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.

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Toad in the works

The ‘Toad’ brake van is receiving some attention this winter. The rather tired door is being renewed, and the van has been jacked up, the springs removed, and packing wood in place.

Pictured here is the former harbour plug, used from 1804-1935 when it was replaced by one made of rubber. The harbour needed to be drained fully to allow the plug to be removed, restricting navigation for 2 days.*
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*This is not true, just a joke!

TBT – Portbury’s Slumber

After the preservation project at Radstock closed, and before she was brought to L Shed for restoration, Portbury was stored in a warehouse at Avonmouth Docks. Some restoration work had been undertaken at Radstock, and the loco was re-assembled before delivery back to Avonmouth. It was to be another 10 years until she returned to steam.

The photographs on this page (Unless otherwise stated) were taken by Kevin Hughes and purchased from the Rail Correspondance and Travel Society’s website. They appear here for research purposes only and may not be used for profit or gain without permission. 

Portbury’s Twin Needs Your Help!

Based just a few miles away at the Avon Valley Railway is an almost identical loco to the BHR’s own ‘Portbury’, Avonside No.1798.

An appeal has been launched to get this locomotive restored and back in steam. It was the first steam loco on-site at Bitton in 1973, and worked there right up until it needed a heavy overhaul in the mid 1980s.

Built in 1918 at the same Bristol works as ‘Portbury’, it was delivered to the Imperial Smelting Works in Avonmouth, where it laboured away its whole working life.

ISC Ltd. No.2 at work in Avonmouth (Photo copyright Gordon Edgar)

ISC Ltd. No.2 at work in Avonmouth (Photo copyright Gordon Edgar)

The above photo appears here with the kind permission of Gordon Edgar, please take a look at his flickr site for more great railway images

When restored at the Avon Valley Railway, the loco received a plain black livery and was named ‘Edwin Hulse’ after a founder member of the railway.

En route to Bitton

En route to Bitton

The first steam-hauled trains at Bitton

The first steam-hauled trains at Bitton

A lot has changed since 1974, but this loco has seen it all!

A lot has changed since 1974, but this loco has seen it all!

How you can help

You can help by sponsoring one of the major parts listed in this brochure (download link) or by joining the 1798 Club whereby you covenant to donate £17.98 each month by standing order for up to 24 months. Whether you sponsor a specific item or donate monthly, you will automatically become members of the 1798 Club and be entitled to a range of benefits.

Every penny received from sponsorship or donation is spent on restoring this important engine.

Further details can be obtained by downloading the leaflet.

Please take a look at the official website for more details.

‘MOGO’ Van Restoration – 5

The first coat of gloss is going on the van, while the new doors are being made in the workshop.

New door being made up

New door being made up

Old door to be used as a template

Old door to be used as a template

Gloss coat in evidence

Gloss coat in evidence

Saturday evening - the van was sandwiched between Portbury and Henbury in the shed, quite a squeeze!

Saturday evening – the van was sandwiched between Portbury and Henbury in the shed, quite a squeeze!

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A Clean Railway

One of the main aims of 2014 has been to tidy up the overall look of the railway. This has ranged from the restoration of the MOGO van, to weedkilling and cutting back branches.

Even the simple things such as picking up litter can make a huge difference. From the small area next to the river siding came enough rubbish to fill 2 large sacks.

Here is the river siding earlier this year:
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Today:
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The PBA brake van has also had a clean. The North side of the wagons, facing away from sunlight, can get very dirty and covered in moss.
Before:
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After:
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One of the biggest challenges of having a railway in the inner city is graffiti. Bristol has a proud history of famous graffiti and street artists, such as Banksy, 3D and Inkie, however it is less helpful when someone puts their tag on museum stock. Sometimes this could be due to the perception that the stock is out of use, or more generally, trains are daubed so that particular tag can be seen all around the country.
Regardless of the reasoning, the best response is to clean it off quickly, showing that the trains are in fact in use by the museum and that people care about their appearance.
The passenger train was tagged in April this year. This was cleared off almost straight away.
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