Conflat Maintenance – 1

The small open passenger wagon, based on a ‘Conflat’, is currently outside the workshop for some maintenance.

The advantage of basing this vehicle on a container wagon is that the whole passenger ‘tub’ can be lifted off, making access easier. Another flat wagon has been brought up to accommodate the tub. It’s handy having huge cranes about the place!

End of the Season

Well, that’s the end of the 2015 operating season on the BHR. Plenty of exciting updates to come, with the ongoing metrobus and Whapping Wharf/Sugar Quay developments, and M Shed’s own projects.

Here’s a photo of a scene that won’t be repeated again, the old Butterfly Junction halt with ‘Judy’ on the passenger train.

Photo courtesy Tim Symons

Photo courtesy Tim Symons

 

Cranes and Boats and Trains

The last operating weekend of the season is this coming Saturday and Sunday on the BHR, before the winter shut down begins. M Shed museum will be open as normal.

The steam tug Mayflower will also be giving rides.

One of the electric cranes is open to visitors from 11am-4pm today, if you want to go up in the cab and see the controls!

 

Butterfly Junction Redevelopment – 2

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The above diagram (available via the MetroBus website) shows the intentional junction for the guided busway with Cumberland Road, and the re-routing of the harbour railway as a result. The large sweeping curve into Butterfly Junction is gone and replaced with a halt alongside the Bond Warehouse, whilst the ‘Barn’ is retained.

This was the view this morning, the platform in the final stages of removal, and the pointwork rails removed.

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The track has been removed as far as the foot crossing to the chocolate path.

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End of the Line

Track lifting is well under way at Butterfly Junction, just the pointwork rails and the sleepers remaining in the station area. These photos also show the vegetation clearance that has taken place.

Ashton Avenue Bridge is now closed for refurbishment, along with the former trackbed. No doubt the rails still on the bridge will be coming out shortly.

A different scene over at SS Great Britain Halt, where the buffer stop has been moved from the end of the line here. I believe that this is to be used as the basis for a small shed, which should come in useful if the branch along the New Cut is closed while MetroBus is under construction.

Crane Dance/Heritage Weekend Photos and Videos

What a nice weekend! The weather was good and the crowds turned out to both the Docks Heritage Weekend, and on Saturday evening, the Crane Dance. The dance, featuring live music and choreographed lighting and movement, was devised by Laura Kriefman and was a collaboration between:

M Shed, Underfall Yard, RSVP Bhangra, The Balmoral, Bristol Pilot Gig Club, Bristol Channel Social Rowers, Watershed, Studio 360.

 

Here’s a few clips:

 

Jamie Corbin put together this timelapse of the crane dance:

In the daytime, there were dockside loading and unloading demonstrations, actors from the Show of Strength Theatre Company, mosaics, the steam crane in operation, rides on the tug John King, and the chance to drive Judy for £10, and more…

Here’s an example of one of the mosaics made by Mosaic Madness

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The steam crane had quite an unusual load…

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Henbury was on display in the yard. She is in need of 149 new boiler tubes for her overhaul and any and all donations towards this are very welcome!

This delightful Bristol bus was busy ferrying people between M Shed and Underfall Yard.

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Docks Heritage Weekend and Crane Dance

This coming weekend  is the excellent Docks Heritage Weekend. Here’s a couple of pics and videos from last years event in case you missed it.

Freshly painted MOGO

Freshly painted MOGO

Here’s what the Official M Shed Website has to say about the event:

A weekend of activities across two sites exploring the history and working life of the old City Docks.

Stroll around the fantastic Underfall Yard as its restoration programme gets into full swing and take part in activities at M Shed including boat trips, crane visits, have a go experiences and performances.

Events at M Shed

  • Mosaic Madness will be helping visitors create mosaics inspired by Bristol’s working docks and the river Avon
  • Screenings of historic films about the port
  • Dramatic interludes from Show of Strength Theatre Company exploring characters from the dock’s past Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 11.30am, 2pm and 2.30pm
  • Visit an electric crane (charges apply)
  • Cargo handling demonstrations
  • Trips on the tug John King (charges apply)
  • Visits to Balmoral, once part of the P & A Campbell fleet
  • Visit the Fairbairn steam crane
  • Drive a steam locomotive (charges apply)

Events at Underfall Yard

  • Demonstrations of traditional skills
  • Pop on a hard hat and take a look behind the scenes of the restoration works
  • Visit the viewing platform for spectacular harbour views
  • Family activities
  • Dramatic interludes from Show of Strength Theatre Company exploring stories from the yard’s past, Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm and 3.30pm
  • Guided walks to Brunel’s Other Bridge, Sunday 1pm and 3pm
  • Explore reuse and recycling stories from Bristol’s boating communities and make your own floaty boaty (run in partnership with Bristol Green Capital), Sunday 2-4pm

 

A special event will also be taking place on Saturday evening. This is the Crane Dance performance, devised by Laura Kriefman. Starting at 8pm, this will combine  lights, boats, choirs, live bhangra band music, and choreographed synchronised cranes!

This event is completely free and best viewed from the Arnolfini or Lloyds Amphitheatre.

Exciting stuff!

 

Indian Summer, Civil Engineering

After a particularly cold and wet summer, the weather has taken a turn for the better, giving us some glorious days and incredible sunsets.

Here’s a (bad camera phone quality) snap I took of the golden sunset glimpsed beneath the Cumberland Road bridge.

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Up North, Portbury has been kept busy at Beamish. In this photo reproduced from the Beamish Museum facebook page, she is seen in the company of WW1-era Gordon Highlanders re-enactors at the Agricultural Show event.

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Back in Bristol, there have been multiple engineering projects in the railway’s environs. The Metrobus development has cleared a large area of land at Butterfly Junction and Ashton Meadows, and new drainage has been installed.

One of the most conspicuous developments has been the ongoing repair work to Prince Street Bridge. This is adjacent to the platform at M Shed and has involved the construction of a large temporary bridge. The girders on the swing bridge are corroded and need replacing, so it will be closed to all traffic for 6 months.

Also pictured is Kaskelot, a Bristol-based ship, taking the usual mooring point of Balmoral while the latter was at sea.