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25 September:
Q-class with Victorian and Maunsell stock - Brian Lacey - 22 September 2018
  • Three more photos by Brian Lacey from Saturday, showing the three locos running that day, in the rain.

    To the right, the Maunsell Q-class arrives at Horsted Keynes with the 12.15 train from Sheffield Park, formed of the four Victorian 4-wheelers and the SR Maunsell stock.

    Below we see the guard giving the right away to the S15 at the head of the 3.04pm departure from Horsted Keynes.

    The SECR O1-class No.65 was back in action this weekend, seen here with Saturday's Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train.

  • In contrast Jonathan Hughes struck it lucky after the rain went and the sun came out, as witnessed in this photo of S15 No.847 as it rounds Freshfield Curve with the 4.10 service the following day.

Right away - Brian Lacey - 22 September 2018 O1 with the Wealden Rambler - Brian Lacey - 22 September 2018

24 September:
S15 with rain-cover - John S Horton - 22 September 2018 Guard shelters from rain - John S Horton - 22 September 2018
  • Saturday was notable for its rain... for John S Horton this was an opportunity for some atmospheric photos, and in the first on the right the guard is seen sheltering in the brake van, and in the second, the tarpaulin gives a modicum of protection to the crew of the S15.

  • News UpdateWork on OP4 continues - onward, and upward - Barry Luck, OP4 Project Manager (Infrastructure)

    Stevenson's have now completed the Heritage Skills Centre framework, and as shown in photo below the roof is now on. There is a little bit of tidying up to be done, but apart from that, this phase of the work is now complete. We are continuing to raise funds for the next stage, which will enable us to complete the walls around the Skill Centre and this side of the shed.

    In the meantime, the Infrastructure team have been working in the yard, laying trackwork into the shed. Two roads, F and G are complete as seen below, and work has started at the southern end of the salt yard on the next turnout which will lead into roads H and J. Nature is also helping out, with the beginnings plant life showing on the embankment face.

    Don't forget the Cash for Cover donation page.


Framework and roof for Heritage Skills Centre, OP4 - Barry Luck - 21 September 2018 Track for F & G roads, OP4 - Barry Luck - 17 September 2018

Latest updates     -     Earlier updates     -     Latest Project News     -     Weekly train running information     -     Archive News


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Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or the 2017, 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


22 September:
Q-class in cutting - John Sandys - 20 September 2018
  • The first train through the cutting into East Grinstead on Thursday this week, photographed by John Sandys from Hill Place Farm Bridge. It shows that 5 years on from the re-opening, the re-excavated cutting is greening up nicely. In fact in that time it has twice received attention to cut back the prolific new growth!
    See John's photos from Thursday here.

  • 'Captain Baxter' returned to the railway on Thursday following its very successful and well received working visit to Didcot. We will be arranging and publicising one or two final steamings on the Bluebell before the expiry of its boiler certificate, and it will then enter the 'Steamworks!' exhibition pending its next overhaul.

  • Video of Josh's visit to the Bluebell in February this year.


20 September:
H and Q at Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 15 September 2018
  • We are now able to publish a video preview of the new SteamWorks! locomotive display and interactive exhibition at Sheffield Park station. Narrated by Bluebell volunteer Nicholas Owen, the video explores some of the features of this new attraction, which opens this Autumn.
    The re-roofing of the shed and construction of the exhibition has been funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Bluebell Railway Trust, and generous donations from our supporters and members.

  • A story by Chris Larcombe added to the page dedicated to our memories of the late Dave Phillips.

  • News Update Bruce Healey provides the photos below, which show F and G roads of the new carriage storage shed at Horsted Keynes (OP4) now permanently connected to the new headshunt. The old sidings on the left of the photo are life expired and will be replaced. The second photo is taken from the additional headshunt for H and J roads. The point connects to the F and G road headshunt on the left and the straight-on line will divide again near OP4 for H and J roads.

