Docks Heritage Weekend 2019

DHW took place last weekend, with plenty going on at M Shed, SS Great Britain and Underfall Yard.

On Saturday, the Capstan was also in operation again. This device enables people to move wagons along the quayside without needing a locomotive. I made this video of the Capstan in use back in 2014.

Two electric cranes were also in operation, one giving tours and one loading/unloading goods to and from the lorry and rail vehicles.

 

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Restoration Updates – April 2019

Lots has been going on, ‘Portbury’ has just finished working the busy Bank Holiday weekend.

A few weeks ago the Steam Crane’s jib was re-painted.

The Turbot’s vacuum brake cylinder was due for overhaul, so in March it was shunted out of the service train and outside the shed, where the work was carried out.

Here it is, freshly refurbished.

The BD open wagon’s repaint is pressing ahead. The planks still have a few years left in them so since the wagon won’t be carrying much in the way of loads, the scabby looking planks were simply turned around in situ.

 

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:

40th Anniversary Celebrations (Video)

On Saturday March 24th 2018, the Bristol Harbour Railway celebrated 40 years of operation on Bristol’s Harbourside, accompanied by the Lydney Town Band and of course a cake to commemorate the occasion! 101-year old ‘Portbury’ did the honours, pushing and pulling the freshly-refurbished passenger train up and down all day. What started as a group of enthusiasts, one locomotive (Henbury) and a brake van has seen dozens of changes on the harbourside, with the disused industrial area changing into a vibrant tourist hotspot. Long may it continue to bring delight to passengers, giving a unique experience in UK preservation.

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.