Also see 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.
- Keith Leppard's photo shows the H-class approaching New Road Bridge on Sunday, with its train of SECR, LBSCR and Maunsell carriages. His photo below shows the U-class heading southwards at the same location with the Bulleid/Mk.1 coaching set the same day.
- Kids for a Quid over half term: Our Service Two timetable is in use every day from Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 February. Children aged 3-15 travel for £1 in 3rd class.
- Tickets are selling well for the Quiz Evening on Saturday 21 February in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park Station.
There are still some tickets available - these must be reserved in advance - more details here. This is both a social event and a fund-raising event for the Maunsell Restaurant Car.
- Infrastructure News update - Completion of work on the historic "River Slip" and more track relaid on Freshfield Bank, with thanks to Mike Hopps.
- John Sandys' set of photos from Tuesday includes the Q-class being warmed through in preparation for its steam test the following day, and new stock in the shop. His photos from Thursday show the Ballast tamper at Horsted Keynes, preparing to bed down the recently re-laid track (three new panels on Freshfield Bank, laid this week), a few shots around the loco yard and further new stock just arrived in the shop.
- The Q class had its steam test on Wednesday, and the boiler inspector was happy with the test. There are several issues which still need attending to which we hope will be completed over the weekend. There will still need to be a further steaming to prove the work and then a period of running the locomotive in.
- Brian Lacey's photos below, taken on Saturday, show the U-class taking water at Sheffield Park and the H-class arriving at Horsted Keynes.
- In spite of not having the Q-class back in service this weekend, we still have our Service 2 timetable, with two locomotives in steam. Steve Lee's photo shows the Q-class in light steam last weekend; a leaking blowdown valve meant that we were unable to go ahead with the planned boiler test, but we hope that the test will take place over the coming week, at the point when the boiler inspector is available to visit.
- John Sandys' set of photos from Thursday, including U-class No.1638 in light steam (as seen below), the 09 shunting at Sheffield Park, and new items in the shop.
- News reports of recent work on SECR P-class No.27, with thanks to Clive Emsley and Nick Beck. The photo below shows that, with the frames lifted from the wheels, the axle-boxes and connecting rods have been removed. The bearings were inspected prior to being wrapped in protective "Denso Tape". This and other work is reported in more detail here.
- Another of Derek Hayward's re-mastered ex-Fotopic images from October 2006, when No.3440 "City of Truro" was visiting the Bluebell, seen here in Lindfield Wood.
- This coming weekend's services: The previously indicated change to our published timetable for the coming weekend (7-8 Feb) was due to an incorrect assumption, and we can now confirm that we will be operating steam-hauled and steam-heated trains to our Service 2 timetable (i.e. two locomotives in steam) this coming weekend.
Sorry for the confusion.
- On the right is another of Derek Hayward's re-mastered ex-Fotopic images from September 2006, showing Ivatt tank No.41312 on Freshfield Bank, as another example from his visiting locomotives collection.
Below are a couple from his Vehicles collection, showing a Scammell mechanical horse at Ardingly and, from a private 2014 meeting of the Rolls Royce Owners Club at Horsted Keynes, one of the participants photographed with the owner's permission and consent. To illustrate the Bluebell locomotives collection we see the U-class approaching Kingscote with the Golden Arrow dining train last August.
- Keith Duke provides photos from yesterday, with the H-class on a school charter, and Stepney and the Mets posed in the platform at Sheffield Park for a few hours.
- John Sandys provides photos taken today showing Progress in Kingscote Signal Box, and new stock in the Shop at Sheffield Park.
- Video 125 have published a preview of their Lynton & Barnstaple / Bluebell Railway "Railway Renaissance" DVD.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the H-class with its train of pre-war carriages at Leamland Bridge yesterday.
- Steam hauled and heated trains operate this coming weekend, 7-8 February to our Service One Timetable - note this is a change to published plans, with just a single train running, since the hoped-for re-launch into service of the SR Maunsell Q-class has been put back to a later date, since there's just a very little bit more work required.
