Special EventsNewAccess to the Railway Timetable Tel: 01825 720825 You're on the Bluebell Railway web site
Click for Golden Arrow details Vistor Info What's New Shop Search the site FAQ Links Details for the enthusiast How you can join in or help us Contacts Navigate
Bluebell Railway Infrastructure News
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Join our mailing list - Privacy by SafeSubscribe[SM] - e-mail addresses will only be used for Bluebell Railway purposes Constant Contact Email Marketing

 
News reports on Infrastructure projects
across the Railway


January to mid February 2017: Replacement of Track at Holywell

Relaid track near Holywell - Mike Hopps - 10 January 2017
The month-plus line closure in early 2017 was to enable the relaying of about 1/3 mile of life-expired track near Holywell, to the south of Horsted Keynes.

Mike Hopps provides these four photos showing fantastic progress in just the first week. The Infrastructure gang had been out in force and at close of play on Tuesday 10 January, 10 new panels had been laid, as seen on the right.

The job was going well so far and was on target time-wise. The photos below show the old track being lifted out, new sleepers laid on the re-graded trackbed, and rails being installed.


Old track being lifted out near Holywell - Mike Hopps - 10 January 2017 Sleepers laid near Holywell - Mike Hopps - 10 January 2017 New rails being fitted near Holywell - Mike Hopps - 10 January 2017

Preparing for embankment stabilisation - Bruce Healey - 24 January 2017 At close of play on 25th January the new rail was almost all in. Of the 29 track panels, 28 were in and the last one, the transition panel was half in. The transition panel consists of a half panel of flat bottomed rail laid on 11 concrete sleepers and 3 wooden ones which connects to a half panel of bullhead all laid on wooden sleepers.

This last northern part of the relaying has always suffered from the embankment bellying out on the west side. The side of the embankment has been excavated and successive layers of plastic mesh and compacted soil put down to stabilise the formation.

While it might have looked like the work was almost complete, there was still a lot more to do. The track needed slewing to its final position and about a third needed clipping up. The whole section would then be ballasted and tamped. Then there was the breaking down and removal of the old track panels, clearing the site and finally scraping out the existing ditch on the east side. We were well ahead of schedule and confident of an early completion.

We would like to thank the Saturday and Sunday gangs for their help and in particular the 9F club who energetically and competently assist in clipping up the track.

The photos from Bruce Healey show:

  • Above right: The mesh for the embankment stabilisation being cut while the digger collects soil ready for compacting.
  • Below: New unballasted track with the orange insulators and pandrol clips which locate the track on the sleepers laid out ready.
  • Sleepers being moved into position. Some of the replaced bullhead track can be seen in the background. The yellow marks indicate the correct positions for the sleeper ends.
  • The end of the flat bottomed part of the transition panel is in the foreground and sleepers are being laid for the bullhead part. The track in the background under the digger is not being replaced.


New track laid - Bruce Healey - 24 January 2017 Sleepers being moved - Bruce Healey - 24 January 2017 Transition panel - Bruce Healey - 24 January 2017

New formation at Holywell, looking south - Bruce Healey - 8 February 2017 On 2nd February, the new track was being tamped. There have been 10 ballast drops already and another 2 will be required.

If the relaying of a third of a mile of track does not sound a lot, the following items were used:

  • 29 track panels each 60 feet in length
  • 795 concrete sleepers
  • 17 wooden sleepers
  • 1590 insulating pads
  • 3180 'biscuits' (which go between a pandrol clip and a concrete sleeper)
  • 3200 pandrols clips
  • 240 holes drilled for fishplate bolts
  • 62 fishplates sets
  • 248 bolts
  • 28 bullhead keys

New formation at Holywell, looking north - Bruce Healey - 8 February 2017

By the beginning of the final week of work, the new track at Holywell had been aligned, ballasted and tamped. The track now has the correct cant for 25mph operation. The week was occupied with removing the replaced track panels and completing clearance of the site. The photos above and left show the restored track, looking in either direction, as of 8 February. Work was also started that week on lifting the track for re-laying in 3-road at Horsted Keynes, but that's another story.


