Also see 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.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the S15 on a service train on Thursday, with the 09 also seen shunting at Horsted Keynes. His photo below shows No.1638 on the SR set the same day.
- Video from John Harwood, showing the Southern Railway U-class with the SR set, at Kingscote yesterday.
- The second photo below, from David Chappell, shows L150 with the last down train on Wednesday.
- Loco news update for the Brighton Atlantic project, with thanks to Fred Bailey. As seen in his photo on the right, the frames are now on the wheels, or at least, at present supported about 10 inches above them, whilst the final work between the frames is completed. See the full report here.
Your support is vital to the success of the project, and the sponsorship of components is an important ongoing method of support - could you sponsor a patch screw for the firebox or a cylinder stud, or maybe one of the larger components, on the updated list?
- Update earlier in the week for progress on Schools No.928 "Stowe".
- Members of the Stepney Club are seen below, with "Stepney" at Horsted Keynes on 18 May, in Derek Hayward's photo. (Note the bandage on Stepney's chimney). The next photo below, taken the same day, illustrates the Edwardian Weekend, and Derek has a gallery from the event here.
- Derek's next two photos illustrate the work being undertaken that day also at Horsted Keynes by two teams from the 9F Club, who were working under instruction in the various aspects of Permanent Way work in a blocked section of the Down Yard at Horsted Keynes, and on the cosmetic refurbishment of the Ransomes & Rapier Steam Crane
- No.5643 has been in service this weekend, and is seen here in Steve Lee's photo, passing through the West Hoathly station site. Steve's other photos from the wet Bank Holiday Monday are also available.
- The next of our monthly "Find Out More Days" is Sunday 1st June. This is the opportunity for anyone interested in finding out more about what is involved in volunteering to join a tour around different departments across the railway. David Chappell's photo below shows the May 4th "Find Out More" tour, with Fireman Harry Brampton (on the left) and nine potential volunteers being shown round Carriage & Wagon by Dave Clarke (right).
- On 14 May, the H-class became the first locomotive to take water from the fully operational water crane at East Grinstead, during a special "thank you" train run for the volunteers involved in the construction of the water tower and crane. The tank takes its water in part from rainwater from the station and viaduct collected in a sump at the bottom of the tower, and part from the mains. Mike Hopps' two photos below show the events.
- Martin Lawrence has added a few more photos to his May gallery.
- John Sandys has photos from 22 May, quite a busy day at the railway with several coach parties. Included are photos of Mk.1 TSO No.4754, newly arrived from MOD Bicester, "Bluebell" back from her Spring break, the new 2015 Calendar is now available in the shop (and very good it is too), and more progress on the Q-class in the Loco workshop.
John has an earlier update from a week before, including filming at Horsted Keynes, the water tower completed at East Grinstead, and Kingscote's telephone box and temporary track-work laid into the sidings, plus work starting on the North Signalbox, with photos and a video.
- Update to the web page for the third of our wheelchair-accessible carriages, Mk.1 saloon No.4941, with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck.
- Update from the Southern Electric Traction Group on the current status with VEP unit No.3417.
- The new Southern Timetable which came into force last week includes an extra late night train on Saturdays, at 22.54 from East Grinstead to London Victoria, calling at Oxted, East Croydon and Clapham Junction.
- Derek Hayward's photo here shows the crew of the C-class at East Grinstead back on 26 August last year. It illustrates Derek's "People 4" gallery, which is now available. The images were taken mainly (but not exclusively) in 2013 and the early part of 2014. Some pictures have been seen before, others held back for this album. With the exception of office holders in the BRPS or plc, by default individuals are not named, unless they have been previously. If an individual included in the gallery is happy to be named in captions, please would they send Derek an e-mail to that effect.
Derek's main Bluebell People Index (covering approximately 450 photographs) also provides access to the previous galleries.
- The H-class ran a special train today as a "thank-you" for those involved in the construction of the watering facilities at East Grinstead, and the Water Crane was officially thus officially inaugurated.
- The results for the "Best Decorated" shop competition from the weekend are published in the East Grinstead Online Blog - our congratulations to Aldridge & Trillwood (see photo included in yesterday's report, below), who took the cup, and The British Red Cross and Wear It Again Sam who came second and third.
- If you're planning to participate in this year's Track Trek on 28 June and haven't registered yet, it would help the organisers if you could register soon (full details here) - it helps to assess the resources required to run the event.
If you would like to support the event but are unable to participate you can sponsor our Chairmen on their JustGiving page.
Please support this event in aid of the Keep Up the Pressure appeal.
- Nice to ready this blog entry from Unique and Chic about a visit to the Bluebell last month.
- John Harwood's video shows a very quiet scene at Horsted Keynes today, with a few preparations in hand for the Edwardian Weekend. U-class 1638 is seen with the 2.15 from East Grinstead, through the cutting and at Kingscote.
- Article and photos in today's East Grinstead Courier about the Southern at War weekend.
- Photo from John Sandys from Monday, when peace returned, with the U-class on the service train.
- Edwardian Weekend: We now have more information about the coming weekend's event:
- Overview, Timetable and fares - Two vintage trains running - Kids for a Quid special offer,
- The classic Swing boats - a true Edwardian fairground ride,
- Edwardian Roundabout - all the fun of the fair,
- Edwardian Hall of Mirrors,
- Splat the Rat as he tries to escape by sliding down the drain,
- The High Striker - a real test of strength,
- Edwardian Crazy Cottage,
- Afternoon Band Concerts,
- The Edwardian Pantry in the Grand Marquee at Horsted Keynes.
- Two more photos from last weekend's wartime event, from Andrew Crampton, taken on Sunday, showing the Queen Victoria Hospital burns unit display at East Grinstead, and one of several local shops which joined in the spirit of the event, Aldridge & Trillwood. The third photo below is from John Sandys, from Saturday at Horsted Keynes.
- Derek Hayward's photo shows the Spitfire flypast at Horsted Keynes on Saturday as part of our Southern at War event. The 1944-built Spitfire HF MkIX, TA 80, put on a fantastic display for about 10 minutes.
- Paul Pettitt provides an atmospheric set of photos from Saturday, including the first photo below.
- John Sandys was also there on Saturday, and provides a great set of photos despite the windy and showery weather! We were fortunate that both flypasts were able to take place.
- Steve Lee's gallery of photos showing the four locomotives in steam on Sunday - the U-class with an all-interwar SR set, as seen in Steve's photo below, the S15 and the H, plus Baxter shunting at Sheffield Park.
- Derek Hayward is still sorting through the 500 photos he took over the weekend, but two more from him below show the Home Guard at Horsted Keynes on Saturday, and the US Navy T-6 Harvard, and an initial selection is already available.
- David Stubbings took the photo on the right, showing the U-class with the vintage set last Saturday at Horstead Keynes. He also has photos of the H-class on the Wealden Ramber and visiting 56xx No.5643 on the other service train.
- We hope you are looking forward to the Southern at War event this weekend. We are running an intensive 3-train service, with all the locomotives (SR S15 and U, and the SECR H-class), and the majority of the carriages being appropriate to the era.
In addition to the information linked on Wednesday we also have details of the Best Dressed Shop in East Grinstead.
- John Sandys has some photos and a video taken today, including continuing work on the Q-class, preparations for the Southern at War weekend and No.1638 passing through Imberhorne Cutting with the first train of the day.
- Our SECR P-class locomotive No.178 is visiting the Tanfield Railway near Gateshead, appearing at events there on 24-26 & 31 May and 1 June.
- David Chappell's photo shows Mk.1 BSK No.35207 on arrival at Horsted Keynes. This coach, overhauled to a high standard at Cranmore, is on the Bluebell under a "storage with use" agreement with its owner.
- We have also succeeded in puchasing another Mk.1, TSO No.4754, from MOD Bicester. Once overhauled it will enable us to sell TSO No.4957, which has forescent lighting and a formica interior, which had been modified as part of the Travelling College. No.4754 in contrast has the much more interesting earlier style of veneer-panelled interior, and the acquisition of such a vehicle has been a heritage/preservation aim of the Carriage & Wagon Department's volunteers for some years.
- New webpages have been produced by Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck for TSO No.4754 and privately-owned BSK No.35207, which arrived last week. The webpage for wheelchair-accessible carriage No.5034 has also been updated to reflect its brief service on the Southern Region in 1963, and the page for TSO No.4957 has also been updated.
- News update on the overhaul of locomotive No.73082 "Camelot".
- Our congratulations to Radio Redhill, whose 2013 feature about our re-opening to East Grinstead won the Bronze Award in the Speech Package category at the recent National Hospital Radio Awards, held in Bristol. The judges commented that the five minute entry painted a real picture for the listeners, taking them on the journey itself with a good use of sound and a good variety of voices.
The award has generated a great deal of useful publicity for both Radio Redhill and the Bluebell Railway locally (and nationally). You can hear the Bluebell Railway entry via the Radio Redhill website.
- This video by "JoeS231989" shows locomotives Nos.5643, 1638 and 263 in action on Saturday.
- John Sandys photos and video from Monday show the U-class on the service train, carrying a good load from East Grinstead in glorious sunshine, and more progress in the workshop on the Q-class, and a display of diesel models in the shop.
- Sad to report that the third of our triumverate of cats, Gizmo, has passed away on Monday morning at about 18 years of age. He officially lived in one of the Sheriff Mill Cottages but had adopted the railway several years ago. Dave Clarke's photo on the left (click on the photo for an enlargement) shows him in 2011 ensuring he was the first to sample the luxury of a brand new carriage seat, even before it was installed in a coach. (The recent passing of both Rioja and Vandal has also left vacancies at Sheffield Park).
- Some pictures from Keith Duke (mainly of GWR No.5643) taken on Saturday.
- Ben Gray provides an album from the Toy & Collectors Fair last month.
- Dave Clarke has a few photos taken on Monday, showing LCDR 5-compartment third No.3188 under overhaul in the Carriage Works; the hand rails and lamp brackets have been positioned on the end to enable the mouldings to be relieved to accommodate them, prior to further painting. The last of the external panelling was also fitted, leaving only the doors to complete; about half of the 10 doors have had structural repairs so far.
