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Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Traction and Rolling Stock Collection Policy

As agreed by the BRPS Committee, and included in the Stage 1 Application to the HLF for Woodpax/Operation Undercover project.

The overall policy of the Bluebell Railway is to provide a representative collection of trains and important individual vehicles from the steam age railways of Britain with particular emphasis on London and the South East of England. The purpose of the collection is to educate and give access to the public and BRPS members to the experiences of the people who lived with the railways and the equipment that made them operate, and to recreate as authentically as possible the heritage travel experience.

In order to assist in the execution of this policy, items may be loaned or borrowed and heritage railway groups with complementary objectives may be offered temporary or permanent accommodation for suitable vehicles.


The Railway must provide suitable motive power for its existing and future train service. Within and beyond this, the Railway aims to have a representative selection of the fleet as to size, power class, function, age and design in operating condition at all times. Locomotives will be rotated to ensure maximum exposure of the fleet to the public and BRPS members. Non-operational locomotives will be on display where possible to allow maximum safe public access and opportunities for appropriate interpretation.

All the current locomotive fleet is seen as assisting in the implementation of this policy. Additions to the fleet will only be contemplated if agreed by the BRPS Trustees that they comply with and enhance the policy.


The Railway must provide the carriages necessary to operate its existing and future train services. The overall policy for the carriage fleet is to provide full trains of vehicles from each major design era of the steam age from the 1880's to the 1960's, and within this to provide a wide range of heritage travel experience from third class commuting through to Pullman luxury.

The current carriage fleet is seen as requiring adjustments to ensure it is suitable to achieve the Railway's operational and heritage objectives. In particular, emphasis is placed on increasing access to the older vehicles of the Victorian and Edwardian era. A "one out, one in" policy is operated to prevent overcrowding by unused or unrestored vehicles. Additions to the fleet will be agreed to only if they contribute towards the objective of improving the quality or historic breadth of the fleet.


The role of the historic wagon fleet is to provide an opportunity for the public to understand the importance, role and implementation of goods transport by steam railways. The policy is therefore to create and maintain a fleet of vehicles typical of the era, to provide representative goods trains for operational and display purposes.

The Railway also maintains an operating fleet of engineering vehicles for its own internal maintenance purposes.


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