Bluebell Railway web site:
Please be aware that due to the historical nature of this page, some of the
links on it may be out of date.
Site Update Archive 2001
The Current What's New, the 2002 archive, the 2003 archive and the 2004 archive contain all the recent update information.
Also see the 2000, the 1999 and the 1997-8 "What was new" archive pages.
Photographic reports 2001:
Web-site Update Archive
31 December 2001:
- Provisional Timetable for
2002 is now available. This includes a new Service Four
timetable, applicable between 19th January until 3rd March, during
which time the line between Horsted Keynes and Kingscote will be
closed whilst an embankment north of Horsted Keynes is rebuilt. Our
473 Bus Service which connects East Grinstead and Kingscote will be
extended to Horsted Keynes during this period, to connect with our
- New photos and news posted by Lewis Nodes on the
Loco Works News pages. News of progress with 3217 and 928
"Stowe": More corrosion found on 3217 "Earl of Berkeley" and frame
repairs for 928's tender.
Also photos of 1638's completed tender, "Baxter" being dismantled and
news of recent repairs to 73082 and 92240.
- New web page for the 2002 Day out
with Thomas event, including details of Bedtime stories with
Thomas and Schools days, plus booking details and forms.
- The Bluebell Book
Sale ends today.
- New photos and news posted by Lewis Nodes on Friday on the
Loco Works News pages. Details of repairs to Stepney
(and an update today on firebox problems), overhaul progress for
Earl of Berkeley, Camelot requires some attention, and
an overhaul of Birch Grove's motion.
- New link to the The South Eastern
& Chatham Railway Society (SECSOC) which covers the SECR, SER and
- Santa Specials:
100 extra seats have just become available for this Saturday (1st Dec).
Book now by calling 01825 720806.
- Update to Special Events listing for
2002. (Winter Steam-up reverts to the old name of "Branch Line
- Unavailability of web site:
Our connection to the internet will be disrupted for a brief period
beginning on Thursday, 29th November at 2pm. This is part of a rolling
programme of upgrades to the London Metropolitan Network.
The new circuit will be considerably faster and be able to take a higher
volume of traffic.
It is anticipated that the work will take around 30 minutes.
- New photo of the new bracket signal at Horsted Keynes on the
Horsted Keynes Re-signalling page.
- New link to Vanna Video web
site. The "A-Z of Southern Locomotives" gives good covereage (of course) of
- New link to the "Wadebridge"
34007 web site - plenty about this Bulleid Pacific and its restoration.
- The Bluebell is now able to offer second-hand books for sale over the
internet. Visit the Bluebell Book
- Another special event for 2002:
July: Sat 13 - Sun 14: Railway Children weekend with
re-enactments of scenes from the Carlton TV film, and the chance to meet
some of the cast. Fund-raising for the Railway Children charity.
- New Links:
- Chad Ballooning offer
balloon rides from various locations in Sussex, including Sheffield Park.
Please mention the Bluebell web site when you book, and they will make a
donation to the railway!
- ChariotsAwait.com provide a
directory service for all forms of leisure, family and enthusiast interest
- Updated link to Vintage
- On-line Jigsaw puzzles of photos of
Stepney and Camelot added to the site. They're rather fun, but do go
against the grain for me, since they rely on Java!
- Planned Web-site downtime Tomorrow:
Migration to, and testing of, a new and improved internet connection
will be undertaken tomorrow (8 Nov) at 1pm. Therefore there will be some
disruption to our internet connection at this time. It is anticipated that
testing should take no longer than 40 minutes.
- Details added for the Carol Service: Saturday 15th December at
7.30pm. Come and join in the singing of carols at Horsted Keynes Station.
Led by the Bluebell Railway's Chaplain, the Revd Father Timothy
Rawdon-Mogg, the Rector of Horsted Keynes. Entry Free of Charge.
- The latest news from the Maunsell Locomotive Society: Work underway on Schools Class loco
"Stowe", which was updated by them on 21st Oct.
- Updates to the Southern E-mail Group section of the Links page, following changes to SEmG's server
arrangements, and removal of some non-functioning links.
- New photos from Lewis Nodes of No.80151 with Fenchurch on its test run:
Loco Works Photo News. All is set for its debut at the
forthcoming Giants of Steam
- Updates to various of the Locomotive pages consequent to 80151's return
- Details of the recent Bluebell Railway
Letter Service Definitive issue: "Starlight Special" Stamps, First-day
Covers and Maximum Cards.
