Bluebell Railway Blog:
Please be aware that due to the historical nature of this page, some of the
links on it may be out of date.
Most recent updates
Older updates are in the What's New
or the 2019, the 2018, the 2017, the 2016, the 2015, the 2014, the 2013, the 2012, the 2011, the 2010, the 2009, the 2008, the 2007, the 2006, the 2005, the 2004, the 2003, the 2002, the 2001, the 2000, the 1999 and the 1997-8 "What was new" archive pages.
Web Site Update List: further down this page.
Photographic and video reports 2007:
Please note that some photos included below are taken by volunteers and staff during the course of their duties, and so may have been taken in areas not open to the general public. These photos are very valuable, since they enable the public to see these otherwise hidden facets of the railway, but visitors to the railway should note that they may be unable to visit these locations themselves.
- A retrospective of Eddystone's visit added to this web site, thanks to contributions from no fewer than sixteen of our photographic contributors.
- Derek Hayward's retrospective of Eddystone's visit and a small gallery of photos of 75027, recalling its last few years in service before withdrawal pending overhaul in 2007.
- Derek Hayward has compiled a gallery of his "Best shots" of 2007, and an archive of his other shots from the year.
- New Year Vintage Trains from Alan Bedford and Matt Allen - 31 December 2007
- Santa Special photos:
- Galleries from Paul Pettitt, including the Photo charter with 'Eddystone' as No. 34100 'Appledore', Golden Rails (autumn colours), and an update with more photos of U Class No.1638 - 1 December 2007
- Photos of the Bus Running Day - 11 November 2007
- Photos from Ken Upton - Wadebridge being cleaned prior to departure - 11 November 2007
- Rob Faulkner's photos of the start of the overhaul of P-class No.178 - 11 November 2007
- Pictures covering the recent visit of 'Wadebridge' and '92 Squadron' from Dave Bowles - Oct/Nov 2007
- Matt Allen's photos of 34100 'Appledore' (34028) - 6 November 2007
- Dave Clarke's photos of the recovery of the LCDR Horsebox - 5 November 2007
- Photos from Derek Hayward - 4 November 2007
- The official re-launch into service of the C-class, No.592: Rob Faulkner, Phil Stoneman, Nick Talbot and Neil Glaskin - 3 November 2007
- Jon Bowers photos and a video from the photo charter with 34007 'Wadebridge' and 34081 '92 Squadron' - 30 October 2007
- Bryan Benn's gallery of photos of 'Blackmoor Vale' - October 2007
- Photo Gallery from new contributor Craig Richardson - September 2007
- Giants of Steam - 19-21 October 2007
- Andrew Strongitharm's photos including the recently arrived Bulleid Pacifics - 17 October 2007
- Updates to Dave Clarke's Carriage Maintenance Gallery and C&W photo gallery - 16 October 2007
- Sean Tompsett's gallery, showing the arrival and unloading of the two Pacifics visiting for Giants of Steam, and a gallery showing the Autumn Tints Specials - 16 October 2007
- Derek Hayward - 14 October 2007
- Photo from Paul Pettitt, showing the C-class at West Hoathly, with the Autumn Tints special train - 10 October 2007
- John Sandys' photos of the SECR C-class loco at Kingscote on its first passenger duty after overhaul - 9 October 2007
- Derek Hayward's gallery of photos from the Autumn Tints and other happenings around the railway - 5 October 2007
- Paul Pettitt has updates on his Standard 4, No.80151 and 'Blackmoor Vale' pages, and new set of (mainly Bluebell Railway oriented) pages for his black and white railway photography - 1 October 2007
- Derek Hayward's Sunday photos including four-trains in service, the Bluebell Railway Band, and P-way gang - 23 September 2007
- Bryan Benn's gallery of photos from August and early September.
- Derek Hayward's photos from 8th September cover the Stepney Club special train, as well as the normal services.
- Chris Dadson has some photos showing what a guard sees through his periscope of our Southern Railway Van C (BY) brake van - 5 September 2007
- Photos of Bank Holiday Monday trains from Derek Hayward - 29 August 2007
- Full report on the Bluebell 125 Gala with links to all photo and video galleries - 11-12 August 2007
- Photos from Chris Dadson of the Land Cruise with 'Sir Berkeley', and also earlier photos showing the end of the Ardingly embankment - 10 August 2007
- Photos from Rob Faulkner of the C-class loco No.592 undergoing its steam test - 8 August 2007
- Photos from Martin Creese, featuring Met.1 and Eddystone - 5th August 2007
- Derek Hayward's photographic tour along the Bluebell Railway: Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes (including Horsted Keynes station) and Horsted Keynes to Kingscote - 4 August and 17 September 2007
- Alan Bedford's photos of Met.1 with the mets, and other trains running today - 4 August 2007
- Tom Waghorn's photos of recent Bluebell activities - 28 July to 3 August 2007
- New edition of the Bluebell Newsreel Webvision service - August 2007
- Updates from Paul Pettitt to his pages for 'Blackmoor Vale', No.55 'Stepney' and U Class No.1638 - 1 Aug 2007
- Photo charter with Met loco and carriages. Photos from Tony Pearce, Andrew Strongitharm, Matt Allen and Paul Pettitt - 29 July 2007
- Derek Hayward's photos of the wedding held at the Bluebell, and associated Pullman Train - 28 July 2007
- Relaunch Gala for the Met carriages: Full report, Barry Coward's report, Video of relaunch from Jon Bowers (.wmv format, 10Mb),
Andrew Strongitharm, Derek Hayward, also covering three other trains running on the Bluebell that day - 28 July 2007
- Test run of the Met Tank - John Sandys - 26 July 2007
- Photos of flooding at Kingscote station - 20 July 2007
- Photos from the Saturday of the 40th anniversary of the end of Southern Steam weekend from Derek Hayward - 14 July 2007
- Photo charter with 'Eddystone' running as 'Dartmoor' - photos from Tony Pearce, Paul Pettitt and Dave Clarke and, with others taken that day from Matt Allen and John Sandys - 10 July 2007
- Rob Faulkner's photos of progress on the overhaul of the C-class loco - 8 July 2007
- Photos around the Carriage & Wagon department from Dave Clarke - 7 July 2007
- Paul Pettitt has added extra photos to his pages for: Standard 4 Tank No.80151, SECR O1-class No.65 and LBSCR No. 55 'Stepney' - 1 July 2007
- Derek Hayward's photos of Days out with Thomas - 23 June to 1 July 2007
- Photos from Andrew Strongitharm, including Fathers' Day trains - 17 June 2007
- Phil Stoneman's pictures of the C-class in the Workshop - 17 June 2007
- Andrew Strongitharm's photos of the Victorian Evening train - 15 June 2007
- Photos of the C-class overhaul from Rob Faulkner - 10 June 2007
- Photos from Chris Ward - also a video on YouTube - 10 June 2007
- Photos of the crew on Blackmoor Vale from Nick Talbot - 9 June 2007
- new photos from Derek Hayward - 2-3 June 2007
