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21 April: "Flying Scotsman - Flying South" Gala Report 1
'Flying Scotsman' on Breakfast Special - Paul Furlong - 13 April 2017
  • So the visit of 'Flying Scotsman' came to an end when it left Bluebell metals at around 5am yesterday morning - details summarising the visit are in this Press Release. 'Flying Scotsman' is seen climbing Freshfield Bank with the opening Breakfast Special, in Paul Furlong's photo on the right.

  • Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for the remainder of April.

  • Reminder that we have steam trains operating daily - See timetable calendar - Just turn up and ride - no need to book in advance.
    We also have several special events in the coming days and weeks: In addition, on the morning of Saturday 29 April we are running a demonstration goods train, hauled by the S15 locomotive. Times for this will be published here once known.
     
    'Flying Scotsman' at West Hoathly - Gordon Callander - 19 April 2017
  • The photo on the right from Gordon Callander shows 'Flying Scotsman' at the former West Hoathly station site on Wednesday, the last day of the Gala, with the 10am train from Sheffield Park.

  • Today I'll be mainly linking photo galleries (and when I get a chance, in the coming days, videos):

  • The next three photos below are:
    From Roy Watts, showing the opening Breakfast special arriving at East Grinstead;
    Peter Wilson's photo from Sunday shows the token exchange as 'Flying Scotsman' passes non-stop through Horsted Keynes station;
    Robin Willis' photo shows the reception at East Grinstead on Tuesday, with passengers from the train filling the platform, and onlookers on the walkway outside the buffet.

'Flying Scotsman' with the Breakfast Pullman - Roy Watts - 13 April 2017 Token Exchange at Horsted Keynes - Peter Wilson - 16 April 2017 'Flying Scotsman' at East Grinstead - Robin Willis - 18 April 2017
Next we have two from Mike Anton, from the opening day, showing that there was plenty of chance to view the visitor at close quarters, at Sheffield Park, and at the ever-popular foot crossing at the former West Hoathly Station site.

Platform 1 at Sheffield Park - Mike Anton - 13 April 2017 'Flying Scotsman' at West Hoathly - Mike Anton - 13 April 2017
Two photos from Andrew Crampton, also from the opening day, showing the Q-class giving brake van rides around Horsted Keynes (here at Leamland Bridge) and secondly 'Flying Scotsman' heading its 8-coach train away from Horsted House Bridge, with the Great Northern Directors' saloon (built at Doncaster, just like 'Flying Scotsman') bringing up the rear.

Q-class at Leamland Bridge - Andrew Crampton - 13 April 2017 'Flying Scotsman' heads away from Horsted House Bridge - Andrew Crampton - 13 April 2017
Finally for today, a photo of the two Maunsell locomotives, the Q-class double-heading with the S15 on the 9.10am departure from Sheffield Park on 16th April (Robert Else) and Tony Sullivan's photo showing the 10.25-inch gauge Flying Scotsman alongside the larger 15-inch gauge 'Typhoon' from the RH&DR.

Q and S15 - Robert Else - 16 April 2017 Smaller gauges - Tony Sullivan - 14 April 2017

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13 April: "Flying Scotsman - Flying South" Gala is underway!
'Flying Scotsman' with pipers - Mike Anton - 13 April 2017
Mike Anton's photos show the first train to be hauled by 'Flying Scotsman' on the Bluebell, accompanied by Gatwick Caledonian pipers: this morning's Gala Pullman Breakfast Train.

Contrary to some reports, the Railway's "Flying Scotsman - Flying South" event is not completely sold out yet.

While the Railway has sold almost all tickets for the 'Flying Scotsman'-hauled services (just a few VIP tickets to travel on the GNR Directors' Saloon for a few trains on some days remain), we still have capacity left on trains hauled by the Bluebell Railway's own locomotives on every day of the event (13-19 April).

For these trains, you can purchase "walk-up" tickets for £25 per adult (50% discount for children between between 3 and 15 years old, inclusive). These tickets will cover travel ALL DAY on trains hauled by our resident locomotives. They also guarantee that you will see 'Scotsman', as platform tickets won't be sold at East Grinstead and might not be sold at our other stations, depending on visitor numbers.

If coming by the mainline rail network, East Grinstead will be the natural place to start your journey. For those travelling by car, and not booked on the 'Flying Scotsman' services, you are encouraged to start your journey at Horsted Keynes (RH17 7BB). Doing so will assist the Railway with car parking demand during this busy time.

Keep watching the Flying Scotsman - Flying South event webpage for the most up-to-date information.

See also the timetable for our trains during this 13-19 April Gala.


'Flying Scotsman' with the Breakfast Pullman - Mike Anton - 13 April 2017

'Flying Scotsman' on route from Keighley - Paul Berry - 11 April 2017 12 April:
  • Paul Berry's photo shows 'Flying Scotsman' on route from Keighley to Southall yesterday before heading down to the Bluebell in the early hours of this morning. It's seen on the right hauling its support coach, passing Hoghton Tower in Lancashire, between Blackburn and Preston.

  • This video from Jason Pollard shows 'Flying Scotsman' at Dormans and East Grinstead in the early hours of this morning, and Brian Seaman's video also covers its arrival at East Grinstead

    Flying Scotsman - Flying South: 13-19 April

  • Come and see everything we have to offer, watch Flying Scotsman at close quarters, and enjoy unlimited travel all day on our own trains for £25. Beat the queues and book e-tickets ahead.
    Children aged 3-15 years half price.
    • Driving: park your car at Horsted Keynes (RH17 7BB)
    • Come by train to East Grinstead (open to those intending to travel only)
    • Bus service from Haywards Heath: catch the specially arranged Compass Service 22
    Limited parking may also be available at Sheffield Park, where car parking is mainly intended for those holding tickets to ride behind Flying Scotsman.
    If you just want to look at the passing trains, admission to our stations at Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes and Kingscote will be available on the day at £10 per station. Stay as long as you like.

    Food, drink and picnic areas are available. Visit our Museum, Atlantic House, and Loco Sheds at Sheffield Park.
    Brake Van rides behind 30541 at Horsted Keynes - these are free of charge, but a donation will be appreciated.
    Further information is available on the Flying Scotsman - Flying South web page.
    The timetable for our trains during the 13-19 April Gala.
     
    Typhoon at Sheffield Park - Mike Anton - 11 April 2017

  • Mike Anton's photo on the right shows that 'Typhoon', visiting from the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, has arrived for display at Sheffield Park, to be re-united with 'Flying Scotsman'. More details are available of the recreation tomorrow of the famous 1927 meeting in this Press Release from the RH&DR.

