* Seaside Weekend : 7-8 Aug., 2016

* Punch & Judy Shows : Throughout August
East Grinstead to Sheffield Park, cab view from the Hastings DEMU, 7 May, 2016.

Now that No. 3188 has been restored, Richard Salmon has updated the Railway website's Carriage Stock List , the Carriage Collection webpage, and the webpage for the handsome No. 3188 .  
Horsted Keynes OP4 Shed roof complete, by John Harwood (22 June, 2016).


* Full Name: London, Midland and Scottish Railway Locomotive in Persia Taking Supplies to Russia (The LMS at War Series)
* Date: c.1939-1945
* Artist: Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971)
* Collection: National Railway Museum
* Medium: Oil on canvas
* Measurements: 76 x 114.2 cm
* Acquisition method: Obtained as a result of a direct claim of redundant material from the nationalised railway, 1962

The Persian Corridor was a supply route through Iran into Soviet Azerbaijan by which British aid and American Lend-Lease supplies were transferred to the Soviet Union during World War II.

British Army railway workers (from 1941) and later the US Transportation Corps (1942) ran this important railway corridor. This British Pathé newsreel from 1942 titled "More and More Supplies for Russia" gives an overview:

"Various shots of the trans-Iranian railroad carrying supplies from Britain such as mechanised equipment and oil that are destined for Russia. The trains leave the the docks and and head across the desert towards the Caspian Sea. At the frontier town of the Transcaucasian border, some of the parts are unloaded from the train and trucks are assembled ... "

Retro swing band The Jive Aces will perform at East Grinstead's Summertime Swing 2016 on 7 Aug., 2016. This year, Summertime Swing is a fundraiser for the Bluebell Railway, The Not Forgotten Association, and the East Grinstead Museum! More information can be found here
Feast of Bulleid steam and speed collection (re-edited), by Nick Dearden.

Don't forget that the Grinsteade Buffet Carriage at East Grinstead station and our Restaurant, Shop and Locomotive Shed at Sheffield Park station are open daily , even on days when no trains are running! 

After much work by the photographic team from the Museum Archive we are able to make available part of the Joe Kent collection of photographs ...


Coinciding with the Sussex Food and Drink Festival, this three-part DML special looks at different past aspects of catering on UK trains ... 

(Photo taken on 1 March, 1946.) The future marches on! "One of the Southern Railway's new tea trolleys in service at Waterloo Station, London. It carries enough hot water for 300 cups of tea, as well as having cake racks and ice cream cabinets."

[Never mind the tea, look at those cakes and biscuits!-The Eds.]


A fascinating film from the BFI archives about railway catering, from 1979. The route featured in this news item is the West Coast Main Line from Birmingham New Street to Euston.


Passengers enjoying a meal on the Brighton Belle in the 1970s.

From BBC Magazine (10 Jan., 2015) Britain's traditional railway restaurant car is threatening to make a surprising comeback, writes Adrian Quine.

The years after privatisation were not kind to the UK's restaurant cars. A 150-year tradition of fine dining on the move appeared to be about to be confined to the history books.

But now the romance of dining on freshly cooked cordon bleu cuisine and fine wine while travelling at 125mph appears to be creeping back.

Train operator First Great Western is the only company in the UK to offer traditional dining cars on regular services. When the railways were privatised in 1995 there were nearly 250 trains a day across the UK offering everything from artichoke and parsley soup to fillet steak, accompanied by on-board cellars stocking fine wines ... MORE.   ...
BBC Sussex has uploaded to Facebook this wonderful cab-ride video made during its recent visit to the Railway; it includes interviews with staff and volunteers.
Following on from our very successful match against Scaynes Hill Cricket Club last year, a Bluebell Railway XI is again challenging SHCC to a social cricket match, on 16 July, 2016 at Freshfields   right next to the railway, near Horsted Keynes. 

We hope to raise funds for both organisations. Please consider supporting (via donation or in person) Bluebell Railway members, staff, and volunteers in the 2016 team, and our friendly neighbours in SHCC.

More details and how to donate can be found at  this JustGiving page . Thank you!

The Railway on 26 June, 2016, by Brian Seaman.

