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18 August:
O1 enters Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 16 August 2017
  • The SECR O1, No.65, has been back in action this last week, and was caught by Brian Lacey as it rounded the curve past the C&W works on the approach to Horsted Keynes with the 12.15 service from Sheffield Park on Wednesday.

  • Our 1877-built 'Captain Baxter' is hauling Vintage Goods Trains tomorrow, Saturday 19 August, to this timetable.
    Our public Passenger trains run to our Service Two timetable.
    It's also our Seaside Weekend, so there are lots of extra activities for kids, in the paddock at Horsted Keynes.

  • VehicularBrit's new video showing the visiting 34092 'City of Wells' on a trip on our line.

  • The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society has posted a photo of 'Camelot' at Eastleigh in August 1961. Taken by Mike Peart, No.73082 was probably on a passenger working from Bournemouth West to Waterloo.

  • Martin Lawrence has completed his gallery for July, featuring No.30541 on a goods train, the visiting No.34092, the return of No.65, and much more.

  • Derek Hayward has added 30 images to his Bluebell 2017 collection.

15 August:
H-class 263 at Deans Crossing - Derek Hayward - 6 August 2017
  • Derek Hayward's photo shows SECR H-class No.263 at Deans Crossing on 6 August.

  • This coming weekend is our special Seaside Weekend, with lots of additional attractions, including a sandy beach and the Bluebell Railway Band providing music.

  • We have raised over £22,000 through EasyFundraising. Many thanks to those people who already support us in this way. If you don't yet, please do sign up to support us when you shop online - it costs you nothing!

  • News Update Report and photos showing the repairs to the north end doors of the Camelot Locomotive Society's CCT van.

  • John Sandys' photos from yesterday, with the O1 and S15 on the trains. Our two-train Service Two timetable continues daily.

  • More details now available for our Steam Through the Ages event over the weekend of 23-24 September. This new event will bring different eras of history to life with a different period recreated at each station.

  • News Update Infrastructure update for 14 August - OP4 with thanks to Jon Goff.
    Following excavation and levelling last week, work on the tramway being installed adjacent to the maintenance road in OP4 moved on today with the laying out of the track. It was also coupled up and straightened out. The first picture below shows a lot of jacks in place to bring it up to the correct height and to get it level.

    The remainder of this week will be spent getting it exactly level and packing under the sleepers so that the jacks can be removed. A lot of shuttering has to be made up to produce a three inch flangeway inside the running edge, putting in drainage from the flangeway to the installed drainage system as any water used for cleaning will invariably end up in the flangeway. It will then all be concreted in. Notice the low blockwork wall to the right which will act as the east side shuttering and also form a good base for the curtain wall when it is installed.

    The rails used came from the pile of second hand flat bottom short sections used for temporary short panels through the cutting when laying the extension. They are too short and in too poor a condition for use on our running line, but fine for track to accommodate bogies etc during maintenance. The sleepers (47 of them) are just about our entire stock of thin concrete sleepers, old and second hand and a good way of using up the odds and ends without spending money. As the rails were odd sizes that were going to be cut down (but didn't get cut) we ended up with a final length of 31.296 m or 102' 8". Hopefully the tramway will be useable next week.

Maintenance tram-track in OP4 shed - Jon Goff - 14 August 2017 South ends of F & G roads in OP4 shed - Jon Goff - 14 August 2017
Tram track in maintenance area F and G roads in OP4

In the background of the tram-track photo are the North ends of F and G road within the shed. In the second photo the South ends of F road can be seen to need about 40' of track and G road about 50' to reach the end of the shed. Since the last report the rails in these two roads have been drilled and fish-plated up. It will probably be after the next track relaying on our main line before further track-laying happens in the shed. The aim however remains to get carriages under cover for this winter.

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latestlatestMost recent updates: See top of this page

14 August:
Q-class to the North of Deans Crossing - Derek Hayward - 6 August 2017
  • Derek Hayward's photo shows the Q-class No.30541 to the north of Deans Crossing, with the lunchtime Pullman train. With the Wealden Rambler set under scheduled maintenance, the Mk.1 FO which currently usually also runs with the Pullmans was absent on this occasion.

  • Update to the Locomotive Stock List, recording the operational status of the O1, and also to the page for Operational Locos.

  • News Update A short update to the Project 27 BlogSpot, outlining some of their activities over the last few weeks.

  • Update to the web page for SR Passenger Luggage Van No.1184, with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Jon Elphick.

  • Update to the Wagon Stock List, adding a list of wagons formerly on the Bluebell.

    The re-built Sheffield Park Inner Home Signal - Brian Lacey - 12 August 2017

  • Brian Lacey's first photo (right) from Saturday shows the re-built structure of the Sheffield Park Inner Home bracket signal, now complete with the refurbished signals, yet to be brought back into use, and shows well the temporary arrangement which has been in place at ground level whilst the work has been in undertaken, with colour lights for the main running signals and the calling-on signals for shunt moves.

