In 2006, Bristol Industrial Museum was host to a 1940s event. One of the highlights saw Fairbairn Steam Crane, built in the 1870s, lift up a restored Sherman M4A4 tank and place it on a goods train. The immense strength of the Fairbairn design is evident, and the crane is still in operation to this day as part of M Shed.
It’s been a while since I’ve done any Throw Back Thursday posts, but with summer just around the corner, there are more to come!
This is a photo from a charter in 2001, during the last days of Ashton Meadows sidings (note the overgrown bushes). The loco is GWR 813, a unique survivor built in 1901 for the Port Talbot Railway in Wales. The 813 fund have given permission for this photo to be reproduced here.
Way back in 2001, the previously-mothballed rail link to Portbury had been renovated and was due for re-opening. The opportunity was taken to run a special 3-coach train hauled by the museum’s own loco ‘Portbury’ from Parson Street Station (Where the Portishead branch leaves the Great Western Main Line) to the new terminal at Portbury dock.
A full write-up of this historic event written by Paul Stanford can be read on the Avon Valley Railway’s website here: http://semaphore.avonvalleyrailway.org/html/avonside.html
Here are two videos on YouTube documenting the event, one taken from the leading carriage of the special train.
Google maps’ view of the area around M Shed is now outdated, but does give an interesting insight into how the landscape around the railway has and continues to evolve. I cobbled together a few images to give a bigger picture.
You can see how M and L shed were formerly much more separate, with rail access to the workshops in L shed behind.
Also visible are the old reclamation yards to the South, now a building site for Umberslade’s housing project.
The end of the loop where the temporary ‘barn’ was constructed is to the West side of the picture.