Latest Updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
- Rick Hewett's photo shows U-class No.1638 departing from Horsted Keynes last Tuesday, following a repair to a leaking superheater element. Further leaking elements were subsequently discovered, and have now been cured, and the locomotive was back in use this weekend.
- The Autumn Tints services start today, and run on weekdays until 24 October. This year we are expanding the service to offer six departures on most days, and publishing leaflets targeting new markets, through connections from London and Bedford by train to East Grinstead, and by bus from Brighton. The two P-class locomotives will be in charge of the two trains; all seats are reserved, and pre-booking is strongly advised.
- On Thursday this week (2 October), the Autumn Tints service is revised/reduced, to accommodate the incoming railtour headed by Bulleid West Country class Pacific "Braunton". If you wish to travel on the Autumn Tints service that day, pre-booking is essential. The Railtour will run to Kingscote, and "Braunton" will then assist a Bluebell locomotive in hauling a set of our own carriages, for the railtour participants, down to Sheffield Park. The UK Steam Info web pages give timings for the tour.
- Update on the Bulleid Society web site for the overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768,
- The Murder Mystery Evenings on the Golden Arrow Pullman train in November have now sold out. An updated synopsis for 2014 is now available to download, as are the Murder Mystery synopses and dates for 2015.
- John Sandys provides a gallery of photos from a very busy day at the railway on Thursday, with GW tank No.5643 hauling long trains, to accommodate party and special traffic. He also visited briefly on Saturday and provides photos showing the U-class and Birch Grove with their trains.
- Our Chairman's RML bus, with its Bluebell Railway advertising, will be taking part in tomorrow's Earl's Court Society Routemaster Bus event - 6pm to 8pm in Earl's Court One.
- We regret to report that we have lost the RSS feed of updates from the Bluebell, due to Twitter's cessation of its automatic generation.
- Paul Furlong's photo below shows No.5643 on Freshfield Bank on Thursday 25 September. Brian Lacey's photo shows the locomotive taking water at East Grinstead on Friday. Steve Lee's photo shows the E4 No.B473 with the Victorian train on Saturday.
- Richard Farrant's photo shows the E4 at Horsted Keynes on a shortened service set A on Sunday - the locomotive had been in use on a Wedding Charter using the Wealden Rambler set on the Saturday.
- Pleased to report that Dave Clarke successfully completed the Reigate Half-marathon on Sunday, raising funds for the restoration of our unique Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864, for which Deborah Salmon also cycled 37 miles a couple of weeks ago. Please do sponsor their efforts via this JustGiving page.
- Nice plug in Radio Times, where we feature as one of the top five locations used in the filming of "The Suspicions of Mr Whicher".
- Dave Braley has an album of photos from the last couple of weekends at Horsted Keynes.
- Martin Lawrence has added a few new photos from Saturday and Sunday to his September Album showing the access road works at West Hoathly, the hot air balloons at Horsted Keynes, and several views of Kingscote station.
- Update to web page for our (potential) second LBSCR goods van, reflecting the fact that it's most unlikely that the underframe is actually from the van numbered 1577 (with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski).
- Brian Lacey's photos below show the S15 entering Horsted Keynes on Saturday, and the SECR H-class with two SECR/LCDR carriages immediately behind it, entering East Grinstead. The S15 unfortunately expired with regulator problems that evening at Horsted Keynes, but we managed to get all passengers to their destinations on other trains. This is why the E4 took over its trains on the Sunday, and consequently the lunchtime Pullman Dining train on Sunday was operated using the pair of P-class locos (as seen in Richard Farrant's photo below), since the U-class, C-class and 5643 were all unavailable due to being under maintenance.
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.
Most recent updates: See top of this page
- Brian Lacey's photo on the right shows the GW tank No.5643 during its run-round at Sheffield Park on Monday. It is also seen approaching East Grinstead below, as is the C&W Works Shunter, whilst shunting stock in the carriage maintenance yard.
- Job Vacancies advertised for a Kitchen Assistant and a part-time Shop Assistant. A reminder also that the advertisement for a Carriage & Wagon Fitter closes at the end of this week.
- Updates, with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski, to the pages for the second Dancehall brake van, the owners of which wish it to be known by its BR number S55490 and not by that allocated by the SECR, and the pages for SR Conflat D 39617 and SR (Bulleid) 5-plank open wagon 12058 have been amended to reflect their short-term hire to a film company.