Track for F & G roads, OP4 - Bruce Healey - 19 September 2018 Points for H & J roads, OP4 - Bruce Healey - 19 September 2018

19 September:
Camelot at Reading Station - Julian Heinemann - 18 September 2018
  • Julian Heinemann's photo shows No.73082 'Camelot' during a brief stop at Reading Station, during its trip to the West Somerset Railway yesterday, hauled by WCR's No.37668. It will be staying on the WSR for a couple of weeks, for their Autumn Steam Gala, 27-30 September.

  • This is the first time that 'Camelot' has left the Bluebell since it arrived from Barry scrapyard. A couple of videos of the trip here: at Bridgwater, from "Somerset Trains", and from "Trains In The South West" showing them arriving off the Mainline at Norton Fitzwarren and then at Bishops Lydeard.

  • Two further photos below: Brian Lacey's photo shows them just after leaving Bluebell metals at East Grinstead, and another from Julian Heinemann, at Clapham Junction.
    The transfer by rail is more expensive than by road, but is considered preferable due to causing less stress to the locomotive. The 73082 'Camelot' Locomotive Society wish to thank the Bluebell's Locomotive Director, Chris Hunford, who did most of the spadework/liaison to facilitate this trip.

37668 and Camelot at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 18 September 2018 Camelot at Clapham Junction - Julian Heinemann - 18 September 2018

17 September:
H and Q at Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 15 September 2018
  • The SECR H-class leaves Horsted Keynes with the vintage set, as the Maunsell Q-class lays over with its goods train on Saturday, as seen in John Sandys' photo.

  • TheSoutherner's video of Saturday's Demonstration Goods Train.

  • Due to a last minute cancellation there is one place left for the Footplate Experience Day on 25th September.
    This experience gives the opportunity to both drive and fire the engine! Breakfast is served on arrival at the Bessemer Arms and a buffet lunch on board.
    The day costs £650.00.
    To book call 01825 720800. More details can be found here.

  • The first photo below, taken on Saturday by Brian Lacey, shows the S15 arriving in platform 3, passing the Q-class in Platform 2. The H-class with its train is just visible in platforms 4/5.

  • John Sandys' photo below also shows the Q-class, with its goods train, at Horsted Keynes, and is one of the photos in his gallery from Saturday. He also has a gallery from today, which includes photops of the WCR Class 37 which arrived today and will be leaving tomorrow morning hauling 'Camelot' off to the West Somerset Railway for their Autumn Gala.

S15 and Q-class - Brian Lacey - 15 September 2018 Q-class at Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 15 September 2018

14 September:
Q-class departs Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 13 September 2018
  • The Maunsell Q-class is seen as it departs from Horsted Keynes with the first train of the day yesterday, in John Sandys' photo on the right, taken from his latest photo gallery.

  • We have a Demonstration Goods Train running tomorrow morning, to the same timetable as shown here.

  • We are currently running steam trains to our Service 1 Mondays to Fridays and to Service 2 at weekends. The timetables are here.

  • John's next photo, below, shows the same locomotive arriving at Kingscote last Thursday.

  • The second photo below, taken on Saturday by Brian Lacey, shows the SECR H-class at Horsted Keynes with the vintage set.

Q-class at Kingscote - John Sandys - 6 September 2018 H-class at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 September 2018

13 September:
H and Camelot at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 September 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo from Saturday shows the SECR H-class heading for Platforms 4/5 at Horsted Keynes as No.73082 'Camelot' stands in Platform 3 with the up train. 'Camelot' is all set to visit the West Somerset Railway for their 27-30 September Autumn Steam Gala, and will be travelling there in light steam, diesel hauled, over the main line, on what will be its first visit away from the Bluebell.

  • News Update The latest on the overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768 and the boiler of 34059 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' on the Bulleid Society web site.

  • Pleased to report that our Macmillan Coffee Morning on 28 September is already fully booked! Apologies if you've missed out.

