News from the Bluebell Railway 10 June 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
Northern Extension Project: Better Weather Means Progress
Kingscote's North End Point In Service
Southern at War Photo Competition Winners Announced
Wealden MP Discusses Rising Volunteer Expenditure
Loco & Carriage & Wagon News
Enjoy These Recent Photos
Archive Photo Quiz Answers Are In!
Help Requested for Mystery Painting
Some Railway Reminiscence from Newhaven
Mark Your Calendars for These June Events!
Save the Date: Pooh Bridge Excursion, 1 July
Photographers' Track Safety Training Sessions Scheduled

Bluebell Railway Website


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  2012 Timetable PDF  


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

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Bluebell Museum & Archive  

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

Locomotive Roster  


Trains & Events  


Train Formations  


Line Map & Gradient Profile  


Local Accomodation List  


Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers Track Safety  

A day out at the Railway on 26 May, 2012 by Gary and Philip Bull.
A day out at the Railway on 26 May, 2012 by Gary and Philip Bull.

Special Events 2012  


Loco 75027 on service train stands outside Horsted Keynes; B4 loco shunts the down yard.

Just Giving  


50th Anniversary Appeal  


Bluebell Railway Trust  




Northern Extension Project work on 31 May, 2012, making up the gradient south of Imberhorne Lane Bridge.
Northern Extension Project work on 31 May, 2012, making up the gradient south of Imberhorne Lane Bridge. By John Sandys.


Northern Extension Project work on 31 May, 2012: transporting the inert spoil from the stockpile.
Northern Extension Project work on 31 May, 2012: transporting the inert spoil from the stockpile. By John Sandys.

Carriage & Wagon Updates & Societies

Brighton to Bognor Regis Electrification Part 2 0f 3. This part shows around the Brighton, Littlehampton, and Bognor Regis areas.
Brighton loco shed, signal box, and carriage washer in the days of steam.

A set of Schools Class photographs from the Colin Hogg Collection
in the Bluebell Railway Archive:

Prints can be ordered online.
dyke railway.VOB
Remarkable footage of the Devil's Dyke railway, from 1930. Brighton From Motive Power Depots website, courtesy of Paul Edwards.

Northern Extension Project: Better Weather Means Progress

It's pleasing to report the good progress made at Kingscote North, with the engine run round facility returning to operational use as planned on 1 June. Great credit goes to the large volunteer workforce that supported Matt Crawford in all weather to get the job done on time.

The new throat, joining the platform roads to the East Grinstead single line section, has been constructed on new earthworks. It has been designed as an equal "Y" layout using new switches and crossings (S&C), rated in excess of our 25 mph limit in order to provide a smooth transition as well as track longevity, anticipating what hopefully will become a very busy part of the railway.

There is still some remaining work required in order to complete the track by the end of June. By this time the bed northwards to Imberhorne Lane bridge should be ready for track to be reinstated, and the team will be progressively moving northwards in relay. The railhead should be just south of the bridge sometime in July.

Meanwhile, the Signal and Telecommunications (S&T) team are now well advanced, having planted equipment cases and point operating machines and having undertaken preparatory work in the relay room and signal box at Kingscote.

Next will be a big session of cable pulling to provide all the necessary links to control the signalling and operational telecommunications systems required to control the north end of the station, with completion scheduled for the end of 2012. This timing is essential so crew training and familiarisation can commence under actual operating and fully signalled conditions.

Turning to the cutting itself, we now have the final design firmed up following several rather complicated site surveys and optioneering. If money was no object, the solution would be easy, but as always we are seeking the best possible safe design at minimum cost. Throughout June and July (weather and funds permitting) the final cutting shape will emerge as materials are repositioned on site.

By Chris White, Infrastructure Director   


NEP Update 6-12
The new elevation to the track bed at Imberhorne road bridge. By Steve Fairweather.

















Kingscote's North End Point In Service

(From the Bluebell Railway website) At 6.30 p.m. on 1 June, 2012 the last screw was installed on the new point north of Kingscote and the run-round loop was returned for operational use. 

In fact the U-class locomotive was "borrowed" from the evening's Rail Ale train to test the new track.  