- We now have more information about the weekend's Southern at War event:
- Timetables and fares
- Souvenir Programmes with details and listings of all events, timetables and detailed information on the Spitfire & Harvard displaying. It is a great souvenir to take away from the weekend.
- On Saturday we will have a Spitfire Display at Horsted Keynes Station (weather dependent) at 2pm. The display will be a 1944 Spitfire HF MkIX - TA 80.
- On Sunday we have a T-6 Harvard Display at Horsted Keynes station (weather dependent) at 2pm.
- Shows and Displays.
- Attractions at Sheffield Park Station.
- Attractions at Horsted Keynes Station.
- Attractions at East Grinstead Station
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster with thanks to Chris Hunford and Chris Knibbs.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows Southern Railway U-class No.1638, which is hauling the services this week, arriving at East Grinstead on Wednesday.
- We have a busy Bank-holiday weekend in prospect, with three or four locomotives in steam each day.
- Horsted Keynes and Cahagnes have been twinned since 1971, although links between the places go back to the Norman invasion, and "Keynes" is derived from an anglicisation of Cahaignes. This weekend's visit by a party of 50 from Cahagnes will include a trip on the Bluebell Railway, as described in this interesting article in the Mid Sussex Times.
- Since the 11 July Murder Mystery evening is now sold out, an extra date, Friday 18 July, has been added. There is limited availability for Friday 13th June, and just one table of two available on Friday 8 August. You can download the dates and synopses for the remaining 2014 Murder Mystery evenings here.
- This year marks the 175th anniversary since the arrival of railways in Derby. To help celebrate this, the LMS Carriage Association have been given permission by the British Film Institute to share a film that shows carriage building at the Litchurch Lane works from 1930. Although the original film was silent, a commentary and sound effects have been added to breath new life into the film. Although it is clearly not "Southern", and the film is very much a celebration of "Derby", there is nonetheless a lot in common between the techniques shown in the film and the way carriages were built at Ashford, Eastleigh and Lancing.
- During April 2014 there were 71,290 total hits on this page, from 41,305 unique visitors.
- Steve Lee's photo from Sunday shows the S15 among the bluebells.
- Video from Sunday by Simon Mulligan showing the S15 and the U-class on the service trains, the H on the Wealden Rambler, and L.150 on the Golden Arrow.
- A superb set of photos showing the evening Golden Arrow Pullman on Saturday from Ian Wylie.
- Daniel Green's great set of photos from Good Friday.
- Bluebell Railway has stands at the Ardingly Spring and Country Show this coming Sunday and Monday (4-5 May), and at The South of England Show at Ardingly on Thursday 5, Friday 6 & Saturday 7 June. If you purchase your tickets to the South of England Show in advance from our Travel Centre at East Grinstead you can buy them at a special discount rate.
- Aron Stenning's photo was taken from the cab of the H-class on Saturday 19 April.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster with thanks to Chris Hunford.
- Reminder of the services, special events and offers in May:
We are running steam-hauled trains between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead every day until 2 November.
Monday 5 May: East Grinstead Lions Club are running a May Day Fair in the High Street from 10am until 4pm. We have a special offer for travel on the first train up to East Grinstead on the Bluebell that day.
Sat 10 & Sun 11 May: Southern at War - Turn back the clock to the days of the Second World War with re-enactors, military vehicles, displays and concert parties
Sat 17 & Sun 18 May: Edwardian Weekend - Our Edwardian locomotives and carriages will be in service with a traditional summer garden party and fair.
- John Sandys' photo shows Prairie tank L.150 with the "People's Millions" coach, SECR No.3360, yesterday.
- Reminder that tomorrow is our spring Toy & Rail Collectors Fair at Horsted Keynes.
- Dave Bowles provides photos of the service trains and Wealden Rambler on Easter Monday, starting with this photo (then click 'next' to see more).
- Four new photos showing progress with dismantling Schools-class "Stowe" for its overhaul. Please support the "Keep Up The Pressure" appeal to help us raise the money for the boiler work required.
- Kieran Hardy paid a short visit to the Battlefield Line on Good Friday and photographed visiting P-class No.323 arriving and departing Shenton.
- Four photos found on the web of our LBSCR E4 "Birch Grove" at Vauxhall on 19 June 1962, and three showing it when running on the Bluebell in BR livery as No.32473: Light engine, with SR non-corridor caoches and a portrait.
- David King's photo from Good Friday shows L.150 (among the bluebells) with the Victorian set, from which LCDR brake No.114 is currently missing, resulting in the temporary substitution of Maunsell open third No.1309. The loco has also been in use today, again with these coaches, due to some filming taking place on the line.
- News update on the Brighton Atlantic project from Fred Bailey, with more great progress reported, including photos showing the virtual completion of the valve gear/reversing gear.
- East Grinstead Lions Club are running a May Day Fair on Monday 5th May, in the High Street from 10am until 4pm. We have a special offer for travel on the first train up to East Grinstead on the Bluebell that day.
- The May and August Murder Mystery evenings are now sold out, although seats remain for June (and just a few for July). You can download the dates and synopses for the remaining 2014 Murder Mystery evenings here.
- John Sandys provides a set of photos from today.
- Brian Lacey's photo shows the U-class as it backs onto the train at Sheffield Park yesterday. The S15 had run the first two round trips, but a lubrication problem meant it was felt advisable to steam the U-class (still warm from Monday) for the final trip.
- Today is the 20th anniversary of the re-opening of Kingscote station as the Bluebell extended northwards. This video covers both that event, and footage of the construction of the railway from New Coombe Bridge to Kingscote over the proceeding couple of years.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster 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.
- To ensure we can continue to run steam trains through the tunnel to East Grinstead in cold weather, in 2013 the Bluebell Railway fitted a lining to the inside of sections of Sharpthorne Tunnel, to prevent the build up of ice on the railhead, and icicles forming from the tunnel roof. This video tells the story of the work, explaining what has been done and how. Our thanks to Alex Mansfield and David Allen for shooting and producing the video.
- Recent photos and videos:
- Yesterday: Photos and a video as the S15 shunts the stock for the 11am train from John Sandys.
- Easter Monday: Photos, including No.1638 in action on Set B from John Sandys.
- Holy Saturday: with the U and S15 on service trains, and the H-class on a wedding special. Photos from Steve Lee, Keith Duke and Ashley Smith who also provides a video. Also this video from Saturday afternoon the newly-wed couple and their guests set off from Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway's Golden Arrow Pullman train, hauled by the H-class locomotive, with appropriate celebratory detonators on the track.
- Good Friday: a set of photos from Daniel Green.
- Diesel Gala: Keith Harcourt has produced a video from 21 March.
- Paul Furlong's photo shows the S15 on Freshfield Bank with the 12.15 departure from Sheffield Park yesterday.
- Now that the bluebells are in flower there's no better time to visit the Railway. Although the bluebells will probably fade in the second week of May, our steam trains are running every day until the end of October.
- Updated from the Bulleid Society with further pictures of the overhaul of Bulleid coach No.5768.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster with thanks to Chris Hunford.
- Dave Bowles' photos show our Dukedog's tender running behind 'Dinmore Manor' during a photo charter on the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway to celebrate the locomotive's return to steam. We have loaned 9017's tender, which is of an appropriate design, while its own tender is being made ready.
- Peter Skuce has some photos from The Battlefield Line Steam Gala on Friday 11 April, including SECR P-class No.323 "Bluebell" and Aveling and Porter 2-2-0WT "Blue Circle".
- The GNR Directors' Saloon is running on the trains this weekend (Friday through to Monday), and you can travel on it with a first class ticket or on payment of a supplement. Tea, coffee, Hot Cross Buns, cake and scones all available. The saloon will be on the 11:00, 1:30 and 4:00 departures from Sheffield Park (12:00, 2:30 and 5:00 from East Grinstead).
- John Sandys provides photos from Tuesday including the S15 and H-class in action, plus shunting at Horsted Keynes, including preparations to use the GN Saloon. John also provides videos showing the 08 shunting at Horsted Keynes, the H-class arriving at Horsted Keynes, the S15 departing, and the Wickham maintenance trolley in use.
- We have a new job vacancy for a Finance Manager.
We also currently have vacancies for Shop Assistants (full and part-time), and are always interested in potential new Silver Service waiting staff and other catering staff.
- On the Volunteer side, we run monthly "Find Out More Days". The next such day is Sunday 4th May. David Chappell's photo shows nine potential new volunteers being shown around the Carriage & Wagon Department by Dave Clarke (left), alongside and a seat base for Maunsell carriage No.3687 on the April FOMD. This is just one of the many different departments seen on the tour, in which members can work as volunteers.
- Short film from Ken Duerden, including some great aerial shots of the line.
- Roger Carpenter has some photos showing No.323 "Bluebell" away on holiday at the Battlefield Line in the Midlands, where it met up with an old friend, "Blue Circle".
- John Sandys' photo shows the S15 at East Grinstead on Thursday, when the C-class was also running. This weekend we had four locomotives in steam each day; the service trains were again in the hands of the S15 and the C, with the H-class on the Golden Arrow (Saturday charter and Sunday Lunch) assisted by P-class No.178 on the second run on each day.
- Steve Lee had a great day chasing Nos. 847 and 592 all over the line on Saturday.
- Derek Hayward has two updates, one on the Network Rail East Grinstead Station and the other for our own Bluebell Railway East Grinstead Station. The collections cover the period 1998 to 2014.
- Dave Bowles has added some shots from the 1st Anniversary of the opening of the Extension, over the weekend of March 22-23, to his web site.
12 AprilThis weekend sees the launch of our Track Trek fund-raising initiative. The Trek, a walk along the trackbed from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park on 28 June 2014 (starting in the early evening, with a train back to Horsted Keynes afterwards, will be the final push for the "Keep Up The Pressure" appeal. The walk is being led by our chairmen, Roy Watts (BRPS) and Dick Fearn (plc).
