News From the Bluebell Railway
Archive - Sept-Dec 2000

This is an Archive for the main News from the Bluebell page. Please note that due to the historical nature of this page, some links may no longer work correctly.

News update 15 December 2000

2001 Timetable and Special Events

The 2001 Timetable is now available on this web site (click here). There are few changes from last year, the most important being a further increase in the number of days on which the vintage trains operate. Stepney Specials will again run on Saturdays in August, and also, for the first time, for the Michaelmas half-term week, and the extra Vintage Branch Line Train dates are weekends in July.

The full list of Special Events is also now available, and changes this year include the mutation of the July Steam Fair into a "Steam and Country" fair, the change from a November Military Vehicles day to a major "1940's Weekend" event in mid-September, and the "Giants of Steam" becoming a full weekend in October following the outstanding success of this year's event.

The dates of operation and full details of the 2001 Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train are also now available.

The Four Terriers

Although it was the LBSCR Gala weekend when all four terriers (our own Stepney, Freshwater and Newport visiting from the Isle of Wight, and 2678 [formerly Knowle] from the K&ESR) operated trains, it wasn't until the following weekend, when Stepney's 125th Birthday was celebrated, that all four could line up together for group photos at Horsted Keynes.

Terrier triple-header - Tony Pearce It was the LBSCR Gala though that provided the drama. Everything went relatively smoothly on the Saturday, but on the Sunday Knowle came close to running out of water, and ended up dropping its fire close to the tunnel, and had to be rescued by Birch Grove taken off the following train. As a result the train service for the rest of the day was cut back to three sets of locos and coaches, but Knowle, having had a few hours to recover in the sidings at Horsted, was fully fit again to play its part in the triple header as scheduled, seen here in Tony Pearce's photo. More of his photos of the event are to be found here, and a fine photo of the two Bulleid-liveried Terriers with a 4-coach Bulleid train has appeared in the latest edition of "Steam Railway".

Whilst the weather was not the best, it was a most enjoyable event. The evening service formed of Stepney and the Observation Car (representing a Brighton Balloon Auto-trailer) and Knowle with the two Metropolitan coaches were kept busy on the Saturday evening, and Freshwater, posed with the goods train under floodlights at Horsted, provided additional interest.

There were plenty more Terriers and other Brighton locos to be seen in model form in the model railway exhibition at Horsted Keynes, and this was also adjudged a success, although a power failure caused by a lightning strike curtailed the operation of the superb collection of finescale layouts slightly prematurely on the Sunday afternoon.

Santa Trains book heavily;
Services maintained in spite of landslides

The first weekend of the Santa Special operation saw the trains about 75% full, which is unprecedented, and whilst it is not usual for the final weekend to be absolutely fully booked, the substantial increase in passenger numbers this year has, it appears, carried through to Santa Bookings, resulting in virtually every train until Christmas being essentially full. The only day with a substantial number of seats still available is Wednesday Dec 20th.

Unfortunately over Tuesday night (12th Dec) there were two landslips on the line caused by torrential rain. A minor slip in the cutting near Three Arch Bridge has been repaired, with eight wagon-loads of spoil excavated, allowing a Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train to operate on the Thursday evening. Unfortunately a more serious landslip at Ingwersons, between West Hoathly and Kingscote, will take more time to rectify.

In spite of these problems, our Santa Special timetable will be unaffected, with departures from Sheffield Park maintained at their published times.

Pullman Car 64 in service for Christmas Trains

Pullman Car 64 has returned to traffic for the Christmas Golden Arrow Trains, following extensive, but temporary, repairs carried out over the last three months. About a third of one side has been dismantled, and all the timber structure replaced with new timbers. Much of the interior of the rot-affected area has also needed replacement, and marquetrie panels have been overhauled and repaired by Dunns, the small family firm who made the panels back in 1928. The roof covering has been patched to make it watertight. The work has been undertaken by a mix of contract, volunteer and full-time staff, led by Peter Milnes, who worked 'til 4am one morning to ensure it was completed in time for its booked passengers.

The repairs are of a temporary nature, since the roof needs complete recovering, and considerable unsound timber is known to remain in the body, so the Car will require much more major work next year to keep it serviceable in the longer term. A survey of Car 54 is being undertaken, and initial indications are that this may be an easier proposition for overhaul, since the body itself is in much better overall condition, and many spare parts have been gathered by the Horsted Keynes Pullman Car Group to complete the vehicle over the past decade.

