27-28 June:   Model Railway Weekend

18-19 July:   Toy & Rail Collectors' Weekend

25 July-9 August: 
Summer Festival
The Railway on 16 March, 2015, by "bluebellmodelrailway".

The Bluebell Railway is planning a friendly cricket match with Scaynes Hill Cricket Club, at their new ground next to the Railway at Freshfields on 22 Aug., 2015.

We are looking for players at any level of ability (or their relatives). We also hope to indulge in some fundraising, and perhaps turn this into an annual event. If you are interested in playing, or helping in any way, please contact John Walls .  


* Artist: Terence Tenison Cuneo
* Date painted: 1961
* Oil on canvas, 105.6 x 120.7 cm
* Collection: National Railway Museum

Click on BBC image to see a larger version.
No. 1638 departs East Grinstead on 9 May, 2015, by Ben Jenden.

"Following the Cuckoo Line article from the previous issue, I thought I would provide some more images from there. This selection shows what a wide range of motive power was used on the line"--Tony Hillman.
Bluebell Railway scenes, by "xenon53827".

The Railway is reluctantly ending its recycling service for mobile phones, printer cartridges, etc. for fundraising purposes.

Unfortunately, the return on volunteer effort and storage space is not sufficient to make the scheme worthwhile. The amount paid for such items has reduced since the scheme was started so that even an estate car-load only provides a few pounds. No recyclable items will be accepted after 30 June, 2015.

Nevertheless, I would like to congratulate Phil Jemmison for coming up with this idea more than five years ago and administering it since then. I welcome all such ideas that help us raise funds. Well done Phil and thank you.

By Roger Kelly, Fundraising Director
B473 enters Horsted Keyes on 9 May, 2015, by Ben Jenden.
NOTE: The eNewsletter is going on a short holiday, so we present an "early edition." The next edition will be published on 12 July, 2015. 

June 13-14, 2015 saw the annual "Open House" event for the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group, at Sheffield Park. Visit the project's " Latest Progress " webpage to see beautiful photos of work being done on the chassis and wheels, towards the reconstruction of a Brighton H2 Atlantic class loco based on No. 32424 "Beachy Head". To help the project, sponsor a component here .

The above close-up photo was taken by Brian Lacey; click to see larger version. The project's sales stand, and access to the work, should next be available on June 28, during Model Railway Weekend.

Operation Undercover 4 (OP4) is now well underway. The Delivery Team is working hard to clear the site, which means moving the current offices, workshops, and storage containers. This is a significant task as the site is very large. An area must be cleared that is bigger than the new roof structure in order to permit construction plant to move in and out and to provide an area for the construction contractors compound.

Planning consent for the temporary location of office and workshops has been obtained, and these should be in place by early July. Moving the storage units is proving more of a problem. Decisions need to be made about not just where to put material but what to keep and what to scrap.

Whilst keeping everything would seem, at first, to be the best option, consideration is being given as to whether the material is ever likely to be used and if the scrap value will enhance the project's finances. In the long term the project includes a Parts Storage Shed, but this building will come after the completion of the shed with walls, doors, and permanent workshops. Temporarily, some storage will be in the field north of the station car park and events area. Project activity is on schedule to see actual construction start in September as planned.

Financially, the project remains strong. The additional appeal to get the total of Cash for Cover (CforC) to £385,000 is only a couple of thousand short of that target (you can donate to the project here ).

These healthy finances mean we will include the framework and the roof of the office/workshop block in the roof contract that is about to be placed. This inclusion is in the expectation that donations to CforC will continue to come in as they have over the past few months. The CforC fund has also benefited from the proceeds of May's successful Track Trek.

Thought is now being given to the cost of adding wall cladding to the building and completion of the office/workshop block. These are next priorities as they will improve working conditions for our paid and volunteer staff. Should money become available by Christmas, it may be possible to add some of this work to the contract whilst it is in progress.

By Roger Kelly, OP4 Steering Group Secretary

The Railway's new Filming Facilities Department has been particularly busy in the last couple of weeks, and many more filming opportunities are slated for the remainder of the year.

The Smart "Forrail"
Because of confidentiality agreements, we aren't able to give too much away about what has been happening, but much will be revealed in coming weeks, when various locations feature in commercials (Mercedes-Benz) and a new BBC police drama (Cuffs) set in and around Brighton.

The film facilities team has been set up under the leadership of Signals & Telecommunications' Tim Parkin. It comprises a small group of working members from different departments who act as Film Liaison Officers, supervising and promoting our unique "walk on sets", whilst ensuring safe working for film crews.

This arrangement takes the pressure off the operating department, which has provided excellent facilities over the years but which, with increased mileage and stock requirements, was starting to find it difficult to manage everything.

As well as offering film locations, we are now extending commercial activities to promotional events. For instance, this weekend we are hosting a Public Relations showcase for Mercedes-Benz Smart's latest range at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. As part of the promotion, Mercedes-Benz has been testing a "Smart Forrail" vehicle: a rail version of its new smart town car, and they will be taking clients and press from all over the world up and down the line in it!

We also are hosting a photographic workshop for Olympus Cameras on 4 Aug., 2015, which will be held at Sheffield Park. The workshop is open to all comers on a first-come-first-served basis. More information can be found here .