- Last Sunday was the East Grinstead Bus Running Day, and although it does not directly involve the Bluebell now we are no longer reliant on a bus link from Kingscote, we did get involved, through a special offer for anyone visiting East Grinstead via the first train of the morning from Sheffield Park. Andrew Crampton's photo shows Maidstone & District AEC Reliance 390 DKK near the station.
Two more of Andrew's photos are below, and show London Transport RT 1798 and Green Line liveried RF 28.
- John Sandys' photos from yesterday showing the C-class and S15 on the service trains, and shunting taking place. John's three videos show the C-class preparing for the day's work, the S15 leaving Horsted Keynes and running round at East Grinstead.
Two of John's photos from yesterday are included below. The phone box at Kingscote Station is being refurbished by the Friends of Kingscote, and the C-class coming off the viaduct at East Grinstead with the Victorian set.
- In addition to our regular train service, over the Good Friday - Easter period you can pre-book for our Bo Peep Specials.
- Don't forget that on Saturday 26 April we have a one-day Toy & Rail Collectors' Fair, 10am to 4pm at Horsted Keynes Station.
- The SECR tank-engine pair, Nos.178 and 263, are seen ready to leave Sheffield Park with the Sunday afternoon tea train on 30 March, in Stephen Garratt's photo.
- Photos showing the removal of the copper firebox tubeplate on Schools No.928 "Stowe", and work progressing on the frames. The sanders will now need to be made operational (they've never yet been used in preservation). There is, as is usually the case with most boiler overhauls these day, grooving evident on the steel outer firebox plate where the relatively flexible plate meets the rigid foundation ring, so the bottom section of the steel plate will, as expected, need to be replaced.
- Last Sunday was the East Grinstead Bus Running Day - although independent of the Railway, we've always joined in, and this year was no different. Steve Lee's photo shows ex-LT TD95 in East Grinstead.
- Derek Hayward's photo on the right shows the S15 with Saturday's main service train, which also conveyed the wedding party (and carried the headboard, after the ceremony had taken place at Horsted Keynes) as described below.
- Saturday was the first Bluebell wedding of the year and, with their permission, Derek has provided us with photos showing the newly married Mr and Mrs Montgomery. The ceremony took place at Horsted Keynes, and the reception was held in our recently refurbished Birch Grove Suite, which is seen suitably "dressed" for the occasion. Further images from Derek of Jennifer and Sean, a vintage Rolls Royce, and the Birch Grove Suite, are available here.
- John Sandys' provides photos from yesterday, with the S15 and the C-class handling the two-train service, plus photos of some new stock in the shop.
- The H, P and S15 are seen at the end of their duties on Sunday in Steve Lee's photo.
- For the current school holiday period we are running our peak (2-train) Service Two timetable.
Over the Good Friday - Easter period you also can pre-book for our Bo Peep Specials.
- Special Offer: Saturday 12 April - Save £25 on the Golden Arrow Dining Train - book by mid-day Saturday - phone 01825 720800 now, quoting "Saturday Offer".
- Job Vacancies in the Bookshop added to the recruitment page.
- Martin Lawrence has completed his March gallery and made a start with one for his April photos, including the rockery at Sheffield Park. The large rocks have an interesting history. They were dug out from Beeching Way and dumped in the cutting to the south of Imberhorne Lane bridge. Many years later they were recovered when we were clearing the spoil from the cutting whilst constructing our extension, and were used to create this rockery, which has just been re-planted by the Friends of Sheffield Park.
- Murray Tremellen has uploaded his shots of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Bluebell Branchline weekends to Flickr.
- Sheila Beaumont's photo shows the SECR C-class with the Victorian train last Sunday. These coaches are expected to provide the second public set throughout the Easter Holiday period.
- Special Offer: Today - Save £25 on Tonight's Golden Arrow Dining Train - book by mid-day today - phone 01825 720800 now!
- Video from Gary & Philip Bull from Sunday 30 March, featuring the S15, the C and the Furness Railway Trust's locomotive No.5643.
- Video from John Sandys showing the S15 running round at East Grinstead yesterday.
- This Sunday, 6th April, is the East Grinstead Bus Rally - we have a Special Offer on the Bluebell that day linked to the event.
- The photo, courtesy of the HMRS, shows the Bluebell's 4 Vep unit in Clapham Yard on 27 March, where it has now been stored for some time due to work that was required to be undertaken on the shed there. A move to under cover storage is expected soon. This and other photos have just been added to our web page for the unit. The Southern Electric Traction Group, who are now looking after the unit on our behalf, have had a couple of working days on it, as reported on SETG's Blog.
- John Sandys' photos and video from yesterday, with the S15 on the service train, and the C-class being used for filming work. Also photos around the loco yard, of the Q-class in the loco works, the tamper leaving, and other vintage stock positioned around Horsted Keynes to "dress the set".
- Another of Peter Edwards' photos shows Saturday's memorial train for Jack Owen, with "Stepney" (note the whitewashed coal) and the H-class.
- Daniel Green has a video featuring three of last Saturday's five trains, including Stepney with its distinctive "terrier" bark.
- Update to the webpage for our 13 Ton Private-Owner coal wagon PBA59685 with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck.
- Sad to have to report that Catherine Redwood, passed away last Tuesday, after a long battle with cancer. With her husband Howard ("H") she was part of the team that restored LSWR brake carriage No.1520. Her funeral takes place this Friday, 4th April.
- Brian Lacey's photo below shows the S15 arriving at East Grinstead with its train yesterday.
- Derek Hayward's photo on the right shows Sunday's Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train, now formed of four coaches with the addition of the Mk.1 Restaurant Car, hauled by P-class No.178 and H-class No.263 and seen here at Leamland Bridge. Derek now has the start of a 2014 Bluebell gallery available, and also a 2014 Wealden Rambler gallery.
The Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train runs on a range of dates through the year, and is always very popular, so pre-booking is essential.
- Details now available for the Sussex Food Festival, a celebration of local produce, which is to be held at Horsted Keynes station over the weekend of 5-6 July.
- Photos from Saturday, including of the Jack Owen memorial train, from Kieran Hardy
- John Sandys has a set of photos, and a video from yesterday.
- Brian Lacey provides the photos below, also from yesterday, showing the S15 at East Grinstead, and blowing a smoke ring at Sheffield Park, along with "Stepney", the C and the H on shed.
- Today we see the somewhat unusual sight of full Golden Arrow regalia on a South Wales coal tank as visiting GWR locomotive No.5643 heads last Sunday lunchtime's Pullman train away from Sheffield Park - photo from Sheila Beaumont. The locomotive is already proving itself to be a valuable and useful addition to our fleet for this year.
- Video from Martin Lawrence from Sunday 23 March.
- Comprehensive video report on a visit to the Bluebell from InterCity82, who has an extensive following.
- During March 2014 there were 74,795 total hits on this page, from 43,601 unique visitors. That takes us through the 4-million point since we started keeping track of these stats in January 2010 (by which point this web log (blog) had already been going over 12 years - the 1997/8 page makes interesting reading!).
- No.55 "Stepney" and H-class No.263 are seen in Peter Edwards' photo, hauling Saturday's memorial train for Jack Owen, a founding member and former Bluebell Senior Locomotive Inspector. "Stepney" appropriately had whitewashed coal in her bunker, following the LBSCR (and Bluebell) tradition for special trains.
- John Sandys has a set of photos from Saturday, including the Jack Owen memorial special at Kingscote, and also the service trains behind the S15 and the C-class (hauling the Victorian train) on a very busy day with the trains well filled. John also has a YouTube video, and photos of Chris Eden-Green and Sam Brown launching their DVD "Steaming Back to MetroLand".
- Ian Lynagh has a short video and a few photos from Saturday 22 March.
- Andrew Crampton's photo shows the real star last weekend, the recently overhauled Maunsell S15 No.847, double-heading with the U-class at West Hoathly on the Saturday.
- From tomorrow we are running steam trains every day until the start of November.
- Ashley Smith visited last Saturday morning and presents his first Bluebell shots of the year and a video.
- More videos from Saturday, from GLVMR and Matt Wickham.
- Thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck, a new photo of the remains of a worksplate has been added, and minor alterations made to the text, on the web page for LMS wagon PBA66071. This wagon is one of several that has still to be restored to running condition, having never run on the Bluebell.
- Today we feature the official photo of our East Grinstead Station Staff, taken on 23 March, when we celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of our extension to East Grinstead. A full-size version of the photo is available here, and below Roy Watts is seen holding one of the celebration cakes.
- Don't forget it's Mother's Day this Sunday! Still looking for that treat for Mum? We have a few tables left on this Sunday's Golden Arrow Pullman lunch train. To secure you table call 01825 720800.
- Our free-to-join Monday Club for over-60 residents of the East Grinstead area starts up again on Monday 31st March.
Mondays from 31 March through to September (except Bank Holidays). Travel from East Grinstead on the 12-noon departure for lunch in our Bessemer Arms Restaurant at Sheffield Park. Return travel and two course lunch is just £15.00 per person!
Due to its popularity advance booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Call us on 01825 720800 to book or call into the Travel Centre at East Grinstead or the Sales and Information Office at Sheffield Park. More information here.
- Videos from the weekend from Philip Bull, Dan Gosling, traindriver35, Rob John and from ffeog4568: Part 1 and Part 2.
- Videos from Friday's Diesel Gala from Alan Black and jopop0
- The other photos below show Stepney and L.150 in steam together in the yard at Sheffield Park on Sunday (making 8 locos in steam!) from Owen Hayward, 33103 "Swordfish" at the Diesel Gala last Friday from Andrew Crampton, and another from Owen, showing the No.178 proudly (and unusually) hauling the Sunday lunchtime Golden Arrow. The C-class was banking on the rear, which as usual was topped and tailed on the second trip, which only has a short time allowed to reverse at Horsted Keynes. It's more normal to have the P-class at the rear of the train!
- Keith Duke's photo shows the P-class and C-class double-heading the Victorian set on Saturday. These carriages should also be in public service this coming weekend.
- Update on the Bulleid Society web site for the overhaul of Bulleid Carriage No.5768.
