Latest Updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
- Derek Hayward's photo from Saturday shows the Reindeer, which are a huge hit with the children, with Santa's sleigh at Kingscote.
Our remaining Reindeer Specials run from East Grinstead on 20 and 21 December.
Derek now has a large gallery of superb photos from the Santa and Reindeer specials.
- After Christmas, Metrobus will be operating a Saturday service on most days (not Sunday or Bank Holidays), and thus providing a direct service on Route 270 from Brighton, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes station for a day out at the Bluebell Railway - and we are offering a discount on passengers who arrive on this service. Download the Metrobus timetable here. Their Saturday timetable applies on 27, 29, 30, 31 December and 2 & 3 January.
- Update to the Infrastructure News page - Planning the new shed at Horsted Keynes.
- Dates of operation in 2015 now available for our Golden Arrow Pullman Luncheon and Dining trains.
- Photos of recently arrived carriage No.16012 added to its web page, with thanks to Nick Beck, David Chappell and Dave Clarke.
- The first two photos below are from Derek Hayward, again showing the reindeer at Kingscote, and the H-class approaching Kingscote with the Edwardian carriages used for the Reindeer Specials, on Saturday.
- The Bluebell's LNWR Observation Car has re-entered service, in time for the Santa Specials, after an intermediate overhaul in our carriage works. It will return there for a final coat of varnish in January. Richard Salmon's photo shows it at Sheffield Park on Saturday.
- Saturday evening saw our annual carol service take place at Horsted Keynes. No.323 "Bluebell" here acts as a platform for our Assistant Chaplain, Fr. Clive. This and the photos below are from David Chapman.
- This sequence of photos reveals why Stowe's boiler overhaul is going to be even bigger than hoped. We urgently need donations!
- Job Vacancies advertised for a Customer Services Assistant at East Grinstead (a paid position), and we also have some volunteer opportunities advertised - Can you help? - we are looking for clerical help in the Operations Department, and a Buildings Manager. Details here. And a reminder that we're also always on the lookout for potential new Catering and Silver Service Waiting Staff.
- The December Bluebell Safety Newsletter for staff is now available.
- David Chapman's other photos, below, show Fr. John (BRPS Chaplain) and the Bluebell Railway Band at Horsted Keynes on Saturday.
- We also have another of Brian Lacey's photos from Monday showing the H-class with the Edwardian set at West Hoathly.
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 two photos from Monday show the H-class with the Edwardian set, in use on the Christmas Shopping train (just £5 per person) and the Festive Feast (£7.00 for travel - or £11 for first-class - from East Grinstead plus just £11.50 for a 2-course Christmas Lunch in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park). These trains operate for the last time this year on Monday 15 December.
- The same carriages are used for the Reindeer Specials which operate from East Grinstead over the next two weekends - advance booking is essential since these trains are becoming booked up!
- Yoshi Hashida's photo shows the U-class with first Santa Special train of the year, on Saturday.
- John Sandys' photos from 4 December cover the Christmas Wealden Rambler at Sheffield Park, new stock in the shop, progress with the Q-class (the boiler has subsequently been fitted to the frames), and Christmas preparations.
- The Furness Railway Trust's Locomotive No.5643 has had a successful test run following repairs to its vacuum brake pump and is now available for traffic again.
- The photo below, showing progress on the Brighton Atlantic, with its running plates going on, is part of a significant news update with thanks to Fred Bailey.
- Pre-grouping splendour - Brian Lacey's photo from 30 November shows the SECR H-class with the LSWR brake third at East Grinstead.
- Derek Hayward's photo shows the H-class yesterday on the "Wealden Rambler" Afternoon Tea train passing the Sheffield Park advanced starter.
- Don't forget: this Saturday is our Carol Service - Free entry - 7.30pm at Horsted Keynes Station, with the station refreshment room open from 6pm. Led by the Bluebell's Chaplain, and with the Bluebell Railway Band.
- We're about to get into the Santa Special and Reindeer Special season: Book now for these, and many other Christmas events. Note that Santa Specials on 13, 14, 20 & 21 December are already fully booked.
- Mondays 8 & 15 December:
Christmas Shopping Specials - Cheap tickets from Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes;
Festive Feast Christmas Meal - Catch a special steam hauled train from East Grinstead at 11am with Christmas Lunch in our restaurant at Sheffield Park.
- The next Find Out More day for people interested in joining us a volunteer will take place on Sunday 1st March 2015, with further days scheduled for the first Sunday of each month (excluding December). The days start at 10.30am at Sheffield Park Station.
- Dave Braley has posted a new album of photos from the Bluebell on Sunday 30 November.
- Keith Duke has pictures from Saturday 22 November.
- Martin Lawrence has completed his November 2014 gallery, and also his photos from October 2008.
