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Bluebell Railway web site:
Site Update Archive 2008


Please be aware that due to the historical nature of this page, some of the links on it may be out of date.

The Current What's New page, the what was new archive, the 2016, the 2015, the 2014, the 2013, the 2012, the 2011, the 2010 and the 2009 archives contain all the recent update information.

Also see the 2007, the 2006, the 2005, the 2004, the 2003, the 2002, the 2001, the 2000, the 1999 and the 1997-8 "What was new" archive pages.


Web Site Update List: further down this page.

Photographic and video reports 2008:
Please note that some photos included below are taken by volunteers and staff during the course of their duties, and so may have been taken in areas not open to the general public. These photos are very valuable, since they enable the public to see these otherwise hidden facets of the railway, but visitors to the railway should note that they may be unable to visit these locations themselves.


Web-site Update Archive 2008

31 December 2008:
  • Timetable, fares and special event fares for 2009 now available. Whilst some fares have risen (in reaction to the steep increase in coal costs which could see our coal bill rocket by an estimated £63,000 in 2009), most Bluebell Bonus advance purchase fares have actually reduced, so it really pays to buy your tickets in advance.

  • Details of our Kids for a Quid special offer for February Half-term are now available.


01 on the 3.21 departure from HK - 30 December 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm 30 December:
  • If you have £250 or more available to help us on the way to East Grinstead, why not visit the railway tomorrow for a ride on our trains (Table 1 is in operation, as it is every day until 4th January), and hand in your share application at Sheffield Park by the deadline of 3pm tomorrow. Prospectuses are available from our booking offices.

  • Extension News update: The removal (by train) of inert spoil from the south end of Imberhorne Cutting is set to re-start in January. The remaining spoil material could not be removed until we had taken ownership of the whole tip site, which was only completed once we were ready to commence extraction a couple of months ago, so this is the next major task on the extension, and as with the three-week dig on the main tip, is funded through the 2008 share issue. The full report is here.

  • Andrew Strongitharm has updated his web site with photos from yesterday and today, including this one of the O1 on the 3.21pm departure from Horsted Keynes today.

  • Dave Clarke has updated his fotopic site with a series of photos showing that the restoration of LBSCR Stroudley Brake Third No.949 has taken a major step forward with the erection of the next section of bodywork.


34028 Eddystone on Santa trains - December 2007 - Derek Hayward 28 December:
  • One of Derek Hayward's photos (Right: Eddystone on a Santa Special last year) goes live as the fotopic front page featured photo for 24 hours from midnight tonight.

  • BRPS Membership rates increase on January 1st (as agreed at the AGM in May). The new application forms (with the new rates) are now on the web site, but you can still obtain the old rates in person at the booking offices, or on-line through the Bluebell Shop until then.

  • Booking is now open for the 2009 Victorian Christmas Trains. This year's sold out, so people are booking already to avoid disappointment!!!

  • The Share Issue will close at 3pm on 31st December. Prospectuses remain available from Bluebell stations, and completed application forms with cheques can be handed in at Sheffield Park booking office. There has been a late surge in applications, which is very helpful as we move towards the next stage of the excavation of Imberhorne Cutting on our extension to East Grinstead.


9017 'Earl of Berkeley at Horsted on Boxing Day 26 December 2008 - Martin Lawrence 27 December:
  • Two Boxing Day photos and two videos from Martin Lawrence - showing that, even if few trains were running elsewhere in the South of England, we had an hourly (two-train) service as well as doing some engineering work. Our trains now run every day until Sunday 4th January.

    Video 1 - 80151 simmers in the platform at Horsted Keynes as the Dukedog arrives from Sheffield Park. Video 2 - 9017 departing from Horsted Keynes - also seen in the photo on the right. The first photo below shows the P-Way gang on Boxing Day, working off their Christmas lunches.

  • This old film on YouTube features the Bluebell's Terriers in the 1960s: Stepney with our Metropolitan coaches and Fenchurch with SECR coaches, No.1050 and the Birdcage brake 1061.

  • Stephen Hunt has added new photos of the Santa Specials to his fotopic site. His two photos below show our Santa trains running on Christmas Eve, including the 7F on its last day of Bluebell service.

Volunteer P-way gang - 26 December 2008 - Martin Lawrence 80151 on Santa Special - 24 December 2008 - Stephen Hunt 7F approaches Kingscote on Santa Special - 24 December 2008 - Stephen Hunt


7F 53809 and 80151 at Horsted on Santa trains - 20 December 2008 - Ashley Smith 22 December:

7F 53809 on a goods train photo charter - 19 December 2008 - Paul Pettitt 21 December:
  • The photo on the right is from Paul Pettitt and features the 7F on a photo charter on Friday (which was organised by Jon Bowers).
  • Matt Allen has some photos from the charter available on his site, and says "Had a marvelous day at the railway on Friday with a Jon Bowers' photo charter. We were very lucky with the light and mist early on; some of the best photos I've ever taken!"

  • The Bluebell Railway Museum has exhibitions on the new museum plans, and is running a survey, over the next few weeks at our stations. This survey is also available on the museum website.

  • A further 62 share applications have been received during the past six days, raising the total to £557,781. There is just one day left to request a share prospectus, and applications for shares under the current offer must be received by 31st December.

  • Photos from the Santa Specials:

  • Photos from the Victorian Christmas trains (on which every seat is sold on every train we are running!):
    • Martin Lawrence has sent some photos, below, showing our Victorian platform staff, plus this video on YouTube, and also a photo and video the P-way maintenance volunteers at work today in the yard at Horsted
    • Derek Hayward (including the last photo below)

5199 on Santa Special - 20 December 2008 - Stephen Hunt 7F on Santa Special - 20 December 2008 - Stephen Hunt 65 on Victorian Christmas Special - 20 December 2008 - Stephen Hunt Victorian staff - 21 December 2008 - Martin Lawrence Volunteer P-way gang - 21 December 2008 - Martin Lawrence Victorians at Horsted Keynes - 20 December 2008 - Derek Hayward

19 December:
  • Details now available for the Deferred Payment Scheme to enable BRPS members to purchase Bluebell Railway Shares by instalments.
    If you are not already a member of the BRPS, but would like to support the line and its extension through this scheme, you can very simply Join the BRPS.


Completed boiler backhead of 34059 - John Fry - December 2008 18 December:
17 December:

View from the North - Dec 2008 - Michael Wilson 15 December:
  • A further 26 share applications were processed at the weekend, bringing the total to £524,650. The publicity surrounding the start of the dig seems to have given a real boost to the share issue - Michael Wilson's photo from last week shows a view not seen until now - looking towards the tip from the North under the cleared bridge. In November a total of 87 share applications were processed, whereas the total so far for this month is 114. The share issue closes on 31st December - there is just time to request a prospectus now. (Those requested in the last week should have been sent out today).

  • News update from Duncan Bourne on the page for the Loco Works Working Group's activities on P-class No.178.

  • The Bluebell Railway are highly delighted to have been chosen by the new Crawley Library in Southgate Avenue, to mount the first exhibition in the new facility. The exhibition which celebrates the impending extension to East Grinstead, illustrates the history of the historic Bluebell Line and shows how it was brought back to life by a small group of volunteers after closure by British Railways in 1958. It shows the great strides that have been taken to reconnect the line with the national rail network.
    There will be opportunities to meet current Bluebell volunteers and to discover how one can help the Railway to achieve its aim of extending the line, currently only reaching Kingscote, to East Grinstead.
    There will be special events at the Library relating to the Bluebell, on three Saturdays, 20th December, 2008, 10th and 24th January, 2009.
    At various times during the exhibition there will be 200 Friend's Railcards given away to enable visits to be made to the Bluebell at a reduced rate.
    The Exhibition is open from Tuesday 16th December, 2008 to Saturday 31st January, 2009 from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9.30.am to 5pm


1336 interior on entry into service - 6 Dec 2008 - Dave Clarke 13 December:

Golden Arrow on Freshfield Bank - 7 Dec 2008 - Brian Easter 12 December:
  • We have a provisional date for the arrival of the 4 Vep at East Grinstead in January. It is planned to make something of an "event" of the arrival! See the 2009 Events listings for more information.

  • Use the easysearch engine via this link - it costs you nothing, and you earn the Bluebell Railway commission!
    easysearch combines results from several of the Internet's top search engines to help ensure you find what you are looking for. Bookmark the easysearch page now (or make it a Favourite), and use it for all your Internet searches - especially for things you want to buy!

  • Photo from Brian Easter showing the Dukedog with the re-formed Golden Arrow (including the BGZ in the formation, replacing 'Eagle' in providing the pantry) and indeed he has a complete gallery available, from last Sunday. Derek Hayward has also added his photos from Sunday.

  • Video showing the excavation work on the Extension on YouTube from Martin Lawrence.

  • The Victorian Christmas trains are now completely sold out. Seats remain on the Santa Special trains, so book now! And a reminder that after Christmas we run a daily 2-train service from Boxing Day right through to Sunday 4th January.


7F on the 10.40 Santa Special on Sunday - 7 Dec 2008 - John Simmonds 8 December:
  • Share Offer tops £500,000:
    The Share Offer has now raised over £500,000. "This is a tremendous response bearing in mind the economic times we are living through" said Funding Director, Roger Kelly. "Whilst there have been many applications for the minimum of £250 the average per applicant is over £500. The money raised has permitted us to carry out a three week trial excavation at the Imberhorne Cutting and the publicity surrounding the start of the excavation has generated further interest". The Offer is open until 31st December, so there is still to apply for shares and receive the three years of shareholder benefits which are described in the Prospectus. Request a prospectus here - this on-line form is available until 17th December.

  • Update and more photos from the Extension team showing Friday's progress on excavating the tip.

  • Update to the Atlantic Project news page - another significant step forward - the forged billets for the coupling and connecting rods have arrived.

  • The photo on the right is from John Simmonds, showing the 7F on the 12.40pm Santa Special yesterday.


