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Bluebells from the vintage train - John Horton - 21 April 2018 22 April:
  • John Horton's photo, taken from the vintage train yesterday shows that there's a good display of bluebells starting to bloom on the lineside.

  • To see the best of those lineside bluebells we currently have our Bluebell Specials running on most weekdays to our off-peak Timetable service 1.
    For an all-round view of the lineside, ride in our panoramic LNWR Observation Car, in which you can reserve a seat, for a very small supplement.
    You can still turn up on the day as normal to ride in our ordinary carriages on the rest of the train.

  • Reminder that next Sunday, 28 April, is the first of our two annual Toy & Rail Collectors' Fairs.

  • We are looking forward to our next two major events, the Southern Classic Car Show on 13 May, with a feast of classic cars at Horsted Keynes, and our Branch Line Gala with visiting engine Ex-Port Talbot Railway 0-6-0ST, GWR No.813 of 1901 on 18-20 May, for which we plan an intensive and unusual timetable, featuring also Nos.65, 263, 323 and 30541 from our home fleet, and a wide variety of carriage stock.

  • Brian Lacey's photos below from yesterday were both taken at Horsted Keynes. In the first, the SECR O1-class passes through with the afternoon tea service, the Wealden Rambler. The second photo shows the crew of the H-class with one service train taking a break on Platform 4 (whilst the fireman damps down the coal in the bunker to stop the dust flying about) whilst the Q-class brings the other service train in to Platform 3.

O1 No.65 with the Wealden Rambler at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 21 April 2018 Q and H pass at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 21 April 2018

20 April:
Q-class carrying a wreath in memory of Dave Phillips - John Sandys - 19 April 2018
  • John Sandys' photo from yesterday shows the Q-class during its run-round at Sheffield Park, carrying a wreath in memory of Dave Phillips. It also shows the now pretty-much completed re-roofing of our 1979-built locomotive shed, funded as part of the ASH (Accessible Steam Heritage) project. John has further photos from Thursday, and also from Tuesday, when Camelot was in charge of the service train. This week the Observation Car was attached to the service trains for pre-booked Bluebell Special ticket-holders.

  • The SECR H and O1, plus the Maunsell Q-class, are running this weekend. We have our Peak service 2 timetable. You can buy tickets online up to a day in advance, or on arrival on the day at our stations.

  • Coming up on Sunday is East Grinstead Bus Running Day - it's not a Bluebell event, but it gives some added interest in East Grinstead, and provides interesting options to visit us from further afield by vintage bus.

  • We are running free 'Behind the Scenes' tours of the C&W department at Horsted Keynes on 28th April (the day of our Toy & Rail Collectors' Fair), starting at 11.40, 12.40, 1.55 and 3.10.

  • Update with the latest positions in the Football Competition. This is a fund-raiser for the forthcoming overhaul of our Southern Railway Maunsell Restaurant/Dining First No.7864. And talking of the Restaurant Car, Hornby have just released the first photos of decoration samples of their new OO-gauge versions, expected to be delivered in September.

  • Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for remainder of April, and current plans for May.

  • John Sandys' photo from Tuesday shows that most of the work on the splendid new canopy around the Bessemer Arms, which had been included in the plans when the building was constructed in the 1980s, has been completed. The project is yet another tribute to the outstanding achievements of the FoSP (Friends of Sheffield Park) project volunteers, who have made a real difference to the appearance and amenity of our headquarters station over recent years.

  • Brian Lacey's photo from last Saturday shows 73082 'Camelot' carrying the headboard in memory of Simon Brown.

Canopy on Bessemer Arms - John Sandys - 17 April 2018 73082 'Camelot' carrying the headboard in memory of Simon Brown - Brian Lacey - 14 April 2018

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16 April:
O1 and spring flowers - Brian Lacey - 14 April 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo on the right shows the spring flowers at Horsted Keynes, as SECR O1 No.65 waits for the Wedding Party to board the Pullman train on Saturday. On the lineside however it's the primroses which form the main display at present; the bluebells will take over soon.

  • News Update An update on the overhaul of Bulleid Carriage, No.5768 on the Bulleid Society web site.

  • Jon Barnes' video compilation featuring the Maunsell Q-class on Saturday, when it hauled the lightweight vintage set in the morning, to which was added the Wealden Rambler Lounge Cars for the Afternoon Tea service.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below from Saturday, a gloriously sunny day, shows Q-class No.30541 with its unusual 8-coach train at Horsted Keynes.

