News from the Bluebell Railway 2 April 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
DDD Raises £200,000 in Seven Days
Thank You for Your Overwhelming Support
Northern Extension Project Update
"Captain Baxter" Takes to the Road
9F Loco 92212 Arrives at Sheffield Park
Standard Class 2 Project Continues
Can You Help? Concerning the LBSCR Shield at Hove Station
Help the Railway by Supporting Individual Fundraising Efforts!
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

Just 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.

DDD Raises £200,000 in Seven Days 

It has been an incredible week. By Monday afternoon, after three days of the Double Donations Dash, you had raised about £15,000, which in itself was a fantastic response, and meant we thought we might make the £40,000 total.

However, we had not heard from the office about cheques received that day. This was because they were still counting them, and we ended up with around £16,000 in cheques on Monday alone, as you will have seen on the website.

We were all stunned, and immediately started searching for more sponsors.

The donations kept flooding in, especially by cheque, and we secured a further £20,000 in sponsor funding. Including this funding, gift aid, and donations to DDD via the main Just Giving page and other sources, the grand total raised was a shade more than £200,000.

This exceeded our wildest expectations, and it shows how great the desire is amongst our supporters to complete the extension to East Grinstead.

Among the items in this newsletter, Roy Watts and Roger Kelly say a special "thank you," and Chris White gives an update on the recent work at both Kingscote and Imberhorne, which has been substantial.

By John Walls, Trustee, Fundraising   

  • To listen to an interview with Roy Watts on BBC Radio Sussex, click here (go to 1hr 27 mins).
  • For an archived BBC news story on DDD, click here

Thank You for Your Overwhelming Support 

The outstanding success of the Double Donations Dash (DDD) has exceeded our most ambitious expectations. On behalf of the Society Trustees and the Board of Directors, we wish to thank all who contributed.

Donations ranged from £2 to £2,000, and all were equally welcome. We know that in these austere times many people have given all that they can afford. We also wish to thank the individuals who provided the matching funding that galvanised this huge amount of support for the Northern Extension Project.
Your collective generosity via the DDD and other donations has seen the Funding Gap for the NEP fall from £800,000 to £600,000 in little over a month. This is still a steep hill to climb but nothing like the mountain we faced just two years ago.

We will be doing all we can to raise the amount we need from various sources, but it is likely most will come from the public.  


Our "Fiver for the Finish" collectors will be riding the trains during the summer to obtain donations from our visitors.  


Lorna Webb is running the London Marathon for us and needs donations at 50p/mile (£13.20) to to achieve her target of £5,000 (see below for more details).
In the autumn, safety issues permitting, we hope to have a sponsored walk (aka the Track Trek) from Kingscote to East Grinstead and back. The East Grinstead Town Council has already agreed to provide £1,000 toward the cost of organising the event--the fifth consecutive year it has made a financial contribution to the NEP.

Through the council's action and donations to the DDD, we know the community is behind us. With your continued support there is no reason why we will--in 50 weeks--achieve the dream the Bluebell Railway has had for 50 years.

Thank you all!
By Roy Watts, BRPS Chairman  

& Roger Kelly, Funding Director


Northern Extension Project Update

Work commenced on schedule on 19 March to profile the cutting south of Imberhorne Lane bridge and this is continuing on-plan and on-programme.

Once this work is completed to our satisfaction, then drainage and cable routes will be installed and finally the track reinstated to its new approach gradient up to Imberhorne Lane bridge.
Meanwhile, work has commenced at Kingscote North on constructing the new track and points. This is a major project in itself and a quite complex job to get everything in its correct position and properly aligned to provide access to and from East Grinstead. This work will go on until at least the end of May.

As Project Director, I wish to echo the words of Roy Watts and Roger Kelly and thank all who donated over the last week. When deep in the cutting, it is heartening to know so many of you out there know of us and are behind us. Well done to you all!

By Chris White


Photos: (Top) The start of the point work at Kingscote. By Steve Fairweather. (Bottom) Imberhorne with the track removed, looking North. By John Walls.


