Car 54 Takes to the Air Again

Earlier this week, Pullman Car 54 was shunted out of the carriage shed and on to E road in
the maintenance area. It has been lifted on the jacks again for the brakes to be worked out.
Retired Carriage & Wagon fitter Robert Parker has volunteered to undertake the task of designing and drawing the revised braking system.

Attention in the works recently has focused on fitting the southern gangway faceplate and
the buffers, with help given by the Alf Brown Group, for which we are very grateful.

Meanwhile work still progresses on the interior. The opportunity has also been taken to
work out the positions of the wheelchair lifts in the double doorways and ascertain where
and how they can be securely bolted down to the underframe.

The relocation of the Pullman is only temporary as it is due to be shunted back into the
works week commencing 14 Oct., 2019.

By Sheina Foulkes, Supervisor, Carriage & Wagon Department
Welcoming Paul Bromley

I am pleased to announce that journalist and broadcaster Paul Bromley has joined the Bluebell Railway PLC Board of Directors as CommunicationsDirector.

Paul is a Working Member, and he volunteers as a Museum Steward and Education Guide. He replaces Roger Garman, who stood down at the PLC Annual General Meeting in August. Paul has extensive media and publicityexperience, and we are delighted to appoint him to lead our communications at a crucial time for the Railway.

"My involvement with the Bluebell Railway began 20 years ago when I moved to Sussex from London with a young family," says Paul. "Both my daughters were in the Stepney Club, and we used to attend the Days Out with Thomas, Stepney Easter Egg Hunts, as well as annual family trips onthe Santa Specials. I also drove 'Stepney' on one of the driving experience days. I still retain that excitement about the Railway, and Ilook forward to working with others on internal and external communications."

Continues Pauil, “One of the great strengths of the Railway is the passion of its members, staff and volunteers. They are all, in their way, responsible for the Railway’s communications because all their dealings with visitors help to promote the organisation.”

Paul has spent 35 years as a journalist and broadcaster spanning print, agency, broadcast, online, digital, and social media for local, regional, national, and international news organisations.

He is also an award-winning magician who has served on the brand, marketing, and publicity committee of The Magic Circle, helping to promote events, sell tickets, and provide media training.

The Railway extends Paul a very warm welcome.

By Christopher Hunford, Chairman, Bluebell Railway PLC
Changes to the Bluebell Railway PLC Board

The Bluebell Railway PLC Board has made a number of changes to roles and responsibilities and several new appointments.

All the Directors are committed to listening to the views of others, andthey are open to any ideas and suggestions for improving the way the Railway is run. They look forward to working with all staff, working members, and volunteers in the coming year.

Chairman Chris Hunford says, “I promised when I took over as Interim Chairman to keep everyone at the Railway informed about any changes and appointments, and I will continue to do so. All the directors are focused on ensuring the continued success of the Bluebell Railway as we prepare for the forthcoming Santa Season and for our Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2020.”

Following is a list of confirmed directors and their roles as of 1 Oct., 2019:

  • Interim Chairman: Chris Hunford
  • Locomotive Director: Chris Hunford
  • Company Secretary: Graham Flight
  • Finance Director (until November 2019): Martin Widdowson
  • Safety Director: Martin Cresswell
  • Infrastructure Director: Chris White
  • Assurance Director: Chris White
  • Operations Director: Mike Ellis
  • Rolling Stock Director: Bob Pamment
  • BRPS Chairman (Non-Executive Director): Graham Aitken
  • Retail Director: Neil Glaskin
  • Communications Director: Paul Bromley

Advertising and recruitment are under way for other roles and further appointments to the Board will be announced in due course.

By Paul Bromley, Communications Director
An additional date󈫽 Dec., 2019“added to the immensely popular Footplate Extra! experiences . Footplate Extra! offers the rare and exciting opportunity to experience first hand the firing and driving of one of the Railway’s steam engines!
NOTE: This issue will be the only eNewsletter in October. The next issue will be on 10 Nov., 2019.
Important Information About Lineside Photography

The Railway values our group of dedicated lineside photographers and know they share our priority for ensuring safe working along the line for accredited people under the existing permit system and PTS courses.

The pictures taken by lineside photographers provide the Railway with high-quality publicity pictures for our own communications, including Bluebell News, this eNewsletter, and other external promotional materials.

The current arrangements for lineside photography are on hold while discussions take place within the Railway and with the rail regulator and our insurers. These discussions are to ensure the system can continue with all the necessary safeguards in place.

While those discussions take place:
  • Photographers with an existing lineside permit can continue to use the permit until it expires.
  • Existing permits will not automatically renew, so we ask anyone without a valid permit to stay within normal public access areas.
  • Photographers PTS courses are in abeyance until after the review.
  • Applications for renewals or new permits are not being accepted.
  • The Railway will provide an update as soon as possible to allow photographers to plan their 2020 heritage railway photography season.

