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.


A spot of painting

The passenger stock has been receiving a bit of TLC recently, a bit of fresh paint.

Up near the passenger station outside L Shed, some groundworks are under way.

Conflat Maintenance – 1

The small open passenger wagon, based on a ‘Conflat’, is currently outside the workshop for some maintenance.

The advantage of basing this vehicle on a container wagon is that the whole passenger ‘tub’ can be lifted off, making access easier. Another flat wagon has been brought up to accommodate the tub. It’s handy having huge cranes about the place!


Peckett Party!

In addition to the Father’s Day Steam Up, the opportunity was taken to run a photo charter, organised by 30742 Charters and featuring ‘Teddy’ and ‘Kilmersdon’ in action, as well as ‘Henbury’ on static display.

Will Stratford was there to capture the occasion in these great photos.


Carriage and Wagon Progress

The buffers have been removed from the Conflat, fresh timber added, and refitted.

IMG_9494 The MOGO is currently housed in the engine shed while work continues on the roof. The van is pictured outside in the company of ‘Kilmersdon’.



‘MOGO’ Van Restoration – 6


South side of the MOGO with gloss coat on, and lettering applied. Nearly ready for the docks heritage weekend.


‘MOGO’ Van Restoration – 3

The doors on the South side have been removed for work. Note also the volunteers at M Shed have completely repainted the underframe of the wagon.


It’s coming on well. For comparison, here is a photo of the van from last year.