  • If you were lucky enough, a month or so back, to get some of the now sold-out tickets to ride on the trains behind 'Flying Scotsman' itself, you are welcome to spend the entire day with us - your tickets include unlimited travel on the trains hauled by our own locomotives as well.

  • Access to our lineside is restricted to Bluebell PTS passholders, who have received appropriate Bluebell-specific safety training. Visitors must not trespass on the lineside, and please also respect our neighbours' land and property. Parking restrictions are in force on local roads to keep the traffic flowing, and we ask visitors to respect these.

  • 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 on CAA regulations.
     
  • News Update Finishing the job at Horsted.
    Nicely finished-off 2 and 3 roads at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 April 2017 This update on the Horsted Keynes track work, from Jon Goff, brings us up to date with the deadlines met to return the station to full working order in time for tomorrow!

    With 2-road connected at the end of the previous week during the diesel gala, all that was required to get platform 2 usable was some horizontal alignment and tamping the track up to the correct level. It was purposely laid slightly low because tampers can lift track but they cannot lower it. Ballast can get kicked up or dragged up slightly during the sleeper laying and rail insertion processes so it is bulldozed, levelled with the aid of a laser and vibrated 50mm low to allow for this.

    The tamper ran through three times, first with a partial lift mainly to fill the voids under the sleepers, secondly to bring it all up to the correct level and thirdly to remove any final dips and to add an extra 10mm to allow for settlement when traffic starts running over it. Brian Lacey's photo on the right from Saturday shows the nicely finished work, taken from the passing train.

    Prior to the tamper operation there had been a "manual alignment" when the rail was literally pushed horizontally until it was in the correct position by the roadrailer sitting on 3-road. The jib pushed or pulled with a small lift action while one person stood astride the rail directing the driver and checking for the correct measurements from the platform edge. Platform 3 has a quite straight edge but platform 2 varies nearly 100mm over its length with the southern end curved back very slightly. Presumably this is because the road 2 formation primarily went to Ardingly originally. Therefore a slight "by eye" curve was put in starting before the platform end so that the rail face stayed within the correct tolerances. (730mm, plus 15, minus 0) This is not yet perfect and some slight adjustments was intended to be made on Monday earlier this week, right from the existing track at the points at the north end through to the Ardingly points at the south end.

    The alignment and tamping was completed sufficiently on Tuesday evening to open the road for traffic again. Road 3 received another tamp on Wednesday but the last tamp to give the final correct line could not be carried out as the lining wire has not yet been replaced on the tamper. This will be done after Easter when the track has settled.

    The picture below taken from the centre of 3-road shows how good the alignment can be made by just pushing it around with the roadrailer and also show road 2 before being tamped with the hump over the subway being obvious. It shows the difference even an old tamper can make.


Comparison between the tamped 3-road and 2-road before tamping - Jon Goff - 4 April 2017 Camelot on a test run in Platform 2 - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017
Reinstated north end foot crossing - Barbara Watkins - 7 April 2017 The photo on the right by Barbara Watkins shows the reinstated foot crossing at the north end of the platforms completed last Friday. This can easily be lifted and replaced for maintenance unlike the previous one. It also now sports a very good glass fibre/resin/grit anti-slip surface, with which we intend to cover all wooden walkways as wood can be very slippery when wet.

Since the wires to the signal gantry at the south end of platforms 3 and 4 were reconnected there has been a slight problem with their operation. This was found to be due to the poor state of the timber platform to which the pulley wheels were attached. All the signals at Horsted are in a program to have their planking replaced but not many have yet received the new woodwork. The photo below shows Matt Crawford suitably adorned with the appropriate harness, hard hat, etc. on the gantry with one plank removed and on his phone (there is always someone trying to phone him) "trying to get a good signal!"

The middle photo is of one person very well known around the railway, being a driver and part of the infrastructure gang: John Padgham. He has a cold and nurse Barbara Watkins has given him inhalant in a bowl of hot water and a towel. A caption is still required for this picture...

The final photo shows the signalman's crossing at the south end, partially re-instated as of Monday, which should be completed by now.


Matt trying to get a good signal - Jon Goff - 7 April 2017 Caption required! - Jon Goff - 7 April 2017 Work in progress on Signalman's crossing - Jon Goff - 10 April 2017

S15 leaves Sheffield Park - Mike Anton - 7 April 2017 10 April:
  • Mike Anton's photo, taken using a pole, shows the S15 setting off from Sheffield Park with the 3pm Set B service on Friday.

  • An updated component sponsorship list for the Brighton Atlantic is now available.

  • In advance of the visit of the Flying Scotsman, the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust have provided a further Defibrillator for the Bluebell Railway. We think that the Bluebell is the only preserved railway with a Defibrillator at every station.
    The picture below show our GM, Gordon Owen MVO, receiving this vital life-saving kit from Tim Fellows of Secamb.

  • Martin Lawrence provides a photo below, showing David Chappell and Dave Clarke in the Carriage Works Yard, with a group of potential new recruits during the April Find Out More volunteer recruitment day.
    Martin has also completed his March Gallery.

Tim Fellows presents the railway with a Defibrillator for Kingscote - 7 April 2017 Find Out More Day tour at Horsted Keynes - Martin Lawrence - 9 April 2017
  • Finally below we see two photos from this Saturday, with the H-class hauling the SECR 100-seater and three Southern Railway Maunsell carriages near Lindfield Wood on the Set A service train (Derek Hayward), and the SECR C-class with the afternoon tea train (Wealden Rambler) the same day, passing though the newly re-opened 2-road at Horsted Keynes (Brian Lacey).
H-class in Lindfield Wood - Derek Hayward - 8 April 2017 C-class at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 April 2017

2 and 3 roads completed - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017 8 April: Infrastructure Report:

News Update Catching up, thanks to Bruce Healey, on the news as of Wednesday from the Horsted Keynes track work. Apparently the updates will get less interesting as the work on the platforms nears completion!

The final tamp of platform 3 road was completed on Wednesday and platform 2 has now also been released back into service (as seen in the photo on the right). However, this is some way from the end of the job, as there are still the inevitable tidying up and odd jobs to do.

Bruce's photos below show the H-class in Platform 3 and 'Camelot' on a test run in Platform 2, having just returned to service after winter boiler maintenance and the re-tyring of its tender wheels.