- Photos of the route of the extension between Kingscote and East Grinstead, from Derek Hayward - June 2007
- Updates from Paul Pettitt to his pages for 'Eddystone', U Class, No.1638 and 'Earl of Berkeley' - 1 June 2007
- Sean Tompsett has a new general Bluebell photo gallery, and one dedicated to visiting Bulleid Pacific, 'Eddystone' - 31 May 2007
- Photos from the working day on the C-class loco from Rob Faulkner - the loco has been re-wheeled - 27 May 2007
- Photos of a Fish & Chip special from Andrew Strongitharm - 25 May 2007
- Chris Dadson has provided some photos from the brake van taken during a whole-line trip on Clive Groome's Footplate Days and Ways - 25 May 2007
- Photos from Dave Clarke showing recent activity in the Carriage & Wagon: 2526, 3363, 387, and Loco departmentsthe 592, 592 again, 34059 - firebox and thermic syphons, MLS PMV, with final door fitted on west side, 847 and Eddystone and train after arrival at Kingscote - May 2007
- Matt Allen visited the Bluebell again - 20 May 2007
- Our LBSCR E4 No.32473 ("Birch Grove") visited the Spa Valley Railway for their Spring Gala, as seen on Matt Allen's own web site, two photos from Paul Pettitt (1, 2, and galleries from Sean Tompsett and Ashley Smith - 19-20 May 2007
- "Southern at War" weekend photos from Andrew Strongitharm, Matt Allen, Derek Hayward, Nick Beck, Ashley Smith, Linda Chen and Paul Pettitt - 12-13 May 2007
- Derek Hayward has a photo gallery covering the Bluebell Specials - 1-8 May 2007
- Photos from Sean Tompsett - 7 May 2007
- Photos from Rob Faulkner showing work on the C-class tender last Sunday - 6 May 2007
- Paul Pettitt has updated his galleries of photos of E4 No.32473 and 34028 "Eddystone" - 1 May 2007
- Matt Allen's latest update shows that this year is a good one for the bluebells - 29 April 2007
- Photos of the C-class loco boiler's first steam test, and testing the tender tank from Rob Faulkner - 25 and 29 April 2007
- The Bluebells are out! Photos from Tony Pearce - 22 April 2007
- Around the Carriage & Wagon works, from Dave Clarke - 14-15 April 2007
- Photos from the working day on the C-Class from Rob Faulkner - 15 April 2007
- Photo reports from the Goods Train Weekend - 14-15 April 2007
- Derek Hayward's latest photos - 8 & 9 April 2007
- Photos from Matt Allen - 9 Aptil 2007
- Photos from Andrew Strongitharm including the "City Limited" breakfast Pullman train - 9 April 2007
- Photos from Ray Wills, showing the Monday steam shunt, and reporting the unusual change of sets which took place at Horsted Keynes, mid-service - 2 April 2007
- Photos from Derek Hayward - 2 April 2007
- Updated gallery of photos of SR U-class No.1638 from Paul Pettitt - 1 April 2007
- Photos from from Derek Hayward - 25 March 2007
- Photos from Dave Clarke showing progress around the Carriage & Wagon Department - 25 March 2007
- Photos from Dave Clarke showing: Pullman Doris in the carriage works for an assessment of its condition, and other photos from around the C&W showing progress with the Pipefit, the first W-iron fitted to the SECR wagon underframe, LBSCR Milk/Fruit van, Birdcage, Bulleid 2526, LSWR bogie overhaul, replacing roof boards on the Met brake, and the replacement duckets on the LMS BGZ - 10-11 March 2007
- Derek Hayward's photos of the weekend Blackmoor Vale returned to service (10-11th March) and with the lunchtime Pullman train the following day, plus from Andrew Strongitharm: 21C123 again, 32473 (Birch Grove) and SECR O1 No.65 - the three locos in service on 11 March 2007
- Photos and a report of the C-class Loco working day from Rob Faulkner - 4 March 2007.
- Couple of photos from Chris Dadson - 3 March 2007
- Update from Dave Clarke with photos of recent activity in the C&W works - 2 March 2007
- Photos and videos from the Branch Line Weekend - 24-25 February 2007
- Photos and a report of the C-class Loco working day from Rob Faulkner - 18 February 2007.
- Derek Hayward's photo gallery - 17th February 2007
- Dave Clarke's updates on the overhaul of Bulleid Brake No.2526, progress on the LSWR brake coach and SECR Birdcage Brake's cladding, and other progress around the Carriage & Wagon - 13 February 2007
- Nick Talbot's Saturday, and Sunday photos - 10-11 February 2007
- Rob Faulkner's photos from the C-class working group - 4 February 2007
- Matt Allen - 3 February 2007
- Derek Hayward - 3 February 2007
- Dave Clarke: work on the viaduct and the use of the LCDR brake on the SR Vintage set, the latest from around the Carriage & Wagon, progress on the Birdcage brake carriage, and recent work on the S15 Locomotive - 3 February 2007
- Derek Hayward's gallery of photos from the Victorian Weekend - 28 January 2007
- Photos by Derek Hayward - 21 January 2007
- Photos from Dave Clarke, including Loco Works activities - 20/21 January 2007
- Photos taken on his first weekend as a volunteer in the Loco Department by Nick Talbot - 21 January 2007
- Photo update from Andrew Strongitharm - 20 January 2007
- Photos from Dave Clarke: Christmas Eve and New Years Day - Vintage trains, and the latest Carriage & Wagon works activity - 19 January 2007
- Photos of the winter two-train service from Derek Hayward. He has also updated his Loco Shed photos page - 14 January 2007
- Photos taken on New Year's Day by Derek Hayward - 1 January 2007
Web-site Update Archive 2007
30 December 2007:
- The inaugural run of our new Lounge Car service will be at 3pm on Sunday 13th January. The service will be launched by actress Judy Cornwell, (from television comedy series "Keeping up Appearances" where she played Hyacinth Bucket's sister Daisy).
In addition, the High Sheriff of West Sussex and local Mayors will also be in attendance.
- Photos from Matt Allen taken today, showing both of the vintage trains, including LBSCR 'Fenchurch' with the Metropolitan Railway coaches, seen below.
- Andrew Strongitharm also has photos of the vintage trains, including that on the right showing the SECR O1-class No.65 hauling carriages SECR 1098, LBSCR 7598, LCDR 114 and LBSCR 661.
- A shunt of the shed now makes it possible to get a shot of Schools Class 'Stowe' in its new Malachite livery, as seen in Derek Hayward's photo taken on 16th December.
- Details and dates for our 2008 Fish & Chips, Sausage & Mash, and Curry Night specials are now available. Book early, since the available places go quickly!
- Update to the FAQ, including an explanation of our No Smoking policy.
- Revision of the 2008 Special Events page.
- Update to Access to the Railway page.
- Update to the BRPS London Area Group page, with details of meetings in January, February and March.
- Update to the loco roster from Lewis Nodes, showing expected loco usage through to the end of January.
- Photos of Santa trains on Christmas Eve from Ashley Smith, including that on the right which marks the end of 34028 Eddystone's year on hire to the Bluebell.
- Dates and initial details of 2008 Special Events now available.