There's still work to be done (ballasting and tamping the line; work on the sidings and the S&T can now connect the point motors). However, it is a great credit to the Infrastructure Team that it worked in extremes of weather to complete the main line track on time (just!)

It may appear to be a simple job of renewing the track and three points, but there's also been so much other work that is hidden, particularly the installation of ducting and associated manholes, plus the improvement works to the formation ...

  • Follow the latest NEP news here .  
  • The photo below is by Steve Fairweather.  

Kingscote Point  












Thanks are due to the Loco Department, as it has provided and crewed an additional loco on each day of operation since the work began, a considerable commitment met.-The Editors  


Southern at War Photo Competition Winners Announced

Our Southern at War photo competition entries were all of exceptionally high quality. I certainly did not envy the judges having to choose between them!

In the category of "best photo that looks as if it could have been taken during WWII," it was a very close-run decision between a superb action shot of a military policeman questioning a soldier by Martin Laurence and an absorbing study of an RAF sergeant reading a notice by Paul Pettitt. On balance, it was the higher level of detail in Paul's photo that clinched it for him.

A stunning photo by Tony Groves clearly won the best category for "People and Steam" (in my view, this could also have run close in the other category). This photo was from an earlier year but deemed eligible under the rules.

The two winners, shown below, will each receive a family ticket to the railway. To view these and all the other entrees in higher definition, click here .

Many thanks indeed to Jon Bowers and Steve Fairweather for taking great care to judge the entries, and we will certainly look to run another photo competition this year.

By John Walls


Could've Been Taken in WWII Photo
Winner: "Could have been taken in WWII," by Paul Pettitt

























People and Steam Photo
Winner: "People and steam," by Tony Groves

Wealden MP Discusses Rising Volunteer Expenditure

Charles Hendry, the MP for Wealden, visited the Bluebell Railway on 18 May to meet volunteers working at Kingscote Station.  


His visit was arranged primarily to air concerns about the increasing cost of fuel, which is making it difficult for some volunteers to get to the Railway on a regular basis, but he was also able to see the Railway working on a typical day during the operating season.

The Railway relies on a large volunteer work force to run the trains, including drivers, firemen, guards, signalmen, and general station staff. Many more volunteers assist paid employees behind-the-scenes in the Loco, Carriage and Wagon, Signal and Telegraph, and Permanent Way departments and in the museum and bookshop.

Hendry met Infrastructure Department members who are very busy at the north end of Kingscote Station renewing track in readiness for the final push to East Grinstead, having met the March deadline for clearing the landfill at Imberhorne Cutting.

Hendry hinted at a particular affection for the railway as he grew up in Kingscote, and he agreed to raise the matter of increasing volunteer personal expenditure and its affect on maintaining this popular Sussex attraction that demonstrates so well the concept of the "Big Society."

By Michael Hopps, Infrastructure Department 


Colin Hendry Visit 5.12
Charles Hendry (centre) is seen with members of the Infrastructure Team, looking at plans for the new point work at Kingscote station. Photo by Pat Plane. Re-published from .


Loco & Carriage & Wagon News

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Phil Stoneman, a popular member of the loco department and Loco Works Working Group. The Bluebell Railway extends condolences to his family. An obituary will appear in Bluebell News



  • Camelot Locomotive Society updates and the Overhaul Report for June 2012 can be read here (look under "Overhaul Progress" for the report).   
  • Video of Camelot in action in 1998, seen leaving Sharpthorne tunnel.

SECR 2 Plank  

  • The photo below of SECR 2 Plank is by Dave Chappell. The wagon will soon be seen in the historic goods train.
  • For news of the SECR 2-Plank Ballast Wagon No.567, click here .

Follow the Loco Works Gang on Twitter .

  SECR Wagon












Enjoy These Recent Photo Finds

Here's a lovely slideshow of Friends of Sheffield Park activity by Derek Hayward.

Derek Hayward's photographs of the Above Workshop Facilities at Sheffield Park updated to 31 May, 2012.

An extensive slideshow of the Railway seen over the years by Jon Horrocks.  

Adams Radial, suitably festooned for Jubilee Weekend (photo by John Sandys).   


Lots of historic photos and videos at the Brighton Motive Power Depots website. Courtesy of Paul Edwards. 


Photos by Martin Lawrence of Bluebell Railway in the early 1990s .

