Latest Updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
- Brian Lacey's photo from Monday shows P-class 178 with two SR Maunsell carriages on the Autumn Tints special, passing the platform remains at the former West Hoathly station site. His photo below shows No.323 with the other Autumn Tints train that day, formed with two SR Bulleid carriages.
- The Double Donations Dash DDD125 for the Cash for Cover Appeal has got off to a tremendous start, already over three-quarters of the way to the match-funding target of £125,000. The Gift Aid on the donations will also help us on our way to the full £350,000 target.
Please donate here if you have not already done so - this is a vital development for the future of the Railway's carriage fleet.
- Completion of the first part of the Above Workshop Facility fit-out, including the new Loco Lobby.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday, a lovely sunny warm day, with passengers visiting the Railway and also Sheffield Park Gardens, both just coming into lovely Autumn Colours.
- Martin Lawrence has uploaded a video of West Country Class No.34046 "Braunton" and Brush type 4 No.47237 visiting the Bluebell Railway with the Cathedrals Express railtour earlier in the month. Please note that this video was shot from restricted locations after obtaining special permission. There is no photographic PTS access in these areas.
- Keith Duke has a set of photos from his visit to the Bluebell on 10th October, and a fantastic set from Sheffield Park Gardens the same day.
- The remaining photos below are two from Brian Lacey - a portrait of the U-class, pausing to take water, and B473 departing from Horsted Keynes on Saturday with the GN Saloon immediately behind the locomotive, and one from Steve Lee showing the two P-class locomotives working the lunchtime Pullman Dining Train on Sunday.
The Trains for the coming week page is updated weekly, with detailed information for visiting enthusiasts - but please note that notification of a train or service on that page does not necessarily imply that it is available to the public - all public services are listed in the Timetable.
Note: Throughout this site many of the photos are presented as small versions which can be clicked on to access the full-size image.
Most recent updates: See top of this page
Cash for Cover Appeal
and Double Donations Dash DDD125
The Bluebell Railway is justifiably renowned for its fantastic collection of vintage carriages. We still have over 20 pre-nationalisation carriages stored in the open - to conserve them for the future it is vital to get them under cover as soon as possible. The Cash for Cover Appeal aims to raise £350,000 to enable us to get a roof over those treasures as soon as possible, to prevent them deteriorating further.
Nicholas Owen's video explains the project in more detail.
Please donate here
The Cash For Cover Appeal is to raise money to make a substantial start on the Horsted Keynes Carriage Shed Extension, by constructing the shell and roof of the building. The overall project is known as Operation Undercover Phase 4.
The Double Donations Dash DDD125
If we can raise £125,000 by mid-November, our DDD125 Sponsors will match your donation pound for pound. If we can reach that target we can put a roof over half of the new shed. If we can subsequently raise another £100,000 then we will be able to complete the roof and put 20 carriages under cover!
Please Donate Here - your support is vital to this important project.
Matthew Cousin's drawing below shows what the shed should look like if we raise the full target. The long-term aim however is to add sides, doors, etc. Derek Hayward's photos, taken last Sunday, show the start that has been made on the foundations for the building, with work also required on drainage and services for the existing building. This is being funded from earlier fund-raising within the Carriage & Wagon department, and secures the planning permission we obtained for the project 3 years ago.
- Tony Sullivan's photo shows today's Pathfinder tour on arrival at Kingscote. It was hauled from Crewe to Acton Lane Sidings by a class 47, where Nos.73136 and 73119 "Borough of Eastleigh" took over. As last week, due to the difficulty in accommodating 12 coach trains at Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park whilst also running two other trains of our own, the tour participants transferred at Kingscote onto a Bluebell train headed by the Southern S15 4-6-0 No.847.
- Yesterday, Bombardier issued a press release with more details of the work their apprentices will undertake, in conjunction with SETG and the Bluebell, on our 4VEP unit, No. 3417 "Gordon Pettitt". Bluebell members will be able to read more on this in the imminent issue of Bluebell News. This video shows the unit during its transfer to Ilford, at Stratford on Friday.
- Update from the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society covering progress on the boiler overhaul at Crewe.
- The photos below show:
- S15 No.847 with the empty coaching stock to form the special train for railtour participants, as it approaches Kingscote today (Tony Sullivan);
- Southdown No.547 (PUF 647), a Park Royal-bodied Guy Arab, which was one of the buses taking part in Sunday's Vintage Bus Running Day (Nick Talbot);
- B473 with the Victorian carriages, forming the second service set on Sunday, seen approaching Leamland Bridge (Derek Hayward).
