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10 October - See below for our Temporary timetable changes
- Steve Lee's photo shows the C-class arriving at Horsted Keynes with the Sunday Luncheon Golden Arrow Pullman service yesterday. Note the ballast stockpile ready for the present engineering work to replace the Leamland points, and for the forthcoming relaying of 27 chains of track on our main line, and also the track through Platforms 2-3, both scheduled for early next year.
- Note: Autumn Tints continue on Weekdays until 21 October, to an amended timetable.
- The Commercial Department is looking for volunteer assistance in our sales offices at Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.
- Update to Who's Who page with changes to Bluebell Railway PLC directors following the PLC AGM over the summer, and a recent Board meeting.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows SECR P-class No.323 at West Hoathly with an Autumn Tints special with the LNWR Obaservation Car on Tuesday last week.
- Steve Lee's photo shows 'Camelot' as it prepares to haul last Sunday's Golden Arrow Luncheon service.
- The Railway's C&W Department is advertising the following vacancies:
- Carriage & Wagon Fitter, Maintenance
- Pullman Car Restoration Team Leader
- Pullman Car Restoration Fitter
- Pullman Car Restoration Coachbuilder
The first two are continuing full-time roles, whilst the posts related to the forthcoming overhaul of Pullman Car No.54 are for 3 year fixed contracts.
- The volunteer Principal Designer (CDM regulations 2015) position for the ASH project is also still being advertised.
- Some of Dave Clarke's recent photos illustrate the current state of Pullman Brake, Car 54, for which the majority of the project funding is now in place.
- News of frame welding repairs to SECR P-class No.27 on the Project 27 Blog.
- Last Sunday's e-Newsletter with news of current track relaying projects, grant-funded work to improve the picnic area at Sheffield Park, and a full report on the Haywards Heath 175 celebrations.
- The latest newsletter from the Standard Class 2 No.84030 project has now been published on this web site - this new/rebuild project is now close to re-wheeling.
- What will sadly probably be John Sandys' last regular photo update with three SECR locomotives seen in steam.
- Derek Hayward's gallery from last Sunday's Vintage Bus Day is now available. His photo below from the C&W Workshop shows Bulleid CK No.5768 with its roof canvas in place, and priming and filling of the bodyside well advanced, along with Stroudley Third No.328, where the first of the partitions has now been fitted - unusually the tongued & grooved partition boards are divided by a horizontal rail at the top of the seat-back.
- The second photo, by Andrew Crampton, shows 73965 and 73964 approaching Sharpthorne Tunnel with last Tuesday's train bringing in 900 tonnes of ballast for the track relaying taking place over the coming few months.
The photos below, from Derek Hayward, show three of the buses at Sheffield Park last Sunday for the Vintage Bus Day. They are: Eastbourne 73 (BJK 673D), a 1966 Leyland Titan PD2; Southdown 277 (BUF 277C), a 1965 Leyland PD3/4; Maidstone & District 5138 (WKO 138S), a 1978 Bristol VRT/SL3/ECW, and in the second, LT RF 368 (MXX 10), a 1952 AEC Regal IV.
The Trains for the coming week page is updated weekly, with detailed information for visiting enthusiasts - but please note that notification of a train or service on that page does not necessarily imply that it is available to the public - all public services are listed in the Timetable.
Note: Throughout this site many of the photos are presented as small versions which can be clicked on to access the full-size image.
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- Loco Works News: updates on the Brighton Atlantic project, No.73082 "Camelot", the Bulleid Society on 34059 and 21C123, for SECR P-class No.27 - see also the Project 27 Blog, on Schools No.928 "Stowe", from the Loco Works Working Group on SR Q-class No.541 and from the Standard Class 2 project
- Infrastructure News page - Completion of work on the historic "River Slip" and more track relaid on Freshfield Bank
- Operation Undercover - Phase 4: Horsted Keynes - Carriage Shed Extension
Beyond Phase 3: Above Workshop Facility fit-out
- Carriage & Wagon Works News - repair of SR 8-plank wagon No.30004, Overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768 on the Bulleid Society web site, various photos from Dave Clarke, and an update on the restoration of GWR 5-plank open wagon No.87782
- The Horsted Keynes Re-signalling
- Kingscote Goods Yard Project
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or 2015, the 2014, the 2013, the 2012, the 2011, the 2010, the 2009, the 2008, 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.
