Latest Updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
- 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.
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.
Latest Project News
- Sign up for our free e-mail Newsletter - Back issues available via the eNewsletter archive.
- 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
- Archive news from the Bluebell June 1995 to December 2006
What's been updated on the Bluebell Web Site?Older updates are in the What's New Archive
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
- 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.
- This photo from Keith Duke's album shows the H-class with the vintage goods train last Saturday. The Vintage Goods train is next scheduled to run on Saturday 10 September.
- We're building up today to our Toy & Rail Collectors Fair this weekend at Horsted Keynes Station. We are running our peak Service Two Timetable.
- To celebrate five years of trading from the ex-Isfield building at Sheffield Park, the Bulleid Society's shop will be holding a big cut price book sale this weekend. So why not come along after you have visited the collectors fair at Horsted Keynes and see what they have? There will be a large selection of second hand books with prices from as little as £1.00, these prices are for this weekend only, so don't miss out!! A large collection of Middleton Press books, a recent addition to stock, will be on sale, and along with all their usual stock of books, there will also be some railwayana to tempt you. All our other ranges will be available, including framed prints, model railway items and a large selection of souvenirs and postcards. You can find the Bulleid Shop on Platform 2 at Sheffield Park, open from 10.00 until 18.00 on both days. Come and have a ride from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park and see what you can find, you might be surprised!
- Looking forward to 6-7 August, we have Seaside Weekend, when again trains will run to our Service Two Timetable. Our Paddock at Horsted Keynes will be transformed into a sandy beach, with Donkey Rides, Punch and Judy Shows and an end of Pier Show of Humour and Song. We will be running our Kids for a Quid offer so all children 3 - 15 years will travel at just £1 on all services all day!
- Brian Lacey's photos below were also taken last Saturday, and show the token exchange on the approach to Horsted Keynes, the temporary signalling arrangement (a mixture of colour lights and mechanical shunts) whilst the Sheffield Park Inner Home bracket signal is dismantled for the replacement of some timbers, and the S15 pausing at Horsted Keynes.
- John Sandys' photo from Tuesday 19 July shows the S15 on the service train and 73082, on the 10-coach special for the war veterans visit that day, at Kingscote.
- This coming weekend is our big Toy & Rail Collectors Fair at Horsted Keynes Station - there will be a huge range of stalls selling a vast array of different items, on the station and in the marquee in the field.
- Last Saturday the H-class did a trip with the vintage goods train in the morning, before hauling the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train.
Photos from Saturday are available from:
- Photos from a 75H photo charter, organised by Jon Bowers, featuring SECR C-class No.592, from Dave Bowles, starting with this one - click on the '>' to see the others. The locomotive is in the last year of its current boiler certificate, and is running on a restricted basis due to its tyres being close to scrapping size. At its next overhaul it will receive a new cylinder block, new tyres, and an almost new copper firebox.
- John Sandys' photos from last Thursday, show the S15 on the service trains, the H-class shunting, the O1 and 80151 in the workshop, and new stock in the shop including the Bluebell's 2017 calendar. His photos from this Monday include the Green Line bus, CRL4, which conveyed guests celebrating Fred Ivey's 90th Birthday. Fred worked for London Transport until retiring in 1991, and is now a volunteer both on the Bluebell and at the LT Museum.
- "The Line to the Stars" is the first book published by the Bluebell Railway for many years. Written by Heidi Mowforth, it details the filming which has taken place on the line over more than 50 years, and is now available from our shop - ring 01825 720803 to order a copy.
- Brian Lacey's photos below from Monday show the H-class arriving at East Grinstead with its vintage train, which currently forms the first train of our peak summer two-train service.
- Join us for Track Trek 2016, our sponsored walk of the line, on Saturday 12 November.
There's a choice of walking the entire line (11 miles) or a shorter 5-mile option, with a free bus back to your starting location. Full details, including of how to register, a sponsorship form you can print out, and on-line fundraising via BT MyDonate and JustGiving, are available on the event's web page.
Note: The charges and deductions are much lower on BT MyDonate, so if you use them for your page, much more of your donors' gifts benefit the Railway.
