On Thursday 20th August 2020, steam tug ‘Mayflower’s boiler was lifted back into place. As the museum and working exhibits have been closed during the Coronavirus crisis, it was nice to be able to have them alive again. All volunteers taking part were complying with COVID-19 restrictions throughout. The lift went very smoothly, a credit to all involved. Hopefully this means the 159-year old Mayflower can be in steam again soon!
The BHR is back in action this weekend!
M Shed has published a list of dates up through until June, which can be viewed here.
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:
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.
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.
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.
It’s Docks Heritage Weekend tomorrow and Sunday, featuring a variety of attractions, one of the most varied weekends of the year.
Portbury was warming up outside the shed earlier this week.
Take a look at Will Stratford’s video of last year’s event showing some crane and goods action on the quayside:
Alistair Grieve took these great photos at the recent night photo shoot with Portbury, and has kindly given permission for them to be reproduced here.
You can see all of Ali’s photos on his smugmug site.
I managed to get down to the Nailsea Model Railway Exhibition today and snap some photos of John’s lovely EM gauge (1:76 scale) model of M Shed.
The layout has Portbury and Henbury complete with the passenger train (much of which was scratchbuilt), as well as the Ruston and Larry, and the steam crane (which is motorised!).
This time it was a night shoot on the quayside, where Portbury shared the limelight with the museum’s Bristol lorry.
Here’s a video posted by Martin Creese on the 30742 facebook page:
and a couple of snaps from the evening from the same page: