GW Ballast Wagon Restoration – II

The GW Ballast Wagon now looking fresh with the metal hood refitted and out in the yard. The next wagon for overhaul has already been selected.

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GW Ballast Wagon Restoration

Pictures from this morning of the latest wagon to go through the workshop, the GW Ballast Wagon (BR telegraphic code ‘Starfish’).

The running gear is being cleaned up and red oxide primer applied, while the black painted bodywork is being signwritten by Bob Edwardes.

GW Ballast Wagon in the Running Shed 29/1/2019

This wagon was the victim of a graffiti attack a few years ago, which obliterated the text on this side. Bob was able to trace the existing text on the North facing side, then apply chalk to the rear of the tracing paper, which leaves a witness mark on the wagon when traced over. This gives the outline for the text.

More wagon restorations

Exciting times at the BHR! Following on from the Sulphuric Acid tanker, the team are wasting no time and have also completed a cosmetic restoration of flat wagon number 31568, an ex-PBA tank wagon chassis.

Pictured here in company with the MOGO and the tank wagon.

The flat wagon is currently carrying a component of the next one to undergo refurbishment, the cover for ex-GWR ‘Starfish’ ballast wagon, built 1936 at Swindon.

Pictured here a few years ago:

Sulphuric Acid Tanker Restoration

Over the summer, the M Shed staff and Volunteers have been restoring another of the preserved wagons in the BHR’s fleet.

The ex-WD Sulphuric Acid Tank Wagon, built in 1940, had the tank lifted off the frames for new plates to be welded on – corrosion had come through in the areas where the tank sits on its cradle.

 

It’s now had the plates welded in (shown here in green gloss) and is in primer.

 

The frames and supports for the tanker have been worked on in the running shed and are shown here looking rather smart, along with appropriate works plates.

 

First operating weekend of 2018 – 10th/11th Feb

The BHR will be in operation tomorrow and Sunday! An early start for an exciting year, and the public debut of the newly overhauled TOAD.

Portbury was out on Thursday shunting the passenger train together.

Toad brake van repainted

The Bristol Harbour Railway is 40 years old this year!

In 1978 a group of keen and like minded people began operating steam train rides on Bristol’s harbourside. They had one working locomotive and an ex-GW brake van.

Henbury and the TOAD outside M Shed in 1979 (Courtesy John Law)

Since then, the van has given thousands of passengers rides up and down the line. It is essential to the running of the railway, becoming the leading end of the train when being propelled, and the large veranda gives a good field of vision for the guard.

Over the winter of 2017-2018, the van has been taken into the shed and been given a makeover. Rotten wood has been repaired, the whole vehicle has been sanded down and repainted, and it now sports a ‘Bristol’ allocation.

It looks very smart and is a credit to the volunteers and employees at M Shed.

I am trying to find out more information on the history of this brake van before it came to the BHR. If anyone does know of its past life, please do leave a comment below.