As mentioned last week, The Bluebell Railway Trust has been forced by PayPal Giving Fund's revised policies to drop them as a fund-raising platform. We have now registered with BT MyDonate, and will monitor how this goes in the coming months, with the hope that we can then migrate completely to it due to its cost-effectiveness and low overheads as a fund-raising platform; for example we currently pay JustGiving a monthly fee for their facilities and there is none with BT MyDonate, and in addition, for a £10 donation, with Gift Aid, on BT MyDonate we will receive £12.37 whereas on JustGiving we'd only get £11.74. We will however continue to operate JustGiving alongside BT MyDonate for as long as we feel it is necessary to do so.
- The vintage goods train will run this Saturday morning, 23 July, to this timetable.
- We are currently advertising a vacancy for a Customer Services Assistant.
- John Sandys provides an album for Tuesday, when we were host to 150 veterans, on a trip organised by a London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled, including the photo shown below.
- Another two of Brian Lacey's photos from Saturday show No.73082 running round its train at East Grinstead and the C-class waiting to head the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train out of Sheffield Park.
- Update and several photos from Saturday's Cricket Match on Scaynes Hill Cricket Club's pitch which adjoins the line at Freshfields, when a Bluebell Railway XI played their "friendly" team. It was a great social occasion, with an enjoyable BBQ afterwards! Martin Widdowson, the Bluebell's Finance Director, proved to be a handy bowler, achieved figures of 4 overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets for 7 runs, but we could not prevent SHCC scoring 194-for-7. Whilst the Bluebell team, under captain Stuart Marks of the Loco Dept, could not match that, we bettered last year's score, with 109 all out in reply.
- This is the last week for the present of our Service 1 timetable; from Saturday it's Service 2 every day through to 4 September.
- Update on the Project 27 Blog covering continued work on stripping down the locomotive's frames. The project also now has a facebook page.
- Good coverage of recent filming work on the Bluebell in The East Grinstead Courier. In particular there's a BBC2 series, "Full Steam Ahead", which starts at 8pm this Thursday (repeated 4.30pm on Saturday). It appears we will feature in a subsequent episode, with sequences filmed in April and June.
- John Sandy's album from today, with the S15 on the service trains, and the flower beds at Kingscote looking superb.
- Martin Lawrence has added some more photos, including of the recreation of the original style of subway handrail at Kingscote, to his July gallery.
- Brian Lacey's photos below from Saturday show the SER O1-class No.65 dismantled in the locomotive works, and SECR P-class No.323 on shed, preparing for the following day's pilot duties while there's a crew swap for SR S15 No.847.
- John Sandys' photo on the right shows the S15 with the service train on Tuesday climbing the 1-in-55 towards Imberhorne Cutting. John's photos from that day are here, also including that below, showing a couple of the new Hornby models of the Adams Radial Tank in our shop.
- A reminder that the next runs of our vintage goods train will take place on Saturday 23 July.
- Derek Hayward has very substantially augmented his collection showing Horsted Keynes Signal Box. (Interior views taken with permission).
- PayPal Giving and eBay for Charity - we regret that due to changes made to their administrative processes, we are no longer able to collect online donations via the PayPal Giving Fund or through eBay for Charity.
This is in spite of efforts on our part to communicate our concerns with PayPal Giving, who appeared geared up for large charitable (trading) companies rather than smaller charities who just want to receive donations.
We continue to fundraise via JustGiving for the present, but since they have become relatively more expensive to fundraise through than other more recent platforms, we will be focusing our future online fundraising efforts through BT MyDonate, to be inaugurated shortly.
- The boiler for No.34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" has left Crewe and arrived at the South Devon Railway's engineering works where the new inner firebox is to be fabricated and fitted to the boiler shell.
- Entry forms are now available for the annual fund-raising Football Competition - you do not need to know anything about football to enter - just try to predict the Championship or FA Cup Final results! Funds are being raised through these competitions towards the forthcoming overhaul of our unique Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.
- John Harwood has produced a video shot at Kingscote & East Grinstead yesterday.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows the C-class just departing from Sheffield Park with the vintage set on Saturday.
- Martin Lawrence's superb sunset photo shows the S15 ready to set off on the second evening departure of the Golden Arrow dining train on Saturday evening, and is part of his July gallery, which also includes a photo of the road-rail vehicle being used for weed-control.
