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Weekly train running information - Archive News
- On the right we see the U-class with the first service over the new No.23B point at Horsted Keynes yesterday morning. The other locomotive in service yesterday was the SECR H-class. They ran through platforms 2 and 3 because the new point will not be fully commissioned until next week.
- Locomotive News: in-depth update on the Brighton Atlantic project.
- A sequence of photos from Roger Carpenter, showing the operation of Kingscote signalbox (the current temporary box, which is due to be replaced in the coming year or two by the box at the North end of the station) to signal trains through Kingscote station to and from East Grinstead. This illustrates the full description given on the Kingscote Signalling page of this website.
- Steve Lee's photo from last Sunday shows the C-class on one of the two service trains, with P-class No.178 banking on the rear. Note the touched-up paintwork/lining and fresh coat of varnish on the locomotive.
- John Harwood's video from yesterday shows the final bit of track being connected up at Horsted Keynes.
- This weekend we are again running steam-hauled and steam-heated trains to our peak Service Two timetable. In addition there will be a third engine in steam on Sunday for the Golden Arrow Pullman luncheon train, plus one of the P-class locomotives which undertakes shunting, and assists with the second run of the Golden Arrow.
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
- Steve Lee's photo shows L.150 with the lunchtime Pullman train last Sunday.
- Photos of the start of boiler work on Schools No.928 "Stowe".
- A superb and extensive set of photos is available from Dave Braley from the Black Five on the Photo Charter last Wednesday. The loco is leaving, by rail, overnight in the middle of next week.
- John Sandys provides a set of photos from Tuesday plus this Video, showing the work in progress at Horsted Keynes, and photos and videos from Thursday at Sheffield Park where the Black 5 was in steam.
- On Sunday the final work was done by the Alf Brown Gang to complete the replacement Horsted Keynes Down Advance Starter, as seen in Robert Hayward's photo on the right. The work to replace the No.23B points at Horsted Keynes is also progressing well, and as of Wednesday evening was not far from being connected up (photo from Alan Dengate). This weekend, whilst trains will run over the new point, it will be clipped and padlocked, and as a consequence trains will pass through platforms 2 and 3 at Horsted Keynes.
- Video from Sunday from Martin Lawrence showing P-class No.178 assisting C-class No.592 with a service train to East Grinstead. Martin also has a final February picture (a sunset at East Grinstead), and a belated photo showing the 56XX No.5643 at East Grinstead on its test run a couple of weeks ago, and has also started his March gallery.
- To celebrate the First anniversary of opening our Extension to East Grinstead, a special service will operate on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March, featuring appropriate double-heading of locomotives, and brake van rides. More details here.
- Steve Lee's photo on the right, taken last Saturday (22nd February), shows the U-class at Three Arch Bridge with its service train.
- News update from the Bulleid Society with the latest progress on the boiler overhaul for Sir Archibald Sinclair, taking place at LNWR Crewe, focusing at present on the replacement thermic syphons.
- Video from Philip and Gary Bull taken a couple of weeks ago, featuring the U-class on the Pullmans (the first weekend that Fingall was back in service, hence the Mk.1 kitchen car was also attached to the train) and the C-class on one of the two service trains.
- Shadows In The Dark Paranormal Events are doing a Paranormal Investigation at Horsted Keynes Station in the evening of 8th March. There are still a few tickets available: book directly with Shadows in the Dark.
- Nathan Gibson's photo on the right taken last Sunday shows the H-class hauling the lunchtime Golden Arrow, which is now back to its normal formation with the return of our 1924-built K-type Pullman car "Fingall" after three years under overhaul.
Nathan also provides this video of Prairie tank L.150 showing its capabilities on the climb from Kingscote to East Grinstead, also shot last Sunday.
- Dave Bowles has put together a great on-line book (mostly) of his railway photos from 2012, including a host of images taken on the Bluebell line. Go to the book here and click on "preview". Well worth looking at full-screen.
- Apologies that the Locomotive Duty Roster for this weekend is not yet available. It does however show something rather special is probably planned for the weekend of 22-23 March, which will be the first anniversary of opening the extension to East Grinstead.