- Updates to the Kingscote Track Layout and Sheffield Park Track Layout pages.
- Change of date for the August 2015 Personal Track Safety course for Bluebell lineside photographers.
- Update to the web page for potential new recruits to the Locomotive Dept.
- Advance notice that, due to engineering possessions, no trains will run on the Bluebell between 12 and 30 January; Sheffield Park station will remain open to visitors.
- Please note that, for the safety of our trains and visitors, drones or similar airborne photographic platforms must not be operated from Bluebell Railway property or within 50m of Bluebell Railway property, except where specific authority is given. Further information available here - this is based in part on CAA regulations.
- During November 2014 there were 60,292 total hits on this page, from 34,851 unique visitors.
- Kieran Hardy's photo below shows No.B473 entering the platform at Sheffield Park whilst S15 No.847 waits to depart, last Saturday.
Derek Hayward's two photos from yesterday show the Christmas Tree in the booking hall at Sheffield Park, and No.488 decorated in Victorian style for Christmas.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the SECR H-class back in service this weekend, with the ex-SECR Birdcage Brake behind the locomotive, departing from Sheffield Park on Saturday.
- Dave Bowles's photos from the Jon Bowers' photo charter with the E4 on 6 November.
- Martin Lawrence provides the next instalment of his recovered photographs, from August 2008.
- Brian Lacey's second photo shows the S15 on Sunday at West Hoathly, with recently arrived BR Mk.1 carriage No.16012 behind the engine.
- Steve Lee's photo shows E4 No.B473 in the Autumn sun at New Road Bridge on Saturday 15 November.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday include an out-of-frames steam test of the boiler for the Q-class, and photos at East Grinstead, Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park. John also has photos from today, including annual boiler tests for the S15 & H-class locomotives, and the 09 shunting at Sheffield Park.
- New photo added to the C&W news page on the repairs being carried out to SR 8-plank open wagon No.30004, with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski.
- The new Reindeer Specials from East Grinstead are filling up fast, with Sunday 14 Dec, Saturday 20 Dec and Sunday 21 Dec already sold out - Travel from East Grinstead to meet the Reindeer family, and visit Santa in his cabin - booking details for other dates.
- Martin Lawrence provides a short video clip from the 2nd November showing S15 No.847 performing a sandwich shunt at Sheffield Park and then P-class No.323 "Bluebell" taking the three four wheel coaches to East Grinstead.
Martin has just re-discovered some photographs from 2008, when he started visiting the Bluebell. The first batch are from July 2008 should you wish to view them.
- Photos below: Token exchanges - Robin Wilson's photo shows the exchange of tokens, Northbound at Horsted Keynes, and Brian Lacey's that Southbound at Kingscote - both taken on Saturday.
Brian Lacey's second photo shows the U-class arriving at Sheffield Park with its train on Saturday.
- Steve Lee's photo shows SR U-class No.1638 working hard at Three Arch Bridge yesterday.
- Photos from Camelot Society Chairman, Peter Gibbs, illustrate an update on work on Camelot's boiler, at Crewe. A recent inspection of the boiler work by representatives of the Bluebell Railway and the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society has revealed very good progress with the boiler overhaul, including the riveting on of the brand-new section of boiler barrel.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the E4 leaving Sheffield Park on 27 October.
- Don't forget we have our Special offer - Kids for a Quid every weekend throughout November.
- The Locomotive Duty Roster for the coming weekend is now available with thanks to Chris Knibbs.
- 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. The competition is very close, with only 2 points separating the top four!
- Steve Lee's photo shows E4 No.B473 with the southbound "Set B" service approaching Ketches Halt on Saturday.
- James Batcheler's video shows the trains running on the Bluebell on Sunday, when the E4, U-class and two Ps were in service. 2 minutes silence was observed by stopping the down train at West Hoathly at 11am, and holding the departure of the service due to start at that time from Sheffield Park.
- This coming weekend we have a sale in the Bessemer Arms, organised by our Shop. The Fenchurch Fund - Project 27 has been invited to have a stand in the room to sell off some of their stock, mainly second hand books but some other goodies as well. They will also have the "PROJECT 27" range of clothing, the last few "Fenchurch 140" mugs, tea cans, a selection of jam and marmalade kindly supplied to us by Brendon Hill Crafts (Derek and Ruth DeMaid both ex Bluebell Train Crew), as well as a selection of chutneys made by Mrs Emsley.
The bookshop will be open as normal and the Bulleid shop will also be open so plenty of opportunity to snap up a bargain!
