News from the Bluebell Railway 8 July 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
Track Trek: Walk Those Extra Miles for the NEP!
Bluebell Railway Hosts a Film Star!
Progress Being Made with the Restoration of SECR No 27
1897 LCDR Coach Being Restored to Former Glory
Save the Dates of These July Events!
Burgess Hill "Evacuees" Learn About the War
A Jubilee Retrospective of Royal Trains
Enjoy These Recent Photos!
A Wash & Brush-up for the Steam Crane
270 Bus Service Being Withdrawn
LBSCR Drivers Information Requested
Archive Quiz: Looking for Help With These Stumpers!
Help the Railway by Supporting Our Fundraising Efforts!

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 Extension Appeal 2012 - Funding for the Finish
UPDATED! Bluebell Railway Extension Appeal 2012: Funding for the Finish

Locomotive Roster  


Trains & Events  


Train Formations  


Line Map & Gradient Profile  


Local Accomodation List  


Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers Track safety  

A blustery video of Imberhorne cutting work on the Northern Extension Project, taken by John Sandys on June 28.
A blustery video of Imberhorne cutting work on the Northern Extension Project, taken by John Sandys
on June 28.

Special Events 2012  


Bluebell Railway 1996
A look back at the Bluebell Railway in 1996 and the Q1 Class 5F, by Gordon Thomas.

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


50th Anniversary Appeal  


Bluebell Railway Trust  




A visit to the Railway in 1991, by Glen Beadon. Featuring Schools Class locos.
A visit to the Railway in 1991, by Glen Beadon. Featuring Schools Class locos.


The Bluebell Railway: Lost & Found
The Bluebell Railway "Lost & Found," featuring Fred Dineage.

Carriage & Wagon Updates & Societies

Bluebell Railway Band
Bluebell Railway Band "Pass in Review" medley, May 13, 2012 .

A set of Merchant Navy photographs from the Colin Hogg Collection
in the Bluebell Railway Archive:

Prints can be ordered online.
B473 works the Victorian Picnic Train departing Sheffield Park | 30/06/2012
B473 works the Victorian Picnic Train departing Sheffield Park on June 30, 2012.

Track Trek: Walk Those Extra Miles for the NEP!


We realise many of you have already given very generously to the Northern Extension Project (NEP), so we have designed our next major fundraising drive with the idea that you will be able to raise money from others for a change!

Track Trek is a sponsored walk over the length of the northern extension, from our station at East Grinstead to Kingscote and back, or vice versa. The event is being run with the support of East Grinstead Town Council, which has agreed to pay £1,000 to cover expenses.

The date is set for 30 Sept. Walkers will be expected to do the return walk of approximately four miles. Stout footwear will be required, dogs must be kept on a lead, and all children younger than 16 years old must be accompanied (the event is not considered suitable for children younger than seven).

Says Roger Kelly, Funding Director, "This is a chance not only for supporters to see the route through Imberhorne cutting and over the viaduct but also to raise money themselves by getting sponsorship from friends, family, and work colleagues. Every walker will receive a commemorative certificate, and those who raise £100 in sponsorship a medal [see below]. Amongst the walkers will be the mayor of East Grinstead, Councillor Liz Bennett and if you wish, you may sponsor her at ."

Please note that this may well be a one time only event; it is not likely to be repeated once the northern extension opens. Thus, numbers for the walk are expected to be high. To book your place, email us at and provide your name, address, size of party, starting station, and preferred time of start.

Walkers may start from our East Grinstead station between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. or from Kingscote Station between 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. We ask that walkers raise a minimum of £ 20 (individuals) or £ 30 (families).

Walkers from Kingscote will be expected to travel by train to Kingscote from Horsted Keynes (a complimentary ticket will be provided) or be dropped off at Kingscote, since this station does not have parking. East Grinstead station will be open for onlookers. For full details, check announcements on the Railway website-and be aware that this event is subject to the weather!


Track Track medal  



Bluebell Railway Hosts a Film Star!


The Furness Railway Trust's 1863 built 0-4-0 FR No.20 (below, photographed by Peter Edward) visited the Bluebell Railway in June to take part in filming a re-creation of the 1865 train crash at Staplehurst, Kent, where the majority of the unfortunate "Folkestone Boat Express" crashed through a bridge (where the rails had been removed) into a stream below.  