November 2016: Replacement of No.5 Point north of Horsted Keynes

Q-class and the new point - Stuart Pay - 3 November 2016
Stuart Pay's photo shows the Q-class shunting ballast wagons at Horsted Keynes on 3 November, alongside the new "No.5" point which was pre-assembled adjacent to the Ardingly Spur. During the course of two weeks of engineering work, this was installed at the north end of Horsted Keynes, beyond Leamland Bridge, at what is known colloquially as "Leamland Junction".

Nine days later, the Sunday Permanent Way gang worked on the relaid trackwork on the Saturday, clipping up the new rails and the S&T were to be found working, in slightly better weather conditions, on the Sunday on the new point. As of Sunday 13 November, as seen in David Chappell's photos below, there were still some track panels to lay to reconnected the line, ballast to drop, and lots of other little jobs just to finish. Note the signal wire running though the base of the relocated S&T location cabinets.

Point motor commissioned - David Chappell - 13 November 2016 Relocated cabinets - David Chappell - 13 November 2016
Point, looking north, Brian & Andy - David Chappell - 13 November 2016 Track awaiting ballast, looking north - David Chappell - 13 November 2016

Sentinel performs a ballast drop - Stuart Pay - 16 November 2016 Stuart Pay's photo on the left shows the Sentinel shunter with the ballast hoppers during a ballast drop on the relaid trackwork to the north of Horsted Keynes.

Our workforce engaged on replacing the Leamland point received some additional help. Through Community Investment work with the Princes Trust, the Charity which assists getting un-employed 18-25 year olds into paid work, Costain have been helping 5 candidates work towards attaining PTS accreditation for use on the National Rail Network.

What better way to help in this undertaking than giving some hands on experience at the Bluebell when they, together with 2 Costain Engineers, visited the railway on Friday 11 November. A confidence boost for the candidates, and an opportunity to improve social skills and provide a constructive contribution to another volunteer led organisation. Ben Coughlan's photo below shows them at Horsted Keynes.

Princes Trust Community Investment - Ben Coughlan - 11 November 2016

13 February 2015: Elimination of "River Slip" plus work on Freshfield Bank
Work on slip completed - Mike Hopps - 3 February 2015

After a possession lasting three weeks (two weekends), we rather hope that River Slip isn't slipping any more, after propping up the embankment with sixteen deep piles and about seventy tons of reinforced concrete.

Mike Hopps' photo on the right shows the completed capping and regraded embankment side/formation.

Quite what we will call it now that it is no longer on the move remains to be seen - perhaps Lindfield Bank is appropriate. Cue for a competition perhaps? Hats off to Matt and his team for a job really well done in the face of the sort of unhelpful weather that we have come to expect when doing jobs like this.

Track laying went according to plan with eleven panels laid, and the tamper finished off the job in time for the line to be reopened to traffic for full working the following Saturday, as seen in Mike's two photos below.

Tamper in Lindfield Wood - Mike Hopps - 3 February 2015 Work at River Slip completed - Mike Hopps - 3 February 2015
Re-ballasting formation on Freshfield Bank - Mike Hopps - 10 February 2015

The next week saw the remainder of the cables connected up by the S&T Department as well as general tidying up, concreting around cable duct chambers, landscaping and some final ballasting near Holywell Bridge.

The tamper was in action again on the following Tuesday, working south from Holywell and on the Wednesday it was busy north of Horsted Keynes.

This week the Infrastructure gang moved to Freshfield Bank where the plan was to relay three sixty-foot panels, connecting up with the sections previously relaid.

