News from the Bluebell Railway 28 April 2013

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
Raise the Roof!
One Month In, & All's Well!
EasySearch & EasyFundraising Income Tops £10,000
Friends of Sheffield Park Update
Flutter Matters
Fenchurch Fund Thinks Spring!
"Belle" vs. "Pioneer"
Southern Goes to War Once More
Southern at War Photo Competition
Can You Help?
Congratulations "Billy Line"
Welcome to Our New Shunter
Steam Dreams to Run London-to-Bluebell Railway Charter
Welcome No. 3205
Enjoy These Latest Photos!

Bluebell Railway Website


Sales & Information  


Timetable & Fares  


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  

The Bluebell Railway arrives at East Grinstead on 23 March, 2013.
The Bluebell Railway arrives at East Grinstead on 23 March, 2013.

Locomotive Roster  


Public Train Information


  Line Map & Gradient Profile 


Local Accomodation List  


  Local Attractions  



Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks


Lineside Photographers
Track Safety



"Scarlet Travels" has created this nice video showing off our new service to and from East Grinstead. It's quite something to consider that the very modern East Grinstead station seen in the opening shots now has steam trains servicing it!
Sussex Folk Orchestra at the Northern Extension Opening Weekend.
Sussex Folk Orchestra at the Northern Extension Opening Weekend.

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


50th Anniversary Appeal  


Bluebell Railway Trust  




East Grinstead Bus Running Day, 14 Apri,l 2013.
East Grinstead Bus Running Day, 14 April, 2013.


Non-Stop British Railways in the Swinging '60s, by
Non-Stop British Railways in the Swinging '60s, by "Lewisham Bill."
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

Order prints online from the Bluebell Railway Archive's
John J. Smith or Colin Hogg collections.

A selection LBSCR "Terrier"-related photos from the John J. Smith Collection:

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

  JJS Terrier
Station Facilities

Terrier A1 /A1X action on Bluebell, KESR, and IOW to brighten the
Terrier A1/A1X action on the Bluebell Railway, KESR, and IOW to brighten any "Brighton" enthusiast's day.

Raise the Roof! 

Canopy Sheeting
Peter Edwards' photo shows the work being done on the Sheffield Park station canopy where new zinc sheeting is being installed. Fundraising by the Friends of Sheffield Park is going well--we have managed more than £34,000, mostly raised this year, towards our target of £42,000--but we could do with some extra help !

One Month In, & All's Well!


We have had a very successful first month train running to East Grinstead. It is noticeable that Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes stations are both up in ticket sales and the "unknown" of East Grinstead is amazing, especially with the number of passengers arriving by the Southern train service.

A good example of how the Railway is helping the local community is the new half hourly train service being introduced for the summer by Southern on the London Victoria-to-East Grinstead line.
Chris White and myself attended the annual East Grinstead Town Council meeting on 23 April. The local residents seemed very pleased with the railway, and we in turn said how delighted we are to be part of East Grinstead.

Together we wish to develop the town's visitor numbers and hopefully come up with some initiatives to encourage Railway visitors to visit London Road and High Street and their shops and attractions.

Don't forget when purchasing your train ticket to East Grinstead, for just £1 extra we can sell you a Metrobus ticket giving unlimited travel into the town centre from East Grinstead station.
Special Offer: East Grinstead Lions Club May Day Fair, 6 May, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be around 100 stalls, children's rides, live entertainment, a model steam railway in Portland Road which carries passengers, and a May Queen competition.

Take the train and enjoy the Mayfair with the Bluebell Railway's special "Mayfair Ticket!" If you travel on the 9:45 a.m. train from Sheffield Park or the 10:02 a.m. train from Horsted Keynes--and do not return before the 2:30 p.m. service back from East Grinstead--you can travel for just £2 per person third class!

