It is with sadness that we report the passing of Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu.

Lord Montagu established the National Motor Museum and was initially responsible for saving our Schools class locomotive "Stowe" and Pullman Car "Fingall" for preservation. He died aged 88 on 31 Aug., 2015.

Lord Montagu had been President of Bluebell Railway PLC since its formation in November 1985. The Railway offers its condolences to his wife Fiona and son Ralph, both of whom have had connections with the Railway over the years, and the rest of the Montagu family.

Online and postal booking is now open for the Bluebell Railway's hugely popular Santa Special trains, starting 5 Dec., 2015.

Telephone booking for Santa Specials opens on 5 Oct., but third class tickets may be purchased online here . The postal booking form can be found here .

Booking for Reindeer Specials is also now open: phone 01825 720800 or book online .

And book now for the Victorian Christmas trains on 22 Dec., 2015, including an opportunity to purchase tickets for an exclusive carriage compartment on one of the Railway's Victorian carriages for up to six passengers.

Visit bluebell-railway.com to learn more on all these seasonal specials!
The Railway on 28 Aug., 2015, by Philip Bull.

During autumn, the Railway's steam-hauled services will operate every day from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park through the delightful Sussex countryside. This is a special time of year when the trees display their magnificent golden colours.

Just a short walk across the parkland from Sheffield Park station is the National Trust Garden with more than 87 "champion trees" planted throughout, some of which help to provide a vibrant autumnal colour show.

Special Notes:

On weekdays between 5 and 23 Oct., the 12:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. departures from Sheffield Park and the 1:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. departures from East Grinstead include the Observation Car. This train only seats 65 passengers, therefore advance booking is recommended. Travel on this train is subject to a £1 supplement.

Each Saturday and Sunday until the end of October a special bus service will link the Railway and the National Trust Garden.

Find more information about this year's the Autumn Tints Specials. 
Did you know? Realtimetrains.co.uk provides accurate rail information for trains throughout the UK. The 3 Sept., 2015 haulage by a pair of GBRf Class 73s of our Met coaches (East Grinstead to West Ruislip) can be studied here .
Electrodiesels Nos. 73136 and 73107 depart from Horsted Keynes with the four "Metropolitan" coaches, by Martin Lawrence.
The Railway was featured as part of a recent skyNEWS report yesterday comparing Queen Victoria to Elizabeth II. Alastair Bruce takes a train ride while examining the changes in transportation between the Victorian and Second Elizabethan eras.

Writes Tony Hillman in regards to the tragic death of Graham Mallinson, "One of Graham's areas of interest was the Somerset & Dorset Railway. Here are six images from that line in his memory, all from the Alan Postlethwaite collection."

During September, residents of East Grinstead and environs who are older than 60 can take advantage of the Monday Club Cream Tea Offer.

Trains depart East Grinstead Mondays to Fridays at 2:30 p.m., returning from Sheffield Park at 3:45 p.m. In between, enjoy a traditional cream tea on the Bluebell Line while you steam through the beautiful Sussex countryside.

Pre-booking only due to popularity: call 01825 720800 or drop in to the Travel Centre at East Grinstead Station. More details here .
Bill Gage of the West Sussex Record Office will talk about the Horsham-to-Guildford Line on 1 Oct., 2015 at the Horsham Library. Cost is £5. For booking information, click here .
The Railway in August 2015, by Keith Tucker.

We begin with a poignant remembrance of Life Member Graham Mallinson, one of the victims of the Shoreham Air Disaster ...

As many of you will now know, Graham Mallinson was among the 11 victims of the Shoreham air disaster. Although some of you may not have known Graham, he was my friend for over 50 years and well known around Sheffield Park as a life member of the Bluebell, and a volunteer in the museum photographic archive team, a passionate steam enthusiast and brilliant photographer.

Educated at Dulwich College, when I first met Graham in the early 1960s he was working with Tannoy, the world famous public address systems company. Moving on he held various posts in the electronics industry until his retirement. As a highly respected engineer, Graham was a perfectionist in everything he did, in his work, his private life and his hobbies.