- Update to Access to the Railway page, with updates to bus route 121 and 246 details. Note: Keysford Lane Bridge, Horsted Keynes, is to be closed for roadworks for 5 weeks starting on 7th January 2008. Diversions are signposted but are quite long! See more details on HorstedKeynes.com. Fortunately this should not affect most of our visitors (unless you have a vehicle over 8ft high), but may involve temporary changes to the 270 bus service.
- Derek Hayward's photo of Stepney, welcoming our visitors on Sunday 16th, is one of his photos taken that day.
- Latest photos from Matt Allen, also from Sunday
- Michael Topham got some silhouette shots on Saturday 15th.
- Details now available for the Lounge Car service, which starts running in the new year. Tickets for this service could be the ideal christmas present!
- Reminder: next Saturday (8th December) at 7.30pm:
Come and join us at our annual Carol Service at Horsted Keynes Station, which will be accompanied by The
Bluebell Railway Band led by the Bluebell Chaplain and Rector of
Horsted Keynes, The Reverend Timothy Rawdon-Mogg.
Admittance free of charge. Mulled wine and refreshments available
from the Station refreshment room.
- Photo right from Ben Coughlan shows Camelot's boiler being lifted for overhaul this Monday. This boiler now occupies the space vacated by the boiler from S15 No.847, which was lifted onto the boiler wagon and taken into the works. Ben has also provided another photo of Camelot's boiler being lifted, and two showing the S15's boiler being moved (1 and 2).
- New web pages thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski and Nick Beck for CCT No.2276 and the GWR Toad Brake van.
- Correction to the information about the installation of the water crane at Horsted Keynes included in the report of the first week of the Autumn P-way works, in that it was Robin Elliott's team who undertook most of the work on the water crane.
- David Pratt has sent me an update on Wadebridge's departure - the photo was taken on Tuesday (by David's passenger) on the M25, heading clockwise, approaching junction 11 at 10am.
He also reports (c.f. the report below of 13th Nov) that both he and Tony Leaver were inside the firebox, and that they joined in observing the 2-minutes silence at 11am on Sunday from inside there, on hearing the loco whistle that announced the start of the silence!
- New web page (combining text from Tim Robbins and Martin Skrzetuszewski, with photos from Neil Glaskin) for Mk.I Open First carriage S 3064 which arrived on 6th Nov, on a 5-year loan to the Bluebell after overhaul at Ramparts.
- As Dave Clarke's photo shows, we have filled another significant gap in our collection of rolling stock. Yesterday we recovered an LCDR Horsebox (still on its main underframe timbers) from a garden in Hythe, Kent. The recovery has been financed by the Bluebell Railway Trust. Believed to have been built around 1873, more details will be provided once we establish them! For the full story, see Dave's photos of the recovery operation.
- Update to the Loco Workshop Working Group, with report of the relaunch of the C-class.
- Update to Loco News report on the BR Standard 2 No.84030 project
- New web pages thanks to Nick Beck, Martin Skrzetuszewski and Ted Crawforth
for the LSWR road van and the SECR Dance Hall brake van No.11916.
- Update to details of next Sunday's Vintage Bus Running Day (11th November), adding timetables for the free vintage buses.
- Yesterday was the official re-launch into service of the C-class, No.592. Photos of the event are available from: Rob Faulkner, Phil Stoneman and Neil Glaskin.
- The photo on the right, taken today, shows the C-class hauling the Met coaches. (Thanks to Derek Hayward).
- Update to the Bluebell Railway Band's web page.
- Jon Bowers has photos and a video from last Tuesday's photo charter with 34007 'Wadebridge' and 34081 '92 Squadron'. One of his photos from that charter is shown below.
- Following on from the charter with 34007 and 34081, there are details from Jon Bowers of a Photo charter with Autotank No.1450 and matching Autocoach on Friday 15th February 2008.
- Paul Pettitt has a new photo of the month, showing the newly returned to traffic C-Class, No.592. Paul has also released his photos of the Giants of Steam gala a couple of weeks ago.
- In case we've not had enought Bulleid Pacific photos, Bryan Benn has a new gallery of photos of 'Blackmoor Vale', along with a photo taken yesterday of 'Wadebridge'. One of his photos of 'Blackmoor Vale' is seen below.
- Andrew Strongitharm's photo on the right (from yesterday) illustrates the spooky goings on over the weekend for the "Wizards" event. (Or is this someone who overdid it at Saturday evening's Loco Dept Party?)
- New Press Release - The Bluebell Railway Celebrates - giving details of the outcome of the Gala evening yesterday at Saint Hill.
- Derek Hayward has now uploaded more of his Giants of Steam photos.
- Linda Chen also now has a gallery of photos from Giants of Steam
- A photo from Ian Bowskill and one from Stephen Parker have been added to the page for Giants of Steam
- Vintage Trains will operate from 26th December to 2nd January 2008 - Celebrate the New Year in style - our oldest locomotives hauling Victorian and Edwardian carriages. Services depart from Sheffield Park hourly from 11am to 4pm.
- More photos from the Giants of Steam gala now available - it takes time to deal with them all. As Matt Allen said - "What a great weekend!! A great show, well done to all concerned. I was in absolute Bulleid Heaven!
It's taken me 2 days to sort out my pics, but they are ready!"
- Update to the Loco Duty Roster thanks to Lewis Nodes - there are still a few gaps where it's not yet been decided which loco will run on some days.
- Two Giants of Steam video compilations from Chris Ward on YouTube: Friday and Saturday
- Further photos from Giants of Steam received today have been added to the web page for the event, together with links to all galleries so far notified.
- Jon Bowers is the first to upload a video (wmv: 4.9MB)
- Some interesting experimental shots from Mike Anton
- Photos taken today from:
- More photos from Friday and yesterday, thanks to:
- On Friday 26th October '92 Squadron' will haul our Sussex Belle and City Limited Pullman services. This will be the only chance to see and ride behind either of the visiting Bulleid Pacifics on our Pullman train. Details here.
- Andrew Strongitharm's photo of Fenchurch with yesterday's Autumn Tints is appropriate, since today is the last day of these special trains this year.
- Andrew's other photos from yesterday show that the loco yard is now full of Bulleid Pacifics, making photography of them a little tricky!!!
- As reported above (and in the Autumn edition of Bluebell News), BRPS Membership has now passed the 10,000 mark.
- Dave Clarke's photos show two of the current C&W department maintenance projects - on the left SECR Hundred Seater No.971 is being re-panelled, and on the right, our recently arrived Mk.I Open Second No.4824 has now received its first undercoat. These are covered in one of Dave's photo galleries.
- Dave has also updated his main C&W photo gallery with photos showing progress with the overhaul of the Birdcage Brake, and a former Metropolitan Railway platform bench, restored by members of the BASH team.
- Dave's and other people's photos have been used to update the C&W News pages for the Bulleid Brake No.2526, and the Queen Mary goods brake, and create new pages for the maintenance work on the SECR Hundred Seater No.971 and the new Mk.I SO.
- There are still places available on the photo charter with 34081 and 34007 on Tuesday
30th October. Details are here, and bookings close on 22nd October.
- Further information available about the Sunday 11th November Vintage Bus Running Day - extra morning bus and train - why not have a day out in Brighton, travelling all the way from East Grinstead on vintage buses and trains?
