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22 July:
Q-class with 6686 at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 20 July 2019
  • Brian Lacey's three photos from Saturday show the Maunsell Q-class with recently revarnished Maunsell brake 6686, and below 'Camelot' with an all-green BR Mk.1 and Bulleid coach set, and the SECR O1 with the Wealden Rambler set.

  • We are now into our main summer season with a two-train service with six round trips (and 7 on Saturdays) every day right through to 1 September. All trains are steam hauled. Tickets may be obtained in advance online with a discount (and booking fee) or on arrival at any of our stations.

  • New web pages/details now available for three forthcoming events:
    • 10-11 August - Steam through the Ages with a Summer Fair at Horsted Keynes, meet Queen Victoria at Sheffield Park, and visit the 'Seaside' at Kingscote.
    • 24-26 August - Teddy Bears' Picnic - Children who bring Teddy along get free travel!
    • 11-13 October - 'Giants of Steam' Autumn Gala featuring visiting locomotives BR pacific No.70000 'Britannia' and LMS pacific No.6233 'Duchess of Sutherland' which will run alongside our own locomotives at this three-day gala event.

  • Phtos from John Sandys from last Thursday, showing the Q-Class in charge of the Service train on a quite changeable day weather wise, plus lots of shunting going on in preparation for the main school holiday season.

Camelot arrives at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 20 July 2019 65 at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 20 July 2019

17 July:
65 at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 13 July 2019
  • Brian Lacey's photo from Saturday shows the SECR O1 with LSWR Brake Third No.1520 at Horsted Keynes, in use on one of our Footplate Extra courses. In the distance, Maunsell Q-class No.30541 heads for Sheffield Park with our Metropolitan Railway "Chesham" set.

  • The public relaunch of BR Standard 2-6-4T Locomotive No.80151 after its 4-year-long overhaul is planned for Saturday 27 July.

  • Bluebell locomotives have now run 1.5 million miles since we started operating in August 1960! This is made up of passenger trains, filming, shunting, including visiting locomotives. The mileage information is taken from our loco driver's record cards, completed after each day's work. This is the equivalent to three return trips to the Moon, or 60 trips around the Earth!

  • Preliminary details now available for our Vintage Bus Running Day on Sun 6 October - with routes running to and from both Sheffield Park and East Grinstead stations.

    Richard Proudman from Bachmann Europe presents the cheque to Atlantic
Project Chairman, Terry Cole (left) and Secretary, David Jones (right).

  • Great news for our Brighton Atlantic Project! Bachmann's website carries a report on the presentation of a cheque for over £10,000 to help complete our H2 Atlantic 'Beachy Head'. Do also watch this video on that page too.
    You can see the latest news reports from the Brighton Atlantic Project here.

  • Entry details are now available for the new season's Football Competitions, which are easy-to-enter competitions raising funds for our Southern Railway Maunsell Restaurant Car restoration project. Entrants just have to try to predict who will win the FA Cup, and/or the final positions in the Premier League.

    We are also pleased also to be able to report a major step forward towards the Maunsell Restaurant Car's planned overhaul, with the purchase, at a significant discount, of several tons of second-hand teak, part of the timber which was surplus from the recent rebuilding of the 'Cutty Sark'. The 36 planks of teak, costing our fund just under £3,000, gives the project a huge head-start. Even the smalest planks in the photo below are big enough to get a body pillar out of, and the largest are far longer than normally available these days. It should be just about enough for the major repairs required to the timber-framed body of 1932-built Kitchen Dining First No.7864, now the only surviving Southern Railway catering vehicle. Being able to do this in teak is a luxury we thought we'd never afford, and should give us a vehicle body which will last almost indefinitely!

  • Brian Lacey's photo below shows Southern Railway S15 No.847 arriving at Horsted Keynes on Saturday, running in place of the expected 'Camelot'.

Teak delivered for Restaurant Car project - Richard Salmon - 6 March 2019 S15 arrives at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 13 July 2019

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latestlatestMost recent updates: See top of this page


7 July:
Q-class with Mets and GN Saloon - Steve Lee - 6 July 2019
  • Steve Lee's photo shows the Maunsell Q-class with the Metropolitan Railway Carriages and GN Saloon in public service yesterday, approaching Kingscote with the 14.30 from Sheffield Park.

  • John Sandys has a set of photos from yesterday, particularly featuring the GNR Directors' Saloon.

