News from the Bluebell Railway 12 October 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
DDD125: Cash For Cover Appeal
Investiture at Windsor
VEP Moves to Bombardier
A Mid-Hants/Bluebell Railway First
73s Just Keep Coming!
A Trip Down Memory Line: Cricket at Sheffield Park
Sainsbury's Free Bluebell Railway Trip to Make Up for Disruptive Work
Abellio Planning Steam Trains for Scotland
Enjoy These Beautiful Photos
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West Country Class 34046 Braunton 2nd October 2014
"Braunton" on 2 Oct., 2014, by Gary Smith.

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WC no.34046 'Braunton' with 'The Cathedrals Express' Thursday 2nd October 2014
"Braunton" with The Cathedrals Express, by Ashley Smith.

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Up and Down the Bluebell Railway
"Up and Down the Bluebell Railway," by "WillHayField".
"The Bluebell Railway, East Grinstead," by "JoeB".

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


Keep Up the Pressure Appeal


Bluebell Railway Trust  




Bluebell Railway 03/05/14
The Railway on 3 May, 2014, by "JoeLightRailway". 


Railway Roundabout 1960. (The Railway's North London Tank can be seen at the end of the programme, storming Hopton incline on the Cromford & High Peak line-Neil Cameron.)
Railway Roundabout 1960. (In this video, the Railway's North London Tank can be seen at the end of the programme, storming Hopton incline on the Cromford & High Peak line--Neil Cameron.)
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

Braunton 34046, 2nd October 2014
No. 34046, a video by Helen Smith.
Station Facilities

A selection from the John J. Smith collection, chosen by Tony Hillman, including a photo taken at Lover's Walk in Brighton (below).
Archive photos can be
browsed and purchased here .

The U Class on 5 Oct., 2014, by
The U Class on 5 Oct., 2014, by "LB&SCR Modeler".
DDD125: Cash For Cover Appeal

Bluebell Railway Cash for Cover Appeal
Bluebell Railway Cash for Cover Appeal
Please give online at . Download a Gift Aid form here . The deadline for the Double Donations Dash is 15 Nov., 2014.
Thank you!

Are you tired of seeing rows of carriages under canvas outside Horsted Keynes station? Do you want to see them preserved in readiness for restoration?

If so here's a chance to help to see them protected from the weather. The Cash For Cover Appeal is raising money to construct the first part of a building known as Operation Undercover 4. ( This webpage describes earlier phases and this article by Steve Bigg backgrounds phase 4.)

The aim is to raise supports and a roof over four proposed roads and the current maintenance road. Below is Mathew Cousins' artist's impression of how the building will look. The estimated cost to cover four roads and up to 20 carriages is £350,000 (£250,000 of this figure will pay for all supports and roof for 10 carriages). The first 10 carriages with priority to be moved out of the elements will come from across the spectrum of our collection:
  • No. 6575 (Maunsell brake/composite) and No. 5644 (Maunsell composite), both to be part of a Maunsell train, currently suffering damage from open storage.
  • No. 1481 (Bulleid open third) and No. 4279 (Bulleid brake/third), both with commercially valuable carrying capacity.
  • No. 1050 (SECR/SR non-corridor composite), which has not run in service since the early 1970s and which suffered damage when it lost its tarpaulin in a storm (although a new tarp is now in place). Of the non-corridor bogie vehicles waiting to be overhauled, this one is in the best condition, so it will be the next of that type to be overhauled, following No. 971.
  • No. 1061 (SECR short Birdcage brake/third) and No. 1170 (SECR long Birdcage brake/third), both will form part of a Birdcage Set.
  • No. 60 (LBSCR Directors' Saloon), the "Brighton Saloon," which was operated during the Railway's early days, was dear to the heart of late President Bernard Holden.
  • No. 157 (Pullman brake/third, "Car No. 54"), key to the future of the Pullman train.
Generous benefactors have promised matching funding for the first £125,000 donated to this project, but only if the donations are made by mid-November--so Double Donations Dash 125 (DDD125) will run until this date. Remember, this means donations of £10--eligible for Gift Aid--will be worth £22.50 to the project.

If £125,000 in donations is achieved by 15 Nov., 2014, matching funding will enable us to cover 10 carriages and to commence work in 2015. If, by the time the work starts, an additional £100,000 has been raised, full cover for up to 20 carriages can be realised.