You may buy your tickets in advance from the Travel Centre at East Grinstead, or call 01825 720800. Tickets will also be available on the day from your local station.
New for 2013: The Monday Club

From 13 May--and on all service one days until the end of September--seniors from East Grinstead may join The Monday Club. Membership will entitle you to a special £15 outing each Monday, including Third Class train travel on the noon service from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park, plus a smashing two course meal in the Bessemer Arms before returning on the 3:30 p.m. service back to East Grinstead.
After your meal, why not visit the engine sheds or explore the superb museum on platform 2?! Or take a stroll by the River Ouse or through Sheffield Park Garden. The choice is yours!
Membership to the Monday Club is free of charge to residents of East Grinstead. All you have to do is pop into the Travel Centre and see Lesley-Ann or Caroline, who will be happy to enroll you on presentation of a utility bill with your East Grinstead address. Then get travelling every Monday and enjoy the delights of the Sussex countryside on board a vintage train!
By Tim Baker, Commercial Director


EasySearch & EasyFundraising Income Tops £10,000 


Since we joined up five years ago, £7,500 has been raised by people searching the web using EasySearch. This works by a contribution, usually a penny or two, being made to the Railway from sponsored results that are returned from a search using this link .
A further £2,750 has been raised using Easyfundraising, whereby if you shop online by signing up and going to favourite shop via this link , the trader gives the Railway a percentage of the purchase price.

(This is a confidential service. We don't know what is purchased or by whom, just how much comes to us. The only other information we have is that currently there are only 318 users signed up!)
We don't know how many people use EasySearch but between this and Easyfundraising, there is now an annual income of around £3,000.

With the number of readers of this newsletter, it could be 10 times that amount, so why not give the links a try and raise money for the Railway at no cost to yourself!

By Roger Kelly, Trustee, Fundraising


Friends of Sheffield Park Update 


The Friends of Sheffield Park stall during the Opening Weekend and Easter raised a profit of £1,097, which delighted all of the "FoSPers" who helped to staff the stall.
The next FOSP events are at the Annual General Meeting on 18 May and the Model Railway Weekend on 29 and 30 June.
Work is currently underway on installing the zinc roofing on the original part of the Platform 1 canopy, and the Friends are hoping to complete the installation of the second pillar and overhead woodwork of the extension next month.

FOSP is confident that the canopy extension will be completed in time for this year's Santa Specials.

Give to the FOSP Canopy Appeal via JustGiving here .


We thought you'd like to read this blog about "A Fun Day Out at the Bluebell Railway" by "Sew Recycled:" "During the Easter break we got to enjoy a cold day out at the Bluebell Railway. For years they have wanted to re-open the line between Kingscote and East Grinstead; with lots of fundraising and lots of enthusiastic steam train fans, they have finally achieved what seemed an impossible goal" ... MORE

Flutter Matters 


Congratulations to the first five winners of the Railway's Flutter to Fund the Future lottery!

To remind you of this new fundraising initiative, the Railway has teamed up with Unity Lottery, which runs lotteries every Saturday on behalf of charities and good causes. The top prize each week is £25,000, and other prizes range from £1,000 down to £5.

Everyone has a 1 in 63 chance of winning something. Fifty pence of every entry goes towards specific Railway projects. Participants must be older than 16, but otherwise entry is open to anyone.

Enter the lottery here , and look for more information in the upcoming edition of Bluebell News.


Fenchurch Fund Thinks Spring!


The Fenchurch Fund will attend the Burgess Hill Model Railway Club's annual exhibition on 11 May at Burgess Hill School for Girls. The fund will be selling model railway spares, tea cans, mugs, and T-shirts. Plus, there will be a model display of locos--mainly Fenchurch and 27, with some others--through the ages.

This appearance will be a chance to publicise the Fund as well as the Maunsell Society's Stowe Appeal, the Atlantic Fund, and the Bluebell Railway.
The Fund also will have a stand at the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society Annual General Meeting, which will display a selection of models and items for sale, including (hopefully) a new line in battery operated clocks!
As for progress on No. 27, the repairs to the Villa workshop have been completed, and it is now virtually weather proof! The next major task is the removal of the frames from the wheels, likely to happen when the crane arrives to reunite the boiler and frames of No. 847. There also has been some progress on the cleaning and painting of smaller parts of the loco inside the Villa.
We will be using the "Southern" painted tank side as a training place for a young member who wants to hone his skills in sign writing. He'll be mentored by Tony Funnel--maybe he will do the second tank in a different livery! Also, we are hoping to include the 9F club in some of the restoration work in the near future.
Fenchurch is currently in number one road inside the loco shed at Sheffield Park. The paint is a little worn at the moment, but there are plans to improve her appearance with relining and possibly re-varnishing. The paintwork giving mileages and memorial names inside the cab hopefully will be attended to.
We hope to use the loco as an ambassador for the Railway again this year at a couple of outside events.
By Clive D. Emsley, Chairman, The Fenchurch Fund