Most recent updates: See top of this page
Temporary Timetable Changes
- Due to a combination of factors, including planned engineering works to renew life expired permanent way at Horsted Keynes, and some other unexpected complications, the advertised service for the period shown below has been reduced. This is because we will be unable to satisfactorily accommodate all the planned trains at Horsted Keyens, pending completion of these works.
During the weekends 8/9, 15/16, 22/23 October along with 5/6, 19/20 and 26/27 November trains will run to a modified Service 1, providing a one train service. Timetables for the affected weekends in October are below.
Autumn Tints continue on Weekdays until 21 October, to an amended timetable.
For the October schools' half term period, a modified service 2 will run as below, allowing trains to pass at Horsted Keynes, although journey times between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes will also be extended by about 5 minutes.
The Giants of Steam event will run to a special, 4 train, service as the planned works can be suspended to allow that event to take place. Our Santa season in December will also run to the usual special timetable.
For further information see www.bluebell-railway.com or contact the Customer Service team on 01825 720800.
We understand that this late alteration to our services may disappoint some visitors, but we hope that you will nonetheless enjoy your visit.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows P-class No.323 with the 1913-built observation car at East Grinstead yesterday on one of the Autumn Tints specials, which continue on weekdays over the next couple of weeks. Phone 01825 720800 to book.
- Giants of Steam is Friday 28 to Sunday 30 October. More information in the Facebook event for the Gala.
Phone 01825 720800 for discounted advance ticket purchases. We hope to have a timetable available soon.
The photo below is of our second planned visiting locomotive, No.70013 Oliver Cromwell. The photo is by D Rawlings (CC BY 2.5, Own work).
Details are available of catering arrangements for the Giants of Steam event.
- Update to the page for locos which were formerly based on the Bluebell, in particular with an updated photo and information about No.4 'Townsend Hook', which has recently been cosmetically restored at Amberley Museum.
- Some 360-degree panoramas from Mike Anton, at Kingscote Station: Two inside Kingscote signalbox showing the Westinghouse L-frame, one showing U-class No.1638 there, and walkers signing in for the 2015 Track Trek. Don't forget to sign up now to participate in our 2016 Track Trek, which takes place next month.
- Steve Lee's photo below from Sunday's Vintage Bus Day shows the only survivor of ten Beadle-bodied Leyland Titan PD2/12s. RUF 186 entered service with Southdown Motor Services in December 1956.
- Derek Hayward's photo below shows S15 No.847 setting off from Horsted Keynes on Sunday, whilst No.73082 'Camelot' sits in plaform 2 with the lunchtime Golden Arrow dining train. Derek has further photos showing progress with track relaying at Leamland Bridge.
- Derek Hayward's photo shows the C-class with the Wealden Rambler North of Caseford Bridge on 24 September.
- Today is our Vintage Bus Day - download timetables.
- We were featured heavily on BBC1 in the South-East on Wednesday evening in Railways: The Making of a Nation, which is Now available on iPlayer. The entire series is now going out on BBC4 on Thursday evenings.
- The confirmed locomotive visiting for Giants of Steam 2016 is the LNER B12 as seen in the photo below courtesy of Leigh Caudwell / M&GN Joint Railway Society. It remains our intention to have a second visiting locomotive in the line up and as things presently stand our hopes are that it will be "Britannia" BR Class 7 No.70013 "Oliver Cromwell", although final confirmation is still awaited. Phone 01825 720800 for discounted advance ticket purchases.
- Derek Hayward has two recent updates - Engineering work in progress at Leamland Bridge, and Progress with drainage work in the OP4 carriage shed.
