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17 September:
H and Q at Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 15 September 2018
  • The SECR H-class leaves Horsted Keynes with the vintage set, as the Maunsell Q-class lays over with its goods train on Saturday, as seen in John Sandys' photo.

  • TheSoutherner's video of Saturday's Demonstration Goods Train.

  • Due to a last minute cancellation there is one place left for the Footplate Experience Day on 25th September.
    This experience gives the opportunity to both drive and fire the engine! Breakfast is served on arrival at the Bessemer Arms and a buffet lunch on board.
    The day costs £650.00.
    To book call 01825 720800. More details can be found here.

  • The first photo below, taken on Saturday by Brian Lacey, shows the S15 arriving in platform 3, passing the Q-class in Platform 2. The H-class with its train is just visible in platforms 4/5.

  • John Sandys' photo below also shows the Q-class, with its goods train, at Horsted Keynes, and is one of the photos in his gallery from Saturday. He also has a gallery from today, which includes photops of the WCR Class 37 which arrived today and will be leaving tomorrow morning hauling 'Camelot' off to the West Somerset Railway for their Autumn Gala.

S15 and Q-class - Brian Lacey - 15 September 2018 Q-class at Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 15 September 2018

14 September:
Q-class departs Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 13 September 2018
  • The Maunsell Q-class is seen as it departs from Horsted Keynes with the first train of the day yesterday, in John Sandys' photo on the right, taken from his latest photo gallery.

  • We have a Demonstration Goods Train running tomorrow morning, to the same timetable as shown here.

  • We are currently running steam trains to our Service 1 Mondays to Fridays and to Service 2 at weekends. The timetables are here.

  • John's next photo, below, shows the same locomotive arriving at Kingscote last Thursday.

  • The second photo below, taken on Saturday by Brian Lacey, shows the SECR H-class at Horsted Keynes with the vintage set.

Q-class at Kingscote - John Sandys - 6 September 2018 H-class at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 September 2018

Latest updates     -     Earlier updates     -     Latest Project News     -     Weekly train running information     -     Archive News


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Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or the 2017, the 2016, the 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.

latestlatestMost recent updates: See top of this page


13 September:
H and Camelot at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 September 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo from Saturday shows the SECR H-class heading for Platforms 4/5 at Horsted Keynes as No.73082 'Camelot' stands in Platform 3 with the up train. 'Camelot' is all set to visit the West Somerset Railway for their 27-30 September Autumn Steam Gala, and will be travelling there in light steam, diesel hauled, over the main line, on what will be its first visit away from the Bluebell.

  • News Update The latest on the overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768 and the boiler of 34059 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' on the Bulleid Society web site.

  • Pleased to report that our Macmillan Coffee Morning on 28 September is already fully booked! Apologies if you've missed out.

  • Bookings are now open for:
    • Autumn Tints - 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 October - four options for viewing the autumnal colours - Advanced booking for the Autumn Tints trains is strongly advised owing to limited seating, and is essential for Souper Steam and Steam & Cream
    • Hallowe'en Scream Train - 24-28 October - Children, and Adults, are welcome to attend in costume! Booking is essential for the specially reserved carriages - our full public timetabled services also operate.
    • Hallowe'en experience - Dystopia Station - 29-31 October (evenings) - A perfectly preserved attraction in the middle of nowhere - visit if you dare...
    • A Horsted Christmas on Friday 21 December - New for 2018! Your own private compartment in a train from either Sheffield Park or East Grinstead Stations for all the fun of our Victorian Christmas Fair at Horsted Keynes.

  • John Sandys' photo below, taken today, shows the Q-class preparing for the first train of the day, bearing a headboard paying tribute to the late John Jesson. The second photo, taken at West Hoathly by Brian Lacey, shows the 09 hauling the 09.09 service from East Grinstead on Saturday morning, a special early service added to the timetable to allow an earlier start for anyone visiting the railway last weekend.