  • Bookings are now open for:
    • Autumn Tints - 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 October - four options for viewing the autumnal colours - Advanced booking for the Autumn Tints trains is strongly advised owing to limited seating, and is essential for Souper Steam and Steam & Cream
    • Hallowe'en Scream Train - 24-28 October - Children, and Adults, are welcome to attend in costume! Booking is essential for the specially reserved carriages - our full public timetabled services also operate.
    • Hallowe'en experience - Dystopia Station - 29-31 October (evenings) - A perfectly preserved attraction in the middle of nowhere - visit if you dare...
    • A Horsted Christmas on Friday 21 December - New for 2018! Your own private compartment in a train from either Sheffield Park or East Grinstead Stations for all the fun of our Victorian Christmas Fair at Horsted Keynes.

  • John Sandys' photo below, taken today, shows the Q-class preparing for the first train of the day, bearing a headboard paying tribute to the late John Jesson. The second photo, taken at West Hoathly by Brian Lacey, shows the 09 hauling the 09.09 service from East Grinstead on Saturday morning, a special early service added to the timetable to allow an earlier start for anyone visiting the railway last weekend.

Q-class carrying headboard in memory of John Jesson - John Sandys - 13 September 2018 The 09 on the 09:09 special early morning train - Brian Lacey - 8 September 2018

10 September:
Our Dukedog at this year's Goodwood Revival - Drew Gibson - September 2018
H-class at Town Place - Steve Lee - 8 September 2018 Camelot approaches Horsted Keynes - Steve Lee - 8 September 2018

7 September:
Atlantic boiler being lifted - Fred Bailey - 26 July 2018
  • News Update Latest news on the Brighton Atlantic project, including work re-starting on the tender, and, as seen in Fred Bailey's photo, the repaired and re-tubed boiler being moved outside the shed in preparation for completion and testing.
    The component sponsorship list has also been updated.

  • This weekend we are running trains to our Service 2 timetable, with the addition of an early train out of East Grinstead. It will be hauled by our resident 09 Diesel Shunter D4106 and timings will be as follows:
    Depart - East Grinstead 09.09
    Depart - Horsted Keynes 09.34
    Arrive - Sheffield Park 09.50

  • This weekend is also our Shareholders' Weekend, and shareholders will have been sent details of talks and tours happening in conjunction with this. In addition Dave Middleton, Station Master at Sheffield Park, will be doing station tours on Sunday, each hour from 11.00 until 3.00. Each tour lasts about 30 minutes and will show something of the architecture an explain some of the history of the station and a few of the people who worked there. Please be aware that should urgent railway duties prevent David leading these tours, they may be subject to last-minute cancellation.

  • We are currently advertising for a volunteer IT Coordinator.

  • Great video by "TheSoutherner" from last Sunday featuring the three locomotives in steam that day. Shame about the weather...

  • Photo galleries from John Sandys, from Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Press release (pdf download) regarding recent regrettable attacks on our trains and on some of our volunteers.

  • We are very sorry to have to report the recent deaths of John Jesson, who was engineering lead on the BR Standard 2MT project, Alan Sturt, one of the four students who founded our Preservation Society, and Joyce Vigor, who amongst other things ran the Buffet at Horsted Keynes Station many years back.
    Further details of each available on the BRPS Members' Information page.

  • During August 2018 there were 39,915 total hits on this page, from 23,249 unique visitors.


H-class arrives at Horsted Keynes - Richard Salmon - 25 August 2018 26 August:
  • The H-class was back in action yesterday, hauling the vintage set, and is seen here, under threatening skies, approaching Horsted Keynes.

  • Full details of Chris Pyle's funeral are now available. In place of flowers, Donations are requested towards the work of the Bluebell Railway's Carriage & Wagon Department, of which Chris had been an active member for 45 years.