- John Sandys' album from Thursday - a busy day on the railway, with two large engines in steam, and the ballast delivery to unload which had been delayed, having arrived rather later on Wednesday than planned. Also, his album from Thursday 22nd, when we again had two locos in steam, Camelot on the service train and the H-Class shunting.
- Martin Lawrence supplies a short video clip of the arrival, shunt and unloading of Monday's ballast train, and also some photos in his September gallery.
He also has completed a video compilation from around the Railway during May, June, July and August, which includes footage taken during the Southern At War and Vintage Transport weekends, with loco's including Nos. B473, 847 & 592. The ending includes his own personal tribute to the late Colin Packham.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for September.
- During September 2016 there were 44,934 total hits on this page, from 26,765 unique visitors.
- 73082 'Camelot' is seen in the second photo below with the second train of the day on Wednesday at East Grinstead, in Brian Lacey's photo. Following a period running in as-built condition, the locomotive now carries its nameplates.
- Brian Lacey's photo from Saturday shows two of four locos running that day - the C-class No.592 was hauling the vintage service set, and H-class No.263 was on a Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train. The S15 was on the Corridor set, and 'Camelot' was looking after a Golden Arrow wedding charter.
- Giants of Steam this year is over three days. An intensive timetable will operate, and along with visiting engine, the M&GN Society's LNER 'B12' from the North Norfolk Railway, the Railway's own engines No.73082 'Camelot', Q-class No.30541 and S15-class No.847 will be on duty. See the facebook event or the website event for more details. Buy tickets in advance to save £££! We are still hoping to add a further visiting engine as well.
- On our Vacancies page are currently advertising for a Volunteer CDM Dutyholder for the ASH Project.
- Reminder that on 30 September we are offering a Driving & firing experience day on 73082 'Camelot'.
- Update from last week on Project 27.
- Now available to download: 2017 details for the Murder Mystery evenings on the Golden Arrow. Details remain available for the rest of 2016.
- Video from Nick Dearden which pieces together a round trip of the line with 73082.
- First report with the current positions in the new season's Football Competition which is raising funds for the overhaul of our Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.
- Photos and a video from Martin Lawrence covering the 175th Anniversary of the Railway coming to Haywards Heath, which featured in particular 'Stepney' being displayed in the town, and Hastings Diesels providing a shuttle to Ardingly, including the photo below.
- John Harwood's video from the weekend, with the Hastings Diesel unit running on the Ardingly branch, and a video from today, featuring Camelot at Kingscote and on the viaduct.
- John Sandys' albums from Monday 12 September, from last Thursday and from Monday and yesterday, showing amongst other things, 178 undergoing a steam test, 592 shunting goods vehicles, and 847 and 73082 on service trains. The albums also document the start of track-renewal work to the North of Horsted Keynes.
- Ben Jenden's photos from Saturday.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows the H-class with LBSCR First-class carriage No.7598 as it departs from Sheffield Park on Tuesday 30 September.
- Lots of news in the latest edition of our e-Newsletter.
- We are featured in a recent Holiday Lettings article "Great Travel Experiences in the UK".
- Brian Lacey's photo on the right, taken yesterday, shows the S15, on the timetabled service train, bursting out of the tunnel. That below shows 73082 "Camelot" on a preliminary Driving Experience turn yesterday - a public Driving & Firing Experience day with this locomotive is available on 30 September.
- As part of this year's Autumn Tints specials, which run on Monday to Friday on 3-21 October, we have a new offer - Souper Steam, a train ride whilst enjoying a bowl of delicious warming Autumn soup in the Restaurant Car, on the 12.20 departure from Sheffield Park, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 3 & 20 October.
- John Sandys' photo shows the H-class with the lunchtime Golden Arrow Pullman Dining train on Bank Holiday Monday. In the background can be seen our LBSCR Milk Van and SR Milk Tank.
