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18 October:
S15 at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 14 October 2017
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the S15, currently running without smoke deflectors, at East Grinstead on 14 October. His two photos below, the same day, show 65 with the Wealden Rambler at Horsted Keynes the same day, and 323 with some of the Victorian carriages entering Horsted.

  • Special Half-term Offer: Kids for a Quid - 23-26 and 28-29 October.

  • Thurs 26 & Fri 27 Oct: Hallowe'en Scream Train - a daytime train for kids (Friday), and evening train for adults and accompanied teenagers (Thursday and Friday). These events are being run in association with Fun Fear and Claire White Studios. Full details, including online ticket purchase, here.

    Tr(ack) Action AppealTr(ack) Action Appeal

  • Those of you who have travelled on the Bluebell Railway recently will have noticed there are sections of the line where the journey is a little uneven. This is due to track wear. The Railway wishes to accelerate its programme of track renewal; thus we have launched the Tr(ack) Action Appeal to raise funds to do so. In addition to improving passenger comfort the renewed track will reduce maintenance costs on locomotives and carriages.
    Please do donate to our Tr(ack) Action Appeal now if you are able to. You can read more details about the Appeal here, and there's a superb video available here.

  • News Update An Infrastructure News update with thanks to Jon Goff shows the preparation of reinforced concrete blocks for stabilisation of the embankments around Poleay Bridge, which will be November's main civil engineering activity.

  • News Update On Monday a group from Project 27 and the Fenchurch Fund went to Tata Steel and Premier Patterns to see the progress on the work on the new frames and cylinders. They had a grand day out and came away buzzing from the realisation that we are well on the way to seeing Southern Railway P Class no. A27 working again! Clive has added a picture blog to the Project 27 BlogSpot.
    Another blog entry from a few days ago shows the progress with stripping the old frames and removal of the whitemetal from the axleboxes.

O1 with Wealden Rambler at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 14 October 2017 323 enters at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 14 October 2017

The Deltic Preservation Society 40th Anniversary Gala took place at the Bluebell Railway 6-8 October 2017.

  • There were lots of photos and videos appearing each day, and over the following week, on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
  • Derek Hayward has added 22 images to his Deltic gallery (which also covers their earlier visit).
  • Nick Dearden's video
  • Sunday afternoon, from Ashley Smith - a short video and some photos.
  • Andrew Crampton's photos below show the 09 approaching Holywell with a brakevan ride, and D9002 'The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry' just south of Horsted Keynes.
  • Then we have Mike Anton's in-cab view from D9009 'Alycidon', and the same loco, from Julian Clark, as it blasts away from Horsted Keynes with Friday's 12 coach train (plus No.19 on the rear).
  • Finally two more from Julian Clark, showing the special photographic line-up at Horsted on the Friday, and the token exchange at Kingscote, as 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' arrives with the 3pm service from East Grinstead.
09 approaching Holywell with a Queen Mary brakevan - Andrew Crampton - 7 October 2017 D9002 approaching Horsted Keynes - Andrew Crampton - 7 October 2017 Inside the cab of Alycidon - Mike Anton - 6 October 2017 Alycidon with a 12-coach train - Julian Clark - 6 October 2017 Deltic photographic line-up - Julian Clark - 6 October 2017 Token exchange at Kingscote with Royal Highland Fusilier - Julian Clark - 6 October 2017


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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.

latestlatestMost recent updates: See top of this page


4 October:
  • Stop Press: Due to filming taking place the Railway will be entirely closed to the public for the day on 11 October.
    No trains were scheduled to run that day in any case.

  • The Deltics have arrived: Video of the convoy en-route.
    D9009, 55019 and D9002 are visiting us for the Deltic Preservation Society's 40th Anniversary Gala which starts on Friday, and continues all weekend.

  • There are only a few spaces available on the Brake Van Rides during the Gala - book now so you don't miss out. £15 per person to ride the length of the line behind our 09, D4106, and also includes a bacon butty! Call 01825 720800 - office hours.

