News from the Bluebell Railway 5 February 2012

Recreating the golden age of steam for passengers of all ages, the Bluebell Railway has a large collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, and equipment and holds many special events throughout the year.
Floreat Vapor: Let Steam Flourish! The Bluebell eNewsletter is sponsored by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
In This Issue
Double Donations Dash: A New Opportunity for Match Funding
Governing Bodies Consider the New Year and Beyond
One-Hundred-and-Thirty-Year-Old Carriage Reconstructed
Infrastructure Report
Update from the Bluebell Shop
"Find Out More" About Volunteering Continues
Steam Crane to Move from Kingscote to Horsted Keynes Up Yard
Retro Images for Sale--Profits to the Northern Extension Project!
More Memories of Newhaven in the Days of Steam
Your Bluebell News Here!

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Sales & Information  


Timetable & Fares  


Special Events 2012  


Locomotive Roster  


Train Formations  


Local Accomodation List  


Map & Gradient Profile  


Bluebell Railway Appeal  (updated Nov. 2011)
Bluebell Railway Appeal
(updated Nov. 2011)

Valentine's Day: Afternoon Tea in the Lounge Car


Valentine's Day: Golden Arrow Evening Luxury Dining  


Reservations for Afternoon Tea in the Lounge Car, 2012  


Gift Vouchers

What & Where Is
the Bluebell Railway? 

The Bluebell Railway by Nicholas Williams of Fun O Vision Films 
The Bluebell Railway by Nicholas Williams of Fun O Vision Films (
Twenty-year-old video of line construction between West Hoathly and Kingscote (thanks to Barry Coward).
Twenty-year-old video of line construction between West Hoathly and Kingscote (thanks to Barry Coward).

Just Giving


Donate to 50th Anniversary Appeal


Bluebell Railway Trust




The Bluebell Railway Band play excerpts from
The Bluebell Railway Band play excerpts from "Mamma Mia! The Musical."
Class 08 No.13236 with a Pway train - 25-01-2012
Spoil train enroute to Horsted Keynes, removing spoil from Sheffield Park; the diesel is hauled by "Gronk."
More photographs (between Lewes and East Grinstead) from the Colin Hogg Collection in the Bluebell Railway Archive:

  Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
  Photo 4
  Photo 5
  Photo 6

Prints can be ordered online.
 Steam-hauled shunt at Sheffield Park during the works.
Steam-hauled shunt at Sheffield Park during the works.

Double Donations Dash:
A New Opportunity for Match Funding

Following the success of the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the Bluebell Railway has arranged its own match funding opportunity, called the Double Donations Dash .

From 24 to 30 March donations to the Northern Extension Project via the Bluebell Railway 50th Anniversary Appeal will be doubled by matched funding provided by sponsors of the appeal up to a limit of £35,000.

Donations may be mailed to arrive during these dates or sent online via a link that will be provided on the Bluebell Railway website.

If you wish to help the Railway achieve its aim of extending the line to East Grinstead, don't miss this opportunity to make each pound you donate worth £2.50 (including gift aid).

Remember, to obtain the promised £35,000 in full, we need this amount to be donated by our supporters via a cheque or online.

We are still trying to secure more sponsors, so the target amount might even be higher! We will know by 1 March and will provide final information in both the Bluebell News magazine and e-newsletter.

For more information contact Roger Kelly , Funding Director.

Governing Bodies Consider the New Year and Beyond

The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, Trust, and PLC met jointly on 3 Feb. for a general discussion about Railway matters and to consider several specific issues.

This was an opportunity for the bodies to raise items of mutual interest, and papers were considered on such diverse issues as revisions to the draft Long Term Plan, infrastructure plans for the year, and what the Railway might look like in 50 years.

Note was made of the plans to construct a turning facility at Horsted Keynes, utilising the "Ardingly spur," in order to accommodate future main line visiting locomotives that need to be turned. The turning facility will absorb much of the clay capping from Imberhorne cutting. This plan does not necessarily rule out the use of a turntable in the future.

Concerning this same site, planning permission has just been applied for to construct a double arch bridge to replace the previous viaduct, representing a positive step forward to Ardingly.

Operation Undercover--which is near a successful conclusion--also was discussed, as was a paper on museum opening hours. The Railway would like to open the museum consistently during the winter weeks, and the meeting agreed that it should open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during non-running weekdays. Volunteer stewards are sought to enable this. In the meantime, check with the Railway before visiting mid-week.

The much-praised museum has become a major Railway attraction in its own right. If you would like to consider a stewarding role, contact . Plans are being made to combine this role with duties in other areas during less busy times.

By John Walls

One-Hundred-and-Thirty-Year-Old Carriage Reconstructed

The restoration of London, Brighton & South Coast Railway carriage No. 949 is making great progress.  