  • The GN Saloon is also in service today, and is available to passengers wishing to partake of refreshments - with toasted tea cakes, coffee, afternoon tea, scones or cake on offer. The Saloon is on the first, third and fifth departures on today's Service 3 6-train timetable. The locomotives in use today are the Q-class, 'Camelot', and the SECR O1-class on the lunchtime Pullman Dining train.


5 July:
80151 out for a test run - John Sandys - 4 July 2019
  • This video by Nick Dearden shows BR Standard 4MT Tank No.80151 undertaking test running with our four Metropolitan Railway carriages yesterday. It is not yet known when the locomotive will be released for service. Unusually for a Bluebell locomotive, it faces South, as it has done since it arrived on the Bluebell 21 years ago.

  • John Sandys' photos from yesterday also include many images of No.80151 being run in (including that on the right), alongside those of 'Camelot' (which has regained its nameplates) on the service train.

  • Set A over this coming weekend is formed of our Victorian Metropolitan carriages, plus the GNR Directors' Saloon, which is in public service for passengers wishing to partake of refreshments.

  • News Update With the completion of No.80151, the Chassis of No.34059 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' has been moved into the workshop to join the boiler, which is now having stays fitted to the brand new firebox, as reported in John Fry's report on the Bulleid Society Web Site.

  • News Update A progress report is available thanks to Barry Luck, our OP4 Project Manager (Infrastructure), for the end of June for our OP4 - Horsted Keynes Carriage Shed extension . The photos below, showing the brickwork on the wall to the north of the Heritage Skills Centre, and the new pointwork in the yard at Horsted Keynes, are taken from that report.

Shed wall adjancent to HSC - Barry Luck - 27 June 2019 Pointwork in Horsted Keynes yard - Barry Luck - 25 June 2019

3 July:
Newchapel Junction O-gauge - Brian Lacey - 30 June 2019
  • Brian Lacey's photo on the right shows the Newchapel Junction O-gauge layout in the Locomotive Workshop at Sheffield Park on Sunday.

  • Some others have contributed galleries and photos from the 2019 Model Railway Weekend:

    Three more photos from the weekend by Brian Lacey, below:

    • Plumpton Green is Barry Luck's superb LBSCR-based layout in P4 (4mm/ft scale, 18.83mm track gauge);
    • No.73082 'Camelot' ran at the weekend with a Stewarts Lane shed plate and no nameplate, re-enacting its pre-1959 condition; it is seen departing from Horsted Keynes with one of the three different service trains providing an intensive service;
    • BR Standard Tank No.80151 still needed some running in before entering service, so was on display (seen with the new Loco Maintenance shed behind) with supervised footplate access for visitors.

Plumpton Green - Brian Lacey - 30 June 2019 73082 departs from Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 30 June 2019
80151 on display, with the new Loco Maintenance shed behind - Brian Lacey - 30 June 2019
Inside the new Loco Maintenance shed - Brian Lacey - 30 June 2019
  • Brian Lacey's photo on the left shows the interior of the new Locomotive Maintenance shed built as part of the ASH project, funded thanks to donations to the Bluebell Railway Trust, and a grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund.

  • Another photo by Brian, bleow, shows the SECR O1-class No.65, with SECR hundred-seater No.1098 heading its carriage set, departing Horsted Keynes on the Sunday.

  • Steve Lee's photo below shows the Metropolitan carriages back on Bluebell metals (passing the former West Hoathly station site) last Thursday on their return from the District Line steam the previous weekend.

  • During June 2019 there were 41,026 total hits on this page, from 22,732 unique visitors.

65 departs from Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 30 June 2019 Pair of Class 73s with Met Carriages at West Hoathly - Steve Lee - 27 June 2019

27 June:
Camelot at Black Hut - Peter Edwards - 22 June 2019
  • Peter Edwards' photo of the first service of the day last Saturday at Black Hut, shows No.73082 'Camelot' with a train of SR Maunsell and Bulleid carriages, plus the GNR Directors' Saloon which was hosting a surprise birthday party for one of our younger volunteer loco drivers.

  • We are rapidly building up to our major annual Model Railway Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the show, which is spread across Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes and Kingscote stations, we have an intensive three-train service. Catering details for the weekend are available here. Tickets are at our normal prices, and are available in advance online at a discount here, or at full price at our stations on arrival.