The H-class in Platform 3 - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017 Camelot on a test run in Platform 2 - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017

The triangle at Horsted Keynes has been used as a dumping ground during the work. With 4 inches of material removed from 3-road and 8 inches from 2-road, a large amount of spoil has been added to the triangle. This has now been graded to improve the appearance (as seen below).

Some lengths of rail and other oddments have been moved over to the Salt Yard. Just as soon as the area is being cleared, more is added. With the large dead tree at south end of the triangle felled and a lot more timber from felling work north of Horsted, a stockpile of logs is growing which needs to be dealt with, and Bruce's next photo shows timber being transported to the triangle. A number of such runs were made on Wednesday with many more still needed.


The graded spoil heap in the triangle - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017 Transporting timber - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017

Now the tamping has been completed, the crossings between platform 2 and 3 need reinstating. The reinstatement of the one at the north end was well under way by the end of Wednesday.

The first photo below shows a Panlock clip. This chair will be inaccessible under one of the foot crossings and rather than using 'normal' clips which can come loose, these lock in place and don't need maintenance. These clips do not grip the track quite as well as the 'normal' clips which is why they are not used everywhere.

The barrow crossing (below) seen being reinstated, obscuring the chair in the previous photo. The anti-slip material will be used right across. The far section is not yet in place, for which a structure is needed to support the boards whilst not interfering with the signal wires.


Panlock clip and chair - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017 North end barrow crossing reinstatement - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017

73082 'Camelot' is seen below at the north end of Platform 1 dropping off some wagons and vans. The locomotive also shunted a wagon into the Ardingly spur.

Barbara Watkins' photo from Tuesday shows the boards on the signal at the south end of platform 3/4 which are being replaced. Two more signals need to be similarly repaired.


Camelot shunting - Bruce Healey - 5 April 2017 Signal boards - Barbara Watkins - 4 April 2017

S15 arrives at Horsted Keynes to cross the H-class - Brian Lacey - 3 April 2017 7 April:
  • Brian Lacey's photo from Monday shows the S15 arriving at Horsted Keynes to cross the pre-war Southern set behind the SECR H-class in platform 3. The newly laid track in platform 2 had been ballasted but not tamped at that stage.

  • Flying Scotsman - Flying South: 13-19 April There are some VIP tickets available at £100 per person now available to travel in the Great Northern Directors' Saloon behind Flying Scotsman - upgrades to existing tickets are possible - give the office a ring on 01825 720800 to check availability and to book. Please be aware that phone lines are very busy at present, so if you don't get through you may need to try again a bit later.

    Other than this, we still have tickets available to travel on trains hauled by our own locomotives during Gala which surrounds the visit of 'Flying Scotsman' (13-19 April), with loads of other attractions around the railway as well as the opportunity to see 'Flying Scotsman' at close quarters.

  • In addition to the two service trains (running daily until 12 April), on Monday there was a third train running, for a party of 180 school children, which is seen below in Brian Lacey's photo leaving East Grinstead behind the Southern Q-class. Brian's second photo shows the S15 waiting to head the 1.30pm departure from Sheffield Park later the same day.

Q-class with school charter at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 3 April 2017 S15 waits to leave Sheffield Park - Brian Lacey - 3 April 2017

50049 with the 12-coach train - Julian Clark - 31 March 2017 6 April:
  • Although the photos in today's report are from last weekend's well-received Diesel Gala, on the railway itself we now have a 100% steam service running every single day right through to 1 October.

  • Julian Clark's photo from last Friday shows 50049 'Defiance' at the head of the evening's 12-coach train.

  • Keith Duke's photos from Monday, when we had three locomotives in steam. It also includes a sequence of photos of the operation to re-wheel Camelot's tender after its winter maintenance.

  • Video from John Harwood from Monday.

  • John Sandys' photos from Tuesday, plus photos and videos from today.

  • More information now available for the Bluebell Specials which run in addition to the normal services on 24-28 April, 2-5 & 8-10 May - Booking now open for these Observation Car Specials.

  • Weekly train running information is now available again with thanks to Gordon Dudman.

  • We are currently advertising vacancies for a Funding Director and a Locomotive Works Apprentice. The Director post is a voluntary position, and the Apprenticeship is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our ASH project.

  • Diesel Gala Report:
    Except when one of the 20s went "pop" and stopped for a while on Sunday, everything ran smoothly at the diesel gala, and everyone seemed to enjoy what had turned into something of an "English Electric" event.

    The photos below show 73119 leading 73107 at Tremains on Friday afternoon (Julian Clark) and 09018 with Saturnday morning's brake van special at Rock Cutting (Steve Lee).


73119 leading 73107 at Tremains - Julian Clark - 31 March 2017 09018 with the morning brakevan special - Steve Lee - 1 April  2017

Class 20s with the 12-coach train - Andrew Crampton - 31 March 2017
The photo on the right from Andrew Crampton shows 20205 and 20189 with the 12-car formation departing Horsted House Bridge.

Videos from:

and photos from:

The photos below show 09018 on Friday afternoon with Brake Van, Observation Car and 100 seater (Andrew Crampton) and 50049 at Horsted House Farm Bridge with the 12-noon Sheffield Park to East Grinstead service on Saturday 1 April (Tony Sullivan).


09018 with Brake Van, Observation Car and 100 seater - Andrew Crampton - 31 March 2017 50049 at Horsted House Farm Bridge - Tony Sullivan - 1 April 2017

5 April: Infrastructure Report:

News Update A further update, from the end of last week, on the trackwork at Horsted Keynes, with thanks to Jon Goff, with photos by him and Barbara Watkins.

Platform 2 Road reconnected! After a very busy week and a good turn out from the infrastructure team, and with a big help from the Thursday gang, road 2 was connected right through on Friday evening at about 6:30 pm.

Wednesday had seen road 3 tamped level but it has not had its finally tamp as the final straight line was not tamped due to a small problem with the tamper (the line broke). However it was finished sufficiently to be safely released back to traffic as reported by Bruce on Wednesday. This is good as most trains in the diesel gala ran over the new formation, which has handily helped settle it before the final tamp this week.

Thursday saw the two rails put back over the subway and three more 56 foot panels were put in by the Thursday gang which is a tremendous effort for bullhead rail as it takes a lot longer to lay than flat bottom rail.