Our usual method of formation improvement with a terram / polythene sandwich is applied before ballasting (re-using existing ballast - seen in the photo on the right), levelling and compacting, laying the new panels (photos below) and the tamper was on hand to finish the job afterwards. There has been a speed restriction there, so drivers will be very pleased to see this lifted now we have completed this work.

Sleepers laid out - Mike Hopps - 10 February 2015 Rails ready to go in - Mike Hopps - 10 February 2015


20 January 2015: Work on the "River Slip" in Lindfield Wood

General view of worksite - Mike Hopps - 16 January 2015 This month's engineering work during our 3 week (2 weekends) closure is focussed on rebuilding the formation at "River Slip" in Lindfield Wood, just south of Waterworks/Holywell Bridge. This has always been a problematic area and was pressure grouted in the 1980s, which went some way to arrest the problem, but did not effect a long-term cure. Work had been undertaken nearby, earlier in January, including improved drainage and work on a culvert. Now the line is closed the formation is being dug out, to undertake the work described below. All the photos here are by Mike Hopps, taken last week (as always, click on a photo for an enlargement). That on the right shows the work site; there is plenty of ballast available, since additional ballast had been added over the years to maintain the correct alignment and level as the formation gradually moved.

The slip is being stabilised by layering with plastic grid netting like that which we used on unstable areas of Imberhorne tip. This is being done to the slip depth of about 1.5 metres, now that we have found the slip plane. Rather than digging out the bank completely, the decision has been made to pile the foot of the slip and cast a retaining wall to link all the piles together. Sixteen 500mm diameter piles, 4.5 metres deep and each reinforced with an old rail, are spaced about 2 metres apart. Another old rail is set in front of the rails in the piling and the whole arrangement is encased in concrete using the same shuttering that we recently used for the culvert headwall near Holywell.

The sequence of photos below shows the first eight piles, being linked together, then the process will be repeated for the next eight to complete the job before the ground behind is compacted ready for relaying to take place. Other topside drains have also been cleared and new drainage will be linked to those as soon as the polythene/ terram sandwich is laid. Finally, new S&T ducting will be laid to replace the old concrete troughs which are in a poor state of repair.

First eight piles - Mike Hopps - 16 January 2015 Piles linked and shuttering constructed - Mike Hopps - 16 January 2015


December 2014: Operation Undercover Phase 4

Proposed shed - with roof only - Matthew Cousins Following the highly successful Cash for Cover appeal, focus is now on planning the carriage shed construction. Initial work will be directed at clearing the site, a mammoth task in itself. Existing sheds, offices and storage all have to be relocated and some temporary facilities provided. Important though the new shed is, it's equally important the day to day business of repairing and maintaining our carriage fleet is able to carry on unhindered.

All this is likely to take some months meaning it will be well into 2015 before the construction phase gets under way. Meantime there is much to do behind the scenes to award contracts and mobilise internal resources to carry out enabling work. The timely effort to commence foundation work this Autumn has given the project a useful kick start when some early knowledge of ground conditions were captured and will help the tendering process.

In case any readers wonder why we are not ready to start construction now, it was in fact a conscious decision of the September steering group meeting to wait the funding appeal outcome before attempting to plan the project any further. Sufficient funds needed to be in the bank to justify mobilisation against a plan that would deliver something tangible, as it happens the results were all that we could wish for and a shed will emerge in due course to match the appeal objective.

A fuller report will appear in the next Bluebell News.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director
4 December 2014


16 October 2014: Opening of the first part of the "Above Workshop Facility"

New Loco Lobby - Mike Hopps - 16 October 2014 View of Loco workshop - Mike Hopps - 16 October 2014

View of Loco yard - Mike Hopps - 16 October 2014 Mike Hopps' photos illustrate the opening of the new loco lobby which took place on Thursday 16 October. The structure of the "Above Workshop Facility" had been completed as the final part of the HLF-funded Operation Undercover Phase 3 project at Sheffield Park, but the fit-out had to await the availability of funding.

