News from the Bluebell Railway 4 May 2014  
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
The Bluebell Bullet
Carriage No. 4754 Will Improve Fleet Quality
Track Trek 2014: Keeping Up the Pressure
Some "Eccentric" Progress
Southern at War Coming 10-11 May, 2014
Bob John's Job Well Done
Don't Forget the Special May Fair Offer!
Edwardian Weekend Set for Horsted Keynes
Howlden Trust Looking for Volunteers
Postlethwaite Posted
Celebrations for 150th Anniversary of Railway Line
Enjoy These Beautiful Photos
Want even more locos?! Don't forget to click on the hyperlinks in the blue or underlined text !

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Bluebell Railway Website


Sales & Information  


Timetable & Fares  



Google map  




Disabled Access  


Frequently Asked Questions  


Gift Vouchers  


Keep Up The Pressure Boiler Appeal focussing on No. 928
Keep Up The Pressure Boiler Appeal focussing on No. 928 "Stowe."

Bluebell Shop  


Bluebell Museum & Archive  


The S15 with the 1100 to East Grinstead on 22 April, 2014, by John Sandys.
The S15 with the 1100 to East Grinstead on 22 April, 2014, by John Sandys.

Locomotive Roster  


Public Train Information


  Line Map & Gradient Profile 


Local Accomodation List  


  Local Attractions  



Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers
Track Safety



New Coombe Bridge to Kingscote,
Building New Coombe Bridge to Kingscote, 1993-1994.
Bluebell Railway on Easter Saturday (19 April, 2014), by Ashley Smith.
Bluebell Railway on Easter Saturday (19 April, 2014), by Ashley Smith.

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


Keep Up the Pressure Appeal


Bluebell Railway Trust  




The Bluebell Railway's First Diesel Gala, 21 March 2014, by Keith Harcourt.
The Bluebell Railway's First Diesel Gala, 21 March 2014, by Keith Harcourt.


 Published on Apr 25, 2014  S15 Class Nr 847 between Kingscote and East Grinstead by John Harwood.
Video taken on 25 April, 2014 of the S15 No. 847 travelling between Kingscote and East Grinstead, by John Harwood.
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

Southern Railways S15-Class 847 departs Horsted Keynes, by Aron Stenning.
Southern Railways S15 No. 847 departs Horsted Keynes, by Aron Stenning.
Station Facilities

Southern Railways S15 No. 847 arriving into Sheffield Park, by Aron Stenning.
Southern Railways S15 No. 847 arriving into Sheffield Park, by Aron Stenning.
Views of the narrow gauge railways of the Isle of Man shot by
J.J. Smith in 1950s and 1960s, chosen by Tony Hillman. Archive photos can be browsed and purchased here .


Video by Simon Mulligan from 27 April, 2014.
Video by Simon Mulligan from 27 April, 2014.
The Bluebell Bullet 
David King's photo from 18 April, 2014 shows the L150 (steaming past the blooming bluebells) with the Victorian set, from which LCDR Brake No. 114 is currently missing, resulting in the temporary substitution of Maunsell Open Third No. 1309.


Carriage No. 4754 Will Improve Fleet Quality  

Amongst our fleet of BR Mk1 carriages, the Railway has just one TSO ("Tourist Second Open"--i.e., the maximum 64 seats arranged in open bays) carriage, which is No. 4957.  

This carriage is a later-built vehicle obtained from the Travelling College train, with laminate-coated walls and fluorescent lighting, and for some time we have been planning to refurbish it to improve its ambience.

However, the opportunity has arisen to purchase an earlier TSO in comparatively good condition, and it is expected to arrive within a few weeks. No. 4754 was built in 1957, with wood-panelled walls and incandescent lighting, so is more appropriate for the image we wish to portray.

No. 4754 needs some work before it can be put into service, and this work is planned after No. 21246 is completed. Once No. 4754 is in service, which is expected to be within two years, No. 4957 will be withdrawn from service and sold.

By Lewis Nodes, Director of Rolling Stock

Track Trek 2014: Keeping Up the Pressure  

If you are interested in participating in Track Trek 2014 on 28 June--to raise money for the Keep Up the Pressure Appeal--please visit .

There, you will find detailed information about the event, plus the Participation Form, a link to create your own JustGiving page , and more.

This is a chance for supporters not only to see the line from a different perspective--from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park--but also to raise money to help overhaul some of the Railway's locos by getting sponsorship from friends, family, and work colleagues.

Congratulations to Radio Redhill, whose fascinating, well-produced feature about the Bluebell Railway re-opening to East Grinstead won a bronze award in the speech package category at the recent National Hospital Radio Awards. To hear the entry, visit and click on "Listen Again."
Some "Eccentric" Progress 
The Brighton Atlantic project's Fred Bailey supplies this re-build progress photo showing the two rods, forming a "V," that make up the loco's eccentric rods. They are attached to the top and bottom of the expansion link. More April 2014 updates and photos can be found at this link .

Southern at War Coming 10-11 May, 2014 

The Railway's ever-popular Southern at War weekend will take place on 10 and 11 May, 2014. There will be many highlights, no doubt, but turn your eyes skywards again this year for a Spitfire fly past, as well as an aerial visit from a Harvard advanced trainer (aka, a North American T-6 Texan).