- We are offering a choice of different options for this year's Autumn Tints specials, which run on Monday to Friday on 3-21 October:
More information on these specials, including ticket booking, is available here.
- Special return trips in the 1950s Lounge cars "Ashdown," "Chelwood," and "Balcombe."
- Watch the scenery from the ever-popular 1913 Observation Car (pre-booking is essential!)
- "Souper" steam / Steam & Cream: Autumn-vegetable soup at lunchtime or afternoon cream tea - Monday through Thursday.
- Autumn Tints two-train service runs Monday through Friday (steam hauled) - timetable.
- We are operating our normal Service Two Timetable each weekend (no pre-booking required for scheduled services).
- Entry is now open for our Make it Snappy... photo competition - closes 31 October.
- John Sandys' photos from today show the S15 on the service train, "Camelot" on private Footplate Experience runs, and the Q-class loaded for transport to the Nene Valley Railway's forthcoming Gala (as also seen below), as well as recent arrivals in stock in our shop.
- Reminder that there's a vintage goods train running this Saturday morning, 10 September. The timetable for this should be available later this week.
- Online booking is now open (third-class tickets only online) for our Santa Specials from Sheffield Park, which run on 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 23 & 24 December - Telephone booking opens on 3 October.
- David Jones' photo below shows Pullman Car No.54 in the carriage works for inspection to enable detailed planning for its forthcoming overhaul. Further details are available in the latest edition of our e-Newsletter.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the SECR H-class and LBSCR Carriage 7598 at Sheffield Park on Tuesday this week. His photo below shows the Q-class approaching Horsted Keynes the same day. Also at the bottom of today's update is his photo showing the chassis and wheels of SECR O1-class No.65 in the workshop, with 80151's wheels in foreground.
- An update on the Project 27 Blog. The dismantling of SECR P-class No.27 is complete. From now on it's "just" a question of restoration of those parts which are in good condition, making new parts to replace those which are not, and putting it all back together! Funding to cast and complete the new cylinder block is currently being sought.
- Jon Horrocks provides an album from 24 August, the day we hosted the Nine Elmes Enginemen reunion.
- Martin Lawrence has uploaded the final pics to his August gallery.
- Photos by John Kortland, who had a super day on the railway on Wednesday.
- Further photos from Derek Hayward showing drainage work progressing in the Carriage Shed Extension at Horsted Keynes, and an update to his Bluebell 2016 gallery, showing service trains on 26 August, Punch and Judy at Horsted Keynes, and extensive images of the Elephant Van.
- Lionel Callow visited the Bluebell last week, and has a great selection of photos on his blog page.
- John Sandys' album from Sunday and Monday 22-23 August: A wreath was carried on the Q-Class for Colin Packham. John's photo below shows the Q with its vintage train in the platform at Sheffield Park on the Sunday. John also provides galleries from Monday and Tuesday this week.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for September.
- Coming on top of the recent deaths David Wallis (former Signalman and Signalman's Inspector) and Simon Brown (whose funeral was held at Kingscote last Friday, and for whom a memorial train was run on Monday evening), we also sadly must record the passing of Shirley Owen (wife of the late Jack Owen, our first Loco driver), Bluebell steam and diesel driver Colin Packham (who was also a resident of the station cottages at Horsted Keynes), Clifford Avery (who was effectively Sheffield Park's caretaker in the 1970s/80s), and Barbara Polhill (volunteer on the buffet cars and Halloween Witch, and more recently working on the Victorian events and on the catering staff on the Wealden Rambler).
- Below is Robert Hayward's photo showing the memorial stone for Bernard Holden, installed in our Garden of Remembrance on Sunday, with a ceremony, attended by 70 people, conducted by our Chaplain, Father John, who is seen with Bernard's daughter and two of his grandchildren.
- During August 2016 there were 46,948 total hits on this page, from 28,144 unique visitors.
- Update on progress with boiler-work on the Brighton Atlantic project from Fred Bailey, including this photo on the right showing one of the few modifications required to make the GNR boiler fit a Brighton Atlantic, in terms of the way the smokebox is attached to the boiler - the full explanation is included in the news report.