- Update to the early history of the Bluebell, with more information and a photo covering the first Bluebell service train to enter Horsted Keynes station on 29 October 1961, with thanks to George Ray.
- Update to the Lewes & East Grinstead Railway historical page, adding information about the railway-related origin of the brick works at West Hoathly.
- Editorial/layout updates to the Extensions page.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the ex-LBSCR E4 arriving at Horsted Keynes with the Victorian coaches yesterday. The other locomotives in steam were the S15 on the other service set, the H-class on the Lunchtime Pullman service and P-class No.178 was station pilot. No.5643 was being warmed through for this week's services.
- Daniel Matthews, one of our volunteer P-way gang, managed to capture this video yesterday, showing the two Lancasters flying over Horsted Keynes!
- Martin Lawrence has added a few more shots to his September gallery.
- Some publicity on VintageBrighton.com, for this Autumn's Murder Mystery evenings.
- John Sandys' photos from Thursday include shots covering attention to the trees adjacent to the driveway at Sheffield Park, shunting at Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, shots of the locomotive works and shed, and the S15 on the service train. One tree needed to be felled, and the rest had attention to higher branches. His photos below show:
- the line-up of locos in the yard;
- buffet coach No.1818, which has just returned from Cranmore Traincare following structural repairs at one end (we did the other end ourselves some years back), attention to the lower body-side, and rebedding of the side-lights. We are undertaking the re-wiring and interior refurbishment ourselves. This carriage has now been running on the Bluebell for 30 years!
- levelling the work-site for the Carriage Shed Extension (Operation Undercover Phase 4) at Horsted Keynes. At this stage we are just making a start on the foundations to secure the planning permission. The new shed will eventually cover the maintenance road and 4 storage roads to get another 20 pre-grouping and pre-nationalisation carriages under cover. We hope to be able to move forward fairly rapidly on the first phase of the building once the money is available. More information in the forthcoming edition of Bluebell News.
- Ted Anderson's funeral details are on the BRPS Members' Information page.
- Brian Lacey's photo from Monday shows No.5643 setting off with the 1.15pm service from Sheffield Park.
- The S15 took over the services on Tuesday, as seen below in John Sandys' photo at East Grinstead.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday include the Adams Radial and No.1520 returned to Sheffield Park, No.5643 in charge of the service train, a look inside both the locomotive workshop and Kingscote North Signal Box, plus some new stock in the shop.
- On a misty Saturday morning the H-class is seen as it approaches Horsted Keynes with the Victorian train. Richard Salmon's other photos below show SR 8-plank wagon No.30004 in the works for the replacement of some rotten planks, our LSWR pair of Radial Tank No.488 and restored carriage No.1520 on display at Hampton (for the 150th Anniversary of the Shepperton Branch) and the Chairman's RML carrying Bluebell advertising, which was also in attendance (along with two of his RTs).
- Martin Lawrence has added some photos to his September gallery.
- To raise funds for the restoration of our unique Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864, Deborah Salmon cycled 37 miles from London to Windsor on Sunday - photos here. In two weeks time, Dave Clarke will take part in the Reigate Half-marathon. Please do sponsor their efforts via this JustGiving page.
- John Sandys' photo shows the frames of No.73082 "Camelot" in the works at Sheffield Park on Monday this week.
- The South-East regional variant of Monday's BBC ONE "Inside Out" feature on the Bluebell was slightly longer, with slightly different material - available on iPlayer until next Monday - it's 10.00 minutes into this version of the programme.
- An article in The Argus entitled "Build it and they will come" also features the Bluebell's recent success.
- Daniel Green has some photos and a video from last Sunday, 31 August, featuring all three of our Southern Railway liveried locomotives, the S15, U and E4.
- We are currently advertising to recruit a full-time Carriage & Wagon Fitter.
- Sad to report that long-serving Extension volunteer Ted Anderson passed away on Tuesday. Further details on the BRPS Members' pages.
- The most recent Bluebell Safety Newsletter for staff is now available - apologies for the late posting on here.
- John Sandys' photo shows the S15 drawing the stock for the first service of the day into the platform at Sheffield Park. His other photos from Monday are here.
