Latest Updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
- Brian Lacey's photo illustrates Sunday evening's Special fundraising/test train with "Captain Baxter", seen here preparing to take the second train of the evening out of Sheffield Park.
- We are immensely saddened by the news of the death of Graham Mallinson at the Shoreham airshow crash. This tribute to him has been issued by his family, to whom we offer our sincere condolences.
- Further photos and a report on progress towards the return to service of No.73082 "Camelot".
- On Sunday Bob Palmer handed over a cheque for £111,492.52 which was most gratefully received by Roy Watts, Chairman B.R.P.S. and Bill Brophy, Chairman of The Bluebell Railway Trust. Cheques for similar amounts were presented to representatives of the R.S.P.C.A. and Guide Dogs for the Blind, representing three very generous legacies left by the Will of the late Colin Palmer.
Full details in this press release - photo by Martin Lawrence.
Legacies left to The Bluebell Railway Trust are becoming an increasingly important element of the funding which enables the continued preservation and development of the Bluebell Railway.
- The timings for tonight's trip of our four Metropolitan carriages, to be hauled by a pair of GBRf Class 73s from Horsted Keynes to West Ruislip Depot, are available from RealTimeTrains. They will be in use on the Metropolitan Line for the Sept 12-13 London Transport Museum "Vintage Summer Steam" event, running between Watford, Chesham and Harrow-on-the-Hill.
- Derek Hayward's photo below shows S15 No.847 approaching Horsted Keynes on Saturday 22 August. This locomotive has been performing reliably on the main service set for the last few weeks, and is the service engine for this week too.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows Sunday evening's Special fundraising/test train paused at Horsted Keynes. The first coach behind "Captain Baxter" is our LBSCR Stroudley First No.661. The evening raised over £1,400 towards the restoration of our Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864, and thanks are due to Russell Pearce, Simon Barker and the catering team, Roy Watts at East Grinstead, and our train crew and signalmen for enabling this test train to be used as a fund-raising special.
- Keith Duke provides a gallery of photos of the Baxter specials, and other evening photos around the Railway.
- It is with sadness that we report that Lord Montagu, who established the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, and was initially responsible for saving our Schools-class locomotive "Stowe" and Pullman Car "Fingall" for preservation, has died aged 88. He had been President of Bluebell Railway PLC since its formation in November 1985. We offer condolences to his wife Fiona and son Ralph, both of whom have had connections with the Bluebell over the years, and the rest of the family.
- Martin Lawrence has added some final photos to his August gallery, including updates on the Elephant Van project (funded by the Arts Council Resilience Fund) and the preparations to move the permanent way facilities from their current location at Horsted Keynes to consolidate the S&T at that location.
- We are currently advertising a vacancy for a Chef, to work at Sheffield Park and on our Pullman Dining Train.
- The Locomotive Duty Roster is now available for September, together with the first draft for October, with thanks to Chris Knibbs. As always, this may be subject to changes without notice, if required.
- Our Museum web pages include one describing Withyham Signal Box.
- Video study of our Maunsell Q-class, from Philip Bull.
- Visitors to Horsted Keynes station should note that the road from the Ardingly/Lindfield/Highbrook direction (Station Approach via Burstowhill Lane/Hammingden Lane) is likely to be closed from today for up to two weeks whilst a major water main is laid across the road. Horsted Keynes station can still be reached from Horsted Keynes village and from Sharpthorne via Horsted Lane and Cinder Hill.
- Steve Lee's photos show the Sunday lunchtime dining train behind B473 and the H-class with the Victorian set plus Observation Car, both seen at Horsted Keynes. The four Metropolitan carriages are due to leave on Thursday this week, by rail via East Grinstead, for the forthcoming London Transport Museum's "Vintage Summer Steam".
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.
Latest Project News
- Sign up for our free e-mail Newsletter - Back issues available via the eNewsletter archive.