- The BRPS deferred share purchase scheme is no longer being advertised for new subscriptions; those standing orders already set up will continue to their planned end-dates, at which point relevant share certificates will be issued. We'd now encourage anyone wishing to contribute funds to the Bluebell to take advantage of the Gift Aid arrangements available through the Bluebell Railway Trust.
- The four photos below show the DMU approaching Horsted Keynes from the North on Friday (Tony Sullivan), the 08, No.13236 with its train at the Diesel Gala (Andrew Crampton), the U and the S15 departing from Horsted Keynes, with the Birdcage Brake leading the Southern set on Sunday (Steve Lee) and the GW pair at West Hoathly on Saturday (Andrew Crampton).
- The Steam Back on the Met Video, filmed and produced by Sam Brown and Chris Eden-Green, will be launched next weekend on the Bluebell Railway, when the Metropolitan Railway coaches (and hopefully L.150) will form one of the trains. They will be in the shop at Sheffield Park selling the DVDs both Saturday and Sunday. A significant percentage from each video sold comes to the Bluebell.
- The Maunsell guys have got the back of Stowe's inner firebox out: two photos showing great progress.
- Details now available for the Vintage Transport Weekend on Sat 9 & Sun 10 August.
- The DMU is now on its way back to The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, as seen in John Sandys' photos from today.
- More great photos from Saturday from Ben Gray and Alan Edwards, and from Sunday from Steve Lee and Alan Bedford. Videos showing the Victorian, Pullman and GW trains, and Baxter, and the Southern double header from Nigel Watson.
- Keith Duke has an entire album devoted to "Captain Baxter" from Saturday, which is also seen below in Sam Brown's photo, also from Saturday.
- This photo from Steve Lee shows the second departure yesterday morning, where the C-class deputised for the No.263, hauling the Victorian train.
- Great video of the S15 and U from David Haggar.
- Details now available for the Southern at War weekend on Sat 10 & Sun 11 May, and the Edwardian Weekend on Sat 17 & Sun 18 May.
- John Sandys' photos from today show the 09 back, shunting at Sheffield Park, having collected stock from Horsted Keynes, and the DMU about to leave the Bluebell to return to Ecclesbourne.
- The two photos below, show the U and S-15 with SR-liveried set on Sunday from Cameron Smith, and a classic shot of U-class No.1638 on Saturday from Sam Brown.
- The event held this weekend to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening our Extension went very well. Although the weather today (occasional hail between the sunshine) was colder than it has been recently, it was still a lot better than the blizzard which we had a year ago! The H-class was replaced by P-class No.178, so the pairings were maintained almost as planned. The S15 and U seen in this photo by Nathan Gibson, taken yesterday.
- Photos are also available from:
- Keith Duke (from yesterday)
- Nick Burgess (today)
- John Sandys's photos and a video from yesterday
- Chris Ward
- S15 and U at Sheffield Park today from Tom James
- Keith Harcourt has made his Diesel Gala photos available, together with a set from 1st March, mainly of the H-class.
- The two photos below, both taken on Saturday, show "Captain Baxter" giving brake van rides (Brian Lacey) and the Southern and GW trains passing at Horsted Keynes (Richard Salmon).
- By all accounts, excepting the 09 failing and thus the 08 being taken off the brake van rides after two trips to take over, it was a hugely successful day. The first train from East Grinstead was full and standing, but the second, just over half an hour later had space. A total of 512 people visited, with more arriving via East Grinstead than Sheffield Park. Everyone reports a very happy and satisfied crowd of visitors, and on the basis of this event its certainly one which may be repeated in the future if the opportunity arises.
- Reminder that timetables for this weekend's First anniversary of opening our Extension are available to download (as a pdf).
- Keith Duke had a great day with the the diesels yesterday and is back today for the main event - his collection of pictures from yesterday is now available.
- Derek Hayward now has a Diesel Gala gallery, with more photos still to come.
- Steve Lee also provides a gallery from yesterday, and will be back on Sunday for more.
- Chris Ward's photos of the Diesel Gala are also available.
- John Sandys' photo from the Diesel Gala today shows the 08 and the 09 on arrival at Horsted Keynes, where the 08 was detached to undertake brake-van rides around the station. John has further photos from today here.
- This weekend we celebrate The first anniversary of opening our Extension, for which further details and a full timetable are now available to download.
Download details and full timetable (pdf).
- Includes the spectacle of double-headed Southern Railway Maunsell engines, with six carriages all in matching olive green pre-war livery!
- Includes double-headed Great Western tank locomotives, which are currently visiting the Bluebell.
- Includes our Victorian train, and double heading by two of our larger SECR locomotives.
- Captain Baxter, our 1877-built Fletcher-Jennings tank locomotive, will be giving brake van rides at Horsted Keynes between about 11.30am and 4pm each day.
- Normal fares apply.
- Simon Lathwell has just completed assembling a Flickr album of photos of our locomotives (in their various states) from 2009 to 2014.
- The Furness Railway Trust's No.5643 now has an album in Derek Hayward's "Visiting Locomotives".
- John Sandys' photos from yesterday show L.150 in steam, the Pullmans having a heavy clean, and the diesels lined up ready for today's gala.
Today we have something much more like a traditional "Blog" entry, with thanks to Tom James, giving an insight into a day earlier this month on the footplate of the P-class locomotive rostered for station pilot duties at Sheffield Park. The page covering the signalling at the station may help those unfamiliar with the track layout to follow the narative. The photos accompanying it are from Simon Lathwell, Paul Booth, Ben Jenden and John Sandys.Anyone who hasn't visited the railway recently may not have noticed that we now have a regular pilot engine on Sundays, and some Saturdays. As I had the pleasure of firing the turn on Sunday 9 March, I thought I'd explain a bit about what we did to show just how much activity goes on "between the trains".
After preparing the loco, the first engine off shed, at 9.15am, was the "A" engine (1638 on Sunday). That loco took water and then ran onto its stock, which was sitting in the Newick siding overnight, drew it into the station and heated the stock ready for departure of the first up service.
Once 1638 had gone, the pilot engine could go off shed (on Sunday that was 178, with a Senior Fireman and Rules Passed Cleaner as crew). After taking water in Platform 2, we ran back into the Carriage Yard Headshunt (a.k.a. the Pumphouse siding), and - once the signal was cleared and we had permission from the shunter - we moved down into the carriage shed to pick up the "B" stock, which this weekend was the LSWR brake 3rd, SECR 100 Seater, LBSCR Bogie First and SECR Birdcage. After coupling up, we ran back to the Carriage Yard Headshunt and started to steam heat the stock, thus ensuring the carriages had a good hour of heating before the 11am departure.
By using a pilot, the "B" engine (263 this weekend) could run straight out of the loco yard into Platform 2 to take water, then come back onto its stock and draw it into the station ready for departure, without having to spend time shunting and running round, saving the crew time on what would be a long day.
As soon as 263 had drawn its stock away, we were back into the shed to pick up the Pullman set, drawing it back into the Carriage Yard Headshunt and starting to steam heat. Once 263 with the 11am train had departed, we then propelled the stock out into Platform 2, onto the single line north of the station and back into Platform 1 where the catering staff could prepare the train for the lunchtime service. (It is not possible to access Platform 1 directly from the Carriage Yard, hence the move via the single line, staying inside the outer home signal).
The Golden Arrow engine - 592 on Sunday - was quickly onto the train to continue heating, releasing us to run back to the Carriage Yard for our next shunt. This occurred with the arrival of 1638 and the first down service from East Grinstead at 11:32. With the Golden Arrow in Platform 1 and the "A" service needing to arrive and depart before the Golden Arrow departed, 1638 was blocked from running round. Thus on arrival, 1638 uncoupled and ran into the Newick siding; we were then signalled onto the train, coupled and drew the stock into the Carriage Yard, releasing 1638 to get back to the north end of the train. After taking water, 1638 ran back onto its stock, we uncoupled and 1638 drew the stock back into Platform 2 ready for the 12.15 departure, followed about 30 minutes later by the arrival of the "B" service (263 and vintage set) and finally departure of 592 with the Golden Arrow.
After 263 ran round, we had no immediate shunting to do, so we ran into Platform 1 to allow footplate access for any passengers on the station at that time. A small tank engine such as 178 is an ideal non-intimidating size for small children, many of whom came up onto the footplate to experience a loco in steam. Once 263 departed with the 1:30 service, we took water, then went back into the loco yard for coal - not that we needed it then, but with a long day planned, taking coal mid-afternoon saved one job that would otherwise have to take place at the end of the day.
Mid afternoon, the Golden Arrow arrived back after its full line round trip. After the train engine had run round, we ran onto the back of the stock and, at 3.20, departed for the half-trip to Horsted Keynes. The waiting time at Horsted is only twelve minutes, so having the pilot on the back means that 592 didn't need to run round there, saving time in what would otherwise be a very tight schedule. We thus acted as lead engine for the return trip. Because that trip ventured out onto the main running line, we had the spare turn driver travel with us up and down.
Once back to Sheffield Park, 592 uncoupled from the back of the train and, once the passengers were disembarked, we shunted the Pullman stock back into the carriage shed. Normally, that would be the last move, but we had one more shunt to perform, which had to wait to the end of the day - moving the support coach for 45231, which was berthed in the down dock siding. 592 coupled to the south end of that coach and drew it into the loco yard headshunt; then, after we had put the Golden Arrow stock back in the shed, we coupled to the north end of the support coach, drew away into the dock siding to release 592 to go on shed and then propelled the coach back to the extreme south end of the loco yard headshunt. We then waited for 1638 to come back, shunt its own stock into the Newick siding and go on shed, before running out into Platform 2 to wait for the arrival of 263 with the last down service of the day. Once 263 and its train were stopped in Platform 1, we ran out via the single line, berthed the support coach at the north end of the stock in Platform 1 and then returned via Platform 2 to finally go back on shed - after which there was the 45 minutes or so of disposal!