Robin and Ted collect the award - 3 Dec 2008 - Robert Hayward 7 December:
  • Robert Hayward's photo of Robin Elliott and Ted Anderson was taken following the presentation to the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society of a FirstGroup Skills Award Runners-up certificate at the National Railway Heritage Awards, in relation to the reconstruction of Horsted Keynes Station Platform 1 & 2 buildings. Particular praise was given to the high level of workmanship and the care taken to ensure that the materials used in this new building accurately replicate the original construction appearance in keeping with the adjoining buildings on Platforms 3 & 4. Robin Elliott and Ted Anderson accepted the award on behalf of the Society; the presentation being made by Paul Atterbury (of Antiques Road Show fame) on Wednesday 3rd December at Merchant Taylor's Hall in the City of London. The overall winner of this particular award was for the restoration and refurbishment of the High Level Railway Bridge across the River Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle; a significantly larger project and was won by Network Rail jointly with May Gurney and Mott McDonald.

  • The Santa Specials started yesterday:

  • Details of a major revision to the 473 Bus Service for 2009 are now available.

  • There is just one 3rd-class compartment on the 5.15pm Victorian Christmas train on 23rd December remaining - first come, first served - ring 01825 720800 tomorrow morning!


Excavators at work on the tip - 4 Dec 2008 - Patrick Plane 5 December:

Frame stretchers for the rear of the firebox on 84030 4 December:
  • This photo is taken from the sixth newsletter from the Standard Class 2 Project, which is now available via the Loco Works News pages thanks to John Jesson and the team working on No.84030.

    The photo shows two of the six rear frame stretchers which Derek Barlow has completed machining. These two, seen here trial assembed, are the ones which will go to the rear of the firebox.



Dukedog - 23 November 2008 - Martin Lawrence 3 December:
  • This photo of the Dukedog, which is now back in action on the Bluebell, was taken by Martin Lawrence on 23rd November.

  • Details of the increasingly popular Lounge Car services for 2009, including the Wealden Ramber special trains for Valentines Day, are now available and booking is open.

  • The Bluebell Railway Museum now has its own web site www.bluebell-railway-museum.co.uk - run by Tony Hillman. It currently has details of Museum activities, recent acquisitions and developments, and is going to become a major research resource, with a major project under way to catalogue the photographic archive and then make it available on-line.


Visiting 7F - 30 November 2008 - Martin Lawrence 2 December:
  • These photos taken over the weekend are from Martin Lawrence.

  • Videos from David Mylchreest from this spring, showing the visiting GW Auto train, and Stepney with the Observation Car, both at Three Arch Bridge, are now available.
Horsted Keynes, early evening - 30 November 2008 - Martin Lawrence 5199 - Martin Lawrence - 29 November 2008


27 November:

The Mayor inaugurates the big dig - 25 November 2008 - Nigel Longdon 26 November:

25 November:
  • Work was this morning officially inaugurated on the excavation of the tip on our Northern Extension.
    Full report and Press Release available here.
    Expect to see reports on a variety of media including TV and national press. The diggers and lorries are now active, and the first lorry loads of rubbish have left the site! All that remains in essence to complete the extension is raising the remainder of the money required - the share issue is still open, and closes at 3pm on 31st December. You can request a prospectus here and help us get through to East Grinstead.
    The BBC News web site already has a written report, and this piece (YouTube version) appeared on the 1.30pm BBC SouthEast News. Watch out for more, we hope, on the BBC SouthEast (and possibly BBC South) News at 6.30pm, and also on Meridian.

  • Dates for most of our 2009 Special Events now available.


1336 over the pit at HK - 19 November 2008 - Brian Kidman 21 November:
  • Two photos from Brian Kidman show Maunsell droplight No.1336 over the pit at Horsted Keynes on Wednesday this week.

  • The Loco Roster has been updated by Lewes Nodes, covering November and December, showing what locos we expect to use on what days.

  • Photos from the Photo Charter with the S&D 7F on Wednesday from Matt Allen on his web site.

  • Three photos below from Phil Jemmison, all taken yesterday:
    • The engineering work at Sheffield Park - the Southern end of the work site;
    • Towards the end of the day - replacement of trackwork along-side the old loco shed;
    • The BGZ in its new guise as a Pullman Pup, marshalled within the Golden Arrow formation. In addition to providing guard's accommodation, it also now has washing up facilities, storage and office accommodation. It will thus replace 'Eagle' which is on hire from the NRM, although here it is seen coupled to 'Eagle' for a change-over period. This will take the Arrow back to being an all-pre-war formation.

1336 over the pit at HK - 19 November 2008 - Brian Kidman Engineering work at Sheffield Park - 20 November 2008 - Phil Jemmison
Engineering work at Sheffield Park - 20 November 2008 - Phil Jemmison BGZ in Pullman Train - Phil Jemmison - 20 November 2008

Met 368 in paint shop - 19 November 2008 - Martin Lawrence 20 November:
  • Martin Laurence visited the carriage works yesterday, and this photo shows that the work on Metropolitan composite 368 is nearly complete. The lettering and lining is now finished, and just two more coats of varnish to go on before its revarnishing is complete.
    The roof has had four fresh coats of paint. Prior to entering the paint-shop the BASH team had replaced 9 split teak panels (and consequently 39 mouldings). The floor in the third class has been re-sealed, and the dummy blinds in the first class have finally been fitted.
    The coach was returned to traffic after overhaul six years ago, but the gold leaf lettering had suffered badly during some filming work three years ago. The repairs to the lettering made at the time have not lasted, so all the gold leaf has now been re-done from scratch.

    Martin's other photo, below, shows the ex-SR van underframe which is to be shortenned to carry LBSCR Stroudley third-class carriage No.328.

  • A pod-cast blog: Music and Mumblings - 039 - Steamy Innuendo was recorded at the Bluebell on Sunday, and released yesterday. In addition, Paul Snelling's photos from the day are available here.

  • Photo galleries from Martin Creese, featuring Earl of Berkeley during its recent visits to the Severn Valley Railway, and in a night shoot at Tyseley.

  • The other photo below from Peter Churchman shows some more of the many vintage buses at Sheffield Park last Sunday for the Bus Running day.

Buses at SP - 16 November 2008 - Peter Churchman Underframe for 328 - Martin Lawrence - 19 November 2008

Late afternoon train at Sheffield Park with 7F - 16 November 2008 - Martin Lawrence 19 November:
  • Progress report on the East Grinstead Extension with photos from David Chappell, showing the advanced state of preparations for track-laying at our station site at East Grinstead.

  • Today's update includes these three of Martin Lawrence's photos taken on Sunday 16th, all showing the visiting 7F.

  • YouTube Video of the open day at Tyseley on October 26th, with our Dukedog as 3200 "Earl of Mount Edgcumbe".

  • Notes from the September and October BRPS committee meetings now available via the BRPS Members' page.

7F at Sheffield Park, early evening - 16 November 2008 - Martin Lawrence 7F emerges from the Tunnel - Martin Lawrence - 16 November 2008

Bus from Bluebell in Brighton - 16 November 2008 - Nick Talbot 16 November:
  • Four photos taken today - the Vintage Bus Running Day (from Nick Talbot) and also two (thanks to Phil Jemmison and Gary Smith) showing the S&D 7F No.53809 at the start and the end of the day.

  • The P-Way fortnight starts tomorrow at Sheffield Park, with a continuation from January's major work in and around Sheffield Park loco-yard. Volunteer effort from anyone would be appreciated, starting from Wednesday this week, though to Wednesday next week. The team will meet up at the Park each day at 08.45. E-mail Jon Bowers for more information.

  • A gallery of photos from today is available from Keith Duke

  • Martin Lawrence has a large gallery of Bluebell photos, and also some videos on YouTube, including some taken today.

7F 53809 on 11am from SP towards Town Place Bridge - Phil Jemmison - 16 November 2008 Vintage Buses at SP - 16 November 2008 - Nick Talbot 7F on last train from SP - Gary Smith - 16 November 2008

13 November:
  • Further timetable, for the enhanced 473 service between East Grinstead and Kingscote, available for the Vintage Bus Running Day, on Sunday 16th November.

  • News update from Duncan Bourne with photos from Rob Faulkner added to the page for the Loco Works Working Group's activities on P-class No.178. Note that if you are interested in joining the activities of the group, there is a slight change to the usual pattern of dates in December.

  • Details just available (and bookings open - phone 01825 720800) for some special trains running on February 7 and 8 during the visit of SECR P-class locomotive No.753 early next year. Discount available on tickets purchased before 31st January.
    Departures from Horsted Keynes at 10.45, 12.47 and 2.48 for a round trip of the line.
    Seats limited to 24 First and 24 Third per trip.


Exit road and site compound - 8 November 2008 - Nigel Longdon 11 November:
  • East Grinstead Extension: Latest progress reports and photos from Nigel Longdon and David Chappell, and on progress with the share issue and about the planned official start of the dig from Roger Kelly.
    Nigel's photo on the right shows one of the newly constructed roads, which provides the exit from the temporary works compound for the tip extraction.

  • Update to the Loco Works News with the lates news and photos from the Bulleid Society on the restoration of 'Sir Archibald Sinclair'


10 November:

6 November:
  • Further details available for the Carol Service on the platforms of Horsted Keynes station from 7.30pm on Sat 6 December. The Bluebell Railway Band will be in attendance along with our oldest steam locomotive "Fenchurch" who is known for joining in with a carol or two!
    This year we are pleased to welcome the Revd Alan Carr, the Vicar of neighbouring All Saints Church at Highbrook, which can be seen from our trains as they depart Horsted Keynes station en route to Kingscote. Alan will lead us in our service of song and prayer, which will last about an hour.
    The station refreshment room will be open for the sale of teas, coffees and mulled wine through out the evening from 6.30pm

  • Details are now available for the July and September 2009 Victorian Picnic evening trains, for which booking is now open.

  • Further to my note concerning the visiting 7F steaming on Sunday 16th November, agreement has now been reached for the engine to remain on the Bluebell until the end of the year, with several further steamings possible. Anyone wishing to sponsor a steaming for a date of their choice is invited to contact the railway to discuss possibilities further.

  • There was a welcome plug for the Bluebell's Murder Mystery evenings on the Golden Arrow on BBC Radio 2's Janice Long show last night - listen again here (in the UK, for 7 days) and scroll to 2:17 on the time-line.

  • Update to the page for the Bluebell Railway Band


Dukedog back at Sheffield Park - Edward Hankey - 31 October 2008 3 November:
  • The 'Dukedog' is back at Sheffield Park; Edward Hankey took the opportunity of taking this unusual photo of it without its tender on Friday. A second photo from Edward is available here.