- The Autumn Tints service does not run on 19th October (since this is the first day of the Giants of Steam gala.
- The October edition of Bluebell Newsreel is available from Rail TV. As a reminder of the sort of thing to expect at Giants of Steam, see the Bluebell Newsreel video of last year's event. On Macintosh computers, you should use Firefox as a browser to view these videos.
Last year's Giants of Steam also features on their DVD "The Bluebell Years - Part 2" is now on sale through the Bluebell Shop.
- Bluebell Railway Christmas Hampers are also available through our online shop.
- The Heritage Shunters Trust (owners of our on-hire D3023) have a new web site. Also some photos showing 08016 (as it then was) being prepared for its journey to Sussex last year.
- Update to the Carriage Stock List noting that SECR No.971 is now receiving an intermediate bodyside overhaul - the external steel sheeting is being renewed, corroded bolts through the bottom-side timbers replaced and splits in the timber framing repaired.
- Subject to final confirmation, we have a visiting engine and coach booked for next February, including the Branch-line weekend. Details here. The photo on the right from David Hennessey
shows Auto tank 1450 and trailer 178 in action at the Llangollen Railway, 20th April 2007.
- Update to Loco Works News, reporting the return to traffic of the SECR C Class No.592.
- Photo from Paul Pettitt taken today, showing the C-class at West Hoathly, with the Autumn Tints special train - below.
- New link to Railwayana Collectors' Network (RCN): RCN features an email contact list for railwayana adverts, requests for
information etc. Pages include information about single line tokens, GWR
cabsides, and a railwayana photo gallery.
- Photo right taken yesterday by Paul Pettitt, showing 'Blackmoor Vale' amidst the start of the Autumn colours at Mill Place Bridge.
- Update to Loco Roster showing what locos might (and as always, subject to last minute changes) be operating on what days through to the end of the year. If all goes to plan, SECR C-Class No.592 will be used for the C&W shunt tomorrow, marking its first service use after overhaul - it was in steam today at Sheffield Park.
- Derek Hayward has a gallery of photos from the Autumn Tints and other happenings around the railway on Friday, including the U-class with the 'Queen Mary' brake van seen on the right, and 'Blackmoor Vale' with the Golden Arrow Pullman train.
- With the Victorian Christmas trains essentially sold out, an additional train has been added:
Victorian Christmas - After Dark on
Sunday 23rd December, departing from Horsted Keynes at 5.15pm (returning by 6.30pm). Booking details here.
- With SECR carriage No.971 entering the works for re-panelling and other attention, the Dukedog had charge of the Mets for the vintage train service last weekend - photo (right) taken on Sunday by Nick Talbot.
- Booking for the Santa Specials is now open, and the Autumn Tints Observation Car specials are also under way.
- Nick Talbot's photo right shows Ray Tanner giving LSWR B4 tank No.96 'Normandy' a smarten up on Sunday.
- Update to Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes, which indicates what locos might (and as always, subject to last minute changes) be operating on what days.
- Update to the Loco Works News pages with photos from Trevor West indicating recent progress on the overhaul of 1877-built 'Baxter', from the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society on progress towards their loco's next overhaul, a photo from Nick Talbot showing welding in progress on Sir Archibald Sinclair's firebox, and a major update on the Brighton Atlantic project, with the frames being erected.
- Paul Pettitt has a new photo of the month, showing Eddystone crossing Keysford Lane bridge, along with updates on his Standard 4, No.80151 and 'Blackmoor Vale' pages, and new set of (mainly Bluebell Railway oriented) pages for his black and white railway photography.
- We're very pleased to report that a possible case of foot and mouth in the Haywards Heath area has turned out to be a false alarm, with laboratory tests showing that the disease was not present.
- Update from Derek Hayward with photos taken on Sunday, including the one on the right showing the Permanent Way gang wheeling their tools to site on wheelbarrows, and also the Bluebell Railway Band performing at Sheffield Park. With the Grandparents day special, Lunchtime Golden Arrow, and two service trains, there were four steam locos out and about on the line as well!
- Update to the details of exhibitions and shows at which we have publicity stands - Newhaven model show in November has been cancelled.
- New link to SVS films, who produce railway DVDs including 'Standard in Sussex' featuring the Bluebell's 75027 (available in the Sheffield Park shop), and are about to release 'Maunsell Mogul in Sussex' featuring No.1638. They also host the Nine Elms loco depot website.
- The photo on the right from Jon Bowers shows that 'Blackmoor Vale' was back in action on Sunday's Golden Arrow lunch train.
- The Loco Roster was updated last week, and shows expected loco usage for the rest of the month.
- Derek Hayward has been provided with special access to photograph the normally closed lineside between Horsted House Farm and the tunnel, and has used the photos to update his photographic survey of the line, which is now split into two parts: Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes (including Horsted Keynes station) and Horsted Keynes to Kingscote.
- Photo on right (from Derek Hayward) shows Saturday's very successful Stepney Club special train, with 'Stepney' and No.65, run to enable the members of the club to celebrate Stepney's birthday.
- Update to the Stepney Club web page, with details of the new subscription rates to cover the increased postal charges which apply to club's newsletter after last year's changes to the postal system.
- Similar update to the 9F Club pages.
- Minor update to the page for next year's Victorian Picnic evening trains.
- More photos of Bank Holiday Monday trains from Derek Hayward now available, including that on the right, showing 'Eddystone' gently easing its train southwards down the bank.
- Montage on the right of photos from Derek Hayward showing the three trains operating today - 'Eddystone' on the corridor set (including the GN Saloon), SECR No.65 on the SR vintage set (including the obo), and Standard tank No.80151 with the lunchtime Golden Arrow Pullmans. Click on the montage for enlargements of the photos.
- Derek has also updated his photographic survey of the line, with some more
lineside shots between the stations.
- Update to the Loco Roster provided by Lewis Nodes. This shows what locos we expect to have in service on any given day. Please be aware that this plan may subject to change without warning for a variety of operational reasons. The roster is also at present incomplete for the period after 30th August, since locos have yet to be allocated to some duties.
- Link to Tom Waghorn's photos added to the page reporting on the Bluebell 125 event. The one on the right shows Eddystone setting off from Horsted Keynes on the Saturday, whilst 'Sir Berkeley' shunts the mixed train.
- Entry details for the 2007/8 Football Competition are here - Hurry - entries need to be posted tomorrow!!! The competition raises money for Operation Undercover, to help with the railway's contribution (25%) towards the total costs of the HLF bid. Details of the money raised in the last (and earlier) competitions is also available.
- Further details (but still only preliminary at this stage) available for the Giants of Steam event in October, which should feature four Bulleid Pacifics (three of them air-smoothed) amongst the 8 locos planned to be in steam.
- Photos from 5th August, featuring Met.1 and Eddystone, from Martin Creese
- Photos from Bluebell 125 from Keith Leppard, including that on the right, showing the H-class drawn out of the shed to make it available to photograph, in the company of the C-class.
- Photos from the weekend from Linda Chen
- A full report with extensive photoraphic coverage, and links to all our photographers' own galleries and videos is now available for the Bluebell 125 Gala. The photo on the right is from Nick Beck.
