March 2004 turned out to be an excellent month for Bluebell photography, with a busy weekend service and the new Goods Train day (hopefully the first of many!).
On Sunday 21st March, around half the trains passing the p-way gang did so in heavy rain and hail showers.
The rest passed us under clear blue skies, resulting in these pictures of Nos.9017, 65 and 73082.
Note the excellent lineside clearance work along this section of the line that has been recently undertaken by the Wednesday and Saturday gangs.
Saturday 27th March saw three different goods trains in operation, as well as two passenger sets. Nos.96 and 9017 have just reached the top of Freshfield Bank while running light to Horsted Keynes in order to collect their trains.
No.65 was at the head of the short pre-grouping goods train, seen here heading the 10.25am departure from Sheffield Park over Palmers Bridge and onto the 1 in 75 Freshfield Bank.
No.9017 ran with a 1930s goods set, seen here ascending Freshfield Bank as the 11.37am from Sheffield Park.
No.96 made a special working with the SR Handcrane, and these two views are at the same location on Freshfield Bank.
The train didn't really lend itself to slow-paning, but ironically the more adventurous shot of the bunker first working turned out better than the 'conventional' view of the return trip!
Primroses and daffodils added a splash of yellow to the cutting round Freshfields curve, as No.473 and No.9017 passed by.
In very dull conditions, No.65 climbs away from Horsted Keynes for Kingscote. All in all, a very enjoyable day, spoilt only by the weather. Heres hoping for a repeat under sunnier conditions next year!
P-way work to the north of Sharpthorne tunnel on Sunday 28th March allowed these shots to be taken from the area out of bounds to Lineside Pass holders. Firstly, No.73082 blasts out of the tunnel with the 12.32pm Golden Arrow.
No.9017 exits the tunnel on the 2pm from Sheffield Park.