  • Martin Lawrence was on duty at East Grinstead today and his photos of their arrival are below.
Deltics arrive on Bluebell metals - Martin Lawrence - 4 October 2017 Deltics on our viaduct - Martin Lawrence - 4 October 2017


3 October:
847 on Autumn Tints and D4106 shunting - Huw Lloyd - 2 October 2017
  • Huw Lloyd has been visiting us from Canada to work in the C&W department for a few weeks, and provides this photo taken yesterday, showing the S15 departing from Horsted Keynes with the Autumn Tints service, whilst the 09 shunts stock to form up the three carriage sets required for the Deltic Preservation Society 40th Anniversary Gala, which starts on Friday.

  • John Sandys' photos from Sunday, including the vintage buses, our trains, and a look at the stock in the Carriage Shop at Horsted Keynes, which has extended opening hours (9am to 5pm each day, except closing at 4pm on Sunday) over all three days of the Deltic Gala. The shop currently has large stocks of previously-owned railway & transport books, photographs, models railways, vintage magazines and other collectables.

  • An additional Fish and Chips Supper Special has been added on Friday 20 October. Board the 6:30pm supper train from Sheffield Park Station and enjoy a delicious fish & Chips supper. Tickets cost £30 per person (includes dessert and tea/coffee). To book please call the customer service team on 01825 720800.

  • Advance notice: our Annual Carol Service will take place on Saturday 2 December. Further details awaited.

  • Peter Churchman's photos below, taken during the Bus Running Day on Sunday, feature in particular Eastbourne Corporation No.42, the last surviving bus with a body by Bruce of Cardiff, on an AEC Regent III chassis, built in 1951.

Buses at Sheffield Park - Peter Churchman - 1 October 2017 Eastbourne Corporation 42 at Sheffield Park - Peter Churchman - 1 October 2017


2 October:
65 with a Wedding Charter - Peter Edwards - 30 September 2017
  • Peter Edwards' photo shows No.65 approaching Town House Bridge with a Wedding Charter at around 1pm on Saturday.

  • To connect with the Deltic Gala, we have a Free Preserved Bus Service running from Brighton and Lewes to Sheffield Park on Sunday 8 October. You can download the Service 20 Bus timetable and details here.

  • Another additional attraction at the Deltic Gala is a talk entitled "Trial Trips and Deltic performance on the ECML" given by BRPS President Gordon Pettitt. As a manager on the Eastern Region of British Railways when the Deltics were introduced, Gordon is able to give a first-hand insight into their performance in the early days. The talk, lasting about half an hour, will take place in the Birch Grove Suite above the Bessemer Arms Restaurant at Sheffield Park, starting at 2.15pm on Saturday 7 October.

  • Tickets are now on sale for the Victorian Christmas Trains from Sheffield Park which run on Thursday 21 December.

  • First class tickets can now be booked online for the Santa Specials. Third Class tickets have been on sale for some time, and some trains are already sold out! This year there are departures (each day of the Santa Specials) from East Grinstead as well as from Sheffield Park.

  • During September 2017 there were 42,510 total hits on this page, from 24,950 unique visitors.

  • Brian Lacey's photos below show the S15 at West Hoathley today with one of the Autumn Tints services, which run on certain weekdays through October, and which use both the Observtion Car, giving a all-round view, and the Lounge Car set, offering a range of on-train refreshment options. Pre-booking is recommended for the Observation Car, and essential for the catering options.
    His other photos cover some maintenance work currently taking place in the Locomotive Works, where the SECR H-class, whilst awaiting the fitting of replacement springs, is receiving a partial repaint, and the SR Q-class is receiving a scheduled Valve and Piston overhaul; its valves and one piston can be seen receiving attention in the foreground of these photos.