- Another fine gallery of photos, from Clive Hanley
- Update to the C&W news page on LSWR carriage 1520, with photos of the interior of the most advanced compartment, with its seats temporarily in place.
- Extension update: The Bluebell Railway is delighted to have received planning permission for its new station at East Grinstead. This marks another successful step in the legal and technical process necessary to extend the railway from Kingscote into East Grinstead and achieve the long terms aims of both the Bluebell Railway and the town of East Grinstead. The next step is to finalise the station design and get the building work underway as soon as possible so the station is ready for the first trains to arrive. In the meantime watch for developments at the station site; things should start to happen later this year.
- Sussex Community Rail Partnership - East Grinstead Circular Walk
Saturday 18th August 2007 - East Grinstead Railway Station - 1.30 to 4pm
The walk is classed as medium grade (5 miles) with 2 scheduled stops.
Please bring lunch and water! Suitable footwear must be worn. Sorry no dogs.
- Reciprocal link added for a web site promoting free tourist attractions across Europe. We are not in the free section!
- Photos from Bluebell 125 Gala this weekend:
- Good coverage of both days, trains, fun-fair, traction engines, and other road vehicles from Derek Hayward, including of the cavalcade on Sunday on the right.
- Cliff Jones,
- Andrew Strongitharm,
- Ashley Smith,
- Chris Ward,
- Richard Thomas,
- Ron Strutt,
- Matt Allen,
- Nick Beck.
- Videos from Bluebell 125:
- Photos from Chris Dadson of Friday's Land Cruise with 'Sir Berkeley', and also earlier photos showing the end of the Ardingly embankment.
- Bluebell 125 The C-class was in light steam at Sheffield Park, as was 'Sir Berkeley' at Horsted Keynes (photo left from Ashley Smith). Unfortunately both 'Sir Berkeley' and Met.1 suffered from hot axle-boxes (that on Met.1 was a repeat occurrence, since the offending box had been removed and re-metalled during the week following its hot box the previous Sunday).
The schedule for the Saturday was upset from the start following delays caused by fog, compounded by one train being slightly too long for the track circuit to clear, then difficulty getting brakes off one coach. A blockage in the water feed between tank and crane at Sheffield Park finally put paid to the planned timetable, and with larger crowds than expected, we reverted to a simple "run the most frequent service possible using those locos which had water in their tenders" for the rest of the day - it was still a very fine show! Up in the field at Horsted Keynes, the traction engines and vintage cars were a major attraction, and the "open house" in the carriage works, with visitors able to examine LSWR brake 3rd No.1520, and talk to members of the restoration team was a well-received additional attraction.
A revised timetable was hastily devised for the Sunday, which worked very well, and, with the exception of the visiting engines with hot boxes, the cavalcade at Horsted saw all the planned Bluebell engines together (with only 80151 missing, as planned, since it was busy hauling a train). The double-headed Bulleid finale ran after the cavalcade.
- As the curtain-raiser for this weekend's Bluebell 125 gala, visiting locomotive Manning Wardle 'Sir Berkeley' hauled a "Land Cruise" train this evening, consisting of our two restored 4-wheel coaches, LBSCR First No.661 and LCDR Brake Third No.114, as is seen in Andrew Strongitharm's photo on the right.
- Revised information on the extra buses on Route 473, adding in times for a Vintage RML, this coming weekend.
Also please note that with all the exhibits on display at Horsted Keynes, there will be very limited car parking available at this station. Passengers arriving by car are advised to commence their visit at Sheffield Park.
- Photos from Rob Faulkner of the C-class loco No.592 undergoing its steam test today (which it passed). However there are still a few jobs that need to be done before it can enter service. Photo on the right shows the loco backed onto a train which happened to be standing in the platform at Sheffield Park - but it has yet to undertake any loaded test runs.
- Also consequent update to the Loco Workshop Working Group page.
- Correction to Bluebell 125 information - there is an early morning (8.00am) passenger train from Sheffield Park (which then forms the 8.47 from Horsted Keynes). This will be formed of the 4-wheelers and observation car, hauled by the Terriers, so has limited passenger capacity. The 270 bus from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes is recommended as a route to visit the event by public transport.
- Tom Waghorn has provided a new gallery showing Bluebell activities over the last week and a half, including filming at Horsted Keynes, the re-launch of the Mets, and the photo on the left, taken on Friday 3rd August showing that the Met tank is not the only loco to have hauled the Met coaches, which have been providing the stock for our scheduled "Vintage Branch Train" service.
- Update to Bluebell 125 information for next weekend, with details of extra buses on Route 473.
Also please note that with all the exhibits on display at Horsted Keynes, there will be very limited car parking available at this station. Visitors arriving by car are advised to commence their visit at Sheffield Park.
- The photo by Derek Hayward of a rainbow behind the Platform 2 northbound starting signal, was taken following a heavy shower on 25 Feb 2007, and is part of his photographic survey of the line.
- Clive Hanley has some more archive photos of the Bluebell, including the one of SECR C-class No.592 on the right (taken in 1977, when it carried plain green livery) - whilst it appears that the C will not quite be ready in time to haul trains this coming weekend, we're expecting to field 11 locos - with 10 of them appearing in a cavalcade on the Sunday, which is followed by a grande finale train when the brace of Bulleid pacifics will have some work to do on the 1-in-75 climb to the tunnel!
- Updated web page for SECR Birdcage Brake No.1170
- Update to the contacts page, adding details for Avril Gaynor, our press officer.
- Sussex Engineman, The Hubert Hobden Memoirs Volume One: 1913 - 1935
This book is now available from the Bluebell Railway Shop, or can be ordered by post (in which case 10% will go to the the Bluebell's Brighton Atlantic Project) from 22, Glassenbury Drive, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN40 2NY - cheques payable to "Buggleskelly Books". Copies are priced £9.95 (plus £1 P&P).
Hubert Hobden joined the LB&SCR in 1913 as a cleaner at Eastbourne shed.
During the next twenty-two years he was promoted to fireman and driver. This
is the story of his experiences on and off the footplate. Hubert faithfully
records the railway scene of some eighty years ago and the many vibrant
characters he encountered. Here, for the very first time in print, is a rare
and deliciously detailed account of southern railways.
A limited edition of 500 copies only. A5 size, perfect bound.
100 pages plus 4-colour laminated card cover. 60-plus B/W and colour photos
and 4 full-page maps.
- More photos from yesterday's photo charter with the Metropolitan Railway locomotive and coaches, from Andrew Strongitharm, and, along with photos taken earlier in the day as well, from Matt Allen (including that on the right).
- Minor correction to the web page for carriage No.24458.
- Yesterday was the Relaunch Gala of the Metropolitan Coaches, hauled most appropriately by Met Loco.1 - as seen in this photo by Derek Hayward. A full report is available, as well as the following:
- General update to the BASH pages.
- As part of the official launch of the complete set of Metropolitan coaches, the Metropolitan Railway Locomotive No.1 is visiting the Bluebell Railway to help haul the special train on Saturday 28th July.