    Metropolitan Carriages at Clapham Junction - Clive Emsley - 27 June 2019

  • Clive Emsley's photo from today shows our set of Victorian Metropolitan Railway Carriages at Clapham Junction on their return from London Underground, after their role in last weekend's "Steam on the Underground" celebration of 150 years of the District Railway/Line.

  • News Update The photos below, by Stuart Moon, show the new track in place on Tuesday into D road of the carriage works, enabling the paint shop to be shunted, and the point which will give access to B-road in the old shed. This follows on from last week's report which includes track plans of the layout of the down yard at Horsted Keynes.

New track laid into the paint shop at Horsted Keynes - Stuart Moon - 25 June 2019 New pointwork laid for B- and D-roads at Horsted Keynes - Stuart Moon - 25 June 2019

24 June:
O1 and LSWR Brake on a FPE course - Brian Lacey - 22 June 2019
  • On Saturday morning the SECR O1 was used, with LSWR Brake Third No.1520, for our intermediate footplate course - Footplate Extra - as seen in Brian Lacey's photo taken at Horsted Keynes. The locomotive was later used for a Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train.

  • Reminder that this weekend 29-30 June it's our annual Model Railway Weekend, with lots of layouts, traders and live steam miniature railways, mainly at Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes stations. At Kingscote station, there will be a 71/4 inch miniature steam railway running. Exhibitions will be open from 10am - 5pm on Saturday and 10am - 4pm on Sunday.
    The weekend will also be the first occasion for the public to view inside our brand new locomotive maintenance shed at Sheffield Park, where some of the exhibits will be located. Atlantic House will also be open for those interested to see progress with the construction of our new Brighton H2 Atlantic.
    We will be running an intensive service with three steam trains over the weekend to this timetable.

  • No promises yet, but with BR 2-6-4T No.80151 having had a boiler test and moved around Sheffield Park station under its own steam last Thursday, and with more test runs and fettling expected this week, it could potentially be in service as early as the coming weekend, if everything goes well.

  • News Update Some changes have recently been anounced relating to the senior management of Bluebell Railway PLC. Details are to be found on the BRPS Members' Information page.

  • We hear that the fault with 'Camelot' was a failed clack valve gasket. It could only be replaced once the locomotive had cooled, so our apologies that it wasn't available for service on Sunday. The locomotive was back in steam to test the repair later that afternoon, and back hauling our trains as scheduled today.

  • Details of the funds raised by the recently concluded Football Competition have been added to the page recording the totals raised for various Bluebell projects over the 23 years that we've been running the competition. The current project being supported is the forthcoming overhaul of Southern Railway Maunsell Restaurant/Dining First No.7864, towards which £2,320.84 has so far been contributed through these competitions.

  • We are currently seeking a volunteer to take on the role of PTS Trainer.

  • News Update We are pleased to have another great update on the Brighton Atlantic project, with thanks to Fred Bailey. The tender tank construction is well under way, as seen below (photo thanks to D G Welding). The second photo, by Fred, shows the almost-complete timber cab floor. There's a lot more in the full report!

Tender front - D G Welding - 12 June 2019 Almost complete cab floor - Fred Bailey - 19 June 2019

23 June:
Q and 'Camelot' pass at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 22 June 2019
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the Q-class and 'Camelot' passing with the two service trains at Horsted Keynes yesterday. The GNR Directors' Saloon is seen behind Camelot, and was being used for a private party.

  • Stop Press: Sadly, after its last train was safely home yesterday, 'Camelot' failed, so we regret that (with the S15 and the H-class both undergoing boiler washouts and maintenance) today we are only able to operate public trains to this modified timetable (hauled by the Q-class, with the O1 hauling the pre-booked Sussex Belle luncheon train).

  • Due to a high level of demand for our Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea trains, we have added an extra operating date, Wednesday 31st July.


21 June:
H-class to the north of rock cutting - Steve Lee - 15 June 2019
  • Steve Lee's photo from last Saturday shows the SECR H-class to the north of rock cutting with three pre-grouping carriages (one SECR, one LBSCR and one LSWR) providing a shuttle service between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes to augment the timetable for the 'Road meets Rail' event.

  • News Update Infrastructure News with thanks to Jon Goff, covering work in the late May and the first half of June on laying in the 3-way point in the down yard at Horsted Keynes, which is part of the project to relay the yard, and at the same time give access to the new OP4 carriage maintenance and storage shed.