Visual, video, and other tributes to the Battle of the Somme (1916) have been aggregated on Twitter with the hashtag #Somme100 . Included is this tribute from Waterloo Station. Rail was essential to move troops and materiel throughout World War I.

The National Railway Museum tells the " forgotten story " of WWI ambulance trains in a new exhibit.

Up 'Devon Belle' at Exeter St. Davids (Ben Brooksbank, taken 16 July, 1949). View northward, towards the Devon and Cornwall destinations on the SR - but away from those on the GWR/WR. Bulleid Light Pacific No. 34011 "Tavistock'" (built 10/45 as No. 21C111, withdrawn 11/63) heads the Plymouth portion of the Up 'Devon Belle', which it will lift up to Exeter Central to join with the Ilfracombe portion (with its Observation- Car) for the journey to Waterloo. The train is at the central island platform used by SR trains (cf. SX9193 : Down SR express at Exeter (St. Davids).

More on the the " Devon Belle ."

G1 Live Steam at the 2016 Bluebell Railway Model Railway Weekend.


The Devon Belle : As the camera pans across the Pullman observation car of the "Devon Belle" standing in station; people walk past. Various shots of the porter cleaning the windows. Good shots of rails as train speeds along; shot from rear of train. Interior observation coach showing people seated watching scenery passing ...

To accompany the following video, this history of the Brighton Motive Power Depots is well worth a read.
Southern Films' Steam Days at Brighton: Footage of steam locomotion at Brighton towards the end of operation, including a rare special along the freight-only Kemp Town branch.


"Captain Baxter" can be seen in this remarkable photo of the Fletcher Five , from Talyllyn Railway's Facebook page. Our trusty ambassador is one of the stars at " Talyllyn 150: The Grand Finale ," a festival taking place this weekend, 1 to 3 July, 2016.

One of the new accessions to the Bluebell Railway Museum is the final diagram from the Withyham signal box, created before closure.

Writes Tony Hillman, "It is interesting to see how the signal box had been downgraded in the final years with many of the levers being taken out of use. Only the two levers locking the level crossing plus one each for the Up and Down Home signals being in use. The Distance signals have been fixed and the points to the siding clipped."

To stay up-to-date on new items for the museum, click here .


The Sussex Food and Drink Festival visited the Bluebell Railway on 2 and 3 July, 2016. For more photos and information about vendors, visit the festival's Facebook page .

To see the current total for the ASH Appeal and make a donation visit the Just Giving website page or download a Gift Aid form  and send in a cheque. All contributions are greatly appreciated!


Above, the main regulator body and the small and large valves that act upon it, machined in house. When fitted in position the slide valves operate vertically. It is almost upside down sitting on the bench. Photo by Fred Bailey.
"It has been a little while since we have updated ... our progress. There are all sorts of things on order and happening as I write, but for those I have no photographs.

"At present we have on order the castings for the firehole door together with those for its hinges. The other parts for this are laser or water-jet cut and are in stock as I write, but obviously they all need further engineering work carrying out on them to make them useable.

"The 'Brighton' fire-hole door is like most others, not as simple as it might appear, there being at least 20 components required to make up the assembly. Also on order at this time is the large cross member that spans the firebox to support the firebars. At present I am still working on finding the correct iron specification for the latter. There are 160 of them needed to make up the grate.

"With our sub-contract machinist company in Storrington are the window frames for the cab spectacle plate windows. Due to their odd shape, they lend themselves to being CNC milled from the basic castings. Glass for these will be ordered shortly--not picture glass though!

"Also there are the 'bottle ends' that will be welded to the superheater flues. These all need to be machined inside and out to match the flue tube thickness, and they need threading at one end to suit the threads in the copper tube-plate in the firebox. All the tubes (134 of them) and the superheater flues (32 of those) are on order with delivery expected before September ... "

More updates can be  found here .

(From the Crawley Observer , 30 June, 2016) More than 200 Cubs from Crawley District celebrated the centenary of Cub Scouting in style with a hike, train ride and barbecue.

On 18 June they met up with leaders and other adults and friends at Blacklands Farm Guide Site in East Grinstead before hiking to Kingscote Station where they boarded their own chartered train for the day.

After a short journey to Sheffield Park, they spent time enjoying the museum, engine shed, shop, having lunch, and watching a specially prepared DVD exploring the past 100 years of gadgets, aviation, and Scouting.