- Andrew Crampton's photo shows West Country Pacific 34046 "Braunton" at West Hoathly on Thursday. His photos below show the incoming railtour at Lingfield, the S15 trailing the Bluebell special train, the Class 47 passing Hurst Green Junction on the return, and "Braunton" approaching Redhill after reversal at South Croydon.
- Tomorrow is our Vintage Bus Running Day with be a number of free vintage bus routes converging on Sheffield Park and East Grinstead stations. Further details are available to download.
- Our 4 Vep unit No.3417 left Clapham Yard at 8.11am this morning and was hauled over to Bombardier's Ilford Depot where she will undergo the start of her restoration as she will be used by Bombardier to train apprentices. The training of engineering apprentices is something very important to the Bluebell, so this a very positive opportunity.
Bombardier have been exceptionally generous with their offer for which "we" - Bluebell and SETG - are very grateful, and will ensure this unique survivor from the 1960s will return to full operational condition.
The SETG - formed of SWT personnel have been very proactive in seeking assistance and an article will appear in the forthcoming Bluebell News, and updates will continue on a regular basis as this programme evolves.
- Dave Bowles' photos showing "Braunton" both on the main line and on the Bluebell.
- Gary Smith's video of Thursday's train, and his wife, Helen's video.
- The second incoming railtour is this coming Thursday 9 October, when a pair of Class 73s will bring in a Pathfinder tour, which originates at Crewe.
- Martin Lawrence has completed his September gallery and started on October which includes photos of the visiting special on the 2nd.
- More from yesterday's visit by "The Cathedrals Express" through train which originated on the Mid Hants Railway, headed by West Country Pacific No.34046 "Braunton". Having left its carriages at Kingscote, the locomotive and its support coach are seen in Derek Hayward's photo on the right leading the train of Bluebell stock, onto which the railtour participants had transferred, with the S15 trailing on the rear.
- Photos from yesterday, from Keith Duke, Ashley Smith (who also provides this video) and John Sandys.
- The photos below show:
- S15 No.847 (back in action following repairs to its broken regulator control rod) with the special train in Mill Place Cutting (Derek Hayward);
- "Braunton arriving with the railtour set at Kingscote (Tony Sullivan);
- No.323 with the Autumn Tints service at Black Hut (Steve Lee);
- West Coast Railways No.47237, which hauled the tour back from Kingscote as far as South Croydon, where the train reversed for its return behind "Braunton", via Redhill and Guildford (Brian Lacey).
- Brian Lacey's photos on the right and below show West Country Pacific 34046 "Braunton" arriving on the Bluebell at lunchtime today, on a railtour from Alresford.
- Photos from Ian Wylie showing "Braunton" steaming through Chiswick en route to the Bluebell: First photo and second.
- Update from the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society covering progress overhauling their locomotive.
- Report in the East Grinstead Courier about last Thursday's free community trip on the Bluebell sponsored by the contractors enlarging the Sainsbury's store at East Grinstead.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster with thanks to Chris Knibbs.
- Reminder that this Sunday is our Vintage Bus Running Day when there will be a number of free vintage bus routes operating to and from the Bluebell Railway. Bus route details and timetables are available to download.
- The final photo below from Brian Lacey shows 323 "Bluebell" with the first of today's Autumn Tints services.
- Rick Hewett's photo shows U-class No.1638 departing from Horsted Keynes last Tuesday, following a repair to a leaking superheater element. Further leaking elements were subsequently discovered, and have now been cured, and the locomotive was back in use this weekend.
- The Autumn Tints services start today, and run on weekdays until 24 October. This year we are expanding the service to offer six departures on most days, and publishing leaflets targeting new markets, through connections from London and Bedford by train to East Grinstead, and by bus from Brighton. The two P-class locomotives will be in charge of the two trains; all seats are reserved, and pre-booking is strongly advised.
- On Thursday this week (2 October), the Autumn Tints service is revised/reduced, to accommodate the incoming railtour headed by Bulleid West Country class Pacific "Braunton". If you wish to travel on the Autumn Tints service that day, pre-booking is essential. The Railtour will run to Kingscote, and "Braunton" will then assist a Bluebell locomotive in hauling a set of our own carriages, for the railtour participants, down to Sheffield Park. The UK Steam Info web pages give timings for the tour.