Work Update 3.12  


Imberhorne, Looking North 3.12  


"Captain Baxter" Takes to the Road  

An ambassador for the Bluebell Railway, the ever-popular "little red loco from Lowca"--a four-wheel Fletcher Jennings engine of 1877--spent his working life at the Dorking Greystone lime works at Betchworth Station, as did the vertical-boilered Head Wrightson Coffee Pot No. 1 of 1871, now a Beamish, Living Museum of the North East loco. 


Enjoy a video of the Betchworth engines during a previous reunion!   

The Captain's spring campaign takes him to: 

This photo of Baxter is by "photoze."   


9F Loco 92212 Arrives at Sheffield Park

The photo below of 92212 arriving is by Michelle Andbarton.  


Fast, heavy freight loco 9F 92212--one of the last steam locos built for British Railways in 1959--is being prepared to work Bluebell Railway passenger trains from 6 April to 15 April inclusive. 

(For the schedule, see our link to the loco roster , also in the left-hand column. Check this link every newsletter for alterations if you are visiting specifically to see the 9F in action.) 

The loco is normally resident on the Mid Hants Railway. The hire period is approximately four months, after which other Bluebell Railway-based locos re-enter traffic after repair.

In this photo from Mid Hants Railway , we can see the loco in its element, as in this fine video , also from Mid Hants. 


Also of interested is this vintage photo . Original caption: "25 August 1964 View southward, towards Wigan etc. on the WCML, also Manchester etc. on the ex-L&Y. Seen from Platform 1, the train on the Down goods line is headed by a BR 9F 2-10-0 in splendid repainted condition, No. 92212 (built 9/59, withdrawn 1/68 but preserved and now on the Mid-Hants Railway)." (Copyright Ben Brooksbank.)


9F Arriving 3.12  


Standard Class 2 Project Continues

This is an on-going project to recreate an example of the last British branch-line locomotive, a type that never made it into preservation.

Please support this work , and you find newsletters and updates on the Bluebell Railway website. (The latest newsletter can be found here .)

In this Southern Railway Film , watch these locos in BR service, in this instance on the Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia train, or the "Kenny Belle" as it was known.

Top Photo: BR Standard 2-6-2T at Margate, 23 Aug., 1958 (Geograph). Photographer Ben Brooksbank. Original caption: "View westward, towards Faversham, Chatham and London: ex-SE&C London - Chatham - Ramsgate etc. main line. Beside Margate station in steam days there was a small Locomotive Servicing Point. Here BR Standard 2MT 2-6-2T No. 84025 (built 11/57, withdrawn 12/65) is accompanied by ex-SE&C Maunsell D1 class 4-4-0 No. 31247 (built by Wrainwright in 4/1903 as class D, rebuilt 4/21 as a D1, withdrawn 7/61). At bottom left there seems to be some third-rail track, ready for electric services to Ramsgate, although they did not commence beyond Gillingham until 15/6/59." 


Bottom photo: The frames have now been extended.


Class 2 Loco


Class 2 Frames  


Can You Help? Concerning the LBSCR Shield at Hove Station

The LBSCR shield adorned the original 1880 entrance canopy erected on the LBSCR side of London Victoria station.

When the station was enlarged in 1906, the canopy was removed and re-sited at Hove station. It is still there today, but when the station and canopy were restored, two of the original shields were found to be damaged. These were replaced by modern reproductions and the originals discarded.

The Bluebell Museum wants to know the date that Hove Station was refurbished by Network Rail. Can any reader tell us the date? If so, please reply to .

The shield we have on display is one of the discarded shields and the damage that caused it to be replaced is visible. There is cracking to the top left corner and a large hole on the right hand side.

  LBSCR Shield


Help the Railway by Supporting Individual Fundraising Efforts! 

Please support these individual fundraising efforts on behalf of the Northern Extension Project (NEP).

First, Lorna Webb is running the London Marathon on 22 April--that's 26 miles for the NEP! To learn more about her run, click here .

Can you help? Webb has only three weeks to raise the balance of her £5,000 target--31% is in, but nearly £3,500 still needs to be raised. Please donate here .  


Plus ... 

Thank you!

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