Railway photography was Graham's first love, he and I drove thousands of miles throughout the UK in pursuit of both steam in British Railways days and after steam finished, preserved steam locomotives operating on the main line. These happy carefree days will now never be repeated, but the memories will still live on. More recently he had developed an interest in photographing vintage aircraft and it was this that took him to Shoreham to see one of the last flights of the Vulcan bomber.

Graham was the kindest and most generous man, who regularly gave his time to help others. Always loyal and reliable he was a private and loving family man, with a great sense of humour. A caring husband to his late wife Wendy and a father who was dearly loved by both his son Anthony and his sister Anthea and her partner Mike.

He will be sorely missed by all his family and his wide circle of friends at the Bluebell Railway and within the railway photographic world, along with all those who had the good fortune to have known him.
He was at the right place at the wrong time when this disaster happened, doing what he loved best on a beautiful summer's day. Rest in peace my old friend, you gave me such wonderful memories and such a long and lasting friendship.

Our thoughts go out to Anthony, Anthea and Mike and all the family and friends and of course all the other families involved in this terrible tragedy.

By Roger Cruse

For the East Grinstead Online article, click here .

Autumn weather arrived quickly, with a wet start to the season. Fortunately the re-cladding of the loco works was completed on schedule, and what an improvement. You instantly notice the warmer atmosphere as you walk in; larger skylights greatly increase the natural light entering the Works. With only some minor snagging items remaining to be completed, the next stage is to upgrade the lighting systems with energy efficient LED units.

The running fleet has worked well over the summer season, with the S15, C, and H working the majority of the trains. This fleet was supplemented by the E4 when required for a Wealden Rambler and to cover the C and H when on washout. Pilot duties have been covered by "Baxter" or "Bluebell," which can be seen nearly every weekend now moving coaches and posing at Sheffield Park. The Q class has undergone an extended maintenance period while we completed a few jobs that cropped up now the loco has run more than 4,000 miles. Currently, this loco is available for traffic.

Inside the Works, progress on No. 73082 "Camelot" is good, with the final pipework and other items such as the driver's seat now being fitted. The whole loco (except smokebox) has received a first coat of paint, and the final row of superheater elements are being made. The first three rows have been fitted inside the boiler. The next few weeks will see the final snagging work take place, and, of course, the final painting and lining to BR specifications.

No. 928 "Stowe's" boiler has had a minor set back with the discovery of star cracking in the radius of the boiler backhead. This is unfortunate, but we've taken the decision to order and fit a whole new backhead. Although this work delays progress slightly, overall we'll have a more thorough and comprehensive repair and will be able to rivet the firebox together rather than use patch screws. Riveting is 10 times quicker than patch screwing. The new firebox sections and throat plate have arrived from South Devon Railway.

Outside, preparations for the BR Standard Class 4 Tank No. 80151 boiler continues, with the removal of the main steam pipes, chimney, smokebox fittings, etc. The loco will enter the Works with SE&CR O1 No. 65 once "Camelot" is complete. Keep an eye out in the news for our "Giants of Steam" event when we'll be hosting a special guest!

By Chris Hunford, Locomotive Director
The Railway's four Metropolitan carriages will be in use on the Metropolitan Line for the 12-13 Sept., 2015 London Transport Museum "Vintage Summer Steam" event , running between Watford, Chesham, and Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Electrodiesels Nos. 73136 and 73107 depart from Horsted Keynes with the four "Metropolitan" coaches, by Martin Lawrence. To learn the latest whereabouts of our vintage coaches, visit the Railway's Facebook page

Not content with supervising while others make films, the Filming Facilities Department has been shooting an epic of its own this week!  

A new driver training film of the whole line has been planned for some time, and we were lucky that the weather was exceptionally good for shooting on every day. The S&T Department was heavily involved in the planning and also with pulling off signals and changing points at the appropriate time with the co-operation of signalmen, so that various realistic shots could be captured on video showing different signal indications.  

On Tuesday and Friday (8 and 11 Sept., 2015), the Queen Mary Brake was propelled in front of the 09, and provided an ideal platform to shoot the line in real time with stops and run-throughs made at signals to simulate a drivers eye view.  