    His second photo, below, shows the H-class after its arrival at Platform one at Sheffield Park with the 1.15 service from East Grinstead, forming a nice cameo with 'Fenchurch' in the dock, a view that is not normally available if the Wealden Rambler stock is present in its siding on the right.

H-class and Fenchurch at Sheffield Park - Brian Lacey - 12 August 2017

8 August:
F and G roads going in to OP4 shed - Bruce Healey - 8 August 2017
  • News Update Yesterday the first track was laid in the Horsted Keynes OP4 carriage shed. Using some of track recovered from Freshfield Bank in June, a start has been made on F and G roads. The panels are not yet drilled and fishplated and there is of course ballasting to be done for roads H and J. As we have not used all of the recovered track, more will be laid in OP4 this week.
    Work on the points to connect to OP4 continues alongside the Ardingly spur although we are still awaiting delivery of some parts.
    Two further photos, below, were taken earlier in the day by OP4 Project Manager Barry Luck.

  • John Sandys has added some photos of work taking place in the Locomotive Works at Sheffield Park taken yesterday to his album from Monday.

Track Laying in OP4 shed - Barry Luck - 8 August 2017 Track Laying in OP4 shed - Barry Luck - 8 August 2017

7 August:
Baxter with the Elephant Van - Richard Salmon - 5 August 2017
  • 'Captain Baxter' was on hand on Saturday to celebrate the official launch of the restored Elephant Van as our new Children's Play Carriage at Horsted Keynes. It will be open for public use as from Tuesday. The van, modified in British Railways' days to carry circus elephants, has been restored externally to BR condition and fitted out internally by our staff and volunteers with funding from Arts Council England's Resilience Fund.
    'Captain Baxter', our 1877-built Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0T locomotive, after shunting the van into place for the ceremony, then gave brake van rides around the station under stormy skies as seen in Richard Salmon's second photo below.

  • Keith Duke's pictures from Horsted Keynes on Saturday feature 'Captain Baxter' shunting the Elephant Van into position, and below, the assembled crowd awaiting the arrival of the van in the dock at Horsted Keynes.
    See also a couple of photos of the ceremony from Martin Lawrence.

  • John Sandys' photos from today including the departure of 'City of Wells' by low loader.

  • Keith Duke's set from today.

  • A few shots by Dave Bowles from Sunday morning featuring the H, S15 and the Q.

  • Derek Hayward has updated his Bluebell 2017 collection with 40 images taken during July, including some previously unseen images of 34092 'City of Wells' and the launch of 65.

  • The 2018 Golden Arrow Murder Mystery details and dates are now available.

Awaiting the arrival of the Elephant Van - Keith Duke - 5 August 2017 Baxter with the Queen Mary brake van - Richard Salmon - 5 August 2017

4 August:
H-class and Birdcage Brake at West Hoathly station site - Brian Lacey - 1 August 2017
Wickham Trolley out on a maintenance job - Brian Lacey - 1 August 2017 S15 No.847 bursting out of the tunnel - Brian Lacey - 1 August 2017

27 July:
No.65 near Medhurst Farm - Derek Hayward - 15 July 2017
  • Derek Hayward's photo shows the SECR O1 No.65 near Medhurst Farm on the day it re-entered traffic, with three LCDR/SECR carriages behind the locomotive.

  • A reminder that your last chance to ride behind No.34092 'City of Wells' during its visit to the Bluebell is this coming weekend, which is also our Toy & Rail Collectors' Fair. 'City of Wells' will be hauling the 11:10, 1:30 and 4pm departures from Sheffield Park (12:05, 2:30 and 5pm from East Grinstead).

  • New link to Real Skills who offer Rail Training, Rail Apprentiships and Rail Assessments. Could be of interest to anyone considering turning their passion for railways into a career.

  • Derek Hayward's photo below shows 'Camelot' North of Sloop Bridge with the goods train on 15 July.

  • The S15, having received some maintenance work and passed its annual boiler exam, has been back in action this week, and is seen here in Brian Lacey's photo arriving at East Grinstead in the rain yesterday.

'Camelot' North of Sloop Bridge with the goods train - Derek Hayward - 15 - 15 July 2017 847 arrives at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 26 July 2017

26 July:
34092 at Leamland Bridge - Steve Lee - 7 July 2017
  • Steve Lee's photo shows No.34092 'City of Wells' at Leamland Bridge with the 4pm service from Sheffield Park on Friday, the first day of our 'End of Southern Steam' event, Friday 7 July. This visiting locomotive runs for the final time on the Bluebell this coming weekend.