    The photos below show the trackbeds into D and E roads (the main works road and the maintenance road) having been dug out, prepared, ballasted and levelled, and a couple of weeks later, the 3-way (tandem) point laid and the maintenance road again connected to the station (now via the new headshunt), on time, avoiding any delay to our carriage maintenance schedule. The report includes track plans of the old and new layouts and aerial photos.


HK yard trackbed leveled into E-road - Jon Goff - 31 May 2019 HK yard track laid into E-road - Jon Goff - 14 June 2019

20 June:
Aveling Porter road-rolling - Brian Lacey - 15 June 2019
  • Last weekend's Road meets Rail Festival was a great success, in spite of the weather. Brian Lacey's photo shows JL & RK Miles' Aveling Porter steam roller, as it demonstrates road making at Horsted Keynes, improving the surface of our car park in the process!

  • News Update Photo report from Road meets Rail featuring photos from Derek Hayward, Steve Lee, Brian Lacey and Richard Salmon.

  • Derek Hayward has 150 images of the "Road meets Rail" weekend, taken at Horsted Keynes and Kingscote, are now on the link below:

  • Road meets Rail Video from Nick Dearden

  • The deadline for applying for the vacancy as a Carriage & Wagon Fitter has been extended to 28 June.

  • Two more photos from Brian Lacey from Saturday below, showing 2014 Ruston Proctor 3 Ton SD Tractor No.30640 'Warrior' with a water bowser, and Elliott's Forest Ponies, which were running on an electricity supply from a showmans' engine (Burrell 'The May').

Ruston Proctor 'Warrior' - Brian Lacey - 15 June 2019 Elliott's Forest Ponies - Brian Lacey - 15 June 2019
  • In addition to a 3-train service of passenger trains, hauled by 'Camelot', the S15 and the H-class, the Maunsell Q-class had charge of a goods train which included the Bulleid well wagon, onto which had been craned a Garrett (with a superheater and a removable chimney). Brian Lacey's photo shows the goods train on departure from Horsted Keynes on the Saturday, and Derek Haywards' shows it passing beneath Leamland Bridge, on which was positioned another road locomotive.

Q departs with its goods train from Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 15 June 2019 The goods train passes below Leamland Bridge - Derek Hayward - 16 June 2019
  • On Monday our four Metropolitan Railway carriages were collected by a brace of GBRF Class 73s for their run over the main line up to Ruislip for the coming weekend's District Line steam trains (where they'll again run behind Met.1 and 'Sarah Siddons') as seen in Julian Clark's photos below. The JBs were 73107 'Tracy' and 73136 'Mhari', which was the first 'ED' to run on the Bluebell, when it spent the first 5 months of 2009 on the Bluebell, at that time carrying the name 'Perseverance'.

  • News Update Julian's full set of photos covering Monday's departure together with service trains hauled by our own 73082 'Camelot'.

73s with Mets at Horsted Keynes - Julian Clark - 17 June 2019 Mets on Network Rail at East Grinstead - Julian Clark - 17 June 2019

13 June:
Mary Jane at Horsted Keynes - Peter Edwards - 9 June 2019
  • A fantastic weekend is in store at our 15-16 June Road meets Rail Working Steam Festival with traction engines, steam trains and Sussex Ales. Peter Edwards' photo taken at Horsted Keynes last Sunday afternoon shows Aveling Porter road roller 'Mary Jane'. This engine was one of several that arrived that afternoon, and the build up has been steady ever since.

    A busy steam train service will also be running with an additional shuttle service between Sheffield Park & Horsted Keynes and the goods train between Horsted Keynes & Kingscote.
    Train timetable available here.

    At Road Meets Rail, you'll see:

    • Roads and railways working together with the Traction Engines, Steam Wagons and other vehicles transporting goods around Horsted Keynes Station. Watch milk churns, beer barrels, suitcases, sacks and much more transported just as they used to be.
    • Steam-powered sawmill
    • Steam-powered threshing machine
    • Steam-powered fun fair with Showman's Engine
    • Working model steam locomotives
    • Beer Tent - Sussex Ales Beer Festival
    • Stone being crushed and roads being rolled
    • ... and watch out along the line for the steam engines in fields, at bridges and crossings, on the roads and even on a train!
    Why not dress up? 1920's theme.