So a long day, but an enjoyable one, and illustrative of just how much activity there is around the station between trains. Apart from the loco crew, there were at least three other people playing an important, but unseen, role. Firstly, the loco department Running Foreman, who is responsible for ensuring that all locos are off shed on time, and controls all movements within the loco yard and, in conjunction with the signalman, any movements between the loco yard and the rest of the station. Secondly, the signalman, who had a lot to do even when there were no service trains around - all moves at the south end of the station are signalled (including to and from the loco yard; and in and out of the carriage shed), even though that fact isn't immediately obvious to a casual observer on the platform. And thirdly the operating supervisor / shunter, who directly controlled all the movements in and out of the carriage shed, as well as the late afternoon shunt of 45231's support coach. It takes a lot of people to run a railway!
I gather that we will have a rostered pilot on any Sunday when the Golden Arrow is running through to the end of the summer, as well as on some Saturdays, so Sheffield Park should be a hive of loco activity between trains every weekend, with at least four engines in service every Sunday and many Saturdays.Tom James
- No.5643 is seen making its debut in Bluebell traffic on Freshfield Bank with the Victorian coaches on Sunday in this photo from Sheila Beaumont. The locomotive is with us until December.
- An update has appeared on the page for March 22-23 when we celebrate the first anniversary of opening our Extension when we'll have seven locomotives in steam each day. The first train of the day will leave Sheffield Park at 9.45, and East Grinstead at 10.40am. The last train departs from Sheffield Park at 5.15pm on Saturday and 4.05pm on Sunday.
Special Saturday Offer
We are offering local residents (RH19 postcodes) discounted fares for Saturday 22nd March. Travel all day for just £5.00 per person! Tickets must be purchased in advance to obtain the discount - tickets will be available for collection on the day. Call us on 01825 720800 for more details.
- Train departure times for Friday's Diesel Gala are now available.
- A small party of Bluebell members attended the Last Post ceremony in Ieper (Ypres) on Saturday. We laid a wreath to remember the war dead of the Southern Railway and the constituent companies (SECR, LBSCR, LSWR). The date chosen was significant as it is also the birthday of our late President Bernard Holden, who witnessed the LBSCR War effort on the Steyning Line where his father was Station Master. Bernard spent time in the Redhill Control during the evacuation of Dunkirk and later in India with the Royal Engineers.
Whilst we did not know at the time we arranged the date, the second Saturday in March is the International Paratroopers Day, and we were in the company of Paras and Commandos from Europe and around the world. Watched by a crowd in excess of 1100 people, and a news crew from Scottish Television, we were the first party to lay a wreath following the 15 ranks of Military wreaths, with about another 15 or so to follow us. The wreath was laid by Gavin Bennett, Clive Emsley and Stuart Barbouleau on behalf of the Officers and membership of the BRPS, supported by Steve Everest who was the "official" photographer, Claire Emsley and Kathryn Sinclair.
- John Sandys photos from today, featuring the Diesels ready for our first ever Diesel Gala on Friday 21 March, and also voluntary work at Kingscote.
- Yesterday was a good day, with four locomotives in steam. GWR 0-6-2T No.5643, on hire from the Furness Railway Trust, entered service hauling the Victorian set, as seen in Derek Hayward's photo. The original plan had been that L.150 would be appropriately matched with the Metropolitan carriages. The U-class hauled the other service set, and the C-class was on the Golden Arrow lunch-time Pullman train, with P-class No.178 as station pilot.
Derek's photo, showing the train approaching Horsted Keynes, was taken from the road near New Road Bridge; the field there now has crops growing in it, so we'd ask photographers to refrain from trespassing and trampling the crop.
- Report and photos from the team working on Schools-class locomotive "Stowe" yesterday. Lots of progress on dismantling the boiler and firebox, and a start on needle-gunning the frames.
- Some photos from Saturday, and the previous Sunday, added to Martin Lawrence's March gallery.
- Photos from Robert Philpott taken at Horsted Keynes on Saturday.
- Derek Hayward's photo shows U-class No.1638 at Birch Farm Crossing last Sunday.
- Various changes to plans which had been made for today... L.150 hauled the first train from Sheffield Park this morning, but was replaced by 33103 on the 12.15 service. The C-class is hauling the Victorian set. See more at this set of photos from John Sandys from today.
- The Event Guide for next Friday's Diesel Gala is on sale from today in the Bluebell's Travel Centre at East Grinstead, from Horsted Keynes, and from our Sales & Information Office at Sheffield Park, price £3.00. They can also be ordered by phoning 01825 720800.
The first train on Friday is at 9.45am from Sheffield Park (10.40 from East Grinstead), and the second is 10.05. The last train of the day arrives at East Grinstead at 4.41pm and Sheffield Park at 5.39. Full details are in the event guide.
- David Chappell took this last photo of No.45231, the departing Black 5, as it paused at Horsted Keynes on Wednesday night to drop off the Edwardian carriages. The loco then continued northwards, making an overnight move via our main-line connection to Southall. It is due to double-head a railtour with another Black 5, No.44871, on Saturday.
- The Locomotive Duty Roster has been updated; we have three locos in steam this Saturday, and four on Sunday, seven in steam each day on March 22-23 for the First anniversary of opening our Extension, and 5 each day over the last weekend in March, which is not a special event, just a busy Bluebell weekend! We are now rostering a steam shunt (one of the P-class locos) on both Saturdays and Sundays, mainly to provide training for our crews, as well as acting as station pilot at Sheffield Park, a duty which keeps everyone busy, and provides added interest for our visitors.
- John Sandys' a set of photos from today incudes the ballast tamper fettling the recently relaid trackwork Horsted Keynes, good progress on the Maunsell Q-class in the workshop, and recent arrivals (i.e. new stock) in the shop.
- Privately owned LNWR Semi-Royal Saloon No.806, which was off-site for a filming job, and which has been offered for sale for some time since it is no longer required on the Bluebell, has not returned to us, and is currently located at Isfield.
- No.323 "Bluebell" is seen heading round the M25 this morning, heading for Shackerstone, where it is to be one of the guest stars at the Battlefield Line's Spring Steam Gala on 11 - 13 April. (Photo from Tony Haylar)
- The Dinmore Manor Group have taken on hire the tender from Dukedog No.9017, for a minimum 12 month contract. The colour and design of the tender fits with the appearance of the recently overhauled Dinmore Manor and the Bluebell is pleased to be able to assist the group while they complete the overhaul of their own tender.
- Clive Emsley writes:The Fenchurch Fund spent the weekend of the 8th and 9th of March at the Leamington and Warwick Model Railway Club exhibition at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire publicising Project 27. We handed out many of our own leaflets along with those for the Keep Up The Pressure campaign, and other loco groups as well as many timetables and Stepney Club information. There was a lot of interest in the stand partly due to a small model railway atracting the children, and a slide show of pictures of 27 in the many liveries the loco carried during its career. We were also selling the new edition Tee shirts and Sweatshirts showing a line diagram of 27. The shirts are in bottle green with a gold coloured logo. We were also selling award winning jams from Brendon Hill Crafts, a small producer in Barnstaple which is run by ex-Bluebell staff, Derek and Ruth DeMaid, and jolly fine it is too!
We hope to have a small stand to sell the new PROJECT 27 shirts and baseball caps at the Railway soon, and will also be having a stand at the AGM.
Clive's photo shows Claire Emsley flying the flag for Bluebell at Stoneleigh Park with the Project 27 stand.
- Another of Derek Hayward's photos, this time showing the SECR C-class with Sunday's lunchtime Golden Arrow dining service, approaching Kingscote.
- The Bulleid Society have just put a short report on the overhaul of their coach No.5768 on their site.
- John Sandys provides a set of photos of the S15 on shed this morning.
- As from 29 March we have steam trains running every single day through to 2nd November. Remember that if you plan in advance you can save £s with our Bluebell Bonus tickets.
- Yesterday was another stunning day for photos, with four engines in steam. Derek Hayward's photo shows the SECR H-class with the four SECR, LBSCR and LSWR carriages which make up our Edwardian set, at Mill Place Farm yesterday. It's planned that the same carriages will be used next weekend on one set, with again a mix of SR Bulleid and BR Mk.1s on the other service set.
- If you're interested in taking part in this year's Track Trek, put the 28th June in your diary - we are planning an evening walk from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park, with return by train, as a sponsored event to raise money for our Keep Up The Pressure Appeal. More details available at the end of the month.
- Just two weeks to go to our first special events of the year:
Bluebell Bonus discounted tickets are available for the steam event - these must be purchased at least 8 days in advance. Call 01825 720800 to book.
- Friday 21 March: Our first ever Diesel Gala - Class 33, 09 and DMU 101/108 on the trains, and brake van rides behind the 08. Last chance to ride behind them before all except the 09 leave the Bluebell.
- Sat 22 & Sun 23 March: First anniversary of opening our Extension to East Grinstead with 7 locos in steam to celebrate - double heading - three trains running - formal re-launch of SR S15 locomotive No.847 - our two GWR visitors in steam together - Brake Van rides at Horsted Keynes - guided tours on and off the railway.
- On the right we see the U-class with the first service over the new No.23B points at Horsted Keynes yesterday morning. The other locomotive in service yesterday was the SECR H-class. They ran through platforms 2 and 3 because the new point will not be fully commissioned until next week.
- Locomotive News: in-depth update on the Brighton Atlantic project.
- A sequence of photos from Roger Carpenter, showing the operation of Kingscote signalbox (the current temporary box, which is due to be replaced in the coming year or two by the box at the North end of the station) to signal trains through Kingscote station to and from East Grinstead. This illustrates the full description given on the Kingscote Signalling page of this website.
- Steve Lee's photo from last Sunday shows the C-class on one of the two service trains, with P-class No.178 banking on the rear. Note the touched-up paintwork/lining and fresh coat of varnish on the locomotive.
- John Harwood's video from yesterday shows the final bit of track being connected up at Horsted Keynes.
- This weekend we are again running steam-hauled and steam-heated trains to our peak Service Two timetable. In addition there will be a third engine in steam on Sunday for the Golden Arrow Pullman luncheon train, plus one of the P-class locomotives which undertakes shunting, and assists with the second run of the Golden Arrow.