As well as video footage, hundreds of still photos have been taken of all the signals, as well as infrastructure and interior views at stations and in carriages. These will be used for publicity purposes and for identifying possible future filming locations selected by production companies.  

Our thanks go to the S&T Dept, 09 crews, and particularly the signalmen, who on two days at Horsted Keynes pulled every lever in the box during the shift!

By Mike Hopps

Colin Palmer, a well-known and long-term resident of Copthorne, who passed away on 16 Jan. 2015, left three extremely generous legacies in his will. On 30 Aug., 2015 Colin's son Bob and Lorraine Palmer visited the Railway to pass along the gifts.

The couple was greeted at Sheffield Park station by BRPS Vice Chairman Sam Bee. Then, after travelling on the Golden Arrow Sunday lunch train, Bob and Lorraine were joined at East Grinstead station by grandson Daniel. There, Bob handed over to the Railway a cheque for £111,492.52, which was most gratefully received by BRPS Chairman Roy Watts and Bluebell Railway Trust Chairman Bill Brophy.

At the same time, cheques for similar amounts were handed over to representatives of the RSPCA and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Roy acknowledged the essential part that legacies and bequests play supporting the Railway's operations and funding major capital expenditures. He said that the generosity shown by the late Colin Palmer was "just amazing."
Bob said that his father had very little spare time, but he had been a frequent visitor to the Railway over the years.

By Martin Lawrence.
The Bachmann Collectors' Club is producing an 00 model of "Birch Grove" as it ran on the Railway in LB&SCR umber livery, but with its name in place of the LBSC lettering.

Clive Emsley notes that "non-destructive testing of the frames has been completed recently, with the news that there are no cracks in the frames other than the repaired one and the one we knew about (the crack at the front top corner of the left-hand centre driving axle box guide, pictured).

"This has now confirmed that we will not be requiring a new set of frames for the loco. We will still need to cut the rear section out and replace with new material, but this has always been the situation."

For complete updates, visit the project's Blogspot page

Peter Gibbs provides some updates on the progress of No. 73082 "Camelot", from the Camelot Locomotive Society's Facebook page on 30 Aug., 2015:
  • The brake pull rods have been cleaned up and painted gloss black.
  • The locking mechanism on the adjuster has been released.
  • The superheater elements are being fitted, having been tested and found to be satisfactory. The close up photo of the smokebox shows the second row of elements in place but not yet fixed: the first row has already been fitted and bolted to the header.
  • The vacuum ejector is now complete and fitted to the smokebox.
  • The tender's fall plate is in position.
  • New rubber draught shields are on the cab doors.
  • New water connection hoses are fitted and tied up to prevent damage.
Writes Peter, "A chink of light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the tireless efforts of the Bluebell Railway Workshop staff and volunteers."


Martin Lawrence's photos illustrate two volunteer projects currently in progress ...

(TOP) As part of the Kingscote Goods Yard project, the ex-Horsted Keynes Goods Shed has had major structural and roof repairs and a full repaint, undertaken by some volunteers from the Friends of Kingscote.

(BOTTOM) For the Elephant Van project , the metal structure of the van has, after grit-blasting and anti-rust treatment, received a coat of primer and two undercoats. Repairs to hardwood planks from the sides are in hand, and new roof hoop timbers and floor timbers have been delivered (the pile of timbers seen stacked on the right in the photo). Materials are being funded by the Arts Council Resilience Fund, with work being undertaken by many volunteers from the C&W department.

The latest issue of Steam Railway (#445) includes the winners of the OlympusUK photographic competition at the Bluebell Railway.

Keith Duke (30 Aug. 2015): "A trip out in the dark with "Captain Baxter". Excellent and something we should perhaps do more often!"

Brian Lacey   (6 Sept., 2015):  Baxter with the Observation Car at East Grinstead.

Roger Carpenter (2015): Roger includes progress made on the new box at Kingscote in his updated 2015 gallery.

By Brian Lacey.

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