News from the Bluebell Railway 18 March 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
A Call for First Aider Volunteers
RAF Donates to Railway
A Woolly Tale
Bo Peep Is Coming!
9F Will Soon Be Steaming
Coach 7598 Completes Overhaul
Support Our Fundraising Efforts
Bluebell Railway at the Movies
Enjoy These Slideshows
Ransome & Rapier 45-ton Lift Steam Crane
The Archivist Wants!

Bluebell Railway Website


Sales & Information  


Timetable & Fares


  2012 Timetable PDF  


Google map  




Disabled Access  


Frequently Asked Questions  


Gift Vouchers  



The Bluebell Railway by Nicholas Williams of Fun O Vision Films 
The Bluebell Railway by Nicholas Williams of Fun O Vision Films (

Bluebell Shop  


Bluebell Museum & Archive  

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

Locomotive Roster  

Train Formations  


Line Map & Gradient Profile


Local Accomodation List  


Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers
Track Safety

Bluebell Railway - 11 Coach Shunt
Steam shunt at Sheffield Park,
by Martin Lawrence

Special Events 2012  


Bluebell Railway. P class no.178. Photo Charter March 2012, by Dave Haggar.
P class no.178 photo charter, March 2012, by Dave Haggar

J ust Giving  


50th Anniversary Appeal  


Bluebell Railway Trust  




"In the Mood" played by the Bluebell Railway Band


Goods Train Day with P Class 178, 10 March 2012, by Dan Green
Goods Train Day with P Class 178, 10 March 2012, by Dan Green

Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

Vintage Trains Gala, Nov. 2011, by Sam Brown
Vintage Trains Gala, Nov. 2011,
by Sam Brown

An updated set of photographs from the Colin Hogg Collection in the Bluebell Railway Archive:
Prints can be ordered online.

A Call for First Aider Volunteers

The Bluebell Railway is reviewing first aider cover, and we are looking for people willing to commit to act as first aiders on a rostered basis at all of our sites, including East Grinstead in the imminent future.

All staff, both employees and volunteers, are invited to express interest in becoming a first-aider. If you are not already qualified, you will be given training and expected to maintain accreditation. Training will require a time commitment in addition to your rostered first aid cover at the Railway. You will be able to provide first aider cover and undertake other duties at the same time.

If you are interested about becoming a Railway first-aider, or have any questions, get in touch with me at or 01825 720802, Int 640.  


Please give me your name, contact details (phone and e-mail), details of any current first aid accreditation, any other role(s) you have on the Railway, and your availability to provide first aider cover. 

By Roland Law  


RAF Donates to Railway on Behalf of 104-Year-Old Bernard Holden, MBE

Says Roy Watts, "15 March was Bernard Holden, MBE's 104th birthday, a date which falls close to the final closure date of the line in 1958, 17 March--the two dates are intrinsically linked!"
The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society president's association with the line is literally close, says Watts. He was born in Barcombe Station, where his father was station master. "He was a captain in the Far East during the Second World War, and he is a very proud member of the Burma Star Association. And he also prides himself that he has never been officially demobbed!"
At a recent party, Holden was accompanied by Dame Vera Lynn and members of his family. The RAF donated £250 to the Bluebell Railway in his honour. "Bernard says he always appreciated the help and support he got from the RAF; they made his life much easier because they blew up the enemy and hindered their progress, so to receive £250 from air force bought a wry smile," says Watts.

Watts reports that Holden had some pointed questions about "that cutting" and when the first trains can be expected through it, and that the centenarian is still following the advice the Queen gave him when he received his MBE: "Keep up the good work!"   


In the photo below--by Tony Sullivan--Holden is seen with BRPS Chairman Roy Watts on a visit to the Railway on 25 Sept., 2011. After lunching at Sheffield Park, Holden took the 2 p.m. train to Kingscote in the "Peoples Millions" coach, SECR No.3360. 




A Woolly Tale: Sheep Hoofs It Onto Tracks

Like something out of the children's show Shaun the Sheep , a scampish member of a local herd wove his way onto the tracks recently, headed for Sheffield Park station, and wandered into the museum signal box, from where confused bleating could be heard.  


The farmer--seen in the photo below--collected the errant ungulate and drove him home, no doubt grumpy that he'd had the wool pulled over his eyes by one of his flock.    




