The Bluebell Railway's 2006
BRANCH LINE WEEKEND
was on Sat 25 & Sun 26 February
Photos are available from:
- Jon Bowers,
- Paul Pettitt,
- Dave Clarke,
- David Warwick - "Lineside Photos",
- Nick Beck,
- Andrew Strongitharm,
- Matt Allen,
- Owen Chapman,
- Tom Waghorn,
- Tony Pearce,
- and Chris Ward,
The weekend featured a busy and varied timetable of Vintage Branch Line Trains with departures both days at roughly 35-40 minute intervals, excepting a period on Saturday lunchtime when a failure of a signal-detection circuit prevented the trains running on the southern section for a period, since no token could be withdrawn in the signal boxes.
An early morning Breakfast Train ran each day.
Featuring the return of the U, as Southern Railway U-class No.1638 makes its gala debut. This locomotive, which last ran 42 years ago, will be hauling a set of matching coaches - a 1930s' period-piece.
With guest locomotive: LMS Ivatt Class 2 Tank No.41312, which is normally based at the Mid Hants Railway and is on hire to the Bluebell only until 28 February 2006.
The full locomotive line-up was:
- 1638 - SR 'U' 2-6-0, (photo left, 18 Feb 2006) built in May 1931 at Ashford, Kent
- 41312 - LMS Ivatt 'Class 2' 2-6-2T, built in May 1952 at Crewe
- 9017 "Earl of Berkeley" - GWR 'Dukedog' 32xx 4-4-0, rebuilt at Swindon in 1938 from two locos, which were themselves built in 1899 and 1906.
- 65 - SECR O1-class 0-6-0, built in 1896; rebuilt 1908
- 55 "Stepney" - LBSCR A1X 'Terrier' 0-6-0T, built in 1875 at Brighton
- 96 "Normandy" - LSWR B4 0-4-0T, built in 1893
672 "Fenchurch" - LBSCR A1 'Terrier' 0-6-0T, built in 1872 at Brighton - unfortunately this loco failed on the Friday before, and could not be repaired in time, so missed the event.
- Station pilot shunting goods stock at Horsted Keynes
- Scale model of Horsted Keynes, as featured in the latest Bluebell News magazine, will be on display at that station.
- Saturday evening photo shoot featuring Maunsell U-class No.1638 and Maunsell carriage stock; also Ivatt tank No.41312 and Goods Train.
- Sunday: Ivatt 2-6-2T and three Metropolitan Carriages in a recreation of the last steam train on Chesham Branch.
- Carriage Works Visits at Horsted Keynes, each day at 1pm, 1.20 and 1.40.
Coaching Stock used over the weekend:
- Set A: SR Maunsell-liveried: 6686-1309-7598-1098-971-404
- Set B: BR Side-corridor stock: 35448-16210-25728-25769
- Set C: Bulleid stock, plus FO and Milk Tanker 2515-3042-1482-4279-4430
- Set D: Metropolitan Railway carriages - Victorian varnished teak!
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Last updated 4 March 2006 by Richard Salmon.
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