The carriage, designed by William Stroudley--to run with Terriers such as "Stepney" and "Fenchurch"--spent 70 years on a farmyard before recovery by the Bluebell Railway in 1998.  

The reconstruction has now reached the stage where the main structure is complete, the interior panelling has been fitted, and the first external panelling has been applied, as can be seen in the photo below.

After its time on a farmyard, some of the timber in the floor and carriage sides was rotten, and much has been  replaced. But the ends and roof, made from different timbers, survived almost intact.

This project--undertaken by a team working as volunteers--is part of our long-term plan to operate a complete train of 19th century LBSCR vehicles, appropriate to the earliest days of our line.  

Progress can be viewed directly since this carriage is closest to the viewing gallery in the Carriage Works at Horsted Keynes.

Carriage 949

Infrastructure Report 

In Platform 1 road at Sheffield Park, the track south of the Ouse bridge, as far as the southern foot crossing, was lifted last week and the ballast removed to Horsted Keynes.

The track bed has been leveled and a new drainage pipe and a sandwich of polyethylene, Terram, and polyethylene has been laid, followed by new ballast.

Relaying of the track panels is just starting. Hopefully, the weather will not delay completion, which is targeted for 10 Feb.

By Nigel Longdon

Update from the Bluebell Shop

The shop's website is being re-designed and under the heading of Rare and Used Items we will be advertising our higher-value donated books. They will be offered for sale on a first come, first served basis.

The shop now stocks a good range of Metcalfe buildings kits and is switching from Hornby track to Peco track due to the cost and quality of the latter.

We now have the Farrish N gauge Sheffield Park waiting room. The Bachmann 00 gauge Sheffield Park buildings are becoming more difficult to get hold of, but we still have some in stock.

Orders are being taken by Bachmann for Bluebell Railway locomotives 9017 and the C class, as well as the Pillbox brake van, all of which should arrive before Easter, according to the manufacturer.

By Nikki Favell

"Find Out More" About Volunteering Continues  

Requests to volunteer at the Bluebell Railway have increased of late, and that's heartening to know!

If you are interested in volunteering, "Find Out More Days" continue on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Sheffield Park Station.

Contact Volunteer Recruitment Leader Clive Soper in advance by e-mail or call (01825) 720-800 if you would like to go on the tour or receive a volunteering pack.

Steam Crane to Move from Kingscote to Horsted Keynes Up Yard

The move--at restricted speed--will take place between 20 Feb. and 1 March, on a midweek day when no other services are operating.

The next eNewsletter should have an update on the move date and other information for those who want to take a lineside photo. (If this window is not used, the move must wait until November.)

The spring edition of the Bluebell News magazine will print part two of the story about the crane and its team, from 1981 to 1992, plus photos and an announcement by the new restoration team.

The photo below, behind 9F, is by Tony Sullivan, taken during that period. Click here for a gallery of photos. 

Retro Images for Sale: Profits to the Northern Extension Project!

We previewed NEP volunteer Mike Hopps' designs in an earlier issue, and now there is a link to his full range of retro cards, posters, and fridge magnets, most of which can be found at the Bluebell Railway shop.

Check out "Atmospheric Railway," for instance, which is very topical given the recent weather! Very nice--thank you, Mike!

More Memories of Newhaven in the Days of Steam

In eNewsletter #3 we published a photo of a Brighton Atlantic passing Newhaven Town, taken from the John J Smith Photo collection .

Here are links to some more memories of Newhaven in the days of steam:

1) Ex-LB&SCR Loco Shed at Newhaven and adjacent Marine Workshops ...

Photo 1  

Photo 2


The buildings shown are still in existence, but the area around them has been subject to considerable retail and housing development on what was previously industrial land. (Photos by Ben Brooksbank.)


2) The Our Newhaven website is full of interesting pages, photos, and plans devoted to steam days.


Taken from the website, this shed scene looking out has the West Quay line heading for the swing bridge just beyond where the Terrier tank stands. Look at the shine on Schools class "Brighton!"


3) Lastly, here's yet another fantastic video from Southern Railway Films that shows off Newhaven steam, the loco shed, West Quay, the swing bridge, etc.


By Neil Cameron  


Your Bluebell News Here!

The editors thank all our contributors!
To all Bluebell Railway-based station and project groups, do tell us what you are doing and planning, and send us a videos, photographs, and slideshows for possible inclusion in the eNewsletter.

The next issue will be published around 19 Feb. Send material to Neil Cameron .

Keep your eNewsletter pieces brief! Longer articles and special photographs should be sent to the Bluebell News magazine. E-mail editor Colin Tyson about the magazine.

We are very grateful to all our readers for supporting the eNewsletter. Please forward it to family, friends, and colleagues. See you trackside!

John Walls
Trustee, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society