  • Peter Edwards' photo shows No.73082 'Camelot' at Vaux End carrying the headboard in memory of Simon Brown on his birthday.

30541 with vintage coaches plus lounge cars at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 14 April 2018 73082 'Camelot' carrying the headboard in memory of Simon Brown - Peter Edwards - 14 April 2018

12 April:
30541 with anniversary of closure special train - Martin Lawrence - 16 March 2018
  • Martin Larence's photo takes us back a few weeks to the special train run on the actual day of the 60th anniversary of the second line closure; amongst the invited guests that day were some who had travelled on the train on 16 March 1958. A full-colour version of the photo is here.

  • It's the last few days of the Easter Holidays. Tomorrow, and over the weekend, we are running our peak Service 2 Timetable, with one of the trains formed of our vintage LBSCR, LCDR/SECR and LSWR carriages. Tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount, or on arrival on the day. A full-line return gives unlimited travel on the day.

  • On Monday we start our Bluebell Specials - these trains run on most weekdays to our off-peak Timetable service 1; for the best view of the lineside you can reserve a seat, for a very small supplement, in our 1913-built LNWR Observation Car. Weekend trains continue to our peak Service 2 timetable.

  • Derek Hayward's photo gallery for Kingscote Signal Box has had a major revision. It now includes 150 images of the box and the associated signals, covering the period 1998 -2018.


11 April:
The late Dave Phillips, at the Vintage Transport Weekend at Horsted Keynes - Derek Hayward - 11 August 2013
  • It is with great sadness that we have to report that Bluebell volunteer Dave Phillips passed away on Monday night after a spell in hospital. Derek Hayward's photo shows him during the 2013 Vintage Transport Weekend, at which he was one of the judges. Dave did a lot of hard work for the railway, especially in the background on the day to day running of railway. He will be greatly missed by all.

  • John Sandys provides photos from around Sheffield Park yesterday , a gorgeous Spring day which saw Camelot looking magnificent in the sunshine, plus photos of the ASH Project.

  • Daniel Green provides a gallery from Saturday, with 'Camelot', 263 & 65.

  • Bluebell features with our own entry on the National Rail web site. Visitors might find it useful to follow link to their new page "Trains to Brighton", the spiritual home of the LBSCR.

  • Just to prove that the loco roster can only be a snapshot of our intended locomotive useage, always subject to last minute changes, yesterday instead of the H-class and the Q, we steamed the O1 and 'Camelot', as seen in Brian Lacey's photos below, taken at East Grinstead.

65 with vintage coaches at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 10 April 2018 73082 'Camelot' at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 10 April 2018

9 April:
H-class with LSWR Brake 1520 at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 7 April 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo from Saturday shows the SECR H-class on departure from Horsted Keynes with LSWR Brake 1520 at the south end of the Vintage set, which is in public service all this week. In the background is BR Mk.1 Brake Composite No.21246, which is approaching the end of its overhaul, with just a little interior work to complete, plus the overhaul of a pair of bogies for it.

  • Martin Lawrence has completed his his March gallery and begun that for April.

  • Photos by Peter Skuce of his visit on Easter Monday, and also an updgraded of his Vintage Trains Weekend album from Saturday 5 November 2011.

  • News Update A significant update on the page for news of our project to re-construct a "Brighton Atlantic", with the headline being that all the tubes and flues are now in the boiler and have been expanded.
    The photos below show the last flue tube being inserted, the safety valves in place, and the backhead, with all orifices blanked off in preparation for the hydraulic test. The full update is available here.

Last flue tube - Fred Bailey - 3 January 2018 Safety valves in place - Fred Bailey - 11 March 2018 Backhead - Fred Bailey - 25 February 2018

Model Railway weekend is 23-24 June 2018 - Mike Hoops' Poster 6 April:
  • Our annual Model Railway Weekend is on 23-24 June. You can download the full size PDF version of Mike Hopps' poster here.

  • Reminder that we are running a 2-train service (Timetable service 2) this week and next, with one of the trains formed of our vintage LBSCR, LCDR/SECR and LSWR carriages. Tickets can be purchased in advance at a discount, or on arrival on the day. A full-line return gives unlimited travel on the day.