    Tickets are available online now (discount for advance purchase) or on the day at any of our stations.

    Free Car Park at Sheffield Park, or come via East Grinstead (just a few yards from the National Rail station) and let the steam train transport you to the festival at Horsted Keynes. Free parking also available at Horsted Keynes, but parking may be easier at Sheffield Park.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below, taken last Saturday, shows Maunsell S15 No.847 passing Bulleid Pacific 21C123 'Blackmoor Vale' (which is on static display) at Horsted Keynes.
    Derek Hayward's photo shows the SECR H-class with the Wealden Rambler afternoon tea train approaching New Road Bridge on 1 June.

847 and 21C123 at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 June 2019 263 approaches New Road Bridge - Derek Hayward - 1 June 2019

11 June:
Camelot climbing Freshfield bank with the Golden Arrow - Peter Edwards - 9 June 2019
  • Peter Edwards' photo shows 'Camelot' climbing Freshfield bank with the Golden Arrow from Sheffield Park at around 1pm on Sunday 9 June.

  • Giants of Steam (11-13 October):
    BR Standard class No.70000 "Britannia" and LMS Princess Coronation class 4-6-2 Pacific No.6233 "Duchess of Sutherland" have been named as our visiting guest locomotives. These two "giants" will run alongside our own locomotives at this three-day gala event. Our grateful thanks to the Royal Scot & Locomotive General Trust and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust for the loan of their locomotives.

  • News Update Infrastructure News with thanks to Jon Goff, covering the relaying of 260 yards of track on Freshfield Bank in 24 hours last month.

  • Neil Munro-Thomson was at Horsted Keynes on Sunday for the Southern Classics car & vehicle show, and provides a gallery of photos he took of this event, plus the return of Camelot.

  • Update to the Loco Roster, covering the remainder of June, showing what locomotives we currently expect to have in service each day.

  • News Update The latest e-newsletter includes an article updating us on the status of the current operational locomotives and those under overhaul from Chris Hunford, which includes the welcome news that BR Standard 4 Tank No.80151 should be returing to traffic, we hope, towards the end of June.

  • Update with funeral details for Douglas Harris available on the BRPS Members' Information page. The same page now also includes a short tribute from Paul Norris to his father.

  • Three photos below from Saturday, by Brian Lacey: The first two show the current state of the Brighton Atlantic, as displayed at last weekend's Open Days at Atlantic House, as it awaits completion of its boiler. The third shows SECR O1 No.65 in platform 2 at Horsted Keynes on an up service, as the S15 sits in platforms 4-5 with the down train.

Brighton Atlantic - Brian Lacey - 8 June 2019 Brighton Atlantic - Brian Lacey - 8 June 2019 O1 at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 8 June 2019

5 June:
H-class approches Kingscote with goods train - Derek Hayward - 1 June 2019
  • Derek Hayward's photo from Saturday shows the H-class approaching Kingscote with a goods train formed of engineering vehicles, being used for guards' training. Derek has added nearly 50 images from the weekend (including coverage of the shunting at Kingscote) to his Bluebell 2019 album.

  • News Update OP4 News, with an update of work on the carriage shed extension at Horsted Keynes (OP4) where the walls are now being prepared for cladding, following the successful fundraising appeal last Autumn.

  • Atlantic House in the Loco Yard at Sheffield Park has a public Open Weekend 8-9 June, where you can view the latest progress on the Brighton Atlantic project. There is an auction at 2.45pm on Sunday, with a large number of high quality LBSCR photos (13 lots with an average of 100 photos in each lot.) The albums are of grouped subjects rather than miscellaneous, e.g. locos classes C, C1, C2 and C3. We also have a replica King class numberplate, lamps etc. Viewing is from Saturday morning, and the team will accept commission bids if you're unable to be there on the Sunday afternoon. The auction is preceded by a short update on the Atlantic Project at 2.30pm.

  • During May 2019 there were 38,404 total hits on this page, from 21,944 unique visitors.

  • Two more of Derek's photos from Saturday, showing No.73082 'Camelot' to the north of Deans Crossing, and SECR O1-class No.65 amidst the flowers at Leamland Bridge.

'Camelot' north of Deans Crossing - Derek Hayward - 1 June 2019 65 amidst the flowers at Leamland Bridge - Derek Hayward - 1 June 2019

Older updates are in the What's New Archive
or 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.

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