- Steve Lee's photo shows L.150 with the lunchtime Pullman train last Sunday.
- Photos of the start of boiler work on Schools No.928 "Stowe".
- A superb and extensive set of photos is available from Dave Braley from the Black Five on the Photo Charter last Wednesday. The loco is leaving, by rail, overnight in the middle of next week.
- John Sandys provides a set of photos from Tuesday plus this Video, showing the work in progress at Horsted Keynes, and photos and videos from Thursday at Sheffield Park where the Black 5 was in steam.
- On Sunday the final work was done by the Alf Brown Gang to complete the replacement Horsted Keynes Down Advance Starter, as seen in Robert Hayward's photo on the right. The work to replace the No.23B points at Horsted Keynes is also progressing well, and as of Wednesday evening was not far from being connected up (photo from Alan Dengate). This weekend, whilst trains will run over the new point, it will be clipped and padlocked, and as a consequence trains will pass through platforms 2 and 3 at Horsted Keynes.
- Video from Sunday from Martin Lawrence showing P-class No.178 assisting C-class No.592 with a service train to East Grinstead. Martin also has a final February picture (a sunset at East Grinstead), and a belated photo showing the 56XX No.5643 at East Grinstead on its test run a couple of weeks ago, and has also started his March gallery.
- To celebrate the First anniversary of opening our Extension to East Grinstead, a special service will operate on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March, featuring appropriate double-heading of locomotives, and brake van rides. More details here.
- Steve Lee's photo on the right, taken last Saturday (22nd February), shows the U-class at Three Arch Bridge with its service train.
- News update from the Bulleid Society with the latest progress on the boiler overhaul for Sir Archibald Sinclair, taking place at LNWR Crewe, focusing at present on the replacement thermic syphons.
- Video from Philip and Gary Bull taken a couple of weeks ago, featuring the U-class on the Pullmans (the first weekend that Fingall was back in service, hence the Mk.1 kitchen car was also attached to the train) and the C-class on one of the two service trains.
- Shadows In The Dark Paranormal Events are doing a Paranormal Investigation at Horsted Keynes Station in the evening of 8th March. There are still a few tickets available: book directly with Shadows in the Dark.
- Nathan Gibson's photo on the right taken last Sunday shows the H-class hauling the lunchtime Golden Arrow, which is now back to its normal formation with the return of our 1924-built K-type Pullman car "Fingall" after three years under overhaul.
Nathan also provides this video of Prairie tank L.150 showing its capabilities on the climb from Kingscote to East Grinstead, also shot last Sunday.
- Dave Bowles has put together a great on-line book (mostly) of his railway photos from 2012, including a host of images taken on the Bluebell line. Go to the book here and click on "preview". Well worth looking at full-screen.
- Apologies that the Locomotive Duty Roster for this weekend is not yet available. It does however show something rather special is probably planned for the weekend of 22-23 March, which will be the first anniversary of opening the extension to East Grinstead.
- Bring the family to the Bluebell over Easter - from Good Friday through to Easter Monday, in addition to our regular services, we are running Bo Peep Easter Specials. Bo Peep will be travelling on board special carriages where she will meet all children and present them with an Easter Gift and Creme Egg. Advanced booking essential.
- During February 2014 there were 74,171 total hits on this page, from 42,726 unique visitors.
- Jon Bowers yet again arranged beautiful weather for his photo charter with the visiting Black Five No.45231 on Wednesday. There are superb albums from Paul Simpson, from Paul Gildersleve, and from David Haggar, who also has a video showing 9 different runs and provides the photo seen on the right.
- John Sandys' provides some photos taken around Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes yesterday.
- This weekend we are running steam-hauled and steam-heated trains to our peak Service Two timetable, as indeed we are each weekend in March. In addition there will be a third engine in steam on Sunday for the Golden Arrow Pullman luncheon train, and probably a fourth which undertakes shunting, and often assists with the second run of the Golden Arrow.
- Our Rail Ale trains are starting to book up already, not least due to a great write-up in the Sussex CAMRA magazine.
- The photo on the right from Paul Pettitt shows the H-class, approaching Horsted Keynes, with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train on Saturday.
- This video from Saturday from James Batcheler features the other two locomotives running on Saturday, the U-class and Prairie Tank L.150.
- Keith Leppard's photo has been added to the web page for SR bo-rail wagon No.57949.
- With the overhaul of Schools Class "Stowe" gathering pace, it's interesting to see Roger Haggar's photo of the locomotive on Eastbourne shed in 1962.
- Due to staff training the Sales and Information Office at Sheffield Park will be closed on Thursday 27th February. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The Travel Centre at East Grinstead will be open, as normal, from 9am to 5pm offering a full range of Bluebell products and information, as will our telephone booking line: 01825 720800.
- Patrick Plane's photo from last week illustrates the work which is well advanced in preparing the new points at Horsted Keynes, as the H-class departs for Sheffield Park. The points will be installed next week, as reported in this Infrastructure News update from Chris White.
- Six photos from the Schools-class "Stowe" project showing that no time is being wasted in starting on the major work required on the boiler, following its lift during the week.
- Following the return to service of Pullman Kitchen First "Fingall" last week, this video shows the H-class hauling the Pullman luncheon train yesterday, formed with all three 1920s Pullmans and no Mk.1, seen passing though Horsted Keynes. In addition, with the 6-wheeled brake/pantry van also now having a white roof, we have the whole set now in totally the same livery for the first time.
- Steve Lee's photo shows that L.150 has been in use on one of the two service trains this weekend, in place of the C-class which is still receiving smokebox repairs.
- If you're coming to East Grinstead as part of your visit the Bluebell, why not also pop into East Grinstead Museum. Admission is free.
The Bluebell's Museum team has set up a display in East Grinstead Town Museum, which will run until 20 July, 2014. The exhibition was officially opened by Nicholas Owen on 15 February.
The theme of the display is "The Bluebell Railway: Then and Now." There are "then and now" photographs of all the stations, plus various artifacts and as a centre piece, the five-inch gauge model of locomotive Beachy Head. Copies of some of the original plans of the Bluebell Railway also are on display.
- Details now available for the Monday Club in 2014, which enables local over 60s to avail themselves of an all-inclusive train-and-meal deal on Monday lunchtimes.
- Reminder that our half-term services continue this weekend, with three or four locomotives in steam each day, operating to our peak Service Two timetable with steam trains running over the full line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. Our Kids for a Quid special offer still applies, and the Bluebell Bonus discount on adult tickets is currently being made available for bookings made 24 hours (rather than 8 days) in advance.
- John Sandys' photo from yesterday shows the 1.47 departure from Horsted Keynes behind the SECR H-class. John also has a few photos and a video of the ride from Kingscote to East Grinstead from today.
- Dave Clarke has updated his Flickr site with photos of the latest progress in the Carriage & Wagon Department.
This includes the replating of SECR No.3188's western bottom rail. During its 70 odd years as a bungalow, this rail sat on the ground and has suffered from some surface rot. This was one of the primary reasons for the replacement of the bottom rail at each end. On the west side this was mainly superficial. As a result,the coach was moved about 11" to the west to reveal the underside of the rail so that Richard Salmon could route off 3/8" - enough to remove all signs of rot. The underlying teak was found to be in almost perfect condition. It was then built up again by the attachment of second hand 3/8" teak panelling removed from the ends of the coach. Photos covering work on 3188 start here.
In the main part of the shed 3188's place in the dock has been taken temporarily by LBSCR No.270 so the perishable Van could be sign written and varnished; again a sequence of photos starts here. It is painted in the same gloss umber that was used by the LBSCR and sign writen to identify it as a passenger rated vehicle.
The LNWR Observation Car has been stripped and four marine ply panels have been removed due to rot. Two doors have been partially rebuilt with new teak stiles.
Finally Mk.I wheelchair accessible special saloon No.5034 has been brought into the paint shop for a well deserved repaint.
- Kieran Hardy had a prolific day at the Bluebell on Tuesday, and the results, including a rare glimpse of the sun illuminating the U-class as seen here, are in this atmospheric gallery of 43 photos.
- Details now available for the next BRPS Social Sub-Committee visit, which is to the Mid Norfolk Railway on Saturday 10 May. Please note that bookings are required 30 days in advance.
- We now have a report of our receipt of the Heritage Railways Association's "Large Groups" award.
- Stowe's boiler was lifted from its frames yesterday in the works, as seen in this video. Now we'll be able to do a full inspection to establish the likely cost of the boiler overhaul. Please donate towards the cost, so that we can actually get the work required done, since it's currently un-funded.
- John Sandys has photos from today taken around the Railway.
- In response to feedback from our visitors, the admission charges (platform tickets) at Sheffield Park have been reduced to £3.00, with children half price. On non-running days it remains £2.50. Bluebell Members of course have always benefited from free admission.
- The photo of LSWR goods van No.8112 has been re-scanned at much better quality.
- Yoshi Hashida's photo shows the visiting LMS Black 5 No.45231 with its train climbing Freshfield Bank on Sunday.
- New web page for GWR sleeper wagon No.100677, with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck, who have also recently revised those for SR Borail wagon No.57949 and GWR open wagon No.87782.
- Great set of photos from yesterday from Daniel Green.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster from Lewis Nodes, showing the expected changes resulting from the failure of the DMU, and the need to do some work on the smokebox door of the C-class.
- This photo from yesterday shows the SECR H-class at East Grinstead, one of the photos taken at East Grinstead by John Sandys. In addition, John provides a video of the H-class running round its train in preparation for the 12 noon departure from East Grinstead.
- The plan to use the visiting heritage diesel railcar on the first service of the day this week has had to be dropped, following a mechanical failure, since the required replacement part is not easily available. The 9.45am service from Sheffield Park (10.40am from East Grinstead) will therefore run with a steam engine. Subsequent steam departures run, as planned, every hour and a quarter until 4pm from Sheffield Park, as per our two-train Service Two timetable.
