On 8 May, 2015, a specially themed VE Day Golden Arrow Pullman will celebrate 70 years since Victory in Europe. The 40s-themed trained will departs at 7:30 p.m. More information here --the menu alone is a good read: Brawn & Pickles, Spam Fitters, etc.!


The Fenchurch Fund is organising a special test train hauled by much-loved No. 3 "Baxter" on 3 May, 2015. For a fare of £18, travellers are entitled to a meal in the Bessemer Arms plus one return trip from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead with a choice of 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. departures.

(Please note that because these are tests train, there may be some short notice delay, short working or cancellation of the timetable during the trip.)

For more details, e-mail Clive Emsley at thefenchurchfund@gmail.com.

Cheques should be made payable to the Bluebell Railway and sent to Project 27, Millfield, Manor Road, Upper Beeding, West Sussex, BN44 3TJ.
Southern Electric: Type HA/Class 71 at Folkestone Warren hauling the Golden Arrow.


The Railway will be holding its Southern at War weekend on 9-10 May, 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the allies' Victory in Europe.

The Railway will welcome back previous Southern at War displays, as well as some new ones, and there will be exhibits and concert shows all along the line, so use your travel ticket all day and hop on and off trains to explore what is going on at each station.

On both Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) there will be flypasts over Horsted Keynes station by a Harvard and a Hurricane.

On 8 May there will be a specially themed VE Day Golden Arrow Pullman run to mark the landmark anniversary. VE Pullman passengers will be served a three-course dinner. The menu and other Southern at War details can be found here .

Hornby has photos of the pre-production sample of its OO-scale S15 model.

British Pathé: The Making of
The Titfield Thunderbolt (1952). This film has a local connection. Screenwriter "Tibby" Clarke was an East Grinstead resident and neighbour of Richard Beeching. Also of note, celebrated artist Edward Bawden produced the film's posters .

The horror, history, and heritage of East Grinstead's past will be brought to life with tours of the town by a new company started by a Sharpthorne resident.  


East Grinstead Tours will launch with its first guided outing on May 1, 2015, which will focus on the stories and history which make the town's High Street unique.

The Railway on Bank Holiday Monday, 6 April, 2015.

* Artist: Terence Tenison Cuneo
* Date painted: 1984
* Medium: Oil on canvas, 49 x 74 cm
* Collection: The British Postal Museum & Archive

Double click on the BBC website image to see a larger version.

Fun fact: Cuneo often put a mouse in his paintings. There's one in "Golden Arrow," but can you find it?!

Glasgow's "queen of the Clyde" is about to mark her ruby anniversary of sailing as a preserved piece of history. Paddle Steamer " Waverley ," built almost 70 years ago, is the world's last sea-going paddle steamer. Since 2003 Waverley has been listed in the National Historic Fleet by National Historic Ships UK as "a vessel of pre-eminent national importance".  

A day on the Bluebell Railway.

25/04/2015 23:00:00 St George's Day Parade, London Road and High Street. Roads will be closed for the annual parade. Travel by train from Sheffield Park, Horsted Keynes, or Kingscote (1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.)
01/05/2015 23:00:00 Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend. East Grinstead's turn in a three-day marathon event based in EG, Haywards Heath, and Burgess Hill.
03/05/2015 23:00:00 Lions May Fair. The annual Lions Club Fair with stalls and entertainment in the historic High Street. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Find out more here .

Historian Ian Everest gave a talk on 7 April, 2015 in Newhaven about the role Sussex played during World War I. This article outlines how ports, railways, and the Downs were all used towards the effort.

Easter steam on the Bluebell Railway, by Graeme Skeet.

The Bluebell Railway Trust is benefiting from several model railway items currently being sold on eBay for Charity


"I thought I'd do some 9Fs this time as our one has just returned to Sheffield Park. These photos are from from John  J. Smith and Alan Postlethwaite," writes Tony Hillman.
In anticipation of Southern at War: British Railways at War.


A bid to operate steam trains by reinstating the former branch line between Bodmin and Wadebridge is back on track.


The Bodmin and Wenford Railway Company is submitting the fresh business case to Cornwall Council for the reinstatement of the railway alongside the Camel Trail.