Stop Press: The proposed change to our published timetable for the coming weekend (7-8 Feb) was due to an incorrect assumption, and we can now confirm that we will be operating to our Service 2 timetable (2 trains) this coming weekend.
Sorry for the confusion.
- We are again running our Kids for a Quid special offer over Half Term, Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 February.
- Details on the Southern Electric Traction Group web site, about the agreed plan for work at Bombardier's Ilford Carriage Works on our 4VEP multiple unit, No. 423 417 'Gordon Pettitt'.
- During January 2015 there were 63,808 total hits on this page, from 36,737 unique visitors.
- John Sandys' photo shows the H-class preparing for its turn of duty amidst a light dusting of snow at Sheffield Park this morning, the first day of services after the successful completion of work on rebuilding the formation and relaying the track over it at the historically problematic "River Slip" in Lindfield Wood. His other photos from today are available here.
- The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society's next outing with their sales and publicity stand is to The Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster on 7-8 February. Their sales team will be on hand to answer questions and offer a wide range of Railway related items including how to obtain a limited edition print of the locomotive with a year's free Society membership. You can join the Society while you're there and help to support the, with getting 'Camelot' into steam again.
- 21 March sees a Cathedrals Express steam railtour, behind LNER B1 No.61306 "Mayflower" from Horsted Keynes to Cambridge and Ely. Details from, and all enquiries to, the organisers, Steam Dreams.
- Our line re-opens this weekend after our winter engineering work, with steam-hauled and steam-heated trains operating to our Service One Timetable.
- Derek Hayward has added a large number of further photos to his various albums, including this photo showing 21C123 "Blackmoor Vale" behind 35005 "Canadian Pacific" on 23 October 2005. It demonstrates how cameras have improved in the last decade, and is amongst the photos formerly on Fotopic which Derek has re-mastered and added to his current Bluebell locomotives and visiting locomotives collections. In addition he has a new major topic: "Vehicles" which brings together Vintage Transport events, Bus Running Days and things like mechanical horses.
- Dates now available, and booking open for, Full Afternoon Tea on the Wealden Rambler Lounge Car Service. Lounge Car Gift Vouchers are also available.
- We are running our Kids for a Quid special offer over Half Term, Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 February.
- Back in November, on the last weekend of regular service before the Santa Specials began, Dan Green visited the Bluebell for his last steam of 2014 - his photos are here. Running that day were the H-class No.263 and S15 No.847, as well as E4 No.473 which undertook some shunting during the day before running the late afternoon 'Wealden Rambler' Afternoon Tea Train.
- There are some fantastic pre-closure photos from our line on this Sussex Railway Scenes page from the Sussex Motive Power Depots website.
- David Chappell's photo shows the new rail acquired for the relaying of 11 track-panels in Lindfield Wood. Work on repairing the long-standing "river slip" has now reached the stage where the ballast is levelled, and the rail moved to site.
- OP4 News Bulletin No.1 now available for the Horsted Keynes Carriage Shed Extension. This is the first in a series of News Bulletins which will be issued by the Project Steering Group to keep all interested parties up to date with project progress.
There has also been a series of updates to the various pages for the various phases of Operation Undercover.
- Following repairs to potholes and ditching work, it appears that the roads are now open again around Horsted Keynes. However the 270 bus did not run to the station today.
- Reminder that our line is closed this weekend while we undertake engineering work. Sheffield Park Station, with the Locomotive Shed, Museum, Restaurant, Bar and Shop, is open every day, as is The Grinsteade Buffet at East Grinstead Station.
- Updated: The road between Horsted Keynes Village and the Station has been closed for emergency repairs this week, but it's reported it may have re-opened, or the closure moved to the Sharpthorne Road. Anyone driving that way is advised to be very cautious. Any staff/volunteers intending to arrive on the 270 Bus this Saturday may find they need to make alternative arrangements (or walk from the village). Horsted Keynes Station is still accessible from the Ardingly / Highbrook (via the low bridge) directions.