Cub Scout Leader Craig Edwards said: "The staff at Sheffield Park were excellent.

Some 300 cubs, leaders, adults and guests were then joined by Crawley Mayor Raj Sharma, his wife, and Assistant County Commissioner Cubs Jill Gladman, before then travelling the entire length of the Bluebell Railway to East Grinstead and returning to Kingscote Station. After a return hike to Blacklands Farm Guide Site, they sang happy birthday around a splendid cake ...

To read more, click here .


(From wainrightsfinestsecr27.blogspot.co.uk ) As well as a full time job, driving steam engines, looking after his partner and having a social life, Matt Holloway has continued with the production of CAD drawings for the locomotive!

His latest offering is an advance copy of a 3D CAD model of frames (complete with cylinders and stretcher bars installed! (Pictured below is the right hand frame view.)

The plan now is to use these drawings to produce water or laser cutting templates for the frames and stretchers, especially the section at the rear of the loco, which was eaten away by the corrosive action of the coal dust mixing with rain water. 

There is a probability that the drawings will need to be modified slightly to allow for the modern metric plate, but that will not cause any great problems.


(From The Argus , 15 June, 2016) Twenty four family carers, along with those they care for who have dementia, enjoyed a special, memorable day out to the Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park.

The day included a ride on a steam train through scenic countryside whilst tucking into a delightful ploughman's lunch.

Transport was provided for those who required it and "goody bags" were given to all the carers. The outing was funded by a kind donation from the East Sussex Women of the Year.

It was organised and supported by staff at Care for the Carers.
Gordon Murray, beloved creator of the Trumptonshire stop-motion children's TV series, has passed away , aged 95.  Murray based his trinity of Trumptonshire villages on Wivelsfield Green, Plumpton, and Chailey in Sussex.

One of the Bulleid Society's projects, Coach No. 5768 has been moved into the dock in the Carriage & Wagon shed at Horsted Keynes for the roof to be canvassed. This photo, taken by John Fry, was taken during the Model Railway Weekend. Click here  for more Bulleid Society updates.


Richard Salmon has updated the Sheffield Park Signalling webpage, adding details of the long-section working that has now been implemented as an option when only one train is running, with thanks to Chris Majer and Peter Richards.

Sheffield Park only has trains arriving from one direction but has a lot happening in the other! When a train is advised to the signalman at Sheffield Park by his colleague at Horsted as being "in section" then, assuming the road is clear, he will set the route for the appropriate platform and pull off his signals.

We will assume no other movement nor shunting is happening and that the road is clear to the south end of the platforms.

First the signalman will pull off the outer home signal, 19, then the inner home, 17, which, once both are fully off, will cause the distant signal to come off automatically, provided the train has not already passed it ... MORE .

By Martin Lawrence.
Martin Lawrence (June2016): New photos added to Martin's June gallery, including Model Railway Weekend. 

John Sandys (28 June, 2016): "A busy day at the Railway!"

Chris Ward (25 June, 2016): "On a stormy June Saturday, featuring at least three thunderstorms, the Bluebell Railway played host to the annual Model Railway Weekend. Fortunately, the modellers were all safely inside!"

Oliver Pusey (25 June, 2016): Bluebell Railway Model Railway Weekend, 25 June, 2016.

Keith Duke (25 June, 2016): "Model Railway Weekend day one. Great day outl five locos and a traction engine in steam and some great model railways. Weather rather excitable!"

Dave Bowles (5 June, 2016): Photos of the service trains on 5 June, 2016.
John Sandys (30 June, 2016): "Almost warm enough for a summer's day for my visit today, the first train well-loaded with parties from schools and coaches: good to see! This set features further work on the Elephant Coach to turn it into a play carriage for our younger visitors, and also shots around Hosted Keynes and East Grinstead." 
By Oliver Pusey.

The eNewsletter is going on its holidays. This edition will be the only one in July; we'll be back on 7 Aug., 2016.
Thank you for reading our eNewsletter. Don't forget to pass it along to friends, family, and colleagues to let them know all the activities and opportunities--for young and old alike--that the Bluebell Railway offers. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have Railway news to share or if you have a question or comment.
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