  • A snippet of news on the extension: I understand that temporary roads into and out of the temporary compound are being laid, and portacabins are on site ready for the start of excavation, expected later this month. Details of the official start of the excavation of the tip will be announced once they are known. Any further share purchases in the coming weeks will enable greater progress in the initial phase of extraction - if you would like a prospectus for the share issue, it is available here.

  • Other loco news:
    • The S&D 7F No.53809 has been sponsored to steam for an additional day, and will be operating the 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00 services from Sheffield Park on The Bluebell Railway Vintage Bus Day Sunday 16th November.
    • The U-class No.1638 is having some broken and worn stays replaced, which will involve a partial boiler lift.
    • A further update from Duncan Bourne with photos from Rob Faulkner added to the page for the Loco Works Working Group's activities on P-class No.178. If you fancy giving them a hand in the loco works on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month, then your assistance would be most welcome.
    • More news and photos from the Bulleid Society on the restoration of 'Sir Archibald Sinclair'


It was a perfectly normal day at Kingscote - Derek Hayward - 25 October 2008 31 October:
  • Due to a problem with the railway's e-mail system, we are not currently receiving e-mails sent to bluebell-railway.co.uk addresses, so if you have sent such an e-mail but not received a reply this may well explain it. Our IT team are working to resolve the problem. We apologise for this inconvenience! [The problem has now been resolved, although the cause is still being investigated]

  • Photos from last weekend's Wizard Weekend from Derek Hayward, including that on the right.

  • Update from Duncan Bourne with photos from Rob Faulkner added to the page for the Loco Works Working Group's activities on P-class No.178.

  • Advanced notice that the 2009 Branch Line Weekend will be on 21-22 February next year, and that a visiting loco will be SECR P-class No.753.

  • More photos and videos from the Autumn Gala:
  • Photos from Stephen Parker, Richard Thomas
  • Video from Ashley Smith

  • Stephen Parker also has some photos from the Bluebell taken in 1963 and more from 1985 and 1995

  • Updates to wagon pages by Nick Beck with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Ted Crawforth: LBSCR Box Van No.8196, SECR 7-plank No.5542 and SECR 5-plank Open Wagon No.50899.


23 October:
53809 - Stephen Hunt - 18 October 2008 80151 heads south, with GN Saloon first vehicle - John Goss - 17 October 2008 5199 with pullmans in tow - Tim Easter - 18 October 2008
53809 - Brian Easter - 18 October 2008 53809 again - David Haggar - 17 October 2008 80151 - Tim Easter - 18 October 2008
  • The Northern Extension Team would like to thank all those who supported their book sale at Kingscote over the Gala Weekend. They managed to raise £473.90 towards the Northern Extension. The guided tours of the Carriage Works raised donations of just over £300 towards the fund for the restoration of our SR Maunsell Restaruant Car.

  • Dave Bowles has photos from Jon Bowers' Chatham Twins charter featuring O1 No.65 & C No.592. He has also added some pictures from the Bluebell's 2002 Branch Line Weekend.
01 No.65 and U No.1638 - David Haggar - 18 October 2008 53809 - John Goss - 17 October 2008 7F in evening - Tim Easter - 18 October 2008


53809 approaches HK - Derek Hayward - 17 October 2008 17 October:

53809 on test run at HK - Brian Kidman - 15 October 2008 16 October:
  • The Somerset & Dorset 7F and the LMS Jinty were both in steam yesterday. The 7F ran a succesful test run yesterday (seen during gaugeing checks at Horsted Keynes in Brian Kidman's photo), and the Jinty will be tested on the Shunt turn today.
    Another attraction added for this weekend's Autumn Steam Gala:
    • On the Saturday and Sunday there is a mini model railway exhibition on the upper floor of the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park featuring 009 and N Scale layouts, and also a sales stand by the Railway's resident artist, Matthew Cousins.

  • Bus Service 246 (Uckfield to Sheffield Park) has been replaced by a new Community Bus Service. Call CTLA on 01273 517332 for more details.


80151 with Sussex Belle - Derek Hayward - 10 October 2008 15 October:
  • The Somerset & Dorset 7F No.53809 arrived at Sheffield Park yesterday. The low loader was then going on to collect the Jinty from Tunbridge Wells.
    Added to the page for this weekend's Autumn Steam Gala are:
    • Details of the enhanced 473 Bus service between East Grinstead and Kingscote, using a Routemaster in addition to the usual bus.
    • Details of the Free vintage bus service (Route 20) from Brington and Lewes to Sheffield Park on the Sunday
    • Details of the availability of the Event Guide which includes a working timetable for the event
    • Second-hand book sale at Kingscote Station in aid of the Northern Extension Project.
    • Also at Kingscote: Exhibition of the progress being made on the extension to East Grinstead.
    • Quiz Evening - in the Bar at Sheffield Park on the Saturday evening - £7 for Sausage and Mash Supper and Quiz.

  • The photo from Derek Hayward of last Friday's "Sussex Belle" Pullman train is part of his new page featuring in particular the Autumn Tints service. A reminder that the Autumn Tints Specials run on weekdays until 14th November and can be pre-booked.

  • Update to the London Area Group web page, with details of more of their meetings through the winter.

  • Interim update from the Maunsell Locomotive Society on the ongoing work on the S15.

  • We currently have a vacancy for a Works Supervisor in the Locomotive Works.

  • LSWR 96 "Normandy" arrived back last week, after its visits to the NRM and Barrow Hill.


Chimney lowered into place on the smokebox of 34059 - John Fry - October 2008 10 October:

Fenchurch with Autumn Tints - Andrew Strongitharm - 8 October 2008 9 October:
  • Further details added for the S&D-themed Autumn Steam Gala on Friday 17th - Sunday 19th October. 7 locos will be working over the event, including two visitors - Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway class 7F No.53809 and LMS Jinty 0-6-0T No.47493. Further information about these locos has been added to the Operational Locomotives page.

  • The photo from Andrew Strongitharm taken late yesterday afternoon shows Fenchurch with an Autumn Tints special - he has a couple of photos available.

  • Notice on the Members' Information Page from Roger Kelly with an update on Progress with the Share Issue - £375,000 has been raised so far.
  • Also a notice from Gavin Bennett, reporting with great sadness the death of long time volunteer Pat Berry - further information and details of funeral arrangements.

  • Online and telephone booking for the Santa Specials is now open.

  • Tim Baker tells me that the Victorian Christmas specials are booking up fast, with most of the first class compartments already taken.

  • Update to details of the Murder Mystery & Mayhem evenings on the Golden Arrow for 2009 - the remaining dates for this year are sold out, barring cancellations.


2 October:
  • We now have another visitor to join the S&D 2-8-0 for the S&D themed Autumn Steam Gala - the Spa Valley Railway has released the news that they hope that their LMS Jinty will be visiting us, subject to final confirmation. Since 47493 is also now on our Loco Roster, newly updated by Lewis Nodes (covering October, November and December), we can confirm this to be correct!

  • Great photographic coverage in several monthly railway magainzes in the last week, featuring the goods train with the double-headed SECR locos, and also of the Dukedog on the SVR - coverage of the Dukedog appears to have eclipsed even City of Truro's presence on the line!

  • Dave Clarke's photos of the charter with the C and the O1 are now on his fotopic site. Paul Pettitt also has one as the October's Picture of the Month on his site.

Sir Archibald's superheater header - John Fry - Sept 2008 26 September:

C-class with Vintage train - 21 Sept 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm Dukedog on SVR - 21 Sept 2008 - Stephen Gardiner


65 and 592 with goods - David Haggar - 13 Sept 2008 24 September:
  • Update on the Society Members' Information pages with the notes from the July Committee meeting which are now available.

  • The photographic charter on 13 September which featured the two SECR 0-6-0s on a goods train has provided the photos (from David Haggar) shown here. Those below include one featuring an Austin 7 car in the Carriage Yard at Horsted Keynes. A video on YouTube is also available from Jon Bowers. Jon says a very big thank-you to everyone involved in the charter. To the train crew and signalmen for coming in for what was a very early start; to the Ops department and shunters for assembling a train that really looked "the business"; to George Jones for providing the vintage car; to everyone who helped out with the lineside clearance, and to the workshop staff who got 592 running.

65 and 592 photo charter - David Haggar - 13 Sept 2008 65 and 592 photo charter - David Haggar - 13 Sept 2008 65 and 592 photo charter - David Haggar - 13 Sept 2008


Dukedog with 7802 Bewdley Tunnel - Brian Easter - 21 Sept 2008 22 September:

9017 at Dowles, SVR - 21 Sept 2008 - Tim Easter 9017 and 3440 at Rifle Range, SVR - 21 Sept 2008 - Tim Easter


4 September:

Outer Firebox platework being formed - David Pratt - 24 Aug 2008 2 September:

Horsted Keynes Railway Cottages - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward Sharpthorne Tunnel ventilation shaft - 3 May 2008 - Derek Hayward


Dukedog on arrival at Bewdley - P Sharpe - 30 July 2008 28 August:
  • The photo on the left shows the Dukedog passing though Bewdley just after its arrival at the Severn Valley Railway on 30th July (with my thanks to P Sharpe for permission to use it. He has a complete gallery of photos from the day here). The loco has since been receiving planned attention to its valves and pistons in the works at Bridgnorth. The valve chests have been rebored and the valves were refitted on Saturday 23rd August.

  • Details available of Seniors for a Fiver between Monday 22nd September and Friday 3rd October - Book in advance for this special offer for the over 60s.

  • Our Grandparents Special "Wealden Rambler" train on Sun 21 September is full so we have added Afternoon Tea on Pullman Car Lilian at 2.30pm - Pullman Train Fare: £20.00 plus Afternoon Tea at £10.00 (total £30.00 per person). Please telephone 01825 720800, or visit the Sales and Information Office above the Shop at Sheffield Park.

  • Some tickets are still available for the Victorian Evening on Fri 5 September.

