Bluebell Railway Trust

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The Disadvantaged
Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
For over five decades the Bluebell Railway has been serving the community
  • The Railway provides special support for mobility-impaired and disabled people with two specially adapted carriages including electric lifts, which have also proved popular for small groups of special-needs children. 
  • Bluebell is one of the very few preserved railways able to provide this service.
  • A Victorian carriage has also been restored and sympathetically adapted to create a smaller wheelchair-accessable saloon, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund, via The People's Millions.
  • "Reminiscence" has a clinically beneficial role, since it is a key element in enjoyment and recall for visiting elderly, hospice and nursing home groups, and particularly those, of any age, suffering the onset of dementia or with acquired brain injury.
  • This means it is most beneficial for these groups to enjoy a visit to The Bluebell Railway with its accurate re-creation of yesteryear. This is illustrated by the Victorian architecture of the stations (with Sheffield Park represeting the 1900s, Horsted Keynes themed with the 1930s, and Kingscote the 1950s), the rolling stock liveries, detailed staff uniforms, period advertising hoardings and historically-themed artefacts and 'props'.
  • Every aspect  is thoughtfully realised, evoking powerful memories of travel in the era of steam, further emphasised by billowing steam, shrill whistles and flags; a Bluebell "experience" which actually embraces and challenges all the senses - sight, touch, sound, smell and taste.
  • There are positive therapeutic and social benefits, proven through clinical studies for the elderly and those with illnesses, which can be triggered by the power of reminiscence.
  • Such benefits include lowering of blood pressure, increased social interaction and psychosocial benefits of communication with others, relief of depression and symptoms of chronic conditions.
For over five decades the Bluebell Railway has been serving the community - Find out more about our impact on:
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Electric wheel-chair lift on specially adapted carriage - Chris Dadson

Paralympian Richard Schabel boards the newly restored Victorian carriage - Derek Hayward - 26 May 2011

C-class - Matt Allen

Visit the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society's website at

Contact us - Telephone: UK:- 01825 720800,  USA:- 011 44 - 1825 720800,  Email funding @

© Bluebell Railway, 27 September 2018              The Bluebell Railway Trust is a Registered Charity, No. 292497