  • Some of our Fish & Chip evening supper trains are already sold out, but we still have tickets for the first of the year, on 13 April, or later in the summer - Buy tickets here.

  • John Sandys provides photos from yesterday featuring the two-train service, the canopy around the Bessemer Arms and progress on the ASH project.

  • Ashley Smith supplies the photo below of the demonstration goods train behind the O1 from Easter Monday, and some further photos and a video.

  • The sun shone yesterday, and Brian Lacey's photo shows the Q-class ready to leave East Grinstead with one of the two service trains.

65 delivers the goods - Ashley Smith - 2 April 2018 Q-class at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 5 April 2018

5 April:
Track Trek poster - Mike Hopps
  • Join us for Track Trek 2018 on Saturday 30 June.

    Again this year the Trek is raising money for the Tr(ack) Action Appeal, which is an appeal set up to raise £250,000 for the renewal of track along parts of the Railway. The Track Trek will start from Horsted Keynes station with registration and safety briefings taking place between 5:00pm and 6:00pm with the walk starting at 6:00pm. The last walkers will need to leave Horsted Keynes by 6:20pm. Full details of how to participate or support the Trek are available here.

  • A couple of new offers:
    • Bessemer Specials on selected Mondays - steam train ride from East Grinstead and 2-course lunch in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park.
    • Steam and Vine in conjunction with Bluebell Vineyard.

  • Paul Simpson's photos from Jon Bowers' photo charter with 847 and the goods train last week.

  • Derek Hayward has made major updates to his photographic galleries for Horsted Keynes (covering the years 1998-2018), Kingscote, and East Grinstead (covering the same period, following the development of the site as our new terminus over the years).

  • Brian lacey's photos below from Saturday show 73082 'Camelot' as it prepares to couple to the Observation Car at East Grinstead, and the H-class ariving at Horsted Keynes with vintage set

Camelot at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 31 March 2018 H-class arrives at Horsted Keynes with vintage set - Brian Lacey - 31 March 2018

1 April:
263 and 73082 as the service train pass at Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 31  March 2018
  • Yesterday, Nos.263 and 73082 are seen on the two service trains as they pass at Horsted Keynes (Brian Lacey).

  • In addition to our two-train passenger service, and a Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train, we are also running a Demonstration Goods Train tomorrow, to the timetable shown below.

  • Photos by Dave Bowles from a photo charter with the S15 last week.

  • A second photo below, also from Brian Lacey, shows No.65 on the Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train yesterday.

  • During March 2018 there were 44,433 total hits on this page, from 25,574 unique visitors.

Demonstration Goods Train Timetable for 2 April 2018 65 on the Wealden Rambler - Brian Lacey - 31 March 2018

29 March:
Thunderbird arrives at Horsted Keynes as Peak 45041 waits - Brian Lacey - 24 March 2018
  • Last weekend's Diesel Gala saw unexpected and extensive use of our Thunderbird! Brian Lacey's photo shows D4106 (substituting for D182 on the Saturday) arriving at Horsted Keynes with the 12.00 from Sheffield Park while 45041's crew looks on (45041 was working the 11.45 from East Grinstead).

  • Steam-hauled trains run daily until Sunday 15 April to our Service 2 Timetable - no pre-booking required, but Bluebell Bonus discount available if you do book ahead.

  • Over Easter - 30 March to 2 April we have our big Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Kingscote Station. If you want to join in the Tea then tickets must be pre-booked, but the party fun is open to all for a small charge on top of a travel ticket, payable on entry to the Paddock at Kingscote.
  • Our normal steam hauled services also run over Easter - no pre-booking required
  • Free guided tours of the Carriage & Wagon workshop at Horsted Keynes take place daily from Good Friday to Easter Monday, at 11.40am, 12.40 and 1.55pm.

  • Update to the Locomotive Duty Roster, with expected locomotive use for April.

  • Andrew Crampton's photo below shows D4106 at Holywell, standing in for 45041 on Friday. This Peak was repaired that evening, and ran for the remainder of the weekend. Julian Clark's photo shows our C&W works Sentinel shunter which took over the scheduled brake van rides at Horsted Keynes on the Friday whilst the 09 was employed on thunderbird duties.