25 August:
Q-class with vintage set - John Sandys - 23 August 2018
  • John Sandys' photo shows the Maunsell Q-class arriving at East Grinstead on Thursday with the third train of the day. The locomotive was standing in for the SECR H-class, as did SECR No.323 'Bluebell' on Tuesday as seen below in Brian Lacey's photo. No.73082 'Camelot' and the H-class have also been in steam this week.

  • Worth noting that our Privacy Policy was updated in May to take account of the Data Protection Act 2018, and that we have now published our Safeguarding Policy.

  • Very sadly we have to report that Chris Pyle passed away on Tuesday afternoon, after a mercifully short battle with cancer. Chris had been a member of the Carriage & Wagon Department for over four decades, and was particularly noted for painting the carriage internal ceilings, where his considerable height was used to advantage, as well as varnishing many interior components. He was well known around the railway as a quiet but loyal supporter of many schemes and projects. Details of the funeral arrangements will be available soon.
    Bluebell at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 21 August 2018

  • News Update Barry Luck, OP4 project manager, provides this update and the photos below.

    The Infrastructure team have been working hard on the Horsted Keynes carriage shed extension over the past few weeks. The first photo shows the trackwork leading towards the shed - the right-hand to road F, and the left to G. Roads H and J will be served by a parallel road to the left, and road E (the maintenance road) will connect to the pointwork in the middle distance on the right.

    The dwarf wall on the eastern side of the shed seen in the next photo is complete as far as we can go for the present, until the Skills Centre framework is complete. The wall above the brickwork will be clad in the same cream and green style as the main existing building.


OP4 trackwork - Barry Luck - 23 August 2018 OP4 brickwork - Barry Luck - 13 August 2018
Stevenson's started work on 30 July on the Skills Centre framework. The final concrete pour at the southern end of the ring-beam was completed on 22 August as seen in the next photo, whilst erection of the steelwork started at the northern end a couple of days earlier on 20 August. The final photo shows progress as at 3pm on 23 August with four sections in place. Just one and a half hours later seven columns and roof joists had been erected.

As soon as the framework is finished, the infrastructure team will move in to reduce the ground level inside the building to its final level. We will then be able to start work on the ground floor, and continue with the dwarf wall around the building.

In the meantime we are continuing to raise funds for cladding along the eastern/northern side of the shed and around the Skill Centre. If you would like to contribute please visit the Cash for Cover donation page.

OP4 skills centre foundations - Barry Luck - 23 August 2018 OP4 skills centre framework - Barry Luck - 23 August 2018

Camelot departs Horsted Keynes - John Sandys - 23 August 2018 24 August:
  • John Sandys' photo, taken yesterday lunchtime, shows 'Camelot' departing from Horsted Keynes.

    John's other photos and videos from yesterday are in this album.



20 August:
Camelot returns to service - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018
  • No.73082 'Camelot' back in service. Brian Lacey provides today's four photos, and that on the right shows 'Camelot' hauling its first train (the 11.10am service from Sheffield Park on Sunday) after four months under repair.

  • News Update Our latest e-Newsletter (19 August) includes an update on current locomotive overhauls, including the return of the boiler for 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' after the fitting of its brand new inner firebox. There's still a lot of work to do to get it back into service, but this is a major step forwards!

  • News Update Two interim reports on the Network Rail Volunteer Days, last week, working on Project 27: Wednesday 15th, and Thursday 16th.

  • Brian's other photos from yesterday show the S15 arriving at Horsted Keynes with the second trip of the Lunchtime Golden Arrow dining train, the first of two groups of the Red Arrows, who were in transit towards Eastbourne, and the H-class departing from Horsted Keynes with the 3.02 pm train towards East Grinstead, showing well the leading carriage in its train, our London, Chatham & Dover Railway brake third No.114, of 1889.

847 arrives at Horsted Keynes with the Pullmans - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018 Some of the Red Arrows flying over Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018 H-class, with LCDR carriage in tow, leaving Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 19 August 2018

16 August:
S15 arrives at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 15 August 2018

Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or the 2017, 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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