847 with an Autumn Tints service - Brian Lacey - 2 October 2017 847 with an Autumn Tints service - Brian Lacey - 2 October 2017 847 with an Autumn Tints service - Brian Lacey - 2 October 2017


28 September:
847 brings its train into East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 27 September 2017
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows S15 No.847 as it brings its train (the 1.15 from Sheffield Park) into East Grinstead yesterday.

  • Derek Hayward's "Steam Through the Ages" gallery is now fully uploaded, with 150 images available to view, covering both days.

  • Martin Lawrence has added more photos to his September gallery.

  • John Sandys has some photos from Tuesday (26 September).

  • We've a lot coming up in the next month!

  • Memorial for our late member, Stuart Burrell.
    On Sunday 17th September members of the Burrell family visited the Memorial Garden at Horsted Keynes to unveil a memorial to Stuart who passed away last year. The family were welcomed by Graham Aitken, Chris Saunders & Ben Coughlan on behalf of the railway. Following the ceremony, the family, in accordance with Stuart's wishes, very generously presented the railway with the original BR smokebox number plate for No.30928 'Stowe', the Schools-class locomotive based on the Bluebell. The presentation also included some documentation which included British Railways' maintenance record card for 'Stowe', an invaluable artefact that sheds light on an important part of 928's history. The number plate will be attached to 'Stowe' when it carries its BR livery.
    The photos below show the memorial block, and three generations of the Burrell family (including his widow, Gail) with Ben, who accepted the smokebox plate on behalf of the railway.

Memorial block for Stuart Burrell - Chris Saunders Presentation of Stowe's number plate - Chris Saunders - 17 September 2017


26 September:
S15 at 1940s Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 23 September 2017
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the S15 at 1940s' Horsted Keynes on Saturday as part of our very popular "Steam Through the Ages" event. His photo below shows one of two bomb disposal units present, and a further photo at the bottom of today's entry shows the O1, representing the Victorian period (four of our Victorian carriages were also in its train).

  • Some versions of the SECR P-class OO-gauge model which Hattons have announced are available for pre-order through the Bluebell Railway Shop. These are:
    • 178 in full SECR lined livery with brass dome
    • 31027 BR Black Early Emblem
    • 31323 BR Black Late Emblem
    • 'Pioneer II' in Bowater's Paper Mill Green
    • 27 'Primrose' Bluebell Railway Lined Black
    • 323 'Bluebell' Railway Blue livery circa 2010

  • The bus timetables for Sunday 1 October's Bus Running Day are now available to download in a more complete form. Trains run to our normal Service 2 timetable.

  • Santa Specials: Appeal for more Volunteers.
    This invitation is open to all BRPS Members, particularly those who have considered becoming a volunteer before but haven't got round to it, as well as volunteers from other departments who would like to try something different for a change.
    The role of the stewards is to serve refreshments and look after our visitors during the train journey to and from Horsted Keynes whilst being a friendly face of the Bluebell Railway. Once our visitors have arrived at Horsted Keynes, we will need further volunteers to help with the attractions provided there.
    Since we are expanding the operation this year, we are holding a Recruitment Drive on 14 and 15 October, and invite you to Sheffield Park station between 11am and 3pm to meet Julia Pique, Roger Sanderson and Graham Aitken, who will be on Platform 1 outside the shop to answer any questions you may have and hopefully welcome you as a Santa Volunteer. Alternatively please email Julia.

  • Talking of the Santa Specials, whilst Third Class tickets have been available online for some time, First Class tickets go on sale on Monday 2 October.

  • Nice video compilation of 323 'Bluebell' at the Severn Valley Railway from their gala last weekend, provided by Lee Andrew Davies.

  • Roger Carpenter also provides some great photos of 323 at the event, from Saturday.

  • Derek Hayward has posted 65 photos from Steam Through the Ages, mostly from Horsted Keynes with its 1940s wartime theme.

  • Following the resignation of Tom Waghorn as a BRPS Trustee, Sheina Foulkes has been co-opted onto the committee until the next AGM. A full list of Society and plc officials is available on the Who's Who page.