- From Roger Kelly:The Cash for Cover Appeal has reached an amazing £350,000 in just a month, enough to put up a roof capable of covering twenty vintage carriages. The incredible response has delighted not just myself, but also Society Chairman Roy Watts, Company Chairman Dick Fearn and C&W Director Lewis Nodes, who all wish to thank everyone who has contributed. The generosity of the 1,300 donors has been beyond all expectations.
This is a tremendous start to Operation Undercover 4, which is of course more than just a roof. A lot more than the current target is required for doors, walls, storage space etc., so this Appeal will remain in being in one form or another a while.
The message is, if you wish to support the project, please don't stop now the first target has been reached. A few people have started Standing Orders and many more would be welcome. Only the first year of standing order has been included in the reported sum raised, as we can only spend what we have in the bank or can expect in the next few months. A standing order form can be downloaded here. Donations can still be made online with Just Giving or by PayPal. The latter do not charge for administration, and the credit card fees are covered by PayPal themselves, so is the preferred method, but it easy to forget to complete the Gift Aid section, which comes after the donation has been made, so make sure you do if you wish us to claim back the tax you have paid.
The OU4 Project Steering Group meet on the 25 November to plan the work for 2015,so that is the next deadline for making donations. The Steering Group will make their plans on the sum raised to that date or promised for the immediate future.
Thank you again to all who have made donations or plan to do so
- On Friday 7th November the Railway was presented with The Chris Copsey Gold Award in recognition of the railway's contribution to the community of Mid Sussex at The Bright FM Awards. The award was presented by Martin Stoner of HJ Stoner & Son, jewellers of Burgess Hill and Kevin King of Bright FM.
Pictured below are (L-R) James Young, Tim Baker, Julia Pique, David Cockram, Russell Pearce, Caroline Collins, Neil Glaskin and Martin Stoner.
The Bluebell Railway also sponsored the Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented by our Retail Director Neil Glaskin to Paul Myles for his work with Burgess Hill Youth and the Sussex Young Peoples Clubs.
- Martin Lawrence has made a start on his November photo gallery.
- Steve Lee's final two photos from Saturday below show No.B473 shunting the Pullman stock at Sheffield Park, and the pair of SECR Ps with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train. The SR U-class No.1638 was also in service.
- Andrew Strongitharm's photo shows the ex-LBSCR E4 No.B473 on yesterday's photo charter, hauling appropriate pre-grouping carriages into Horsted Keynes. The charter was organised by Jon Bowers.
- Great set of colour photos from David Ford of a visit to Bluebell in April 1964.
- Update from Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski to the history section on the web page for 4Vep 3417 with a new seating plan diagram from 1967 and additional text.
- Another of Andrew's shots from yesterday's photo charter - an atmospheric shot of the E4 at Horsted Keynes, this time with Maunsell carriages, after dark.
- Steve Lee's photo on the right shows the E4 as it headed south from Horsted Keynes with the Victorian set on Saturday. On Sunday morning this locomotive was failed with a broken spring, and the Victorian coaches were therefore hauled by the SECR P-class locomotives, when they were not required for the lunchtime Pullman service. The plan to then use the 09 to cover the middle of the three outings for that set was thwarted by the need to change a cell in its battery.
- On the web site documenting the reconstruction of the Waverley Route (Borders Railway) there's this photo showing No.66739 "Bluebell Railway" on a track-laying train.
- Steve Lee's photo below shows the S15 approaching Kinsgcote on Saturday. This locomotive is now due a washout, and should be replaced by either No.1638 or No.5643 for the coming weekend.
- John Sandys' photo shows the S15 approaching Imberhorne Lane Bridge on 27 October, showing just how quickly nature reclaims what were freshly excavated cutting sides just a few years ago. Compare it to this view by Yoshi Hashida from just over 18 months ago!
- The Cash for Cover Appeal continues to power forward; many thanks to everyone who's donated so far. The appeal total has now reached £328,000! We're not there yet, and the whole project will eventually be a lot more than the simple roofed shed we are currently targeting, so maximising the donations we receive now will boost us towards the completion of the full scheme.
Please donate to Cash for Cover if you can.
- This video from John Harwood, from Friday covers the last weekday trains of the season, over the half term holiday, which were well filled. The Victorian set is seen at Kingscote, polished and shining in the sun, behind E4 No.B473. At East Grinstead a time lapse sequence captured the crowds on Set A with the S15 No.847.
- Photo update on the overhaul of Schools No.928 "Stowe".
- Aron Stenning's photos from his visit on Saturday.
- Alan Bedford visited the line the previous weekend, and provides these superb photos from both the Railway and Sheffield Park Gardens.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster for the first couple of weekends in November, with thanks to Chris Knibbs.
- During October 2014 there were 63,941 total hits on this page, from 36,992 unique visitors.
- Steve Lee's photo below shows the E4 on departure from Kinsgcote on Saturday.
Latest updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
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