Thunderbird I: D4106 at Holywell - Andrew Crampton - 23 March 2018 Thunderbird II: Skippy with the Queen Mary brake van - Julian Clark - 23 March 2018

  • Next we have two photos provided by Steve Lee. Peak D182 is seen at Town Place on Saturday, on what sadly proved to be its final northbound journey of the weekend. On the Sunday two different 31xxx locomotives came together!

D182 at Town Place - Steve Lee - 24 March 2018 31618 and 31271 at Sheffield Park - Steve Lee - 25 March 2018

  • Update for March with the positions in the Football Competition. This is a fund-raiser for the forthcoming overhaul of our Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864.

  • News Update The latest newsletter from the Standard Class 2 No.84030 project has now been published on this web site.
    This newsletter is sent to project supporters when produced, and only appears here a while after - if you would like to receive it when first published, why not Subscribe to it and support the project?
    The photo below shows the ever-more complete front of the locomotive. Most of the work in recent months has however been associated with constructing a base for the cover over the locomotive, and the track upon which 84030 will sit.

  • We end with the completely reliable visiting 31271, seen at West Hoathly last Friday in David Long's photo.

Front of 84030 - March 2018 31271 at West Hoathly - David Long - 23 March 2018

23 March:
Peak D182 awaits service - Mike Anton - 23 March 2018
  • Peak D182 and 31271 await their turns of service this morning, as our Diesel Gala kicks off (photo by Mike Anton). Details of the event are included in yesterday's blog entry.

  • Jon Sandys' photos from yesterday, with 'Camelot' out for a test run after winter maintenance, and further work progressing on the ASH project and the Bessemer Arms Canopy.

  • News Update Update to the Project 27 Blog with a couple of months' news of work on SECR P-class No.A27.
    The plan for the next year as set out in the report is ambitious, and really relies on a flow of donations - please do consider supporting the volunteer team's work via the project's BT MyDonate page.

  • We are now registered on Amazon Smile and, if you so wish, you can nominate the Bluebell Railway Trust as your chosen charity.

  • Martin Malins was eligible for the offer to travel last weekend for the 1958 fare of 4/- so here's a photo of the 4 coins, which the ticket office were of course unable to accept, so he paid contactless! The ticket is an interesting one, being routed over two other now-closed lines, but not via Bluebell, which must have already closed at the time.

  • Julian Clark's photo from last Saturday shows the Q-class on the commemoration of the last BR service over our line.

4 shillings and Lewes-EG ticket - Martin Malins - 17-18 March 2018 Q class in the snow - Julian Clark - 17 March 2018

22 March:
Q-class with School special at West Hoathly - Brian Lacey - 16 March 2018
  • As we conclude the first event in our "Steaming towards 60" programme, Peter Edwards' photo from Sunday shows Q-class No.30541, carrying a replica of the headboard used on the last BR train sixty years ago, at Three Arch Bridge with the 11.30am train from Sheffield Park.

  • In preparation for our 23-25 March Diesel Gala, the three visiting locomotives (two Peaks - Class 45 No.45041 'Royal Tank Regiment' and Class 46 D182, and Class 31 No.31271 'Stratford 1840-2001') arrived on Monday.
    Roy Watts' photo shows them hauled onto Bluebell metals by 47813, with D4106 waiting in the loop to take them onwards to Sheffield Park.
    Video from Mike Anton of the diesels' gauging run at Horsted Keynes, showing them hauled by the 09, on Monday, along with the photo below.

    Tickets for the event can be purchased online, or at our booking offices on arrival. BRPS Members' discounted tickets can be obtained on arrival.
    The timetable for the gala, which starts tomorrow, is available as a PDF Download.


47813 with the visiting diesels at East Grinstead - Roy Watts - 19 March 2018 The visiting diesels at Horsted Keynes - Mike Anton - 19 March 2018

17 March:
Q-class with School special at West Hoathly - Brian Lacey - 16 March 2018
  • Brian Lacey's photo shows the Maunsell Q-class No.541 bursting out of the tunnel, with one of yesterday's School Specials. It and the S15 will be taking turns to haul the services over the weekend.

  • This weekend is the 60th Anniversary of the line closure commemorative event.

  • Yesterday's commemoration and the anniversary featured extensively on the BBC South East Evening News.

  • Album of photos covering the trains running for the anniversary of closure commemoration yesterday taken at Horsted Keynes by Neil Munro-Thomson.