Finished subway covers and exposed water tower pipe - Jon Goff - 31 March 2017 Last two rails to close the gap - Jon Goff - 31 March 2017

Friday saw three more panels go in including the closing rails which had to be cut to a precise length in order to connect up with the existing track. Work was heavily inhibited but almost continuous use of road 3 for the diesel gala. The road-railer had to use road 3 for very short periods then disappear quickly before the next train was due.

It is seen above delivering the last two rails which are second hand rails from our small collection of spare rail.


Nearly there but too many trains in the way - Jon Goff - 31 March 2017 Connection right through, ready for ballast and tamping - Jon Goff - 31 March 2017

The final photo above shows the whole length of road 2 connected and tidied up for the weekend. It was then ballasted and ploughed on Saturday and will be tamped straight next week. There are still some details to be finished off on both roads over the subway. Road 2 is not yet fully screwed down and both roads still require the plastic membrane sealed against the sides of the concrete pads with a silicon sealant below the ballast level. The foot crossings at either end of the platforms still need to be reinstated.

Further pictures below from Barbara Watkins on Saturday show our very good L&W contract driver working on Saturday, having ballasted and ploughed road 2 and removing the digger used to dig out the track bed and drainage diches and place the sleepers. Note the stop board showing the road is not in normal use. Darren had to finish this off on Saturday as he is taking his family on holiday on Sunday for two weeks. We wish him a good break after the extensive very good quality work he has done over the last six months - as well as working on network rail at night!

Further pictures of Darren carrying out the work were taken by John Sandys on Saturday and are shown on his Flickr site.


Darren the L&W driver - Barbara Watkins - 1 April 2017 Removing the digger - Barbara Watkins - 1 April 2017 Ready for Tamping - Barbara Watkins - 1 April 2017

During March 2017 there were 54,806 total hits on this page, from 32,103 unique visitors.

50049 in platform 3 at Horsted Keynes - David Long - 29 March 2017 30 March: Stop Press
  • The timetable for our Diesel Gala, with revised locomotive allocations, has been re-published.

  • The Saturday evening Beer-Ex will be hauled by the class 20s. We hope everyone has a great time!

  • David Long's photo shows 50049 with the two class 20s in the newly reopened platform 3 at Horsted Keynes on Wednesday.

  • Martin Lawrence has added some further photos to his March Gallery, including the wheelsets for Camelot's tender, returned from the South Devon after re-tyring.


GBRf's Class 73s on the viaduct - Roy Watts - 30 March 2017 30 March:
  • We have a Gala! Starting tomorrow, our 3-day Diesel event has come actually together! The best laid plans (for Westerns and Warships) have, after 5 loco failures, become an English Electric event, with 50049 'Defiance', 20205 and 20189, 73107 and 73119, plus resident 09018 on a morning trip. Roy Watts' photo shows the arrival of the 73s this morning.

  • Andrew Crampton's photo below shows 20205 + 20182 & 50049 approaching Hurst Green Junction yesterday afternoon. Julian Clark's photo shows the same formation on arrival at East Grinstead mainline station.

  • Martin Lawrence's short video shows the 20s and 50049 at Sheffield Park yesterday evening, proceeding slowly through the platform as clearances are checked.

20205 + 20182 & 50049 approaching Hurst Green Junction - Andrew Crampton - 29 March 2017 Same formation on arrival at East Grinstead mainline station - Julian Clark - 29 March 2017
Platform 2 roads drainage at Horsted Keynes - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017
News Update An update on the trackwork with thanks to Bruce Healey. Yesterday was a busy day at Horsted Keynes, hence there are a lot of photos.

Following from Jon Goff's last report, a big vote of thanks to the Infrastructure volunteers who turned up in large numbers to ensure that the deadline of pouring the concrete over the Platform 2's subway was completed at the end of last week. Friday is usually a quiet day for volunteers but their dedication ensured that the concrete had the weekend to cure thus not losing us several days against our schedule.

On Wednesday, the remaining 2-road trackbed was scraped, the drainage trench, terram/polythene/terram, drainpipe and the ballast base completed. We almost finished grading and compacting the ballast.

Platform 3 has been tamped again and passed back to operational use.

Bruce's first photo shows, in the background, the digger cutting the central ditch, while in the foreground all the other operations can be seen. Note the crossing drain up near the digger.

The photos below show more detail, firstly rolling out the Terram in 2-road. Where track has already been laid, S&T need to ensure that track circuits operate and that cable operated signal are still functional. Here, the bond wires across a track joint are being fitted on 3-road.

Rolling out the Terram in 2-road - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017 Track circuit bonding work in 3-road - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017

The track chairs over the subway in 2-road are being readied. The concrete pads have been cast. Rubber pads are located between the chairs and the concrete. This task was completed by the end of the day.

Next we see a close-up of the tamper in operation on Platform 3 road. Note the track lifter to the right and the pair of tines either side of the rail. The ballast is only compacted under the rails.

Preparing for fitting chairs over subway in 2-road - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017 Tamping in progress in 3-road - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017

The ballast is levelled using a laser and receiver on a staff. The new track in 2-road will be 8 inches lower than the old and the difference needs to be graded in. The laser has a gradient function simplifying this task.

Platform 3 has been released to traffic. The final photo shows the first use of it, as it is gauged for the three visiting locomotives.


Grading ballast in 2-road - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017 3-road released for traffic - Bruce Healey - 29 March 2017

847 with the combined Wealden Rambler and Golden Arrow on Mothering Sunday - Peter Edwards - 26 March 2017 29 March:
  • S15 No.847 is seen in Peter Edwards' photo at Three Arch Bridge with the combined Wealden Rambler and Golden Arrow on Mothering Sunday.

  • Diesel Gala: 31 March to 2 April
    Sadly 50035 has been withdrawn due to a brake problem, notwithstanding sterling efforts to get it working overnight, but 50049 'Defiance' and the Class 20s have now arrived at East Grinstead. Stepping in to the breach, we say a huge "thank you" to our friends at GBRf who will be supplying us with two Class 73s in the shape of 73107 and 73119, which will join our resident 09018 (on a brake-van turn) and Sentinel shunter 'Skippy' for "Driver for a Fiver" experiences (Saturday and Sunday only) at Horsted Keynes. To be able to obtain replacement locomotives, albeit ones which have visited us before, at such short notice, is a fantastic achievement.
    You can follow the event on Facebook.
    The timetable will remain as published but with the 20s replacing D6700 and the 73s replacing 50035, except for the final 12-coach double-header which will now be re-jigged.