- Bring the family to the Bluebell over Easter - from Good Friday through to Easter Monday, in addition to our regular services, we are running Bo Peep Easter Specials. Bo Peep will be travelling on board special carriages where she will meet all children and present them with an Easter Gift and Creme Egg. Advanced booking essential.
- During February 2014 there were 74,171 total hits on this page, from 42,726 unique visitors.
- Jon Bowers yet again arranged beautiful weather for his photo charter with the visiting Black Five No.45231 on Wednesday. There are superb albums from Paul Simpson, from Paul Gildersleve, and from David Haggar, who also has a video showing 9 different runs and provides the photo seen on the right.
- John Sandys' provides some photos taken around Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes yesterday.
- This weekend we are running steam-hauled and steam-heated trains to our peak Service Two timetable, as indeed we are each weekend in March. In addition there will be a third engine in steam on Sunday for the Golden Arrow Pullman luncheon train, and probably a fourth which undertakes shunting, and often assists with the second run of the Golden Arrow.
- Our Rail Ale trains are starting to book up already, not least due to a great write-up in the Sussex CAMRA magazine.
- The photo on the right from Paul Pettitt shows the H-class, approaching Horsted Keynes, with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train on Saturday.
- This video from Saturday from James Batcheler features the other two locomotives running on Saturday, the U-class and Prairie Tank L.150.
- Keith Leppard's photo has been added to the web page for SR bo-rail wagon No.57949.
- With the overhaul of Schools Class "Stowe" gathering pace, it's interesting to see Roger Haggar's photo of the locomotive on Eastbourne shed in 1962.
- Due to staff training the Sales and Information Office at Sheffield Park will be closed on Thursday 27th February. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The Travel Centre at East Grinstead will be open, as normal, from 9am to 5pm offering a full range of Bluebell products and information, as will our telephone booking line: 01825 720800.
- Patrick Plane's photo from last week illustrates the work which is well advanced in preparing the new points at Horsted Keynes, as the H-class departs for Sheffield Park. The points will be installed next week, as reported in this Infrastructure News update from Chris White.
- Six photos from the Schools-class "Stowe" project showing that no time is being wasted in starting on the major work required on the boiler, following its lift during the week.
- Following the return to service of Pullman Kitchen First "Fingall" last week, this video shows the H-class hauling the Pullman luncheon train yesterday, formed with all three 1920s Pullmans and no Mk.1, seen passing though Horsted Keynes. In addition, with the 6-wheeled brake/pantry van also now having a white roof, we have the whole set now in totally the same livery for the first time.
- Steve Lee's photo shows that L.150 has been in use on one of the two service trains this weekend, in place of the C-class which is still receiving smokebox repairs.
- If you're coming to East Grinstead as part of your visit the Bluebell, why not also pop into East Grinstead Museum. Admission is free.
The Bluebell's Museum team has set up a display in East Grinstead Town Museum, which will run until 20 July, 2014. The exhibition was officially opened by Nicholas Owen on 15 February.
The theme of the display is "The Bluebell Railway: Then and Now." There are "then and now" photographs of all the stations, plus various artifacts and as a centre piece, the five-inch gauge model of locomotive Beachy Head. Copies of some of the original plans of the Bluebell Railway also are on display.
- Details now available for the Monday Club in 2014, which enables local over 60s to avail themselves of an all-inclusive train-and-meal deal on Monday lunchtimes.
- Reminder that our half-term services continue this weekend, with three or four locomotives in steam each day, operating to our peak Service Two timetable with steam trains running over the full line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. Our Kids for a Quid special offer still applies, and the Bluebell Bonus discount on adult tickets is currently being made available for bookings made 24 hours (rather than 8 days) in advance.
- John Sandys' photo from yesterday shows the 1.47 departure from Horsted Keynes behind the SECR H-class. John also has a few photos and a video of the ride from Kingscote to East Grinstead from today.
- Dave Clarke has updated his Flickr site with photos of the latest progress in the Carriage & Wagon Department.