- Update on the Bulleid Society web site for the overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768,
- The Murder Mystery Evenings on the Golden Arrow Pullman train in November have now sold out. An updated synopsis for 2014 is now available to download, as are the Murder Mystery synopses and dates for 2015.
- John Sandys provides a gallery of photos from a very busy day at the railway on Thursday, with GW tank No.5643 hauling long trains, to accommodate party and special traffic. He also visited briefly on Saturday and provides photos showing the U-class and Birch Grove with their trains.
- Our Chairman's RML bus, with its Bluebell Railway advertising, will be taking part in tomorrow's Earl's Court Society Routemaster Bus event - 6pm to 8pm in Earl's Court One.
- We regret to report that we have lost the RSS feed of updates from the Bluebell, due to Twitter's cessation of its automatic generation.
- Paul Furlong's photo below shows No.5643 on Freshfield Bank on Thursday 25 September. Brian Lacey's photo shows the locomotive taking water at East Grinstead on Friday. Steve Lee's photo shows the E4 No.B473 with the Victorian train on Saturday.
- Richard Farrant's photo shows the E4 at Horsted Keynes on a shortened service set A on Sunday - the locomotive had been in use on a Wedding Charter using the Wealden Rambler set on the Saturday.
- Pleased to report that Dave Clarke successfully completed the Reigate Half-marathon on Sunday, raising funds for the restoration of our unique Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864, for which Deborah Salmon also cycled 37 miles a couple of weeks ago. Please do sponsor their efforts via this JustGiving page.
- Nice plug in Radio Times, where we feature as one of the top five locations used in the filming of "The Suspicions of Mr Whicher".
- Dave Braley has an album of photos from the last couple of weekends at Horsted Keynes.
- Martin Lawrence has added a few new photos from Saturday and Sunday to his September Album showing the access road works at West Hoathly, the hot air balloons at Horsted Keynes, and several views of Kingscote station.
- Update to web page for our (potential) second LBSCR goods van, reflecting the fact that it's most unlikely that the underframe is actually from the van numbered 1577 (with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski).
- Brian Lacey's photos below show the S15 entering Horsted Keynes on Saturday, and the SECR H-class with two SECR/LCDR carriages immediately behind it, entering East Grinstead. The S15 unfortunately expired with regulator problems that evening at Horsted Keynes, but we managed to get all passengers to their destinations on other trains. This is why the E4 took over its trains on the Sunday, and consequently the lunchtime Pullman Dining train on Sunday was operated using the pair of P-class locos (as seen in Richard Farrant's photo below), since the U-class, C-class and 5643 were all unavailable due to being under maintenance.
- Brian Lacey's photo on the right shows the GW tank No.5643 during its run-round at Sheffield Park on Monday. It is also seen approaching East Grinstead below, as is the C&W Works Shunter, whilst shunting stock in the carriage maintenance yard.
- Job Vacancies advertised for a Kitchen Assistant and a part-time Shop Assistant. A reminder also that the advertisement for a Carriage & Wagon Fitter closes at the end of this week.
- Updates, with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski, to the pages for the second Dancehall brake van, the owners of which wish it to be known by its BR number S55490 and not by that allocated by the SECR, and the pages for SR Conflat D 39617 and SR (Bulleid) 5-plank open wagon 12058 have been amended to reflect their short-term hire to a film company.
- Update to the early history of the Bluebell, with more information and a photo covering the first Bluebell service train to enter Horsted Keynes station on 29 October 1961, with thanks to George Ray.
- Update to the Lewes & East Grinstead Railway historical page, adding information about the railway-related origin of the brick works at West Hoathly.
- Editorial/layout updates to the Extensions page.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the ex-LBSCR E4 arriving at Horsted Keynes with the Victorian coaches yesterday. The other locomotives in steam were the S15 on the other service set, the H-class on the Lunchtime Pullman service and P-class No.178 was station pilot. No.5643 was being warmed through for this week's services.
- Daniel Matthews, one of our volunteer P-way gang, managed to capture this video yesterday, showing the two Lancasters flying over Horsted Keynes!
- Martin Lawrence has added a few more shots to his September gallery.
- Some publicity on VintageBrighton.com, for this Autumn's Murder Mystery evenings.