  • The What's New entry for 23rd June this year included a report and photographs about the newly installed elevated shunt signal (SP No 1) for the exit from the Newick siding at Sheffield Park. On 23rd July 2008, after several weeks of work both on and off site, an S&T team led by Mick Sargeant successfully commissioned this new signal, and removed the old one. The photos below taken that day show Mick Sargeant and Dave Devlin with the newly commissioned signal, and Mick Sargeant carrying out alterations to the electrical wiring for the signal, in the adjacent equipment location case. My thanks to Alan Grove for this report and photos.

SP Shunt Signal - 23 July 2008 - Alan Grove SP Shunt Signal location case - 23 July 2008 - Alan Grove


27 August:
  • Details now available for The Bluebell Ramble on Sat 6 & Sun 7 September - Join us for a 5 mile ramble from Horsted Keynes.


Vintage cars at Horsted Keynes - 16 August 2008 - David Chapell 21 August:
  • Some more of David Chappell's photos from the Saturday of the Vintage Transport Weekend. The first of the photos below shows a pair of railway vehicles, a Scammell mechanical horse and a platform luggage-trolley tug.

  • This coming Bank Holiday Weekend there will be Guided tours of the Carriage & Wagon Workshop at Horsted Keynes, at 1.20 and 1.40pm each day (Sat, Sun and Mon), led by Dave Clarke, John Coleman and Richard Salmon.

Railway vehicles, a Scammell mechanical horse and a platform luggage tug, at Horsted Keynes - 16 August 2008 - David Chapell Traction Engines - 16 August 2008 - David Chapell


592 at Three Arch Bridge - 17 August 2008 - Brian Easter 19 August:
  • Brian Easter's photo on the right shows the C-class 592 approaching Three Arch Bridge on Sunday. His other photos of the Vintage Weekend are available.

  • The photos below show the gathering of traction engines (Stephen Hunt) and some of the classic cars (Derek Hayward) - see yesterday's entry for links to their collections of photos.

  • Derek Hayward has a new photographic tour, this time covering the disused line from Culver Junction to Uckfield (Old Station), including the Lavender Line at Isfield. This tour joins Derek's existing comprehensive tours from Hamsey to Sheffield Park, the Ardingly Branch, and north of Kingscote, plus (of course) the two tours (SP-HK, HK-Kc) covering the operational part of the Bluebell Railway itself.

  • News report from the Maunsell Locomotive Society with the latest on the overhaul of S15 No.847, the results of the boiler survey on Stowe, plus the news that the Q-class has moved up the queue for attention in the Works.

Traction engines - 17 August 2008 - Stephen Hunt Classic Cars - 16 August 2008 - Derek Hayward


Traction Engines at Horsted Keynes - 16 August 2008 - David Chapell 18 August:
  • David Chappell's photos, right and below, are from Saturday - the first day of what turned out to be a very popular Vintage Transport Weekend.
    Further photos to follow here later this week, and the following collections are also now available:
  • Stephen Hunt,
  • Derek Hayward,
  • Kate James: 1, 2, 3 and 4

  • Afternoon Tea in the first class Lounge Car is now booking for Saturdays and Sundays in November. The Lounge Car is also running over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend (as is the GNR Directors' Saloon)

  • Reminder that the next Victorian Picnic evening trains are on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th of September - your party will be provided with a hamper containing a finger buffet, with wine and soft drinks, and there will be a Victorian Music Hall show for your entertainment and delictation. Some tickets remain - particularly for the Friday evening - book now!

Showmans Engines at Horsted Keynes - 16 August 2008 - David Chapell Vintage Cars - 16 August 2008 - David Chapell


5199 approaches HK - 9 August 2008 - Richard Salmon 11 August:
  • The photo on the right shows the Prairie Tank approaching Horsted Keynes with the first train of the day on Saturday (with the GN Directors' Saloon attached - photo below). The other locos running were the O1 on the Chesham set (plus the LNWR Observation Car - photo below) and the U-class with a Golden Arrow Wedding charter.

  • Update to the Contacts page, to make it easier to find the information you may be looking for.

  • Paul Pettitt has a new picture of the month, featuring Clive Groome at Horsted Keynes in February 2007.

GN Saloon - 9 August 2008 - Richard Salmon 65 and Obo - 9 August 2008 - Richard Salmon


Last train of the afternoon leaves Horsted - 7 August 2008 - David Chapell 8 August:
  • David Chappell's photo, taken yesterday afternoon, shows the last train of the day back from Horsted Keynes, which is sometimes double-headed, although more often the engine from the Horsted-based set travels down separately as a light-engine movement. The first two coaches are the recently re-painted SR 1935-built pair of Maunsells. Click on the photo for an enlargement.

  • This is a good image to advertise the busy train service which will form part of our Vintage Transport Weekend (16-17 August), for which further details are now available.

  • Details and entry forms now available for the 2008/9 Football Competition - don't delay; the season is about to start, and entries must be postmarked no later than 3pm on 16th August.

  • Below is a photo from Tony Sullivan of a gathering at Isfield of Bluebell personalities on Sunday 3rd August. Click on the photo for an enlargement.

Gathering at Isfield - 3 August 2008 - Tony Sullivan


Dukedog at West Hoathley - 27 July 2008 - Ashley Smith 5 August:
  • Working Timetable for the Vintage weekend (16-17 August) now available for download as a PDF. Also, on Sunday 17 August, Service 20, a Free Vintage Bus Service will run every half-hour from Brighton Pool Valley to Sheffield Park from 10.30am. The last return will probably be at 5pm from Sheffield Park.

  • Update to the Bulleid Society's web page on 'Normandy', with some more of Chris Gardner's photos from Barrow Hill.

  • Update to the Loco News pages, with the latest from the Brighton Atlantic Project, with photos showing recent progress from Fred Bailey.

  • Photos from Ashley Smith from Sunday 27th July, including that on the right showing the Dukedog at West Hoathley. This loco left the Bluebell two days later for an extended visit to the Severn Valley Railway, which will involve it receiving some attention to valves and pistons in their workshops (which should cure that rather curious groaning noise!), after which it will be in use on their line until October.

  • Jon Bowers' next photo charter (why not come along and join it?) is on Saturday 13 September, featuring the two SECR liveried 0-6-0s - O1 Class No.65 and C Class No.592. Details available here. That page also has details of two photo charters which will benefit the Bluebell during the Dukedog's visit to the SVR.

  • Statement from Paul Churchman (Operations Director) and Lewis Nodes (Loco & Rolling Stock Director) responding to the article in Bluebell News magazine concerning Footplate Days and Ways, added to the Information for BRPS Members pages.

  • Minor update to the Visitor Information page.


5199 at West Hoathley - 20 July 2008 - Brian Easter 26 July:
  • Brian Easter spent last Sunday on the Railway, and the resulting photos include that on the right, showing 5199 leaving the tunnel and passing the site of West Hoathley Station.

  • Press Release about the Bluebell Railway Playroom at the Valley Presbyterian Hospital in California. A new concept in playrooms, it is designed to expose the children of patients to a virtual experience that will make them feel comfortable in a sometimes frightening hospital environment. The Bluebell Railway Playroom was recently opened by actor Goran Visnjic, renowned for his role as Dr. Luca Kovak in the hit series, ER.
    Photographic images taken by Bluebell photographer Derek Hayward were prepared by Anna-Marie Buss of Bussroot Limited, a graphic designer based in Paddock Wood. Photos and a YouTube video are also available.


Normandy at Barrow Hill - July 2008 - Chris Gardner 22 July:
  • Chris Gardner, some-time cleaner in the Loco Dept, now lives just six miles from Barrow Hill, so is currently popping in there for an hour every Saturday morning to give Normandy a quick clean, to maintain Bluebell standards! His photo shows it there, on a line with a LMS Jinty and between 'Blue Peter' and a class 20 diesel.

  • Update to the details of the Murder Mystery & Mayhem specials on the Golden Arrow, with an additional date for this year, and advance notice of dates for next year. Gift Certificates are also available for these evenings.

  • Details of the Social Sub-Committee's The Bluebell Himalayan, a members' visit on Sunday 21st September, to the Beeeches Light Railway.

  • Update to the Special Events list - due to a distinct lack of "Giants", an Autumn Gala is now being planned for October. More details once confirmed.

18 July:

5199 at Sheffield Park - 11 July 2008 - Sean Tompsett 15 July:
  • Reminder that this coming weekend is the Toy and Rail Collectors' Fair at Horsted Keynes.
          Model Railways - both new and second-hand, RTR and kits
          Die-cast models such as Dinky/Corgi
          Railwayana - cast iron / enamel signs and plates etc.
          Preservation groups etc.
          About 33 stands divided between a marquee, the station site and the station field.
          Public opening 10.30am - 4pm both days.
          Catering in both field and on station site.
          Free parking. Admission £2.50 per person. (Note: there is no car boot event this year).
          Hourly train service (train ticket required)
          Guided Tours of Carriage & Wagon Workshops at 1.20pm and 1.50pm.

  • Today's photo is one from Sean Tompsett taken last Friday, showing 5199 at Sheffield Park.

  • Press Release for the launch of the share offer now available.

  • Update to the FAQ page adding financial and traffic information for 2007.


Share Offer - 2008 12 July:
9 July:
  • The Vintage Car section of the Vintage Transport Weekend on Sat 16 and Sun 17 August is now full, although there are still a few spaces remaining in the Vintage Motorcycle section - book soon on this form.


Part of the new playroom at Valley Presbyterian Hospital - May 2008 4 July:
  • Details of the additional family attractions during August now available.

  • The photo on the right shows the new "Bluebell Railway Playroom" at the Valley Presbyterian Hospital, San Fernando, which used some of Derek Hayward's photos as their inspiration. The hospital's press release is here, and there was an article today in the Kent & Sussex Courier

  • Updates on the Society Members' pages: the notes from the May Committee meeting are available, as is the newly agreed Historic Wagon Strategy (pdf).

  • Running until Sunday 2nd November 2008, East Grinstead Museum is hosting An Exhibition Celebrating the Impending Arrival of the Bluebell Railway - further details are available in this pdf of the flyer or on the Museum's web site - this weekend is one of the featured "Meet the Bluebell Volunteers" special events.

  • Photos from the second weekend of the Traditional English Summer Fair/Family Fun event from:

  • Dave Clarke has provided some updates with his photos reporting activities around the Carriage & Wagon, and separately progress on the SECR Birdcage Brake and with the carriage electrical work.

