Latest Updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
- Steve Lee's photo shows E4 No.B473 in the Autumn sun at New Road Bridge on Saturday 15 November.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday include an out-of-frames steam test of the boiler for the Q-class, and photos at East Grinstead, Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park. John also has photos from today, including annual boiler tests for the S15 & H-class locomotives, and the 09 shunting at Sheffield Park.
- New photo added to the C&W news page on the repairs being carried out to SR 8-plank open wagon No.30004, with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski.
- The new Reindeer Specials from East Grinstead are filling up fast, with Sunday 14 Dec, Saturday 20 Dec and Sunday 21 Dec already sold out - Travel from East Grinstead to meet the Reindeer family, and visit Santa in his cabin - booking details for other dates.
- Martin Lawrence provides a short video clip from the 2nd November showing S15 No.847 performing a sandwich shunt at Sheffield Park and then P-class No.323 "Bluebell" taking the three four wheel coaches to East Grinstead.
Martin has just re-discovered some photographs from 2008, when he started visiting the Bluebell. The first batch are from July 2008 should you wish to view them.
- Photos below: Token exchanges - Robin Wilson's photo shows the exchange of tokens, Northbound at Horsted Keynes, and Brian Lacey's that Southbound at Kingscote - both taken on Saturday.
Brian Lacey's second photo shows the U-class arriving at Sheffield Park with its train on Saturday.
- Steve Lee's photo shows SR U-class No.1638 working hard at Three Arch Bridge yesterday.
- Photos from Camelot Society Chairman, Peter Gibbs, illustrate an update on work on Camelot's boiler, at Crewe. A recent inspection of the boiler work by representatives of the Bluebell Railway and the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society has revealed very good progress with the boiler overhaul, including the riveting on of the brand-new section of boiler barrel.
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
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the E4 leaving Sheffield Park on 27 October.
- Don't forget we have our Special offer - Kids for a Quid every weekend throughout November.
- The Locomotive Duty Roster for the coming weekend is now available with thanks to Chris Knibbs.
- Update with the current positions in the Football Competition which is raising funds for the overhaul of our Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864. The competition is very close, with only 2 points separating the top four!
- Steve Lee's photo shows E4 No.B473 with the southbound "Set B" service approaching Ketches Halt on Saturday.
- James Batcheler's video shows the trains running on the Bluebell on Sunday, when the E4, U-class and two Ps were in service. 2 minutes silence was observed by stopping the down train at West Hoathly at 11am, and holding the departure of the service due to start at that time from Sheffield Park.
- This coming weekend we have a sale in the Bessemer Arms, organised by our Shop. The Fenchurch Fund - Project 27 has been invited to have a stand in the room to sell off some of their stock, mainly second hand books but some other goodies as well. They will also have the "PROJECT 27" range of clothing, the last few "Fenchurch 140" mugs, tea cans, a selection of jam and marmalade kindly supplied to us by Brendon Hill Crafts (Derek and Ruth DeMaid both ex Bluebell Train Crew), as well as a selection of chutneys made by Mrs Emsley.
The bookshop will be open as normal and the Bulleid shop will also be open so plenty of opportunity to snap up a bargain!
- From Roger Kelly:The Cash for Cover Appeal has reached an amazing £350,000 in just a month, enough to put up a roof capable of covering twenty vintage carriages. The incredible response has delighted not just myself, but also Society Chairman Roy Watts, Company Chairman Dick Fearn and C&W Director Lewis Nodes, who all wish to thank everyone who has contributed. The generosity of the 1,300 donors has been beyond all expectations.
This is a tremendous start to Operation Undercover 4, which is of course more than just a roof. A lot more than the current target is required for doors, walls, storage space etc., so this Appeal will remain in being in one form or another a while.
The message is, if you wish to support the project, please don't stop now the first target has been reached. A few people have started Standing Orders and many more would be welcome. Only the first year of standing order has been included in the reported sum raised, as we can only spend what we have in the bank or can expect in the next few months. A standing order form can be downloaded here. Donations can still be made online with Just Giving or by PayPal. The latter do not charge for administration, and the credit card fees are covered by PayPal themselves, so is the preferred method, but it easy to forget to complete the Gift Aid section, which comes after the donation has been made, so make sure you do if you wish us to claim back the tax you have paid.
The OU4 Project Steering Group meet on the 25 November to plan the work for 2015,so that is the next deadline for making donations. The Steering Group will make their plans on the sum raised to that date or promised for the immediate future.
Thank you again to all who have made donations or plan to do so
- On Friday 7th November the Railway was presented with The Chris Copsey Gold Award in recognition of the railway's contribution to the community of Mid Sussex at The Bright FM Awards. The award was presented by Martin Stoner of HJ Stoner & Son, jewellers of Burgess Hill and Kevin King of Bright FM.
Pictured below are (L-R) James Young, Tim Baker, Julia Pique, David Cockram, Russell Pearce, Caroline Collins, Neil Glaskin and Martin Stoner.
The Bluebell Railway also sponsored the Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented by our Retail Director Neil Glaskin to Paul Myles for his work with Burgess Hill Youth and the Sussex Young Peoples Clubs.
