The document defines the objectives and details the aims and structure plan which the Society aspires to implement. It extends over the short/medium and long term.
It provides a framework within which the Society Trustees exercise their powers to set the overall policy for Bluebell Railway plc and helps them to ensure that the company is pursuing policies designed to deliver the aims and objectives of the Society.
The Society Trustees will report on progress against the Plan at each Annual General Meeting of the Society and will next review the Plan in 2012.
It should be noted that the plans outlined in this document are not set out in any order of achievement or priority.
The principal objective of the Society is the preservation and operation of the railway between Sheffield Park , East Sussex and East Grinstead, West Sussex and any future extensions.
The railway also aims, by various means, to recreate three periods of railway history, namely pre Grouping - London Brighton & South Coast, Grouping - Southern Railway and Nationalisation - British Railways Southern Region.
The achievement of these objectives is through:
The railway recognises an obligation to respect the environment in which it operates and in particular will continue to provide sympathetic consideration to the flora and fauna that occupies the lineside and adjacent land. It will pursue any initiatives that can be introduced to improve compliance with generally accepted environmental control methods.
The railway values its volunteer resources as the most vital ingredient in its continued success. Because of this, the aim is to focus on the following key requirements:
i. Provision of messing and sleeping accommodation to the best possible standard. The objective is to provide improved or new facilities throughout the railway to meet the needs of individual groups which may in some cases be combined with similar facilities for the paid employees of Bluebell Railway plc. Delivery of this objective will be through a process of volunteer consultation and against a prioritised order of needs.
ii. Continuation of existing training initiatives and development of new initiatives taking into account the existing skills of volunteers and the work undertaken. Priority will be given to those who undertake safety critical work and this will be achieved by a process of national accredited awards assessed against Rail Academy and best practice standards which have been adapted for heritage railway applications.
a) Sheffield Park
Sheffield Park will remain of LB&SCR appearance and all works done will be sympathetic to that period. It will remain the headquarters of the railway and the home of the Locomotive department. All locomotive restoration and maintenance will be based at Sheffield Park.
The following projects are proposed for Sheffield Park
- Reinstatement of the canopy on platform 1 from the barrier to the gentleman's toilet and also the provision of a disabled toilet.
- Expansion of the museum building whilst keeping the original facade
- Provision of toilet facilities on platform 2
- A review of the use of the site with the intention of providing additional facilities for the Locomotive and Museum Departments and improved or additional attractions for our visitors
- To improve accessibility and interpretation within the Locomotive Running Shed, and improved lighting within the Shed
- To improve the appearance of the station by achieving a uniform style for platform surfacing and fencing
- To carry out a feasibility study to extend the canopies at the north end of both platforms to mirror Kingscote and thus provide additional undercover accommodation for our visitors.
b) Horsted Keynes
Horsted Keynes will remain of Southern Railway appearance and all works done will be sympathetic to that period. It will remain the home of the Carriage and Wagon, Permanent Way and Signalling & Telecoms departments. All carriage and wagon restoration and maintenance will be based at Horsted Keynes.
The following projects are proposed for Horsted Keynes
- To screen the carriage shed from the approach road and tidy up the rail side approach from New Road bridge
- To replace the zinc roofing on the platform canopies like for like
- To improve the appearance of the Down Yard so that it is tidy and workmanlike.
Kingscote will, after the extension is completed, revert to being a typical country station of the early days of British Railways Southern Region.
The following projects are proposed for Kingscote
- To resurface the forecourt in a combination of cobbles and gravel.
- To establish in conjunction with the museums department, a goods display on the dock with ancillary items in the goods shed and preserved wagons in the dock roads.