The re-creation is for a film about Charles Dickens called "The Invisible Woman," starring and directed by Ralph Fiennes.  


The loco and leading carriage (in which Dickens was travelling) crossed the rail-less section without crashing. The filming was performed on the stub of the Ardingly branch at Horsted Keynes with re-created vintage carriages put together for the filming being scattered down the embankment to depict the aftermath of the disaster.





Progress Being Made with the Restoration of SECR No 27

There has not been a huge amount to report in the last couple of months,
partly due to other commitments for the Villas Gang, but mainly due to the weather.  


This resulted in having to replace the roofing felt on the villas (the covered work area in loco yard), which took the ingenuity and perseverance of both Stuart and Matt. This is now complete and work is progressing.  


The front buffer beam, which was damaged in a shunting incident many years ago, has been removed. An assessment will be made as to the possibility of straightening it or replacing it during the restoration. This has allowed us to remove the slide valves from the valve chest easily. These are now tagged and in store pending any remedial works.


A start has been made on the cleaning, red oxide painting, and tagging of all of the brake rigging and other parts which have been removed for storage. These parts will be stored until the frames are repaired, and then re-bushing and refitting can take place.


The main hurdle at the present time is waiting for the frames to be lifted off the wheels. Once done, we can make a start on the main repairs to frames and rear drag box in earnest.


We have made a good start with our "firebox coppers" scheme. It's an easy and fairly painless way to donate. Simply fill a suitable container with your 1p and 2p coins and then e-mail me to arrange delivery or pick up.


We will be having a display at the Model Railway and Vintage Transport weekends this year (amongst other appearances) with all the usual goodies, plus some cutting mats for modellers etc, footplate brushes, and model railway items.


We also will be taking pre-orders for replica LBSCR First World War Service Badges and Enamel Tea Cans. You can reserve yours for a small deposit. If you are unable to get to the railway for either of these events and would like to order either item, e-mail me for further details. SECR updates are posted here .  


By Clive Emsley, Chairman, Fenchurch Fund    


No. 27  


From the Bluebell Railway blog : A public consultation on the redevelopment of the centre of Haywards Heath shows that 71% believe it's important to safeguard the possibility of our Railway linking to the town.

1897 LCDR Coach Being Restored to Former Glory

Over the last year volunteers in the Carriage & Wagon department have been making great progress with the overhaul of an 1897-built LCDR coach, which is being restored to SECR condition as No. 3188.

About 3,000 hours work so far have been contributed to the project. The coach was rescued in 2005 from Devon, where it had been since 1936 as a grounded body.

Built as a five-compartment, third-class coach, it was subsequently altered into a guard's brake coach, and as part of the restoration, it is being returned to its original configuration.

Recent progress has seen the rebuilding of one side of the brake van back to original condition, and the replacement of rotten timber at one end, so we are about half way through the structural work, as seen in David Chappell's photo below of the reconstructed former brake end.

Three spare LCDR doors have been found, which, after a full overhaul, will be suitable for the coach, so the now-surplus ex-guard's doors are being stored for the eventual overhaul of LCDR Brake coach No.48.

The timber for the three missing partitions has been machined up and is also being painted, and we're progressing well with replacing the floors. A lot of work has been put into the interior, with the ceiling, sides, and surviving partition having been stripped to bare wood and much of it having had at least four coats of paint already.

By Richard Salmon


LCDR Coach  


Save the Dates of These July Events!

Although summer hasn't been quite what we'd hoped--weather-wise--at least there's plenty to do inside and out at the Bluebell Railway. Here's what's planned for the remainder of July:

13 July: Murder Mystery Evening On the Golden Arrow Pullman.


15 July: Evening Songs of Praise With a special train at 5.45 p.m. from Horsted Keynes. 

20 July: Fish & Chip Evening Supper Special .


21 & 22 July: Toy and Rail Collectors Fair Railway artefacts, model railway equipment, and many other stalls at Horsted Keynes, both on the station platforms and in a marquee. 

27 July: Fish & Chip Evening Supper Special .


28 & 29 July: H Class loco 263 returns to service With vintage carriages.  


