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Bluebell Railway


was on 19th & 20th February 2000

No. 473 south of New Road bridge with the two  Metropolitans. With thanks to Jon Bowers for the photographs on this page - click on them for full-size versions.

The usual busy timetable of 'Vintage Branch Line Trains' ran, keeping perfectly to time on the Saturday, in spite of the very tight timetable. On the Sunday a few minutes were lost, probably in shunting the Pullmans onto the Maunsell set for the lunchtime trains, but even so the running was never far from the timetable.

Left: No. 473 south of New Road bridge with the two Metropolitans.

No. 96 passes the site of West Hoathly station.


Particular features this year were:

  • Six steam locos in action.
  • A non-stop run with SR Q1 0-6-0 No 33001 first thing each morning.
  • An outing for Terrier 'Stepney'.
  • A rare outing on a passenger train for LSWR dock tank No.96 Normandy.
    (See photo Right, passing the site of West Hoathly station).
  • A triple-headed finale train at the end of each afternoon.

No. 592 near Horsted Keynes with the SECR suburban set. Right: No. 592 near Horsted Keynes with the SECR suburban set.

In addition:

  • The Sun shone for much of the weekend!
  • The trains ran comfortably full most of the time, and occasionally a bit fuller than one would have liked! It's difficult to know how to run a successful event like this with small trains!
  • Lineside photographers were out in force.
  • Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes station forecourts were 'dressed' with a selection of period road vehicles, thanks to the Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society.
  • Conducted tours of Horsted Keynes Carriage Works (normally closed to the public for safety reasons) at Horsted Keynes, which raised about £300 towards the Carriage Works Extension.

The O1 with the Bulleid set at Holywell Bridge.
Left: The O1 with the Bulleid set at Holywell Bridge.


The usual collection of grandfathers:
  • 55 LB&SCR Terrier Stepney (1875)
  • 96 LSWR 0-4-0 Class B4, Normandy (1893)
  • 473 LB&SCR Class E4 0-6-2T (1898)
  • 592 SE&CR Class C 0-6-0 (1902)
  • 65 SE&CR Class 01 0-6-0 (1896)

    and one youngster:

  • 33001 Southern Railway Q1 Class 0-6-0 (1942)
The combined ages of the locomotives was 594 years !

The triple-header - Jon Bowers
Sunday's triple header: "Stepney", "Birch Grove" and the O1, with seven coaches plus a passenger van, passing Holywell.

Coaching Stock

  • Metropolitan Railway: Two magnificent teak-bodied commuter coaches built in 1898 and 1900.
  • LNWR observation car, built in 1913.
  • SE&CR: Two suburban non-corridor coaches.
  • LBSCR: First Class coach built in 1903.
  • Three Southern Railway (Maunsell) main line coaches from 1929-1935.
  • Four SR Bulleid main line coaches from the immediate post war period.
  • Magnificent Pullman Cars from the 20's & 30's (Sunday only - attached to the Maunsell set).

'Birch Grove' leads 'Stepney' towards Sheffield Park.

SR Q1 0-6-0 No 33001

This unique example of a class of goods locomotive was produced by the Southern Railway to fill a need for motive power during the Second World War. This locomotive is on loan to the Bluebell Railway from the National Railway Museum in York.

In preparation for this event the locomotive is undergoing a repaint, and is expected to emerge for 'Winter Steam-up' carrying its post-war British Railways Number, 33001.

Right: 'Birch Grove' leads 'Stepney' towards Sheffield Park.

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