Q-class carrying headboard in memory of John Jesson - John Sandys - 13 September 2018 The 09 on the 09:09 special early morning train - Brian Lacey - 8 September 2018

10 September:
Our Dukedog at this year's Goodwood Revival - Drew Gibson - September 2018
H-class at Town Place - Steve Lee - 8 September 2018 Camelot approaches Horsted Keynes - Steve Lee - 8 September 2018

7 September:
Atlantic boiler being lifted - Fred Bailey - 26 July 2018
  • News Update Latest news on the Brighton Atlantic project, including work re-starting on the tender, and, as seen in Fred Bailey's photo, the repaired and re-tubed boiler being moved outside the shed in preparation for completion and testing.
    The component sponsorship list has also been updated.

  • This weekend we are running trains to our Service 2 timetable, with the addition of an early train out of East Grinstead. It will be hauled by our resident 09 Diesel Shunter D4106 and timings will be as follows:
    Depart - East Grinstead 09.09
    Depart - Horsted Keynes 09.34
    Arrive - Sheffield Park 09.50

  • This weekend is also our Shareholders' Weekend, and shareholders will have been sent details of talks and tours happening in conjunction with this. In addition Dave Middleton, Station Master at Sheffield Park, will be doing station tours on Sunday, each hour from 11.00 until 3.00. Each tour lasts about 30 minutes and will show something of the architecture an explain some of the history of the station and a few of the people who worked there. Please be aware that should urgent railway duties prevent David leading these tours, they may be subject to last-minute cancellation.

  • We are currently advertising for a volunteer IT Coordinator.

  • Great video by "TheSoutherner" from last Sunday featuring the three locomotives in steam that day. Shame about the weather...

  • Photo galleries from John Sandys, from Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Press release (pdf download) regarding recent regrettable attacks on our trains and on some of our volunteers.

  • We are very sorry to have to report the recent deaths of John Jesson, who was engineering lead on the BR Standard 2MT project, Alan Sturt, one of the four students who founded our Preservation Society, and Joyce Vigor, who amongst other things ran the Buffet at Horsted Keynes Station many years back.
    Further details of each available on the BRPS Members' Information page.

  • During August 2018 there were 39,915 total hits on this page, from 23,249 unique visitors.


H-class arrives at Horsted Keynes - Richard Salmon - 25 August 2018 26 August:
  • The H-class was back in action yesterday, hauling the vintage set, and is seen here, under threatening skies, approaching Horsted Keynes.

  • Full details of Chris Pyle's funeral are now available. In place of flowers, Donations are requested towards the work of the Bluebell Railway's Carriage & Wagon Department, of which Chris had been an active member for 45 years.


25 August:
Q-class with vintage set - John Sandys - 23 August 2018
  • John Sandys' photo shows the Maunsell Q-class arriving at East Grinstead on Thursday with the third train of the day. The locomotive was standing in for the SECR H-class, as did SECR No.323 'Bluebell' on Tuesday as seen below in Brian Lacey's photo. No.73082 'Camelot' and the H-class have also been in steam this week.

  • Worth noting that our Privacy Policy was updated in May to take account of the Data Protection Act 2018, and that we have now published our Safeguarding Policy.

  • Very sadly we have to report that Chris Pyle passed away on Tuesday afternoon, after a mercifully short battle with cancer. Chris had been a member of the Carriage & Wagon Department for over four decades, and was particularly noted for painting the carriage internal ceilings, where his considerable height was used to advantage, as well as varnishing many interior components. He was well known around the railway as a quiet but loyal supporter of many schemes and projects. Details of the funeral arrangements will be available soon.
    Bluebell at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 21 August 2018

  • News Update Barry Luck, OP4 project manager, provides this update and the photos below.

    The Infrastructure team have been working hard on the Horsted Keynes carriage shed extension over the past few weeks. The first photo shows the trackwork leading towards the shed - the right-hand to road F, and the left to G. Roads H and J will be served by a parallel road to the left, and road E (the maintenance road) will connect to the pointwork in the middle distance on the right.

    The dwarf wall on the eastern side of the shed seen in the next photo is complete as far as we can go for the present, until the Skills Centre framework is complete. The wall above the brickwork will be clad in the same cream and green style as the main existing building.