  • John Sandys took a few photos during a quick visit to Sheffield Park last Thursday, 21 September, including that below, showing the O1 in the yard alongside the frames of 'Stowe' which were lifted from its wheels a few weeks ago and now sits on the accommodation bogies in the loco yard. This is a significant milestone for the project and releases a huge amount of work on the frames, while also allowing the driving wheels to be sent away for tyre turning and attention to the journals. The front bogie is stripped into its component parts and is now undergoing cleaning and repair before reassembly. Offsite work on the boiler continues, with the specialist welding of the caulking grooves and assembly of the doorplate and tubeplate to the inner firebox crown sheet.
    John also took a photo of the newly arrived Bachmann SECR Birdcage Set, available from our shop, in BR red livery.

Bomb disposal display at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 23 September 2017 O1 and frames of 'Stowe' in loco yard - John Sandys - 21 September 2017

  • Julian Heinemann's photos below from 9 September show the recent focus of work on the Camelot Society's CCT van currently being overhauled in the C&W department. The large north-end doors have been rebuilt; these were in relatively good condition, requiring repairs to many of the planks but just one new plank across the bottom of each door. Those at the south end seem to have received the brunt of the weather, and whilst many of the inner layer of planks can be re-used, a complete set of new external planks will be required, the timber (utile) for which is on order.
    The bottom of each end opening consists of a substantial timber which forms a flap which lowers onto the buffers. That for the north end has been repaired, but at the south end, a section has been renewed, as seen in Julian Heinemann's second photo.

65 ready to leave Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 23 September 2017 Repaired end doors for the Camelot Society's CCT - Julian Heinemann - 9 September 2017 Repaired end door flap for the Camelot Society's CCT - Julian Heinemann - 9 September 2017


21 September:
'Camelot' at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 20 September 2017
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows 'Camelot' during its run-round preparing for the 2.15pm departure from East Grinstead yesterday. His photo below shows the S15 with empty coaching stock following a special charter for a school, having completed a round-trip from East Grinstead with stops at Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes.

  • This weekend is our new "Steam Through the Ages" event, which replaces our wartime weekend, with the 1940s portrayed at Horsted Keynes station, along with the Victorian, 1960s and 1980s at other stations. Timetable is Service 2, with three locomotives in steam.

  • Nick Dearden's video shows earthwork moving and laying of pointwork to enable carriages to be placed in the OP4 shed at Horsted Keynes.

  • A reminder that, coming up in just a couple of weeks (6-8 October), we have our Deltic Preservation Society Gala, helping the DPS celebrate their 40th Anniversary, with three Deltics on an intensive 3-train service, with additional photo opps, brake van rides with our 09, and a 12-coach train to end each day (on the Friday and Saturday). The timetable for the event is now available to download.

  • News Update Project 27 has just received the pictures below from Premier Patterns. They show "slices" of the pattern for the new cylinders, CNC cut from solid polystyrene, laid out on the pattern makers bench and the second showing the slices being glued together. They are reporting that the work will take in the region of 10 to 14 days before the patterns are ready for the foundry. So it now looks as though it will be the beginning of November or thereabouts for the delivery of the new cylinder block casting.

    Tata Steel have rolled the 22mm plate for the frames and this is likely to be delivered to their profiling plant next week. Cutting is likely to begin the following week. Again it looks likely that delivery will take place towards the beginning of November.


Pattern sections for P-class No.27 - Premier Patterns - 20 September 2017 S15 at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 20 September 2017

Robert Hayward supplies the two photos below: P-class No.323 'Bluebell' is currently visiting the Severn Valley Railway for their Autumn Gala. It is first seen on its low-loader on Monday morning ready to leave Sheffield Park, and secondly being warmed though this morning at Bewdley, since it's not running until tomorrow.

