Where There's a Will: Leaving a Legacy to the Bluebell Railway

Have you been good enough?! Santa Specials  start on 5 Dec., 2015. Book now for these extremely popular trains. 
On Donner; on Blitzen! Information for Reindeer Specials , starting 6 Dec., 2015, can be found here

All the trimmings! Starting on 7 Dec., 2015, enjoy a Christmas Festive Feast on board a steam train and at the Bessemer Arms. Click here for more. 

Leave Scrooge behind to say "Bah! Humbug!" as you enjoy the atmospheric Victorian Christmas trains, which will be running on 22 Dec., 2015. Learn more here .
"Bluebell Goods and Shunt," by Nick Dearden.
Brighton Atlantic Christmas Cards are once again available from Atlantic House on Open Days at 10 cards for £12, or purchase them by post from Matthew Cousins, 1 Sunnycroft Close, Scaynes Hill, West Sussex, RH17 7PT at £15 for 10 posted. 

Please make cheques payable to Bluebell Railway, PLC (Brighton Atlantic Project). There are some cards from past years still available at £1 each.
"Adirondack (Upstate New York) Rail Road Fall Foliage train," by Ric Peterson.
This charming story features the names Sussex, Lewes, and Delaware (from de la Warr, the old Sussex peerage name), but we're Stateside, where an old coastal railroad still operates:

"Not many rail workers in the country have to stop their train, get out, and hand crank a swing bridge to cross a waterway. That is the case for the unique short-line Delaware Coast Line Railroad operating between Georgetown and Lewes ..."
The Bluebell Railway on 9 Aug., 2015, by Brian Seaman.

Writes Tony Hillman: "The Railway's photo collections include many images that include  railway infrastructure. Here's a small selection from John Smith and Alan Postlethwaite ..."

"Bluebell Railway on an early autumn Saturday," by Nick Dearden.

This photo--by the marvelously named Ingy the Wingy--shows No. 60103 on 3 March, 1984, passing Hellifield box enroute to Carnforth (Creative Commons).

To mark the famed "Flying Scotsman's" eagerly anticipated return to the tracks, the National Rail Museum is planning a whole season of events and activities beginning in February 2016 at its York and Shildon museums to celebrate a locomotive legend.

The events begin with "The Inaugural Run" in February 2016 (prices, exact date, and booking information to be determined). This will be a chance to ride behind the restored No. 60103, resplendent in its new BR green livery, as it makes its first run between London Kings Cross and York.

Learn more here .

Watch "Flying Scotsman" going directly from King's Cross to Waverley station without stopping in 1968.
West Sussex County Council archivist Bill Gage will host a talk and film called Tales from the Rails: Stories From The Days of Steam at West Sussex Record Office, Chichester, on 27 Oct., 2015 at 7 p.m. More details here .
Southern Steam in London: Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Feltham Yard, Clapham Junction, and More.
From The Guardian : "Overuse, pollution, and climate change are threatening the survival of the River Ouse in East Sussex. But this is not just a local crisis, the water supply for the whole of Britain is in jeopardy ..."



* Full Title: London and South Western Railway 4-4-0 No. 294 Hauling Southampton Boat Special

* Artist: Jas Longden

* Date: 1899

* Medium: Oil on canvas, 35.1 x 66 cm

* Collection: National Railway Museum


This issue, we continue the "Your Painting" Southampton boat train theme. Note that the same salmon-and-brown carriage livery has been applied to LSWR carriage No. 1520 at the Bluebell Railway--see "Website Gems" elsewhere in this newsletter!

To view a larger version of the painting, click on the BBC image.
With all the remaining Golden Arrow Pullman Dining trains for 2015 fully booked, two additional dates have been added : 17 Dec., 2015 and 3 Jan., 2016. There also are a few tickets remaining for the New Year's Eve Golden Arrow Special

The Sussex Poppy Appeal 2015 was launched at the Railway on 24 Oct., 2015. The county's Royal British Legion site can be found here . The photo above comes from this Uckfield FM story .
Steam trains general repair, 1938 (a loco being inspected for wear, and subsequently undergoing a general repair at an LMS loco works).
A new exhibition--" The Lyme Railway: Axed Fifty Years Ago "--has opened in the Rotunda Gallery of Lyme Regis Museum. The exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the rail connection between Axminster and Lyme Regis, a service known as "Lyme Billy". 

For many years, this classic country branch (opened in 1903) was worked by Adams Radial tanks, one of which is preserved at the Bluebell Railway: No. 488 (BR No. 30583).  

To see the remarkable site of Adams tanks (including No. 30583) working the line even in 1960, watch the beginning of this Railway Roundabout compilation film. 
"Hotel"--the LMS was much more than a railway; it was the largest commercial undertaking in the world when this video was made, showing off the chain of city, business, and leisure hotels on the LMS railway system. Interestingly, the Turnberry Hotel coverage includes a rare view of Turnberry station, on the Maidens and Dunure Light Railway. 


Derek Hayward captured "Camelot" on a test run on 20 Oct., 2015, preparing for a starring role in "Giants of Steam" on 31 Oct. and 1 Nov. 