Eighteen square metres of concrete were poured recently, so foundations are in place to secure planning consent. This work was paid for by generous donations from an earlier fundraising effort by C&W volunteers.

"Having been involved in the earlier 'Undercover' programmes, this effort continues those being made to provide much needed covered accommodation for our rolling stock, much of which is sitting outside either in the open or under a tarpaulin.

"We have already seen the benefits provided by the Sheffield Park carriage shed, but that collection cannot be the end of it. Our collection of rolling stock is a unique selling point--just witness our Victorian or Southern rakes of stock--and to me it's a crime that we continue to allow some of our original rolling stock from the very early days to sit outside slowly deteriorating.

"Having seen what our excellent C&W teams are capable of achieving, we owe it to them to protect this stock so that it can survive for the long term whilst patiently awaiting its turn for the restorers craftsmanship.

"Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see our own Birdcage brake No. 1069, the unique SECR first and second class bogies, or LSWR No. 320 back in active service! Please give what you can, and as always, thank you for the great support,  especially in ensuring the protection of our precious rolling stock."

--Roy Watts, Chairman, BRPS

"Our supporters have been very generous in the past when given the chance to see their donations doubled in value. It will be a tremendous boost to the Railway if they do so again, and I would like to thank them in advance if they can."

--Roger Kelly, Funding Director

For the latest updates on the overhaul of No. 73082 "Camelot," visit the project's Facebook page .
Investiture at Windsor

At Windsor Castle on 2 Oct., 2014, BRPS Chairman Roy Watts was presented with his MBE by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Says Roy, who was accompanied by his wife and mother, "It was a very warm day, and it was very interesting to talk with others from such a wide variety of backgrounds who were receiving their awards.

"I feel very honoured to have been recommended to receive this award and pleased it recognises my and the Railway's continuing contribution to the heritage railway movement. I look forward to continuing the work and playing my part in helping promote this great association."

Congratulations, Roy!

VEP Moves to Bombardier

On 4 Oct., 2014, the Railway's 4 VEP Unit departed Clapham Yard (at 1730) and travelled to Bombardier's Ilford Depot, where she will undergo the start of her restoration, and be used by Bombardier to train apprentices (a program very close to the Railway).
Bombardier has been exceptionally generous with its offer, for which the Railway and the Southern Electric Traction Group (SETG) are very grateful, and both groups will ensure this unique survivor from the 1960s will return to full operational condition.
The SETG--formed of SWT personnel--has been very proactive in seeking assistance. An article about the project will appear in the forthcoming Bluebell News and will continue on a regular basis as this programme evolves.
By Roy Watts, Chairman, BRPS

Read the Bombardier press release here .

A Mid-Hants/Bluebell Railway First

On 2 Oct., 2014 "The Cathedrals Express" through train--which originated on the Mid Hants Railway and which was headed by West Country Pacific No. 34046 "Braunton" (seen in Ashley Smith's photo above )--visited the Railway.

"Braunton" left its carriages at Kingscote, and railtour participants transferred onto a train of Bluebell Railway stock, as seen in Derek Hayward's photo below .

This was the first ever steam special from the Mid Hants Railway to our Railway. West Coast Railways No. 47237 (see Brian Lacey's photo ) hauled the tour back from Kingscote as far as South Croydon, where the train reversed for its return behind "Braunton," via Redhill and Guildford.

The Railway was one of the subjects of a talk about the heritage rail movement reported on by the Northwich Guardian . Nice to see the word being spread!
73s Just Keep Coming!

David Long's photo shows one of the four Class 73s that were at East Grinstead on 9 Oct., 2014.

This train was a railhead treatment train, topped and tailed by two 73s. It followed the "Pathfinder" railtour that was hauled from Crewe to Acton Lane Sidings by a Class 47, where numbers 73136 and 73119 took over.

See the "Pathfinder" train in this photo by Tony Sullivan. 

A Trip Down Memory Line: Cricket at Sheffield Park
Lord Sheffield's cricket pavilion.

As cricket season draws to a close, contributor Neil Cameron has compiled this look at the legacy of cricket at Sheffield Park, from the park's National Trust website .