- The Maunsell Locomotive Society have provided a news update on their own web site, covering the return to service of their S15, and work on Schools Class "Stowe" and the Q-class.
- Sadly we have to report that Jack Owen passed away on Sunday night. As many will already know, Jack was the leading light in the locomotive department right from the arrival of our first locomotive in May 1960, and was unsurpassed in his skills and expertise on how to maintain, rebuild and drive steam locomotives, his experience at Three Bridges Shed standing the Bluebell in good stead. Sadly this also further reduces the ranks of those who were involved in the original formation of the Bluebell. We believe there will be a small private family funeral at their Shropshire home, where Shirley is unfortunately not doing well at the moment.
- 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.
- Stop Press: due to a mechanical problem, the Diesel Railcar which was due to run the first train of the day this week is currently unavailable, so until further notice, all trains will be steam hauled!
- The SECR C-class No.592 is seen on one of the service trains yesterday in this photo from Paul Pettitt. The train is formed of three Southern Railway Maunsell carriages from the 1930s, plus one Bulleid coach of Southern Railway design.
- Our peak Service Two timetable is in use daily this week for half-term, until Sunday 23 February, with steam trains running over the full line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.
Save money with our Kids for a Quid special offer, and the Bluebell Bonus discount on adult tickets is currently being made available for bookings made 24 hours (rather than 8 days) in advance. The first train of the day will be operated by the visiting heritage diesel railcar, and the remaining services will be hauled by two of our steam locomotives. We are currently using the Southern Railway U-class and either the SECR H-class or C-class.
- David King provides this well-planned photo as today's Golden Arrow Pullman Luncheon Train, hauled by the U-class, is reflected in one of the small puddles adjacent to the line!
It enables us to mark the return to service (on Friday, following its intermediate overhaul) of Pullman Car "Fingall", which is the second carriage in the train. The Mk.1 Kitchen Car has remained attached to the end of the train this weekend, whilst Fingall's kitchen beds in.
- Update to the web pages and membership forms for the 9F Club, which allows young people between 9 and 15 years of age to take an active role in helping to run the Railway.
- Keith Duke's photos from Saturday cover the DMU both on its "first train" passenger service, and on a subsequent staff training run, along with the C-class and the Black 5 which hauled the two passenger sets.
- John Sandys provides photos from Friday, showing GWR 0-6-2T No.5643 on test, and U-class No.1638 being prepared for the various Valentine's Day special trains, and also a set of photos from Saturday.
- Martin Lawrence's photo shows the SR U-class shunting stock at Sheffield Park on Thursday (yesterday), when it was also used for a special School Train. It is also rostered as train engine for today's Valentine's Day Golden Arrow dining and Wealden Rambler afternoon tea trains. The C-class was also in steam for a test after its recent mechanical repairs, as seen in Martin's other photos, added to his February gallery.
- A veritable feast of steam over the next 9 days, as shown in an update to the Locomotive Duty Roster. The U-class, C-class, H-class and the Black 5 will be in charge of the service trains, Wealden Rambler and Golden Arrow, and P-class No.178 will also be in steam for shunting on each Sunday - up to four locomotives in steam on any one day. In addition, the visiting heritage railcar unit will be used for the early morning trains.
- This coming Sunday (and most Sundays for the rest of the year) we have our lunchtime Carvery in the newly refurbished first-floor restaurant at Sheffield Park. This year we are offering combined tickets for special discounted train travel plus either a one-course or two-course meal; booking is essential.
- These two photos, taken by Mike Hopps yesterday, show the planting of the new post for the Down Advanced Starter signal at Horsted Keynes. The rail-built post, to the standard SR pattern, has been constructed by the Alf Brown Gang and was planted by our Infrastructure and S&T teams. The base of the old wooden signal post is badly rotten, and the signal has been supported for quite some time by two rails at the sides. However, the upper part of the old post will be re-used for a repair to the Down Inner Home at Sheffield Park.
To construct the post, the Alf Brown Group was given some of the rail removed from the platform road at Sheffield Park when it was relaid last year. Whilst cleaning it up with a wire brush John Arkell found the rolling mill's mark which was 'Dowlais Steel 5 1910 LB&SCR' indicating that the rail was over 100 years old when taken out of service!
- Our line is fully open between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, with our peak Service Two timetable daily over half-term, 15-23 February - book now for the Kids for a Quid special offer, and the Bluebell Bonus discount on adult tickets is currently being made available for bookings made 24 hours (rather than 8 days) in advance. The first train of the day will be operated by the visiting heritage diesel railcar, and the remaining services will be hauled by two of our steam locomotives.
- The same cannot, sadly, be said for the main line from London to East Grinstead, which is currently partially closed, just north of Oxted. If travelling down to visit us by train, please check with National Rail Enquiries for the best route (which may be via Three Bridges with a rail replacement bus to East Grinstead, or on Saturday via Haywards Heath and Metrobus Route 270 to Horsted Keynes). The line down from London is currently not expected to reopen before Monday 17 February, at the earliest.
- The date of the November Murder Mystery evening has now been changed to Friday 7 November.
- Martin Lawrence's picture brilliantly captures the sunlit signalbox at Horsted Keynes amidst the stormy skies. The work to replace partially rotten timberwork on the Grade 2 listed structure has just been completed, and we have been highly commended by the district council's conservation officer for the Bluebell's efforts and standard of workmanship.
Martin's other photos from this weekend show, amongst other things, the work on pre-assembling the new HK No.23 points (which it is planned should be installed during the first week of March), recently overhauled SECR 7-plank wagon No.5542, and SECR composite coach No.5546 (later SR full-third No.1050), which lost its tarpaulin in the storms, and for which a replacement tarpaulin has been purchased, which will be fitted once it can be brought into the shed to dry out.
- Dave Clarke's photostream has had recent photos from around the C&W Dept added.
- Nathan Gibson's photo shows GWR No.5643 on shed at Sheffield Park on Saturday. The Furness Railway Trust's 5600-class 0-6-2T will be with us until the end of the year, to help keep our services running, while we concentrate on getting the SR Q-class, Sir Archibald Sinclair and 73082 "Camelot" back into steam.
- After the completion of the track re-laying on Freshfield Bank, our line is fully operational again between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, with our peak Service Two timetable daily over half-term, 15-23 February - book now for the Kids for a Quid special offer, and Bluebell Bonus discount. The first train of the day will be operated by the visiting heritage diesel railcar, and the remaining services will be hauled by two of our steam locomotives.
- Two new videos on the Schools-class No.928 "Stowe" page show the removal of the chimney and smokebox in preparation for the boiler lift. However, we still have a lot of money to raise to pay for the boiler work; the vast majority of the money we still aim to raise though KUTP is needed for Stowe's boiler. Please help!
- John Sandys provides a few photos from his visit on Saturday.
- This poster design, from Heritage Rail Posters, is to advertise our forthcoming Diesel Gala on Friday 21 March - book in advance for discounts. This is a day when we would not normally be running trains.
- John Sandys' has a set of photos from Tuesday including the tamper, newly arrived at Sheffield Park. This was immediately off to work on the newly laid formation on Freshfield Bank that day, and will also be used on some other specific areas of the line both South of Horsted Keynes, and North of Kingscote. They also show the non-slip surface now installed on the foot bridge.
- New job advert for a Locomotive Fitter, added to the Vacancies page.
- The Murder Mystery evening on the Golden Arrow Pullman train on March 28 has Sold Out already. You can download full details of the Murder Mystery Evenings here.
- Mike Hopps' photo shows the 09 with the ballast wagons being loaded from the track-side stockpile, last Friday. With the top-ballasting now done, the track is expected to be tamped this week, whilst the volunteers, staff and contractors move to Horsted Keynes to work on No.23 points, which are the ones right at the South end of the station.
- Newsletter available from the Standard Class 2 project; the photo shows the substantial pattern, made by our volunteer team, for casting the rear truck frame for 84030, which is also to be used for the new-build Standard Class 3 tank at the Severn Valley Railway.
- There were 15 potential new volunteers taking part in yesterday's "Find out more day". The next such day is 2nd March, and details of how to join in are here, as seen in the photo below.
- John Sandys' photos from today include shots of the flooding of the River Ouse which has again covered the fields around Sheffield Park, as also seen in his photo on the right.
- Keith Duke's photos from today feature the DMU running between Horsted Keynes and East Grinstead.
- On the weekend of 15 & 16 March there is a Model Railway Exhibition in East Grinstead with a Bluebell special train/bus offer on the Saturday.
- On Sunday 6th April there is the annual East Grinstead Vintage Bus Rally, and we have a Special Offer on the Bluebell that day linked to the event.
- During January 2014 there were 88,501 total hits on this page, from 49,459 unique visitors.
- Pat Plane's photo was taken on 22 January and shows the amount of plant etc. needed for the quarter of a mile of track-relaying on Freshfield Bank. A 30-foot track panel is seen been brought down to the site ready for laying once the track alignment has been checked. Since the photo was taken, all the 30 foot rails have been removed and replaced by brand new 60 foot rail and the two ends of the railway have been rejoined and ballasted and await tamping.
- A comprehensive video of the DMU service on Sunday 19 January is provided by from Philip and Gary Bull. The 1950s-vintage railcars are running again this weekend, due to the engineering work on the line south of Horsted Keynes - full details and timetables here.
- Details and pre-booking now available for the Bo Peep Specials over Easter, from Good Friday (18th) to Monday 21 April.
- On Friday 21 March we will be holding our first ever Diesel Gala - book in advance for discounts. This is a day when we would not normally be running trains.
- Great news (in the East Grinstead Courier) that permission has been given for the McIndoe memorial statue to be erected. We have our own special event, a Black-tie Pullman Dining evening, to help with the fund-raising for the memorial.
- John Sandys has a few photos and a video from his visit on Tuesday. With the release on 21st February of "The Invisible Woman" (see the trailer here, especially noting scene at 1m40s) John can now share his photos and video taken during the filming in June 2012.
- Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, showing that the DMU will also be used for early morning trains over February half-term week.