9F 92212 on shed , Skipton, February 1967, by David Ford   


Archive Photo Quiz Answers Are In!


Here are the results of the quiz photographs from the last eNewsletter:  

  1. This one caused the most problems this time. Its is believed to be Crowborough and Jarvis, unless someone knows otherwise!
  2. Bexhill West Branch. Farm occupation bridge a half mile south of Crowhurst Junction.
  3. Falmer.
  4. Southerham Junction looking towards Eastbourne. Gate to Eastwoods Cement Works. 
  5. Hamsey Crossing (thanks to Mike Morant who provided the "proof" from his own collection.) 
  6. Uckfield.

Let's see if you can help with this new set:  

(The clue for #6 is that it's in South Wales!) Suggestions gratefully received at


By Tony Hillman 


Help Requested for "Mystery Painting "


Found on the Brighton loco drivers website, below is an illustration of the tidal wharf at Shoreham-by-Sea docks, called Kingston Wharf (a higher resolution version can be found here ).

The painting illustrates the 31556 ex SECR P class tank, withdrawn Brighton 1961, on shunting duty. This loco is now in preservation at the Kent & East Sussex Railway.  


Some of our readers might recall a humpback bridge on the lower Shoreham Road, now gone, where these little locos snuck under the road to get their wagons, or the little fan of sidings by Dolphin Road and the goods shed, also now gone.

But does anyone know if prints of this picture are available, or who the artist was? If you do, e-mail me at .

By Neil Cameron  


Shoreham Harbour Painting  


Some Railway Reminiscence from Newhaven

These memories of old Newhaven (courtesy of the Our Newhaven website) includes some lovely photos of the Age of Steam when it was coming to an end: 

   Newhaven Terrier  


Got updates for the Bluebell Railway eNewsletter? Send your (brief) stories and photos to Neil Cameron at .

Mark Your Calendars for These June Events!


We publicised a number of the Railway's summer events in the last newsletter, and these attracted a number of click-throughs, so here are dates for the remainder of June again. Call the ticket office at 01825 720800 for availability:

15, 22, & 29 June: Fish & Chip Evening Supper Specials.

17 June: Father's Day . Full Cooked Breakfast on board a special morning Wealden Rambler train.

23 & 24 June: Sussex Food Festival at Horsted Keynes . A celebration of locally produced food and drink, supported by Ashdown Park, FoodLovers, Haywards Heath Co-operative, and Plumpton College.

30 June: Victorian Picnic . A special evening train with your own exclusive compartment, food and drink, and a traditional music hall show. Book now! 


Save the Date: Pooh Bridge Excursion, 1 July

Enjoy a leisurely day out from East Grinstead for a vintage train and coach cruise through the Sussex countryside and Ashdown Forest and a visit to Pooh Bridge. 

Ashdown Forest is a famous literary location--it has featured in the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes and it's the Hundred Acre Wood of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems.  


It's also an outstanding area of natural beauty; it's the site of Harold Macmillan's country home (which US President John F. Kennedy visited in a helicopter); and it's known for many other natural, archaeological, and historical features.  


No visit to the area is complete without visiting the Pooh Bridge, near Chuck Hatch, to play "poohsticks." 

On arrival at East Grinstead, you'll take a special vintage coach to Kingscote Station, where you will be welcomed onto one of the Railway's Lounge Cars to enjoy morning tea or coffee as you steam through the beautiful Sussex countryside, served by stewards in traditional uniforms.  

The train will depart at 11:05 a.m., and on arrival at Sheffield Park, you will join your vintage coach cruise. For full details, follow this link

The photo below of Pooh Bridge is copyright David Brooker.


Pooh Bridge  


Photographers' Track Safety Training Sessions Scheduled

In 2010, the annual Lineside Pass system was replaced by the new Bluebell Photographers' Personal Track Safety certificate.

The total cost for a Photographers' Personal Track Safety training session and certificate (which acts as a lineside photographic pass) is £30 per person.

Personal Track Safety training sessions for photographers will be held at Sheffield Park on:

  • 15/06/2012
  • 24/07/2012
  • 25 Aug.
  • 26 Sept.

The course runs from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  


UPDATE: To book a training session and for further details, contact the customer service team at Sheffield Park at or 01825 72900. 


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