The Great Western route through Wadebridge was joined by the North Cornwall Railway (LSWR). Later Southern Railway and the line to Padstow ran from this station, part of the Southern's "withered arm" network west of Exeter.


 " On Wadebridge station what a breath of sea scented the Camel Valley! Cornish air, soft Cornish rains, and silence after steam "--John Betjeman


North Cornwall Line.

The Railway's fundraising Football Competition is tight at the top going into the final furlong of the season. Just four points separate Alan Clark, Ray Wills, Keith Porter, and Peter Henshaw in pole position. 

Kingscote to East Grinstead East Side, by John Sandys.


In the ASLEF article in the 5 April, 2015 eNewsletter, there is one very important constituent of the LB&SCR omitted from the list: the London & Croydon Railway (L&C).

It was this company that provided the London & Brighton (L&B) with its access to London Bridge. The L&C had opened from Corbetts Lane Junction on the London & Greenwich Railway (over which both the L&C and L&B companies had running powers) to [West] Croydon on 5 June, 1839, four years to the day since its authorisation.

The L&B diverged from this line at a junction 3/4 mile south of the present site of Norwood Junction. (The station moved to this position about a 1/4 mile south of the original, named "Jolly Sailor", in 1855.)

The point of divergence has been known for most of its existence as Norwood Fork Junction, although at various times Croydon Junction and Brighton Junction have appeared, particularly following its construction.

I imagine whatever term was used depended on whichever side of the L&C or L&B fence the speaker stood! (Or if they supported Brighton and Hove Albion or Crystal Palace, we suppose!--The Eds.)

By Jeremy Clarke

Tony Sullivan's photo shows the Deltics looking magnificent at Sheffield Park on 16 April, 2015. This Martin Lawrence photo shows both locos being hauled by No. 09018 through Horsted Keynes on 15 April, 2015 during the gauging process. 

* Huge turn-out to welcome mighty Deltics (from East Grinstead Online).

* See more Deltic photos and video on the Railway's Facebook page .

* Watch a John Harwood video of the diesels in action.

* Learn about Deltic preservation here .

A lovely Derek Hayward Deltic-powered train photo from 17 April, 2015.


John Sandys has some terrific photos of our Deltic visitors in this gallery .

I arrived at Sheffield Park quite early (about 9:30 a.m.) for the first day of the Diesel Gala, and I was surprised to see the car park filling up quite rapidly! I am used to there being not many people about for the very first train, but the Diesel Fans really embraced this first full Diesel Weekend event!

I had to jostle for position on the platform as "Alycidon" ran round to couple up for the first train of the day. Now, I am not really a Diesel Fan, but I could not fail to be impressed with this incredible beast! And to have two of them running together must be a real feast for Diesel Fans!

I didn't travel on the first train, as I wanted to be in position at East Grinstead to photograph her arriving. The crowd awaiting her arrival was amazing. I then made my way up to Hill Place Farm Bridge as the sun seemed to be in the right place to pick her nose out as she came round the corner to tackle the slope through the cutting.

As I expected, she made short work of the hill, and looked very impressive as she climbed past Holden Mount. I then made my way back to East Grinstead for refreshments in The Grinsteade Buffet to await the arrival of "The Royal Highland Fusilier" ... and again I wasn't disappointed.

I managed to do some live broadcasts on the Periscope app , which seem to work quite well at East Grinstead. I am quite excited at the prospect of sending live pictures out as events happen!

By John Sandys
A Toy and Rail Collectors Fair will take place on 2 May, 2015 on the platforms of Horsted Keynes Station. More details here .

By John Sandys.

(From East Grinstead Online ) Steam enthusiasts were rewarded with the sight of the only surviving Q Class on a Bluebell test run at lunchtime yesterday, pictured above at Imberhorne by John Sandys.

The Q Class locomotives were designed by Richard Maunsell of the Southern Railway and built just before WWII for use hauling medium weight freight trains throughout the network.

In all, 20 of the locomotives were built by Maunsell's successor, Oliver Bulleid, but the design was relatively old-fashioned and was soon eclipsed by the more powerful Q1 Class.

They nevertheless performed reliably until withdrawn from service in 1965, leaving just one survivor which has been preserved by the Bluebell Railway.