- Full list of Special Events for 2002 added to the Events page.
- News and new photo on the Progress on the
East Grinstead Extension page.
- You may have noticed recently that this web site has been occasionally
unavailable. These problems have largely been caused by the presence of
Nimda worm on the internet which, whilst not directly affecting the
Railway's server, have caused severe problems for our host's network in
The host router will be replaced tomorrow, Saturday 13th October,
leading to some lengthy down-time throughout the
day. It is hoped that this will go some way to minimising the
disturbances we have seen recently. Through all of this, it should be
remembered that our web hosting is hosted at zero cost by a non-commercial
- Added to the Carriage Restoration
Technical (Suppliers) page: the South Devon Railway can supply
Carriage Roof Ventilators.
- Aveling Porter industrial geared locomotive Blue Circle removed from the loco
stock list, and other related pages, since it has now been sold. It had
been placed elsewhere on long-term loan in recent years, since it had
little historical relevance or potential for use at the Bluebell. It is
now at the Bucks Railway Centre at Quainton Road.
- Update to the Loco Roster,
showing what locomotives it is intended will be used during October,
November and December.
- Slight revision of Carriage Stock List.
- Our apologies that a faulty ATM switch has resulted in this web site
having been down recently. Be assured, however, that being hosted on a VMS
system we are unaffected by the 'Nimda' virus.
- Details and booking forms now available for the 2001 Santa Specials. Booking opens 1st
- Details added for the half-term Stepney Specials, October 29 -
- Preliminary details added for the 1940's Weekend on Saturday and Sunday
15-16 September 2001.
- Update to "Travel to the Railway" page reflecting the change of local
train operator to SouthCentral
, and adding link to the Traveline web page.
- Update to the Loco Roster with planned
locomotive use for July, August and September.
- Details now available for the 28-29 July Summer Giants of Steam which
features a return visit from Bulleid Pacific "92 Squadron".
- Photos of last weekends BBQ and Party at Sheffield Park are included on
the Latest News page.
- Update from Peter Richards to the Horsted Keynes
- News page added to the wap site: wap.bluebellrailway.co.uk
- Figures for the year 2000 added to the FAQ.
- A new special event, Summer Giants of Steam, will take place on
July 28 - 29, with a visit from Bulleid Pacific "92 Squadron". This will
again enable double-headed Malachite Bulleid Pacifics to operate. This
event replaces our Steam Fair, due to non-availability of fields from
neighbouring farms. The traditional Steam Fair will return next year.
- The double-headed Malachite Bulleid Pacifics photo charters postponed
from last autumn will also take place around that time. Contact Ian Bowskill of the BBLS for more
- Foot and Mouth restrictions to line-side access have been lifted, so
lineside photographic passes are back on sale. Please remember that, even
so, access to adjoining land, even on public footpaths, may not be possible.
- Restoration report from the LSWR carriage team, updating the page for
the LSWR Coach 1520 Restoration
- Our Chairman, Roy Watts, completed the London Marathon in 4 hours 18
minutes. Further sponsorship in aid of the Carriage Works Extension Project is still most
welcome! We now have about £10,000 of the £35,000 we need to
complete this project.
- As from this weekend, the Bluebell Railway is once more able to operate
services to Kingscote following the completion of repairs to the major
embankment slip which severed the line back in December. During the last
few months services have only been able to operate over the Sheffield Park
to Horsted Keynes section, with the railway's 473 bus from East Grinstead
covering the closed section.
To celebrate the re-opening of the full 9-miles of line, a promotion
entitled "Welcome Back Kingscote" will take place throughout May in
villages along the line, enabling local residents to travel on our trains
as special fares of £2 per adult & £1 per child.
Villages in the scheme are Fletching, Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes,
Sharpthorne, Highbrook, West Hoathly, Kingscote & Turners Hill. The offer
is spread over 3 weeks with a different week per village or group of
villages to avoid overcrowding.
- New: Details of the Victorian
Evening on Wednesday 16th May.
- Update to the web page and booking forms for the popular Day out with Thomas special events, which
are booking fast. The Bedtime Story with Thomas on Friday 22nd is now
fully booked, as are the schools days. An extra Bedtime Story train has
been added for Friday 15th June.
