Autumn Steam Gala
Friday 17th - Sunday 19th October
This year we are holding an Autumn Steam Gala with a Somerset and
Dorset Railway theme.
Travelling to the Gala using National Rail trains on Sunday? - see the note on Network Rail Engineering Work
The main visiting locomotive for this event will be former Somerset and
Dorset Joint Railway class 7F No.53809 (left). This engine was built in 1925
for use on the famous Somerset and Dorset railway that once linked Bath
and Bournemouth. Built for the S&DJR (No. 13809) by Robert Stephenson & Co. Ltd to a Derby design, the locomotive was preserved in 1975, and is visiting from The Midland Railway, Butterley.
The second visiting engine is LMS Jinty 0-6-0T No.47493 (below), which was built 1927 at the
Vulcan Foundry Limited and initially worked suburban and freight services over the former North London Line. From 1954 it worked in the North West until sent to Woodham Bros scrap yard in Barry. Moving to the East Somerset Railway, Cranmore in 1973, it was overhauled and returned to steam in January 1976. It was moved to Tunbridge Wells West in March 2000 for overhaul, and returned to service in March 2004.
Stop Press: We regret to say that the Jinty has failed, and so will not be hauling trains. On the Friday it will be replaced by 5199.
Also in use over the weekend will be former Great Western Railway
"Large Prairie" No. 5199 that has been based on the Bluebell Railway
for most of 2008.
In addition the following locomotives from the
Bluebell Fleet will be in use:
- British Railways Class 4MT No.80151
- Southern Railway U Class No.1638
- South Eastern and Chatham Railway O1 Class No.65 (in light steam at Sheffield Park)
Friday the 17th October will see a regular service during the day with
trains hauled by 53809, 80151 and 5199. On both
Saturday and Sunday an intensive timetable will operate featuring the locomotives listed above.
- Over the weekend some of the locomotives currently awaiting overhaul
will be positioned for photography in the locomotive yard at Sheffield
- Model Railway exhibition at Sheffield Park
- Atlantic House open - see the current state of the re-construction of 32424 "Beachy Head"
- Carriage Works Tours at Horsted Keynes: Friday at 12.30 and 1.10, and on both Saturday and Sunday at 12.30, 1.10 and 1.50.
- Free vintage Bus service (Sunday only) between Brighton and Sheffield Park: Service 20 - Regular departures from Brighton to Sheffield Park between 10am and 4pm - Service 20 timetable and details here
- Second-hand book sale at Kingscote Station. In all we have over 150 books to view, the majority being railway related - in a marquee behind Platform 2 - in aid of the Northern Extension Project. There will also be a exhibition of the progress being made on our venture to reach East Grinstead.
- Quiz Evening - in the Bar at Sheffield Park on the Saturday evening - £7 for Sausage and Mash Supper and Quiz.
- On the Saturday and Sunday there is a mini model railway exhibition on the upper floor of the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park featuring 009 and N Scale layouts, and also a sales stand by the Railway's resident artist, Matthew Cousins.
First trains of the day
- Friday: 10am from Sheffield Park, 10.20 from Horsted Keynes, 10.55 from Kingscote
- Saturday and Sunday: 10am from Sheffield Park, 10.17 (northbound) and 10.30 (southbound) from Horsted Keynes, 10.48 from Kingscote
Details of Fares applicable over the weekend.
- Friday: 4pm from Sheffield Park to Kingscote, returning at 5pm for arrival back at 5.43pm
- Saturday: 5.25pm from Sheffield Park to Kingscote, returning at 6.11pm, changing at Horsted Keynes for arrival back at Sheffield Park at 6.43pm
- Sunday: 4.50pm from Sheffield Park to Kingscote, returning at 5.35pm, for arrival back at 6.08pm
Route 473 Bus Times for Saturday and Sunday only
In addition to the usual single-decker bus, a vintage RM will also be used on the route 473 service.
A full event guide and working timetable is available for £2.00 on the day, or in advance from the Sales and Information Office at Sheffield Park (above the shop).
Special Carriages added to the trains
The Bluebell is justly renowned for the quality of its carriage stock, with our Bulleid carriages to the fore, along-side Mk.1s and Maunsells.
Special Saloons and Pullman Cars were also a feature in the trains:
Engineering Work on Sunday 19th October on Network Rail
The following National Rail routes have buses replacing trains on Sunday 19th:
If travelling from London or Croydon then you have a variety of options.
- Purley to/from Hurst Green
- Purley to/from Uckfield
- Haywards Heath to/from Brighton and Lewes
If travelling from Lewes or Brighton, why not take advantage of our special Free Vintage Bus on Route 20.
- Rail Replacement Bus from Purley to Hurst Green (and then train onwards to East Grinstead),
- Rail Replacement Bus from Three Bridges to East Grinstead,
- Travel to Haywards Heath and use the scheduled 270 Bus to Horsted Keynes.
If you are intending to also visit Uckfield for the Model Railway Exhibition there, there is a bus from Purley, but also one from Three Bridges via East Grinstead.
For travel on National Rail trains and replacement bus services you are advised to check times and routes using their journey planner.
Please note that whilst the Bluebell Railway will endeavour to deliver the attractions advertised, this may not always be possible, depending on locomotive availability or other factors beyond our control.
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Last updated by Richard Salmon, 17 October 2008
Photo of 7F from Chris Nevard, used under GFDL.
Photo of the Jinty from Derek Hayward with permission.
Photos from last year's "Giants of Steam" event with thanks to Andrew Strongitharm, Tony Pearce and Derek Hayward.
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