News from the Bluebell Railway 20 July 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
Glorious Food!
The Railway Supports the Hampton Transport Gala
Gauging Your Thoughts
Bring In the Tank
The Magnificent Seven Ride at the Railway
It Could Be You!
Events in July & August 2014
Brake Power
Calling All Friends of Horsted Keynes
What a Day
Chris Green Book Signing Set
Enjoy These Beautiful Photos
Upcoming Photographer's PTS Courses
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  



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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  


Bluebell Railway in June 2014, by Harry Fenchurch.
Bluebell Railway in June 2014, by Harry Fenchurch.

Locomotive Roster  


Public Train Information


  Line Map & Gradient Profile 


Local Accomodation List  


  Local Attractions  



Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers
Track Safety



Bluebell Railway Day One (10 June, 2014) by
Bluebell Railway Day One (10 June, 2014) by "SteamiewithGlasses."
2014 06 08 0067
The Railway on 8 June, 2014, by Alan Chown.  

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


Keep Up the Pressure Appeal


Bluebell Railway Trust  




A nice example of preservation: the Rockhampton, Queensland steam tram filmed in 2012.
A nice example of preservation: the Rockhampton, Queensland steam tram filmed in 2012.


A ride on the Bluebell Railway,
A ride on the Bluebell Railway, "MaxThrustRC."
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

Transfer of the oldest preserved steam locomotive in Continental Europe, from Brussels North to Schaarbeek.
Transfer of the oldest preserved steam locomotive in Continental Europe, from Brussels North to Schaarbeek.
Station Facilities

Views of classic coaches and car sets by John J. Smith, from the Bluebell Railway archive, chosen
by Tony Hillman.
Archive photos can be
browsed and purchased here .

Glorious Food!     

Enjoy these photos by Derek Hayward from the ever-popular Sussex Food Festival, held at the Railway 5 and 6 July, 2014, in (mostly) sunny weather!

The Railway Supports the Hampton Transport Gala

The Hampton Transport Gala: 150 years of the Shepperton Branch is a major one-day event taking place in southwest London on 7 Sept., 2014.
The Railway is happy to support this gala. Adams Radial No. 488 and LSWR Coach No. 1520 will be the main features, as will a display of London buses, some of which will be on operational duty around the area.
Anyone who would like to help look after numbers 488 and 1520 and support the event--including looking after a couple of my own buses!--will be warmly welcomed. The Railway also will have a sales stand and a photographic display there.
Details of the event can be found here . If you can help, please let me know at info@bluebellrailwa y . Thank you in advance. This promises to be a special day.

By Roy Watts, Chairman, BRPS  
Gauging Your Thoughts      

The response to the Railway's online customer survey has been overwhelming. As of 20 July, more than 1,300 have taken part. Thank you. We welcome your thoughts, and the results will help the Railway plan for its future.

If you have visited the Railway in the past year, either to take a train or just visit a station, please take a moment to fill out the survey. It should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. All entries received by midnight on 8 Aug., 2014 will be entered into a draw--the winner will receive a voucher for two Afternoon Tea Lounge Car tickets.

The survey can be found here .

The Bluebell Railway is the focus of this UK Heritage Hub & Model Railway Blog entry.
Bring In the Tank  
Bradley Matthew Rowe's photo is of GW tank No. 5643, running well on the first weekend in July 2014.
The Magnificent Seven Ride at the Railway

Spare a thought if you will for the roster clerks at our Railway, of which there are many who spend an indeterminate amount of time each month trying to fill what seems at times to be an increasing number of turns with a decreasing number of volunteers, especially as summer arrives.

Whether speaking of the loco crew, signalmen, booking office clerks, station staff, RMB stewards, guards, or many other operatives too numerous to mention, these tasks can be daunting, and they are tasks for which they deserve--but rarely get--high praise.

I wish to single out Graham Aitken, our Guards Roster Clerk, whose life has just been made a little easier by the arrival of the Magnificent Seven! By this I mean Roger Davenport, Mike Denwood, Alan Eatwell, Ron Reed, Charlie Scullen, Peter Underwood, and myself, who having started guard training in September last year have all now been assessed as competent to carry out passenger guard duties.

Guards Training Course Number Six gathered probably one of the largest groups of guards trainees that Inspector Mark Eardley has had to handle at one time, but his excellent training skills saw us through the winter training schedule and successfully into service, readily in time for the summer schedules.

It was a fitting tribute to Bob John, who retired as Chief Guards Inspector earlier this year, making the role of guard an aspiration for so many of us. New Chief Guards Inspector Mike Ellis is already keen to arrange the next Guards Training Course, so ... have you ever thought about being a guard?  Please read on, as the next item might be of interest.

By Roger Garman, BRPS Trustee, Communications

It Could Be You!

