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Bluebell Railway Blog:
Archive 2005

Please be aware that due to the historical nature of this page, some of the links on it may be out of date.

Archive of the Blog/What's New pages

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Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or the 2022, the 2021, the 2020, 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 2005:
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.

Web-site Update Archive 2005

30 December 2005:
  • Update to the Special Events List, with a new web page added for the Spring Toy & Rail Collectors Fair on Sunday April 23rd. Barry Jones says that he still has a few of the pre-booked station pitches available if anyone is interested, in addition to the pitches available in the field.
  • Also added to the Special Events List is details of Fish & Chip Specials, which will run on six evenings this year.
  • Update to web page for LSWR carriage No.1520, with more details of its history.

29 December:
  • The Saxon Warrior: Details and booking information for a tour organised for members of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society to Lower Saxony and the Harz Mountain Railway, taking place from 26th May to 4th June 2006, thanks to Michael Cox, Gavin Bennett and Roger Price.

28 December:
26 December:
24 December:
23 December:
22 December:
19 December:
  • Details of special events in 2006 now available. This includes preliminary details of the visit of Thomas in June/July.
  • Details of Winter Engineering Work on the track now available from Jon Bowers. Why not come and join our volunteer track gang watching the trains go by, and burn off that extra mince-pie, on Tuesday 27th, Thursday 29th December 2005 and/or Monday 2nd January 2006. In addition, there is a January working week, Monday 23rd through to and including Sunday 29th January.

13 December:
12 December:
  • For anyone who was planning on attending the London Area Group meeting in Wimbledon tomorrow (Tuesday) night, we've just been told that it's been cancelled due to an unavoidable indisposition of the keyholder.
  • Update to the latest signalling news, with details of the new signalling arrangements north of Kingscote.

9 December:
6 December:
3 December:
1 December:
30 November:
29 November:
28 November:
24 November:
  • T9 to stay on public display at the Bluebell Railway
    The Bluebell Railway has decided, in agreement with the National Railway Museum, to postpone the proposed investigation into the feasibility of repairing LSWR locomotive No 120. This decision was taken owing to the size of the programme to which the locomotive works is already committed. The position will be reviewed in five years time, and in the meantime No 120 will remain on public display at Sheffield Park Station.

23 November:
22 November:
21 November:
20 November:
  • Special offer in the Bluebell Railway Shop - An Illustrated History of the Lewes & East Grinstead Railway by Klaus Marx. Was £35, now being sold for £20 whilst stocks last.
  • The date given on Friday on this page for the 2006 Bluebell AGM is now subject to revision, and will be publicised as soon as it is finalised.

18 November:
17 November:
15 November:
  • Photos of today's charter featuring 32473 (as 32475) and three Bulleid coaches, from Tony Pearce. 41312 also gets a look-in since it was at Horsted Keynes for part of the day on the tip-excavation runs.

14 November:
8 November:
7 November:
4 November:
  • New photo and web page for LMS Open Merchandise Wagon PBA 66071 from Nick Beck and Martin Skrzetuszewski.

3 November:
2 November:
31 October:
30 October:
  • Minor updates and corrections to various pages, including the Special Events page, now that the Autumn Colour Specials and Wizards weekend are over.
  • Update to the Bluebell's Mobile site:

27 October:
26 October:
25 October:
24 October:
  • Update to yesterday's News Report adding Derek Hayward's photo of the Double headed Bulleids hauling a train of mainly Bulleid and Pullman stock at the Giants of Steam Gala.
  • Updates to various pages following the return from loan elsewhere of our North London Railway locomotive.

23 October:
21 October:
19 October:
18 October:Canadian Pacific nameplate - David Chappell
  • Canadian Pacific has arrived for this coming weekend's Giants of Steam Gala. Thanks to David Chappell for this picture and another recent photo of the loco, added to the page for the event.
  • Photos now available to illustrate the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Project News, focussing on the construction of the new building, but also including the new pattern for the chimney casting.

15 October:
  • Update to the Giants of Steam Gala information, with corrected timings on Route 473 from East Grinstead to Kingscote. Also it appears that there is no longer planned to be a 3.42 tour of Imberhorne Viaduct. Added information about The Mechanical Horse Club vehicles which will be at Sheffield Park station, and first and last trains each day.
  • Update to the Permanent Way Department page with details of the Autumn Engineering Work, planned for November 2005.