  • Paul Pettitt has a new picture of the month, featuring Stepney & C class No.592 hauling Stepney's last public service before withdrawal for boiler overhaul, and an update to his page for the U-class No.1638.


    The Viaduct - Terry Cole

  • The photos left and below (our North London Tank on Imberhorne Viaduct and West Grinstead on the Steyning Line) are from Terry Cole's new book: 'Southern Colour in the Sixties'. 96 pages of previously unpublished colour for £14.95, the book includes chapters on the Lewes & East Grinstead and the early Bluebell days, the Cuckoo Line, Steyning line, etc.
    Available from the Bluebell Shop, the author or Post free from the publisher: Kevin Robertson (Noodle Books), PO Box 279, Corhampton, Southampton SO32 3ZX.
Steyning Line - Terry Cole


3 July:
  • Details added for the Bluebell Summer Saver, our half price offer for tickets purchased in advance over the summer.

  • Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes, showing planned engine usage for the summer.


3 light engines arrive at HK - 22 June 2008 - David Chappell 26 June:
  • Photo on the right is from David Chappell, and shows the three light engines arriving at Horsted Keynes last Sunday morning ready for their services over the English Summer Fair family fun event, which continues over the coming weekend - 28-29 June.

  • Train service on Sat 22 and Sun 23 November:
    With confirmation that the engineering works planned for the above weekend will be based around the loco yard at Sheffield Park, and will not affect the main running line, a NORMAL SERVICE ONE timetable will operate on the above weekend and the Pullman train will also operate as normal over the whole line.


Elevated Shunt Signal, SP - June 2008 - ABG 23 June:
  • On 6th June, members of the Alf Brown Group completed the installation of the new elevated shunt signal controlling the exit from the carriage siding (former Up line from Newick) at Sheffield Park as a replacement to the existing ground signal (SP No. 1 signal). The signal has been designed to allow greater visibility of the signal, particularly for the Train Guard when starting trains, as the existing signal is obscured by the elevated walkway known affectionately as Cackle House Halt.
    The S&T Department will now carry out alterations to mechanical connections to bring the new signal into operation during the next few weeks.
    The photo on the right shows the completed signal with the existing signal alongside. The red and white striped post is used by locomotive crews as a marker for shunting.
    The photo below shows Group members (L-R) Chris Saunders, Peter Clark, Robert Hayward, Martin Oakley and John Arkell (Nicholas Clark not present when photo taken).

  • Mike Mundy spotted this paragraph in the Southern Railway magazine, March 1947 edition, about our President, Bernard Holden MBE, and his family of Stationmasters.
Elevated Shunt Signal, SP - June 2008 - ABG


O1 at SP - 22 June 2008 - Stephen Hunt 22 June:
Family Fun Weekend - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward Family Fun Weekend - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward Family Fun Weekend - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward Family Fun Weekend - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward Family Fun Weekend - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward Family Fun Weekend - 22 June 2008 - Derek Hayward

Sir Archie's boiler lifted into place - 11 June 2008 - John Fry 15 June:

55 at Kingscote - 10 June 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm 13 June:
  • The photo on the right (from Andrew Strongitharm) shows 'Stepney' at Kingscote with a final train for working members on Tuesday evening. Ken Upton also has a gallery from the evening - the driver was Mick Blackburn and the fireman was Liz Groome.

  • Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes

  • Update, thanks to Nick Beck, Martin Skrzetuszewski and Blair Robinson, to the page on GWR wagon No.87782.


11 June:

55 and 592 at Horsted - 8 June 2008 - Neil Munro-Thomson 9 June:
  • Neil Munro-Thomson caught Stepney's last public train arriving back at Horsted Keynes yesterday evening (right) and also has a gallery of photos from yesterday.

  • No time is being wasted in preparing 473 "Birch Grove" for its overhaul - the photo below (taken yesterday) shows that dismantling has already started - the advantage of this loco is that it needs very little boiler work beyond the routine lift and re-tube, so it complements our other current overhauls which are all heavy on boiler-work.
Start of 473 overhaul - 8 June 2008 - Richard Salmon


55 and 592 at Horsted - 8 June 2008 - Richard Salmon 8 June:
  • The photo on the right shows Stepney and 592 ready to leave Horsted Keynes on the last train of the day today. Short video (YouTube) also available here. This was Stepney's final bow in public service (although there is a train for working members on Tuesday evening), but also good to finally welcome 592 back into service after a protracted period of difficulties over availability of suitable springs.

  • Stephen Hunt has a gallery of photos available that were taken today.

  • Paul Pettitt's picture of the month for June features Stepney.

  • Three photos below from Derek Hayward, also taken today. (More photos in his Gallery here). On the left Stepney and 592 again doubleheading on the last train of the day. The middle photo shows U-class 1638 with the other service train (including a private party - the Camelot Loco Society's AGM - in the GNR Directors' saloon) heading north from the tunnel at West Hoathly. Thirdly the visiting Prairie tank was heading the lunchtime Golden Arrow Pullman dining train - today's formation was unusual in that recently overhauled first-class carriage 3064 deputised for "Lilian" which was at the South of England Show.

  • We are very pleased to say that our stand at the South of England Show has again won the award for "Best Trade Stand".

55 and 592 leaving Sheffield Park - 8 June 2008 - Derek Hayward 1638 at West Hoathly - 8 June 2008 - Derek Hayward 5199 with Pullmans at 3-Arch Bridge - 8 June 2008 - Derek Hayward

7 June:
  • Update to the Football Competition page, with the final results for the 2007/8 season. Our thanks to Gary Smith for again running the competition, as fund-raising for Operation Undercover.

  • "Nine Elms" is the latest publication from Buggleskelly Books. As with all previous publications 10% from all orders received by Bluebell signalman Melvyn Overbury at the address below will go to the the Bluebell's Brighton Atlantic Project.
    The book, by George Marsh, Clinton Shaw and Driver Jim Evans (Nine Elms Top Link) is A5 size, perfect bound, 52 pages plus 3-colour laminated card cover with 39 B/W and 42 colour photos (including 16 full page images).This book combines the largely previously unseen work of two accomplished photographers, George Marsh and Clinton Shaw, along with the notes and captions of former driver Jim Evans.
    Copies are priced £7.45 (inclusive of FREE P&P). Payment should be made out to "Buggleskelly Books" and orders sent to:- 22, Glassenbury Drive, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 2NY

  • Web Site down-time: On Sunday morning (8th June) we regret that it is planned that there will be a temporary loss of access to this web site between about 8am and 10.30am, whilst essential maintenance work to allow for the replacement and standardisation of key networking equipment takes place.


Trains passing at Horsted - 30 May 2008 - Bill Vigar 6 June:
  • This photo from Bill Vigar taken last Friday shows the exchange of tokens at Horsted Keynes on the Standard 4, with the Dukedog waiting to depart southwards from platform 2 with the vintage set.

  • This weekend Stroudley Terrier 'Stepney' will double-head with the recently overhauled SECR No.592 (the C-class), hauling the Metropolitan carriages and Observation Car. This will be last time for some years that Stepney will be seen working public trains, since Stepney's boiler certificate expires at midnight next Tuesday.

  • Two new first day covers have been added to the Bluebell Railway Letter Service page - a Definitive Issue featuring "Blackmoor Vale" was issued on 19th May, and a Commemorative Cover to mark the Centenary of Bernard J Holden M.B.E. was issued on 8th May 2008.

  • Update to the loco roster from Lewis Nodes

  • The re-surfacing of the B2028 appears to have been scaled back compared to the signs that were in place a week ago (see note of 31 May below). The Railway again has a major presence at Ardingly's South of England Show yesterday, today and tomorrow. Visitors to the show will be able to enter Pullman Car 'Lilian' which is being displayed on a short section of track.

  • Two photos, below, taken by John Fry, illustrate recent updates to the Bulleid Society web site. LSWR No.96 'Normandy' is seen at the NRM's 1968 and all that exhibition, and the first 100psi steam test on the boiler of No.34059 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' on Wednesday this week.

Normandy at the NRM - June 2008 - John Fry Sir Archibald Sinclair steam test - 4 June 2008 - John Fry

31 May:
  • Update to Who's Who page, adding Roger Kelly, who was elected as a BRPS Trustee at the recent society AGM.

  • Anyone visiting the railway in the next couple of weeks (especially Horsted Keynes via Ardingly/Lindfield) should note that this coming week (work started yesterday) the B2028 from the Copthorne Hotel, Kings Head roudabout, Crawley Down, Ardingly to Lindfield is being resurfaced. Also next weekend is the South of England Show at Ardingly, and then on Sunday 15 June the same road will be partly closed (and best avoided totally) as it is taken over for the British Heart Foundation's London to Brighton Cycle Ride.


5199 at Horsted Keynes - 30 May 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm 30 May:
28 May:
  • The last day of Stepney's 10-year boiler certificate is Tuesday 10th June, after which it has to be withdrawn from service pending overhaul. Its last days in public service will be the weekend of 7-8 June.

  • Notes of the last two BRPS committee meetings are available via the Society pages


No.320 during shunt - 20 May 2008 - Dave Clarke 27 May:
  • Dave Clarke now has an extensive photo gallery taken during last Tuesday's mega-shunt at Horsted Keynes. All sorts of carriages which have not been seen for some years came out, and some even got put away again...
    One carriage that has been kept out is LSWR/SR No.320 (seen on the right), which was one of the Bluebell's first two carriages in 1960, and has been extracted to be dried out and have a new tarpaulin fitted.

    Robert Billinton - book by Klaus Marx

  • Klaus Marx's new book on Robert Billinton (Oakwood Press) is now out and is available at our bookshop at Sheffield Park. This follows on from his volume last year on Lawson Billinton, Robert's son. Robert Billinton was appointed Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Superintendent of the LBSCR upon the death of William Stroudley, and was the designer of our locomotive 'Birch Grove' and carriage No.7598.

  • Update to the mobile/Wap page for access to the Railway by bus, reflecting last week's timetable changes. wap.bluebellrailway.co.uk


26 May:
  • Update to the extension pages reporting offically on the progress on the clearance of the station site at East Grinstead.


