Julie Jones Appointed General Manager

Julie Jones and Dick Fearn (photo by Roger Garman).
Dick Fearn, Chairman of Bluebell Railway PLC, confirms the appointment of Julie Jones to the position of General Manager. 

The post, which was initially created more than two years ago, is a key part of the company's organisational structure, leading the management team and supporting the Bluebell Railway's ever-expanding railway heritage activities.  

Born, educated, and living in the South of England,  Julie holds a first class bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Surrey University. In recent years she has followed a career in the Civil Service, working within the Ministry of Defence, the Environment Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and Department for Transport where her role included working with mainline train operating companies.

Julie has been actively involved in the heritage railway sector--at Mid Hants Railway--for 17 years, both as an employee and volunteer. She started as a Station Porter in 2001, qualified as a Guard, and transferred to footplate duties. Working through the ranks, Julie qualified as a Steam Locomotive Driver in 2010.

Dick Fearn says "Julie will bring strong team leadership and project management skills to the role, as well as first-hand knowledge of the workings of the heritage railway sector".

"I am delighted to be appointed as General Manager of the Bluebell Railway and I am very proud to be joining the management team," says Julie. "The Bluebell Railway is a fantastic example of railway preservation, and a real credit to those volunteers and staff involved with it over what is rapidly approaching 60 years of operation".

Julie will commence her duties in early August. She will be located at the Railway's offices at Sheffield Park.

New Bluebell Railway Trust Governor Chosen

The Bluebell Railway Trust has appointed Trevor Swainson as a new Governor, and he will take on the responsibility for co-ordinating fundraising across the whole Bluebell Railway, the Trust, the PLC, and the Preservation Society.

This appointment follows on from the retirement as Fundraising Director of Roger Kelly and the transfer of leadership on funding to the Trust, which, in the latter case, is due to new GDPR rules. Trevor will coordinate all applications for grants across the whole Railway.

One of the first actions Trevor will undertake is to set up a team to work on fundraising projects and to look for new sources of finance. Roger Kelly has agreed to join this team to share his considerable knowledge and experience, and it is hoped that new people will come forward to add their ideas so that we can continue the long and successful provision of funding for projects.

On accepting the appointment Trevor commented, "Big boots to fill! I hope to build on what Roger has achieved to maintain the momentum of fundraising. I look forward to working with everyone throughout the Railway to help us maintain and develop our fantastic collection of locomotives, rolling stock, and infrastructure. If you can help, please see the forthcoming advert in Bluebell News magazine and contact me to discuss what we can achieve together."

The upcoming visit of "Mayflower" (see next story) has created the opportunity for Steam Dreams to run a rail tour from the Bluebell Railway to Worcester on 27 Oct., 2018.

Tour No. 72051 is due to leave Sheffield Park at 8 a.m. and East Grinstead at 9:10 a.m., en route for Oxford (arrive at noon) and Worcester Shrub Hill (arrive at 2 p.m.). The return journey leaves Worcester at 4:30 p.m. and Oxford 8:10 p.m., arriving East Grinstead 10:15 p.m. and Sheffield Park 11 p.m. Fares and more information can be found at the Steam Dreams website .
Return of the Giants!

The Giants of Steam return for another Autumn Gala on 12-14 Oct., 2018.

Two very special locomotives will be visiting us this year: Gresley A4 Pacific No. 60009 " Union of South Africa " and LNER Thompson Class B1 No. 61306 " Mayflower ".

Neither of these beautiful steam engines have ever visited the Railway before, so don't miss this opportunity to see them in all their glory! This will be a rare opportunity to see the iconic "Union of South Africa" before she retires in 2019!

"Union of South Africa" by Tony Bartlett.

Final Call for Trekkers

This year's T rack Trek is a week away, but there is still time to register to walk the five miles from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park on the evening of 30 June, 2018, in aid of the Tr(ack) Action Appeal.  

The walk will cover some new track, and for the first time it will allow Trekkers to walk along one of the Up Yard sidings behind Horsted Keynes station before joining the single line track to Sheffield Park. 

During this part of the Trek, you will be able to view some of our resident steam locomotives, currently stored here while the ASH Project, which is transforming the locomotive shed at Sheffield Park, takes shape.  Those locos are British Railway 9F class No. 92240, LB&SCR E4 class No. 473, LSWR B4 class No. 96 "Normandy", and SE&CR C class No. 592.

The Trek will st art from Horsted Keynes station with registration and safety briefings taking place between 5 and 6 p.m. The walk starts at 6 p.m. once a possession of the Sheffield Park-to-Horsted Keynes section of line has been taken. 

