18-19 July:   Toy & Rail Collectors' Weekend

25 July-9 August: 
Summer Festival

including ...

1-7 August:
Children's Week

8-9 August: Vintage Transport Weekend
"A Day on the Gate", a timelapse video by Gabriel Phillips-Sanchez.

"Stepney" fans will want to check out the loco's updated webpage .

Sentinel Steam Wagon at the Railway on 5 July, 2015, by Martin Lawrence.

A film review from Mid-Sussex Times of Mr. Holmes, partly filmed on the Railway.


The Outcast is another new show--a BBC TV series--that features the Railway, this time Kingscote station.   

Bluebell Railway Model Railway Weekend,  28 June, 2015.  
Bluebell Railway Model Railway Weekend, 28 June, 2015.

* Full Title: Southern Railway Pullman Train Hauled by 4-6-0 Locomotive No. 850 "Lord Nelson"
* Artist: Albert Riley
* Date: 1935
* Medium: Oil on board, 54.6 x 79 cm
* Collection: National Railway Museum

Click on the BBC image to see a larger version of this painting. 

The Railway has added to its list of job vacancies, now looking for a kitchen porter .

Le Fèche d'Or : un film Français (1947)--SR crews visit their French counterparts.

The Golden Arrow : A British Transport Films production celebrating the post war Golden Arrow/Fleche d'Or service from London Victoria to Paris.


"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.

A lovely photo blog entry about a visit to the Railway by Andy Carter from May 2015. 

The Railway on 6 July, 2015, by Martin Lawrence.

The inaugural Lewes and Wealden Business Awards ceremony was held at the East Sussex National Hotel and Spa in Uckfield on 19 June, 2015.

The purpose of the awards--sponsored by Rix and Kay solicitors--is to offer formal recognition of business excellence, providing a much-needed boost to the business community area.

There were 16 categories of awards including one for Hospitality , Tourism, and Leisure--the Bluebell Railway were was a joint winner along with Pelham House Hotel.


(From the Daily Record , 29 June, 2015) It's the Smart forfour that really does go round corners like its on rails--because it actually is!

Smart say that their city car will drive from London to Aberdeen non-stop for just £39. But to highlight the Smart's ability to be economical they turned it into a mini train [... on the Railway's steel, as is very evident in the enjoyable promo video below. Good job film team!--The Editors]

Photo by Mike Hopps.

Martin Lawrence's photo above shows Point 22 at Horsted Keynes lifted out of place ready for work on the formation, which will see our usual sandwich of Terram/polythene/Terram replacing the layer of soggy clay that has been pumping up between the sleepers and causing the problem. His photo below shows work being done to prepare for the carriage shed (the OP4 Project). Both photos are taken from Martin's July 2015 Bluebell Railway photo gallery.

Volunteer Mike Hopps adds some detail about recent infrastructure work: "M ost of our recent work has been taking place in the Salt Yard where we--almost entirely Infrastructure and Signals & Telecommunications gangs--have been 'spring cleaning'. Some infrastructure supplies have now been taken to West Hoathly, S&T supplies to Hudson's Bay, and a lot of other bits and pieces have either been scrapped of tidied up ready for stocktaking.

"Also, contractors L&W (who worked on the northern extension tip and who also supply our regular road railer driver Darren) have been moving spoil from the triangle at Horsted Keynes to make up ground for the new carriage shed in preparation for piling.  

"Near the existing yard entrance, the ground is slightly one metre below that needed for the new foundations, so the ground is being made up and compacted. Elsewhere, general levelling is required now that the old concrete garages have been demolished and containers moved to the lower end of the yard. This is why heavy machinery is now appearing and moving about on a daily basis."

We are up to seven players for the proposed social cricket match with Scaynes Hill CC at their ground next to the Railway on 22 Aug., 2015. We would love to field a full Bluebell Railway XI. Any standard, even enthusiastic fielding, is welcome. Open to men, women, boys, and girls 12 and older. Contact John Walls .  


The South Devon Railway recently took delivery of SR Schools Class No.928 "Stowe's" old smokebox for use as a pattern and showed off the former for the loco's new throatplate, which at this stage--machined and polished--looks like a part for a space ship!

Unfortunately, as first reported in Points & Crossings, Maunsell U class No. 1638 has been withdrawn from traffic. She managed more than nine years of her 10-year boiler ticket, a tribute to the Maunsell Society's tender loving care.

However, she has been in heavy use of late, and too many issues needed to be addressed, not to mention she would have had to undergo a new hydraulic boiler test soon. Resources must be used to keep the other locos in working order.

With No. 1638 out of action, we look forward to "Camelot" joining the rostered locos later in the year!

Lots of work continues on No. 73082 "Camelot", and Peter Gibbs offers photos and an update at the Camelot Locomotive Society's Facebook page
The photo above shows the cab, to which fittings have been added: both water gauge frames, regulator mounting bracket, steam brake valve (above brake pedestal), and gauges bracket on the right hand side. Behind the brake pedestal can be seen the copper pipework that goes to the ejector and brings steam from the manifold.

A newsletter update--compiled by John Jesson and Tony Sullivan-- is available from the BR Standard Class 2 Project, detailing work on the donated Polyshed, hind truck frame casting, hind truck cradle, axle box bearings, and more. The photo above shows the hind truck frame casting. The challenge of machining this casting, which weighs nearly a third of a ton, is reported in the newsletter.

The Watercress Line is a finalist in the Best Heritage Project category of the current National Lottery Awards. They--and we in support--want to send a clear message as to how much we all value National Lottery sponsored apprenticeship schemes. Please take a look at their entry and offer your support. 




Steve Lee's beautiful photo from 27 June , 2015 shows "Baxter" leading the Observation Car shuttle South from Horsted Keynes.

This year's football competition is now open, and it is once again raising funds for the restoration of Maunsell Restaurant Car No. 7864.

There are in fact two competitions. The first is to predict the final positions in the Premier League, and the second is to predict who will lift the FA Cup. Entry to each competition is just £5, and you can enter as many times as you like. No knowledge of either football or railways required.

Half of the entry money goes towards No. 7864, and the remaining half is shared out among the winners. The more entrants, the bigger the prizes. The real winner is, of course, No. 7864, with last season's competition bringing in more than £230 towards project funds.

The closing date is 7 Aug., 2015. An entry form is available here

One of the oldest carriages in the Railway's collection, this second-class vehicle was built to the order of the LB&SCR's Locomotive Engineer John Chester Craven.

It provides ample demonstration of the cramped conditions in which passengers who couldn't afford a first-class ticket travelled in the mid-19th century. Having four compartments, sharing a single oil lamp, and with very little leg room, I suppose one could say that it was better than the stage coaches on the roads, but little more!

At this time, it had only just been decided that third-class passengers deserved a roof over their heads, if not much in the way of windows, but it is believed that second-class seating actually benefitted from upholstery, which appears to have just been a cushion placed on the bare boards of the seat ... MORE .

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, and ice cream
  • Kids for a Quid week
  • 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 .

Derek Hayward (27-28 June, 2015): Model Railway Weekend and more.


Martin Lawrence (June 2015): An updated June gallery.


Dan Green (4 July, 2015): Featuring the Q class, S15, and C class locomotives.


Kieran Hardy (4 July, 2015): Like Dan Green, the Q, C, and S15 are featured. 


Roger Barton (July 2015): Another view of the steam crane, looking spiffy with new paint. 


By Derek Hayward


By Kieran Hardy


By Roger Barton
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