14 October:
11 October:
10 October:
  • October Friday 28th: Sussex Belle Pullman - offering Sussex Cream Teas, as our part of the Ashdown Forest Food Festival - Phone 01825 720800 to book.
  • Bus timetable information for routes 121, 246 and 270 checked against ESCC North Wealden Bus Timetables booklet dated 25 September 2005.
  • Update to the mobile internet site:

6 October:
5 October:
4 October:
1 October:
30 September:
29 September:
  • Details and booking form now available for December's Santa Specials. Children receive presents from Father Christmas, and adults get a mince pie. Booking opens 3rd October. Book early to get your first choice of date and time!
  • Details now available for the Santa for Schools trains which run on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December 2005.

23 September:
18 September:
14 September:
First half of September:
  • Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes.
  • Photos from Chris Dadson:
    • 11 September: including ex-LBSCR class E4 No.32473, LBSCR 1st Class coach No.661 (built in 1880), and BR class 4 No.80151.
    • 9 September: - the first spoil train for almost a fortnight ran between HK and Imberhorne Lane (IL). The Up train was used to return the Hitachi digger to IL, the train eventually returning with six laden wagon loads of spoil. The second run of the day was a 'Special' formed of a brake van only to convey the Bluebell's consultant to IL.
    • 7 September: while working with the Lineside Clearance Gang at West Hoathly.
  • September Picture of the Month from Paul Pettitt: South bound E4 No.32473 crosses New Road Bridge on its journey to Sheffield Park.

30 August:
29 August:
Apologies for recent server down-time. This was due to circumstances beyond our control.
27 August:
  • Gerald Butler: long-serving (over 30 years) Bluebell Loco Driver Gerry Butler died suddenly on 19th August while in hospital in the Portsmouth area for tests. Whilst Gerry had not been in the best of health his sudden death came as a complete shock to family and friends.
    The funeral will take place on Thursday 1st September at 10.30am at Our Lady of England Priory, Monastery Lane, Storrington, RH20 4LN followed by private committal at St Michaels, Amberley. Monastery Lane is south of the A283 near its junction with the B2139 Amberley Road.
    Refreshments directly after the service at Our Lady of England Priory.
    Family flowers only, please. Donations in Gerald's memory may be sent towards Macmillan Cancer Relief and Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, c/o H. D. Tribe, 19 West Street, Storrington, West Sussex, RH20 4DZ.
  • Yesterday the Chimney Sweep was working at Kingscote Station - photo from Chris Dadson

26 August:
  • Details of the Members' Forum, to be held on 1st October, added to the BRPS members' page.

25 August:
24 August:
  • Our first "Fish & Chip Supper Train", on 2nd September, has now sold out, as has a second evening that are putting on, so we are now running another one on 21st Oct. Still a Friday night with 6pm departure and still £15.00 per person. Booking is essential by ringing 01825 720800.
  • Five photos from Chris Dadson taken last Wedndesday, showing 3 BR lined black tank locos in service together - the LBSCR E4, the LMS 2-6-2T and the BR Standard 4 tank. Includes shots of the extension spoil train in action.

16 August:
11 August:
9 August:
8 August:
  • Updates to 4 pages with revised links to the National Trust properties in the area.
  • Throughout August, the Bluebell Railway is host to an art exhibition by a number of local artists. The exhibition, at Horsted Keynes Station, covers a wide range of original artwork based upon the "Glory Days of Steam" and is open every day from 11am until 4pm.

6 August:
  • New books published by Middleton Press in August and September now listed on the Shop web pages.
  • Update to special offers page for the Shop: Hornby 00 "Fighter Pilot" has sold out. "West Country" Class No.34041 Wilton is still available at a special offer price, and now you can also get our very own "West Country" Class Blackmoor Vale (21C123) at reduced price. Don't delay - this one could sell fast!

