Published on 24th October 2018
Who would have thought that when DEPG Hymek No.D7018 failed in 1995 while working the Quantock Belle, it would take some twenty-three years to get the locomotive operational again.
October has seen three key stages in the return to the locomotive becoming operational once again. October 2015 the locomotive was successfully started at Williton works after years rebuilding the engine. October 2016 saw No.D7018 make its first light engine movement between Williton and Bishops Lydeard in part restored condition. However, it was two more years of hard work by the DEPG at Williton which culminated in a loaded test run on the 24th October 2018.
The loco left Willtion works with sister locomotive No.7017 on Wednesday 24th October for a light engine run to Bishops Lydeard before collecting a rake of Mk1 coaching stock for a loaded test run to Minehead. No.D7018 was put through its paces with its sister locomotive providing some additional dead weight on the rear of the train. In what was a very proud moment for the Diesel Electric Preservation Group, the sight of two Western Region 'Hymeks' operating on West Somerset metals once again was an amazing sight for all involved. We understand that the test run was a success with just a minor oil leak having been detected. We look forward to seeing plenty more of No.D7018 operating in the WSR in the years to come.