- Trains will be running to our Service One timetable this week, and Service Two timetable at the weekend.
- The iconic inner home signal at Sheffield Park, constructed over 30 years ago, has been dismantled for refurbishment/repair. Entrance to Sheffield Park station is for the present therefore controlled by a temporary arrangement, with colour light main signals and mechanical calling on signals.
- The Bluebell Cricket Match against Scaynes Hill CC is confirmed for 1pm on Saturday 16 July at their Freshfields ground, adjoining the Bluebell. Our JustGiving page, shared 50/50 with Scaynes Hill, is closing in on £100. Bluebell supporters are encouraged to attend, and there will be a barbecue for £5 per person after the match at Scaynes Hill clubhouse. If you plan to attend as a supporter, please let us know, via the web site editor, Richard Salmon.
- Two further SMS-Refresh dates, for those staff and volunteers who have not yet attended one this year, are now available. They give you the opportunity to get to know our new General Manager, Gordon Owen.
- SuperTrainstationH, who visited us from the USA last year, has created a blog specifically about our LCDR carriage No.3360 (the People's Millions carriage).
- That carriage was in demand last night with several passengers using its wheel-chair facility to travel to the "Songs of Praise" evening at Kingscote. Richard Salmon's photos below show:
- Part of the assembled congregation for the event, which was led by Canon John Twisleton, our Chaplain and Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes, The Revd Paddy Macbain, Vicar of All Saints Danehill with Chelwood Gate & Rural Dean of the Uckfield Deanery, and The Revd David Howland, Curate of St Giles, and also a Chaplain to the Railway.
- The Bluebell's four Senior Station Masters, who all happened to be present - (from the left) Tim Baker (Horsted Keynes), Roy Watts (East Grinstead), Graham Aitken (Sheffield Park) & Richard Clark (Kingscote). Graham in the odd-one-out in his Guard's, rather than his Station Master's, uniform.
- The hymn singing was accompanied in appropriate style by the Bluebell Railway Band (they have posted a nice selection of photos here).
- The locomotive for the evening was the SECR C-class, seen waiting to leave Kingscote after the end of the service, with a 7-coach train formed of the SR Maunsells and the Victorian 4-wheelers.
- The S15 is on the service trains (Service One timetable this week), and is seen ready to leave Sheffield Park on Monday in Keith Duke's photo. Keith's photos below show the other two locos in steam on Monday, the C-class on a shunting turn, and No.323 with a special with the Great Northern Directors' Saloon. More of Keith's photos from Monday here.
- Trains will be running to our Service Two timetable at the weekend.
- To keep your children amused during your visit to the Bluebell over the summer holidays, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 25 July to 2 Sept we are hosting Punch & Judy Shows at Horsted Keynes.
- Report in the Crawley Observer of a recent charter train run on the Bluebell for more than 200 Cubs from Crawley District who celebrated the centenary of Cub Scouting in style with a hike, train ride and barbecue.
- John Sandys provides photos and videos from around the railway on Monday, a lovely Summer's day.
- Martin Lawrence has started his July gallery with some pics of the food fair. He also has a short video from the Model Railway Weekend showing some of the layouts.
- Derek Hayward provides two substantial galleries providing comprehensive coverage of the Model Railway Weekend and the Food and Drink Festival.
- Trevor Mould provides a video of the trains running on Sunday 2 July.
- Chris Thomas has a gallery of photos of our trains on the Saturday of the Model Railway event.
- Update, with thanks to Chris Majer and Peter Richards, to the Sheffield Park Signalling page, providing an update to the signalbox diagram. The page for Kingscote Signalling has similarly been updated, with the new diagram which covers the track up to and including East Grinstead. The sub-pages giving expanded views of both diagrams have also been updated.
- The final photo below, with thanks to the Talyllyn Railway, shows the gathering of all 5 UK-based Fletcher, Jennings locomotives which survive. Our own 1877-built "Captain Baxter" was reunited with 1880-built 3ft. 2 1/4 inch gauge "William Finlay" and "Townsend Hook" which were together at Dorking Greystone Lime Co. Ltd. (Betchworth) until 1960. Townsend Hook was the first locomotive to arrive at Sheffield Park, on 10 April 1960, leaving 2 years later.