- News update on Operation Undercover Phase 4: Horsted Keynes Carriage Shed Extension.
- News update from the Bulleid Society with photos of the boiler from No.34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" at the South Devon Railway for the fitting of its new inner firebox, and also work on their Bulleid carriage, No.5768.
- Derek Hayward provides the photo below, showing drainage work, which is being carried out by volunteers, in the Carriage Shed Extension at Horsted Keynes. It is part of an update to his C&W Department Gallery.
Derek also now has a gallery for Sweetheart Swing's appearance at our Vintage Transport Weekend, where they were ably assisted by the Traction Engine Dancers.
- A few pictures from Keith Duke taken yesterday afternoon showing the Q and the S15 on the service trains (including that below), and also John Sandys' photos from yesterday.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the Maunsell Q-class on the vintage set with the 3.25pm arrival at East Grinstead on Wednesday. The Q is in Bluebell service for the next couple of weeks and will then be appearing at the Nene Valley Railway's September Steam Gala.
- Our Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) appeal is 80% of the way to its target. This project will enable us to present our locomotive fleet to our visitors in a much better way than we presently are able to, and also covers re-roofing of the existing locomotive shed, and construction of a large covered running-maintenance facility. We will shortly be submitting the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Round 2 grant application, and every donation made counts as an indication of the strength of support for the project, so please do donate here by 22nd August, the deadline for donor figures to be included in the application. For more information please see the Appeal Video.
- This weekend, being the third of the month, would normally see the GNR Directors' Saloon in operation. However this month, for a combination of reasons, it will instead be running in public service over the three days of the Bank Holiday weekend. Travel on the saloon just requires the purchase of a first class ticket, or an upgrade on the train. Tea, coffee, drinks and a range of light refreshments (toasted tea-cakes, scones or cakes) are available on the saloon.
- John Sandys' photos from a lovely sunny day on Monday, with 73082 and 30541 on the trains, and from Tuesday, including drainage work progressing for the new carriage shed at Horsted Keynes.
- Nick Dearden has completed this video covering Spring and Summer 2016 on the Bluebell, including an unusual albino squirrel.
- There is an updated Component Sponsorship List for the Brighton Atlantic Project, adding 20 new items, mainly firehole door components, and removing those items sponsored recently. Do take a look if you fancy sponsoring part of our new locomotive. Gift Aid can be claimed on such sponsorship.
- Chris Eden-Green's "Steam Locos In Profile" SOLE SLIP on our Dukedog locomotive.
- Derek Hayward's photo below shows the C-class with the Vintage Goods Train run on 6 August. The next one is due to run on Saturday 10 September. He now just over 100 images of the Vintage Transport Weekend available, spread over 3 pages, including photos of the winning entries on the first page. Sweetheart Swing performed on Sunday, and photos of them at the event will appear shortly.
- 73082, which will be regaining its "Camelot" name plates this weekend, is seen in Paul Furlong's photo below heading last Saturday's Golden Arrow dining train at Freshfield.
- At 11am yesterday morning the railway came to a halt for a minute's silence in memory of Simon Brown. Derek Hayward's photo was taken at Sheffield Park immediately prior to the start of the silence.
- Our Vintage Transport Weekend continues today, with our Service Two Timetable in operation. Richard Salmon's photos below show some of the traction engines, steam rollers, a steam lorry, vintage motorcycles and cars taking part yesterday.
- Today is also one of our regular "Find Out More" days - if you fancy getting involved as a volunteer, turn up at 10.30am at Sheffield Park station on the second Sunday of any month. We are currently particularly short of station staff at East Grinstead station, although we are looking for volunteers all across the railway.
- If you are looking for paid employment locally, we are short of catering staff this summer.
- Martin Lawrence has made a start to his August gallery including photos of the goods train run with the SECR C-class.