The loco hauled a test train up the line yesterday, and this went very well indeed.
Additional steaming days are:
- Visit of Manning Wardle Locomotive "Sir Berkeley" (Photo Right).
This locomotive will only be visiting the Bluebell for three days of service:
- Update to Operational Locomotives page, adding the above.
- Update to Bluebell 125 event details, adding:
- Details now available for walking tours of the Ardingly branch from Horsted Keynes, through Lywood Tunnel, which are being run over Bluebell 125 weekend.
- Photos from today from Ashley Smith, showing Eddystone (right), the U, and the O1 in action, and Blackmoor Vale and the Dukedog at Sheffield Park. Photos in the works show the C-class tender looking remarkably finished, and that for Sir Archibald Sinclair. Also a photo of the Atlantic project, a photo of Horsted Keynes station with the remnants of the partially cancelled Collectors Fair, and a photo showing the LSWR brake coach in the C&W Works.
- We regret that, due to adverse weather conditions, the second day of the Toy and Collectors' Fair on Sunday 22nd July has been cancelled. This is necessary because there is virtually no parking available at Horsted, and flooding at
Sheffield Park also limits the parking available there. Added to this is a quagmire both
inside and outside the marquee in the field at Horsted. Trains will still run as timetabled, and some stall-holders are staying for the second day, with stalls on the station
platforms, but with such limited parking available, we cannot in all conscience encourage people to come, unless able to do so by public transport. The car-boot element of the event is also cancelled.
- The photo on the right shows the flooded subway at Kingscote yesterday. Today the water was gone, but had left a thick layer of mud. As the photo also shows, the subway had only been repainted a few weeks ago! The mud has been hosed away and preparations made for another coat of paint!
- Note from Gavin Bennett (Hon Sec): "I regret to announce that long serving volunteer Ralph Piper died on Friday
20th July." Funeral details on Members' page.
- The Metopolitan E-class Tank Locomotive, No.1 of 1898, arrives at the Bluebell early next week. Its first use will be for a private re-launch event on Saturday 28th July for BASH supporters (for those people who have helped fund materials for, or undertaken the restoration of our four Metropolitan Railway carriages). It will be in public service on Sunday 29th, and also as the star attraction for the August 11-12 Bluebell 125 gala. Met.1 is based at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre and owned by the Quainton Railway Society, to whom many thanks for agreeing the loan. Photo courtesy Matt Allen.
- Update to Members' notices page with details of a special members' train.
- Also visiting for Bluebell 125 is Manning Wardle 'Sir Berkeley' of 1890 - on Friday 10th August you can join an Evening Land Cruise with this loco and two contemporary 4-wheel coaches.
- Update to the Bluebell 125 page - this weekend is looking like a strong contender for the top railway gala of the year!
- Update to news of the overhaul of LSWR brake 1520 from Andrew Pepper.
- Photos from John Sandys: Photo charter with Bulleid Pacifics, on 10th July, and flooding today at Kingscote - much of England was hit by torrential rain and flooding - at Kingscote the water came down the road, across the forecourt, through the station building and filled up the subway!
- The BBC Southern Counties Bus is visiting the Bluebell (Sheffield Park) tomorrow - Thursday 19th July.
- Photo on the right from John Sandys, taken at the weekend's "End of Southern Steam" 40th anniversary event, showing David Shepherd with his latest painting in progress.
- Further photos from the Saturday from Derek Hayward
- Photos from Dave Clarke from last Tuesday's photo charter, and also from around the Carriage & Wagon department.
- Updates on the Extension: We exchanged contracts last Thursday with the county council for the purchase of the tip, so the green light is now there for the fund raising push through to East Grinstead. There is also a report from Nigel Longdon on progress with physical work on the extension.
- Update to page giving details (an appealing for help with) external events where the Bluebell has a publicity stand: our attendance at the Lingfield Steam Show, 4-5 August, is confirmed.
- There's a photo of 80151 (now a Bluebell engine) on the BBC web site - the last steam-hauled Redhill to Reading train.
- Updates to the Carriage Fleet Review for the Mk.I carriages, and the revised overview, taking account of recent developments, and the recent arrival of the SO and SK.
- All links to Maunsell Locomotive Society pages have now been updated (I hope!)
- Lewis Nodes updated the Loco roster last week, indicating which days we expect which locos to work. It includes details of when we expect our two forthcoming visitors to be running. More details tomorrow!
- Update to Who's Who page, now that Paul Churchman is confirmed as plc Operations Director.
- Update to the Extension Progress page with the news that we have signed the contract to purchase Imberhorne Lane cutting and the rubbish tip, so can at last commence the serious matter of the fund raising required to clear the tip.
- Not wishing to be totally upstaged by his son, Howard Strongitharm has sent this photo of the U-class with the luncheon Pullman train on Fathers' Day.
- Addition to carriage stock list of newly arrived Mk.I Open Second No. 4824. It arrived on Monday, and was in the paint shop at Horsted Keynes by Tuesday.
- New link to the Green Man public house, in Horsted Keynes village, which has long been a favourite watering hole for working members of the railway...
- Photos taken of the Fathers' Day specials, and other events on Sunday 17th June (including passengers awaiting the Victorian evening train), by Andrew Strongitharm, including that on the right of the SECR O1 with a 1930s liveried train.
- Details now available for an extra special event added into our calendar: on 14 - 15 July: Commemoration of the end of SR steam - Commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the end of SR steam in July 1967, with special guest David Shepherd, and an exhibition of his paintings.
- Initial details now available for the Bluebell 125 and Giants of Steam gala events. The photographic line-up on the right (from Jon Bowers) is a taster for the Bluebell 125 event, which should see at least 9 locos running an intensive service, along with steam traction engines, vintage vehicles, etc. We are hoping to have 4 Bulleid Pacifics running at Giants of Steam, along with other engines.
- New web page created for the Mk.I SK No.24458 which arrived earlier in the week, thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski.
- The C-class boiler has been fitted. Rob Faulkner's photos are used to update the loco workshop group page, and further photos are on his fotopic site. The next volunteer working day on the project is Sunday 24th June.
- The photos on the right show the crew on Blackmoor Vale on Saturday, and have been provided by Nick Talbot - see the photos in full here, and more of them on his photobox site.
- Photos taken on Sunday by Chris Ward.
- Update to Who's Who page, with new BRPS Trustee Assignments following the recent AGM. In an effort to help the Trustees fulfil their obligations under the rules, the Society Committee has agreed to move away from the traditional practice of giving each Trustee a 'position', eg S&T Trustee. Instead, we have decided to focus on ensuring that the company delivers against the policies and objectives set by the Society.
Those Trustees who have been put forward as Directors will continue to manage their respective areas and will report to the Committee in the normal way. The remaining Trustees will collectively take a very close look at the way it is delivered, some through their chairmanship of the various sub-committees. Some areas, such as the 9F and Stepney Clubs, and Volunteer Recruitment are not company related, but still need a specific Trustee to take responsibility for them.
- Chris Dadson has provided some photos from the brake van taken during a whole-line trip on Clive Groome's Footplate Days and Ways yesterday, including the photo on the right.