Earlier in the week, Heritage Painting of Blackburn, Lancs--specialist contract painters of rail and road locos and rolling stock-- repainted "Camelot"   to beautiful effect. 
On its Facebook page, the HP team notes "The finished job complete with sign written numerals and hand painted BR early crest. An incredible effort from the team to turn this one out in such a short time period."
The overhaul of "Camelot's" boiler was made possible with help from the Keep Up the Pressure (KUTP) Appeal. This appeal hopes to return other locos to steam, such as Battle of Britain class No. 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" and V class No. 928 "Stowe". To donate to KUTP, click here .
Let's cross our fingers that "Camelot" is steaming up and down the line for the "Giants of Steam" event ... 
John Sandys shot this video of  
John Sandys shot this video of "Camelot" on a recent test run.
View all the details of the Giants of Steam weekend (31 Oct. and 1 Nov., 2015) here .

This banner event will include (subject to availability) the visit of No. 70000 "Brittania"; the return to service of No. 73082 "Camelot"; a goods train; double-headed trains; Pullman cars "Christine" and "Fingall"; views of the No. 32424 build and No. 27 restoration; model railways and films at Horsted Keynes; and a free vintage bus service travelling via Brighton Pool Valley, Lewes Prison (!), and Sheffield Park. 
And much more ...

During "Giants Weekend" passengers will have the opportunity to sample Pullman travel for the price of a first class ticket. On each day, morning coffee, light lunch, and tea and cake will be served in the Pullman cars, while in the restaurant car the Harvey's bar will be open serving Sussex Old and Sussex Best Bitter. 

PLUS, on 31 Oct. Gordon Pettit and Nicholas Comfort will be signing copies of their new book on Regional Railways in the shop at Sheffield Park (see below to learn about this new book). 

Applications are sought for the post of General Manager of Bluebell Railway, PLC.

Reporting to the Chairman, the General Manager will be responsible to the Board of the Company for the overall day-to-day management of the business, including personnel management, customer service and marketing, operations and maintenance, retailing and catering, and finance and administration.

The General Manager also will coordinate the day-to-day implementation of the plans and policies approved by the Board of the Company, in support of the long term aims and objectives of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society.

The successful candidate will have a good track record in people management and frontline leadership of organisations in the visitor attraction, tourism, and heritage sector, or other service-orientated sectors and will be educated to degree level or equivalent. This is a full-time role, with flexible hours to suit both the needs of the business and individual personal circumstances. The salary will be competitive for the sector and is negotiable.

Performance and the achievement of objectives will be reviewed annually in accordance with the Company's policy. Candidates should send their application and accompanying CV either by post to Lisa Boyle, Personnel and Administration Manager, Bluebell Railway, PLC, Sheffield Park Station, TN22 3QL or by email to lisa.boyle@bluebell-railway.co.uk .

The closing date for applications is noon on 30 Nov., 2015. Bluebell Railway, PLC is an equal opportunities employer.

For some time now, only essential asset protection and estate-type issues between Horsted Keynes and Ardingly have received attention by the Western Extension Project (WEP). Now only a few of these tasks remain outstanding, and they may well drag on for some time before agreement is reached with land owners. In the meantime, there is little significant work that can be done to progress WEP without substantial funding.

Consequently, the WEP Steering Group presented a strategy paper to the Trustees and Directors earlier this year which sets out the cost of first obtaining planning permission followed by a Transport and Works Act Order (TWA). Both are required before any serious design and construction issues can commence.

This approach was approved by both of the Railway's governing bodies, so the main focus is now to source the £400,000 required to achieve these key permissions within the next couple of years.

The project's time scale is driven by the lease on Lywood Tunnel, which was capped at 10 years, starting in 2013. This fact requires us to have obtained (or have made significant progress towards obtaining) both the above permissions or risk non-renewal of the lease and lose the option to purchase.

It goes without saying that without Lywood Tunnel there is no western extension, so like it or not, in order to construct a Railway to Ardingly, we must satisfy the Highways Agency lease conditions because they are the tunnel's current owners.

To put things into context, we anticipate that at least 5 years is required to achieve planning permission and the TWA order. They are significant pieces of legislation involving equally significant professional fees. It is now 2015, so there are now eight years left on the lease--two years of which are set aside to raise the necessary cash, followed by five years for the legal process, plus a one year contingency. This timeline absorbs the years until 2023.

Not surprisingly some people have asked why we are actively working on WEP when the Railway has announced that its prime focus--following the opening of the Northern Extension--would be the backlog of infrastructure works south of Kinsgcote.

Hopefully this update explains why. Put simply, in order to protect the trackbed from Horsted Keynes to Ardingly for a future extension, we had to act before the 2013 deadline expired, after which the British Railways Board Residuary closed down and transferred its remaining assets--of which Lywood Tunnel was one--to the Highways Agency. For a number of reasons, the likelihood of successfully obtaining a lease on the tunnel after that date was predicted to decrease.