- This photo of 73082 arriving at Horsted Keynes yesterday is from a collection of videos and photos by John Sandys.
- Are you coming to our Food and Drink Festival at Horsted Keynes this coming weekend?
Worth printing out the Special Offer voucher for ilovebubbly.com.
The timetable for the weekend will be our peak two-train Service 2 public timetable, with the pre-booked Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea Train running both days as well.
- Update to the Sheffield Park Signalling page, with details of the long-section working which has now been implemented as an option when only one train is running, with thanks to Chris Majer and Peter Richards. There are further updates to come.
- Updates to various locomotive pages following the withdrawal from service of ex-LBSCR E4 No.B473 which now joins the overhaul queue; having had a virtually new outer firebox a couple of decades ago, it will need the sort of work on the inner firebox currently being undertaken on "Stowe".
- Martin Lawrence's photos from the Model Railway Weekend.
- The BBC's Mitch Mansfield visited us to feature our volunteers as part of BBC Sussex Helping Hands Day yesterday.
- During June 2016 there were 46,356 total hits on this page, from 27,902 unique visitors.
- John Sandys' album from today, from which this photo of No.73082 preparing for the first train of the day is taken, and his first live Facebook Broadcast, from East Grinstead.
- Videos and photos from our Model Railway Weekend:
- Brian Seaman's video covering the Sunday.
- Chris Ward's photos from Saturday.
- Comprehensive video by Grahams G1 Trains, whose live steam Merchant Navy featured in the video shared yesterday.
- Video from Sunday by "Joe Light Railway".
- A short video, mainly featuring our trains, from "Southern Steam Productions".
- Another video from the Sunday from "Bluebell-Railway Hawks", including quite a few shots of the 4-wheel carriages on the additional shuttle train with the P and H-class locos. Topping and tailing enabled a 5-minute turn-round at Horsted Keynes, and thus the shuttle was able to make an out-and-back trip between each of the main service trains.
- 'Captain Baxter' is off to the Talyllyn Railway for a long weekend to join the other surviving Fletcher-Jennings locos, 'Talyllyn', 'Dolgoch', 'William Finlay' and 'Townsend Hook'.
- Nick Dearden's re-edited Bulleid Pacific Feast, includes footage from the Bluebell.
- News update from the Bulleid Society featuring work on their carriage.
- This video of G1 live steam on the G1MRA layout features Merchant Navy No.35003 "Royal Mail" and LBSCR 'Gladstone' class No.180, "Arundel".
- Keith Duke's photos from Saturday, covering the public launch of carriage 3188, the other trains and some of the layouts. His photos below shows No.323 on the South end of the train of 4-wheelers, with No.3188 closest to the locomotive, and the N-gauge model of Kemp Town which was displayed in the Locomotive Works.
- News update on the Brighton Atlantic Project.
- John Sandys' album from today with 73082 on the service train, and the C-class shunting.
- Dave Bowles' photos of the service trains on the Bluebell, Sunday 5 June.
- Update to Martin Lawrence's June gallery
- This coming weekend is our Model Railway Weekend which offers a fantastic array of live steam and other model and miniature railway displays at both Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park stations. We are running trains to this enhanced timetable, with a frequent shuttle between the two main stations, topped and tailed by a pair of SECR locomotives and formed of our four Victorian 4-wheeled coaches - the first public runs for newly restored LCDR/SECR third No.3188.
- Atlantic House, where we are reconstructing No.32424 "Beachy Head", is open for visitors this weekend. Fred Bailey's photo shows the current state of the locomotive's rolling chassis.
- The Bluebell Railway Carriage Shop has a large amount of model railway items in stock for this weekend along with their usual huge selection of railway & transport books and photographs. Open 10.00 til 17.00 on Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes.
- Updates to the Carriage Stock List, the Carriage Collection page, and the web page for LCDR/SECR carriage No.3188, now we have completed the restoration of this vehicle.
- John Harwood provides a new video showing the completed main spans of the Operation Undercover Phase 4 carriage shed at Horsted Keynes.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with a few changes for the remainder of June, and also showing the current plans for July.