  • This coming weekend is our Toy & Rail Collectors' Fair at Horsted Keynes - Railway Artefacts, Model Railway Equipment and many other goods to be found. Normal travel fares apply. Horsted Keynes station admission ticket £3.00 per person from 10.00am.

  • Throughout August - Summer Fun - Sports, Games, Falconry, Children's farm & Entertainment - see web page for details and dates.

  • 19-20 August: Seaside Weekend - all the fun of the seaside, complete with a sandy beach! This year we have some exciting new displays and entertainers to bring some seaside magic. For lunch why not enjoy traditional Fish and Chips followed by an Ice Cream? Book at least 8 days in advance to get our Bluebell Bonus discount!

  • Updates to the pages for Maunsell carriages 6575, 2356 and 1365, SECR 1098, LBSCR Directors' Saloon No.60 and LSWR/SR 320, with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Jon Elphick.

  • Photos by Jon Horrocks taken on Sunday, featuring the O1, 'City of Wells' and the S15, as well as other locos around the loco yard and shed.

  • Photos from John Sandys, taken on Thursday 20 and Tuesday 25 July.

  • Photos below from Derek Hayward, taken on 15 July, show the crew of the O1, which entered service that day, and No.73082 'Camelot' approaching Kingscote with the Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea Train.

O1's crew at Kingscote - Derek Hayward - 15 July 2017 'Camelot' approaches Kingscote with the Rambler - Derek Hayward - 15 July 2017

24 July:
No.65 at Three Arch Bridge - Peter Edwards - 15 July 2017
  • Peter Edwards' photo shows SECR O1 No.65 at Three Arch Bridge on the day it re-entered traffic after overhaul, Saturday 15 July, with the 5.15 service from Sheffield Park. The O1 has been performing excellently, and is due to run every day this week, as part of our holiday-time two-train service (Service Two Timetable).

  • We are expanding our Education Department, and are looking for new Education Volunteers to join us.

  • Our latest E-newsletter (corrected link) includes details of the four new Directors of the Railway (who all act in a volunteer capacity). They will be formally confirmed as board members at the plc AGM in August. They each bring an impressive amount of relevant experience to their respective roles.

  • WARNING: Tuesday 25 July - the A275 will be closed between Sheffield Green and Sheffield Park all day for carriageway repairs.

  • News Update SR School's Class No.928 'Stowe' was lifted from its wheels in the works yesterday, following the re-wheeling of 80151's chassis last week. A huge amount of boiler work is in progress on both of these locomotives.

    Culture, Leisure and Tourism award in the Lewes District Business Awards

  • News Update We are pleased to be the winners of the Culture, Leisure & Tourism award in the Lewes District Business Awards - download Press Release (PDF).

  • News Update Great news from the project to overhaul our SECR P-class No.27, as the order is placed for new frames and cylinders! Donations are now urgently needed to enable these components to be completed as soon as possible.

  • Keith Duke has some photos from this Saturday, and some from the previous Saturday.

  • In spite of the weather, Saturday was a great day on the Bluebell, as testified by Reuben Grace's video.

  • The two photos below show 'Camelot' at West Hoathly Station Site with Saturday 15th's goods train (Andrew Crampton) and 'City of Wells' yesterday (Brian Lacey).
    The next goods trains run on 19 August (hauled by 'Captain Baxter') and 9 September (behind the S15).
    'City of Wells' will run for the last time during its visit to the Bluebell each day next weekend, which is also our Toy & Rail Collectors' Fair.

'Camelot' at West Hoathly Station Site with the goods train - Andrew Crampton - 15 July 2017 'City of Wells' yesterday - Brian Lacey - 23 July 2017

14 July:
Bluebell Railway - Making Tracks (Overnight relaying - June 2017)

12 July:
34092 approaches New Road Bridge - Ashley Smith - 8 July 2017
  • Ashley Smith's photo shows No.34092 'City of Wells' approaching New Road Bridge on Saturday 8 July during our 'End of Southern Steam' weekend. The visiting 'West Country' class pacific will be running on the Bluebell, hauling some of our steam trains, each weekend until the end of July.

  • Ashley Smith's other photos, and this video cover the Friday and Saturday of the event, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on the Southern Region.

  • There will be a Goods Train running on Saturday morning (15 July), to this timetable.

  • Our next Rail Ale Train, on 21 July, is now sold out, but tickets remain for the final one this year, on 22 September.

  • Our Autumn Tints run on 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 17, 18 & 19 October. This year these services use the Observation Car (£1 supplement) and our Lounge Cars. Pre-booking is recommended.
    New for 2017: Autumn Tints in our Restaurant Car "At The Sign Of The White Horse" - enjoy a Bowl of Soup at lunchtime, or a Cream Tea, for which pre-booking is essential.