1 August:
30 July:
28 July:
  • The period for Rail recovery from the Park Royal Site has been extended to include both days this weekend and also Monday-Friday next week. Please see the updated details, and note that Jon Bowers needs names in advance for security reasons. We are recovering a lot of very useful and, to us, valuable, track, pointwork and fittings, so any members able to lend a hand for just one day in this period will make a big contribution - it's a good chance for members living north and west of London to contribute to the railway without needing to travel as far as Sussex.

27 July:
  • On 2nd September we are running a Fish & Chip supper train, departing at 6pm from Sheffield Park Station, returning at 7.30pm. Spaces limited to 50 people, at a price of £15 inclusive of the train journey and fish & chips, a cup of tea and bread and butter. Booking is essential by ringing 01825 720800.

26 July:
  • New photos from Dave Clarke of track clearance over the weekend at Park Royal. All the rails seen being liberated have since been extracted and most are now at Horsted Keynes!
  • Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes. For the next six weeks we have three or four steam locos in use virtually every day.

22 July:
21 July:
20 July:
  • We now have permission to work over the coming weekend to recover the remaining trackwork from the Park Royal Site. This is in addition to the intended Monday-Friday working until 29th July. Any members able to assist, even for only a day, will be able to make a considerable contribution to the work. Please see the details, and note that Jon Bowers needs names in advance for security reasons. There is still a lot of trackwork worth recovering, so any additional assistance will be very helpful.

19 July:
14 July:
13 July:
11 July:
10 July:
9 July:
  • Photos from Chris Dadson of the Park Royal site, from where we are recovering large amounts of trackwork for re-use on the Bluebell

8 July:
7 July:
  • Update from Jon Bowers on the rail-recovery work at Park Royal with further information for anyone able to come and assist the volunteer team. We will only make the most of this opportunity with plenty of volunteer labour, so every extra person able to help for a day or two really makes a contribution - up to ten people a day have been working on it this week, but less on some days, so please do e-mail Jon (details on the web page) if you are interested in helping us.
  • Update to Membership Application Forms - Text and PDF versions.

6 July:
5 July:
  • Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes. It is striking to see just how busy the railway will be over the summer, with three or four locos in steam midweek!

4 July:
  • Win a framed print of 21C123 near Winchfield: As a lead up to the 60th anniversary of the building of No. 21C123 "Blackmoor Vale" and to celebrate 70 years since the appointment of OVS Bulleid as CME of the Southern Railway the Bulleid Society has decided to have a bit of fun and hold a competition to see which modern railway livery (post 1970) would sit best on a Bulleid light pacific.
  • New Picture of the Month from Paul Pettitt (E4 No. 32577 (32473) pulls away from Kingscote station after a summer shower) together with new photographs added to pages for E4 No.32473 and BR Standard 4MT No.75027.
  • Minor update (a few new photos) to Extension: Interactive Map 2 from Jon Bowers.

29 June:
  • Statement from Roy Watts about West Hoathly station site now available - via the BRPS Members' page.

28 June:
26 June:
  • News report with dramatic pictures of the fire at Sheffield Park. Other items include continued excavation of spoil from Imberhorne cutting, and unusual outings for a couple of our historic locomotives.
  • Summaries of the April and May BRPS Trustees' meetings now available - via the BRPS Members' page.

24 June:
  • Stop Press: Fire at Sheffield Park
    During this evening's thunderstorms, a lightning strike caused a major fire in premises at the buisness park adjacent to Sheffield Park Station, at around 6pm. The wind was blowing away from the railway's property, and fire crews had it under control and damped down by 9pm, with no reports of damage to railway property.

23 June:
20 June:
17 June:
  • A Brewery Visit with a difference: The P-Way department require additional volunteers to help recover trackwork from the Park Royal Guinness site - please lend a hand even if only for a day or two. A large quantity of trackwork is available to us if we can lift it!
  • Nick Beck has just provided another photographic update at including photos from the war weekend.
  • Earlier in the week, Chris Dadson provided photos of progress excavating the tip, and two more panels of temporary track laid into the tip.
  • Dave Clarke has also provided photos showing Blackmoor Vale at Horsted Keynes, where the spoil is going on the Ardingly branch, further tree clearance required due to problems of embankment stability, what may prove to have been the last run by 73082 "Camelot" before it is withdrawn for 10-year overhaul, and progress on the restoration of LCDR coach 106.