- Loco Works News: updates on the Brighton Atlantic project, No.73082 "Camelot", the Bulleid Society on 34059 and 21C123, for SECR P-class No.27, on Schools No.928 "Stowe", from the Loco Works Working Group on SR Q-class No.541, from the Standard Class 2 project and - 20, 15 June, 16, 6 Feb, 20, 19, 2 Jan 2015
- Infrastructure News page - Completion of work on the historic "River Slip" and more track relaid on Freshfield Bank - 13 February 2015
- Operation Undercover - Phase 4: Horsted Keynes - Carriage Shed Extension: OP4 News Bulletin No.1 - 24 January 2015
Beyond Phase 3: Above Workshop Facility fit-out - 16 October 2014
- Carriage & Wagon Works News - repair of SR 8-plank wagon No.30004, Overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768 on the Bulleid Society web site, various photos from Dave Clarke, and an update on the restoration of GWR 5-plank open wagon No.87782 - 19 Nov, 29 Sept, 15 April 2014
- The latest news of the Horsted Keynes Re-signalling - 13 January 2014
- East Grinstead Extension: Steam at East Grinstead proving very popular - Further work to complete the project continues - 8 May 2013 - Main Extension Project page
- Kingscote Goods Yard Project - last update 4 May 2012
- Archive news from the Bluebell June 1995 to December 2006
What's been updated on the Bluebell Web Site?Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or 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.
Most recent updates: See top of this page
- A new web page has been created for the Carriage Shop on Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes, with thanks to Chris Wilson for the content.
The shop, selling a large range of second-hand railway items, is open right across the August Bank Holiday Weekend:
The shop also has a facebook page:
- Friday 28th: 10 am - 5 pm
- Saturday 29th: 11 am - 4 pm
- Sunday 30th: 11 am - 4pm
- Monday 31st: 10 am - 5pm
- The first photo below is one of Derek Hayward's from Saturday, showing the H-class approaching Ketches Halt with the 7-coach Victorian set.
- Photos from John Sandys from today, three engines in steam, shunting at Horsted Keynes, and a look at the Stroudley carriage restorations in the carriage works. One of John's photo from today, below, shows the C-class shunting at Horsted Keynes. The engine later returned the 9F and "Blackmoor Vale" to Sheffield Park, now the work to reclad the Locomotive Works has been finished.
- Full details are now available to download for the 2016 Murder Mystery evenings on the Golden Arrow - see also details for the remainder of 2015.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the H-class (with 7 Victorian carriages in tow) approaching Kingscote on Saturday, where "Captain Baxter" is waiting to leave with the vintage goods train.
- We're now well into Kids' Week which runs until Monday 31 August: Kids for a Quid - Punch & Judy shows and Circus Skills - see full details.
- For a rare chance to ride behind Baxter on a special Evening Train, join us on Sunday 30th August. The special trains leave Sheffield Park at 6pm and 8.30pm - tickets still available: ring Richard Salmon on 07799 890750 or e-mail - we need passenger numbers for catering - see details on this poster. The event is helping to raise funds for the restoration of Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.
- Further photos and report from Peter Gibbs of the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society.
- John Sandys provides an album from last Thursday, and another from yesterday, a very busy day at the railway despite the wet weather!
- Martin Lawrence provides a video of the procedure involved in "running round" the goods train at Kingscote from Saturday.
- Derek Hayward has added 30 photos to the start of his 2015 Bluebell album, with photos from Saturday.
- The first two photos below, from Brian Lacey and Derek Hayward, show Saturday's cricket match between the Bluebell Railway and Scaynes Hill Cricket Club, who have recently commissioned a second cricket ground right next to the Railway. A great day was had by all. Scaynes won the toss and batted first. Bluebell bowling and fielding fielding was tight, taking nine wickets whilst Scaynes put on 165 in the allotted 35 overs. Unfortunately, the Bluebell's batting fell short, totalling 87 all out. There will be a full report in the forthcoming issue of the Bluebell's e-Newsletter.
- The third photo below, from Huw Lloyd who was working in the C&W, shows Baxter being oiled round after taking water in the down yard at Horsted Keynes on Saturday.
- Steve Lee's photo below shows Baxter with the demonstration goods train on Saturday, and John Sandys' shows the S15 arriving at Horsted Keynes yesterday with the first train of the day from East Grinstead.
- John Sandys' photo from Tuesday shows our four Metropolitan Railway carriages back in service, approaching Horsted Keynes behind the H-class, with LBSCR 661 and LCDR/SECR 3360 bringing up the rear.
- Advance notice and information about our Vintage Bus Day on Sunday 4 October - free vintage buses to and from Bluebell Railway stations.
- Photos from Dave Bowles showing the first two service trains last Saturday (and some rather nice photos from later the same day from the Eastbourne Air-show).
- Martin Lawrence has added a few photos of the Elephant Van being grit-blasted by a contractor, and the C&W's electric yard truck (milk float) which has been obtained for use moving spare parts around the extended site, now that the storage containers are being moved much further from the workshop.