Our newly restored ex-LCDR carriage, SECR No.3188, is now ready for service, as seen in Alex Morley's photo taken on Saturday at Kingscote. Our three restored ex-LCDR carriages and SECR C-class No.592 were all built at the Chatham's Longhedge Works in Battersea, and this formation formed Saturday's special re-launch train for the restoration team, and invited guests.
All three carriages had become grounded bodies in bungalows before rescue and restoration to service by the Bluebell's C&W department. These three will be joined by our restored LBSCR Stroudley First next weekend and the four coaches used on a public services, as an additional shuttle train between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, for the Model Railway Weekend, the timetable for which is now available.
The carriage, built by the LCDR as a 6-wheeled 5-compartment third in 1897, had been converted by the SECR into a 3-compartment brake vehicle around 1910, and ran until 1935. It was sold to become a grounded body in a bungalow called "The Coaches" at Yarcombe in Devon, from where it was rescued, along with LSWR Saloon No.25, for the Bluebell by Peter Milnes in 2005.
Between 1950 and 1978 the carriages were occupied by Nelson and Gladys Long, and we were pleased to have two of their nieces, Jenny and Mary, and Jenny's husband Diego, with us for the relaunch. The sisters were able to share their memories of visiting their Aunt and Uncle, and hence these two carriages, in the 1950s. Jenny Dal Bello is seen in Richard Salmon's photo below presenting Tony Clements and Dave Clarke with photos, provided by one of their cousins, showing the carriages at Yarcombe in 1977.
The restoration of the carriage, owned by the Bluebell Railway Trust, who paid for the materials used in the work, was led by Tony, and involved around 20 volunteers in the C&W department with a weekend team working on the body, and the midweek metalworking team who shortened the SR van underframe to carry the body. It has been restored to its original form as a 5-compartment third, and thus adds significantly to the seating capacity of our Victorian train.
Dave Clarke provides an album which covers the 5-year restoration of No.3188 in detail, and Alex Morley's album shows more of the special train run yesterday. Jon Bower's photo below shows the restoration team assembled for a group photo, and the following photo, also by Jon, shows the relaunch train passing the bank below the cottages at Horsted Keynes which is currently a mass of ox-eye daises.
- Hastings Diesels Ltd have recently completed their cab view video of East Grinstead to Sheffield Park from their DEMU tour on 7 May 2016.
- John Sandys' album from Saturday, with the S15, the GN saloon and some short videos.
Today's album features 73082 in the rain and the C-class shunting, plus the completed roof on both main spans of the new carriage Shed.
- The S15 is seen below as it approaches Kingscote, in Richard Salmon's photo from late afternoon on Saturday, having just returned to service after major maintenance including replacement of some boiler stays, turning of tyres at Ilford, a valve and piston exam and re-bore, and the fitting of new piston and valve heads.
- Mike Hopps' poster below has been produced to advertise the 2-3 July Food and Drink Festival at Horsted Keynes, for which further details are now available.
- Last Saturday was another of our regular Goods Train runs, for crew training purposes. The C-class was photographed passing through Horsted Keynes by Brian Lacey.
- Ashley Smith also got some photos and this video of the goods train and the service trains alongside it last Saturday.
- The Locomotive Duty Roster has been updated with planned loco usage for the rest of June. Southern S15 No.847 is ready to re-enter service this weekend.
- Update on the Project 27 Blog - removal of the front balance weights.
- Photos from Dan Green from last Saturday, including the C-class hauling and shunting the goods train, and the H-class and Standard 5MT on the service trains.
- Fantastic promo video from vocal duo Sweetheart Swing, including great shots of them entertaining the troops at our Southern at War weekend last month!
- And talking of the Southern at War weekend, Dave Bowles has now published his photos from the event.
- Some more photos added to Martin Lawrence's June Gallery, showing 73082 on the train today, progress with the new carriage shed, and the turning around of Pullman Car 54, in preparation for its overhaul.
- John Sandys galleries from Monday 13 June and Thursday 16 June. Includes a photo of the Limited edition (of just 100) Dapol N-gauge Grampus wagon, based on one of the Bluebell's wagons. Available online from the Bluebell's Shop.