The first phase of the fit-out has included the loco department facilities; toilets, showers and the new lobby. It also provides these views, one over the locomotive workshop, where the boiler of the Maunsell Q-class is seen, along with the SECR H-class which is currently receiving a few new stays and its annual boiler exam, and a fine view over the loco yard. The second phase will eventually cover the fit-out of offices and a classroom.

The photo below shows the assembled members of the department, with Chairmen Roy Watts MBE and Dick Fearn, and special guest Chris Green.

Opening of the new Loco Lobby - Mike Hopps - 16 October 2014


22 March 2014: New No.23 points at Horsted Keynes

The new points and re-aligned approach to platforms at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 22 March 2014

Brian Lacey's photo on the right shows the completed work, with the new points and the re-aligned and improved approach to platforms 2 and 4 at Horsted Keynes.

On Sunday 2 March the final work was done by the Alf Brown Gang to complete the replacement Horsted Keynes Down Advance Starter, as seen in Robert Hayward's photo below. The work to replace the No.23B points at Horsted Keynes is also seen, as of Wednesday evening, 5 March (photo from Alan Dengate). The following weekend, whilst trains ran over the new point, it was clipped and padlocked, and as a consequence trains passed through platforms 2 and 3 at Horsted Keynes.

Finally we see the U-class No.1638 with the first service to run over the new No.23B points at Horsted Keynes on 8 March (Richard Salmon). The new point was fully commissioned over the next week.

Click on any photo for an enlargement.

Horsted Down Advance Starter - Robert Hayward 2 March 2014, and No.23B points - Alan Dengate 5 March 2014 U-class with the first service over the new No.23B points at Horsted Keynes - Richard Salmon - 8 March 2014


24 February 2014: Freshfield Bank relaying and new points at Horsted Keynes

Tracklaying on Freshfield Bank - Pat Plane - 22 January 2014 Ballast wagons on trackwork - Mike Hopps - 31 January 2014

Work preparing the new points, as the H-class departs from Horsted Keynes - Patrick Plane - 17 February 2014 The first big job of the year, relaying a quarter of a mile of plain line on Freshfield Bank, was successfully completed on time and handed back to the operators ready for the February half term service. This has used all-new (bought-in) rail and stone, along with concrete sleepers from stock, and has enabled this long running temporary speed restriction to be lifted. Like so many line side tasks these days, the weather once again did its best to make for 'mission impossible' but it goes without saying that deadlines still had to be met and with the usual perseverance from Matt and his team, all went to plan.

Attention has now turned to the final preparation for renewal of Horsted Keynes 23 points in early March. This piece of fairly complex point-work has been prefabricated complete with signalling attachments and will be lifted into place in 3 sections with minimum disruption to traffic. It has been possible to use materials left over from the NEP project which has shaved some £15,000 off the cost of this work, although these are flat bottom and not usually deployed within station limits they are out of sight of the platform ends and so in the circumstances dispensation was granted for their use. Once completed all temporary speed restrictions will have been removed from the single line and Infrastructure will have done its bit towards the 2014 time keeping initiative.

With these two big track work jobs out of the way, a period of more routine tasks will follow before the winter possessions in November.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director

The first photo above was taken on 22 January and shows the amount of plant etc. needed for the quarter of a mile of track-relaying on Freshfield Bank. Before this photo was taken, the old track was removed, the formation completely excavated down to bare earth, geo-textile fabric laid, and the whole formation sub-ballasted and levelled. A pre-assembled 30-foot track panel is seen been brought down to the site ready for laying once the track alignment has been checked. After the photo was taken, all the temporary 30 foot rails were removed and replaced by brand new 60 foot rail and the two ends of the railway rejoined. (Pat Plane)

The second photo above shows the 09 with the ballast wagons being loaded from the track-side stockpile, on 31 January. With the top-ballasting done, the track was tamped the following week, whilst the volunteers, staff and contractors moved to Horsted Keynes to work on No.23 points, which are the ones right at the South end of the station. (Mike Hopps)

Patrick Plane's photo to the right, taken on 17 February, illustrates the work which is well advanced in pre-assembling the new points at Horsted Keynes, as the H-class departs for Sheffield Park.