- Both our locomotives this week have carried wreaths to remember the life of Simon Brown, which was tragically cut short last Sunday.
Simon had been a volunteer at the Railway from his early teens where he was to be seen as part of the Station Staff at Kingscote. He went on to be actively involved in the Santa Services, Fish and Chip trains and a stalwart of the Rail Ale Train team. Always enthusiastic, helpful and polite he was a pleasure to be with and always a reliable source of humour, support and confectionary. His involvement at the Railway also included his help with the running, managing and at times maintenance of the Great Northern Railway Directors' Saloon, for which his smartly turned out appearance as a steward would always attract the customers.
He will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to know him - a tragic end to such a young life. A minute's silence will be observed on the Railway at 11am tomorrow.
Our thoughts are with his family and close friends to whom we at the Bluebell Railway extend our deepest sympathies and condolences.
The photos (by Andy Kelly, right, and John Sandys, below) show 73082 and H-class 263 with their wreaths this week.
Derek Hayward's photo below shows Simon at Kingscote Station with a Victorian Christmas train in 2008, sporting an unusual addition to his uniform.
- This weekend is our Vintage Transport Weekend, when again trains will run to our Service Two Timetable, with a minor modification so that the minute's silence can be observed tomorrow by the trains at Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.
- The Bluebell Railway's new Driving & Firing Experience launches on 30 September. Full Steam Ahead is your chance to drive and fire BR 5MT No.73082 'Camelot' over the length of the line.
With a view to rolling out a series of such days in 2017, we are initially offering just one day this year.
The train will be formed of 4 carriages for the exclusive use of the participants, who can also invite up to 6 guests each.
It will be a full day starting at Sheffield Park at 8.30am and finishing there just after 5.00 pm.
That special birthday wish, retirement present, corporate team building exercise, or just the chance for a dream to come true - this could be answer.
Please see more details here or call our Sales Office on 01825 720800.
- Update on Project 27 with photo report from Matt Holloway describing what he and Ben got up to over last weekend.
- Great photo-blog of an enjoyable evening on the Golden Arrow.
- Martin Lawrence's video of action from April.
- Video from Philip Bull shot on the weekend of the Sussex Food Festival.
- John Harwood's video from Tuesday this week (note - the drone filming complies with our requirements).
- John Sandys' albums from Monday 8 August, from Tuesday, in memory of Simon, and from Thursday cover well what's been happening around the railway this week.
- Derek Hayward has added just over 60 images from the Toy and Rail Collectors Fair weekend, including the photos here showing H-class No.263 approaching New Road Bridge on the Saturday. The photos below show the new end-doors now on the Elephant Van, and the BR Standard 2MT 84030 project stand, a car-boot stall, and a stand in the marquee at the Collectors Fair, also all from last Saturday. He has also updated his gallery featuring the development of the new carriage shed at Horsted Keynes, where volunteers have started work on installing the drainage.
- We have now been notified of an additional vintage goods train running this Saturday, 6 August, to this timetable.
- This weekend, 6-7 August, we have Seaside Weekend, when again trains will run to our Service Two Timetable, as they will daily for the rest of the Summer holidays.
- We featured heavily in the second episode of the BBC2 series "Full Steam Ahead", and will again later in the series. This episode is available on iPlayer for a few more weeks. We also had a mention towards the end of a repeat of last year's BBC1 "Escape to the Country", which is also therefore available again on iPlayer; this has resulted in a few donations to our Fundraising Appeals.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for August.
- John Sandys' albums from Monday and Thursday, both covering days with three locos in steam.
- Martin Lawrence has completed his July album.
- Two photographic updates on Schools-class "Stowe. Firstly the firebox and new copper half sides have been sent away for welding off site, where they will be reunited with the doorplate and tubeplate. The firebox will then be returned to Sheffield Park as a complete unit ready for fitting. Yesterday the MLS provided two photos of work to install the new throatplate.
- During July 2016 there were 45,968 total hits on this page, from 28,125 unique visitors.
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