8 June:
  • New "News from the Bluebell" report, with the spoil trains, and an outing for the USA tank. This posting also represents the tenth anniversary of the availability (initially only by e-mail) of "News from the Bluebell" over the Internet.

7 June:
  • As planned, today's spoil train did two return journeys, i.e. late morning and early afternoon, with a train comprising 4 wagons (2 x Grampus wagons, 1 x 13T wagon, and 1 x bogie wagon from the Lavender Line) plus a Brake Van. Photos from Chris Dadson.

6 June:
5 June:
3 June:
2 June:
1 June:
31 May:
29 May:
  • Photo Album from yesterday from Dave Clarke. This includes the visiting Ivatt tank running as 41302, the E4 as 32577 and 80151 as 80032 (on Sunday it will be running as 80017). There are also a couple of photos of LCDR Carriage 106 which has had the first of the brake doors fitted.

28 May:
  • The Ivatt locomotive No.41312 ran today as scheduled for the 50th Anniversary of Closure gala. Full marks to the staff of the Mid Hants Railway, the Bluebell and our hauliers for all their efforts in achieving this!
  • Photo from Jon Bowers of the locomotive, as No.41302, which hauled the last up train 50 years ago today, seen at Three Arch Bridge earlier today.
  • We had more engines running today than planned! Blackmoor Vale has failed, and needs to cool down for welding repairs to a thermic syphon in the firebox. The SECR 01 No.65 substituted today, and the Standard 4 No.75027 hauled this evening's well-filled Golden Arrow Pullman.
  • The following engines are expected to be running tomorrow and Monday:
    • LMS Ivatt Tank No.41312 (as 41302)
    • BR Standard Tank No.80151 (as 80017)
    • LBSCR E4 No.32473 (as 32577)
    • LBSCR A1X No.55 (as 337s "Brighton Works")
    • SECR 01 No.65
    • BR 4MT No.75027 (or SR West Country: 21C123 "Blackmoor Vale", if repaired)
  • More photos of the Ardingly Branch trackbed taken by Chris Dadson yesterday. There will be 4-mile conducted walks of the entire branch taking place on Monday from Horsted Keynes.

27 May:
  • The word earlier today was that Ivatt 2-6-2T No.41312 is still expected for the 50th Anniversary of Closure gala, and its starring role in the re-creation of the "last train" on the Saturday evening. Fingers crossed that everything went well today.

26 May:
  • Latest photos from all round the railway on Chris Dadson's fotopic site including the recently arrived ballast and sleepers, and DS377 "Brighton Works" ready for the weekend's gala.
  • Update: It now appears possible that the Ivatt locomotive from the Mid Hants Railway will, after all, be able to make it to the gala.
  • Visiting engine:- The Ivatt 2-6-2T No.41312, which was due to arrive yesterday, is, we were informed yesterday, still awaiting the fitting of springs at the Mid Hants Railway, so is now not going to arrive in time for the 50th Anniversary of Closure gala. A full statement is on the gala event page. We shall still be holding a very busy gala, steaming an extra loco of our own instead, and with locos carrying identities of those present on the closure date 50 years ago.

24 May:
  • Final details now available for next weekend's 50th Anniversary of Closure gala. Details of fares, first and last trains each day, goods trains, engine identities, and bus links available. Note that the bus tours of the closed trackbed to the south are now fully subscribed.
  • Visiting engine:- The Ivatt 2-6-2T No.41312 is due to arrive tomorrow.
  • Minor update to Loco Roster

23 May:
  • The event guide and full working timetable for next weekend's 50th Anniversary of Closure gala is available in advance, cost £2.50 - Telephone 01825 720800 with credit card details for one to be posted to you.
  • A reminder that our Music Festival (The Fold, Blyth Power, Oysterband and The Yetties) is less than a fortnight away, and you need to buy your discounted tickets by Tuesday before the price goes up: Telephone 01825 720832 for tickets, see the web page for details.
  • Details now available for the Sussex Bus and Coach Day on Sunday 3rd July 2005 - entrants welcome from Sussex bus and coach owners or operators.
  • Three new photos of the new second up advanced starter, to the North of the station, on the latest news of the Horsted Keynes Re-signalling page.