Many have asked why we don't publicise filming events in advance because obviously there is a lot of interest in seeing the Railway on the big screen. However, much of what is filmed has high commercial value and many filming sessions are closed sets, operated on a non-disclosure basis.

Filming makes the Railway a great deal of money on a very regular basis, and to advertise in advance would put it all at risk. For that reason we would respectfully ask that if you see filming taking place anywhere on the Railway, you only take an absolute minimum of personal photos and don't send them anywhere or upload to social media.

Nevertheless, we are able to reproduce the above photo of the "Smart Forrail" vehicle at Horsted Keynes because the promotion already has gone live in the national press in advance of the campaign kick-off this weekend. For future events, we will publicise what has happened when it is "safe" to do so. We are also developing a website specific to the requirements and interests of the film and TV industry.

By Mike Hopps, Filming Liaison Officer

An updated loco roster for the remainder of June 2015 is now available.


This photo , from the Camelot Locomotive Society's Facebook page and taken on 15 June, 2015, shows the last section of boiler cladding in place following mounting of handrail stanchions on new front boiler barrel. Very latest photos by Peter Gibbs can be seen here

The  Railway's Model Railway weekend will be held on 27-28 June, 2015, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy not only a steam train ride but visit all kinds of model railway exhibitions and traders.

Visit the loco works at Sheffield Park for Gauge 1 live steam and Thornbury Hill OO, while other layouts and traders can be found on the platforms and in the Birch Grove Suite.

At Horsted Keynes, the Carriage & Wagon Works will feature more layouts and traders, including the first showing of the new P4 layout "Plumpton Green", and others in N, OO, and O gauges. Even more traders and layouts will be located on the platforms and in the waiting rooms.

The Service Two timetable operates throughout the weekend. Passengers holding a "travel ticket" gain free entry to any station, while visitors wishing to visit the stations only must purchase an "admission ticket".
Clive Emsley has created a diorama inspired by a photograph in the Bluebell Archives of A1x class loco No. 32636 "Fenchurch" on the Cuckoo Line heading a short goods train. 
 "This photo depicts the model before it is completely finished, but it gives a good impression of what will be seen at Model Railway Weekend. The loco crew and guard need adding and a few minor tweaks to the scenery and couplings will be attended to.  
 " The weathering of the loco and wagons has been done by TMC, and quite impressive it is too. I recommend their services to all!" The diorama will be on show on the Fenchurch Fund/Project 27 display in the Bessemer Arms during Model Railway Weekend on 27 and 28 June, 2015 .

Visitors to the Summer festival, don't forget to check out the Railway's hotel and attractions packages


Rob Langham's photo shows Pullman car "Lilian" at the South of England Show in Ardingly, proudly representing the Railway and helping visitors learn all about us.

As June draws to a close, it also brings the initial stage of the SECR loco No. 27 restoration to a close! We have now removed virtually all of the pieces we need to. To continue with the restoration, much hard work will now be carried out, but if you look at the loco on a weekly basis, you would be hard pushed to see what has changed!

Much of the work for the next few months will consist of chipping and wire brushing to remove the build-up of corrosion. This work will allow for further inspection to take place, setting out datum points to be identified and measurements to be taken for any new components that may be required. It is also a precursor to the final preparation of the components before painting.

The cylinders have had the blanking plates removed and are being measured and compared with the drawings to enable a set of pattern makers drawings to be produced. Discussions are underway to determine the best method of constructing a pattern for the sand casting procedure, including wood, polystyrene, or 3D printing. The number of castings to be produced will have a bearing on the method of pattern manufacture.

Various datum marks have been identified on the frames of the loco, including those to locate the cylinders and the centre lines of the axle boxes. These marks are important and will be invaluable when it comes to reassembling the locomotive. As the marks are being located, after careful cleaning, they are being centre-poped and identified with a small circle of white paint ...  MORE

By Clive Emsley, Chairman, Fenchurch Fund/Project 27

The Bluebell Railway is delighted to announce details of the two-week Summer Festival, from 25 July to 9 Aug., 2015. More news and events will be added over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on the link below. The current line-up of events is as follows:
  • Tour of Harveys Brewery in Lewes
  • Closed Station Tour from East Grinstead to Tunbridge Wells
  • Walking tour of the historic town of Lewes
  • Kingscote Vineyard Tour
  • Gravetye Manor Tour & Afternoon Tea
  • Borde Hill Tour of House & Garden
  • Visit to National Trust Standen House, including a Garden Tour
  • Evening of Ale & Jazz
  • Seaside Weekend, including Donkey Rides, Sandcastle Competition, Punch & Judy, Ice Cream
  • Kids for a Quid week
  • Punch & Judy Shows
  • Vintage Transport Weekend, including classic cars, stationary engines, commercial vans, steam road engines, and motorbikes.
There is something for everyone to enjoy--we look forward to seeing you! More details can be found here .

Martin Lawrence (June 2015): LB&SCR Stroudley Brake Third No. 949, and more.


John Sandys (16 June, 2015): " A lovely day at the Bluebell today, with the Q-Class back on the service train."


Keith Duke (15 June, 2015): " After a morning's carriage cleaning, just time to grab some pictures of the Q before heading home. Also, a few shots of the house martins nesting outside the classroom."


By Keith Duke.


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
Bluebell Railway
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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