Southern at War also will feature:
  • Military vehicle displays.
  • Concert party shows.
  • Afternoon band concerts
  • The 23rd Sussex Home Guard.
  • Wartime food stalls.
  • Wartime Cinema.
... and much more!

Full details can be found here .

Football season is coming to an end, and things are as tense in the Railway's Premiership Competition as in the real thing. Currently, Peter Richards heads the league by four points over Gillian Walker.
Bob John's Job Well Done 

Long serving Chief Guards Inspector Bob John has retired after more than 40 years service to the Bluebell Railway's Operations Department.

The event was marked on 5 April, 2014 when friends and colleagues met up at Horsted Keynes station to give Bob a send off. The Railway laid on a train to take Bob and guests from Sheffield Park for a curry and some of Bob's favourite Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter in the Victorian Refreshment Rooms.

Bob was presented with an engraved tankard on behalf of his colleagues and a guard's gift set on behalf of the Railway. A few words of thanks were said by me and fellow guard and former Operations Director David Middleton.

The evening ended with Bob raffling off his infamous bowler hat. The recipient was, appropriately enough, Locomotive Inspector Steve Squire. Bob has been succeeded as Chief Inspector by Mike Ellis.

By Neil Glaskin, Guards & Shunters Inspector
Former Chief Guards Inspector Bob John (in bowler hat, of course) converses with Driver Clive Groome in this 2011 photo by John Sandys.

Don't Forget the Special May Fair Offer!

On 5 May, 2014 the Railway will run a special promotion for visitors to the Lions Club May Fair in East Grinstead.

Adults or children can buy a third class return for just £5 per person. Passengers must travel on the 0945 from Sheffield Park, calling at Horsted Keynes at 1002. Tickets are good for return service from East Grinstead at 1430, 1545, or 1700 only.

There will be up to 100 stalls lining East Grinstead high street, plus children's rides, live entertainment, a May Queen competition, and a model steam railway in Portland Road which carries passengers.

More details can be found here .

Click here for a V Class No. 928 "Stowe" boiler and chassis update.
Edwardian Weekend Set for Horsted Keynes   

The Railway's Edwardian Weekend takes place 17 and 18 May, 2014, with plenty of fun and games for all the family! The main event takes place at Horsted Keynes, so why not arrive at Sheffield Park or East Grinstead and hop on train, featuring Edwardian locomotives and carriages, including some used in the filming of Downton Abbey. Trains will be running throughout the day on the Service Two timetable.

There will be a summer fair at Horsted Keynes, with side stalls including a Hall of Mirrors, High Striker, and Swing Boats. Plus, enjoy an afternoon band concert and a special high afternoon tea at 3 p.m. Advance booking is essential for this treat, priced at £19 per person, which includes a selection of sandwiches, cakes, tartlets, and scones served on a traditional old fashioned cake stand in the Grand Marquee. The Bluebell Railway Pantry also will be serving refreshments from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More details can be found here . Or call into the Sales & Information Office at Sheffield Park or the Travel Centre at East Grinstead or telephone 01825 720800 to book your place at high tea.

Howlden Trust Looking for Volunteers 

The Howlden Trust--owner of the GNR Directors Saloon--is looking for some members to join its team of friendly staff for stewarding on board the Saloon on various bank holiday weekends and some special events.

No previous experience in stewarding necessary, so if you're looking for a worthy volunteer opportunity on the Railway, please consider joining the Saloon team!

Those interest should e-mail Tom Waghorn at .

Murder Mystery evenings are proving extremely popular this year. Dates in May and August are sold out. Click here to book for June or July.  
Postlethwaite Posted
Tony Hillman has posted some newly archived photos by Alan Postlethwaite to the Bluebell Railway Museum website. Prints of these and other photos are available for purchase. The new images--totaling 259 in all--can be viewed here. Above, a young man sits at Cooksbridge station in 1964.


Celebrations for 150th Anniversary of Railway Line 

(From the Littlehampton Gazette ) A railway line running through Barnham turns 150 this year--and a party is being held to celebrate the milestone birthday.

Celebrations will be held on June 1 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Barnham and Bognor Regis branch line.

Sussex Community Rail Partnership and train operating company Southern will be hosting the activities and are inviting those interested in rail history to celebrate the day.

On the day, entertainment will include performances by Rox Music and Arts, with live music on Barnham railway station's platforms.

There will also be a vintage bus tour from Barnham station to the restored signal box, which is now based at Aldingbourne ...

To read the full article, click here .

Enjoy These Beautiful Photos of the Railway

John Sandys' sets from 22/04/2014 and 24/04/2014 (his photo below shows the 08 shunting at Sheffield Park).

Dan Green's gallery from 18 April.

Easter Saturday photos by Steve Lee , Keith Duke (also above), and Ashley Smith .

Photos by Andrew Taylor, updated to April 2014.

A set showing the evening Golden Arrow Pullman on 26/04/2014 from Ian Wylie.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our ever-growing Railway. Don't forget to share this eNewsletter with friends, colleagues, and family, through social media and e-mail. See you trackside in the heart of beautiful Sussex!

John Walls
eNewsletter Editor-in-Chief, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society