Maunsell BCK 6575 has been withdrawn from service pending intermediate overhaul, which it may receive later this year. Again the principal problem is the failure of the roof covering, and the coach is currently in the carriage shed where it is "drying out".

SECR C-class bows out of service

The SECR 0-6-0 tender locomotive, which starred as "The Green Dragon" in The Railway Children has bowed out of service with serious fire-box problems. With cracking and thinning of the inner copper firebox having become apparent, the opinion is that the 60-year-old firebox is now beyond economic repair. The spare boiler we have for this locomotive will be surveyed soon to decide the best way forward when the locomotive next receives an overhaul.

New web pages for "The Railway Children"

The Railway Children
A series of new web pages have been written to document the recent filming of The Railway Children on the Bluebell. The pages include cast photographs, and details of the locations, locomotives and carriages used, and other background information, and were prompted by enquiries about the filming from the USA and Canada, where the TV Film was shown during November.

4 Terriers (take 2)

With the Isle of Wight Terriers able to stay until the end of February, and Fenchurch expected to steam earlier that month, it is planned that four Terriers will again be seen in action together at the Special Winter Steam-up weekend on 17 & 18 February, as part of a 7-loco intensive service. As previously, this will also make full use of the railway's operational pre-grouping and Southern Railway stock.

4 Terriers (take 3)

It is planned that Stepney and Fenchurch will repay the complement with a visit to the Isle of Wight for a 9-day long "Terrier Festival" at the end of July.

Ian Allan wrote...

...and we were flattered! In the current edition of "Railway World", Ian Allan, in introducing the Independent Railway of the Year competition results, writes that the judges feel in their hearts that the Bluebell should win the award every year but that a constant procession of trophies to Sheffield Park would not encourage the other railways! The judges therefore now look for railways which show marked improvements over previous years. We therefore congratulate our friends on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway for winning this year, and those on the K&ESR for achieving the runners up spot in the year they pulled the railway round financially and opened their extension to Bodiam. Apparently we next have a chance to win when we open through to East Grinstead!

Talking of which...

Keepers to Hazelden As you all should now know, the successful completion of the difficult land purchases has enabled a start to be made on trackbed clearance in preparation for the construction of the extension through to East Grinstead. The extension team are now using a digital camera to bring us photo reports of their progress, which are to be found on a new web page entitled Latest Progress towards East Grinstead.

The photo shows that from Keepers (where the pond has been drained) there is now an unobstructed view north for about 450 metres - almost to the south end of the tip. Much of the trackbed has been "skimmed" which will hopefully enable it to drain. However it is in no way ready for track to be laid! Much of the original bed is damaged and will need work to make it fit for ballasting.

Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the Heritage Railways News Express
See also Extension Progress, the Loco Works Photo News and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Extension - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

News update 9 November 2000

Memories of the LBSCR

Weekend of 18-19 November
Including the Starlight Special event on the Saturday evening.

2678 on KESR With the arrival of the three visiting "Stroudley Terriers" (2678 [photo right] yesterday and W8 & W11 expected next Tuesday) preparations are well under way for this event. Completing the LBSCR loco line-up are our own "Stepney" and "Birch Grove" which will be running. "Fenchurch", in the final stages of its overhaul and re-build back to original A1 shape, will be on static display along-side the others. There is a photo-news update for Fenchurch on the Loco pages.

Recently restored Bulleid Pacific "Blackmoor Vale" (also built at Brighton) and the 1896-built "O1" will also be running that weekend, and in addition to being able to ride in LBSCR, SECR, Metropolitan and Southern Railway coaches, on the Saturday evening and Sunday morning "Stepney", with the help of our Observation Car, will be re-creating a Brighton "Balloon" Motor Train. A pre-grouping goods train will also operate Saturday morning and evening.

Further details are available: Click here. Note particularly that engineering work means that Connex trains to East Grinstead are not running that weekend. An hourly Connex bus from Three Bridges to East Grinstead connects with our own 473 bus to Kingscote. The 270 bus from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes is another alternative, as is RDH Service 121/122 from Lewes to Sheffield Park on the Saturday.

Sad news

In the last couple of weeks we have lost the wives of two of our former general managers, Phillis May and Lilian Holden. Our thoughts are especially with Bernard Holden, who has been supported by Lilian throughout his long involvement with the Bluebell since he chaired the first meeting in 1959, through to becoming "Superintendent of the Line" in 1971 following Horace May's departure, and still retaining considerable influence today as our President.

