With the first running weekend of the year just around the corner (5-6th April), the two steam locos were out in the open to be inspected. Henbury has had new seals fitted over the winter, and Portbury is nearing the end of her running-in period.
Today’s #throwbackthursday post is about Ashton Meadows sidings.
Ashton Meadows was formerly the exchange yard between the harbour branch and the line from Portishead to the main line at Parson Street junction. It was also the site of a civil engineers depot.
Until 1987, the 0-6-0 Hudswell Clarke diesel shunter ‘Western Pride’ would take loaded wagons from Ashton Meadows, up the New Cut, to the Western Fuel Depot (Behind M and L shed).
In 1983, ‘Western Pride’ broke down, and for 3 weeks, ‘Henbury’ was pressed into service, becoming the first preserved steam loco to haul freight for British Railways since the end of steam in 1968.
This was the view from the A3029 overbridge on a misty morning in February 1980. These pictures appear with the kind permission of Kevin Redwood.
37302 is running round the loaded 21t hoppers, the empties are ready for the return trip. On the left is the building that later became ‘Megabowl’, and is now the site of Paxton Drive apartments. The area of the former sidings was levelled for the use of construction equipment and site offices.
The trackbed here is now a foot and cycle path leading across Ashton Avenue Bridge, and the route of the proposed Metrobus guided busway.
Work is forging ahead next door to M Shed, on the Wapping Wharf housing scheme. This includes the resurfacing of the square outside the engine shed, seen here:
The disused loop line has been cut into for drainage.
This scene is soon to change drastically, with the roadway being taken alongside the running line, to a new level crossing just out of sight.
‘Container city’ on the right.
Today’s Throwback Thursday post – back in September 1997, ‘USA’ tank 30075 (Built in 1960 in Yugoslavia to a WW2 design) ran some photo charters.
Ian Silvester took this video, and has given permission for it to be reproduced here.