OP4 trackwork - Barry Luck - 23 August 2018 OP4 brickwork - Barry Luck - 13 August 2018
Stevenson's started work on 30 July on the Skills Centre framework. The final concrete pour at the southern end of the ring-beam was completed on 22 August as seen in the next photo, whilst erection of the steelwork started at the northern end a couple of days earlier on 20 August. The final photo shows progress as at 3pm on 23 August with four sections in place. Just one and a half hours later seven columns and roof joists had been erected.

As soon as the framework is finished, the infrastructure team will move in to reduce the ground level inside the building to its final level. We will then be able to start work on the ground floor, and continue with the dwarf wall around the building.

In the meantime we are continuing to raise funds for cladding along the eastern/northern side of the shed and around the Skill Centre. If you would like to contribute please visit the Cash for Cover donation page.

OP4 skills centre foundations - Barry Luck - 23 August 2018 OP4 skills centre framework - Barry Luck - 23 August 2018

Camelot departs Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 23 August 2018 24 August:
  • John Sandys' photo, taken yesterday lunchtime, shows 'Camelot' departing from Horsted Keynes.

    John's other photos and videos from yesterday are in this album.



20 August:
Camelot returns to service - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018
  • No.73082 'Camelot' back in service. Brian Lacey provides today's four photos, and that on the right shows 'Camelot' hauling its first train (the 11.10am service from Sheffield Park on Sunday) after four months under repair.

  • News Update Our latest e-Newsletter (19 August) includes an update on current locomotive overhauls, including the return of the boiler for 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' after the fitting of its brand new inner firebox. There's still a lot of work to do to get it back into service, but this is a major step forwards!

  • News Update Two interim reports on the Network Rail Volunteer Days, last week, working on Project 27: Wednesday 15th, and Thursday 16th.

  • Brian's other photos from yesterday show the S15 arriving at Horsted Keynes with the second trip of the Lunchtime Golden Arrow dining train, the first of two groups of the Red Arrows, who were in transit towards Eastbourne, and the H-class departing from Horsted Keynes with the 3.02 pm train towards East Grinstead, showing well the leading carriage in its train, our London, Chatham & Dover Railway brake third No.114, of 1889.

847 arrives at Horsted Keynes with the Pullmans - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018 Some of the Red Arrows flying over Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018 H-class, with LCDR carriage in tow, leaving Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018

16 August:
S15 arrives at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 15 August 2018

14 August:
847 departs from Horsted Keynes, passing 21C123 - Brian Lacey - 11 August 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the S15 departing from Horsted Keynes, passing 21C123 'Blackmoor Vale', during our busy Steam through the Ages event on Saturday.
    His photo below shows the Spitfire, which was on display as part of the wartime theme at that station. This unique handbuilt replica of a Spitfire MK.IX took over 25 years to complete and has been built using copies of the original Spitfire drawings and incorporates many original parts - find out all about it on Simply Spitfire's website.

  • Derek Hayward also has 85 images taken at the Steam through the Ages event.

  • We are currently advertising for a volunteer Buildings Maintenance Person.

  • News Update Not one, but two updates on Project 27's Blog:
    New frames drilled, old frames dismantled, and
    Preparing for conservation work on the cab.
     
  • During our Shareholders' Weekend, on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 of September, in addition to our public Service 2 timetable we will be running an early train out of East Grinstead which we will also be available as a public service. Running just for those two days, it will be hauled by our resident 09 Diesel Shunter D4106 and timings will be as follows:
    Depart - East Grinstead 09.09
    Depart - Horsted Keynes 09.34
    Arrive - Sheffield Park 09.50
    So if you fancy an earlier start and a longer day at the Bluebell Railway that weekend then the 09 Special is for you.
    On the Sunday of course it will be the 09 hauling the 09.09 train on the 09/09 (of 2018)!

  • Bluebell Museum: Every year over 45,000 members of the public cross over to Platform 2 at Sheffield Park to visit our museum.
    Two years ago we launched two quizzes for children (and hid three mice for them to find in the display cases). Our quizzes have been so popular that we have just reprinted the one for younger children (see photo below). Every child who completes the quiz is awarded a badge.
    The museum is open when we are running timetabled services. Once you are on the station either to catch a train, or holding a platform ticket, you can visit the museum at no extra charge.