"The first cricket match was played at Sheffield Park in August 1845 between two local villages, Fletching and Chailey. The original ground was built just prior to this match by the 2nd Earl of Sheffield for his 13-year-old son Viscount Pevensey (later to become the 3rd Earl).

"The 3rd Earl had a passion for cricket and hosted all types of matches, from junior village standard to internationals. The Australians were frequent visitors and would open their tour with a game at the ground against Lord Sheffield's XI.

"A particularly notable fixture against Australia, in May 1896, was attended by 25,000 people, including HRH Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). Banners lined the route up from the railway to the garden and no expense was spared.

[It wasn't just any old tour warm-up game. Lord Sheffield's XI included Grace, Fry, Gunn, and Ranjitsinhji. View the scorecard here . Australians won, of course--The Editors.]

"Lord Sheffield had a number of pavilions built around the ground for his guests and visiting players to use. Two of these were of a very lavish design, made out of cast ironwork, painted blue with details picked out in gold.

"Records show they would have been decorated with plants and flowers in the lead up to each season. Sadly, none of these buildings exist today but photographic records help us to visualise what they would have looked like ... "


In 2009, a new square was laid at the Park, a pavilion was built, and the outfield was restored in its parkland setting. The reopening of the ground was celebrated with a match between an Old England XI and a Lord Sheffield Australian XI.

Today, the formerly "wandering" Sussex club Armadillos CC
play at Sheffield Park. From the club's website: "Welcome to the Armadillos CC, a wandering club that found itself a home; and not just any old home. Sheffield Park has a cricketing history which is the envy of many ..."
WG Grace and company at Sheffield Park in 1896.

Sainsbury's Free Bluebell Railway Trip to Make Up for Disruptive Work 

(From the East Grinstead Courier , Oct. 2, 2014) As improvements at Sainsbury's go full steam ahead, the firm's contractor provided a free day out on the Bluebell Railway for local community groups to make up for the disruption caused by the work.

ISG, who are carrying out work in the East Grinstead store and car park, paid for groups, including people from Knowle House nursing home, the Brownies, and Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre, to ride on a steam train from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park on Thursday ..."

To read the whole article, click here .

Museum Archive Photo eNewsletter Special Offer:
If you order before the end of November 2014, you will receive a voucher with your prints offering a discount of up to 20% off your next order. To get the voucher, write "eNewsletter" on the bottom of your order form. The discount voucher can only be used for 6" x 4" prints. Vouchers are valid until end of April 2015. Order your prints now!    
Abellio Planning Steam Trains for Scotland

Ferryhill A4 Pacific No. 60019 "Bittern" at Aberdeen on 3 Sept., 1966, ready to return to Glasgow for the final time behind an in-service BR A4 loco. Photo c/o: Eastbank Model Railway Club.

(From The Scotsman , 11 Oct., 2014) They may be lacking today's air-conditioned carriages and wifi, but now the steam trains of yesteryear offer the promise of a return to a more romantic era of travel.

A new age of steam is being lined up to make a comeback on Scotland's railways, conjuring up the magic of the days when making a trip was accompanied by a sense of ­excitement, the chug of the engine, the sound of the whistle and smoke puffing out of the loco's chimney.

New ScotRail operator Abellio is planning a steam renaissance which could see extra tourist trains on many rural routes to showcase Scotland's dramatic scenery.

The Dutch firm, which will take over the franchise in April, is investigating running steam trains on up to eight routes, ­including over the Forth Bridge ...

Read the full story here
West Highland line at work in 1960.
West Highland line at work in 1960.



Enjoy These Beautiful Photos of the Railway

Martin Lawrence has updated his September and October galleries. His "busy scene at Sheffield Park" from October is above.

John Sandys' photos of the arrival of No. 34046 "Braunton" on 2 Oct.

A set by Ashely Smith from 2 Oct. and one by Keith Duke from the same day.

John Sandy's gallery from 6 Oct. : "A very damp day today, with the Autumn Tints Specials still in full swing."

Below, Southdown No. 547 (PUF 647)--a Park Royal-bodied Guy Arab-- was photographed by Nick Talbot. It was one of the buses taking part in the Railway's Vintage Bus Running Day on 6 Oct., 2014.

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 email. See you trackside in the heart of beautiful Sussex!

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