22 May:
  • Some further details now available for next weekend's 50th Anniversary of Closure gala. Note particularly that there is only an extended 473 Bus service from East Grinstead on the Saturday. More information on the event should be available later in the week.
  • Announcements at yesterday's BRPS AGM:
    • Removal of spoil from the inert part of the tip blocking the extension route starts on June 6th.
    • LBSCR Box Van No.8196 has been awarded best restored wagon in the HRA competition, and LBSCR Stroudley First No.661 was highly commended in the carriage competition.
    • Sale of refreshments and retiring collecton at the AGM raised over £300 for BASH and the Fenchurch Fund (for the restoration of SECR Loco No.27).

19 May:
18 May:
17 May:
  • Vacancies for a Carriage Painter and a Locomotive Fitter are currently advertised on the Jobs on the Bluebell page.
  • Several updates to the Accommodation near the Railway page, correcting some out-of-date links, and adding Holly House B&B in Chelwood Gate, on the edge of the Ashdown Forest is close to Horsted Keynes, which is used by many Bluebell visitors.

16 May:
13 May:
  • Update to the Social Sub-committee page with report on the Brewery visit, and final details of the Sunday 29th May "HorstedFest", as well as advance notice of two more events.

12 May:
  • Series of photos taken yesterday by Chris Dadson, (starting here) showing the Standard 4 tender engine on the service train, Fenchurch on the "Bluebells Special", trackside clearance, the growing ballast stockpile, and other views of the former West Hoathly station site.

11 May:
7 May:
  • New addition to the History of Kingscote Station pages: a brief article on Porter-Signalman William Parker, which appeared in a 1949 issue of the British Railways (Southern Region) Staff Magazine, thanks to Martin Skrzetuszewski.
  • Our North London Railway tank locomotive, No.27505 was moved on loan to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth yesterday. Wirksworth is the nearest location to 27505's old stamping ground on the Cromford & High Peak Railway. Neil Ferguson-Lee has produced a gallery of photos of its arrival.
  • Consequent updates to the web page for the NLR tank loco, and some other pages.
  • New link to the GETALIFEGUIDE, which includes Theme Parks, Zoos, Tourist Attractions, Flying Lessons, Castles, Steam Railways, Farm Parks and loads more, for a fun family day out.

6 May:
  • Reminder to BRPS members that the Society AGM is on May 21 at 7pm - Oakmeeds Community College, Burgess Hill - please note change of venue from previous years. Accounts booklet and Agenda are in the post to members and should arrive next week.
  • Photos taken on Wednesday during during the course of engineering work at the South portal of the tunnel by Chris Dadson - NB this area is not normally accessible for photographs, since it's not covered by the lineside pass. Also includes photos of the new ballast and sleepers arriving (paid for by the Bluebell Railway Trust).
  • More photos from the weekend, from Tom Waghorn

2 May:

29 April:
  • The Bluebell Railway is shortly to publish a guide to Accommodation in the area. If you run a B&B, Hotel or Guest House, and would be interested in being included in it, please contact Lisa Wren at the Railway, by e-mail (remove .NOSPAM from address before sending) or ring 01825 720813.
  • Major update to the Introduction to the Carriage Fleet, and the page about the Development of the British Railway Carriage is now (belatedly) Millenium compliant in terms of references to "this century" and "last century"!

28 April:
  • Information available for the Southern at War weekend (May 14 - 15) - Turn back the clock to the days of the second World War, with soldiers, military vehicles, displays and concert parties for you to enjoy!
    N.B. revised dates compared to those in Bluebell 2005 timetable leaflet.
  • Minor update to the Locomotive Roster, showing planned loco usage over the next few days.
  • Update to Access to the railway by Bus details. The operator of Local Rider Service 246 (Uckfield to Sheffield Park) this year reverts to Renown Coaches, and operates only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Update to the mobile internet site:
  • Update to the Special Offers in the Shop page, adding Hornby 00 SR 4-6-2 "West Country" Class Wilton - 34041 now available at a discount, and removing 73 Squadron (sold out).
  • Update to New in the Bluebell Shop page, with four new Middleton Press titles due in May and June.
  • Update to the Catering page, with slightly revised information for Children's Tea Parties, Cream Teas and Ploughman's Plus.
  • Chris Dadson has updated his Fotopic site with recent photos, including the Midweek Fenchurch-hauled trains, Normandy on Works trains, a charter by the HLF, and the newly arrived ballast and sleepers. He has also provided photos of the recent Bus Rally in East Grinstead.