Donations in memory of Lilian may be sent to the Brighton Saloon Fund
c/o Bowley Funeral Services,
30 Keymer Road,
Hassocks BN6 8AN

2001 Calendar on Web Site

A Bluebell Railway 2001 Calendar is available for free download for you to print out, as fund-raising for the Carriage Works Extension Fund.

This project also benefits from donations when you buy Historical Transport Film videos from Beulah through this link. Another project supported in this way is The Brighton Atlantic project.

Most recent progress on the Carriage Works Extension has seen the laying of a concrete floor on the raised dock area, and the laying of drains has started. A block-work wall now separates the two halves of the south end of the existing shed.

Cladding and roof complete Whilst the Works Extension may look superficially fairly complete, much is still to be funded on the interior of the building, including the remaining concrete floor, fitting doors, fire and intruder alarm systems, electrics, heating, installation of existing woodworking machinery from elsewhere on site, fitting dust extraction, moving the existing paint shop and internal partitioning, and fitting out the mess room, toilets and showers. A fire-break is also required down the length of the existing shed to separate the rolling-stock storage area from the workshop. The electrical system, involving lighting, three-phase and single-phase power distribution and a new power intake area, is the biggest part of the project, and will cost several tens of thousands.

All of this means that we cannot lay off from fund-raising, so please do download the Calendar, and send in a suitable donation (no matter how small, but the larger the better!)

A reminder that a Bluebell Railway Screensaver is also available for downloading to your PC. This is raising money for the overhaul of SECR 323 "Bluebell".

Help needed with Santa Specials

This year we still have vacancies for volunteers for most days, but we especially need staff for.....

Sundays 10th, 17th and 24th December,
Wednesday 20th, Thursday 21th and Friday 22nd
We need 14 volunteers a day just to serve the refreshments on the trains, and also volunteers to heat mince pies on all days.

These are enjoyable trains to work on so come along and help to raise thousands of pounds for our railway.

No previous experience required!
New Volunteers welcome.

Please contact Tom Windsor (Santa Special roster clerk)
72 Kilmartin Ave, Norbury, London SW16 4QZ (020) 8764 0879
or C&W dept. Horsted Keynes.

If you prefer the fresh air and a little less physical work, David Mark and Roger Price are also looking for people to help at the various car parks at Sheffield Park. Contact David at 39A Marius Road, Upper Tooting, London SW17 7QU, or leave a message for Roger at Sheffield Park. Days when more help is still needed are: Sun 3, Sat 9, Sun 10, Sun 17, Wed 20, Thu 21, Fri 22, Sat 23 and Sun 24 December.

Carol Service at Horsted Keynes Station

7.30pm, Wednesday 13th December All are welcome to this service, which will be conducted by the Railway's chaplain, who is also Rector of Horsted Keynes. "Stepney" will also be in attendance.

Permanent Way Working Week

Seriously affected by the heavy rain, our P-way team none-the-less managed to complete the reconstruction of a length of trackbed on Freshfield Bank. The problem stretch, where only a thin layer of ballast was present on top of a chalk layer (which had been punctured allowing clay to pump into the formation), has been causing increasing problems in recent years. The solution has been to dig out the entire formation and build a firm, impervious sub-base below a decent depth of new ballast. Concrete sleepers dating from the 1950s have also been replaced by timber to lessen the load on the formation.

Due to LSWR loco "Normandy" requiring works attention (it's now back in action) the works trains were hauled by LBSCR E4 "Birch Grove", which was based at Horsted Keynes for the week. Since this loco has air braking, and the P-way mess coach also retains air-braking, we can now claim to have run our first air-braked train!

Why not help out on the Permanent Way?

Graham Ward has a number of volunteer P-way gangs in operation, and any-one interested in getting some out-door exercise is welcome to join them. Details are:
* 1st Sunday of the Month - Kingscote Gang. 08.30 trolley ex Horsted Keynes, 09.30 ex Kingscote.
* 3rd Sunday of the Month - Horsted Keynes Gang. 09.30 approx start.
* 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the Month - Quick Hit Gang. One hour's P-way work on Saturdays immediately following the last train. Trolley to site from Horsted Keynes.

These volunteer gangs have made a big impact on the dropped rail-joints and other problem areas over the last year, and the HK gang have also been involved in laying the new Ardingly junction trackwork at the south end of Horsted Keynes.