If you want to play a part in the Bluebell Railway operating trains on almost 300 days a year (based on 2014 figures) by becoming a Guard, read on ...
  • Do you like blowing whistles and waving flags?
  • Do you like having your photo taken by lots of our visitors?
  • Would you like to ride behind a steam engine all day between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead without paying a penny?
  • Would you like to meet fellow volunteers at all of our stations and signal boxes?
  • Would you like to exchange "banter" with footplate crews?
  • Would you like to learn about all the things a train guard needs to know and do?
  • And most importantly, would you like to stop the Roster Clerk from having panic attacks when he has difficulty in finding a guard to cover a train?
If you can answer YES to all of these questions, have six months operating experience of working at a station, and have achieved the grade of Leading Porter you are the person we are looking for.

The Guards Training Course is spaced over a nine-month period, and you will be taught everything you need to know to become a fully qualified guard and the person in charge of our trains. We will be starting our next course in January 2015 and are keen to fill all six places available.

To find out more, please contact Chief Guards Inspector Mike Ellis at .

By Graham Aitken, Guards Roster Clerk

Special Events in July & August 2014   

26-27 July: Toy & Rail Collectors Fair 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Horsted Keynes.

26 July - 10 Aug.: Summer Festival , including the visit of No. 60163 "Tornado" and a host of activities at each station, plus garden tours of Gravetye Manor; visits to Chailey Windmill; local town, village, and church tours; and much more.

27/07/2014 23:00:00 Tour of Closed Railway Stations --a special bus tour will depart from Sheffield Park and visit the sites of Newick and Chailey station; Barcombe station; and Barcombe Mills station.

28/07/2014 23:00:00 Kingscote Vineyard Tours --take the train from any station and bus link to Kingscote Vineyard for a tour and tasting of two wines and Champagne Cyder.

Recent progress on No. 73082 "Camelot" can be found on the project's Facebook page .   
Brake Power 
Derek Hayward's photo shows Mk. 1 Brake Second coach No. 35207, which has recently been commissioned into service on the Railway after overhaul at Cranmore.
Calling All Friends of Horsted Keynes

Currently, a number of volunteers help maintain and clean Horsted Keynes station.

The Railway hopes to build on this excellent work by expanding the team into a more formal group, much like the Friends of Sheffield Park and the Friends of Kingscote, which are both well-established.

Anyone interested in getting involved with a Friends of Horsted Keynes group are asked to attend a meeting at the station on 28 July, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Tim Baker and Chris White will be pleased to meet with you in the Platform 1 and 2 Waiting Room to discuss what needs to be done and how you can help.

See you there!

What a Day

Leigh Gibbins, Art and Craft Instructor at Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's, one of Brighton's most well-known landmarks), sent Neil Cameron a wonderful and inspiring photo of its members enjoying a day out at the Railway on 8 July. (The venerable organization will celebrate its centenary in 2015.)

"Our members had a memorable day and were given much help from all the staff and volunteers," she writes. "The whole week was such a success that I have been asked to do the same for next year. But hopefully we may get a trip to the Railway before then."

Neil notes that there was a Patriot Class loco called St. Dunstan's, and the organization holds a nameplate and photos in its records.  

Tim Simpson Photography captured the spirit of this wedding at the Railway. For details on planning a wedding at the Railway, click here .    
Chris Green Book Signing Set

On 27 July, 2014 the Railway will welcome Chris Green, former Managing Director of Network SouthEast, for a book signing at Sheffield Park.

Chris has recently published The Network SouthEast Story detailing the history of this very successful sector of British Railways. The new book, along with Chris's first title The Intercity Story , will be available to purchase in the shop at Sheffield Park.

By Neil Glaskin, Retail Director

Enjoy These Beautiful Photos of the Railway

John Sandys provided these views of the Railway from 10 July. "A surprisingly busy day at the Railway today, possibly caused by the Public Service Workers strike. No. 5643 took over duties from the scheduled No. 1638. Also a look at the Q-Class, "Camelot," and the 09 shunting at Sheffield Park [above]."

John's photos from 14 July: "Four locos were in action: numbers 263, 178, 5643, and 09. Filming was taking place for the film Mr. Holmes starring Sir Ian McKellan as Sherlock Holmes. Plus, further good progress on Kingscote North Signal Box, the Q-Class, and Camelot."

A productive week for John. Here are his pictures from 17 July. "The 09 was very busy shunting today, shifting all the stock into the right place in preparation for the start of the summer season at the end of next week. Plus, a good look at the Q-Class now the engine shed is a bit more empty."

Steve Lee's excellent photo below shows No. 5643, which has recently had a new piston ring fitted, steaming up the 1-in-55 approach to Imberhorne Cutting.

Upcoming Photographer's PTS Courses

The former Lineside Pass system has been replaced by the Bluebell Photographers' Personal Track Safety Certificate . The total cost for a training session and certificate (which acts as the new lineside photographic pass) is £30 per person.

The course runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the dates below at Sheffield Park. To book your place, call 01825 720800. For more information, e-mail .

Upcoming Dates
  • July 24
  • Aug. 30
  • Sept. 24
  • Oct. 18
  • Nov. 25

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