27 April:
25 April:
24 April:
  • As part of the 50th Anniversary of Closure event, Vintage Coach Tours of historic local railway sites on the closed section of the line are being run on Sunday 29th May. Pre-booking is essential since numbers are limited - the 12 noon and 2pm tours are already fully booked, and an additional tour (starting from Sheffield Park at 9.30am) has therefore been added.
  • Another similar tour will take place on 9th July, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of trains arriving in East Grinstead, when we are running a vintage coach tour from Kingscote station to Rowfant via East Grinstead and Grange Road.
  • Update last week to the latest news of the Horsted Keynes Re-signalling, with details of the work being undertaken to enable spoil trains from the tip excavation to be routed direct to and from the Ardingly branch via platform 2 at Horsted Keynes. Note that articles in the railway press suggesting that these trains started last week are premature - we are still awaiting permission to start excavation.
  • The date of our Brewery visit (4th May) is now confirmed. Details on the Social Sub-committee web page.

15 April:
  • Update to the BRPS Social Sub-committee page, with details of the new committee, and the next two members' social events: A brewery visit, and HorstedFest 2005. Also reports and photos of the recent Curry & Quiz evening, and other recent events.
  • Update to Contacts page, with new contact details for the Social Sub-committee.

14 April:
11 April:
10 April:
8 April:
  • Update with results to date in our Football Competition. If anyone would like to take over from Jon Bowers the running of this competition, which has raised £5,885.68 for Bluebell projects over the years, please get in touch.
  • Our volunteer P-Way team are looking to give the tunnel its annual checkup, and would welcome more volunteers to join in. You don't need to have any previous experience of working on the railway (although you do have to be a member for insurance purposes), and you don't have to be "superfit" either!
    Five evenings are being organised this year. Please do consider giving us a hand for an evening (or five :-)) You might just enjoy it!!
  • Andrew Strongitharm, the youngest contributor to this web site, has updated his albums of loco photos:

5 April:
4 April:
3 April:
1 April:
31 March:
30 March:
  • Chris Dadson's "Most Recent Images" gallery currently has 9 photos of LSWR No.96 "Normandy" hauling an extension works train, taken at Kingscote yesterday morning. Note the station destination board in the first photo!

29 March:
28 March:
  • Update to Special Offers in the Shop page, adding Hornby 00 SR 4-6-2 "Battle of Britain" Class - "73 Squadron" (was £85.99 now £72.00) and removing "Bibby Line" which has sold out.

26 March:
  • Reminder that there is an intensive three-train service (in fact, four tomorrow, including the Golden Arrow Pullman luncheon train) over the Easter bank-holiday period.
  • Booking now open for the Bluebell Railway Music Festival on Fri 3rd, Sat 4th & Sun 5th June - including the The Yetties, The Fold, Blyth Power and Oysterband. Full details now available.
  • New: Interactive Map 3 showing progress in photos on the Extension, between Imberhorne Tip and East Grinstead. Also two more photos added to Interactive Map 2 - Further track laying is, over Easter, extending the rail-head right up to the tip in anticipation of the start of the excavation of the first section of inert infil. This is not part of the main tip (which starts beyond the bridge). N.B. you may need to "refresh" the map to see the red arrows indicating the new photos.

21 March:
20 March:
16 March:
10 March:
  • The Bluebell Railway will be producing its own calendar for 2006, for sale though our shop.
    Members are being encouraged to submit their prints for possible inclusion.
    These should be sent to James Rennick at the Bluebell Shop, by e-mail if preferred.
    Prints can be scenes other than locomotives but still reflecting the atmosphere of the railway. Seasonal photos would be welcomed.