  • This year you can choose to start your journey on our Santa Specials from either Sheffield Park or East Grinstead. They run on 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23 & 24 December, and initially 3rd-class tickets can be booked online, from 17 July. First Class tickets and phone booking will be available at a later date.

  • From the End of Southern Steam event:

  • "Tim's Video Channel" has some great coverage of our Model Railway Weekend.

  • The two photos below show 'Camelot' at Horsted Keynes (Steve Lee, Friday) and 'Blackmoor Vale' and 'City of Wells' on shed (Mike Anton, Monday).

Camelot at Horsted Keynes - Steve Lee - 7 July 2017 'Blackmoor Vale' and 'City of Wells' on shed - Mike Anton - 10 July 2017

6 July:
34092 on test run - Tony Sullivan - 6 July 2017
  • Tony Sullivan's photo catches No.34092 'City of Wells' on a test run today. The locomotive is visiting to help us mark the "End of Southern Steam" 50th Anniversary with a special event starting tomorrow (Friday), and running until Sunday. The timetable for the event is available to download as a pdf.

    This video shows 'City of Wells' at East Grinstead this afternoon on its test run, thanks to Samuel Murphy-Kelly.

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

  • News Update Update to the Infrastructure News page with thanks to Jon Goff, illustrating work being done to prepare new points to connect up the new carriage storage shed at Horsted Keynes, the tidying up the exposed foundations of the old shed, and work on the walkways in the Sheffield Park Carriage Shed. Jon's photo below shows the planned line of the access to the shed at Horsted Keynes, coming off the Engineers siding, which itself will need slight re-alignment.

  • Entries are now open for our easy-to-enter Football Competition, where you try to predict the teams' positions in the Premier League and who might win the FA Cup next year. The competition is run to raise funds towards the restoration of Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.

  • Martin Lawrence has now completed his galleries for April, the Flying Scotsman Gala, for May, including the Branch-Line Weekend, and June. Martin's latest video is a compilation of clips taken at the Bluebell Railway between January and July 2017. It includes, ballasting at Horsted Keynes, the Diesel Gala, Branchline Weekend the vintage goods train and more.

  • John Sandys provides some photos from today, which saw Camelot take over from the Q-Class (which needed more work on its super heaters - we hope both locos will be running tomorrow), a large turnout of coach passengers plus more work on the 01 and City of Wells making its test run.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below shows the Q-class as it arrives at East Grinstead on Wednesday.

Proposed OP4 access rails - Jon Goff - June 2017 Q-class arrives at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 5 July 2017

1 July:
34092 unloaded at Sheffield Park - Tony Mallinson - 30 June 2017
  • Yesterday saw No.34092 'City of Wells' unloaded at Sheffield Park, as photographed by Tony Mallinson. The locomotive is visiting for our "End of Southern Steam" event, which starts on Friday 7th July. The timetable for the event is available via the PTI page.

  • Details are now available for August's Summer Fun - Sports, Games, Falconry, Children's farm & Entertainment.

  • Booking is now open for Christmas Dinner on the Golden Arrow Pullman train, on 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 & 23 December.

  • Next Friday's Fish & Chip evening supper train is sold out. Book early to join us on future dates: 3, 10, 17, 18, 25 & 31 August, 1 & 8 September.

  • News Update The recent newsletter from the Standard Class 2 No.84030 project has now been published on this web site.
    This newsletter is sent to project supporters when produced, and only appears here a while after - if you would like to receive it when first published, why not Subscribe to it and support the project?

  • News Update From Project 27, covering the restoration of SECR P-class No.27.

  • Full coverage of the Bluebell's Model Railway weekend from Derek Hayward, and these photos and video from Ashley Smith

  • A huge album of photos from Carl Simmons, capturing the atmosphere around the railway on 29 June.

  • John Sandys provides photos from Tuesday 27 June - quite a rainy day, which saw Camelot on the one train service very busy with coach parties, also some views of the new play ground at Kingscote and the 01 being prepared for service - and Thursday 29 June, a much drier day with more coach parties enjoying the line, the 09 shunting at Sheffield Park, further work on the 01, and work to install walkways in the Sheffield Park carriage shed.

  • Update (with thanks to Jon Elphic) to the page for 09 shunter D4106, adding Martin Lawrence's photo of it newly repainted into its original livery.

  • During June 2017 there were 44,307 total hits on this page, from 25,746 unique visitors.

  • Brian Lacey's photos below show SECR P-class No.323 'Bluebell' arriving at Horsted Keyenes with the shuttle which provided additional services from Sheffield Park, topped and tailed with No.3 'Captain Baxter' over the Model Railway weekend, and No.65, the SER O1, in the yard at Sheffield Park where the last few things are being done to prepare the locomotive for test running.

Bluebell with Victorian coaches at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 24 June 2017 O1 in the loco yard - Brian Lacey - 24 June 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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