- To construct a replica SR loading gauge at the exit of the up siding.
a) Kingscote to East Grinstead
i. Complete the construction of the line from Kingscote to East Grinstead.
ii. Construction of a new station and provision of rail interchange facilities at East Grinstead.
iii. Liaise with local authorities, Network Rail and New Southern Railway to develop a high quality joint station that will provide all the operational and other facilities required by Bluebell and its passengers.
b) Ardingly Branchi. Undertake a feasibility study into the reconstruction of the line from Horsted Keynes to Ardingly and Haywards Heath.
ii. Undertake limited maintenance to drainage, fences, structures and trackbed to prevent further deterioration and an annual check of the boundary of our land.
i. To provide and maintain sufficient locomotives in sufficient numbers, incorporating an appropriate mix of types and sizes to enable authentic and profitable train operation. The aim is maintain in service approximately 12 locomotives with the minimum in each category as follows:a. Four 'large' locomotives (class 3 and above)
b. Four 'medium' locomotives (classes 1 & 2)
c. One 'small' locomotive (class 0)
d. One shunting locomotive
ii. To provide and maintain other locomotives of special interest
iii. To provide secure covered accommodation for all locomotives
iv. To enhance the works and yard facilities to assist the repair and maintenance of locomotives
v. To provide training, including apprenticeships, to ensure that the works maintains the skills necessary to undertake its work
vi. To restore all locomotives currently on the railway and still in ex-scrapyard condition
vii. To construct replicas of locomotives which are particularly appropriate to the collection and to the operation of the railway
viii. To plan in conjunction with the Carriage & Wagon Works and the Operating Department for the best matching of locomotives and rolling stock
ix. To provide facilities where possible for visitors to view the Department's work
i. To provide and maintain appropriate sets of coaches in sufficient numbers, incorporating an appropriate mix of 1st and 3rd class provision to enable authentic and profitable train operation. Whilst acknowledging that sets including a mixture of types such as Bulleid and Mark 1 are both prototypical and inevitable, the aim is to create representative sets as follows:a. BR Standard Mark I Steam Stock
h. Metropolitan Railway
ii. To provide and maintain Special Saloons and other vehicles of special interest
iii. To improve the provision of adapted facilities for mobility-impaired people with the aim of providing such facility on all ordinary trains
iv. To provide secure covered accommodation for all pre-nationalisation carriage stock
v. To enhance the works and yard facilities to assist the repair and maintenance of carriages and wagons
vi. To provide training, including apprenticeships, to ensure that the works maintains the skills necessary to undertake its work
vii. To restore and maintain brake vans and engineers' vehicles for service purposes
viii. To restore and maintain heritage goods vehicles for display at each station
ix. To restore the Brighton Directors' saloon to original condition
x. To seek out for preservation any carriage or carriage body to augment the incomplete carriage sets
xi. To plan, in conjunction with the Locomotive Works and the Operating Department for the best matching of locomotives and rolling stock
xii. To provide facilities where possible for visitors to view the Department's work
xiii. To provide additional covered accommodation adjacent to the existing shed.
i. To maintain the signalling and telecommunications systems so that operational performance of the railway can be maximized.
ii. To complete the re-signalling of Horsted Keynes.
iii. To complete the signalling of Kingscote and the extension to East Grinstead.
iv. To establish workshop and storage facilities in permanent buildings allowing a number of vans to be released for restoration and use in traffic. This also allows for a centralised stores rather than having them fragmented around the railway
v. To replace the signal box at Sheffield Park with an appropriately designed building and to re-signal the station
i. to maintain the main line so that passengers get the best ride possible and that there is no need to implement speed restrictions (except in emergency)
ii. to carry out a programme of renewals in those areas/cases where maintenance is no longer a cost effective option.
a. HK Canopy Platform 1&2
b. Loco shed wall at Sheffield Park
c. New shop at Sheffield Park
d. Restoration of LBSCR coach 661
e. Restoration of LCDR coach 114
f. Restoration of Loco 1638
g. Construction of Pumphouse No.2 siding
h. Restoration of Pullman Car 64 (Christine)
i. Restoration of Met coach 412
j. Relaying of No.16 points at Sheffield ParkAgreed at the AGM of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
19 May 2007
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