9 March:
8 March:
  • Updates to Carriage & Wagon Works News thanks to photos from Dave Clarke. Projects updated this time are: Pullman Car 64, LCDR Brake 2nd 106, and the unique 10-foot wheelbase SR wagon.

7 March:
6 March:
2 March:
1 March:
28 February:
27 February:
25 February:
  • STOP PRESS: Engineering work over the coming weekend on the Main Line affecting South Croydon to Oxted/East Grinstead. Full details here, so getting the 270 bus from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes might be the best option. Note also Engineering works between Haywards Heath and Brighton/Lewes on Sunday.
  • Addition for forthcoming Branch Line Weekend: Photographic opportunity with Loco 32473 and RML Bus
    On Sat 26th Feb there will be one chance to photograph the E4 with an RML at Vowles Lane Bridge, Kingscote.
    The 10.55 bus departure will slowly come under the above bridge, with the E4 posed above.
    Any photographers interested, will still have time to nip, down the line and photo the E4 facing south on the 11.37 departure from Kingscote.
    Thanks to P. Way Manager and Metrobus for assisting in this photo opportunity
  • Update to Chris Dadson's fotopic page for the Extension, with photos added that were taken around East Grinstead Station, the site of our new station, and the Viaduct.
  • News item from Steam Railway Magazine: We are investigating the possibility of hiring in an Austerity, or similar loco, to haul out the inert tip capping (trains of 10 wagons plus 2 brake vans), starting in April. A diesel was considered but rejected.

24 February:
  • Regular visitors to the railway will appreciate that the Ashdown Forest is a beautiful part of the country, and Gareth Price's Ashdown-Eyes website is well worth a look, with many fine photographs of the area. It has been added to our links page.

23 February:
22 February:
21 February:
20 February:
  • Update to Branch-Line weekend page, with details of the opening times of Ticket Offices (for advance sales of Tickets and Lineside Photographic Passes). Note also that only third class tickets remain available (until Thursday, or when they sell out) for Saturday morning's Milk Train and breakfast.
  • Update to the Social Events page, adding that next Saturday evening's Film Show starts at 7.30pm, and is free.
  • New gallery of photos taken during a survey of the Extension, and other recent photos, on Chris Dadson's fotopic site.

17 February:
15 February:
10 February:
8 February:
7 February:
6 February:
4 February:
  • Now available from the Bluebell Railway Shop:
    Archive cine on DVD - Southern Steam 1897 - 1967
    It runs for 60 minutes in colour and B/W, has been compiled by West Sussex Records Office and The South East Film & Video Archive, and includes:
    • Hove Station in 1897
    • Pulborough to Petersfield in 30s and 50s
    • Sesley Tram 1930
    • The Great Marquess at Chichester 1967
    • Isle of Wight in 1960s
    • Brighton Kemptown & Preston Park Signal Box 1960s
    • Hayling Island Branch 1963
    • Last days of steam at Waterloo in 1966
    Phone the shop on 01825 720803 to order copies.
    The shop can also supply any of the items reviewed in the latest Bulleid Express newsletter.
  • Update to the web page of Bluebell Railway Visitor Information

2 February:
31 January:
30 January:
  • New photos and web page for the newly preserved LBSCR Goods Van which arrived at Horsted Keynes on Tuesday.
  • Corresponding update to the Wagon Stock List
  • Additional fotopic images from Chris Dadson: Images include:
    • 4 Cor motor coach in platform 1 at HK;
    • The Wickham Trolley;
    • Sheffield Park Signal Box;
    • Pullman No.64 & LBSCR brake third No.949 within the C&W Works;
    • ... plus a selection of lineside views including passing trains.
    All pictures taken in the last 2 weeks are temporarily in the Most Recent Images gallery
  • Tony Frost has updated his fotopic gallery with additional photos of P-Way work, some photos of the remains of Sherriff Mill viaduct, and a new page of photos of the SEG's 4 Cor motor coach.