Dates for 2001

Some of the principal dates for 2001 special events are now on the web site. The gaps will be filled in over the next few weeks. The first big event will be February 17 - 18, the Special Winter Steam-up weekend, when "Fenchurch" should be running.

Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the Heritage Railways News Express
See also Extension Progress, the Loco Works Photo News and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Extension - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

News Release: 30 October 2000

Northern Extension. (Kingscote to East Grinstead)

On behalf of Graham Flight, Chairman of the Bluebell PLC, myself, as Chairman of the Preservation Society, and extensions Director Jim Turtle, I am pleased to be able to confirm that the Bluebell Railway has completed the purchase of the last two pieces of land between Kingscote and East Grinstead in private ownership.

There are two remaining tracts of land not in private ownership for which negotiations are at an advanced stage.

This means that Bluebell owns the Trackbed immediately north of Kingscote to the land north of the viaduct.

Extensions Director Jim Turtle will begin planning the works and infrastructure required immediately. Line clearance and fencing operations have already begun and can progress northwards in earnest.

Please note that access to the trackbed is not permissible under any circumstances.

The Bluebell Railway can at last begin the final push northwards and achieve its principal objective... a terminus at East Grinstead.

A full story detailing the history of the extension will appear in the Christmas edition of Bluebell News.

Roy Watts
Chairman, BRPS.

Imberhorn Viaduct
Imberhorne Viaduct, already in Bluebell ownership, will carry the Bluebell's steam trains into East Grinstead.
Mike Esau

Further details of the Bluebell's Extensions are available here.


"Beachy Head" returning

The Bluebell Railway announced on Sunday 29th October its intention to reconstruct a Brighton H2 Atlantic based on SR/BR period "Beachy Head", the loco that was cut up at Eastleigh just before the Bluebell was formed. With help from friends who would like to see a Brighton Atlantic steam again the Bluebell would love to have the loco in steam fifty years after its demise in 1958.

This project is no pipe dream. The Bluebell already have a boiler and tender frame and wheels, plus many of the smaller parts. However there is much to do so if you want to help with skills, services or just money please e-mail Barry Coward.

A web page about this project was made available last year.

Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the Heritage Railways News Express
See also Extension Progress, the Loco Works Photo News and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Extension - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

News update 19 October 2000

Many of these news items are covered in greater detail elsewhere on this site - follow the links at the end.

Giants of Steam

This Sunday is your chance to see all the Bluebell's biggest engines in steam together, including the first pairing in preservation of two Malachite Green Bulleid Pacifics, on a 12-coach train. The latest update to the web page for the Giants of Steam special event includes further details, and information on bus times. This includes a free vintage bus service throughout the day to Lewes and Brighton, in addition to our regular service to East Grinstead.

Horsted Keynes platform 1/2 canopy

Topping Out of the first chimney, October 2000 The photo on the right shows the topping out ceremony earlier this month for the first of the two chimneys on this new canopy which has been built under Robin Elliott's leadership over the last seven years. More photos and details on the web page.

Bluebell Screensaver

Our thanks to Tony Pearce for making this available to us all, for free, although donations to the fund to overhaul No.323 "Bluebell" are suggested.

A Bluebell Website 2001 Calendar will also be available in a few weeks time - watch this space!

LNWR Semi-Royal Saloon 806

LNWR Semi-Royal Saloon Built in 1903 with the same body style as the LNWR's two Royal Saloons for King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, these exquisite carriages, with a day saloon and two small night saloons, were frequently attached to the Royal Train for the use of royal staff, family or guests. The interior of the saloons is fitted out in the same "white naval" style as the two royal carriages which are preserved in the National Railway Museum. The corridors and vestibules are in polished timber, and the external doors are varnished mahogany, contrasting with the painted finish of the rest of the exterior.

Privately owned, and restored at Tyseley in 1989 with the help of a MSC scheme, this vehicle was purchased privately by a Bluebell member in October 2000, and moved to the line to act as part of the Bluebell's dining train. It was in use yesterday for filming work.

Another carriage body for the LBSCR train

Last Friday saw the arrival on the Bluebell of a Stroudley 4w Third body, dating from 1890. Kept under observation for a number of years, waiting for the time when it would become available when the bungalow of which it was a part was demolished, this carriage is already referred to as "Betty" rather than by its number (328). This gives us the prospect of a four coach Stroudley set, which will make a superb and authentic train in conjunction with our Stroudley Terriers.

