A railtour to Avonmouth Docks – 1963

YouTube channel Unseen Steam recently posted this video of a railtour visit to Avonmouth in the days of steam.

On 21st July 1963 the RCTS ran what has been described as a “chaotic” railtour (not their fault) from Paddington to the Bristol area behind ‘Grange” class no. 6841 “Marlas Grange” which got the train to the Docks almost bang on time after a good run down the GWR main line to Swindon and then the connection to the Docks at Hallen Marsh Junction. In the Docks the train was worked by one of the Port of Bristol Authority’s tank locomotives, no S11 “Bristol”. All went well until the train was due to leave the Docks which took place around half an hour late. Further troubles ensued, with the train returning to London some one and a half hours late – many passengers had detrained at Stroud to try and find a quicker train home! (Information from http://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk, with thanks to Gary Thornton)

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Henbury’s Overhaul Progresses

Instagram user Alex_4472 took some photos of Henbury under overhaul. This shows the progress being made by the volunteers and staff at M Shed.

The wheels have been scraped back and are in the process of being painted, the tank and frames are also receiving attention.

The last photo shows the chimney used for donations!

Uploaded here with permission.

Henbury Overhaul Progress (October 2016)

Work on Henbury’s 10 year overhaul is progressing well.

The boiler has now been lifted from the frames (courtesy of Crane 32 with shunting assistance from Portbury). The boiler has been placed on a trolley and taken back to the engine shed, while the frames were lifted and turned 90 degrees, then placed on a temporarily-laid piece of track so they could be pushed into the workshop. The cab and other items are also inside.

During certain running days, visitors to M Shed can see work taking place and even make a donation to the overhaul. There are photographs of the boiler lift on display to show the process.

The above sequence shows the lift.

Above: The boiler, cab, frames and tank all separated out.

Meanwhile, Portbury is running the scheduled services. This weekend is the last operating weekend of the season, with trains running from M Shed and alternating down the branch to Vauxhall Bridge and the quayside line to SS Great Britain.

Here are a few shots of Portbury at work last weekend.

Overhauls and Maintenance

There’s plenty going on at M Shed at the moment. Henbury is in the shed being dismantled for overhaul.

If you are visiting M Shed and would like to make a donation to help Henbury steam again, there is a donation box in front of the viewing window. All donations are welcome!

The TOAD brake van, meanwhile, is outside the workshop receiving new boards and a lick of paint on the door.

Much further down the line, Ashton Avenue Bridge is inside its cocoon, being repaired for use by MetroBus.

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Judy and Teddy in action

The pictures below were taken the weekend before last, with Judy on passenger duties and Teddy once again offering ‘Driver fora Tenner’ experiences in the yard. These photos were taken by Tim Symons, who has given permission for them to be reproduced here.