- Brian Kidman's photo below shows No.73082 on Wednesday near Vaux End, where Brian and the Wednesday Gang were working on keeping our lineside in tip-top shape.
- Dave Clarke's photo below, from his album on the restoration of LCDR/SECR Carriage No.3188, shows it and the other 4-wheel carriages over the maintenance pit in the new shed on 5 June. After a successful test run on Wednesday, the restoration team will be celebrating its completion tomorrow, and it will enter public service next weekend, as part of an additional shuttle train for the Model Railway Weekend.
- We're at the South of England Show, which ends Saturday, at Ardingly. Come and visit our stand - there may be an offer or two! You can't miss us, the Ardingly Eye is right next door! East Grinstead tourism are with us too, so come and find out about this historic town.
- This weekend is the last chance to take advantage of our £5 offer with Metrobus.
- On Saturday we are again running a Vintage Goods Train, in addition to the two-train Service 2 public timetable. Times for the goods train are below.
- Richard Salmon's photo from last Saturday shows No.73082 heading south out of Horsted Keynes with freshly repainted Mk.1 No.4957.
- This coming weekend, 11 & 12 June we have the Atlantic House - Open Weekend at Sheffield Park - with Ceremony, speeches and auction at 2.30pm on Sunday. There are some interesting items in the auction!
Project 27 will also have a display and the chance to see the current state of work on SECR P-class No.27 in the loco yard adjacent to Atlantic House.
- Martin Lawrence has started his June album, with photos from around the Railway, including the H-class and C-class, a 1966-built Bristol MW coach, and the start made on roofing the main storage roads of the new carriage shed at Horsted Keynes.
- Sunday in Sussex by JS Rail Videos.
- Brian Lacey's photos below show the H-class, which is on the service train this week, at East Grinstead in the early afternoon today.
- This photo by Tony Sullivan of No.263 waiting to leave Sheffield Park with the 2.45pm service to East Grinstead was taken on Thursday 2 June. The SECR H-class, with these four vintage Southern Railway carriages, has formed one of the two trains operating this week.
- Kids for a Quid continues this weekend, with trains running to our Service Two timetable.
- Starting today we have a special £5 offer with Metrobus. The offer runs until 12 June.
- John Sandys' album from Thursday 2 June.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with planned loco usage for June. Note that this roster may change later in the month, if 847 is ready to re-enter service.
- Photo updates with the latest progress in C&W and Operation Undercover 4 from Dave Clarke:
- By the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May, the structural steel for the Maintenance Road and Storage Shed had been erected.
- The Elephant Van has been moved outside, following a week in the paintshop, for fitting out.
- Its place in the shed has been taken by Bulleid TSO No.1464 for a recanvas and No.4941 for some TLC and a revarnish.
- Bulleid Composite No.5768 has moved into the dock for its roof canvas to be fitted and may stay here until completion.
- Stroudley brake No. 949 has taken its place in D-road along with Pillbox No.55993, which has come in for plank replacement and a repaint before it deteriorates further and requires a full rebuild.
- SECR No.3188 has moved onto the pit for the brake rodding to be hung and the steam heat pipe work modified and connected up. The underside will then be set up ready for launch in a few weeks time.
- Martin Lawrence's photo from yesterday shows Nos. 73082 and 263, which have charge of the half-term services, passing at Horsted Keynes. This is one of the photos which complete his May Gallery.
- Nine new photos of Stowe's overhaul, including the newly arrived backhead for the boiler.
- Unseen Steam provide this chat with our outgoing BRPS Chairman, Roy Watts. They also interviewed Roger Kelly about the award of £75,000 to provide wheelchair access on our Pullman Dining train.
- John Sandys' visit yesterday. It may have been raining, but the atmosphere of steam still shines through, as does Clive Groome's smile!
- During May 2016 there were 51,664 total hits on this page, from 30,529 unique visitors
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows the H-class with its Southern Railway vintage set on Saturday, formed of Maunsell and Bulleid vehicles.
- Dave Clarke's photo from Monday shows progress with the OP4 shed at Horsted Keynes, with both the main spans now structurally complete and ready for roofing to be added to the southern section of E-road, and the whole of the 4-road storage shed.
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