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Bluebell Railway

Goods Train Day

was on Saturday 9th April 2005

75027 goods train in March 1998 Goods trains were a very important source of revenue on railway lines like ours. In the early 1880s, the railways were able to move many tons of materials, livestock and commodities across the country, the like of which had never been seen before.

Photos taken during Goods Train Day 2005 are available from:

We demonstrated how this was achieved thanks to our friends from the Mechanical Horse Club who operated their vintage road vehicles to help collect and deliver various goods items from each of our stations.

One example of these collections and deliveries was when a barrel of Harvey's "Hadlow Ale" was collected from the brewery in Lewes, delivered to Sheffield Park for onwards conveyance by goods train to Horsted Keynes, where a further vintage road vehicle delivered the ale to The Cat Inn at West Hoathly.

Two goods trains ran. One consisted of wagons from the London Brighton & South Coast Railway and the South Eastern & Chatham Railway. This train was hauled by LBSCR A1 Class locomotive No.672 "Fenchurch" built in 1872 in the morning, and SECR O1 Class locomotive, No.65 built in 1896 in the afternoon. The other train was hauled by our E4 Class locomotive, No.32473 built in 1898. The locomotive has just been painted into its British Railways black livery of the early 1950s to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Bluebell line first closure in 1955. It hauled wagons reminiscent of the latter days of the Grouping railways and the early days of British Railways.

The goods trains included three vehicles newly restored to operation by our volunteers over the last few months. Two further pre-grouping wagons were on display at Horsted Keynes.

Two passenger trains ran to convey both visitors and newspapers. The East Grinstead Courier supplyed copies of their local newspaper for collection by a Mechanical Horse, delivered to Kingscote and transported by the Newspaper train to Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park for onward road delivery to Horsted Keynes Stores and South Chailey News, thanks to the proprietors Mr Hill and Mr Muschamp.

Birch Grove with goods train, Oct 03 No.65 with the early morning goods train


The locomotives in service were:

GWR Dukedog SER 65 Fenchurch Birch Grove 75027

Photographs on this page by Richard Salmon, Nick Beck and Dave Bowles

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