- Martin Lawrence has made a start on his November photo gallery.
- Steve Lee's final two photos from Saturday below show No.B473 shunting the Pullman stock at Sheffield Park, and the pair of SECR Ps with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train. The SR U-class No.1638 was also in service.
- Andrew Strongitharm's photo shows the ex-LBSCR E4 No.B473 on yesterday's photo charter, hauling appropriate pre-grouping carriages into Horsted Keynes. The charter was organised by Jon Bowers.
- Great set of colour photos from David Ford of a visit to Bluebell in April 1964.
- Update from Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski to the history section on the web page for 4Vep 3417 with a new seating plan diagram from 1967 and additional text.
- Another of Andrew's shots from yesterday's photo charter - an atmospheric shot of the E4 at Horsted Keynes, this time with Maunsell carriages, after dark.
- Steve Lee's photo on the right shows the E4 as it headed south from Horsted Keynes with the Victorian set on Saturday. On Sunday morning this locomotive was failed with a broken spring, and the Victorian coaches were therefore hauled by the SECR P-class locomotives, when they were not required for the lunchtime Pullman service. The plan to then use the 09 to cover the middle of the three outings for that set was thwarted by the need to change a cell in its battery.
- On the web site documenting the reconstruction of the Waverley Route (Borders Railway) there's this photo showing No.66739 "Bluebell Railway" on a track-laying train.
- Steve Lee's photo below shows the S15 approaching Kinsgcote on Saturday. This locomotive is now due a washout, and should be replaced by either No.1638 or No.5643 for the coming weekend.
- John Sandys' photo shows the S15 approaching Imberhorne Lane Bridge on 27 October, showing just how quickly nature reclaims what were freshly excavated cutting sides just a few years ago. Compare it to this view by Yoshi Hashida from just over 18 months ago!
- The Cash for Cover Appeal continues to power forward; many thanks to everyone who's donated so far. The appeal total has now reached £328,000! We're not there yet, and the whole project will eventually be a lot more than the simple roofed shed we are currently targeting, so maximising the donations we receive now will boost us towards the completion of the full scheme.
Please donate to Cash for Cover if you can.
- This video from John Harwood, from Friday covers the last weekday trains of the season, over the half term holiday, which were well filled. The Victorian set is seen at Kingscote, polished and shining in the sun, behind E4 No.B473. At East Grinstead a time lapse sequence captured the crowds on Set A with the S15 No.847.
- Photo update on the overhaul of Schools No.928 "Stowe".
- Aron Stenning's photos from his visit on Saturday.
- Alan Bedford visited the line the previous weekend, and provides these superb photos from both the Railway and Sheffield Park Gardens.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster for the first couple of weekends in November, with thanks to Chris Knibbs.
- During October 2014 there were 63,941 total hits on this page, from 36,992 unique visitors.
- Steve Lee's photo below shows the E4 on departure from Kinsgcote on Saturday.
- The S15 is seen with the 2.45pm train from Sheffield Park yesterday, with a good head of steam ready for the two-mile climb to the tunnel, in Charlie Ralph's photo taken at Horsted House Farm.
- New C&W news page on the repairs being carried out to SR 8-plank wagon No.30004, and an update on GWR 8-plank open wagon No.87782, with thanks to Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski.
- New web page for Mk.1 corridor composite carriage No.16012, which has arrived under a "storage with use" agreement.
- Update to web page for BR Standard 4 tank No.80064, adding photos, including that below, supplied to the Bluebell Archive by Jim Lofts, an ex-Fireman from Stratford shed in London in the 1950s, which shows the engine on a Wynns low loader, while being transported to the Bluebell in 1984.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows No.B473 leaving Sheffield Park with our two Victorian LCDR carriages at the head of the Victorian train, which has formed one of the two service sets over the last week. A third LCDR carriage is approaching the end of its overhaul at Horsted Keynes.
- The Double Donations Dash was achieved with 18 days to spare.
Fantastic news on the Cash for Cover Appeal: we have reached the DDD125 match-funding target of £125,000. The Match Funding from our generous sponsors, Gift Aid and some other donations received for the project now puts us well on the way to the full £350,000 target, to enable us to get 20 carriages under cover. The appeal total now stands at a magnificent £293,000! We cannot let up, however, so whilst thanking the 1000-or-so individuals who have donated already, we still need to raise a lot more to reach our target!
Please donate here if you can.
- Keith Duke's photos from Saturday - including a nice set from the early evening.
- John Sandys' photos from Monday.
- Dates now available for Personal Track Safety courses for Bluebell lineside photographers for 2015.
- Update to the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Project Component Sponsorship list
- Martin Lawrence has added the final five photos to his October gallery.
- The remaining photos below from Brian Lacey show the S15 pleasing a small gallery of photographers as it enters Hortsed Keynes on Saturday, the H-class, in the workshop for the replacement of a few boiler stays, as part of its annual boiler exam, on Monday, and today the S15 bursts out of the tunnel at West Hoathly.
- 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.
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.
Latest updates - Earlier updates - Latest Project News
Weekly train running information - Archive News
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