- The photo below by Ian Nolan, showing the carriage on arrival at the Bluebell in 1962, has been added to the web page for LCDR Brake 2nd No.48.
- Andrew Crampton's photo on the right shows Tornado at Sharpthorne Tunnel on the last day of service at the Bluebell on the Sunday 3rd August. His photos below cover the runs with our four Victorian Metropolitan Railway "Chesham" carriages during the Chesham 125 Anniversary specials on Sunday 17th August, showing Met.1 passing Northwood Hills on the fast line, and GWR No.5521 (as L.150) pausing at Rickmansworth on the last service before heading back to Ruislip depot.
- You can catch the BBC ONE Inside Out feature on the success of our extension to East Grinstead for the next week on BBC iPlayer - 21:20 into the programme.
- Ben Gray provides some photos taken at the Bluebell on the Friday 29th August.
- Slight change made to the Golden Arrow Murder Mystery synopsis for 2015, which is available to download as a pdf.
- The final photo below, from the C&W works from Derek Hayward, shows the 1881-built LBSCR Stroudley Brake Third No.949, now ready for its roof canvas.
- During July and August 2014 there were 135,062 total hits on this page, from 76,267 unique visitors.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the LSWR Adams Radial Tank, shunted out of the shed, and on display in the loco yard at Sheffield Park, captured alongside the U-class yesterday. The Radial Tank, and our LSWR carriage No.1520, will shortly feature in an exhibition at Hampton Station as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Shepperton Branch.
- The BBC web site carries an article about the surge in visitors to the railway since we opened the extension to East Grinstead.
Inside Out on BBC 1 South East on Monday 1st September at 7:30pm features the Bluebell.
We will also feature in the BBC Sussex Breakfast programme with Neil Pringle on Monday morning between 06:00 & 09:00. It will be available live on the BBC Radio iPlayer too.
- Over the next few weeks, Deborah Salmon and Dave Clarke will be cycling and running a total of 50 miles, in two events, to raise funds for the restoration of our unique Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864. Please do sponsor their efforts via this JustGiving page.
- On the BRPS Members' information page we report belatedly the passing of two long-serving Bluebell volunteers, Eric Nutland and Alan Pegg. My apologies for having been unable to post the news at the time.
- Martin Lawrence's photo below shows the Adams Radial Tank on display in the loco yard at Sheffield Park, which is amongst the shots taken yesterday and added to his August photo gallery;
- Derek Hayward's photos, taken from his C&W Works photo gallery, show the LNWR Observation Car rapidly approaching the end of its intermediate overhaul (the green is an undercoat, and the coach will return to service in full LNWR livery), and LCDR/SECR third-class carriage No.3188, which is also progressing rapidly.
- Latest news from the Brighton Atlantic project - illustrated by the photo on the right from Fred Bailey, taken last Sunday, showing the cylinder cladding, crosshead and bogie splasher in place on "Beachy Head". Would you like to sponsor a specific part of the locomotive? The latest component list is available, from which you can choose a wide variety of important parts of the locomotive.
- Details are now available for the Autumn Tints services, which run on weekdays from 29 September to 24 October. This year we are expanding the service to offer six departures on most days, and publishing leaflets targeting new markets, through connections from London and Bedford by train to East Grinstead, and by bus from Brighton.
- Two photos below, from Brian Lacey, taken on Wednesday, show the Southern Railway locomotives (U-class 2-6-0 No.1638 and S15 4-6-0 No.847) and Southern Railway stock (the SECR Birdcage at the head of the pre-war rake coming off the viaduct into East Grinstead, and an SR-designed Bulleid carriage behind the S15 at Horsted Keynes).
- Mike Hopps' photo on the right shows the U-class No.1638 at West Hoathly with the 1.30pm train from Sheffield Park on Tuesday this week.
- News update from the 73082 'Camelot' Locomotive Society showing work progressing on their boiler at Crewe.
- Bluebell Railway Locomotive Director Chris Hunford has supplied photos showing progress with the boiler repair of 34059 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' at LNWR Heritage at Crewe.
- Update to the web page for Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864, adding a photo taken by Ian Nolan of the carriage soon after its arrival at Sheffield Park in March 1962.