- New link to The Yetties
website. The Yetties are coming to the Bluebell on 30th June this year.
- Due to work continuing on the embankment slip near Kingscote, we
continue to operate trains only between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes
(at a reduced fare). Temporary timetable, for three-train service
including Vintage Branchline Train for Good
Friday now available.
- Update to the Loco Roster with details
for April, May and June.
- New web page and booking forms for the popular Day out with Thomas special events on the
weekends of June 16-17 and 23-24.
- Details of the "Notice of
Events" service added. With this, a single payment brings full
details of special events to you by post for a whole year.
- New foreign language introduction in Korean.
- New pages with additional information in Dutch: Bezoekers Informatie & Hoe komt u bij de Bluebell Spoorlijn.
- Updates to Operational Locos, and
Loco Stock List pages.
- The Steam & Country Fair, which was to have been held over the
weekend of Sat 28-29 July has been Cancelled. This event, which
would have made use of adjacent farm fields, has been cancelled due to the
restrictions caused by the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in other parts
of the UK. A replacement (rail-based) event will take place, details to
follow. The Steam Fair will however return next year and we would like to
helpers, exhibitors etc. for all their help in the past and we look forward
to seeing them again soon.
- The RASCi content rating system now superceded by ICRA (The Internet Content Rating
Association), so the listing of this site (i.e. safe for children) has been
- New Monthly News report.
- N.B. Foot and Mouth Restrictions
Due to the current Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in the UK, as a measure
to protect our neighbouring farmers, One Day lineside photographic passes
have been temporarily withdrawn from sale, and the Bluebell's lineside has
been closed to photographers. We would also ask visitors to respect the
livelihoods of local farmers by refraining from the use of footpaths in the
area as well.
- More photos and a report from Nigel Longdon on progress on the East Grinstead Extension.
- Charles Roberts has produced pages for the Hands On Experience Days in April (Friday
20th and Saturday 21st) and August (Friday 24th and Saturday 25th) 2001.
- Photo reports from Tony Pearce
Jon Bowers of the Winter Steam-Up weekend.
- New mini special-event: The weekend of March 3 - 4: "Farewell to the
Island Terriers" - your last chance to see Freshwater and
Newport before they return home to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
- Extra bus services now available to the Winter Steam-up weekend, February
For this weekend only, combined National Rail & Bluebell Railway
tickets will be valid on Service 270, courtesy of Metrobus.
This service (East Grinstead - Horsted Keynes - Haywards Heath) departs
from the Bus stand opposite the Esso Garage at East Grinstead station at
the following times:
Saturday: 11.05, 12.05, 1.05, 2.05, 3.05
Sunday: 9.40, 11.40, 1.40, 3.40
This is in addition to our regular 473 bus.
- Final information added about the Winter Steam-up weekend, February 17-18.
Six locos in steam, all dating from the 19th century, plus an impressive
array of vintage carriages.
- Web site statistics for January:
- Total number of "hits": 365,905 (unique file accesses to pages
- Number of Text Pages downloaded: 54,721 (accesses to text pages from
- Number of distinct hosts accessing the site: 5,304. (This is the best
estimate of the number of individuals visiting the site in the month).
The above figures exclude Lewis Nodes' locomotive pages.
- 3,654 people wanted to know "What's New" and looked at this page.
- 1,426 people looked at the 2001 Timetable.
- 1,480 people wanted to know about the latest
progress was on the extension to East Grinstead.
- Link added to touristlink.co.uk.
- Details of 2001 Fares for first class
and half-line return travel added.
31 January 2001:
- Update to the Loco Roster, mainly with
information about the February special days.
- New photo from Lewis Nodes of Fenchurch, coming together nicely
in the loco works. Its return to steam is expected within the next few
- Slightly revision of the temporary timetable
which is currently operating between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes.
Times for our 473 Bus Service linking Horsted Keynes to East Grinstead are
- New WAP link to the N Gauge Society.
- Clickable links in the WAP links section
now bring up a wap-phone simulator on your web browser. My thanks to
- New link to Steam.To, a web site
providing links to other steam railways, in all gauges, plus model shops
and manufacturers, and model railway clubs.
- New section on the links page for Railway WAP
links for users of the Mobile Internet.
2 January 2001:
Return to Bluebell Home Page,
to the Timetable or to Special Events
The Current What's New
page - the
2000, the 1999 and the 1997-8 "What was new" archive pages.
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