News from the Bluebell Railway 3 August 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
Praise Indeed
Loco News: Progress on Many Fronts
"Tornado" Arrives in a Whirl
Coaches Well Met
More Than Fair
The Dead Dog That Changed Colour Twice
A Trip Down Memory Line: The Ouse Valley Railway
A Trip Down Memory Line: Seaford Scenes
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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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 Bluebell Railway Band, aka the East Grinstead Concert Band play
The Bluebell Railway Band, aka the East Grinstead Concert Band play "Ain't Misbehavin'" at the the Edwardian Weekend, 17 May, 2014.

Locomotive Roster  


Public Train Information


  Line Map & Gradient Profile 


Local Accomodation List  


  Local Attractions  



Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers
Track Safety



Video of the Mets passing through Lingfield last night (from Tom Waghorn).
The Metropolitan coaches passing through Lingfield on 23 July, by Tom Waghorn.

Lewisham Bill: Trams around South London and the Kingsway Subway.
Lewisham Bill: Trams around South London and the Kingsway Subway.

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


Keep Up the Pressure Appeal


Bluebell Railway Trust  




Bluebell Railway - 23rd June 2014
The Railway on  23 July, 2014, by Martin Lawrence.


Arriving into East Grinstead on the Bluebell Railway
Arriving into East Grinstead on 20 July, by "hstben1."
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

Tornado at the Bluebell Railway, 29 July, 2014, by
Tornado at the Bluebell Railway, 29 July, 2014, by "JoeS231989."
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 .

The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, 1950's - Film 17073
The Railway's early days, from the Hunley Archives.
Praise Indeed    

More than 350 people attended the Railway's "Songs of Praise" event at Kingscote Station on 20 July, 2014. The guest preacher was The Rt. Revd. Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham. (L to R) BRPS Chairman Roy Watts MBE; Railway Chaplain Fr. John Twisleton; Bishop Mark; and Railway Assistant Chaplain Fr. Clive Everett-Allen, pictured at Kingscote.

Loco News: Progress on Many Fronts     

Since my last update for the eNewsletter, work has continued on a number of locomotives, both on and off site.

Starting with the onsite locomotives, the chassis for Q Class No. 541 is now complete and has been paired with the tender. Work on the boiler continues, and it is currently upside down for the last time. This work has allowed the fitting and welding in place of the last four pieces of the new steel outer firebox wrapper and the last few remaining patch screws. The boiler will shortly be turned through 180 degrees and made ready for the tubes to be installed.
Work has continued on the boiler of No. 928 "Stowe", mainly concentrating on repairs to the foundation ring, while outside in the yard, the Maunsell Society continue working on the chassis.
The wheels and frames for No. 73082 "Camelot" have now been reunited together, and work has started on the endless lubrication pipework, most of this being hidden underneath the loco on the inside of the frames. The tender has been moved from Horsted Keynes, and it now sits in the loco yard where our volunteers are making progress on cleaning and painting the tender. The tender wheels will need to be turned at some point in the future too.
On the maintenance side, running repairs have taken place to the spring hanger on No. 1638 and minor items have been taken care of on S15 No. 847. This is all in addition to the usual boiler washouts and daily maintenance. The most significant item of maintenance, however, is the repair to No. 473 "Birch Grove", which has been successfully completed. The loco has passed part one of its boiler exam, and it will shortly be steamed for its part two exam. The whole Railway looks forward to the return of this popular and useful locomotive.
Off site, a recent visit to see the work on the 01 boiler showed progress was being made, with the new steel outer firebox repairs complete, along with the new copper stays. Patterns were in the process of being made for the new girders, which sit above the crown sheet. Work on the "Camelot" and "Sir Archibald Sinclair" boilers continue, and I'll be able to update you further in a future eNewsletter.
By Chris Hunford, Locomotive Director

Track Trek 2014 Update: The total for the Trek is approaching £15,000--thank you! Contributions from Trekkers and others are still welcome. Two Trekkers have generated a very impressive £1,000 each, in addition to Roy Watt's £1,500. More information on the Trek and the Keep Up the Pressure Appeal can be found here .
"Tornado" Arrives in a Whirl  
Jonathan Hughes' photo from 27 July, 2014 shows (from an excellent vantage point for which he was given special permission!) "Tornado" preparing to haul the Class 31 and its support coach back north for gauging tests at East Grinstead. For more photos of our very special guest, see John Sandys' 28 July gallery .