  • Steve Lee's photo below shows P-class No.323 carrying the Bluebell's name to the Spa Valley Railway, seen on its first day of operation there, 24 February, approaching Poke Farm Crossing.

  • Brian Lacey's photo is of No.847 with a lightweight load of just the LNWR Observation Car at West Hoathly yesterday.

323 'Bluebell' on the Spa Valley Railway - Steve Lee - 24 February 2018 847 with the observation Car at West Hoathly - Brian Lacey - 16 March 2018

16 March:
60th Anniversary of Bluebell Line Closure
Closure Poster Today marks the 60th anniversary of the final services run over the Bluebell Line by British Railways.

This is a very significant occasion in the history of the Bluebell Line, marking the end of one era and, significantly, the beginning of a new one, with glorious rebirth as the Bluebell Railway, the first ex-mainline standard gauge railway to run passenger trains.

Today the Railway will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the last train service from East Grinstead to Lewes. We are working with schools on a local history project and recreating the historic journey of that last train. Trains being run today are not open to the public, although the stations are open for anyone wanting to watch.

This weekend, 17 and 18 March we will be turning the clocks back with various themed attractions and displays of interest to all ages. We will be inviting the public to experience elements of 1958 and explore what that year means to the Railway. A visit to the Railway this weekend will include opportunities to take tea in '50s style, take mini guided tours in areas not usually open to the public, and, if you were born in 1958, travel at 1958 prices: 4s, equivalent to 20p per ticket, but shillings are not required!

Last train - Mike Esau - 16 March 1958

Further details of this event are available here.

 

 

Mike Esau's photo shows 80154 with the last train, as crowds look on at East Grinstead, on 16 March 1958.



15 March:
O1 No.65 with the demonstration goods train, at West Hoathly - David Long - 10 March 2018
  • David Long's photo shows the SECR O1-class No.65 with the demonstration goods train, at West Hoathly last Saturday.

  • Trains run this weekend, to the 60th-anniversary "Sulky Service" timetable whilst we commemorate the Diamond Anniversary of the 1958 closure of the line. On the Saturday trains will run over the stub of the line to Newick and Lewes (just a couple of hundred yards south from Sheffield Park).
    Further attractions:
    • On the Saturday only, there are brake van rides at Sheffield Park (first-come first-served) behind both the Q-class and the S15, which alternate on the brake van and on the service trains.
    • Special screenings of 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' at Horsted Keynes Station in the Cinema room at 12-noon and 2pm, included in your travel ticket.
    • Guided tours of the Carriage & Wagon Workshop at Horsted Keynes, allowing an opportunity to see behind the scenes with the restoration work on the carriages.
    • Kingscote Signal Box will be open for visitors, limited spaces available on a first-come first-served basis.

  • John Sandys' photos from Tuesday show, amongst other things, the nearly complete new canopy around the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park.

  • Locomotive No.3, 'Captain Baxter', is currently on a visit to the Great Western Society at Didcot.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below shows the O1-class on the lunchtime Pullman dining train last Sunday, seen passing Bulleid Pacific 21C123 'Blackmoor Vale' which is currently on display in Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes.

  • Steve Lee's photo shows the S15 arriving at Horsted Keynes on last Saturday's sulky service.

O1 passes 'Blackmoor Vale' - Brian Lacey - 11 March 2018 847 enters Horsted Keynes - Steve Lee - 10 March 2018

9 March:
Brickwork on the new entrance to the Loco Shed, ASH Project - Martin Lawrence - 9 March 2018
  • Martin Lawrence's photo from today shows the brickwork on the new entrance to the Loco Shed being constructed as part of the ASH Project.

  • Trains running again this weekend, to the 60th-anniversary "Sulky Service" commemorative timetable.

  • The SECR O1 will be hauling a demonstration goods train on Saturday, to the timetable here.

  • Tickets are now on sale for our Bluebell Specials which run on midweek dates between the middle of April and the middle of May. Travel through the Sussex countryside between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead in our unique 1913-built 'Observation Car' at Bluebell time and see how the Railway got its name!

  • Update to the Infrastructure (P-Way and Civil Engineering) page.

