 B End pre-heater, pit inspection, oil and grease sampling and inspection, and preliminary work for air systems pressure checks alongside D1013's which are being prepared for  testing, certification and return to the loco.

09/10/15 - Following on from the very successful 2015 Gala, we won't have to wait quite so long before we get the opportunity to enjoy SVR diesel thrash once again as the event is being moved forwards to May 2015

A Western does make it into Cornwall - The Mazey Day 2013 was hauled by D9009 in place of D1015, so we needed to be sure of getting at least one Wizzo to Penzance that day! 

31/10/15 A Halloween Hoot of a Day!
Update from Lyn:-
The chap is coming to do the visuals and thickness testing on all the receivers on Wednesday. Robin and Pete have prepared them all, and we're ready for the day. I spent a good while looking for some blanking plugs of which I found a few to add to the ones Pete brought with him and the others already found. Once the chap has done the visuals the job will be on the system and we should then be informed of the dates of the pressure testing. 

Mark has fitted the warning light panel on the second-mans side to B end ready for terminating. Roger has been re-wiring a pre-heater control panel which is nearly completed. A team comprising, Russ, Robin, Pete, Derek, Stuart and myself, removed more parts from the spare bogie. 

Paul and Jack removed the Injectors from B end 62 and Jeff has replaced the water pump on the watchman too. 

All in all a cracking day's work - Well done to all involved! Such a good day, we've added a picture page for you! Click here.

Above: The cursed four injectors - Halloween stuck late! Unfortunately, these will all need a strip down and rebuild for return to D1062. And still another 6 to test next Sunday.....

11/12/15 - Even more good news as the hydraulic pressure testing on all of the Air Receivers from D1062 was successfully undertaken today at Bridgnorth. Photographs of the day's events are available here.

21 & 22/11/15 With the injector test rig pump and filter still on order it'll be focus on the spare engine. Carefully removing the seals and aged gaskets on the inspection cover plates on the spare  engine, and some preserving of

spares.......Pictures have arrived! Click the link!

Darren gets to grips with one of the two relief valves... shhhh don't tell him we might be replacing them.

14 & 15/11/15 Work continued this weekend with the removal of two air relief valves from underneath D1062 to be cleaned and replaced. Paul Walker gets his hands dirty with these as he has no injectors ready - Sorry Paul!

Graham and Mark fitted the Drivers warning light panel at B end on 1013 and fed the wires through to the terminal box.
Meanwhile, Russ bashed hell out of one of the compensation beams from the spare bogie. All to get the bush and pin out but, in the end, he and Andy Killick had to resort to the heavy press-shop to successfully force out the resisting bush.

News also reaches us that the air receivers from D1062 have passed their visual examinations. The hydraulic tests will follow in early course, and decisions will be taken on internal painting of these items very shortly.

Also, a big BIG thank you to those of you who have supported the on-line Appeal with donations. I'm working on some charts to publish progress towards our goals which will be linked to the Appeals page shortly. Every penny helps us take a step forward, so please help the Winter Appeal if you feel you can. (Ed.) 

09/11/15 More good news! We have been able to locate a supplier of the original pre-heater fuel pumps used in the Westerns, and (amazingly!) 

they are still in production! Could we please draw your attention to the Winter Maintenance Appeal, and in particular the section on fuel pumps. A diagram of the pump is available here. If you could you please support us with a small (or 

larger!) donation towards purchase of these vital items, then please contact us, or use the online facility. Every little helps us towards our goals.