- Kevin McElhone's photos here show (right) a conventional view of the H-class ready to leave Sheffield Park on 10 January, and below, the locomotive's crew, and another unconventional "glimpse" of the engine, taken from within the Museum.
- Quiz Evening
The BRPS Social Sub-Committee in conjunction with the Maunsell 7864 Group present a professionally-run quiz evening, including evening meal, on Saturday 21 February 2015 in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park Station.
Tickets must be reserved in advance - More details here.
- The latest poster from Heritage Rail Posters is of our new-build/reconstruction Brighton Atlantic project. Copies available to purchase!
Several new 2015 Bluebell Wall Calendars are also available as free downloads.
- We have now received a fantastic sum of over £15,000 from EasySearch and EasyFundraising! You could help us increase that by signing up to support us, with many retailers offering us a donation when you buy online having signed up on the Bluebell EasyFundraising portal. Donations raised can even be automatically Gift-Aided.
- Tony Sullivan's photo of Standard Arthur No.73082 "Camelot" on the right shows the partially completed new smokebox in place along with its boiler.
His photo below shows the locomotive being shunted into the workshop on Monday.
The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society have an update with photos from their chairman, Peter Gibbs.
Now is a great time to join the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society, and a membership application form is available here.
- Another photo from Tony Sullivan below shows the frames of P-class No.27 being lifted from its wheels, and swung round so that the cylinders are more easily accessible.
- Kevin McElhone took some unconventional photos of the H-class on 10 January, including that below.
- News and photos of progress on the Maunsell Q-class, from the Loco Works Working Group. The photo on the right, taken by Tony Sullivan yesterday, was afforded by the temporary absence of "Camelot". It will run as No.30541 in BR livery for a short time following its return to service, for which no firm date is yet available, but it won't be long!
- Mike Hopps' photos below show work to stabilise the long-standing "River Slip" using piles. More detail available in this Infrastructure News update.
- Video from John Harwood, showing maintenance work at Kingscote, plus work in the signalbox and relay room.
- Another photo from Tony Sullivan below shows the Camelot's boiler being craned back into its frames yesterday.
- Tony Sullivan's photo shows the overhauled boiler of No.73082 "Camelot" being craned back into its frames at Sheffield Park earlier today. The return of the boiler from LNWR Heritage, Crewe, earlier today brings the return to service of this, the only surviving BR(S) "Standard Arthur", a step closer.
- We are pleased to announce that Tim Parkin has been appointed to the voluntary post of Filming Facilities Manager. Tim is a member of the Signals & Telecommunications team at Kingscote and, with a background in project management and the TV/film industry, is well-placed to understand both the requirements of production companies as well as the needs of the operating Railway.
- Stuart Marks has been appointed volunteer Locomotive Superintendent, and will head up the Locomotive Operating Department in the new structure, reporting to the board via the Operations Director. His post became effective on 1 January; on the same day the old posts of Shedmaster and Chief Loco Inspector lapsed, and our thanks go to Ian Wright and Lewis Nodes for their work in these positions. Following this restructuring of the Loco Department, the Railway is looking to recruit additional support to ensure the efficient running of the department, including a Locomotive Shed Foreman and Chief Clerk (both volunteer posts). More information and application details can be found here - the closing date is 24 January 2015.
- This four-page gallery from Keith Duke shows photos covering many decades of Bluebell history, and he also supplies this album of locomotives which have visited the Bluebell over recent years.
- Brian Lacey's photo from last Saturday shows the H-class taking its train of two Bulleid coaches and two Mk.1s north out of Kingscote. This nicely illustrates the current state of the north end of the station, with the repainted Class A Petroleum Products Tanker, No.1603, retained there as an emergency water supply for our locomotives, the SR-concrete loading gauge, and the relaid/relaigned trackwork and pointwork installed prior to the opening of the extension. The signalbox seen should become fully operational later this year, replacing the temporary cabin installed in 1994 to the South of the station.
- Reminder that, whilst our line is closed for the next two weekends while we undertake engineering work, Sheffield Park Station, with the Locomotive Shed, Museum, Restaurant, Bar and Shop, is open every day, as is The Grinsteade Buffet at East Grinstead Station.