East Grinstead station site - 20 May 2008 - Brian Kidman 25 May:
  • Update to the Access to the Railway by Bus details - as from yesterday the 270 Bus times to/from Horsted Keynes were slightly altered at weekends.

  • The photo on the right is from Brian Kidman, who was working on the scrub clearance at our East Grinstead station site on Tuesday - rapid progress is being made.

  • Tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) will see the GNR Directors' saloon running in public service on the Horsted Keynes (vintage) set, which also includes the Metropolitan carriages. Why not get a first-class ticket and join us on the saloon for toasted tea cakes or scones and cream?

  • Also tomorrow, Dave Clarke and I will be running guided tours of the Carriage & Wagon works at 1pm and 1.30pm - meet at the South end of Platform 5 at Horsted.

  • It had been thought that Stepney's last day before withdrawal for overhaul would be 11th June. It may in fact be earlier than that - check this page for more details over the next few days.


Long-siding shunt at Horsted Keynes - 20 May 2008 - David Chappell 23 May:
  • New web page detailing the facilities available for School Visits.

  • Photo on the right from David Chappell showing the big shunt at Horsted Keynes on Tuesday - a complete re-arrangement of the long siding which extends from the North end of the station right down, past the back of the signal box and on to the end of the Ardingly spur. Carriages which need new tarpaulins have been extracted, along with carriages and wagons which are higher up the overhaul queue. The photo below shows the unusual sight of the empty siding behind the platforms.
The long siding; clear - 20 May 2008 - David Chappell


Stroudley 5-compartment third delivered to Horsted - 21 May 2008 - David Chappell 22 May:
  • David Chappell's photo taken yesterday shows the delivery to Horsted Keynes of our latest LBSCR coach body - an as-yet unidentified Stroudley 5-compartment third. It is seen being lifted over the similar No.328 (under the tarpaulin) onto an ex-SR van underframe behind.

  • The photos below, taken last Saturday by David Chappell, show the start of work on the clearance of scrub at our East Grinstead station site, which has now been fenced off from the Network Rail land so enabling us to work on the site. The photo on the left looks north from our existing compound. The one on the right shows the view southwards at the northern end of our station site.

  • Also last Saturday was the Society AGM. Amongst the presentations was one from Graham Flight, plc Chairman, indicating that the Share Issue documents should be ready to be sent out in the next few weeks, and explaining the complexities of getting to that stage. In essence, subject to raising £4 million, we should be able to open the extension to East Grinstead in Spring 2010. The first stage of that fund raising will be the share issue, which needs to raise £1 million in the first few weeks, so that we can start excavating the rubbish tip in July. East Grinstead here we come!

East Grinstead station site - view from the South - 17 May 2008 - David Chappell East Grinstead station site - view from the North - 17 May 2008 - David Chappell


Kingscote temporary post office - 10 May 2008 - Tracey Wheatley 15 May:
  • Photos from Kingscote from the Southern At War Weekend from Tracey Wheatley, right and below, show the temporary Post Office esablished in the station waiting room, and a general scene of the military encampment there.

  • Photos from the weekend now available from John Sandys, taken most appropriately using an original 1940's Leica!

  • I can now positively confirm the arrival of Diesel Shunter No.13236 (D3236, or 08168) which has arrived on hire, from Shackerstone. It was at Horsted Keynes last night, and carries plain 1950s BR black livery with the early BR crest. Consequent updates to various loco pages.

  • With the impending end of the boiler certificate of LBSCR Terrier 'Stepney', Clive Groome's Footplate Days and Ways courses are regrettably no longer based on the Bluebell. His courses have seen countless hundreds of participants and their families visit the Railway over the years, and provided the bonus of a visitor attraction with an additional small engine in steam, and highly visible to our visitors, at Horsted Keynes virtually every Saturday.

  • Updates to the Volunteering page with changes to contact details in Loco department.
Kingscote - 10 May 2008 - Tracey Wheatley


Spitfire Mk19 PS915 over Horsted - 11 May 2008 - Dave Clarke 14 May:
  • Photo album from the Southern At War Weekend from Dave Clarke (including photos on the right and below), and a video from Jon Bowers.

    The Spitfire used on Saturday was P7350, a Mk IIa, the oldest airworthy Spitfire in the world and the only Spitfire still flying today to have actually fought in the Battle of Britain. She is believed to be the 14th aircraft of 11,989 built at the Castle Bromwich 'shadow' factory. Sunday's (as featured in Dave's photo here) was, as previously notified, one of the last, Griffon-engined Mk19 PS915. The earlier one has the three-bladed prop.

  • Please Note: The Fathers' Day Ploughmans' Lunch is now Sold out.
Horsted Keynes - 11 May 2008 - Dave Clarke Checkpoint at Horsted - 11 May 2008 - Dave Clarke Cake stall at Horsted - 10 May 2008 - Dave Clarke


Spitfires over Horsted - 10-11 May 2008 - Derek Hayward 12 May:
  • The sun shone for the Southern at War weekend, and the photos of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfires (different ones each day) are from Derek Hayward. The photos below are from Stephen Hunt, with some more from Derek. Click on any photo for an enlargement.

  • Albums of photos from the event have so far been notified from:
Home Guard at Horsted - 11 May 2008 - Derek Hayward UXB at Kingscote - 10 May 2008 - Derek Hayward USA tank at SP - 10 May 2008 - Derek Hayward Wartime fire service - 11 May 2008 - Derek Hayward 5199 - 10 May 2008 - Stephen Hunt 21C123 running as OVS Bulleid - 10 May 2008 - Stephen Hunt Home Guard at HK - 10 May 2008 - Stephen Hunt 5199 - 10 May 2008 - Stephen Hunt


Spitfire Mk19 PS915 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight 8 May:
  • Details now available as to which Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be taking part in this weekend's fly-pasts as part of our Southern At War Weekend - it is Mk19 PS915 - painted to represent PS888, the very last Spitfire to have flown in RAF service.

  • Update to Loco news report on overhaul of Baxter with photos from Trevor West.

  • Update to the Weddings page adding new photos of the room at Horsted Keynes which is licenced for civil ceremonies.

  • Update to the information given below about Birch Grove - the E4's last passenger working was in fact an additional 5.32pm departure from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park. The E4 was used to return the Observation Car to Sheffield Park for the following day's Bluebell Specials, but the train was made available to the public and did convey passengers back to Sheffield Park.


32473 bows out - 5 May 2008 - Ken Upton 6 May:

5199 with the Sussex Belle - 1 May 2008 - Derek Hayward 2 May:
  • Derek Hayward has commenced a new photo gallery featuring the visit of 5199, following its entry into service on the Bluebell yesterday. Derek's photo to the right shows it returning its Pullman charter to Sheffield Park yesterday, and also illustrates the current use of the SR Van 'C' with the Pullman set whilst the LMS BGZ is adapted internally (and temporarily) as a service vehicle for the set.

  • Update to the FAQ.


5199 with the Sussex Belle - 1 May 2008 - John Sandys 1 May:
5199 with Sussex Belle - 1 May 2008 - Derek Hayward Stepney with Bluebell Special - 1 May 2008 - Derek Hayward


Blackmoor Vale at Built at Brighton event - 26 April 2008 - Kate James 30 April:
  • One of Kate James' photos from the "Built at Brighton" event from Saturday is on the right. Several more below - click on any for enlargements.
Terriers at Built at Brighton event - 26 April 2008 - Kate James 80151 at Built at Brighton event - 26 April 2008 - Kate James LCDR Carriage 114 and lamp detail - 26 April 2008 - Kate James Terriers with train at Built at Brighton event - 26 April 2008 - Kate James


32473 with Passenger train - 28 April 2008 - David Haggar 29 April:
  • Photo on the right, and one below (both from David Haggar) from yesterday's photo charter with the E4 - the last for the forseeable future with it in BR black livery.
  • Photo album of yesterday's photo charter from Jon Bowers.

  • One of Nick Talbot's photos from the "Built at Brighton" event, below, showing Blackmoor Vale at Horsted Keynes on Saturday.
    Further photos of the weekend from:

  • Update to the web page for the Southern at War event on 10-11 May, adding photos of the Home Guard (23rd Sussex) and a poster for the event.

32473 with Goods - 28 April 2008 - David Haggar Blackmoor Vale amidst the flowers - 26 April 2008 - Nick Talbot

Birch Grove with the goods - 26 April 2008 - Stephen Hunt 28 April:
  • Details of timings for the Spitfire Flypasts now available on the Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th May Southern at War weekend web page.

  • More photos available from the "Built at Brighton" event:
    • Ashley Smith: "... a few pictures from around Horsted Keynes on the Sunday of the Gala."
    • Ken Upton: "... a few photos of Sheffield Park yard on Saturday morning with the engines coming into steam."
    The photo on the right, from Saturday, is from Stephen Hunt, and shows Birch Grove on one of the goods turns. A good display of primroses on the lineside too. Stephen's photo below showing 80151 also on Saturday, shows that the Bluebells are ready for this week's Bluebell Specials.

  • 5199 visited Horsted Keynes and Kingscote today for clearance tests. Ray Wills has three photos taken at Horsted Keynes, including the one below. Loco added to the Locomotive stock list and the page for operational locomotives.

  • Yesterday's report of the arrival of Diesel Shunter 13236 was a little premature - the source of that report had in fact seen freshly repainted 08016 waiting to depart!


80151 - 26 April 2008 - Stephen Hunt 5199 approaches Horsted Keynes - 28 April 2008 - Ray Wills

Terriers together - 26 April 2008 - David Haggar 27 April:
  • Photo albums available so far from this weekend's "Built at Brighton" event from: The photo on the right, taken yesterday, is from David Haggar, and shows the terriers paired on the Victorian set.

  • New web page for visiting GWR Prairie Tank loco No.5199, including a photo of it at Llangollen earlier this month, and on the low loader on arrival at Sheffield Park - from a gallery of photos from John Sandys. The photos below show it on Bluebell metals, from Andrew Strongitharm and Derek Hayward.

5199 at Sheffield Park - 25 April 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm 5199 at Sheffield Park - 26 April 2008 - Derek Hayward

25 April:
  • Details of first and last trains each day added to the "Built At Brighton" event details.
  • Update to the Loco Roster, covering May and June, and showing that visiting locomotive GWR 2-6-2T No.5199 (which has now arrived at Sheffield Park, on loan from the Llangollen Railway) is due to enter Bluebell service on 1st May, subject to testing and gauging.