- Update to the Brighton Atlantic web page, including factual information about the loco design and its principal dimensions.
- Photos from Dave Clarke showing recent activity in the Carriage & Wagon and Loco departments - the Bulleid restoration project getmixed up with the Southern at War weekend, progress with re-cladding the Birdcage brake, the Met brake with roof repairs completed, and ready to receive a coat of varnish (which was applied today), the C-class wheels with tyres turned, in front of the new buffer beam, Sir Archibald Sinclair's firebox repairs and thermic syphons, the Maunsell Society's PMV, with final door fitted on west side, lining out of the C-class frames, the S15 frames with work evident on the cab, and ending with Eddystone and train after arrival at Kingscote.
- Photo gallery of the Southern at War weekend from Linda Chen, including the one on the right showing the disruption caused on the platforms at Horsted Keynes by the presence of a UXB.
- Update to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) page adding the 2006 financial data and visitor numbers to the statistical section at the end.
- Derek Hayward's photo from yesterday illustrates the weekend's "Southern at War" event.
Photo galleries notified so far from:
We had 5 locos running over the weekend: 21C123 Blackmoor Vale, U Class No.1638, Earl of Berkeley No.9017, No.34028 Eddystone and BR Standard 4 No.80151.
- Photos of the road vehicles out and about on their deliveries added to report on the Goods Train weekend - the one on the right shows the delivery to Chailey Windmill.
Photos from Dave Clarke taken that same weekend, at Horsted Keynes also now linked from that page, and Derek Hayward has uploaded some more of his, and added captions.
- RailTV have added a video to YouTube showing Birch Grove being unloaded at the Mid Hants a few weeks back, as a trailer for their video covering the visit, details of which are available via the Bluebell Newsreel website.
- More photo albums available from the Goods Train Weekend from Chris Dadson, Matt Allen (including the photo on the right), Derek Hayward and Paul Pettitt.
- Photos from yesterday's working day on the C-Class from Rob Faulkner. The next working day is Sunday 29th April.
- Locomotive shed
tours. Following the success of the carriage shed tours, similar guided
tours of the locomotive shed and yard will take place on Sunday 12th August and Sunday 21st October. There will be three tours each day starting at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm. There is no need to book and there is no charge although donations will be gratefully received. These dates have been added to the Special Events page.
- More photos from David Warwick, Andrew Strongitharm and Derek Hayward added to report on the Goods Train weekend. Also photo galleries from the event are being listed on that page, as they are notified (David, Andrew, plus Ashley Smith and Clive Hanley so far), along with some rather nice videos from Mike Snow and Jon Bowers. Photo on the right is from Derek Hayward, taken today, showing Scammell mechanical horses and trailers outside Horsted Keynes station.
- Photo of the LMS BGZ back in service last weekend added to round off the page reporting the work on this brake van's roof.
- Photos taken 20 years ago by Clive Hanley
- Two more restorations completed: The finishing touches were applied to the Queen Mary brake van yesterday, and this photo from Andy Prime shows it and the Pipefit ready for tomorrow, making their debut at the Goods Train Weekend.
- Updates to C&W works news pages for the Pipefit and the Queen Mary with more of Andy's photos. The completion of these overhauls and running maintenance on the rest of the wagon fleet occupied many man-days of volunteer and staff effort over the last couple of weeks in preparation for this weekend, without which there wouldn't have been much of an event! The web pages for these wagons have also been updated.
- Updates from the Bulleid Society with details of the valve-ring change on "Blackmoor Vale" and boiler work on "Sir Archibald Sinclair"
- Update and photos on the Brighton Atlantic project (apologies that it's taken so long to get these pictures up).
- Photos from Matt Allen taken last Monday
- Derek Hayward's photos from Easter Sunday and Monday
- Tom Waghorn's photo shows the SR 12T Hand Crane being used to lift the Queen Mary brake. All being well the Queen Mary and the Pipefit will both be in traffic for next weekend's Goods Train Weekend - tickets for which can now be purchased on-line.
- Updates to C&W works news pages for the Hand Crane, the Pipefit and the Queen Mary, and the LMS BGZ, which returned to traffic a week ago.
- Photos from last Monday, from Ray Wills, showing the Monday steam shunt, and reporting the unusual change of sets which took place at Horsted Keynes, mid-service.
- The photos from Derek Hayward (right) show the locos in use today - 9017 with the vintage set, 32473 on the shunt, and 1638 on the corridor set - this serves as a reminder that trains are now running every day right through to October 28th.
- Photos and report on yesterday's C-class workshop day from Rob Faulkner. The Boiler has passed its hydraulic test! From now on, working days will be fortnightly starting with the next one on Sunday 15th April.
- Ron Fisher has just put some photos taken at and around the Bluebell in 1960 on his fotopic site. Includes a great shot of our Viaduct. Immediately following the one from our line are some taken of the Met coaches in their last year of operation on the Chesham branch.
- Reminder that Discounted tickets are available for the Southern At War event if booked by 11th April 2007.
- Update for page on helping at Bluebell publicity stands - the Merstham show is now confirmed, but that at Woking cancelled.
- Update to Who's Who page, adding Don Phillips as curator, Ian Wright as Shed-Master, and changes to some directors' responsibilities.
- Update to the Social Sub-Committee page, with minor variations in the pick-up timings for the coach trip to the North Norfolk Railway.
- One of the four trains running today - the Dukedog leaves Sheffield Park with the Vintage train - photo by Derek Hayward. The other trains were Birch Grove with the repeat Mother's Day special, Blackmoor Vale with the lunchtime Pullman, and the U-class with the other service train.
- Special event details now available for:
- Birch Grove is apparently set to visit the Spa Valley Railway for their Spring Gala on 19-20 May
- Update to the Carriage Fleet Review - revised overview.
- Update to the pages for the Bluebell Railway Trust
- Blackmoor Vale returned to service today after completion of the maintenance work on its firebox. The photo from Derek Hayward shows it leaving Sheffield Park.
- Fresh from the paint shop, Pullman Car 76 "Lilian" ran on Saturday evening on the Golden Arrow, which is now back to a 4-car Pullman formation, as seen in this photo from Sunday Lunchtime from Dave Clarke.
- Updates to various loco pages following the retirement from traffic of BR Standard 4-6-0 No.75027. It now joins the queue of locos awaiting overhaul. New photos of the engine provided by Derek Hayward.
Announcing the launch of Bluebell Newsreel's new Webvision service, a wonderful way for you to contribute financially to the Bluebell and enjoy monthly programmes all about the Railway. 80 minutes of high quality programmes are available already, as well as a preview of the material from Branch-line weekend.
- The Bluebell Shop at Sheffield Park will be closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for an internal re-organisation. It is hoped to re-open on Thursday 8th March.
- The photo on the right from David Chappell shows our LBSCR E4 No.32473 at the Mid Hants Railway on Friday for the start of their spring gala.
- Update to Loco Works News with news of progress on the boilers of the C-class and the Bulleid Society's 21C123 "Blackmoor Vale", which has passed its hydraulic test, and could be running again very soon.
- Further photos and videos now available from the Branch Line Weekend, including the one on the right from Derek Hayward.
- Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes, as a result of Standard 4, No.75027 requiring more boiler work than can be justified by the few remaining months of its boiler certificate.
- BRPS membership total continues to head towards 10,000, with the latest figure being 9,850.
- Further details of attractions, first and last trains, and 473 bus times available for the 24-25 February Branch Line Weekend - varied timetable with numerous new features - six steam locos. Guided tours of the Carriage & Wagon Works available.
- Nick Talbot has some photos from this weekend, such as that on the right of 80151 taken today. See his
The cold air makes the steam hand in the air for a long while!
- New Carriage Works News reports and photos covering:
Both of the maintenance projects include attention to their roofs.
- News report on the overhaul of the SECR C-class from the Locomotive Workshop working group added to the Loco Works News page.
- Update from Gary Smith, showing the current positions in our fund-raising Football Competition.
- Photo (right) from Andrew Strongitharm of Sunday's lunchtime Golden Arrow Pullman dining train, with Loco No.80151, and Pullman Christine leading. This was Christine's first use in the dining train since overhaul. While the LMS BGZ brake van is receiving some maintenance, the SR brake van, No.404, is being used with the Pullmans.
- Following the retirement of Barry Coward, the Bluebell Railway has
appointed Avril Gaynor as Press Officer. Consequent update to "Who's Who" page.
- Updates to various pages, raising the profile of the Bluebell Standard Class 2 project, which is now starting to make serious progress towards the conversion of an ex-Barry scrapyard 2-6-0 to the 2-6-2 tank version, which would otherwise be un-represented in preservation.
- Preliminary details now available for the 24-25 February Branch Line Weekend
- Details available for the Valentine's Day Pullman Tea on Wednesday 14th February -
Pamper the one you love on board our special train (limited places - pre booking essential).
- There will be another Loco Workshop Working Group working day on Sunday
4th February. The plan is to meetup around 9am - 9.30am outside the loco workshop. You are welcome to attend whatever hours you please as any help will
be appreciated. Keep an eye on the web page for details of future working dates.
- It has been announced by the BBC that former trade and industry secretary
and ex-Southend West MP Paul Channon has died at the age of 71. The former
Conservative minister was made a life peer - Baron Kelvedon of Ongar - in
1997. He died at the family home in Brentwood, Essex, on Saturday.
He was involved in the official launch of the Bluebell Railway's northern extension on Sunday 13th March
1988, using our steam crane to ceremonially lay the first track panel. Sadly he will not see our final achievement of running into East
- Updates to the foreign language pages for 2007.
- Photo on the right from Derek Hayward shows yesterday's Victorian Train, hauled by the SER O1 No.65, attacking the 1-in-75 climb north from Leamland Bridge at Horsted Keynes. This was the last day in traffic for a few months for the Metropolitan set, which is now withdrawn for maintenance to the first two of the coaches which were restored to traffic nearly 8 years ago, and are now to receive minor attention to bring them up to scratch before the re-launch gala for the entire 4-coach Met set.
- As a taster for his photos from this weekend's Victorian theme day, Henry O'Dwyer has two earlier sets of photos ( one and two) on his web site.
A couple of photo updates I missed earlier in the week:
- Photos from Sunday by Derek Hayward, with Fenchurch on the Mets, and 32473 on the corridor set, and the arrival of 65 in the evening, which is outshedded at Horsted Keynes for the duration of the engineering work south of there. It includes a "night shoot" as the last trains of the day ran after dark.
- Photos from Dave Clarke, including 32473 at sunset, the Mets after dark, boiler repairs on 34059, new injector pipework on 34059, and the use of a third engine to draw stock into Sheffield Park whilst the No.7 points were out of use for engineering work. The photo on the right shows our two Bulleid Pacifics in the loco works, with the nearly finished C-class boiler beyond.
- Updates to the Stepney Club, and What's Stepney up to pages. The Stepney Club, which is for children up to the age of 8, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
- Further details now available for this coming weekend's Victorian Weekend - A FREE replacement bus will
operate between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes due to engineering work.
- Paul Norris pleads: P-Way engineering fortnight - people required this Sat and Sun (especially the Sunday) and all of next week Mon-Fri, as lots to do on the track from SP to HK. Please meet at the porters' lobby 08.30 each morning at SP, free hot lunch in the Bessamer Arms if working by 09.30 each day.
Rail Changing, plate oiling, chairs and concrete sleepers to be re-fitted and aligned etc, plus assisting with No.7 points at SP with S&T dept too.
- Photo update from last weekend from Andrew Strongitharm, including the photo on the right showing Fenchurch with the Met brake at Horsted Keynes.
- Jon Bowers has updated his web pages with a selection of the best of 2006.
- To excavate the cutting south of Imberhorne Lane Bridge spoil trains operated on
240 days throughout the period June 2005 to December 2006 and
transported in excess of 32,000 tons of spoil to Horsted - updated web page from Chris Dadson.
- More details now available of the weekend train and bus services on the Bluebell - the line is only open between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes. The 473 Bus works between East Grinstead Station and Horsted Keynes (and does not call at EG High Street or Kingscote).
- The First Class compartments for the Victorian Picnic on Friday 15th June have sold out. Third-class compartments are still available. If anyone would be interested in booking for a party of up to 18, the GN Saloon could be added to the train for their exclusive use. Details here.
- Update to the Introduction to the Carriage Fleet following the re-launch into service of three newly overhauled/restored carriages in the last two months.
- The photo (from Derek Hayward) shows the Dukedog with the Second Vintage coach set on New Years Day.
- Update from Gary Smith, showing the current positions in our fund-raising Football Competition.
- Important Note: Due to essential maintenance of power supply and air conditioning systems the Bluebell Railway web-site will be unavailable from 5pm on Friday 5th January to 9pm on Saturday 6th January. We ask you to bear with us while we work towards providing a more resilient service.
- Updates to all the Golden Arrow pages, noting that Pullman Car Christine" has now joined the train.
- Note from Jacqui Sparks added to the BRPS Members' pages, reporting on (and thanking helpers for) everyone's efforts on the recent Santa Specials.
- A note to say that the Viewing Gallery in the Carriage & Wagon Workshops (south end of Platform 5 at Horsted Keynes) is once again open daily, now that the dust extraction plant from the woodworking machinery has been moved outside.
- Update to the web page for SECR Birdcage brake coach No.3363, since we have now established that it was built at Ashford rather than in Birmingham, as had previously been thought!
- New collection of photos taken on New Year's Day by Derek Hayward
1 January 2007:
- The photo on the right from Jon Bowers shows the first Bluebell Railway train of 2007 heading north from Sheffield Park - the SECR 01 No.65 (110 years old) and six coaches ranging from 106 to 126 years old!
- Details of fares and advance purchase discounts on Tickets for 2007 Special Events now available.
- New Photo of the Month from Paul Pettitt, Eddystone, No 34028 passes Palmers cattle creep to start the climb up Freshfield bank with a Santa Special, plus photos of the O1 with the Victorian coaches.
- Updates for the New Year to numerous pages.
- Update to the mobile pages - wap.bluebellrailway.co.uk
- A reminder that next weekend's trains are restricted to Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes. More details when available.
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