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

Burgess Hill "Evacuees" Learn About the War

(Courtesy of Burgess Hill School for Girls ) Year 6 at Burgess Hill School for Girls had a World War II Day on 27 June, when they set out as evacuees to the Bluebell Railway.

With their new WWII names, ration books, and identity cards in tow, the girls started their wartime adventure. Staff, parent helpers, Bluebell Railway staff, and the Burgess Hill Drama Club got into character, enabling the girls to experience a day as a WWII child preparing for evacuation.

After a tour of the station, the girls boarded the train to Kingscote, whilst singing wartime songs, sharing the contents of their suitcases and playing "I spy."

After a quick stop at Kingscote, it was time to depart for Horsted Keynes, just in time for a rather strict identity card inspection! The girls were well prepared for the air-raid siren and quickly followed instructions to get to the shelter.

Having heard the all-clear, it was time to have luncheon, followed by writing postcards home. The Billeting Officer then took charge, issuing the children to their new families (some more hospitable than others!)




A Jubilee Retrospective of Royal Trains

A Derby Day Royal Train ,  from Victoria to Tattenham Corner for the Epsom racecourse, hauled by Schools Class loco 30915 "Brighton," suitably cleaned and decorated. Note the headcode, burnished buffers, white hoses, tyres,  and cab roof. Courtesy of Southern Railway Films.

The same loco in close-up (also below) at Newhaven later the same day: appreciate the preparation! Courtesy of Our Newhaven .

A 1959 photo that shows the Royal Train in the platform at Tattenham Corner. Courtesy of Ben Brooksbank: "Royal Train arriving at Tattenham Corner station on Derby Day View southward, towards Purley and London; ex-SE&CR Purley-Tattenham Corner branch. The station is all prepared for HM the Queen to attend the primary horse-race of the year. Her Pullman train is hauled by a resplendent SR Maunsell class V 'Schools' 4-4-0 (with Lemaitre double-chimney) No. 30938 'St Olaves'' (built 7/35; withdrawn 7/61). Note the headcode and the Station Master guiding the driver to the exact stopping point."

Royal Train  


It's never to early to think about your New Year's plans! Early birds please note that bookings are now being taken for the 2012 New Year's Eve Golden Arrow spectacular. Details here .

Enjoy These Recent Photos!


Keith Duke's slideshow from 30 June.


A nice photo by Matthew Price on Flickr of loco 592 heading a vintage train past  Horsted House enroute to Kingscote, during the Sussex Food Festival 2012.  


A recent view in the cutting by John Sandys.  


Also from John Sandys, a slideshow from 3 and 5 July. 



A Wash & Brush-up for the Steam Crane, to Remove "Kingscote Camouflage"


Work on the steam crane will start as soon as materials can be purchased through official channels. It is anticipated the 9F Club will take part in the work, which is very welcome.


The Steam Crane Just Giving account seeks a further £500 in small donations to fund current work programme--can you help? Anything you can give comes with a great deal of thanks!  

By Neil Cameron

Crane Wash  



270 Bus Service Being Withdrawn
The 270 bus service operated by Metrobus on Sundays will be withdrawn from September onward.  


Metrobus has confirmed the route is not sustainable financially. To compensate, there will be a re-drawing of other routes, but none will serve Haywards Heath.  


However, the 400 service from Caterham and Redhill will have connections for East Grinstead, and the 291 service from Tunbridge Wells will allow more time at East Grinstead to facilitate trips to the Railway.  



LBSCR Drivers Information Requested
Paul Edwards, the custodian of the Brighton Motive Power Depots website is seeking lists of LBSCR engine drivers allocated to individual locos.  


He has minute books relating to the drivers at Brighton and elsewhere going back into the Stroudley era, and he is seeking to reconcile and record names assigned to individual locos.  


If you think you can help, e-mail .



Archive Quiz: Looking for Help With These Stumpers! 


It looks as though my latest set of photos needing location information stumped a few. Here they are again in case you're looking for a challenge! 


Any help you can give makes our archive that much more complete. Suggestions gratefully received at


By Tony Hillman   



Help the Railway by Supporting Our Fundraising Efforts!


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

Thank you!  



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

Please note that the eNewsletter is going on a three-week summer hiatus. We expect to publish the next edition on July 29.

John Walls
Trustee, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society