Trekkers can park their cars at Horsted Keynes to start the walk, or alternatively you can use the Railway's train service from East Grinstead or Sheffield Park to arrive at Horsted Keynes in time to start the walk at 6 p.m. From Sheffield Park walkers will need to catch the 5:15 p.m. train and from East Grinstead, the 5 p.m. departure. A special evening train service after the Track Trek has finished will take walkers back to Horsted Keynes and East Grinstead stations.

The minimum expected sponsorship value is £20 per person or £35 for a couple or family (two adults and three children aged between 10 and 16 years). All Trekkers will receive a certificate after completing the walk. Trekkers who raise more than £100 in sponsorship will receive a commemorative medal. You can create your own fundraising page on BTs MyDonate charity website. 
To register for the Trek, send an email to   with your name, address, phone number, email address, number of people taking part, and whether you will be driving to Horsted Keynes or using the Railway's trains to get there. Alternatively, visit this webpage  for more details and to download the all-important sponsorship form.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday the 30th!

By James Young , Track Trek Event Manager

Earn triple donations on Amazon Smile until 29 June, 2018. To celebrate the successful launch of AmazonSmile UK, Amazon is tripling donations until the end of June on all qualifying purchases. Access Amazon through this Bluebell Railway Trust link .
Can You Help?

Commercial Manager Caroline Collins would like to know if readers living in communities close to the Railway would be willing to display boards advertising the Steam Through the Ages event in front of their homes. 
These boards--similar in size to estate agent boards--ideally will be displayed from 12 July, 2018, till the event date of 11-12 August. 
If you can display these signs, please contact  or phone 01825 720800. Thank you for helping out the Railway!

For window display, download the flyer here .
OP4 Update: Stable Progress

The embankment stabilisation work for OP4 continues apace. The two photos below show, in order, the works on 8 June, 2018 and the same view just 10 days later on 19 June: fantastic progress by Matt and his team.

The third photo shows the beginning of the excavation in preparation for the erection of the Heritage Skills Centre. The ground here has been lowered by approximately one metre, which gives sufficient height to roof level to accommodate a two-story structure. The erection of the steelwork is due to start in mid-July.

By Barry Luck, OP4 Project Manager

Volunteer Editor Sought for Points & Crossings 

A successor is sought for the Editor of Points & Crossings , who is standing down this autumn after the 100th issue of the newsletter for Bluebell Railway staff and volunteers. 

Points & Crossings appears roughly every three weeks, and it is read by most of the 800 or so Bluebell Railway personnel. It is available for download from an internal Bluebell internet site, with an email sent to readers whenever a new issue is ready for view.

This volunteer post involves the compilation and production--though not the distribution--of P&C , including the gathering of news items and photographs covering every aspect of the Railway and its activities for an internal audience.

The applicant will need good communication skills, a facility with the written word, proficiency with layout, and some knowledge of graphic design. He or she will work closely with the Volunteer Department and the PLC's Communications Director in preparing each issue. In the process, the Editor will liaise with managers, staff, and volunteers across the Railway, as well as with the editors of the Railway's other media, including Bluebell New s (the magazine), the eNewsletter, and websites.  

If you believe you have the right attributes, and the enthusiasm, for this post and can commit the time required, please email your CV and contact details to or telephone 01825 724884 to find out more.

Some exciting summer events for your calendar:
In the Frame

A visual progress report from Project 27 after a June working day drilling frame plates includes this photo: "To secure the two plates together, after drilling the initial hole, Ben is using a bridge reamer to finish a selected non-critical hole to final size. Then using a precision machined pin inserted into the finished hole the two plates can be locked together!" See more photos here

Sweepings From The Shed Floor: How to Prepare a Steam Engine

By Russell Pearce, Driver

Over here in the dimly lit recesses of the shed we are quietly beavering away at the daily task of running the train service about which I gave hint or two in my last offering. In closing I said that I would lift the curtain and reveal what we mean when we talk about "Preparation and Disposal".

In the "good old days", among the duties to be carried out by a set of men (i.e., a Driver and Fireman rostered to work together), was a job known as P&D. Not all the men on a roster had the glamour of roaring through the Kent countryside with train loads of jolly cockneys on their way to pick hops. Nor did they get to savour the bucolic joys of ambling along sleepy branch lines to Midhurst on a day excursion from Brighton picking up and setting down goods at way-side stations.

There was always at least one pair of men whose job it was to book on at cockcrow and spend a long day getting engines ready for someone else or putting away someone else's cast offs. However, it should be noted that it was not their job, when we say that they got an engine ready, to actually light it up. That was done by a man called a "steam-raiser". He would light a number of engines in one go and tend them until they had about 40lbs of on the clock when they were regarded as "in steam" and ready for a crew.

At 75H we have none of these, our men have to get their own engines ready and look after them from light-up to chuck-out. So here is what they do. Today, we look at "Preparation".