  • Steam-hauled trains between Sheffield Park & East Grinstead run daily 3-12 April to our Service 2 Timetable.
    See Timetable Calendar and Special Events & Offers
    No need to book in advance, but if you book at least 8 days in advance you can save money with our Bluebell Bonus tickets.

  • Last Saturday, Vice President Roy Watts had afternoon tea with Dame Vera Lynn and members of her family and presented her with a card signed by Bluebell Directors, Officers, Trustees and members of the Holden Family to mark her 100th Birthday. Dame Vera was a very close friend of our late President, Bernard Holden, actively supporting him and the Bluebell, most recently at the launch of our 50th anniversary appeal.

    The house was full of so many flowers and naturally there were hundreds of cards, including many from the Royal Family and well known stars from the world of show business. Amongst them was a model of the WD 2-10-0 carrying her name from the owning group. This loco is now subject to an appeal for its restoration.

    You will be pleased to learn our card - thanks to Derek Hayward for his kind assistance - took its place amongst the good and the great! The Society will also make a donation to her children's charity.


Dame Vera Lynn with her Bluebell birthday card - 25 March 2017 Roy wishing Dame Vera Lynn a happy birthday - 25 March 2017
27 March:
  • Mike Anton has experimented with producing a time-lapse video of the preparation of the Q-class shot on Saturday morning.

  • Video shot on Saturday 18 March by Ted Polet from the Netherlands, featuring a journey behind the Q-class and also shots of the C-class.

  • News Update An update covering more of last week's work on the trackwork though platforms 2 and 3 at Horsted Keynes, with thanks to Jon Goff.

    More atrocious weather demonstrated the need (first photo below, on Wednesday) to install the drainage under the tracks when everybody just wanted to go home and dry out. So lunch break was forfeited in order to reach the day's target and go home early. However the afternoon brightened up and we ended up staying later than normal, achieving reconnection of road 3 (second photo below) and putting in the drainage under road 2 north of the subway and ballasting it ready for the next panel to go back.


Clay sub-bed and rain - Jon Goff - 22 March 2017 Platform 3 reconnected - Jon Goff - 22 March 2017

Work then concentrated on the shuttering and the reinforcement for the concrete over the subway. This proved to be quite intense but with help from "the little people" this was completed on Thursday together with dropping all the studs (316 stainless) to be set into the concrete for the rail chairs. To do this the rails were supported slightly higher than the finished height so that an extra nut could be fixed under the chair to stop the studs wobbling around during the concrete pour.

Help from the little people - Jon Goff - 23 March 2017 Detail of studs and reinforcing - Jon Goff - 23 March 2017

Matt Crawford and Mark giving the final float finish - Jon Goff - 24 March 2017 While this was going on further digging out, levelling, drainage and ballasting on a waterproof membrane was carried out on road 2 with two-thirds now done.

Friday was the critical day as the concrete had to be laid then to give it a long enough hardening time before trains can use it over Easter. After some final gauge and position checks (to the millimetre) the concrete was poured and allowed to settle before being given a final float finish by Matt and Mark in the evening, as seen in Jon's photo on the right.

The foot crossing at the platform end was also reistated as it was required for wheelchair access the following day. It has been redesigned so that it can now be removed easily for tamping and other track maintenance.


20189 and 20205 in Birmingham, 2016 - Robert C Jones 26 March:
  • So it's Choppers and Hoovers at our 3-day Diesel Gala which starts on Friday 31 March.
    We are pleased to announce that, subject to final sign-off, we plan to replace D6700 with not one, but two locomotives: 20205 and 20189 are joining 50035 'Ark Royal' and 50049 'Defiance'.

    Real Ale beer tent at Kingscote Station and Real Ale bar "At the sign of the White Horse" on coaching set B.

    Special 'latecomers' tickets are priced at just £8.50 per adult for those arriving after 4pm each day.

    Details of the catering arrangements for the weekend are also available, as is the Timetable (in which the pair of 20s replace the workings allocated to D6700).

    Many thanks to Robert C Jones for the photo, showing the pair of 20s last year at Small Heath, Birmingham.

  • Brian Lacey's photos below show two Southern Railway Maunsell locomotives working yesterday: S15 No.847 pauses at Horsted Keynes for wedding guests to board the Pullman Special, and Q-class No.30541 has just arrived at East Grinstead with its third trip of the day on the service train.

847 at Horsted Keynes as wedding guests board the Pullmans - Brian Lacey - 25 March 2017 Q-class at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 25 March 2017
Q and S15 in the spring sunshine at Sheffield Park - Mike Anton - 24 March 2017 25 March:
  • Mike Anton's photo from yesterday afternoon shows the Q and S15 basking in the spring sunshine at Sheffield Park

  • Steam-hauled trains between Sheffield Park & East Grinstead run this weekend to this Modified Timetable and
    daily 3-12 April to our revised 2017 Service 2 Timetable.
    Tickets may be obtained on arrival - Book at least 8 days in advance for Bluebell Bonus discount

  • Next weekend (starting on Friday) is our Diesel Gala: 31 March to 2 April.

  • The countdown to the arrival of 'Flying Scotsman' has started.
    Flying Scotsman - Flying South takes place 13 to 19 April 2017


60103 'Flying Scotsman' at York - Michael J Alderdice - 25 February 2016 24 March:

Flying Scotsman - Flying South
13 to 19 April 2017

Come and see everything we have to offer, watch Flying Scotsman at close quarters, and enjoy unlimited travel all day on our own trains for £25. Beat the queues and book ahead.
Children aged 3-15 years half price.

  • Driving: park your car at Horsted Keynes (RH17 7BB)
  • Come by train to East Grinstead (open to those intending to travel only)
  • Bus service from Haywards Heath: catch the specially arranged Compass Service 22
Limited parking may also be available at Sheffield Park, where car parking is mainly intended for those holding tickets to ride behind Flying Scotsman.

If you just want to look at the passing trains, admission to our stations at Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes and Kingscote will be available on the day at £10 per station. Stay as long as you like.

Additional attractions include visit of the miniature 'Typhoon' from the RH&DR to recreate the famous 1927 photo of the two locomotives together.
Food, drink and picnic areas are available. Visit our Museum and Loco Sheds at Sheffield Park.

Further information is available on the Flying Scotsman - Flying South web page.

Photo above: 60103 'Flying Scotsman' at York - 25 February 2016, with grateful thanks to Michael J Alderdice.