- Ashley Smith spent a very nice day travelling on the trains on the 2nd January, and grabbed a few photos as they changed trains at Horsted Keynes, to launch his gallery for 2015.
- Derek Hayward's photo of the porch at Horsted Keynes station below illustrates another article in the latest e-mail newsletter. This porch was restored to its original condition, complete with stained glass, by volunteers from the C&W department in memory of late station master Simon Baker. The Friends of Sheffield Park now wish to rebuild the porch at their station to the same original L&EGR conditon, and are looking for sponsorship, possibly as a special Valentine's gift including a named inscription, of £4000 (plus Gift Aid) to cover the costs. Details from Graham Aitken, FOSP Fundraising Secretary, by email. The second photo shows the style of inscribed glass used at Horsted Keynes.
- On 3rd January we received a visit from a number of volunteer staff from the Severn Valley Railway, and Kenny Felstead provides this photo on the right showing the S15 at Sheffield Park, and below, the same engine, together with the H-class, at Horsted Keynes.
- The No.73082 "Camelot" Locomotive Society are pleased to report the successful out-of-frames hydraulic and steam tests on their boiler at LNWR Crewe. The boiler will now return to Sheffield Park, and re-assembly of the locomotive will then commence. Because the BR Standard designs have many items fixed on the boiler rather than the frames, this is a good few months work, but all being well the loco will be back in service in the middle of the year.
- As reported in the latest e-mail newsletter, this month's engineering work during our 3 week (2 weekends) closure is focussed on rebuilding the formation at "River Slip" in Lindfield Wood, just south of Waterworks Bridge. This has always been a problematic area and was pressure grouted in the 1980s, which went some way to arrest the problem, but did not effect a long-term cure. Preliminary work has already been undertaken including improved drainage and work on a culvert, and now the line is closed the formation is being dug out.
- 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.
- Dave Braley has a gallery of photos taken over the Christmas period on some very cold and frosty days.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the H-class running round prior to working the 1:30 departure yesterday, having been back to the shed to take on more coal.
- Keith Duke made a visit to the railway and rode on the 11.00 service yesterday, resulting in this great gallery of photos.
- 2015 details are now available for our Monday Club - Enjoy a steam train ride through the Sussex countryside plus a delicious two-course meal in our restaurant at Sheffield Park. On Mondays from April to September (except Bank Holidays) you can travel from East Grinstead on the 12-noon departure to Sheffield Park for lunch in our Bessemer Arms Restaurant. Full details here.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows the H-class at Sheffield Park on Friday 2nd January.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the same locomotive as it departs from Sheffield Park with the 11am service yesterday.
- Steve Lee's photo shows the SECR H-class with its train at West Hoathly last Saturday.
- A News update on SECR No.27, the first of what should be a regular feature from Project 27 - our fund-raising and restoration project for our third SECR P-class locomotive - marking the start of what are planned as monthly working days on the locomotive. Clive Emsley's photo below, from 3 January, shows Stuart Bardouleau drifting out a pin from a brake hanger. With thanks to Clive, and Nick Beck, for the update.
- A few pictures from Jon Horrocks' visit last Sunday, a very misty day but which finished off sunny. Jon now has also completed a gallery from 12 June 2012, the day the Sheffield Park Carriage Shed was opened.
- Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski have updated the web pages for our Mk.1 CK No.16210 (with two recent views of the interior by David Chappell) and LMS 12-Ton open wagon PBA 66071, adding a photograph of the remains of the Birmingham Carriage & Wagon Company cast iron builder's plate, and a recent view showing its deteriorating condition - to restore it will require us to obtain a replacement underframe.
- Paul Simpson has four fine photos from 29 & 30 December.
- Brian Lacey's photo below, from Friday last week, shows out-of-service LBSCR Terrier No.55 "Stepney", with its repaint into Stroudley livery nearing completion.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the sunset over Horsted Keynes last Friday, 2nd January.
- We are running Steam hauled and heated trains to our revised Service One Timetable this weekend.