Birch Grove - 23 April 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm 23 April:
  • Photo of 32473 'Birch Grove' in action today from Andrew Strongitharm - this serves as a reminder that this weekend is the "Built At Brighton" event where we have five Brighton-built locos running, as a farewell to 'Birch Grove' and 'Stepney', both of which will be bowing out of service in the next few weeks at the end of their current boiler certificates.

  • Details now available for the SOUTHERN at WAR weekend on Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th May 2008. This year the event features the superb 23rd Sussex (Hastings and Bexhill) Battalion of the Home Guard, and (weather permitting) a SPITFIRE FLYPAST.


Sir Archibald Sinclair's boiler -  April 2008 - John Fry 21 April:
18 April:
  • Nick Beck has updated the web pages for the two LMS 3-plank drop-side medium open goods wagons: M474558 and M480222. The additional information was provided by Martin Skrzetuszewski.


Blackmoor Vale - 15 April 2008 - Bryan Benn 16 April:
  • Bryan Benn supplies today's photo - 21C123 'Blackmoor Vale' on the 11am departure from Sheffield Park yesterday, seen emerging from the tunnel.

  • Update to the Lounge Car service details - Afternoon Tea (on the 3pm departures from Sheffield Park) will be available over the bank holiday weekends in May and August.

  • Updates to the web pages for BR Mk.I carriages 1818, 1838, 4824, 4957 and 4941, and also the introduction to the carriage fleet and stock list, acknowledging the fact that the designation "TSO" was only used for BR 64-seat open seconds as from 1967, and thus 4941 and its ilk should correctly be designated "SO".


Blackmoor Vale - 13 April 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm 14 April:

Dukedog at Sheffield Park - 12 April 2008 - Stephen Hunt 13 April:
  • Stephen Hunt's photo (right) from yesterday shows the Dukedog ready to leave Sheffield Park.

  • Locomotive 21C123 'Blackmoor Vale' returned to service today after its winter break, which was followed by major attention to its regulator, a boiler exam and renewal of its brake-blocks.

  • Matt Allen's new book "The Bluebell Railway" (details as pdf)
    Matt Allen's book will be launched with a signing in the shop at Sheffield Park on the Saturday of the Built at Brighton weekend (26th April) between 1pm and 3pm. A 144 page photographic journey along the Bluebell Railway, the book is priced at £14.99, and will be available through the Bluebell's shop.
Stepney Special emerges from the tunnel - 10 April 2008 - Derek Hayward
  • Derek Hayward has some photos (including that on the right showing the train emerging from Sharpthorn Tunnel on Thursday) from last week's Stepney Farewell Specials. He also has shots of the service trains on the same days, and some pictures of activity at Sheffield Park Shed in his 2008 Bluebell album. He also has a new gallery of road vehicles in a railway context.

  • A reminder that the Stepney Farewell specials continue this coming week.

  • Sadly we have to report the death of Derek Winkworth on Friday 4th April. Derek was the well known author of Bulleid's Pacifics, probably the definitive volume of Bulleid pacific performance, as well as the author of Maunsell's Nelsons and The Schools 4-4-0s.
    Derek was a quantity surveyor by profession but was also a prolific writer and author, who always credited his correspondents for the assistance received. In addition to his writing skills, his work was enhanced by his own talented photographic skills.

  • Recent press coverage has included a photo of Horsted Keynes in the snow in last Monday's Daily Telegraph, a photo of 80151 in the snow on the BBC web site - 4th photo in the sequence, a report of the HLF award, also from the BBC, and a report - also about the HLF award in the Eastbourne Herald.

  • Last Sunday's three-inches of snow provided a fine selection of photos:

Birch Grove departing from Kingscote in snow - 6 April 2008 - David Chappell Horsted Keynes in the snow - 6 April 2008 - Dave Devlin Birch Grove departing from Kingscote in snow - 6 April 2008 - David Chappell Horsted Keynes in the snow - 6 April 2008 - David Chappell


LBSCR Goods Train - 29 March 2008 - Stephen Hunt 3 April:

80151 with goods train at Leamland - 29 March 2008 - Derek Hayward 1 April:
  • Derek Hayward's photo of 80151 with a down goods train on the double-track section at Leamland bridge amid the primroses from Saturday is seen on the right - Derek has now completed and captioned his gallery of photos from the Goods Train Weekend.

  • Update on the Bulleid Society web site from John Fry and Richard Green, with a round-up of the recent boiler work on Sir Archibald Sinclair, and other work on the engine, and an update on Blackmoor Vale detailing, amongst other things, the work carried out to sort out the incomplete closing of the regulator.


Scammell mechanical horses at Horsted Keynes - 30 March 2008 - Ashley Smith 31 March:

Dukedog with goods train - 30 March 2008 - Derek Hayward 30 March:

Fenchurch and 32473 with Goods trains at Horsted Keynes - 29 March 2008 - Jon Bowers 29 March:
  • One of Jon Bowers' photos from today, the first day of the Goods Train Weekend. More photos to follow when I get time to deal with them - many thanks to everyone who's sent me photos today!

  • Derek Hayward has a good selection of photos from today
  • Chris Ward has a photo gallery from today.

  • Dave Clarke has recently uploaded photos from around the Carriage & Wagon Works (and also several taken around the loco yard and works).

  • If members of the 9F club are experiencing difficulty in contacting the railway to sign up for activities, please be assured that we are working with our telephone service providers to try to rectify the problem. It appears that the phone system works correctly from a land-line and the problems are confined to phone calls made from mobiles, so please try to use a land-line to make your activity bookings. Sorry for the inconvenience.

28 March:

1309 outshopped - 19 March 2008 - David Chappell 26 March:
  • The big news is that we have been given the Stage 2 pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Phase 3 of the Operation Undercover project at Sheffield Park which will see covered accomodation for carriages, a new museum building, a new loco washout pit, and the repair and reconstuction of the platform buildings and canopy and provision of toilets on platform 2 at Sheffield Park.

  • The photo from David Chappell shows Maunsell open third carriage No.1309 outshopped from the Carriage Works at Horsted Keynes after a full re-paint. The carriage has been in service 24 years now since its overhaul - Operation Undercover will help to conserve carriages like this for the future.

  • Loco Works News update with Sunday's work on the P-class 178 from the Loco Workshop working group.

  • Times of first and last trains available for this weekend's Goods Train event.

  • The Social Sub-committee present: Film Show - Sunday 27 April 2008, 7.30pm Bessemer Arms Sheffield Park Station
    This event is open to all Volunteers, Members and the General Public; proceeds will go towards the Northern Extension Tip Removal. This is the evening of the second day of the "Built at Brighton" weekend.

  • Peter Skuce has photos of Bluebell Carriages, and a separate gallery for his photos of our Metroplitan Railway Carriages.


23 March:

80151 at Sheffield Park - 21 March 2008 - Alan Bedford 22 March:
  • Photos from yesterday (Good Friday) from Alan Bedford, including that on the right

  • Carriage & Wagon Works News - Report and photos of progress with the overhaul of the Lowmac wagon

  • Update to the FAQ, explaining better the distinction and arrangements for photography/video work for professional uses.

  • Apologies for the down-time on our web site earlier today - the result of a combination of two problems, and in the end another server in the cluster had to be restored off tape.


21 March:

Birdcage end in topcoat - Dave Clarke - 1 Jan 2008 20 March:

Chipping - 18 March 2008 19 March:

BJH100 - RAE parade - 16 March 2008 - Richard Salmon 17 March:
  • News report on the Brighton Atlantic - and a general tidying up of the Atlantic Project pages.
  • Also rather late notification of a news update on the overhaul of the S15 on the Maunsell Loco Society web site - also including plans for 'Stowe'

  • Yesterday (Sunday) was the occasion for our President's official 100th birthday party, and Captain Bernard Holden MBE (Retired) inspected a guard of honour formed by members of the Royal Engineers Association on his arrival, and there followed an afternoon of special events at the Railway for him and the invited guests who stretched back to the committee elected at the inaugural meeting of the preservation society which Bernard had chaired on his birthday 49 years ago.

    The 'Centenarian' photo below is thanks to Andrew Strongitharm - who has a gallery which illustrates the day very well.

    In a first for the Bluebell Railway, a bell team from the Society (another photo below) rang 1260 Grandsire Triples at St Andrew's, Steyning, on Saturday as a 100th birthday compliment to Bernard. Further details are here.


The Centenarian - 16 March 2008 - Andrew Strongitharm The Ringers - 15 March 2008

The two cakes (photos below) were quite splendid! One featured a page from the LBSCR Occurrence Book detailing
an outline of Bernard's life so far, and the second was decorated in the form of the number plate of an LB&SCR Locomotive.
They were made and decorated by a member of the Society.

BJH100 cake 1 - 16 March 2008 - Richard Salmon BJH100 cake 2 - 16 March 2008 - Richard Salmon


15 March:
Today is the 100th birthday of our President, Bernard Holden MBE. A number of Bluebell members visited him in the morning to sing 'Happy Birthday', 'For he's a jolly good fellow' and 'Sussex by the Sea' to him at his house. He wore the LBSCR hat which had been issued to his father in the year he was born (1908), and is seen here with one of the 70+ cards already received by that stage. Later in the afternoon there was to be a family party, and tomorrow the official celebration at the Railway.
BJH100 - 15 March 2008 - Richard Salmon BJH100 - 15 March 2008 - Richard Salmon BJH100 - 15 March 2008 - Richard Salmon

80151 with Golden Arrow - 17 Feb 2008 - Paul Pettitt 14 March:
  • Details now available for the June Family Fun Weekends - Traditional English Summer Fair with activities taking place at all stations, including Clowns, Punch and Judy shows, Face Painting, The Squire and his Stocks, Fancy Dress Competitions and a Miniature Railway.
    Tickets are now available and if booked before 31st May are HALF PRICE! Details of fares and how to get your tickets also available

  • Vacancy for a Capital Fundraising Co-ordinator now advertised on the Vacancies page.

  • The photo is one of Paul Pettitt's, from his 80151 gallery - this one taken on 17th February, hauling the Golden Arrow Luncheon train.


