TBT – GWR 813 at Ashton Meadows

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Throw Back Thursday posts, but with summer just around the corner, there are more to come!

This is a photo from a charter in 2001, during the last days of Ashton Meadows sidings (note the overgrown bushes). The loco is GWR 813, a unique survivor built in 1901 for the Port Talbot Railway in Wales. The 813 fund have given permission for this photo to be reproduced here.

To find out more about GWR 813 or help fund the group’s restoration projects, click here.

(Courtesy GWR 813 Fund)

(Courtesy GWR 813 Fund)

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Metrobus – Vegetation Clearance

The planned Metrobus route, formerly the line to Ashton Meadows sidings, has been tidied up.
This includes the line over Ashton Avenue Bridge (Rails are still extant on this section)
The clearance has exposed the old permanent way huts, some sleepers, and electrical boxes.

TBT – Ashton Meadows Sidings

Today’s #throwbackthursday post is about Ashton Meadows sidings.
Ashton Meadows was formerly the exchange yard between the harbour branch and the line from Portishead to the main line at Parson Street junction. It was also the site of a civil engineers depot.

Until 1987, the 0-6-0 Hudswell Clarke diesel shunter ‘Western Pride’ would take loaded wagons from Ashton Meadows, up the New Cut, to the Western Fuel Depot (Behind M and L shed).

In 1983, ‘Western Pride’ broke down, and for 3 weeks, ‘Henbury’ was pressed into service, becoming the first preserved steam loco to haul freight for British Railways since the end of steam in 1968.

This was the view from the A3029 overbridge on a misty morning in February 1980. These pictures appear with the kind permission of Kevin Redwood.

37302 is running round the loaded 21t hoppers, the empties are ready for the return trip, 11:2:80
37302 is running round the loaded 21t hoppers, the empties are ready for the return trip. On the left is the building that later became ‘Megabowl’, and is now the site of Paxton Drive apartments. The area of the former sidings was levelled for the use of construction equipment and site offices.

The Western Fuel Company Hudswell pilot (ex PBA No. D1171) takes the loaded hoppers to Wapping Wharf, 11:2:80.
‘Western Pride’ takes the loaded hoppers out of Ashton Meadows and on toward the docks. This loco is now preserved and currently in storage in the midlands.

The trackbed here is now a foot and cycle path leading across Ashton Avenue Bridge, and the route of the proposed Metrobus guided busway.