  • News Update Project 27. Undeterred by the weather, last Friday the cylinder block castings for SECR P-class No.A27 were driven up to Statfold Engineering Ltd for machining. The photo below shows them loaded up ready for the journey. The second photo shows progress at Sheffield Park, with the new rear buffer beam and rear drag-box plate drilled, and the front buffer beam brought in to the Villa for the same treatment. The drag-box plate (closest to the camera) is now ready for the reinforcing plate to be riveted on. For those on Facebook, there are more photos on the project's page.
    Please Donate :-)
    All this fantastic progress costs money... so please do support this volunteer team with donations to enable the work to continue at the present rate.

Cylinders ready to go to Statfold Engineering - Project 27 - 2 March 2018 Buffer beams and drag box plate - Project 27 - March 2018

8 March:
The second half of the loco shed roof being replaced - Martin Lawrence - 7 March 2018
  • Martin Lawrence's photo from yesterday shows the second half of the loco shed roof has been removed for replacement, as part of the HLF-funded ASH project. The photo is from Martin's March album. He has also completed that for February.

  • After the disruption caused by the snow and icicles in the tunnel last weekend, our steam-hauled and steam-heated services resume on Saturday with 4 departures each day this weekend, to the 60th-anniversary "Sulky Service" commemorative timetable.
    The actual anniversary of the 1958 closure is commemorated over the weekend of 17-18 March.

  • The SECR O1 will be hauling a demonstration goods train on Saturday. Timings will hopefully be provided here when available.

  • Update to the 9F Club web page. This is our club for young people aged 9 - 16

  • Put Saturday 30 June in your diaries for the 2018 Track Trek, an evening sponsored walk down the line from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park, with connecting trains from Sheffield Park and East Grinstead before and after the walk.

  • Some great 1997 footage of the Bluebell, featuring the Q1-class No.C1, 'Camelot' and the C-class, by Trevor Ledgeway.

  • Some recent videos from Mike Anton: 323 at the Spa Valley Railway on Sunday. S15 No.847 shot over the last three days of the 2018 February Half term holiday, and a footplate trip on the Q-class on a Santa train.

  • John Sandys' photos from today including progress on the locomotive shed (ASH Project) and the Bessemer Arms canopy.

  • Dan Gosling's video: "The Best of... No.73082 'Camelot'" has proved very popular.

  • Video from the Timeline Charter with O1-class No.65, by Tom's Steam Videos.

  • News Update Trackwork update thanks to Bruce Healey.
    With the long Tremains relay completed in early February, and with spare time before the weekday trains restart at Easter, the opportunity was taken for a further possession to do a bit more track replacement. The plan was to continue the track relay carried out at Holywell early in 2017, continuing further north over Keysford Bridge up to just beyond Caseford Bridge, in a 5-day window. As of yesterday evening, this relay of just over 1/8 mile was nearing completion, the plan having been modified by the weather. All panels of rail are in and connected up with ballasting and tamping due today and Friday, plus a lot of tidying up.
    The clearance under Caseford Bridge was a bit tight. During this relay, we have been using the technique of putting new ballast over the old to give us an even firmer trackbed. As this would have compromised clearance even more, the opportunity was taken to lower the trackbed by 4 inches.
    The work was due to finish last week but the 'Beast from the East' meant we had to stop where we were on the Tuesday and reconnect the track to ensure it was ready for the weekend service (which as it turned out was cancelled, also due to the weather). An attempt at ballasting on Thursday 1st had to be abandoned because the ballast was too frozen to lay. We started again on Monday 5th to complete the work.
    The section now replaced had some particularly worn track, badly dipped joints, a life expired Insulated Block Joint and the alignment of the curved track south of Keysford Bridge was poor.

Laying track in the snow - Jon Goff - 27 February 2018 Caseford Bridge - Bruce Healey - 7 March 2018

Laying track on 27 February (Jon Goff)
Caseford Bridge (Bruce Healey)


3 March - STOP PRESS:
  • No trains running tomorrow Sunday 4 March.
    Due to the current weather conditions in the locality of the Bluebell Railway we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all train services on Sunday 4th March.

    This decision has been made as the safety of our customers and staff is paramount. We are sorry if this causes any disappointment and people with existing bookings for the 4th March will be contacted directly.

    The Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park station will be open though, so if you fancy something to eat, do pop along. It will be open 8.30am - 4pm for drinks, snacks, cooked breakfast & lunch. Our shop at Sheffield Park will also be open.