Yoshi Hashida's photo below shows the visiting LMS Black 5 No.45231 with its train climbing the newly re-laid section of Freshfield Bank on Sunday 16 February.

Black 5 No.45231 with its train climbing Freshfield Bank - Yoshi Hashida - 16 February 2014

12 January 2014: Weather, Trees and Slips

Slip near tunnel - 31 December 2013 Not surprisingly the main focus of attention through December and into this year has been weather related. Numerous trees have come down all over the line, several losses of power supply impacting on signalling, roofs damaged, and flooding all of which have resulted in resources moving from one crisis to another. Notably the big show stopper, literally, has been the two slips just south of the tunnel which closed the line between Horsted and East Grinstead just before Christmas.

This could not have happened at a more inconvenient time, not only did it impact on the train service but disrupted preparatory work for the forthcoming Freshfield Bank relaying programme. This resulted in some rapid rescheduling and diversion of resources to address the slips and reopen the line to traffic as No.1 priority whilst still maintaining the relaying programme.

Slip site - Pat Plane - 3 January 2014 A first look at these slips is likely to prompt a "what's all the fuss about" reaction, the volumes of material involved are not great and can be dealt with reasonably easily. A closer inspection will however reveal a number of more worrying concerns, the slips are in fact secondary slips which have occurred along a much bigger slip which in turn follows the downside boundary fence and clearly occurred many years ago. There are different soil strata present and water is flowing off the adjacent fields between these exposed strata causing movement. Consider this slip area as a whole which extends some 100m along the cutting side, which is covered with very tall weak rooted trees, and the continuous volumes of surface water flowing down the cutting face and we have a very high risk of further slips occurring, not to mention the risk to those working on the site or passing trains.

The approach has therefore been twofold, first to stabilise the area making it safe for the passage of trains and secondly to buy time so a design solution can be prepared and finances put in place to effect a permanent repair. The stabilisation work has included large scale felling of trees that were at risk of collapse from further surface water or embankment movement.

Meantime the relaying of Freshfield Bank remains on schedule to commence Monday 13 January, crucial deliveries of stone and rail have been delivered and pre-assembled rail panels are in the process of being ferried to site ready placing in position once the old formation is made good with new drainage and stone.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director

The photos below show:

  • Preparations, which started back in October for the changing of No.23 points at the south end of Horsted Keynes, have included moving the S&T location cabinet to prepare for a small re-alignment of the track, and new drainage put in place (David Chappell).
  • GBRF's No.66737 'Lesia', brought 20 full wagons of ballast in for the forthcoming engineering work, both for the Horsted Keynes pointwork and renewal of track on Freshfield Bank, and is seen leaving with its empty train at Horsted Keynes, photographed by Andrew Strongitharm, early in the morning on 22nd December.

Work at No.23 points - David Chappell - 12 Oct 2013 66737 at Horsted Keynes - Andrew Strongitharm - 22 Dec 2013

19 November 2013: Sheffield Park platforms - Horsted Keynes Signalbox - Friends of HK
Works on the North end of the platform at Sheffield Park - Martin Lawrence - 15 Nov 2013 It has been a period of changing priorities over the last few weeks. Relaying 23 points at Horsted Keynes has been moved to January for operating reasons resulting in a shift of resources to Sheffield Park platform repairs. In reality these repairs have turned into something more significant. Excavation work revealed lots of "quick fixes" that have required more serious long term attention. The opportunity has also been taken to incorporate canopy and platform drainage pipes, new gas pipes, services duct routes through the platform and ducts which enable the Golden Arrow shore line cables to be hidden under the surface. All in all a general tidy up and much needed passenger safety improvements. (Photo from Martin Lawrence)

Meantime the fairly major repairs to the structure of Horsted Keynes signal box are nearing completion. This is another of those "simple" jobs that has turned out to be something rather more serious and taken a lot longer than planned but the results are looking good. Completion of the roof repairs which involves the acquisition of matching tiles followed by completion of painting will leave the structure well prepared for the winter and indeed years to come. And yes, before I receive any more emails reminding me, we do know this is a listed structure and all the repairs have been undertaken with this in mind using appropriate materials.