Bo Peep Is Coming!  

Perhaps the sheep was on to something! Join us on the Sunday or Monday of Easter Weekend when Little Bo Peep will be travelling on the 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. service from Sheffield Park, travelling with you through the beautiful Sussex countryside in spring! 

Bo Peep will be travelling on board two special carriages where she will meet all children on board and present them with an Easter gift and biscuit. Adults won't be left out; they will all receive a hot cross bun from Bo Peep's helpers. An entertainer also will be on board for the children. 

All seats must be booked in advance by calling 01825 720800. Generous discounts are available if booked before 31 March.


9F Will Soon Be Steaming   

Lewis Nodes has informed us of the seasonal hire of 9F loco 92212. Its first steaming will be 6 April, and it is expected to be steaming with the Railway till 5 August, before returning by road to its home, the Mid Hants Railway. 


The photo below (by "Andywebby") shows 92212 in Ropley Yard at Mid Hants. No. 92212 was one of the last 9Fs to be built, at Swindon in September 1959. Restoration was completed in 1996, and following a major overhaul, it was purchased by Jeremy Hosking and returned to service in September 2009.


More News from the Loco Works:

  • H Class loco 263's boiler is back in its frames and being re-fitted for a steam test. Click here for photos by Lewis Nodes.
  • Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group: Click here for a project update from Fred Bailey and an update on project finances from David Jones.
  • Follow the Loco Works Q class loco 541 Working Group on Twitter:!/@lwwgbluebell .   



Coach 7598 Completes Overhaul, Exits Paint Shop

After a two-year-long intermediate overhaul, LBSCR bogie First No.7598 has left the paint shop in the Carriage and Wagon Works after a full re-paint. This follows the replacement of all 12 doors with new ones made in the Horsted Keynes workshops. The original interior trim and fittings have been fitted to them.

The coach was rescued from a bungalow 24 years ago and restored to service in 1999. It now awaits completion of the revised steam heating arrangements because the previously installed heaters are not large enough for the spacious first-class compartments. Once back in service, it will join the SECR Birdcage Brake and 100-seater, which are painted in the same 1920s/1930s Southern Railway olive green livery. 


In the photo below--by Martin Lawrence--7598 is being viewed by volunteers during the 4 March Find Out More Day .  




Help the Railway by Supporting Our Fundraising Efforts! 

Visit and support these individual  enterprises, all fundraisers for the Northern Extension Project: 

Thank you!

Bluebell Railway at the Movies   

After our tribute to Ken Russell, Nick Stanbury wrote to add Tommy to the list of films Ken Russell made at the Railway, including night scenes filmed at Horsted Keynes station with Robert Powell and Ann-Margret back in 1975, when Stanbury was the train's guard. 

And don't forget these recent projects that have filmed at the Railway: 

For information about the Bluebell Railway Film & TV Location Services, click here .  


Enjoy These Slideshows
of Recent Photos

Ben Gray's visit to the Bluebell Railway, March 10

Derek Hayward's recent photos of Sheffield Park Carriage Shed and Loco Boiler Washout Pit:

More on the History of the Ransome & Rapier 45-ton Lift Steam Crane

In the photo below--by local historian  John Davies-the crane is seen at Waterfoot, in Rossendale, undertaking bridge maintenance in 1958. Thanks to Peter Fisher for uploading the collection, and to Roger Cooke of the Breakdown Crane Association for the find. 

The history of the crane number, taken from web page for the crane project : "Our crane was delivered in 1943 and allocated to Gorton. It carried various LNER numbers--951516 (with match wagon numbered 951676); 122; then (DE)330122--the LNER kept renumbering cranes in a rather confusing way). It was transferred to BR(E) stock in 1948 and was renumbered RS1083/45.

It is intended that the crane's story to date will be illustrated on the web page and progress on the new restoration project will be updated. 

By Neil Cameron




The Archivist Wants !

If you have any of the following Bluebell Railway items, please contact the archivist at :
  • Any Special Traffic Notices before 2000
  • Any departmental name and address lists (these are useful to identify when persons worked at the railway)
  • Stepney Newsletter Autumn 2007
  • Points and Crossings for November 2010 and March 2011
  • An original Bluebell Railway cap badge (as worn in the 1960s)
  • 1968 Bluebell Railway poster 
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