- John Sandys has a gallery of photos from today, the penultimate day of the two-train weekday service. Covers shunting at both Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park, the Mets being shunted in the shed after returning from London, new stock in the shop, and a look in the Loco Works - his photo below shws the U-class entering Horsted Keynes, just prior to the token exchange. He also provides photos from Tuesday, with the S15 on Set A and the U-class on Set B, plus photos inside the carriage works.
- Derek Hayward also has some photos taken during a tour of the C&W Works on Saturday. The photos (lower down page one and on page 2) show the main working area, the paint shop (in this case a touch-up and re-varnish) and the cleared area to the east of the workshop where the new extension will be constructed.
- Visitors using some of the minor roads in the area may like to note that an eight week road closure started in the Kingscote area this week. There are also some shorter periods of works in West Hoathly.
- Our Metropolitan Railway coaches were returned home from Ruislip yesterday by a pair of GBRf 73s - seen below in Nicholas Woollven's photo at West Brompton, and Brian Lacey's at Sheffield Park.
- Today we remember Lord (Richard) Attenborough, seen here at the Bluebell during the filming of the 1999 version of "The Railway Children", who has died at the age of 90.
- News update from the Maunsell Locomotive Society, covering Stowe and Nos.847, 541 and 31638, and the latest on the Stowe Facebook page
- Simon Mulligan has footage from Tuesday with the U Class and S15 in action.
- Martin Lawrence has a video of the service trains yesterday with 847 at Rock Cutting and 1638 at West Hoathly, and has added a few photos to his August gallery.
- John Sandys' photo, from a set of photos taken yesterday, shows the S15 departing from Horsted Keynes with Set A. The U-class was in charge of Set B, the Birdcage set, seen preparing to leave platforms 4/5. Those who fear the Bluebell is becoming just another Mk.1 railway should note that the two six-coach trains seen here, and which have been the sets for most of the peak summer season, consist of one LBSCR coach, two SECR coaches, 5 SR (Maunsell and Bulleid designed) caoches, and just 4 Mk.1s.
- The Bulleid Society have just updated their web site with news about the replacement of brake components on Blackmoor Vale's tender, the original parts being in use with 34046 Braunton.
- Update to the Carriage Restoration technical page listing suppliers, with revised contact details for AJ Wells & Sons, the Isle of Wight based vitreous enamellers.
- Updates to the web pages for BR "Grampus" Engineers' Drop Side Wagons Nos.DB 986419, DB 984506, DB 988395 and DB 985854 with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski, and to that for Van C (BY) No.442.
- The Murder Mystery Evenings on the Golden Arrow Pullman train in September and October have now sold out. An updated synopsis for 2014 is now available to download, as is the Murder Mystery synopsis and dates for 2015.
- The Bluebell Railway Band have recently launched their new web site. Having played at the Vintage Weekend, they are next on the Railway for the annual Carol Service at Horsted Keynes on Saturday 6 December.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the ex-LBSCR E4 with the lunchtime Pullman Luncheon train on Sunday, after further firebox attention. His photo below shows the S15 with one of the service trains the same day.
- Update to the Special Events and Offers page with details of Santa Specials and other events in December, including our new Reindeer Specials running from East Grinstead.
- Tim Easter's photos show our Met stock at Clapham Junction on the evening of 23 July, on their way to West Ruislip depot, and this almost timeless scene with Sarah Siddons with the Chesham set, approaching Farringdon.
- Robert Else's photos of Tornado.
- Roger Carpenter has updated his Bluebell album to show some pictures of the morning, to complement the earlier shots of the train making its way to London.
- Martin Lawrence has uploaded a new video of recent clips. Starting with the Sunday P-Way gang working at Horsted Keynes and followed by diesel 09018 with the Queen Mary brake on a special evening train during the vintage vehicle weekend. Finally U-class No.1638 climbs Freshfield Bank with the evening Golden Arrow service. Martin has also now finished his July gallery and added to his August one.
- Last weekend's Chesham 125 celebrations, featuring our ex-Chesham Branch carriages has been well covered on video, including by Matt Wickham (who also has a few photos), from 'GC Met' and from Dan Gosling.
- Matt Wickham, from OLDBOYSTEAMING and 'MrKnowwun' provide coverage of the previous two Saturdays' Hammersmith & City 150 runs.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday 18 August show Swordfish leaving Sheffield Park, the S15 back on Set A after its maintenance, 1638 working Set B, and progress on the Q-Class.