Bluebell Railway variety


23 March:   We opened our extension to East Grinstead 4 years ago

Typhoon at Horsted Keynes for 50th Anniversary Gala - Richard Salmon - 8 August 2010

  • Flying Scotsman - Flying South: 13-19 April With the visit of the miniature Pacific 'Typhoon' from the RH&DR whilst 'Flying Scotsman' is with us, we will be able to recreate the iconic 1927 photo of the two locomotives together. The photo by Richard Salmon shows Typhoon on a previous visit to the Bluebell, at Horsted Keynes in August 2010 for our 50th Anniversary Gala. On this occasion, the 15-inch gauge locomotive will be on display at Sheffield Park Station.

  • News Update The Bulleid Society have recently updated their web site News Page with pictures covering Sir Archibald Sinclair's boiler repair and some of progress on Coach No.5768.

  • New video covering Winter steam on the Bluebell Railway from Nick Dearden.

  • Cathedrals Express visits The Bluebell Railway - Thursday 13 July - Book via Steam Dreams.

  • Full Steam Ahead Driving Experience - 12, 17 May, 13, 22 Sept - Come along and experience firing and driving one the Bluebell's fleet of historic steam engines, BR 5MT No.73082 'Camelot'.

  • Join our Mystery Tour on a luxury newly renovated 1960s Vintage Bus on 10 June.

  • Unfortunately we have learned that the NRM's class 37 will not now be available for the 31 March - 2 April Diesel Gala due to some issues with its braking system. Obviously this is disappointing news but we are working hard to try to secure an alternative visitor, to work alongside 50035 'Ark Royal' and 50049 'Defiance'.

  • Update with the positions in the Football Competition as of 16 March. This is a fund-raiser for the overhaul of our Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.

  • News Update A further update with progress on Monday and Tuesday on the trackwork at Horsted Keynes, with thanks to Jon Goff.

    Despite the atrocious weather on Monday, 3-Road had all the levelling compound poured in place for each of the rail chairs on the east rail. Scared of it being washed away, the west rail levelling was left until Tuesday and work moved over to 2-Road. The rails had their ends trimmed and drilled at the south end and the first rails to the north of the subway removed. The subway reinforcement was finished and is now waiting for the rails to be supported over the top so that the stainless steel studding can be hung in place, all of which has now been cut and made ready.

    The first photo shows the state of play at the end of Monday, and the second shows a rail being trimmed to length. The cutter clips onto the rail and pivots down to cut the end square.


Progress as at end of Monday - Jon Goff - 20 March 2017 Trimming rail-ends in 2-road - Jon Goff - 21 March 2017

The next photo below shows the application of levelling compound completed for the west rail in 3-Road and, with the east rail compound set, rubber pads were cut out and put in place and the chairs fitted ready for the rail to be inserted. Some final tightening of the nuts and a bit of juggling with some of the ferrules is all that is required.

By the end of Tuesday, all the track panels up to a few feet from the subway in 2-Road had been completed giving access to the Ardingly siding again. The next two panels north of the subway have been removed, dug out and levelled, as seen in the last of Jon's photos below, ready for the drainage ditch to be dug under the middle of the four foot.

Grouting of chair bases complete in 3-road - Jon Goff - 21 March 2017 Progress as at end of Tuesday - Jon Goff - 21 March 2017


SR Q-class with the GN Saloon at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 12 March 2017 20 March:
  • Brian Lacey's photos from a slightly overcast day this Saturday show, on the right, the Q-class with the Great Northern Directors' Saloon, which usually runs in public service (for first-class ticket holders, or on payment of a supplement) on the third weekend of each month. Check the saloon's page for confirmation of dates and to reserve a table (although reservations are not usually necessary). That below shows the H-class (which would be hauling the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train) being prepared for service on Saturday 18 March.

  • News Update Report and photos on current work on The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society's van.

  • Martin Lawrence has added some photos from recent weekends to his March Gallery including that below, showing Jim describing working in the locomotive department during the March Find Out More volunteer recruitment day.

H-class being prepared for service - Brian Lacey - 18 March 2017 FOMD in the Loco Department - Martin Lawrence - 12 March 2017
Platform 2-3 roads at Horsted Keynes - Bruce Healey - 15 March 2017
News Update We catch up with last week's Infrastructure News with thanks to Bruce Healey, Barbara Watkins and Jon Goff. The week saw much better progress than the previous one where other infrastructure distractions, such as the main road-railer failing and trying to catch fire half way down Freshfield bank, had taken work away from the main project!

The first photo from Bruce Healey shows the situation in platforms 2 and 3 at Horsted Keynes at the start of play on Wednesday last week (15 March), with the track taken up over the Platform 2 underpass and enough old concrete removed to allow the metal spreader plates to be located (as on 3-road). Looking now at platform 3 road, the rail over the subway has been taken up to allow the trackbed either side to be lowered (it had been deliberately left too high to allow the concrete to be poured).

During the course of Wednesday, the track bed through platform 3 was lowered either side of the subway, and the remaining sleepers laid. The shuttering from Platform 3 was usable for Platform 2 with only slight modification - this is now in place as is the waterproof membrane (see photo below). We still have a lot to do before concrete can be poured, including completing the reinforcing structure and lay track over the subway (again one inch too high to clear the concrete), attach the chairs, locate the chair studs and bolt them to the reinforcing etc.

The second photo below shows the stripping and levelling of the trackbed at the south end of Platform 2. We also did some fettling of the track on Platform 3. When joining used track, we often find the track at different levels at the join owing to different wear. To overcome this, we use special fishplates with a step in them. We have a stock with differing steps in sixteenths of an inch increments. To get down to a thirty-second of an inch difference, specially made shims are used. Two pairs of track joints needed these step plates. This is standard railway practise.

2-road subway waterproofing membrane - Bruce Healey - 15 March 2017 Digging out 2-road - Bruce Healey - 15 March 2017

By Friday evening, the reinforcing cage over the subway on the platform 2 side had been completed, as seen in the photo below taken from the cab of the road-railer. The south end of Platform 2 has had the centre drain dug, the terram (fibreglass) - polythene - terram sandwich laid, the drain pipe put in place and the section ballasted and compacted as seen in the second photo, prior to track laying. Both these photos were taken by Barbara Watkins.

2-road subway reinforcing and shuttering - Barbara Watkins - 17 March 2017 Ballasted 2-road - Barbara Watkins - 17 March 2017

Jon Goff now brings us up to date as of the end of last week.