Q class No. 30541 is programmed to haul passenger trains from 20 to 30 April, 2015. View the loco roster here . Come see and hear this recently restored loco

hard at work!

No. 541 at Kingscote on 9 April, 2015, by Martin Lawrence.  
No. 541 at Kingscote on 9 April, 2015, by Martin Lawrence.

Bluebell News has just landed on doormats, but since I wrote my article for the latest issue, a lot has happened, so I'm putting pen to paper for the eNewsletter.

As I write, two visiting Deltic Locomotives--D9009 "Alycidon" and No. 55019 "Royal Highland Fusilier"--have arrived at Sheffield Park after their gauging run from East Grinstead. Thursday, 16 April, 2015 will see their maintenance exams completed before the Diesel Gala event begins on Friday.

I'm pleased to say repairs have been completed to C class No. 592, which has now returned to traffic. Q class No. 30541 successfully underwent two days of testing last week using four-coach and six-coach trains. Apart from a minor issue with the regulator valve, the Q class has been released to traffic.

Inside the Works, "Stowe's" boiler is now laying on its side, allowing us to drill out and remove the crown stays; off site, the new throat plate is being manufactured. P class No. 323 "Bluebell" has entered the Works for some firebox repairs and maintenance work. Once that job is completed, E4 No. 473 will enter the Works for a piston and valve exam.

No. 73082 "Camelot" is progressing, with the ashpan complete, smokebox in place, and fittings being bolted to the boiler. The springs shortly will be fitted to the chassis, and then the boiler, complete with ashpan, will be lowered back into the frames. At this point the lagging and cladding will be added along with the remaining fittings, etc. Unlike Southern engines, nearly everything on a BR Standard hangs off the boiler.

Off-site work continues on the O1 boiler at Flour Mill, with copper welding in progress. A recent visit noted that the new sling stays and crown girders are complete, and once the copper welding is done, the boiler repair will move into its final stages.

The daily running season is now well underway, with the services being powered by the S15, U class and H class. The U class is in its final year of service; it has just completed 50,000 miles since its last overhaul!

By Chris Hunford, Locomotive Director
Preliminary details have been published for the two-week Summer Festival , from 25 July to 9 Aug., 2015. Look forward to a Harvey's brewery tour, closed station tour, Ale & Jazz Evening, Seaside Weekend, and much more.


This year's Track Trek will take place on 24 May, 2015, a walk from Kingscote to Horsted Keynes through Sharpthorne Tunnel.

As numbers registered surpass 150, we are encouraging people to register in advance to help plan the event. Hard copy sponsorship forms will be distributed soon via the Bluebell Railway Journal. It will help planners if those who intend to use these forms also register online. 

Register by e-mailing tracktrek@bluebell-railway.co.uk with the names of your party, indicating which are children.


For more information and to download a sponsorship form, click here . You can also create your own JustGiving page .


To sponsor Deborah Salmon's "Pink Boot Trek" to support Cash for Cover, visit her JustGiving page .  


24 April, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of P class locos nos. 27 and 753 going to France as the first standard gauge Railway Operating Division (ROD) locomotives.

To mark this event, the Fenchurch Fund will be commemorating Embarkation Day at Sheffield Park on 25 April, 2015.

Events include the unveiling of one of No. 27's tanks in ROD livery; the launch of a commemorative badge; attendance by the 10th Essex Re-enactors; brake van rides behind No. 178 at Sheffield Park; and a display of P class models in various liveries (all subject to confirmation).

For more information, contact Clive Emsley at thefenchurchfund@gmail.com .

The Kingscote cycle hire webpage is up-and-running . Cycles can be hired from the Booking Office at Kingscote Station for up to two hours, half a day, or one full day.


V class No. 928 "Stowe" is now by the workshop, with attention being paid to the valve and steam chests. For more project updates, visit the "Stowe" Facebook community .

The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society also has posted some photos to its Facebook community page , thanks to Society Chairman Peter Gibbs. This photo shows that the injector steam valves have been fitted to the bracket on the fireman's side of the firebox.

Excerpted from "Stories from the Shovel" ( Brighton Motive Power Depots ), memories of Passed Fireman and Driver Ron Terrill ...