- Deltics for 2015 Diesel Gala
The Bluebell Railway and the Deltic Preservation Society are pleased to announce the visit of D9009 "Alycidon" and 55019 "Royal Highland Fusilier" for the Bluebell Railway Diesel Gala on 18 and 19 April 2015. This will be the first time two Deltics have visited us, with both locos arriving via the Bluebell's mainline connection at East Grinstead. A two train service will be in operation each day with the locos switching diagrams on the Sunday. Further details will be available our website later, or call the Bluebell Railway on 01825 720800 or email the Deltic Preservation Society on secretary(AT)thedps.co.uk
- To help with the cost of repairing 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair's firebox, the Bulleid Society are inviting membership of their 2015/16 "500+ Club". Please do support this important fund-raising initative, which also offers the chance for members to win cash prizes. More details here.
- Paul Furlong's photo below shows the S15 to the south of Lindfield Wood on Friday last week.
Brian Lacey's shows the H-class at Sheffield Park the same day.
- Brian Lacey's photo from 30 December shows the H-class approaching East Grinstead.
- Aron Stenning's gallery of photos from Friday.
- Martin Lawrence has completed his December photo gallery, and made a start on that for January.
- John Harwood provides this video from yesterday, shot at West Hoathly, Kingscote and East Grinstead, with thanks to the loco crew for assistance with the filming at East Grinstead.
- Steve Lee's photo below shows the S15 at West Hoathly on New Year's Day
- Yoshi Hashida's photo shows the Maunsell S15 at Three Arch Bridge last Sunday.
- We are running Steam hauled and heated trains to our (slightly revised) 2015 Service Two Timetable this weekend, and to the Service One Timetable next weekend. The Service one timetable has also been revised, to allow a slightly longer day for visitors who use the Bluebell to visit Sheffield Park National Trust Gardens.
There are no trains operating over the weekends of 17-18 & 24-25 January due to engineering work, although Sheffield Park Station, with our Museum, Locomotive Shed, Bar, Restaurant and Shop will be open.
- Some photos of shunting at Sheffield Park yesterday from Keith Duke.
- During December 2014 there were 57,523 total hits on this page, from 33,994 unique visitors. In total there were 4,764,885 hits in the month across 23,322 pages and photos on the site, accessed from 64,224 different servers.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows the SECR H-class with the LNWR Observation Car at East Grinstead on Tuesday.
2 January 2015
- Peter Edwards' photo shows the H-class on Freshfield Bank with the 1.30pm train from Sheffield Park on Monday. It has been sharing the services this week with the S15.
- The 18th Project Newsletter is available from the Standard Class 2 locomotive project.
- John Harwood's video shows the H-class No.263 with the first Fairy Godmother train at Kingscote, and work in progress in the Signalbox, plus the S15 at East Grinstead.
- GWR 0-6-2T No.5643 has now completed its contracted steamings with us, and will move to The Furness Railway Trust's base at the Ribble Steam Railway in January for winter works.
- Sad to have to report (see more on the BRPS Members' Notices page) that midweek Booking Clerk and former Assistant Membership Secretary Ron Cheeseman passed away on Saturday 20 December in hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for cancer. The funeral is on Wednesday 7th January at 11:15 at Beckenham Crematorium.
- Fred Ivey's videos show our Metropolitan Carriages on their way to, and returning from Steam on the Met last summer.
- Tony Sullivan's photos below show the Q-class, the C-class and "Camelot" in the loco works yesterday. Once the Q-class and C-class are completed, the BR Standard 4MT tank No.80151 is planned to enter the works - new tyres for the driving wheels have already been ordered and are being held down at the South Devon Railway ready for fitting. With Camelot's boiler due to return from overhaul at Crewe within a few weeks, that locomotive will be re-assembled over the coming few months. Once Camelot is completed, the SER O1 No.65 will enter the works, since the boiler which is to be fitted (our spare H-class boiler) is nearing completion at The Flour Mill Workshop.
The Current What's New page contains all the recent update information.
Also see 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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