By the WEP Steering Group

" The Regional Railways Story tells how, under British Rail, a ragbag of routes with no obvious future was transformed into a forward-looking network through simultaneous innovation and cost-cutting. 

"Working with the Bluebell Railway's President to tell the story of BR's provincial sector, and of Gordon Pettitt's own creation of Regional Railways, was a tremendous experience, involving a crash course in railway management.  Pulling together the narrative about how the sector evolved in just a decade into a highly successful vertically integrated railway involved picking the brains of many other remarkable railway managers from Scotland to Cornwall. 

"Telling the story of what has happened in the decades since--privatisation and fragmentation accompanied by continued growth--put us in touch with the people who now run our railways, with their own strengths and insights.

"As for our assessment of the future: that was all Gordon, drawing on 65 years' experience of what the railways can do best and of the forces trying to stop them doing it. If you are interested in Britain's railways away from the South East, or simply wonder what Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne means by the "Northern Powerhouse," I hope there is something in this book for you--and if I say it myself, the photos are stunning!"

View the book on Amazon .
From 24 Oct., 2015, for an experimental period on Service 2 days, the Railway's carriage sets will be swapped so that Set A will be the "vintage set" and set B will be formed of the Mk.1/Bulleid carriages. This experiment is to see if coach parties can be better accommodated with less crowding on the popular noon departure from East Grinstead.

A large crane moving containers in preparation for the new carriage shed (photo by Mike Hopps). 
As the time nears when a pile driver will trundle down Station Approach in Horsted Keynes towards the Salt Yard, work is still ongoing to clear and make space for Carriage and Wagon containers which have been living where the new carriage shed will be erected. 

On 20 Oct., 2015 a very large crane arrived to lift and position some of the heaviest containers, which we can't move with the roadrailer or a HIAB lift.  The operation is somewhat akin to one of those puzzles you get in Christmas crackers where lots of little squares have to be moved around in order to eventually see the picture. 

Hopefully, the picture will become clear after Friday, 23 Oct., when an even heavier crane comes in to move the last of the containers that are all being arranged neatly in rows at the bottom of the Salt Yard. Wheelsets and bogies also have all been carefully moved and placed where they can be more easily accessed, and the absence of long grass means we can actually see what is there!
As well as doing the bulk of the clearing, the Infrastructure Team (aka the "Orange Army") has been making preparations to move and reposition the old trim shop that now becomes the new Infrastructure/Permanent Way mess room, with a grandstand view of approaching trains. (There is no truth in the rumour that there will also be a gazebo, terrace, parasols, and barbeque!)
By Mike Hopps, Infrastructure Department

Members of the "Orange Army" make up shuttering for mess room foundations (photo by Mike Hopps).

No. 1520 seen posed with LSWR loco No. 488 at its official re-launch on 26 March, 2010 (photo by Alex Morley).

This coach was built for use on the LSWR's main line from Waterloo, as part of a four-coach set. The enormous luggage van, occupying half the coach, was duplicated at the other end of the set, a reminder of the enormous quantity of luggage carried by holidaying passengers in the early years of the 20th century.

It was formed into Set 63, along with identical brake third No.1519, 1st/3rd composite No. 388 and 2nd/3rd composite No. 385 (which was later reclassified to all 3rd at some stage between 1916 and 1920, with the general abolition of 2nd class). The set became 146 under the Southern Railway, but not before the original 1519 had been destoyed in an accident at Vauxhall (29 August 1912) and replaced by a replica of itself.

This set, with lavatories in all coaches (but only accessible from about half of the compartments) would have been employed on express services from London to Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Weymouth and North Devon, and very often was to be found with an extra luggage van attached, notwithstanding the great luggage capacity which already occupied a quarter of the length of the set.

With the introduction of more corridor stock to the main-line services, these sets gravitated to secondary lines, and eventually became known as "cross-country sets".

Seating and viewframes - Dave Clarke - 25 Oct 2009 On withdrawal it was partially stripped internally for departmental service, as a railway ambulance van, first at Feltham Marshalling yard and later at Hither Green. In this form it was, in reality, a mobile first-aid post, although it was converted to carry stretchers, losing most of its original interior ...

View the full page here .
Apologies to photographer Peter Edwards, who provided the image of the Hastings Unit No. 1001 in the last issue's Photo Gallery. We mistakenly credited that photo to Keith Duke. Many thanks to Peter, Keith, and all whose photos we use. 
PARK LIFE          

Some really superb photos taken on 15 Oct, 2015 by Keith Duke of autumn colours at Sheffield Park and Garden, looking very much like one of Sussex's crown jewels!

Derek Hayward (2015): An update to Derek's 2015 album (on his new website) includes the photo above of Driver Mike and his fireman (taken on 10 Oct., 2015) and of (a different) Mike and Miranda's wedding. To enquire into booking a Bluebell Railway wedding, click here .

John Sandys (13 Oct., 2015): "A
lovely if chilly Autumn day with the colours really turning now in the trees."

John Sandys (15 Oct., 2015): Includes photos of No. 323 "Bluebell" hauling the Autumn Tints Special.  

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