NEP Team Celebrates


26 April was a very special day for the members of the Northern Extension Project (NEP) team (nicknamed "The Playgroup") because they got to celebrate the finish of the project with a Golden Arrow Pullman trip hosted by Chris White, Infrastructure Director. 

Travelling on the train were a mixture of volunteers, Railway employees, and contractors, who had all taken a part in the project to bring the Railway back to East Grinstead. 

The day started with a champagne reception in the recently refurbished "Birch Grove" suite, where presentations were made to key players and where Chris White outlined what the next few projects would be--partly because the work needs doing but also because it is very important for the Railway to keep an experienced and socially cohesive Infrastructure Team together.
By Michael Hopps, NEP Team



East Grinstead Courier and Observer columnist Simon Kerr offers his thoughts about the opening of the northern extension. 

"Belle" vs. "Pioneer"   

Two more views--by Pat Plane--of the heroic and historic first trains from the opening day of the norther extension, the "Grinsteade Belle" (top) and the "Pioneer."

   The Grinsteade Belle

   The Pioneer


Southern Goes to War Once More    

The Railway has many different events taking place at each of our stations during Southern at War Weekend (11 and 12 May).

As a special treat, on each day there will be a Spitfire flypast at Horsted Keynes Station! This is due to the involvement of the Royal Airforce Association in the "Sir Archie" appeal during the Christmas Big Give--as a "return deal" the association will be collecting during Southern at War.

Other special events include: military vehicle displays, concert party shows, afternoon band concerts, a 23rd Sussex Home Guard display, wartime food stalls, Great Western Railway loco No. 3205 visiting from the South Devon Railway, jive dancing, wartime cinema, and much more!

A Southern at War programme is available for £2, with full listings of exhibits and timings of events, from the Sales and Information Office at Sheffield Park Station and the Travel Centre at East Grinstead.

Exhibitors who would like to display at this event should contact Louise Duncton at 01825 720800.


Southern at War Photo Competition    

Calling all photographers! The Southern at War Weekend (11 and 12 May) is one of the Railway's signature special events, and one of its most photogenic!

Therefore, the eNewsletter is running its second annual Southern at War photo competition in conjunction with the weekend.

This year's theme is: Best wartime "propaganda photo" (i.e., a photo that might be suitable for a WWII poster).

Rules & Regulations
  • Photos must be taken during this event.
  • Photos can be black and white or colour, and they will be judged on their merits.
  • Submit as a 300dpi jpeg file e-mail attachment sized at 15 cm by 10 cm (or 6 in by 4 in).
First prize: One family ticket. Second prize: choice of one Jon Bowers video.

The winner and runner up will be shown in the eNewsletter, with a gallery of the top 10 hosted online.

Plus, we would like to publish the best photo we can find of a Spitfire flying by during the weekend, so bring your long lenses!

Send entries by 19 May to John Walls . Please provide your e-mail address and phone number. 

Good luck!   


Here's a nice piece from This Is Surrey about the excellent cafe at Chailey Crossroads, on the A272/A275 intersection, just two miles south of Sheffield Park station. When the Railway's catering is unavailable, or when just passing through, this cafe is a pleasure to visit.  

Can You Help?       

We are putting out an appeal for film of "Stowe" and "Camelot" running during British Rail days.

The fundraising videos we have produced over the last couple of years for the Northern Extension Project have been very successful. So, working with the owners of the locos, the production team and I are hoping to do the same kind of video appeal for "Camelot" and "Stowe." 

We would like any film you would be willing to loan to create these videos, of the locos working during BR days, or even earlier.

