The Long Two Miles
The official DVD telling the inside story of how the Bluebell Railway returned steam trains to East Grinstead
a brand new station was built at East Grinstead
the substantial Imberhorne viaduct was restored
a massive landfill site was cleared and made safe for trains to return
the trackbed was prepared and the track itself installed
signalling infrastructure was installed and operated
The railway line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead closed in 1958.
Having re-opened the line in stages from 1960 onwards, by 1994 the preserved Bluebell Railway was just 2 miles away from running trains through to East Grinstead itself.
However, the number and scale of the obstacles over these 2 miles made the project to complete the extension one of the most challenging ever attempted by any Heritage Railway.
Filmed and produced by a member of the Bluebell’s Infrastructure team, this programme features an exclusive “behind the scenes” look at how these challenges were overcome.
With the aid of archive photographs and a series of diagrams to explain some of the engineering solutions, we see in detail how:
The programme concludes with exclusive lineside footage of the first test trains and the Opening Festival.
There are also footplate shots from the very first passenger train to work from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead – hauled by 9F No.92212 – giving a flavour of what it is like to actually drive and fire a train over the extension.
YouTube Excerpt - Clearing the Tip
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25 August 2013
by Jon Bowers.
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