This includes the replating of SECR No.3188's western bottom rail. During its 70 odd years as a bungalow, this rail sat on the ground and has suffered from some surface rot. This was one of the primary reasons for the replacement of the bottom rail at each end. On the west side this was mainly superficial. As a result,the coach was moved about 11" to the west to reveal the underside of the rail so that Richard Salmon could route off 3/8" - enough to remove all signs of rot. The underlying teak was found to be in almost perfect condition. It was then built up again by the attachment of second hand 3/8" teak panelling removed from the ends of the coach. Photos covering work on 3188 start here.
In the main part of the shed 3188's place in the dock has been taken temporarily by LBSCR No.270 so the perishable Van could be sign written and varnished; again a sequence of photos starts here. It is painted in the same gloss umber that was used by the LBSCR and sign writen to identify it as a passenger rated vehicle.
The LNWR Observation Car has been stripped and four marine ply panels have been removed due to rot. Two doors have been partially rebuilt with new teak stiles.
Finally Mk.I wheelchair accessible special saloon No.5034 has been brought into the paint shop for a well deserved repaint.
- Kieran Hardy had a prolific day at the Bluebell on Tuesday, and the results, including a rare glimpse of the sun illuminating the U-class as seen here, are in this atmospheric gallery of 43 photos.
- Details now available for the next BRPS Social Sub-Committee visit, which is to the Mid Norfolk Railway on Saturday 10 May. Please note that bookings are required 30 days in advance.
- We now have a report of our receipt of the Heritage Railways Association's "Large Groups" award.
- Stowe's boiler was lifted from its frames yesterday in the works, as seen in this video. Now we'll be able to do a full inspection to establish the likely cost of the boiler overhaul. Please donate towards the cost, so that we can actually get the work required done, since it's currently un-funded.
- John Sandys has photos from today taken around the Railway.
- In response to feedback from our visitors, the admission charges (platform tickets) at Sheffield Park have been reduced to £3.00, with children half price. On non-running days it remains £2.50. Bluebell Members of course have always benefited from free admission.
- The photo of LSWR goods van No.8112 has been re-scanned at much better quality.
- Yoshi Hashida's photo shows the visiting LMS Black 5 No.45231 with its train climbing Freshfield Bank on Sunday.
- New web page for GWR sleeper wagon No.100677, with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck, who have also recently revised those for SR Borail wagon No.57949 and GWR open wagon No.87782.
- Great set of photos from yesterday from Daniel Green.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster from Lewis Nodes, showing the expected changes resulting from the failure of the DMU, and the need to do some work on the smokebox door of the C-class.
- This photo from yesterday shows the SECR H-class at East Grinstead, one of the photos taken at East Grinstead by John Sandys. In addition, John provides a video of the H-class running round its train in preparation for the 12 noon departure from East Grinstead.
- The plan to use the visiting heritage diesel railcar on the first service of the day this week has had to be dropped, following a mechanical failure, since the required replacement part is not easily available. The 9.45am service from Sheffield Park (10.40am from East Grinstead) will therefore run with a steam engine. Subsequent steam departures run, as planned, every hour and a quarter until 4pm from Sheffield Park, as per our two-train Service Two timetable.
- The Maunsell Locomotive Society have provided a news update on their own web site, covering the return to service of their S15, and work on Schools Class "Stowe" and the Q-class.
- Sadly we have to report that Jack Owen passed away on Sunday night. As many will already know, Jack was the leading light in the locomotive department right from the arrival of our first locomotive in May 1960, and was unsurpassed in his skills and expertise on how to maintain, rebuild and drive steam locomotives, his experience at Three Bridges Shed standing the Bluebell in good stead. Sadly this also further reduces the ranks of those who were involved in the original formation of the Bluebell. We believe there will be a small private family funeral at their Shropshire home, where Shirley is unfortunately not doing well at the moment.
- Update with the current positions in the Football Competition which is raising funds for the overhaul of our Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.
- Stop Press: due to a mechanical problem, the Diesel Railcar which was due to run the first train of the day this week is currently unavailable, so until further notice, all trains will be steam hauled!