- John Sandys' photos from Thursday include shots covering attention to the trees adjacent to the driveway at Sheffield Park, shunting at Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, shots of the locomotive works and shed, and the S15 on the service train. One tree needed to be felled, and the rest had attention to higher branches. His photos below show:
- the line-up of locos in the yard;
- buffet coach No.1818, which has just returned from Cranmore Traincare following structural repairs at one end (we did the other end ourselves some years back), attention to the lower body-side, and rebedding of the side-lights. We are undertaking the re-wiring and interior refurbishment ourselves. This carriage has now been running on the Bluebell for 30 years!
- levelling the work-site for the Carriage Shed Extension (Operation Undercover Phase 4) at Horsted Keynes. At this stage we are just making a start on the foundations to secure the planning permission. The new shed will eventually cover the maintenance road and 4 storage roads to get another 20 pre-grouping and pre-nationalisation carriages under cover. We hope to be able to move forward fairly rapidly on the first phase of the building once the money is available. More information in the forthcoming edition of Bluebell News.
- Ted Anderson's funeral details are on the BRPS Members' Information page.
- Brian Lacey's photo from Monday shows No.5643 setting off with the 1.15pm service from Sheffield Park.
- The S15 took over the services on Tuesday, as seen below in John Sandys' photo at East Grinstead.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday include the Adams Radial and No.1520 returned to Sheffield Park, No.5643 in charge of the service train, a look inside both the locomotive workshop and Kingscote North Signal Box, plus some new stock in the shop.
- On a misty Saturday morning the H-class is seen as it approaches Horsted Keynes with the Victorian train. Richard Salmon's other photos below show SR 8-plank wagon No.30004 in the works for the replacement of some rotten planks, our LSWR pair of Radial Tank No.488 and restored carriage No.1520 on display at Hampton (for the 150th Anniversary of the Shepperton Branch) and the Chairman's RML carrying Bluebell advertising, which was also in attendance (along with two of his RTs).
- Martin Lawrence has added some photos to his September gallery.
- To raise funds for the restoration of our unique Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864, Deborah Salmon cycled 37 miles from London to Windsor on Sunday - photos here. In two weeks time, Dave Clarke will take part in the Reigate Half-marathon. Please do sponsor their efforts via this JustGiving page.
- John Sandys' photo shows the frames of No.73082 "Camelot" in the works at Sheffield Park on Monday this week.
- The South-East regional variant of Monday's BBC ONE "Inside Out" feature on the Bluebell was slightly longer, with slightly different material - available on iPlayer until next Monday - it's 10.00 minutes into this version of the programme.
- An article in The Argus entitled "Build it and they will come" also features the Bluebell's recent success.
- Daniel Green has some photos and a video from last Sunday, 31 August, featuring all three of our Southern Railway liveried locomotives, the S15, U and E4.
- We are currently advertising to recruit a full-time Carriage & Wagon Fitter.
- Sad to report that long-serving Extension volunteer Ted Anderson passed away on Tuesday. Further details on the BRPS Members' pages.
- The most recent Bluebell Safety Newsletter for staff is now available - apologies for the late posting on here.
- John Sandys' photo shows the S15 drawing the stock for the first service of the day into the platform at Sheffield Park. His other photos from Monday are here.
- The photo below by Ian Nolan, showing the carriage on arrival at the Bluebell in 1962, has been added to the web page for LCDR Brake 2nd No.48.
- Andrew Crampton's photo on the right shows Tornado at Sharpthorne Tunnel on the last day of service at the Bluebell on the Sunday 3rd August. His photos below cover the runs with our four Victorian Metropolitan Railway "Chesham" carriages during the Chesham 125 Anniversary specials on Sunday 17th August, showing Met.1 passing Northwood Hills on the fast line, and GWR No.5521 (as L.150) pausing at Rickmansworth on the last service before heading back to Ruislip depot.
- You can catch the BBC ONE Inside Out feature on the success of our extension to East Grinstead for the next week on BBC iPlayer - 21:20 into the programme.
- Ben Gray provides some photos taken at the Bluebell on the Friday 29th August.
- Slight change made to the Golden Arrow Murder Mystery synopsis for 2015, which is available to download as a pdf.
- The final photo below, from the C&W works from Derek Hayward, shows the 1881-built LBSCR Stroudley Brake Third No.949, now ready for its roof canvas.
- During July and August 2014 there were 135,062 total hits on this page, from 76,267 unique visitors.
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