This is an unofficial blog of the Bristol Harbour Railway, aiming to provide updates and records of what goes on at the UK’s only passenger carrying dockside railway, as well as insights into the line’s past and future.

All and any views expressed through this are my own and not those of M Shed, its staff, or Bristol City Council.

Please visit the official site to see information on the line, and the list of operating days:

Many thanks

Corwin Bainbridge

14 thoughts on “About

  1. Please can you advise when the last passenger train ran to Butterfly Junction?
    Thank you – Paul Stewart (Great Malvern)

  2. Hi,

    I’m doing some research about the Bristol Harbour Railway and its route near Cumberland Basin and A Bond.

    In the Environmental Statement for the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads and Bristol City Centre Rapid Transit Order it says that “Railway tracks would be inlaid into the busway to allow seasonal Bristol Harbour Railway services to continue.”

    Currently the railway ends in a shed next to A Bond but it’s not functioning. I was wondering wether if there is any project or development going on at the moment that intends to bring back the service.

    Could you help me find out more about the future plans for the area or do you have any idea of where I can get any further information?

    Thank you in advance,


    • Hello Irene, thank you for your message. While I do not represent the railway or M Shed museum, I can tell you my personal understanding of the situation. I believe that the original plan for the metrobus was to have it utilise all of the branch line along the new cut and sharing the busway with trains. This plan was changed so that the buses use Ashton Avenue Swing bridge and a new bus stop on the site of Butterfly Junction halt. The buses now join Cumberland Road after this point. Ballast has been laid for the re-instatement of the railway halt at this point, but reconstruction is on hold until the ground conditions along the New Cut have been investigated due to subsidence that has been happening. For the 2018 season, trains have terminated at Vauxhall Bridge. My personal hope as a volunteer is that the railway can be reinstated all the way to the new halt at A Bond (again, I must emphasise that this blog is an unofficial one and does not represent the views of Bristol Harbour Railway, M Shed Museum, or Bristol City Council).
      I hope this is helpful!

  3. Is there still a plan to build a shed at the end of the SS Great Britain platform? Also what’s the plan for wrapping warf sidings? I see there’s a point in the process of being taken out.

    Cycled round the docks yesterday and was sad to see the graffiti on some of the wagons and covers. And on the wall on the entrance to wrapping warf. Also sad to see butterfly junction end.

    • Hello Jonathan. I’ve not been on the railway this year due to the COVID-19 crisis but as I understand it the planning application for the shed got turned down. I think I know which point you are talking about, I believe that it was worn and considered to be troublesome. From memory I think the plan is to replace with plain rail and relocate the buffer stop to the new siding end, but the crane is currently the other side of the landslip on Cumberland Road.
      Graffiti is an ongoing problem and the best course of action is to report it and for BHR volunteers and staff to clean it off as soon as possible. A human presence is the best deterrent but obviously with quarantine and lockdown at the moment it is hard to do. Personally I hope that we can get back in operation and working on restoration and maintenance soon!

      *please note that the above is my personal opinion and not that of M Shed itself.

  4. You have published a picture of ex-GWR 2053 crossing Kingsweston Lane in the Imperial Smelting Co section. The photograph was taken by M E J Deane in 1959 and the slide is in the collection of the late Mark B Warburton and was published in Steam around Bristol which I wrote for Crecy. Would you please amend the acknowledgement to indicate its proper source rather than an illegal copy scanned from the above publication

    • Hello Gerry, thank you so much for getting in touch, now it makes sense as to why things went quiet when I asked about where the photo had come from. I have amended the caption and added a link to ‘Steam Around Bristol’ on the Waterstones website.

  5. Can you correct the information on the PBA Avonmouth engine LAURENCE which was Peckett Works number 526 of 1893. There was no locomotive built with a Peckett works number 586 there being a gap from 585 to 596. I can supply a photograph taken on 28 August 1948 taken by Eric Hannan which confirms the spelling.

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