This Derek Hayward photo shows Tornado on its first day of service (28 July, 2014).

Coaches Well Met

Hauled by Class 73s, the Railway's Metropolitan coaches made a historic trip from East Grinstead to West Ruislip to take part in Steam on the Met 2014 and the Hammersmith & City Line's 150th anniversary . The L150 also made the journey, by road instead of rail (see John Sandys' photos below).

Leaving East Grinstead (Andrew Strongitharm).

Arriving at South Croydon (Neil Hamblin).

At Clapham Junction (Tim Easter).

More Than Fair  
The Toy and Collectors Fair 2014 edition (which took place on the weekend on 26 July, 2014) was a busy event, according to photographer Derek Hayward, who shot this album   and the photo above .

The Railway's customer survey has been filled out by an astonishing 1,647 people. Thank you all. There's still time before the cut-off to let us know your thoughts. All entries received by midnight on 8 Aug., 2014 will be entered into a draw to win a voucher for two Afternoon Tea Lounge Car tickets. The survey can be found here .
The Dead Dog That Changed Colour Twice

(From BBC News, 30 July, 2014) From the Victorian era until after World War Two, charity collection dogs were a popular sight in British train stations. They continued their charitable calling even after death.

"Though dead, Jack is still on duty and solicits a continuance of your contributions in support of his good work for the Orphans." So reads the plaque in London Jack's glass display case at the Bluebell Railway museum.
The black retriever has spent almost a century - eight of his living years and a further 83 years as a stuffed corpse - collecting for good causes.

Once famous for patrolling London's Waterloo station, he was one of a group of celebrity dogs who made thousands of pounds for charity from the mid-Victorian era until the 1950s.

He and others like Brighton Bob, Bruce of Swindon, Chelmsford Brenda, Wimbledon Nell and Oldham's Rebel mixed with commuters, sometimes boarding trains on their own to encourage more giving by passengers. They barked, "shook hands" and performed tricks for money, their exploits frequently reported in the national and regional press ...

Click here to read the whole of this fascinating article.


A Trip Down Memory Line: The Ouse Valley Railway

Contributor Jeremy Clarke has these observations on a intriguing chapter in southern rail history ...

"I wonder how many of Bluebell Railway visitors and, indeed, volunteers and staff, realise that another railway route might once have crossed the path of the line at or very close to Sheffield Park station. It is possible, had that line been built, Lewes to East Grinstead would never have existed as a complete entity.

"The Ouse Valley Railway was essentially a 'blocking' line proposed by the Brighton to deter an independent company, backed by the LCDR, from making a route from Beckenham to Brighton via East Grinstead and Lewes. In those terms we might have been restoring stations, signalling and other infrastructure in LCD or SECR style rather than a Brighton one.
"The Bill was submitted in 1863, in the same session as the one it was designed to block, authorisation coming in 1864 though by that time the independent company had twice had its Bill refused. No urgency was thus attached to the Ouse Valley line and with limited resources available the Brighton began to procrastinate. Nevertheless, further authorisation was received for extensions from Uckfield to Hailsham and Hailsham to St Leonards.

"It has to be said such extensions would appear to continue the Brighton's attempts at deterrence rather than earn it a good return.  Another later Bill permitted deviations from the original route, further indication the company was not that keen to complete it ..."

The complete article can be found here .


This nice little property is close to the Railway. It comes with a vineyard, too.     
A Trip Down Memory Line: Seaford Scenes   
Seaford Museum and Heritage Society have compiled some interesting railway photos . Notable is the above first-day photo from 1864, the "Seaford" tank, and Princess Alice of Teck (perhaps) boarding LB&SCR Royal Saloon No. 510, built in 1877 and withdrawn in 1925. 

In this photo , No. 292 "Seaford" is seen in close up on the first day of operations. 150 years later, the Seaford station has a sesquicentennial Facebook page . All photos courtesy of Seaford Museum.

By Neil Cameron

Enjoy These Beautiful Photos of the Railway

John Sandys' photos from 17/07/2014 .

John's set from 23/07/2014 shows, "The Mets and L150 at Sheffield Park awaiting collection to travel up for the 150th Celebrations on the London Underground. Very good progress at Kingscote North Signal Box. The photo of the noon from East Grinstead through the cutting shows the remarkably rapid growth of vegetation after just more than a year!"

John's 31 July album of photos and video includes the below shot of the 09 in shunting mode.

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