Finally talking of Horsted Keynes I would be interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in being part of a Friends of Hossted Keynes group. FOHK does not roll off the tongue but no doubt someone will come up with an acronym that does. Basically we have successful "friends" organisations at Sheffield Park and Kingscote who help with Infrastructure jobs but we could do with one at HK. The idea is the group would undertake general repairs, maintenance and decorating tasks within their comfort zone and help give the station some TLC. Anyone interested please contact me.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director

The photos below show:

  • 2nd October - the arrival at Horsted Keynes of the replacement bridge spans for Sheriff Mill Viaduct (Martin Lawrence). These have been obtained now because they were available, and are very suitable for our long-term purposes, and not because we are in a position to go charging off Westwards immediately! There's a lot of other work to do, and fundrising for vital and urgent projects like Keep Up The Pressure, before we can think about raising the funds to start major work on the Ardingly Branch.
  • Horsted Keynes signalbox with scaffolding (Derek Hayward - 22 September).
  • Taken on the overnight shift, around midnight on 19th September: work in progress adding steel lining to part of the tunnel roof to prevent the build-up of icicles in the winter (Pat Plane).

Ex-M50 bridge sections arrive - Martin Lawrence - 2 Oct 2013 Horsted signalbox with scaffolding - Derek Hayward - 22 Sept 2013 Overnight work in the tunnel - Pat Plane - 19 Sept 2013

15 September 2013: Tunnel ice prevention - First incoming steam special - Planning at Kingscote
Work continues on the tunnel ice prevention project which is expected to complete this month. The recent noticeable drop in temperature means even worse conditions in the tunnel itself with cold winds making their presence felt which in turn increases the need for 'warm up' breaks. Because of the unusual nature of this task it is being recorded by the same film crew that produced the extension DVDs so look out for release of 'Inside the Tunnel'. Tornado on Bluebell metals at East Grinstead - John Sandys - 10 September 2013

The arrival on 10th Septmeber of the first steam hauled special from the main line with the famous Tornado in charge (photo by John Sandys, showing Tornado easing on Bluebell metals at East Grinstead) has of course been a further significant milestone for the Bluebell, following the opening of the extension back in March. What may be less obvious is the preparatory work that has progressed quietly in the background for some weeks to enable this to happen both on Network Rail and Bluebell. Special route clearance was required between South Croydon and East Grinstead with numerous speed restrictions to lessen the impact of its 22 ton axle loads on structures. Platform and bridge clearances had to be compared against the locomotives dimensions and our own Bridge Engineer had to undertake a special exercise to confirm that the loco could run on the Bluebell, and through which platforms etc. So the message is when a special like this runs it involves considerable preparatory work and liaison between departments to make sure everything runs smoothly and of course safely.

Meantime planning is also underway on another outstanding NEP action, resolution of the Kingscote issues following its end of use as a terminus. This is proving quite complicated to close out for a number of reasons but meantime it is recognised the situation facing our customers and staff is not acceptable long term as it is both confusing and difficult to administer. We still plan to finalise the crucial sale of tickets and refreshments along with use of the picnic area by the end of this year but this is heavily dependant on agreeing a way forward with all stakeholders.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director


29 August 2013: Work starts on ice shield in the Tunnel

As with all major projects, on the Northern Extension Project (NEP) it is taking time to close out the final actions, but the end is just about in sight now. The two big outstanding tasks, finishing off the cutting surface and getting the water column operational in time for Autumn Tints are looking good. Steelwork delivered for tunnel ice shield - David Chappell - 19 July 2013

Meanwhile a great deal of time and effort is focussed on fitting ice prevention measures in the tunnel to make sure any really cold weather does not in future prevent trains operating over the whole railway. Having opened the extended railway it would not look good if we cannot run trains in and out of East Grinstead. (David Chappell's photo shows the structural steelwork supports for the ice shield, which were delivered in July).