29 January:
  • The Maunsell Locomotive Society have updated their web site with the latest news on the nearly completed overhaul of U-class No.1638
  • Added further details, including vintage bus service and additional attractions, for the February 26 - 27 Branch Line Weekend. Reminder that you have until Tuesday 1st February to purchase half-price advanced tickets for the Photographers' Event on the Saturday Evening.
  • Added details of the Special Events Fares which will apply at the Branch-line Weekend.
  • New fax number now available for sending mail-order requests to the Bluebell Railway Shop.
  • SECR O1-class loco No.65, one of three locos rostered today, suffered a broken spring. A fourth loco, No.80151, was steamed to substitute, and tomorrow it is intended to use GWR 9017 as the third rostered engine.

28 January:
  • New link: Dave Stickland has a gallery of photos, mainly concerning mechanical signalling, including the Bluebell.

27 January:
24 January:
23 January:
22 January:
21 January:
  • Dave Clarke has updated his fotopic site with more photos of the SECR birdcage brake, 3363, and a new album for the other current restoration project he's involved with, LCDR brake 2nd No.106.

20 January:
19 January:
17 January:
14 January:
  • New link added to Signal Lineman's Hut, which trades in vintage signalling equipment, etc.
  • Updates to web pages for Maunsell carriage 2356 and SR Travelling Post Office 4922.

13 January:
  • Update to Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train details:
    • Pullman Car "Eagle" is now being used for dining, with the advantage of a reduced fare compared to the older carriages.
    • An extra Christmas Pullman will run on Wednesday 14th December
    • Changes to Pullman trains running on Fridays in August: with the exception of the Lunchtime train on 5th August, the remaining Fridays will see the train operate in the evening.
  • Update to the Timetable: extra Santa Special date added: Wednesday 21st December
  • Update to the page for Locos formerly based on the Bluebell accounting for the sale of "Port Line", and its move from Swanage to Southall.
  • Southern Electric '4 Cor' motor coach 11201, which is to be put on display at Horsted Keynes, will be opened to the public from Sunday 23 January. The carriage is owned by the Southern Electric Group, and it is hoped to have the coach, which contains an exhibition, open at weekends and bank holidays through the year.
  • Very advanced notice: It is planned that the NRM's "City of Truro" will visit the Bluebell in October 2006, offering the first chance to see both of the preserved outside-framed GWR 4-4-0s hauling trains together on a preserved line.
  • Minor re-vamp to the layout of this page to make it easier to find the very latest news.

12 January:
11 January:
  • Apologies that the Bluebell web site has been down for part of this evening; this was due to excessive traffic (not related to our own site) on the server.
  • Update by Andrew Strongitharm to his fotopic site

10 January:
  • Update to the web pages for the Operation Undercover:
    The Trustees of the Heritage Lottery Fund have award us a Stage One Pass for the Operation Undercover project - more details:
  • Reminder that, on the Saturday evening of the February Branch-line weekend there is a floodlight photographers' event at Horsted Keynes featuring 9017 and 32473. Tickets £10, or £5 if purchased before 1st Feb from Horsted Keynes Booking office.
    The Itinerary for this weekend, with full working timetable and other details, will be available from Horsted Keynes Booking Office: send an SAE with Cheque for £2.50 payable to "Bluebell Railway" to:
    Bluebell Railway (BL), Horsted Keynes Station, Nr. Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7BB

9 January:
8 January:
5 January:
4 January:
3 January:
  • Lewis Nodes has revised and rejuvenated his Locomotive Works News, which is now at a new location on the web site. News of the U-class 1638, BoB "Sir Archibald Sinclair", SECR 323 "Bluebell", and 32473, as we need to get used to calling "Birch Grove".
  • Preliminary details of our February Branch Line Weekend now available, including the early morning "Milk Train".
  • Added notes about local residents railcard to the FAQ.
  • New collections and updates on Nick Beck's Fotopic site.

1 January 2005:
  • Note: Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd January 2005: Owing to a failure of 'Fenchurch' with water problems, the Standard 4 tank will be hauling the Mets, with the addition of the LNWR Observation car on Sunday and Monday in its place.
  • Update to the Loco Roster from Lewis Nodes, showing which locos are expected (but not guaranteed) to be used when in January, February and March. Except for the odd Saturday in January, there are at least three locos in steam at weekends.
  • Updates to photo pages of Normandy and Signage & Posters from around the Railway from Paul Pettitt - together with a new Photo of the Month for January.

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