- This cab view from the Class 108 driving motor second at Horsted Keynes by Alan Bedford is from last Saturday. A reminder that this weekend (and the next two), because of the engineering work between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, we are running a special service using 1950s-vintage railcars between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes (not stopping at Kingscote) with a bus link from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park station for those wishing to visit the Bessemer Arms restaurant, shop, museum and engine sheds.
- At Horsted Keynes Station our first class Restaurant Car "At The Sign of the White Horse" will be serving a special menu between 10.30am - 2.30pm each day this weekend, the menu for which is also available.
- Tim Field provides a video from last Saturday featuring lineside shots, and a ride on the DMU, plus the Crompton setting off on a test run after the completion of some minor repairs.
- A photo from the late 1970s (when it was painted as SR No.1178) has been added to the web page for SECR P-class No.178.
- The cost of the Photographers' Personal Track Safety training session and assessment has been re-assessed, and reduced back to £30.00 per person.
- John Sandys has some atmospheric shots of Sheffield Park, taken in the morning mist yesterday, including that on the right.
- Alan Bedford has some photos from Saturday.
- Update to the Volunteer Recruitment Find Out More Days page, with dates for behind the scenes tours of the Railway in 2014 - the first Sunday each month until November.
- Paul Pettitt's photo from today shows the visiting DMU running our current special service between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes. Visitor numbers over the weekend have been encouraging, but the 2-coach DMU was never overloaded, so available seats matched demand well. We were pleased to welcome a coach party from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway yesterday, from whom the unit is on loan. Paul has a gallery of photographs of the DMU also taken today.
- Steve Lee has a gallery covering the DMU at various locations on its first day of public operation, yesterday.
- John Harwood provides a video covering a ride on the DMU yesterday, and in addition a great Horsted Keynes to East Grinstead in 3 minutes feature!
- Neal Ball has recently found some photos he took on a visit to the Bluebell in July 2008.
- Photographs showing the new stock in the shop, and a look around Sheffield Park taken yesterday by John Sandys. It includes photos of the newly released Bachmann 00-gauge model of the Dukedog, seen here in its green version.
If you pre-ordered a Bachmann Dukedog through the Bluebell Shop there should be a message left for you already. All pre-orders are now packed up and awaiting collection. Only two green Dukedogs are left for sale, all others are sold out! Call the shop on 01825 720803 to purchase one.
- John Sandys' photos from today show the lake in Firbank Way this morning alongside our station at East Grinstead.
- We now have a web page covering the visiting LT-liveried GWR Prairie Tank L.150 (No.5521), produced with thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski, Martin Lawrence, Cameron Smith, John Sandys and Nick Beck. The locomotive is on loan to the Bluebell courtesy of The Flour Mill Ltd. until July, when it is due to return to London for a further spell of running on the Met, with public trains, also including the Bluebell's Metropolitan carriages, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Hammersmith and City line in August and, it is reported in one monthly magazine, also potentially on the Chesham branch, although we understand this is subject to confirmation.
- 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.
- Tony Sullivan's photo shows the DMU, on loan from the The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, on one of last Saturday's staff training runs. It has been brought in for use on the next four weekends to provide a special service between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes (not stopping at Kingscote) whilst the line south from Horsted Keynes is closed for track relaying (which has already started, and is progressing well so far). Normal fares apply between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes, but with the ticket valid all day rather than a single round trip, and will also provide admission to Sheffield Park station via a bus link we are providing from Horsted Keynes.
- Photos, with thanks to Nigel Longdon and John Arkell, have been added to the page for LSWR ventilated goods van No.2773
- Paul Pettitt has moved many of his Bluebell photos onto his new, improved, web site. He has a specific area for his Bluebell photos, including galleries for resident and visiting locomotives, plus recent Southern at War events, and the Bluebell also features in the section for photographic charters.
- Peter Richards just uploaded a small addition to the latest news of the Horsted Keynes Re-signalling following the transfer of the control of the last signals from the panel switches to the frame on Saturday, using photos courtesy of Jon Bowers - the P-way trolley was the first movement past signal 24A (from platform 4/5 to down headshunt) at lunchtime yesterday. 24B (from dock) and 26 (from headshunt) are also now fully operational.
- Update to the page for recruiting platform staff at Sheffield Park Station, with thanks to Chris Pratt, one of the Station Masters there.
- Martin Lawrence provides a short video of the DMU on a crew training run on Saturday.
- "CJE" provides this video featuring the H-class on service trains and the DMU, on Sunday.
- As part of this winter's routine maintenance of the Golden Arrow set, the bogies from Pullman Car "Christine" (Car No.64) are at Ashford for turning of the wheelsets, seen in this photo tweeted by Danny @DSW_Photography.
- Pat Plane's photo shows the scale of the slip near the tunnel. The work undertaken, and that still to be done in the future, is outlined in the updated Infrastructure News.
- Due to the additional work required to repair the slip, the engineering work planned for the next four weeks (three weekends) is now expected to run into an further week, so the line closure south of Horsted Keynes, and the Special Diesel Service, is now scheduled to continue each weekend until 9th February.
- David Haggar has just completed a web album of slide scans from some photos he took during the SECR Centenary Gala back 7th August 1999.
- The SECR H-class is seen heading through Imberhorne cutting towards East Grinstead in Tony Sullivan's photo taken today, the first day we've run services through it for some weeks. The DMU was also running today for crew training, ready for next weekend.
- I'd like to express my personal thanks to Peter Richards, who has, for 15 years, maintained and updated weekly without fail the "Public Train Information" pages on this web site, providing details of what trains are running each week, including timetables for special events, etc. The mantle has been taken up by Tony Hayllar, so the service, greatly appreciated by many, is to continue. Our thanks to them both.
- Martin Lawrence provides a few photos from around the railway from yesterday.
- Photos from today, taking advantage of the sunshine, from Steve Lee and Neil Munro-Thomson featuring both the H-class on the service train, and the DMU's training runs.
- Alan Bedford's atmospheric photo from last Saturday shows the timeless scene generated by the gas lighting and the two platform canopies at Sheffield Park, both now restored to their full LBSCR length and appearance.
- We are pleased to announce that trains are able to run the full length of the line, between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, this weekend. As scheduled, we are therefore operating steam-hauled and steam-heated trains to our Service 1 timetable. This follows confirmation that work has successfully taken place on the recent landslips affecting the section between Horsted Keynes and Kingscote.
- We are sorry to have to report that Chris Edwards, a volunteer in the Carriage & Wagon department, sadly and unexpectedly passed away over the Christmas period. More details and funeral arrangements on the BRPS Members' pages.
- Alan Bedford's photo from last Saturday shows the SECR H-class locomotive at Horsted Keynes in the rain.
- The February Golden Arrow Murder Mystery Evening has sold out. You can download the dates and synopses for the remaining 2014 Murder Mystery evenings here.
- John Sandys has photos from Sheffield Park yesterday morning, and a video showing the DMU being moved over the pit for its commissioning. It is due to enter service on 18th January, to cover the period when the line south of Horsted Keyens is severed for engineering work. It has now been moved to Horsted Keynes, and will be undertaking training runs for drivers and guards this coming weekend.
- Any Bluebell members who are having difficulty playing the KUTP "Stowe" DVD which was included with Bluebell News on a computer should find they are able to play it if, after waiting a few seconds, they click on the white rectangle alongside the word Campaign. Alternatively, you can see the video in HD here on YouTube. Further details of the KUTP appeal are here.
- Updated link to the comprehensive Glossary of Railway Terminology from Mark Dewell - just the place to look if you come across a word on this site you don't understand! Mark also maintains summary details of all UK & Ireland Heritage Railways, and a locomotive database. A bit of history here - it was Mark who in 1994/5 started me on the path that led to the creation of this web site, when I provided him with a few web pages on the Bluebell, including our timetable. Those web pages from 1995 are now available again here, as an archive feature.
- Chris White has released this photo showing the cutting slip just South of Sharpthorne Tunnel, which has caused our line to be closed north of Horsted Keynes since Christmas. It shows the scene after initial tidying up at rail level last week.
The plan is to have sufficient short term repairs in place to safely open the railway for normal service on Saturday 11 January, which we are on course to do. Whilst the picture shows what appears to be a fairly small-scale slip, its position in the cutting, surrounded by numerous trees and with continuous surface water flow, means there is risk of further movement, which makes it a difficult and hazardous work site in view of the current poor weather conditions.
- Alan Bedford has a gallery of pictures from the railway taken on Saturday, when the H-class was in service.
- Dave Braley has some photos from 29th December, during some unusual sunny afternoon weather.
- Andy Prime's photo shows Pullman Car "Fingall" fresh from the paintshop, and positioned yesterday on the lifting jacks for mechanical maintenance.
- Two photos taken yesterday by Jim Hewett, show Fingall being shunted out of the paint shop, and LBSCR Milk/Fruit Van No.270 being shunted in.
- Loco Works News update on the Brighton Atlantic project, showing the delivery of the four eccentric rods, which means we now have all the major parts to complete the valve gear. With the driving wheelsets now in the works, the bearings in the axleboxes are being machined to fit.
- New poster advertising the Southern at War weekend from Heritage Rail Posters.
- Video from Philip Bull from 28th December, featuring LMS Black Five No.45231 & SECR H-Class No.263.
- A reminder that, due to the minor landslip near the tunnel, which is being attended to, we are currently unable to run trains north of Horsted Keynes this weekend. Therefore, we will be running steam-hauled and steam-heated trains between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes only to the temporary timetable shown below on 4-5 January, and following an update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, is expected to be hauled by H-class No.263.
2 January 2014
- John Sandys' photo shows the S15 No.847 in service at Sheffield Park on Boxing Day
- Two photos taken yesterday by Steve Lee, including the first train of the New Year, added to his photostream.
- During December 2013 there were 81,789 total hits on this page, from 45,925 unique visitors.
- We regret that due to a landslide caused by the heavy rain, we are currently unable to run trains north of Horsted Keynes. Therefore, we will be running steam-hauled and steam-heated trains between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes only to the temporary timetable shown here, on 4-5 January.
The Current What's New page contains all the recent update information.
Also see 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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