News From the Bluebell Railway
Archive - August to December 2004

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 Briefs 10 October 2004

Birch Grove in Yorkshire
Birch Grove at K&WVR - David Harp


Left: LBSCR E4 "Birch Grove" is off on holiday again, and this time to Yorkshire, as a guest of the Keighly and Worth Valley Railway. It is seen in this photo from David Harp, taken at 07:30 yesterday morning. It shows 473 on shed at Howarth being coupled up to 76079. Birch Grove then took the first train out of Keighley made up of the vintage set.

New signal erected at Horsted Keynes
New bracket Signal at HK - Paul Pettitt
New bracket Signal at HK - Paul Pettitt


Two photos from Paul Pettitt, also taken yesterday, showing the new bracket signal, built by the Alf Brown Group, erected during the last week, at the north end of Platform 3 at Horsted Keynes. Hand signalling, over the up loop line (rather than the up-main which has been used for the last 14 years) was a very temporary measure, and the signal was commissioned the following day (see above), before the engineering works connected with the renewal of the points between 4-road and the up main were completed.

Further details and photos are available on the web page for the latest news of the Horsted Keynes Re-signalling.

Extension within sight of East Grinstead
Bluebell tracks visible from Imberhorne Lane Bridge - Rosi


East Grinstead resident, Rosi, has sent this photo taken from Imberhorne Lane Bridge - we now have a real visibility in (or at least, just outside) East Grinstead! The view is thanks to recent clearance work undertaken by the extension team, on the south tip at Imberhorne Lane. This is not part of the main rubbish tip, and contains sandstone waste, believed to have come from the widenning of "Beeching Way", the East Grinstead bypass, which was the old railway cutting towards Forest Row.

LBSCR 661 in traffic - Very successful visit from Bello
Bello at Sheffield Park - David Harp


There are many photos and reports available elsewhere of Bello's very successful visit, but the one here, from David Harp, shows it well with LBSCR Stroudley First No.661, which was launched into service on 24th July.

No.661 has run regularly with the three Victorian Metropolitan coaches in recent weeks, and is proving very popular with our first-class ticket-holders!

The Chairman's Diesel
Chairman's recent purchase


Exclusively here I have a photo of the new diesel-powered vehicle which Roy Watts has purchased, as hinted at in Bluebell News. Roy's intention is to keep it tucked away as a project for his retirement.

N.B. For those who usually receive news from me by e-mail, this services is currently having some problems, since my address book has been re-set to an old backup, and needs bringing back up to date. Until this is done, I am afraid that the e-mail news service will not be available.


News Briefs 16 October 2004

"Leander" arrives for Giants of Steam
Leander at SP - Paul Pettitt Left: "Leander" arrived on Wednesday, and is seen here in the yard at Sheffield Park, in a photo by Paul Pettitt, and below, "Leander" was photographed by David Harp at Sheffield Park on Saturday 16th October, on its first test steaming.

Giants of Steam is next weekend: 23-24 October. Full details here.

Leander at Sheffield Park - David Harp

New signal now in use at Horsted Keynes
New bracket Signal at HK - Jon Bowers


The new starting signal at the north end of platform 3 is seen here signalling its first train northwards over the loop line (the SECR O1 with LBSCR 661 and the Met coaches - all vehicles over 100 years old!). This was the 4pm departure ex-Sheffield Park on Sunday 10th October.

Further details and photos are available on the web page for the latest news of the Horsted Keynes Re-signalling.


Giants Of Steam pictures - 25 October 2004

Leander with LMS stock - David Harp

The photo on the right (courtesy of David Harp) shows that the sun did indeed shine on Sunday for the second day of Giants of Steam. It was a rather better day than the Saturday, both from the point of view of the weather, and for the Railway's visitor numbers. This photo shows the Bluebell's two operational LMS liveried carriages, marshalled behind the loco.

The following photo and video reports are also available:

The trains were hauled by 5 locomotives (Leander, Camelot, 80151, 75027 and Earl of Berkeley, with the O1 shunting at Sheffield Park, and the 9F and the Adams radial tank moved to good photograpic positions.


News update 13 December 2004

Carol Service at Horsted Keynes bring in the crowds

Carol service - Barry Coward The Reverend Timothy Rawdon-Mogg, chaplain to the Bluebell Railway , and Rector of Horsted Keynes conducted a congregation of 180 assembled on Horsted Keynes station platform for the Bluebell Railway's annual carol service last Saturday.

Photo left: The congregation at the candle-lit carol service on Horsted Keynes station, 11th December 2004. (Barry Coward)

More details available on our Press Officer's web site.

National Railway Heritage Awards

Horsted Keynes, 5th Dec - Nick Beck

The Bluebell Railway is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of the
Special 25th Anniversary Award for Buildings on Heritage Railways,

Horsted Keynes Station

selected from amongst the previous winners in this category.
Judges comments include: "A joy to visit this splendid station", and "it is hard to fault...".

Station staff with award - Barry Coward BRPS Chairman Roy Watts wishes to convey his thanks to all Bluebell staff and volunteers for their hard work, and particularly to all involved with Horsted Keynes station, where the superb attention to detail, and continual improvements to the ambiance, have earned this tremendous accolade.

Top photo: Santa Special and Golden Arrow services pass at Horsted Keynes, 5th December 2004. (Nick Beck)

Photo right: Proud station staff at Horsted Keynes with the award plaque, 11th December 2004. (Barry Coward)
Left to Right: Alan Brewster, Tim Baker, Simon Baker, Kevin Leggett

More details available on our Press Officer's web site.


Dramatic progress with the Bluebell Atlantic

An update to the Atlantic Project web pages last month reported that the main frames and wheels had been ordered, and that funding had been agreed for a substantial shed in which to store, assemble and display the locomotive components.

Frame flat-pack The latest news is that the frames have been cut, and that the flat frame pack (minus mainframes which have gone to Pridhams) arrived at Sheffield Park on Monday afternoon (see photo left). At 2 and a half tons this is the biggest bit of raw steelwork to arrive for some time! The main frames are at Pridhams to be joggled, and are expected to arrive in the spring.

Further good news is that outline planning permission has been granted for the proposed new building.

A photo of the completed tender frames appears on the Atlantic Project web pages.

The appeal leaflet, enabling GiftAid donations and standing orders to be set up is now available as a pdf document.

News update 24 December 2004

Just a reminder that the vintage trains take centre stage from 27th December until 3rd January.

SECR Loco No.65 will be hauling the SR VBT set and 672 'Fenchurch' with the Met carriages being the Horsted Keynes-starting train.

The weekend of 8th and 9th, because of a staff-training excercise, we are running an hourly train between SP and HK only. Subsequent weekends in January, will see a two-train service for the first time ever, and 'Fenchurch' will haul the Vintage set of two SR 1935-built Maunsell carriages Nos. 6686 and 1309.

'Leander' has now finished its turn of duty and will be departing for Tysley mid January at the time the Southern Electric Group's 4 Cor motor carriage arrives.

473 'Birch Grove' is now in the workshop at SP, being rubbed down, prior to its repaint into early BR Black. It will not be operating again until the Branch Line Weekend, which kicks off our 50th Anniversary celebrations of the lines first closure. Any donations towards the E4 repainting project will be gratefully received.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from all at the Bluebell.

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See also Extension Progress, the Loco Works Photo News and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
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