Carriage Works Extension

Cladding and roof complete This photo shows the dramatic progress achieved in September, and the SR style, blending so well with the station environs at Horsted Keynes that most people immediately ask "when can you clad the old shed to match?". This is certainly a possibility, but at present there are more pressing uses for any money, such as completing the extension and bringing it into use.

The total cost of cladding the walls and roof (both are insulated double skins) was about £40,000 and we are grateful to the Bluebell Railway Trust for contributing half the cost of the cladding. Other funding to get to this stage has come from a legacy and a large number of very generous individual donations.

Since this photo was taken, the windows have been glazed and the drainage work is under way. The next major step is laying the floor on the upper (dock) level, which will exhaust the currently available funding, so please refer to the web page for this project to see how you can help us complete this project.

First WAP Site

The Bluebell's WAP site was launched earlier this month, and is at It has basic details of services, operating dates, and how to get to the railway. This is the first WAP presence for any heritage railway.

The system, which enables a user to read information on a very small screen on some mobile phones, is in its infancy. Many commentators predict that it will not become a widespread service and that it will be overtaken by the next generation of such services, which will be very much more powerful. I don't see that as any reason not to offer a WAP service, since the experience of doing so can only help when more advanced services become available in the future, and in the meantime, it offers a useful service.

For more details:

Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the Heritage Railways News Express
See also Extension Progress, the Loco Works Photo News and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Extension - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

News update 3 October 2000

Locos in, out, and staying put

1. Maunsell Locomotive Society buy "Stowe"

Stowe at Horsted Keynes The future on the Bluebell Railway of Southern Railway No.928 "Stowe" has been secured. The Maunsell Locomotive Society have announced that they have been able to strike a deal with Lord Montagu at Beaulieu for "Stowe", one of the three surviving Schools class express engines. The purchase has been partly funded by some very considerable individual donations, and partly from the sale of 830 (see below). Stowe will unquestionably be the flagship of the MLS collection, complementing their other Maunsell Locomotives (Q 541, Us 1618 and 1638 and S15 847).

2. Arrival of Bulleid Light Pacific "92 Squadron"

92 Squadron 34081 '92 Squadron' arrived last Thursday, and is expected to run each weekend up to and including 19th November. The undoubted highlight of the visit will be the double heading on a 12-coach train with the Bluebell's own malachite green pacific, 'Blackmore Vale', at the Giants of Steam event on October 22nd.

The locomotive was unable to steam this last weekend, since unfortunately the insurance documentation was not immediately to hand, and to make up for this the locomotive may additionally steam for a couple of days during the half-term week.

3. Ex-Barry S15 No.830 sold to group on NYMR

The low-loader which brought in '92 Squadron' returned north with our second ex-Barry scrapyard S15. The Maunsell Locomotive Society decided last year that they would sell 830 if a suitable group could be found who could restore it to operational condition. 830 now joins 825 and 841 on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, where 825 is currently nearing completion of its overhaul, using the boiler from 841. The sale included the frames of the ex Schools-class tender which had been salvaged from use on BR as a snow-plough, specifically for use with 830.

Memorial service for Handel Kardas

A memorial service will take place at St Michael & All Angels' Church, Poplar Walk, West Croydon on Sat 18th November, commencing at 11.00. The church is close to the railway/tram/bus interchange at West Croydon. All welcome.

All the railway magazines have carried tributes to Handel, who died in August just days after his 48th birthday. Involved heavily with the Bluebell, and more recently the Ffestiniog's Welsh Highland project, his final articles for Railway World (which he edited for a number of years before he was diagnosed with cancer) were an in-depth, critical look at the Bluebell, and the last in the line of "Young Isambard" columns which he had written anonymously over many years.

"Blackmore Vale" enters revenue-earning service

Following rectification of tender-weighting problems, which had led to hot boxes, Blackmore Vale, which was formally re-commissioned in August, entered service on the 2.05 train in Thursday 21st September.

BR Standard 4MT 80151 and Stroudley Terrier "Fenchurch" are in strong competition to see which loco will be the next out of the works. Fenchurch is touch-and-go for the Terrier gathering in November. If it does run then, it will do so without many of the modifications intended to return it to its original "A1" class condition. The formal re-launch of the locomotive is therefore expected to take place in February, following completion of these final items, the crowning glory of which will be a genuine Terrier chimney cap, taken from 2647 in the 1930s when it was at Newhaven shed and obtained by F.C.Hambleton who bequeathed it to Dick Riley who has now very kindly given it to us to put on the engine.