Works staff usually oversee the initial "warming" of a cold boiler the day before an engine is to be used for the first time. This is a slow process in which steam raising is avoided. The purpose is to warm the water and the platework very gradually and reduce the stress on the plates caused by a fast light up from cold ...

Better Know a Heritage Railway (Museum): Russian Railway Museum

In honour of the World Cup being held in Russia, a look at the museum in St. Petersburg ...

Re-opened in October 2017, Russia's main railway museum is among the world's largest railway museums. Spread over a large area, the complex features an old locomotive depot building and an eye-catching modern building, connected with a suspension bridge to make a single structure. The collection includes of rare steam and electric locos, railcars, and other rolling stock.

The idea for such a museum dates back to Soviet days, when in 1974, the Railway Workers' Trade Union issued a decree "On Setting up a Museum of Revolution, Military, and Labor Glory of the Oktyabrskaya Railway Workers". In 1991, an original museum was set up at Shushary Station near St. Petersburg. Construction for the new museum, at the city's Baltiysky Station, began in 2012.

From the Archive
"Six images from the Meon Valley line from Alton to Fareham from the
John J. Smith and Colin Hogg collections."

No. 30308 with the 7:38 a.m. Alton-to-Fareham train, taken at Droxford on Easter Monday (19 April, 1954).
Photo Gallery  
John Sandys (12 June, 2018): "A few photos from my visit to the Bluebell Railway today. An overcast but warm day saw the Q class in charge of a well-patronised train, with lots of happy smiling passengers on board."

Brian Lacey's photo shows No. 847 at Horsted Keynes on 16 June, 2018.
Jack Lamb's photo shows the Q class with a demonstration goods train, and the next demonstration goods train is planned for 14 July, 2018.

Peter Edwards' photo shows the SECR H class at West Hoathly on 17 June, 2018, with the vintage train consisting of an SECR carriage and three Southern Railway Maunsell carriages.
All Around the Railway

Mike Anton's 360° photographic views of the Railway have proved popular. We'll pick some of our favourites from time-to-time and share them with you, with a link back to Mike's site, .


Kingscote North Signal Box
Thank you for reading our eNewsletter. It's because of you-- our members, volunteers, visitors, and supporters --that the Railway continues its success. Please continue to support us by passing this issue onto your friends, family, and/or colleagues by , or encourage others to sign up for the twice-monthly eNewsletter at this link .

If you ever have a question, comment, or contribution, don't hesitate to get in touch with me at 

John Walls
Editor-in-Chief, eNewsletter
Bluebell Railway


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A feast of steam from Nick Dearden: "A compilation of clips of Bluebell Railway locomotives that ran for the 10 years between 2007 and 2017."
From the British Railway Photographs Archive: Swindon Crane

A crane at Swindon , taken in 1977.

There are many photos to interest our readers at this site, and prints are offered.

From the Glossary

Slang term for moving the reverser to reduce the cut off of the engine as the need for power is reduced.  

"Notching up" has also been adapted by diesel and electric locomotive drivers to mean increasing power. The term originated from the reversing lever quadrant which had notches cut into it to allow the lever to be latched in a particular position.


It's never too early to book for the very popular Christmas Festive Feast trains. Take a steam train ride from East Grinstead and enjoy Christmas Lunch in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park on 3-5 or 10-12 Dec., 2018.
From the Huntley Film Archive: Evening Star

GWR locomotive "The Evening Star" at Swindon. The last steam engine to be made by British Railways.

Side view of a Railway employee wearing a hat with badge saying 'Brighton Railways' talking and then turning to look forwards and point something out.

A large overhead sign '50th Anniversary' and the stationary well polished locomotive No 92220 'The Evening Star' at the edge of a platform with a set of steps for viewing purposes with several men looking over the train ...

Open Arms

Even though "Tornado" was not able to visit the Railway recently, our other guest proved very popular, and we hope to be seeing him again! The photo of Paddington Bear is courtesy of Anne Garman

Final positions in the 2017-2018  Football Competition , raising funds for the forthcoming overhaul of Southern Railway Maunsell Dining Saloon No. 7864, can be found here.

Congratulations to David Pegg who took the first two places and successfully predicted a Chelsea vs. Manchester United FA Cup final!

The competition added £247.50 to the No. 7864 restoration fund .

Timsvideochannel1: "See the Bluebell Railway as the driver sees it, thanks to the locomotive crew and the Railway kindly granting permission to attach a camera to No. 263."
Your Painting: Bank

Full Title: Bank Station Underground
Artist: Marjorie Collins
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 76 x 92 cm
Collection: Imperial Health Charity Art Collection

SECR P class No.178 has returned from a prolonged stay at the National Railway Museum. She was a great hit with the public, hauling their regular brake-van rides. The loco is now due its annual boiler exam.




Bluebell Railway
Sheffield Park Station
East Sussex
Near Uckfield, TN22 3QL