- The SECR C-class No.592 is seen on one of the service trains yesterday in this photo from Paul Pettitt. The train is formed of three Southern Railway Maunsell carriages from the 1930s, plus one Bulleid coach of Southern Railway design.
- Our peak Service Two timetable is in use daily this week for half-term, until Sunday 23 February, with steam trains running over the full line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.
Save money with our Kids for a Quid special offer, and the Bluebell Bonus discount on adult tickets is currently being made available for bookings made 24 hours (rather than 8 days) in advance. The first train of the day will be operated by the visiting heritage diesel railcar, and the remaining services will be hauled by two of our steam locomotives. We are currently using the Southern Railway U-class and either the SECR H-class or C-class.
- David King provides this well-planned photo as today's Golden Arrow Pullman Luncheon Train, hauled by the U-class, is reflected in one of the small puddles adjacent to the line!
It enables us to mark the return to service (on Friday, following its intermediate overhaul) of Pullman Car "Fingall", which is the second carriage in the train. The Mk.1 Kitchen Car has remained attached to the end of the train this weekend, whilst Fingall's kitchen beds in.
- Update to the web pages and membership forms for the 9F Club, which allows young people between 9 and 15 years of age to take an active role in helping to run the Railway.
- Keith Duke's photos from Saturday cover the DMU both on its "first train" passenger service, and on a subsequent staff training run, along with the C-class and the Black 5 which hauled the two passenger sets.
- John Sandys provides photos from Friday, showing GWR 0-6-2T No.5643 on test, and U-class No.1638 being prepared for the various Valentine's Day special trains, and also a set of photos from Saturday.
- Martin Lawrence's photo shows the SR U-class shunting stock at Sheffield Park on Thursday (yesterday), when it was also used for a special School Train. It is also rostered as train engine for today's Valentine's Day Golden Arrow dining and Wealden Rambler afternoon tea trains. The C-class was also in steam for a test after its recent mechanical repairs, as seen in Martin's other photos, added to his February gallery.
- A veritable feast of steam over the next 9 days, as shown in an update to the Locomotive Duty Roster. The U-class, C-class, H-class and the Black 5 will be in charge of the service trains, Wealden Rambler and Golden Arrow, and P-class No.178 will also be in steam for shunting on each Sunday - up to four locomotives in steam on any one day. In addition, the visiting heritage railcar unit will be used for the early morning trains.
- This coming Sunday (and most Sundays for the rest of the year) we have our lunchtime Carvery in the newly refurbished first-floor restaurant at Sheffield Park. This year we are offering combined tickets for special discounted train travel plus either a one-course or two-course meal; booking is essential.
- These two photos, taken by Mike Hopps yesterday, show the planting of the new post for the Down Advanced Starter signal at Horsted Keynes. The rail-built post, to the standard SR pattern, has been constructed by the Alf Brown Gang and was planted by our Infrastructure and S&T teams. The base of the old wooden signal post is badly rotten, and the signal has been supported for quite some time by two rails at the sides. However, the upper part of the old post will be re-used for a repair to the Down Inner Home at Sheffield Park.
To construct the post, the Alf Brown Group was given some of the rail removed from the platform road at Sheffield Park when it was relaid last year. Whilst cleaning it up with a wire brush John Arkell found the rolling mill's mark which was 'Dowlais Steel 5 1910 LB&SCR' indicating that the rail was over 100 years old when taken out of service!
- Our line is fully open between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, with our peak Service Two timetable daily over half-term, 15-23 February - book now for the Kids for a Quid special offer, and the Bluebell Bonus discount on adult tickets is currently being made available for bookings made 24 hours (rather than 8 days) in advance. The first train of the day will be operated by the visiting heritage diesel railcar, and the remaining services will be hauled by two of our steam locomotives.
- The same cannot, sadly, be said for the main line from London to East Grinstead, which is currently partially closed, just north of Oxted. If travelling down to visit us by train, please check with National Rail Enquiries for the best route (which may be via Three Bridges with a rail replacement bus to East Grinstead, or on Saturday via Haywards Heath and Metrobus Route 270 to Horsted Keynes). The line down from London is currently not expected to reopen before Monday 17 February, at the earliest.