P-class No.323 on low-loader ready to leave Sheffield Park - Robert Hayward - 18 September 2017 P-class No.323 at Bewdley - Robert Hayward - 21 September 2017


19 September:
S15 with the Harvey's Halt special - Brian Lacey - 16 September 2017
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the S15 on Saturday with the special Harvey's Halt launch train.

  • A reminder that on Sunday 1 October we have our Vintage Bus Day - with free vintage buses running on routes from both Sheffield Park and East Grinstead stations. The bus timetables are now available to download.

  • First Class tickets for our Santa Specials go on sale on 2 October. Third-class tickets for these family Christmas Trains are already on sale online. This year we have far more of these trains starting from East Grinstead, and all visitors now have the opportunity to visit Santa's Reindeer, which will be at Horsted Keynes station, as well as a new Special 'Elf House' for our younger visitors.

  • Julian Heinemann's photo from the previous Saturday shows 73082 'Camelot' having just shunted the SR Queen Mary Brake Van onto the back of the train at Kingscote, prior to running round to take the train back south.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below shows the O1 with the vintage coaches at East Grinstead, also on Saturday.

'Camelot' having shunted the Brake Van at Kingscote - Julian Heinemann - 9 September 2017 65 with vintage train at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 16 September 2017


16 September:
'Camelot' with goods train - Peter Edwards - 9 September 2017
  • Last weekend No.73082 'Camelot' hauled a goods train in the morning, as seen in this photo by Peter Edwards.

  • News Update An update on the Project 27 BlogSpot covering eccentrics, frames and cylinders.

  • News Update New pictures, taken by John Fry, of the overhaul of Bulleid coach No.5768 have been uploaded to the Bulleid Society's web site.

  • We are holding a Macmillan Charity Coffee Morning on Friday 29 September. Bring along your cakes and a donation of £10 and we will provide a cup of tea or coffee on board the special train, which leaves Sheffield Park Station at 11:15am. Your donated cakes will be sold on the train for this good cause. Booking is essential; to book please call 01825 720800.

  • John Harwood's video from earlier in the week, with the S15 on the viaduct, work taking place tracklaying in the new shed at Horsted Keynes, and 'Camelot' with a footplate experience course.

  • Recent photos: Martin Lawrence has completed his August gallery and started September's.
    John Sandys provides albums from 11-12 September, Thursday 7 September and 24 August.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below, from last Saturday, shows O1-class No.65 with the Victorian 4-wheelers and the Observation Car, which is currently forming the vintage set at weekends.

  • The second photo below (thanks to Stuart Pay) from Thursday shows Maunsell droplight open third No.1336, which has been in the paintshop and received two coats of paint on its roof, and currently a much-needed touch-up and revarnish on the sides.

65 with vintage train at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 9 September 2017 Maunsell 1336 in the paint shop - Stuart Pay - 14 September 2017


14 September:
Track Trek poster - Mike Hopps
  • Join us for Track Trek 2017 on Saturday 18 November - A sponsored walk over the entire length of the line, taking advantage of a weekend when we have no trains running due to track maintenance work. A bus will be provided to ferry participants to or from the start/end points before and after the trek. Registration details available here.

  • Details of a few additional events over the coming weeks:

  • News Update Lots of progress on the OP4 shed at Horsted Keynes over the last month is reported in several Infrastructure News updates, thanks to Jon Goff and Bruce Healey. See also photos below

  • Update to the page for our Gangwayed Bogie Luggage Van No.2462, adding a new photo.

  • We regret to report that Camelot's planned visit to the West Somerset Railway has sadly been cancelled/postponed.

  • Following the appointment of some new directors at the recent plc AGM, there's an update to the Who's Who page

  • During August 2017 there were 43,707 total hits on this page, from 26,037 unique visitors.

Tramroad nearing completion - Bruce Healey - 23 August 2017 Tracklaying in H-road - Bruce Healey - 23 August 2017
The almost completed tramroad in the maintenance area of the new shed
Tracklaying in progress in H-road, with F & G-roads almost complete

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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