The concrete over the subway for road 3 is still being allowed to continue to harden before any major weight is put on it. However it has already reached a very hard state due to being a very strong mix and being well vibrated into place, so the final levelling compound can be put in place. As we want to get the rails levelled very accurately, a 5-10mm depression has been gunned into the concrete surface around the area where the rail chairs will sit and a screw plugged into the centre of each of the chair positions. Using the laser level set up at the reference datum point on the platform, each screw has been adjusted to exactly the same height to within less than 1mm! These then form a local datum for the levelling compound, pored and trowelled in place. The process is seen in Jon's two photos below. This should all be completed for all 16 chair positions on Monday.

Depression cut into concrete surface, with datum screw fitted - Jon Goff - 17 March 2017 Levelling compound to provide accurate height - Jon Goff - 17 March 2017

There will be a rubber pad placed on top of the (fast-setting) compound and the rail chair placed on top of that.

All the original rails from 3-road have had the end 650mm cut off, re-drilled and replaced as the rails were in basically good condition with good heads and running on them. Similarly the majority of the hardwood sleepers were in good condition so they have been put back with only 40 replacements needed to be found and drilled. They are all in position with all the rail replaced and roughly aligned ready for the tamper, except for 4 sleepers by the north end drainage pit and the rail over the subway. Full connection right through and the ability to pass traffic through under caution should be possible by the end of next week. Additionally the approach into road 3 has been realigned to give a much smoother curve between the points and the platform.

Start of relaying Platform 2 road - Jon Goff - 17 March 2017 Turning to 2-road in earnest, the first action was to remove the pair of rails over the subway and start to repeat the work as carried out on 3-road, as described above. In three days as much work has been completed here as in the previous three weeks on 3-road as the job in hand is now well defined. The excavation is complete, the metal plates are bedded down in place, shuttering complete and most of the reinforcement in place, as in the 3-road reports on 2nd, 3rd and 6th March. The concrete should be poured around the middle of this week.

While the work around the subway was being done, the rest of the south end of 2-road was lifted, fully dug out, drainage installed, waterproof membrane installed (Teram - plastic - Teram sandwich) ballasted and the first panel relayed. This panel is critical as it is required to regain access to the Ardingly siding and the ballast pile.

Completion of the bottom half of 3-road this week has enabled the road-railer access to work on 2-road. Jon's photo above/left shows 3-road reconnected and 2-road being relayed 8 inches lower than before.
 
Muddy P-way yard - Jon Goff - 17 March 2017 Other work continues to clear up the yard after the Holywell relay. Many chairs have been removed from the life expired sleepers and the sleepers disposed of with the worst of them being burnt. Scrap has been collected together with some being exchanged for more good sleepers. Matt Crawford has arranged many such deals which has save the railway many thousands of pounds over time.

Finally some security lighting is been put in over the new access gate and infrastructure lobby although that is not yet complete. Some time is required to put our own infrastructure area in order after the road 2 and 3 project is finished as this is the current state of our "office"! It is not a pretty sight from the train and the team have to walk right through it carrying tools several times every day.


SR Q-class runs round at Sheffield Park - Brian Lacey - 4 March 2017 10 March:
  • Maunsell Q-class No.30541 is seen running round its train at Sheffield Park in Brian Lacey's photos from Saturday.

  • We are running public steam trains each weekend in March, to this Timetable. Tickets can be purchased on arrival, but if you do book at least 8 days in advance, you can take advantage of our Bluebell Bonus discount.

  • The Curry Evening supper train planned for 18 March has now been rescheduled to 28 April and a choice of Curry or Fish and Chips can be selected at the time of reservation - phone 01825 720800 to book.

  • News Update We have a further report on the work in Platform 3 at Horsted Keynes, as of Wednesday, with thanks to Bruce Healey.

    With the concrete raft over the subway now setting, we have now laid out the sleepers (except either side of the subway) and some of the remaining rails for Platform 3; some of the replacement sleepers are awaiting their chairs.

    The rail across the subway will have to be taken up to remove the shuttering around the concrete and to put pads under the rail chairs which bolt down on the concrete. The concrete will be allowed to harden until the end of the month before trains pass over it. Bearing in mind that the track over the subway has still to be lowered by an inch, the difference between the new level of the rail in platform 3 to the current level in platform 2 can be clearly seen.


The load bearing concrete over the subway at platform 3 - Bruce Healey - 8 March 2017 Sleepers in place - Bruce Healey - 8 March 2017
Elephant Van S4601S at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 4 March 2017 8 March:
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the now externally complete BR(S) scenery van, which was modified on BR for the carriage of elephants, and which has now been totally refurbished with the help of an Arts Council England Resiliance Fund grant. Most recently it has been lifted using the new second set of carriage jacks inside the new OP4 shed to have the heating/air-conditioning units fitted. Work is now focused on fitting out the interior to act as a children's play area.

  • Diesel Gala - 31 March to 2 April: Tickets are now available - ring 01825 720800 with any queries and to book. The timetable is available to download here.
    Visiting locomotives are 50035 'Ark Royal' and 50049 'Defiance', plus the BR Type 3 class-pioneer, D6700 (later numbered 37119 and 37350).
    Early morning full line brake van rides behind 09018 will depart Sheffield Park at 8.10am, and include a trip down the Ardingly Siding on the return leg. Tickets for this trip (which includes travel for the rest of the day) are 30pp and are very limited and must be pre-booked. Price will also include a drink and breakfast roll. Ring 01825 720800 to book your space.
    Driver for a fiver at Horsted Keynes station will be running on the Saturday and Sunday only, using our Sentinel Diesel shunter.

  • News Update Update to the Infrastructure News page with thanks to Bruce Healey, collating reports in this Blog about the relaying of track at Holywell, which was completed a month ago.

  • On Sunday 5th March 2017 our Carriage Shop proudly donated £1,500 to the Bluebell Railway Museum to fund the acquisition of an original London, Brighton & South Coast Railway artefact (below) which is now on display in the Museum at Sheffield Park Station. Chris Wilson's photo shows Peter Allibone, a long-standing Carriage Shop volunteer, presenting the donation cheque to Tony Hillman Assistant Curator of the museum.
    This large, 28" diameter, cast iron LBSCR Coat of Arms would have been attached to a bridge or some other structure during the building of a part of the railway in 1865. The original location of this item is unknown though two exist on the bridge which carries the Battersea Park to Clapham Junction line over Battersea Park Road by the entrance to the station.
    The Carriage Shop would like to thank all those that have purchased books, models or other items from the shop at Horsted Keynes, which has made this donation possible. For more information, and to confirm opening times, visit The Carriage Shop's facebook page.