  • The two photos below taken by Mark Duhig during an inspection this morning show that, despite the shielding put in place to divert the worst of the water which flows continuously from the tunnel roof, the icicles elsewhere within the Sharpthorne Tunnel are spectacular. Mark reports that the largest are 10 feet long and up to 5 inches in diameter.

Icicles in tunnel - Mark Duhig - 3 March 2018 Icicles in tunnel - Mark Duhig - 3 March 2018


3 March:
  • No trains running today Saturday 3 March.
    Snow at Sheffield Park - John Sandys - 27 February 2018 To repeat and expand the message we put out on Thursday:
    Due to the current weather conditions in the locality of the Bluebell Railway we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all train services on Saturday 3rd March.
    This decision has been made as the safety of our customers and staff is paramount. We are sorry if this causes any disappointment and people with existing bookings for the 3rd March will be contacted directly.

    The Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park station and Grinsteade Buffet at East Grinstead station will be open though, so if you fancy something to eat, do pop along:
    Bessemer Arms - open 8.30am - 4pm for drinks, snacks, cooked breakfast & lunch.
    Grinsteade Buffet - open 10am - 3pm for drinks, snacks and homemade cakes

    Photo (taken on Tuesday) is by John Sandys.

  • Additional date, 29 May, for the Teddy Bear's Picnic in a buffet car travelling behind Paddington 2 locomotive 'Tornado'.

    During the visit of 60163 'Tornado', the remainder of the train is available for passengers booking ordinary tickets, which include reserved seats on one round trip behind 'Tornado' and unlimited travel on our other services on the day of your visit. This applies on 25, 26, 28 & 29 May. Book in advance to guarantee seats!
    On 27 May you can also visit and ride our trains, and can watch 60163 'Tornado' hauling Morning brunch, Golden Arrow Dining and Afternoon Tea services; if you wish to book to travel on these special catering services on Sunday 27 May (or the evening Pullman train on Saturday 26), please ring 01825 720800.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below from Saturday 24 February shows the SECR O1 waiting at Horsted Keynes with the Afternoon Tea "Wealden Rambler" service whilst the S15 arrives with the down service train.

  • Also below is another of Steve Lee's photos from Jon Bowers' 20 February photo charter, this time with the hand crane behind No.65, at Three Arch Bridge.

65 waits whilst 847 brings its train into Horsted Keynes - Brian Lacey - 24 February 2018 65 with hand crane - Steve Lee - 20 February 2018


1 March:
  • No trains running on Saturday 3 March.
    Snow at Sheffield Park - John Sandys - 27 February 2018 Due to the current weather conditions in the locality of the Bluebell Railway we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all train services on Saturday 3 March. This decision has been made as the safety of our customers and staff is paramount. We are sorry if this causes any disappointment.

  • John Sandys' photo shows the snow at Sheffield Park on Tuesday. There are more great snow shots in John's album of photos from that day.

  • Details now available for the Southern Classic Car Show at Horsted Keynes on 13 May.

  • No.323 'Bluebell' is hauling services on the Spa Valley Railway at weekends, returning to the Bluebell just before Easter. Roger Carpenter provides a few shots taken there last Sunday.

  • Brian Lacey's photo below shows the S15 at West Hoathly station site last Sunday. What a contrast weather-wise.

  • Last year over 45,000 visitors came over to Platform 2 at Sheffield Park, and visited the Bluebell Railway Museum. One of our most popular exhibits is the former Withyham signal box which can be found at the North end of the museum. This is a restored Victorian box. It entered service in 1866 and was originally located on the East Grinstead to Tunbridge Wells line, where it saw 100 years' service. We have recently installed an operating signal directly outside the box (as seen in the photo below). The signal post is from a former signal on Platform 2 at Sheffield Park, and most of the components are originally from the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway.

    Visitors may operate the signal under supervision. Our museum stewards also offer them the opportunity to undertake a full signalling sequence for a through train from East Grinstead - it's both instructive and entertaining and something enjoyed by our visitors of all ages, including those for whom English is not their first language! The museum is open when we are running timetabled trains.

  • During February 2018 there were 45,176 total hits on this page, from 25,633 unique visitors.

S15 847 leaving the tunnel - Brian Lacey - 25 February 2018 Withyham signal box and visitor-operated signal at Sheffield Park - Tony Hillman - 25 February 2018


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