- The date of the November Murder Mystery evening has now been changed to Friday 7 November.
- Martin Lawrence's picture brilliantly captures the sunlit signalbox at Horsted Keynes amidst the stormy skies. The work to replace partially rotten timberwork on the Grade 2 listed structure has just been completed, and we have been highly commended by the district council's conservation officer for the Bluebell's efforts and standard of workmanship.
Martin's other photos from this weekend show, amongst other things, the work on pre-assembling the new HK No.23 points (which it is planned should be installed during the first week of March), recently overhauled SECR 7-plank wagon No.5542, and SECR composite coach No.5546 (later SR full-third No.1050), which lost its tarpaulin in the storms, and for which a replacement tarpaulin has been purchased, which will be fitted once it can be brought into the shed to dry out.
- Dave Clarke's photostream has had recent photos from around the C&W Dept added.
- Nathan Gibson's photo shows GWR No.5643 on shed at Sheffield Park on Saturday. The Furness Railway Trust's 5600-class 0-6-2T will be with us until the end of the year, to help keep our services running, while we concentrate on getting the SR Q-class, Sir Archibald Sinclair and 73082 "Camelot" back into steam.
- After the completion of the track re-laying on Freshfield Bank, our line is fully operational again between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, with our peak Service Two timetable daily over half-term, 15-23 February - book now for the Kids for a Quid special offer, and Bluebell Bonus discount. The first train of the day will be operated by the visiting heritage diesel railcar, and the remaining services will be hauled by two of our steam locomotives.
- Two new videos on the Schools-class No.928 "Stowe" page show the removal of the chimney and smokebox in preparation for the boiler lift. However, we still have a lot of money to raise to pay for the boiler work; the vast majority of the money we still aim to raise though KUTP is needed for Stowe's boiler. Please help!
- John Sandys provides a few photos from his visit on Saturday.
- This poster design, from Heritage Rail Posters, is to advertise our forthcoming Diesel Gala on Friday 21 March - book in advance for discounts. This is a day when we would not normally be running trains.
- John Sandys' has a set of photos from Tuesday including the tamper, newly arrived at Sheffield Park. This was immediately off to work on the newly laid formation on Freshfield Bank that day, and will also be used on some other specific areas of the line both South of Horsted Keynes, and North of Kingscote. They also show the non-slip surface now installed on the foot bridge.
- New job advert for a Locomotive Fitter, added to the Vacancies page.
- The Murder Mystery evening on the Golden Arrow Pullman train on March 28 has Sold Out already. You can download full details of the Murder Mystery Evenings here.
- Mike Hopps' photo shows the 09 with the ballast wagons being loaded from the track-side stockpile, last Friday. With the top-ballasting now done, the track is expected to be tamped this week, whilst the volunteers, staff and contractors move to Horsted Keynes to work on No.23 points, which are the ones right at the South end of the station.
- Newsletter available from the Standard Class 2 project; the photo shows the substantial pattern, made by our volunteer team, for casting the rear truck frame for 84030, which is also to be used for the new-build Standard Class 3 tank at the Severn Valley Railway.
- There were 15 potential new volunteers taking part in yesterday's "Find out more day". The next such day is 2nd March, and details of how to join in are here, as seen in the photo below.
- John Sandys' photos from today include shots of the flooding of the River Ouse which has again covered the fields around Sheffield Park, as also seen in his photo on the right.
- Keith Duke's photos from today feature the DMU running between Horsted Keynes and East Grinstead.
- On the weekend of 15 & 16 March there is a Model Railway Exhibition in East Grinstead with a Bluebell special train/bus offer on the Saturday.
- On Sunday 6th April there is the annual East Grinstead Vintage Bus Rally, and we have a Special Offer on the Bluebell that day linked to the event.
- During January 2014 there were 88,501 total hits on this page, from 49,459 unique visitors.
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Weekly train running information - Archive News
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