- News update from our volunteer Locomotive Working Group on the overhaul of the Q-class, and an earlier update on Stowe, showing great progress on the firebox overhaul.
- Updates to the Locomotive Stock List and Operational Locos, accounting for the departure of the on-loan diesel locomotives 33103 and 13236
- The last two photos below show Tornado at Sheffield Park (Simon Jeffs/Laurel Arnison, 2 August) and 5643 taking water at East Grinstead the day before (Paul Marlton)
- So, with apologies from your editor for having been rather busy away from the Railway over the last 3 weeks, and a consequent lack of updates (you can always keep up-to-date on the latest goings on via our Facebook page, even if you are not a Facebook user) ... to catch up, firstly we report the phenomenon which is the "Tornado" which swept in for seven days of action on the Bluebell. New-build LNER A1 pacific No.60163 is seen here on 30 July as it approaches Imberhorne Lane Bridge with a 7-coach train, in this photo from John Goss.
- Martin Lawrence provides a video showing Tornado's arrival, behind a DRC Class 31, on Saturday 26 July.
- Rob Faulkner provides a couple of photos of Tornado heading towards Farnborough Station in Hampshire, on her way to Sheffield Park from Swanage.
- Derek Hayward's photos covering the visit of Tornado.
- Neil Munro-Thomson visited Horsted Keynes on Tuesday 29 July to see Tornado in the late afternoon sunshine.
- John Sandys provides this gallery of photos of Tornado on 28 July, its first day in Bluebell service, including this video of it at West Hoathly.
- The day Tornado arrived found Horsted Keynes heaving with a large number of people attending the annual Toy and Rail Collectors Fair. The event took place on the station platforms, in the adjacent field and on stalls arranged in a "car boot" format, with parking for the public displaced to a nearby field to make room. Derek Hayward provides a gallery for the event.
- Our four Metropolitan carriages returned to London (by rail, hauled by two class 73s) for use as part of the LU heritage train, operating between Met1 and Sarah Siddons over the Hammersmith and City Line over the last two weekends, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of that line's opening. This weekend they are operating, with L.150 and Met.1, back on their old stamping ground, on the Met's Chesham Branch.
Tim Easter's photo on the right shows the H&C 150 train at Farringdon last Saturday. Tim has a complete set from Hammersmith & City 150 here.
- Martin Lawrence has this video of some of the action surrounding the Mets leaving the Bluebell by rail.
- Video of the Mets passing though Lingfield from Tom Waghorn.
- Great photos from Roger Carpenter including the Mets passing over the viaduct at Oxted, and at Clapham Junction.
- Photos from Ian Wylie showing our carriages on the Piccadilly line on Saturday 9 August.
- More video footage from Martin Lawrence covering Bluebell activities between 3rd May and 5th June, including a ride behind Taffy tank No.5643, footage from the model railway weekend, plus C-class No.592 through the tunnel and beyond.
- Neal Ball enjoyed another great visit to the railway when Tornado was down as part of the Summer festival, particularly for the Real Ale & Jazz evening.
- The Murder Mystery Evening on the Golden Arrow Pullman train on Friday 7th November has now sold out, however the train has been chartered for another on Friday 14th November. An updated synopsis showing the new date is now available to download.
- Alan Edwards had a great day out at the Bluebell on Thurdsay 7th August, resulting in this album with 20 photos and a short video of the Westinghouse Brake pump on E4 No.B473 at Sheffield Park.
- Vintage Transport Weekend - 9-10 August: Owing to severe adverse weather in the area of Horsted Keynes on the Sunday morning, and heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon it did not prove possible to hold the judging of vehicles as planned. The judges were also aware that some owners attended on the Saturday instead, having taken account of the weather forecast. That being so, the judges are also considering a large number of photos taken on the Saturday, and prize winners will be announced at a later stage when they have deliberated.
Two galleries of photos are available here, from Derek Hayward and Keith Duke.
Derek's photo below shows some of the many road-going steam engines which attended.
- Alan Jenkins' photo below from 7 August shows that ex-LBSCR E4 No.B473 has returned to action after a period out of use, following completion of complex copper-welding repairs to its firebox. It has subsequently required further minor attention to its firebox, now completed.
Latest updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
Your ideal Film/TV location?