If you think you have something that would be useful (preferably in DVD format), or know someone who does, please e-mail .

By Roger Kelly


Congratulations "Billy Line"      

It is the 50th Anniversary of the closure of the "Billy Line" on Hayling Island, very popular with holiday makers in its day. A commemorative website can be found here .

It is hoped that "Hayling Billy" can visit us on loan from the Isle of Wight steam railway in November.

The extensive Events Programme for the commemoration includes many music and drama performances of how the Hayling Island branch and its impressive estuary bridge came to be built. The Bluebell Railway wishes "Hayling Billy" and his supporters well.

The video below shows the line in its heyday. More videos here and here .

Railway Roundabout 1958 'The Hayling Island branch'
Railway Roundabout 1958: "The Hayling Island Branch"


Bluebell Railway Preservation Archivist Roger Price has been invited by the Horley Local History Society to talk about the history of the Railway.  

Welcome to Our New Shunter 


Orange 09018  

Diesel shunting loco No. 09018 has been delivered to Sheffield Park. This locomotive has been purchased by a consortium of members who are setting up a company to manage the loco.   


Loco No. 13236 will leave the Railway once No. 09018 has been commissioned into service.

By Lewis Nodes

Recalls Neil Cameron: "No. 09018 was often on duty at Dover Ferry Sidings during the 1980s, where wagons were exchanged with the former Dunkerque train ferry and "Night Ferry" sleepers.  


"Two 09 locos would work side-by-side to unload and reload the ship in the original 1936-built dock, and one of these locos would take 800 tons of customs-cleared wagons to Dover Town yard. It was always an impressive sound from Harbour Tunnel round the sharp curve and slight gradient at Archcliffe junction.  


"The locos were based at Chart Leacon (Ashford) and changeover loco moves would take place in the early hours, where the 27 mph designed top speed was particularly welcome."  


Some 09-related links:


Steam Dreams to Run London-to-Bluebell Railway Charter


For the first time since the 1960s, Steam Dreams --a steam charter company that is the brainchild of steam enthusiast Marcus Robertson (whose mother wrote the children's TV show The Wombles )--will run a special trip on 10 Sept . from London Victoria to the Bluebell Railway.

Passengers can enjoy an evening meal whilst travelling through the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where the grandeur and beauty of these hills offer an amazing variety of countryside from rolling chalk downs and flower rich grasslands to acid heaths and woodlands.  

For more information, click here



Welcome No. 3205


The Railway soon will have a new visitor, 2251 Class loco No. 3205 that will visit us from the South Devon Railway. The loco is coming mainly as a guest engine for the Southern at War Weekend.


Ben Brooksbank's photo below shows the loco on the Severn Valley Railway Opening Day, on 23 May, 1970.

No. 3205
Ex-GW '2251' 0-6-0 at Bridgnorth on the heritage Severn Valley Railway. View NE, towards the buffer-stops--formerly towards Shrewsbury. In May 1970, early in the career of the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), Collett-designed "2251" class 0-6-0 No. 3205 (built Oct. 1946, withdrawn May 1965, preserved and acquired by the SVR) is seen while working a train to Hampton Loade. It was sold to the West Somerset Railway in 1987, then to the South Devon Railway. (See also SO7192 : Bridgnorth with train to Hampton Loade on Opening Day of Severn Valley Railway, 1970.)


A family that has appeared on television talking about their quest to spend a year living purely on British products have visited East Grinstead and the Bluebell Railway

Enjoy These Photos! 


At Horsted Keynes the down outer home and up advanced signals are now all back on levers in the frame. To celebrate Roger Carpenter provides these photos showing the incredible wire run from the box all the way to signal 28.

John Sandys' photos from 23/04/2013 and 25/04/2013

Martin Lawrence's gallery from 23/04/2013 , including No. 33103 at West Hoathly with an engineer's train (below).

33103 Engineer's Train


Thank you as ever for your support of the Railway. Don't forget to share this eNewsletter with friends, colleagues, and family, through social media and e-mail. See you trackside, now from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead!

John Walls
Trustee, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society