- Bulleid Society update on the overhaul of Bulleid Composite Carriage No.5768.
- Brian Lacey's photo below from last Wednesday shows the S15 arriving at East Grinstead.
- Baxter will again be hauling a vintage goods train this coming Saturday, to the timetable below.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the crew of the C-class at Horsted Keynes on Wednesday 12 August.
- Baxter Evening Trains
Join us for a round-trip of the line from Sheffield Park behind "Captain Baxter" on Sunday 30th August.
Book for the 6pm or the 8.30 pm train - Tickets £18, including Evening Meal.
Bar and food from 7.30pm in the Bessemer Arms. The bar will be open until 10.30pm.
Tickets available from Dave Clarke and Richard Salmon in the C&W at Horsted Keynes, or phone Richard & Deborah Salmon on 01737 772811, or e-mail Richard Salmon - or send a cheque (payable to "Maunsell 7864 Group" - specifying on which train you wish to travel) to: Deborah Salmon, c/o C&W Dept, Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes Station, Nr. Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7BB
"Baxter" will be hauling a test train formed of the Obo, plus LBSCR 661 and SECR 3360. Please note also that there will be no extra charge for travelling in a first class compartment, but this will be "first come first served"!
We are very grateful for the opportunity offered by this test train as a fundraising opportunity for the restoration of our Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.
- Kids' Week - Monday 24 to Monday 31 August
Between these dates Kids for a Quid special fares will apply. Break your journey at Horsted Keynes where, in addition to the model railway, King George V buffet serving light snacks including pasty and chip lunches, and Carriage Works viewing gallery and exhibition, the following shows will take place:
Full details of Kids' Week here.
- Monday 24, Wednesday 26, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Sunday 30 & Monday 31 - Punch and Judy Shows at 11.30, 12.45, 2.00 & 3.15
- Tuesday 25 & Thursday 27 - Circus Skills including learning to spin plates: all day 11.30 to 3.30
- John Sandys' photos from today show the Metropolitan coaches back in service, following a lot of work done over the last six months, including retyring one coach, repairs the end of one underframe, new brake cylinders, and much other mechanical work.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with thanks to Chris Knibbs, with further changes to intended loco usage for the rest of August.
- Keith Duke has some pictures from Saturday, mainly of the brake van trips behind No.323 "Bluebell".
- Derek Hayward has completed his album of the Vintage Transport Weekend, including photos of all the prize-winners.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows ex-Southdown Leyland National No.34, PCD 80R at East Grinstead, on the free bus services on Sunday.
- Huw Lloyd is currently visiting from Canada, working in the C&W department, as his summer holiday, and provides the photo below showing the 09 shunting the re-commissioned Metropolitan Railway set yesterday.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows C-class No.592 approaching Kingscote with the 11am service from Sheffield Park on Wednesday. That below shows the S15's crew oiling the locomotive prior to the 2.45pm departure from Sheffield Park.
- Baxter Evening Trains. Join us for a round-trip of the line behind "Captain Baxter" from Sheffield Park on Sunday 30th August at 6pm or 8.30pm - tickets from Dave Clarke and Richard Salmon at the Railway this weekend - more details to follow. Funds raised will be used for the restoration of Maunsell Dining Saloon 7864.
- Three photos and report from the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society, showing continued good progress in the works on their engine.
- John Sandys' live video tour from yesterday of work in progress at Kingscote's new signal box, now on YouTube.
- Through August we are offering August Offer discounts on advance child ticket purchases. And if tickets are booked 8 days in advance, there's a "Bluebell Bonus" discount for Adults too!
- Report about four historic and diverse items recently added to our museum collection.
- Further Vintage Transport Weekend photos, from Jonathan Hughes.
- No.323 "Bluebell" will be giving Brake Van Rides at Sheffield Park station tomorrow, as a fund-raiser for the Friends of Sheffield Park, between about 10.30am and 4.30pm.
Huw Lloyd's photo below shows "Bluebell" shunting at Horsted Keynes yesterday, in the rain.
- Derek Hayward's photo shows some of what was an especially good contingent of steam-powered traction engines and rollers at the Vintage Transport Weekend. Further photos are here, with more to come. Derek's photo below shows Mike Ryan posing with the Southdown Trophy for Best in Show with his Bentley 4 1/4 Overdrive EYX 395.