There are four main areas where heavy water penetration can cause ice build up on the rail head and tunnel fabric. To prevent this happening 5m sections of curved corrugated sheeting are being fitted to the roof in order to deflect water away from the track. Sounds simple but in order to ensure the solution is both safe and fit for purpose, the metalwork being used to support the sheeting is substantial to say the least. Each supporting bracket is secured by 4 stainless steel bolts that are grouted into the brickwork to a depth of 0.4m. and so far 40 brackets have been fitted.

The work commences each evening after the train service finishes and continues through the night until around 0500 each morning. Long tiring shifts in a cold, wet, hostile environment. The team is made up of 3 contract staff and 2 or 3 volunteers, led of course by Manager Matt Crawford, so it goes to prove the Infrastructure gang are not just good at building railways but will take on all sorts of challenges.

After that job is completed around the end of September we must get on with renewal of No.23 points at Hortsed Keyens before the Santa service commences, and after that, well the list goes on and on.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director


5 June 2013: Completing work on the extension
33103 passes the Wednesday gang near Ingwersons - Martin Lawrence - 26  June 2013 Work on closing outstanding NEP jobs continues with the recent dry weather helping us make good progress on clearing away the residual capping material from the cutting site. This is being achieved by means of a regular diesel hauled rake of wagons moving the spoil to other sites on the railway where embankment strengthening is required (as seen in Martin Lawrence's photo on the right). Once this is finished the remaining cutting surface can then be levelled off and grassed. What has proved to be the most challenging part of the whole extension project can then be considered finally complete.

At East Grinstead station the ticket office canopy is complete and the water tank is now safely planted on the newly completed brickwork (see John Sandys' photos below). It just remains for the water column and associated plumbing to be installed. New close board fencing is being installed between gates 1 and 2 which replaces the dilapidated chain link fence and also discourages onlookers from standing in Firbank Way to watch the trains and putting themselves at risk from road traffic in the process. This together with the new main gate 'Bluebell Railway' entrance sign and other finishing touches helps bring together the whole station appearance for approaching visitors.

There are lots more jobs to cross off the completion list but overall good progress is being made. Meantime focus is turning towards other jobs further south including ice prevention measures in the tunnel before winter returns and relaying No.23 points at Horsted Keynes. For those who may not be aware of the significance of these points, they control the south end throat to the station and currently have a 5mph speed restriction imposed over them pending renewal. Apart from being in a difficult place for drivers to recover from when travelling north, there is a impact on train timings which needs rectifying. Because of the critical role of these points, trains cannot arrive or depart from the station southwards without them, the planning process involves preassembly on site with a short possession to lift out the old fit the new without disruption to trains, a new approach for us and if successful then it will be developed for other similar renewals.

Chris White, Infrastructure Director

Water Tower externally completed - John Sandys - 31 August 2013 New canopy and gold painted lettering at the entrance to East Grinstead - John Sandys - 15 July 2013
splash

Earlier reports on the Northern Extension Project
Earlier Permanent Way and Lineside News.

Return to Bluebell Home Page, to the Timetable or to Special Events
Visitor Info. - Museum - Trust - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Project News - Locos - Carriages & Wagons - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

Your ideal Film/TV location?


Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! Page maintained by Richard Salmon with thanks to Bruce Healey, Stuart Pay, Ben Coughlan, David Chappell, Chris White and Mike Hopps.
Last updated 8 March 2017.
© Copyright, disclaimer and credits.