Spitfire at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 11 August 2018 Museum Children's Quiz

9 August:
H-class arrives at Horsted Keynes - Huw Lloyd - 6 August 2018
  • Huw Lloyd is making his annual working visit to the C&W department, and provides this photo of the SECR H-class arriving at Horsted Keynes on Monday with the vintage set.

  • Lots going on this weekend across the railway, with our Steam through the Ages - Travel through 100 years of history in one day!
     
    The Victorian era is portrayed at Sheffield Park, with:
    • Live Music from The Daisy Belles
    • Steam-powered transport
    • Victorian re-enactment and memorabilia
    • Victorian Tea Rooms in the Birch Grove Suite - with Magic Lantern Shows
    • Bluebell Railway Museum
    • Bessemer Arms Bar & Restaurant
    • Gift shop
    At Horsted Keynes, the Second World War is at full swing:
    • The Spitfire has landed
    • Alpha & Home Front Bus - an interactive museum depicting life during WW2, housed in a vintage bus
    • Children's Craft Activities
    • Street market traders
    • Vehicle and Military displays
    • Live Music on Saturday from the Perdido Players
    • Vinyl DJ - Jivin' Jim Dandy
    • King George V Buffet - serving authentic wartime menus
    • Carriage and Wagon Workshop will be open all weekend with free 'Behind the Scenes' tours on Saturday at 2pm
    At Kingscote we recreate a 1960s seaside holiday:
    • Donkey Rides with Mike's Donkeys
    • Face painting
    • Punch & Judy and Circus Skills with Crazee Hazee
    • Giant Games
    • Children's playground
    • Vintage Bus rides from Kingscote to East Grinstead
    • Live Music from the Bluebell Band
    • Fish & Chips and Ice-creams available at The Wellhouse kiosk
    Discount tickets available online now.

    Event Guide booklet available to download.

  • Ashley Smith had a free day last Friday so came along and filmed the trains running that day, resulting in a short video and some photos.

  • A reminder (or encouragement) for those who need it - anyone intending to enter this year's football competition needs to make sure that their entry is either emailed through, or at Horsted Keynes, by tomorrow.

    Details and entry form are available here. You don't need to know much about football or railways in either competition. Competition 1 is to predict the final positions for all of the teams in the Premier League, and Competition 2 is to predict who you think will lift the FA Cup next May. You can enter each competition as many times as you like.

    Half of all entry fees are shared among the winners, and the remaining half will go towards the restoration of Southern Railway Kitchen/Dining Saloon No.7864.



1 August:
65 passes through Horsted Keynes with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train - Brian Lacey - 28 July 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows SECR No.65 passing through Horsted Keynes with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train on Saturday.

  • Short video study of BR No.73082 'Camelot' shot last December, from Philip Bull.

  • Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with plans for locomotive usage through August, although as ever, this may be subject to change.

  • During July 2018 there were 40,755 total hits on this page, from 23,658 unique visitors.

  • News Update Standard Class 2 Tank Locomotive No.84030 - John Jesson has provided the following report and photos, taken during and after the lift of 84030's frames onto its coupled wheels on 26 July.

    On one of the hottest days of the year a 120-tonne crane arrived in the Sheffield Park yard to carry out a number of lifts, including the re-wheeling of the Standard Class 2 Tank.

    The team rebuilding 84030 have been working towards this day for over 2 years so it gave us all a great feeling of achievement seeing the engine now a rolling chassis and housed in the newly erected poly-shed.


Crane lifting 84030's frames - John Jesson - 26 July 2018 Crane re-wheeling 84030's frames - John Jesson - 26 July 2018
Now that we have the engine on its driving wheels and a covered working environment we will be able to press on with the many other jobs in hand including front and rear pony trucks, lubrication pipework, the driving motion, side tanks, bunker... the list goes on.

If you would like to help us in this project to rebuild 84030 please come along to one of the Bluebell volunteer open days or if you are at the railway on a Thursday (our normal working day) just ask for one of us. If you are unable to join the working team but would still like to be involved with 84030, why not join our Project Support Group, an application form can be downloaded here.

A happy 84030 team - John Jesson - 26 July 2018 84030's frames wheeled into poly-shed - John Jesson - 26 July 2018

Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or the 2017, the 2016, the 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.

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