- This coming Sunday, 16 August, there are Free Vintage Bus Services between East Grinstead and Uckfield, and in the Uckfield area. Details here.
- Whilst we are not about to rush off and start building it, we are starting to think about issues and opportunities regarding an eventual Western extension of the line from Horsted Keynes to Ardingly, and possibly Haywards Heath, in line with our Long Term Plan. With that in mind, visitors to the line are being encouraged to complete this survey.
- John Sandys provides some photos from today, another very busy day, with the S15 carrying a "Nine Elms Enginemen" headboard for their visit, and the vintage set hauled by the C-Class. There are also photos of Kingscote North Signal Box, which should be ready for service early next year, and East Grinstead Canopy.
- Martin Lawrence has an experimental/test video of the view from No.B473 as it departs from East Grinstead and arrives at Horsted Keynes. Martin has also added a few more photos to his August gallery.
- Other photos of the Vintage Transport Weekend are available from Christopher Ward and Keith Duke.
- Tony Sullivan's photo below shows the ex-LBSCR E4 No.B473 leaving Horsted Keynes on Thursday last week, with the 11am service from Sheffield Park.
- Brian Lacey's photo from Monday shows the C-class and H-class double heading, at the exit from the tunnel. His photo below shows the E4 at West Hoathly with the LCDR/SECR coach No.3360, restored by a team of our volunteers, and converted to carry passengers in wheelchairs, with funding provided by the Big Lottery Fund's "People's Millions" scheme a few years ago.
- Reminder that this weekend is our Vintage Transport Weekend - we have a special intensive 3-train service, displays of vintage and classic cars, stationary engines, commercial vans, steam road engines, vintage farm tractors, and motorbikes, with a BBQ and Real Ale tent in the rally field.
- Every Monday, Wedsday & Friday in August we have Punch & Judy Shows.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with thanks to Chris Knibbs, with some changes to intended loco usage for the remainder of August.
- Dave Clarke has recently updated his albums of work being done in the Carriage & Wagon department, showing work on LCDR/SECR Third No.3188, SR Maunsell "Hastings" brake 3rd No.3687, SR 8-plank wagon No.30004, Elephant Van No.4601, the work on which is being supported by the Arts Council Museum Resilience Fund, Mk.1 RMB No.1818, LBSCR Brake 3rd No.949, and LBSCR 3rd No.328, plus Chloe, the new supervisor.
- We are currently advertising a full-time post for an Infrastructure Assistant. Other vacancies on that page also remain open.
- Derek Hayward has uploaded a large number of additional images of last Saturday's goods train and service trains to his Bluebell 2015 collection, including B473 shunting at Kingscote, plus a limited number of images of the Seaside Weekend.
- Aron Stenning has a gallery from a visit last week.
- Peter Edwards' photo below shows the E4 on the Brighton Belle Breakfast Pullman train on Saturday morning.
- David Long's photo shows the E4 with its vintage goods train on Saturday at West Hoathly.
- At the Vintage Transport Weekend (8-9 August) we have a special intensive 3-train service, and the timetable is available here
- Reminder that on Saturday evening, 8 August, there is a Horsted Keynes Sidings Tour giving the rare chance to view stock stored there. There will also be tours of the C&W works over lunchtime that day.
- More news and photos from The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society with photos from Peter Gibbs, as their locomotive gets ever closer to returning to service.
- Martin Lawrence has completed his July album, including some photos of Dick Fern celebrating his birthday with some friends and the E4 and Obo, and also of the new stairlift in the Bessimer amongst others. He has also started on his August gallery with the new posters and adverts on the East Grinstead canopy, a few photos in the C&W, and of the Seaside Weekend.
- Dave Bowles has some pictures from a pleasant trip to the Bluebell on Saturday morning.
- John Sandys has a gallery from Tuesday.
- Mayor opens East Grinstead Station's New Canopy
Roy Watts MBE, Chairman Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, was delighted to welcome East Grinstead's Town Mayor Councillor Dick Sweatman to the railway on Monday.
The Mayor had been invited to formally open our new East Grinstead platform canopy and disabled persons facility. The photos below from Martin Lawrence and Richard Clark show the ceremony, and the canopy now adorned with appropriate period adverts, litter-bin and posters, which Colin Tyson and Richard Clark had fitted over the weekend, with thanks also to Richard Hill of the Friends of Kingscote for restoring the original BR posterboards. More details and photos are available in this press release.
Latest updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
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