Auto-train - 2nd February 2008 - David Haggar 12 March:
  • This Weekend: To mark the 50th anniversary of closure of our line, locomotive No.80151 will be operating as 80154.
  • Also this coming weekend we celebrate the 100th birthday of our President, Bernard Holden MBE. Details on the Members' Information page - the celebrations start at 2pm on Sunday at Sheffield Park. If anyone wishes to send him a card or gift then please do so via the General Office at Sheffield Park Station, and we will ensure he gets it on the day.

  • David Haggar's photo on the right showing the Auto-train on 2nd February 2008 serves to introduce a new web page recording the visit of GWR Loco No.1450 and Auto-carriage No.178 to the Bluebell last month.

  • Update to the Carriage Technical pages, with updates for the information available from the LMS Carriage Association and the LNER Coach Association.


O1 with Mixed train at BLW - 23 Feb 2008 - Matt Allen 11 March:
  • Update to the details of the Goods Train Weekend (29-30 March) with a slight change to the planned loco line-up.

  • Matt Allen's recent photos from the Branch Line Weekend, and other photos from February. The one on the right shows the SECR O1 No.65 with a mixed train of LCDR, LBSCR, SECR and SR carriages, plus goods vehicles, from the Branch Line weekend.

  • Two useful webcams in Horsted Keynes village, particularly handy for seeing what the weather is like in the area added to the links page - always bearing in mind that it can be snowing at one end of the carriage shed and brilliant sunshine at the other, and the village is much further away than that!

  • Correction to the text of the entry for S15 No.830 on the page for locos which have left the railway.


Fenchurch approaches the tunnel - 9 March 2008 - Ashley Smith 9 March:
  • Update to the Extension Progress page with a photo from Stephen Fairweather and report from Nigel Longdon. After last Wednesday's working day, Nigel adds:
    "We really have been blessed with good weather these last five and an half weeks. The volunteer support has also been excellent with 25 working yesterday."

  • Photos from today (four locos in service with four trains running) from Ashley Smith, including that on the right, which shows 'Fenchurch' hauling the Metropolitan coaches up the 1-in-75 towards the tunnel.


Dukedog and Auto-coach at BLW - 24 Feb 2008 - Paul Pettitt 7 March:

1450 with Observation Car and Mets - 24 Feb 2008 - Tom James 6 March:
scammells at HK - 24 Feb 2008 - Tom James


Fenchurch and Birch Grove at BLW - 24 Feb 2008 - Stephen Hunt 5 March:
80151 - 24 Feb 2008 - Nick Talbot Birch Grove with Carmine and Creams - 23 Feb 2008 - David Haggar

O1 at Horsted, BLW - 23 Feb 2008 -Stephen Hunt

  • The photo on the right is another of Stephen Hunt's from Branch Line Weekend, showing the O1 shunting wagons at Horsted.
  • Paul Pettitt's Photo of the month features 1450 and the Autocoach, for which Paul also has a complete gallery. Also photos of 80151 on Golden Arrow duties and updates to his pages for E4 32473 and O1 No.65
  • This YouTube film of BR Southern Region Steam in 1967 includes footage of 34023 "Blackmore Vale".
  • Note about the dress code for the Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train updated and moved from the FAQ to the Golden Arrow Reservation page. The dress code is 'smart casual' (so not jeans and trainers which simply spoil the 1920s' ambience - but the days when full evening dress was the norm have sadly passed!)
  • Update to the web page for Maunsell carriage 3687, with further details of the two 'Emergency Control Trains' of which it was a part.


Autotrain in silhouette - 15 Feb 2008 - Jon Bowers 28 February:
Autotrain charter - 15 Feb 2008 - Dave Clarke Autotrain charter - 15 Feb 2008 - Dave Clarke Eric Nutland driving the Autocoach - 16 Feb 2008 - Ken Upton

27 February:
26 February:

Clearance work on Tip - 9 Feb 2008 - Steve Fairweather 15 February:

1450 on Freshfield Bank - Brian Easter - 10 February 2008 13 February:

The four locos in use on 9 Feb 2008 - Derek Hayward 10 February:

O1 with Mets - Kate James - 27 Jan 2008 8 February:
  • Details now available for the Stepney Farewell Specials, in April. Book in advance for discount fares.
     
  • Details now available for the Built at Brighton event on Sat 26 - Sun 27 April - An enthusiast weekend to say goodbye to 55 'Stepney' and 32473 ('Birch Grove'), both due to be withdrawn for overhaul, operating an intensive service with the help of three other Brighton-built engines.
     
  • Kate James' photo on the right illustrates the service operated two weeks ago, when the line was closed south of Horsted Keynes for engineering works. The SECR O1 No.65 heads the four Metropolitan Carriages on the 2.20pm service out of Horsted Keynes on Sunday 27th January. The crew was AJ Barrett (driver); Liz Groome (fireman) and Tom (the photographer's husband) was third man.


Auto Train - Richard Salmon - 2 Feb 2008 7 February:
  • Route 473 Bus times from East Grinstead now added to the page for the Branch Line Weekend
     
  • Richard Salmon's photo from Saturday shows the first Auto Train special approaching Horsted Keynes.


Auto Train - Paul Pettitt - 2 Feb 2008 6 February:

Auto Train - Paul Pettitt - 2 Feb 2008 5 February:
1450 - Andrew Strongitharm - 2 Feb 2008

32473 at Branch Line Weekend 2007 - 25 Feb 2007 - Derek Hayward 31 January:

P-Way work at Sheffield Park - 26 January 2008 - Jon Bowers 28 January:

Paul inside - 20 January 2008 - Ken Upton 26 January:
  • Update to Loco Works News page on the overhaul of 'Baxter', showing work in progress on the rivetting of the firebox (with thanks to Ken Upton and Nick Talbot for their photos).
    Ken's photo on the right shows Paul Russell, the member or the rivetting team who was inside the firebox.
  • More of Nick's photos from last weekend are on his photobox site.
  • Also, via the Loco Works News page is a link giving progress with No.73082 'Camelot' on the Camelot Loco Society's web site.

     

  • Booking now open for the Rail Ale Train on Friday 18 April - Special evening service for connoisseurs of beer! Pre-booking essential - limited places.


1450 and 32473 at Kingscote - 19 Jan 2008 - Nick Talbot 24 January:

22 January:

Auto-train at Kingscote - 19 Jan 2008 - Keith Duke 20 January:
  • Details available for The Bluebell Marshlander on Saturday 26 April 2008 - a Social Sub-Committee trip arranged for Bluebell Members, visiting the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, including our own special express train.
  • Photo (right) from yesterday from member Keith Duke, showing the Auto Train at Sheffield Park. Keith (who first visited the railway in 1966) has more photos from yesterday, and many earlier Bluebell photos on his fotopic site.
  • Correction to error in the text of BRPS Rules: Rule 11(b) such that it is consistent with the printed rule-book.


19 January:
  • Four locos in steam today! GWR 1450 was in steam with the Auto Coach at Sheffield Park for crew training, but 32473 (on the corridor set) limped back to Sheffield Park after its first round trip with too much steam leaking around its pistons, so the Auto Train was pressed into service to form the 1pm departure. The other service train was the four Met coaches hauled by "Fenchurch", which was in superb fettle, with the crew aiming to achieve 2-minute early arrivals at every station! Stepney completed the quartet with a Footplate Days and Ways course at Horted Keynes. The 3pm departure from Sheffield Park was the corridor set with 1450 and 32473 double-heading.
  • A couple of photos of the above activities from Ray Wills.
  • Update to Who's Who page, noting Nikki Favell as our new Shop Manager.
  • Update to the web page for the Lounge Car Service of Elevenses or Afternoon Tea, adding details of the menu.


T9 and Schools - 12 Jan 2008 - Matt Allen 14 January:

Launch of the Lounge Car service - Derek Hayward - 13 Jan 2008 13 January: 1450 at SP - Jon Bowers - 12 Jan 2008

Lounge Car 3064 ready for service - 6 Jan 2008 - Dave Clarke 11 January:

80151 in Lindfield Wood - David Chappell - 6 Jan 2008 8 January:
  • David Chappell's photo was taken on Sunday whilst he was on P-Way duties in Lindfield Wood. The train, headed by 80151, was the first service of the day.
  • Details for the Branch Line Weekend (23-24 February) now available. Six locos in steam. Intensive service. Because of the low seating capacity, it will be possible to reserve seats on Auto Train workings in advance.
  • Loco News updates, with the latest from the Bulleid Society on progress on 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' and 'Blackmore Vale'.
  • Details of special fares for BRPS members on the Stepney Farewell and Auto Train specials.
  • Press release concerning one of the conditions attached to our planning permission for building East Grinstead station.


First-class Lounge Car 3064 - 6 Jan 2007 6 January:
  • The photo on the right is a reminder that freshly overhauled Mk.I Open First No.3064 will be used to inaugurate the new Lounge Car service next Sunday, when TV actress Judy Cornwell ("Keeping up Appearances") will officially launch the service. Book now!
     
  • I have added another Jigsaw to this web site - Stepney takes water at Sheffield Park.
     
  • Two new photographic collections from Derek Hayward:
    • His own retrospective of Eddystone's visit;
    • A small gallery of photos of 75027, recalling its last few years in service before withdrawal pending overhaul last year.


Auto Trailer over pit at HK - Richard Salmon - 5 Jan 2008 5 January:
  • GWR autocoach 178 was over the pit at Horsted today, being prepared for service. Photo by Richard Salmon.
     
  • Bluebell members are invited to participate in a seminar organised by the Electric Multiple Unit Preservation Society at Horsted Keynes next Saturday. Details on the Society Notices page.


1450 has arrived - 4 Jan 2007 - Andrew Strongitharm 4 January:

O1 with Victorian Christmas Train - 22 December 2007 - Derek Hayward 2 January:

Horsted Keyens Station - Paul Pettitt 1 January 2008:

The Current What's New page, the what was new archive, the 2016, the 2015, the 2014, the 2013, the 2012, the 2011, the 2010 and the 2009 archives contain all the recent update information.

Also see the 2007, the 2006, the 2005, the 2004, the 2003, the 2002, the 2001, the 2000, the 1999 and the 1997-8 "What was new" archive pages.

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