Diminutive 0-6-0T shed pilot at Brighton Loco Depot, by Ben Brooksbank.
When we went training on the Bo-Bos locomotives, these electric/diesel locos went on to replace the Hornbys and were later known as E5000 class and in the early 1970s becoming renumbered as class 73s.

We had trials trips running between Redhill and Haywards Heath, which involved testing the brake/unbraked switch, to see if they were suitable for freight workings! We picked up the train consisting of three coaches, six parcel vans, 12 hoppers, and a brake van. We did several runs at several different speeds and taking our feet of the treadle (D.S.D.) so the emergency brake would operate to confirm stopping distances at full speed, on one attempt we had a job to stop at Wivelsfield.

Brighton Station concourse in 1962, by Ben Brooksbank.
When we stopped using steam engines on the 07:17 Brighton to London Bridge, we used to have either a Class 33 or a D.E.M.U. (Oxted). On this occasion I had a D.E.M.U. we worked all stations to East Croydon then fast to London Bridge then went empties to New X Gate where we berthed the unit. We then prepared a Crompton which was attached to seven coaches and worked empties to Victoria via Crystal Palace.

On this day as we approached Forrest Hill the engine stop light illuminated and we lost power I kept my finger on the start button we kept the engine ticking over until we cleared the main line and came to a stand just before Crystal Palace 'B' Box. I went to the signal box to arrange assistance and the signalman allowed an 8 SUB to come on to my rear, to give me a shove. Needless to say it wasn't man enough to move us.

So back to the box to get assistance from the front which necessitated me to issue my first and only wrong line order driver to Signalman, this was to allow an engine on to my front, and who turned up with the assisting engine was fellow Brighton driver Bernie Haynes! He pulled the whole train into Crystal Palace sidings, two engines, seven coaches and the eight SUB stock, it was quite a mess. The reason for the loss of power on my engine turned out to be contaminated fuel! This ended up having my return journey 10:38 Vic to Brighton via Oxted cancelled ...

To read the entire article and see many pictures and other footplate memories, click here

Follow Project 27/The Fenchurch Fund on its new blog .


Tony Hillman's photo from 12 April, 2015 shows No. 80064 and Pullman car "Lillian" enjoying some spring sunshine together at Sheffield Park.

The origins of the electric key token lie in the electric train tablet system that was originally developed in 1880 by Tyer & Co. in conjunction with the Caledonian Railway. The function was simple, by means of having an instrument at each end of a block section, electrically interlocked, just one tablet at a time could be withdrawn (from either end) and given to the driver as his authority, in conjunction with the correct signals being off, to go on the single line.

Early tablets were in the main round (there were some square ones used for long section purposes) with a varied number and position of notches so that the tablet for one section could not be put in the instrument for the adjacent section. Later versions had a single notch in a standard location, but a varying shape was used.

This was followed by the electric train Staff of 1888 and then, in 1912, the Great Western Railway developed the electric key token, licensed to Tyer & Co., which used a smaller token, operated in the instrument in the same manner as a key in a lock. Once again, provision was made to prevent the possibility of a token being put in the wrong instrument, this time by means of a slot in the key quadrant although some special purpose tokens had two slots.

To assist with visual identification, the handles are made in four different shape/colour combinations with no two adjoining sections having the same shape/colour ...

To see the webpage, click here .


Martin Lawrence (April 2015): Martin has begun his April 2015 gallery.


Paul Booth (7 April, 2015): The Q class on its test train (photos and video).   


John Sandys (9 April, 2015): The Q-Class climbing through the Cutting, progress on the canopy at East Grinstead, and views around the loco yard."


Derek Hayward (2015): A significant update to Derek's 2015 Bluebell Railway gallery.


John Sandys (14 April, 2015): A beautiful spring day on the Railway.


By John Sandys.


By Martin Lawrence.
THANK YOU for supporting the Bluebell Railway, whether you are near or far from Sussex, young or not-so-young, a volunteer or visitor, or new to steam or an old hand. Don't forget to pass this newsletter on to family and friends, and see you trackside! 
John Walls
Editor-in-Chief, eNewsletter
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Bluebell Railway | j.walls1@btinternet.com | http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk
Sheffield Park Station
East Sussex
Near Uckfield, TN22 3QL