Carriage Works Extension

The roofing and cladding have been completed, and most people are stunned at how well such a modern building can blend with the Southern scene at Horsted Keynes. It was of course designed as such! There is money in the kitty for the drainage and part of the flooring, but more donations are still required to complete the floor, the electrical, heating, dust-extraction, toilet and mess facilities. Further funding will also be required to effect the layout changes required in the current workshops to complete the works scheme.

However the project leader, Martin Lock, is already looking forward with the next phase of planning, which will ultimately give us a 24-vehicle storage shed, and also cover over the maintenance siding with its inspection pit. This storage shed (dubbed "the garage") is, according to our Chairman, Roy Watts, quoted in Steam Railway magazine, our second most important priority after completing the extension to East Grinstead.

Old Well-House at Kingscote

This venerable structure, restored to a sensible ground-level on its original site behind platform 2 by the Friends of Kingscote, has now found a new lease of life as a refreshment kiosk. Following easing of planning restrictions in 1998, static refreshment facilities have been provided at Kingscote on special event days using a buffet coach parked in the dock, which has proved less then ideal. The new arrangements were implemented in time for the second Thomas weekend in June, and have proved very successful.

LSWR Coach Sponsored Walk

(Report from Andrew Smith)

After a week of frequent downpours across West Sussex, the 23rd September proved to be a glorious day for the sponsored walk. The good weather ensured an excellent turnout for the event, with participants from as far afield as Germany and Canada. Given the weather, most opted for the longest of a choice of three routes, which included glimpses of the Ardingly branch, the Ouse Valley viaduct and canal, and some of the few surviving remnants of the Ouse Valley Railway.

Early walkers evidently disturbed the solitude of a visitor to Three Arch Bridge, who had taken up residence with a generous supply of alcoholic refreshment. There was some puzzlement on both sides when he was assumed to be a marshal, but failed to respond as expected to the walkers' questions! Otherwise, the event ran smoothly, and some very positive feedback has been received.

The Group would like to extend a very big 'thank you' to all those who took part, to their sponsors, and those who made personal donations. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Early indications are that this year's sponsored walk will make a significant contribution to the purchase of the remaining structural timber for the coach body, and to the manufacture of new brake end doors, which will give a big boost to the project.

Regular visitors to Horsted Keynes will have noticed the progress made with the restoration during the summer months. On the day of the sponsored walk itself useful progress was made with the preparation of the next section of 'bottom rail' and a further area of brake end exterior panelling.

As ever, anyone who feels able to make a 'hands on' or financial contribution to the restoration of this vintage coach would be very welcome. Please call the project leader, Tim Preston, on 01243 530955 for further details. Any donations (payable to 'LSWR Restoration Project') should be sent to the group Treasurer, Andrew Smith, 15 Hurst Farm Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 4DQ (e-mail:

All change on the Golden Arrow

With the departure of Pullman Car Bertha for the Swanage Railway, the Golden Arrow is currently making use of our other two operational Pullmans, Fingall and Car 76, Lilian, with recently arrived NRM-owned Eagle used for its kitchen and the Great Northern Directors' Saloon providing additional high-class dining accommodation. Contract work aimed at getting Car 64 back into traffic has started, with much rotten timber cut out, and some of it replaced already. Further work, beyond the current contract, will be required next year if the long-term future of this 1928-built Pullman is to be assured.

BASH progress

(Report from Martin Lock)

The 3rd of the Met coaches (Composite No.368) is getting more complete. It now has a third coat of paint on the canvas roof. The south end bogie has been overhauled and refitted, and the south end panelling is going on. Third class seats are being trimmed and the 3rd class quaterlights are being fitted. The doors for 412 (the last one) are now being worked on. Bogie No.7 is being painted and bits machined for it, and 8 new side bearing springs are on order for it and bogie No.8. No.368 should be back in service next year.

We still have 7 first class, and quite a few 3rd class, tickets left for the first train so, if you want to sample the delights of the first train of 3 Mets since 1967, you only have to send a cheque to Sheffield Park for £50 (3rd) or £100 (1st) for each ticket, made out to BASH.

Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the Heritage Railways News Express
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Extension - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

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