Presentation of cheque - Chris Wilson - 5 March 2017 LBSCR Plaque - Chris Wilson - 5 March 2017
SR Q-class brings its train into East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 4 March 2017 7 March:
  • Two more of Brian Lacey's photos from Saturday. On the right the Q-class brings its train into East Grinstead, and below the H-class sets off from Sheffield Park with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train.

  • News Update Bruce Healey provides another report and photos as of yesterday on work in platform 3 at Horsted Keynes.

    The status at first thing Monday morning was that the Platform 3 track had been laid from the north down as far as the subway (as seen in the photos in yesterday's report, below). Many thanks to the 9F Club, who on Saturday did their usual enthusiastic and effective job of clipping up the track. The reinforcing for the concrete over and beside the subway was also complete, as seen in the first photo below.

    Over the course of Monday, we laid the track over the subway and clipped the chairs to the track, as seen in the final photo below. It is necessary to do this before the concrete is laid for 2 reasons. Firstly, it allows us to pour the concrete to the correct level (note that the track is deliberately one inch higher than necessary, this will be adjusted when the concrete is fully set). Secondly, the studs for the chairs must be clear of any reinforcing rods (which requires some angle grinding) and the studs need to be bolted to the reinforcing. By close of play on Monday, about 50% of the work to locate the studs was complete. This should be finished and the concrete poured on Tuesday. We should also complete the track laying by Tuesday; as of the end of play on Monday about a third of the remaining sleepers had already been laid.


H-class leaving Sheffield Park with the Rambler - Brian Lacey - 4 March 2017 The reinforcing in place at the start of the day - Bruce Healey - 6 March 2017 Track and chairs in place - Bruce Healey - 6 March 2017
SR Q-class enters Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 4 March 2017 6 March:
  • This weekend saw the SR Q-class back in service on the Bluebell, seen here as it enters Horsted Keynes in Brian Lacey's photo from Saturday.

  • News Update Update on Schools-class 'Stowe': boiler work and arrival of the remaining sections of ashpan.

  • News Update Update from The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society on Sunday's winter maintenance work on their locomotive at Sheffield Park.

  • Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for March.

  • Bright Bricks-Build It! Tickets are now on sale for this special weekend, 27-28 May.
    Steam trains and Lego; who could ask for anything more? Enjoy a day at the Bluebell Railway and join in the fun building a mosaic, playing with the Lego or 'Make and Take' a model engine. Fun for all ages.

  • News Update Project 27 Blog update showing cleaning up the wheels and overhauling the cylinder drain cocks.

  • Video compilation from John Harwood of Q-class No.541 on the service train on Saturday.

  • Martin Lawrence has completed his February gallery and started on that for March.

  • Jon Goff's photo below shows the reinforcing in place for the concrete raft over the subway in 3-road at Horsted Keynes. Brian Lacey's photo shows the track now laid (but awaiting final ballasting and tamping) in the northern part of that platform road.

Reinforcing in place - Jon Goff - 3 March 2017 Track laid in platform 3 - Brian Lacey - 4 March 2017
3 March:
  • We are running public steam trains each weekend in March, to this Timetable. Tickets can be purchased on arrival, but if you do book at least 8 days in advance, you can take advantage of our Bluebell Bonus discount.

    Track laid in platform 3 - Barbara Watkins - 2 March 2017

  • Flying Scotsman - Flying South: 13-19 April The bus times between Haywards Heath and Sheffield Park have now been confirmed by Compass Travel during the visit of Flying Scotsman, 13-19 April.
    Our train timetable for each day is also available.

  • News Update Barbara Watkins supplies photos updating us on progress with the work in platform 3 at Horsted Keynes, as of yesterday.

    As seen on the right, track laying has started in platform 3 road. This track is being laid 4 inches lower than previously, and that in platform 2 will be 8 inches lower than at present. This will bring both roads down to the same level, and significantly reduce the step down from the carriages to the platforms, which may see us making greater use of platform 2.

    The first photo below shows the top of the subway with the waterproof membrane in place.
    Next we see the reinforcing being constructed for one of the side beams next to the subway.
    Barbara's final photo shows the shuttering adjacent to the water-crane supply pipe, as it rises over the subway.

  • Jordan Shingler provides this short Facebook video of our P-class No.323 on its visit to the Churnet Valley Railway for their Winter Gala last weekend.

Waterproofing in place over subway - Barbara Watkins - 2 March 2017 Building reinforcing for beam adjacent to subway - Barbara Watkins - 2 March 2017 Water supply pipe over subway - Barbara Watkins - 2 March 2017

Small laser-guided bulldozer in action - Bruce Healey - 1 March 2017 2 March:
  • News Update Bruce Healey provides a further report and photos as of yesterday on relaying the track in platform 3 at Horsted Keynes.

    The ballast for Platform 3 has been levelled and compacted. The very south end of the platform and over the subway are still to be ballasted. This photo shows the small laser 'dozer levelling the ballast. The 'dozer we usually use was too large for the platform area.

    The solution for laying the lowered tacks over the subway is to have 3 steel plates over the apex of the subway to spread the load. These have been concreted in place, as seen in the photos below. The next tasks will be to put down plastic over the whole area to waterproof it, cast 2 reinforced concrete beams at either side and make a reinforced concrete raft over the subway. The track chairs will be bolted directly into the concrete. Platform 2 road will be identically treated.

    Two of the three catch pits have been removed as they were not required. The drain for the south end of platform 3 road was connected to the drain put in when 22 point was changed in 2015. There is provision for platform 2 road drain to be similarly connected.

  • John Harwood provides two videos - Half-term with the S15 and from this week, the new OP4 shed, and shunting at Horsted Keynes.

  • During February 2017 there were 50,672 total hits on this page, from 29,733 unique visitors.

  • The photos below, from Bruce Healey, show the feed pipe for the water columns at the north end of platform 2 and 3/4 rising over the subway at Horsted Keynes, and the steel plates being concreted in place over the crown of the subway. Note that the eyes on the steel plates are temporary and will be taken off with an angle grinder.

Water pipe rises over subway - Bruce Healey - 1 March 2017 Concreting the top of the subway - Bruce Healey - 1 March 2017
  • The final photo below shows the finishing touches being applied. The compactor can be seen in the background. The shuttering round the area shows the extent of the side concrete beams and the raft over the top of the subway. All of this will be on top of a waterproof layer.
Concreting the top of the subway - Bruce Healey - 1 March 2017
Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or 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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