We hope this guidance sets out clearly the current position of the Railway and that you appreciate the reasons for reviewing the system forlineside photography.

By Christopher Hunford, Chairman & Locomotive Director, Bluebell Railway PLC
Giants Steaming In, 11-13 October

Visit the website for all your Giants of Steam Autumn Gala needs, including:

  • Timetables & Loco Rosters
  • Catering times
  • Tickets & Pricing
  • Full Steam Ahead experience with "Brittania"
  • "Britannia" Golden Arrow Service 


Here are some exciting autumn and winter events for your calendar ...

  • 11-13 October: Giants of Steam Gala
  • 26 Oct. - 3 Nov.: Witches & Wizards
  • 30 Nov. - 24 Dec.: Santa Specials
  • 30 Nov. - 23 Dec.: Golden Arrow Christmas Dinners
  • 2 - 11 Dec.: Festive Feasts
  • 31 Dec.: New Year on the Golden Arrow


The Railway is inviting all witches and wizards, ghosts and ghouls, to a spooky gathering this October half term. Head to Horsted Keynes Station for Halloween fun and games, including a fancy dress competition, crafty fun, and much more.

Tickets are on sale now (with a discount for advance purchase) or turn up on the day.
Infrastructure Update: Horsted Keynes Down Yard Trackwork

This report“from Bruce Healey“details the completion of the pointwork and relaying of the track leading up to it, which will enable the original headshunt“now completely relaid and to be used as a siding“to come back into use.

Photo 1 shows the OP4 headshunt/Down Yard siding point being worked on. In the foreground, S&T are installing the point stretcher bars, while behind Matt Crawford's team are completing the screwing down of the point. To the left can be seen the Balfour Beatty tamper which has travelled over the new point. Balfour Beatty were running a training course tamping some of the yard in return for which we received half of the ballast we needed for the yard. The other half is as yet unfunded.

Photo 2 looks north from the new point, showing the approach to the Down Yard. Note that there is a bit of a wiggle in the track. This will be rectified when A road point (the next point along) is moved to the left.As this point is at the end of its life, this work will only be done when the point is replaced. This is another item that is as yet unfunded. 

Photo 3 shows the new point looking south. The new siding is to the right, while the C&W Works/OP4 headshunt is off to the left.

Photo 4 , by Peter Edwards, shows the Balfour Beatty tamper in Platform 2 at Horsted Keynes on 18 Sept., 2019. 
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Funding for Three Projects Approved

Electricity upgrade work for Horsted Keynes Station has been approved bythe Board and the work will be carried out by UK Power Networks at the beginning of 2020. Cabling work will also be completed at the same time,utilising part of the overflow car park at Sheffield Park.

The Board has approved the work required on buffet carriage No. 1838, and the contract will go to the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore to speed up the maintenance work.

The Trust has approved funding of £32,000 for the relaying of track north of Horsted Keynes following repair work to the existing embankment. This work will involve replacing 13 panels of track and should be completed in November. This funding will allow the Railway to purchase new rail and stone, the sleepers already being in stock.
London Road Station I ,by Georg Eisler (1987, Manchester Art Gallery). An expressionistic depiction of London Road Station in Manchester, now Piccadilly Station.
Eastbourne, West Bromwich, and Seaton mini trams, 1950s.
"A Western King Class ,King George VI. Note the bell, which was presented by the Ohio Railway Co. after she was sent over for a trial in the 1920s. Now the loco is preserved in a museum."

A new special offer: visitors coming to the Railway via National Rail now can enjoy all day travel fortwo people for the price of one.

You can pick up a 2FOR1 leafletat National Rail train stations, and redeem the offer at the Bluebell Railway (note that this offer is not valid for Bluebell Railway Special Events).


The Bluebell Railway PLC will no longer accept cheques as of the 1 Nov., 2019. This decision is to improve banking processes. Cheques will be accepted up to midnight on 31Oct., 2019. After this date, all payments should be made by cash or online or over the phone by card.
Birdcage Takes Flight

On 21 Sept., 2019, the SECR Birdcage Brake returned to operational use after a protracted period out of service for repairs to the draw-gear atboth ends of the coach. Brian Lacey captured the carriage with the SECR O1 at Horsted Keynes with the morning's "Footplate Extra" experience.
Christmas Joy at the Bluebell Railway

A host of magical, festive events are planned for the Bluebell Railway during the festive season. Learn more and book tickets at for:

  • Santa Specials
  • The Carvery at Bessemer Arms
  • Christmas Dinner on the Golden Arrow
  • Festive Feast
  • New Year on the Golden Arrow
  • Annual Carol Concert
  • The Gift Shop
John Harwood took this video around the carriage works and Horsted Keynes, on 28 Sept., 2019.
A day out at the Bluebell Railway in 1986, by "eleanorjoan".
A visit to the Railway in September 2019, by "blackthorne57".
Father David Joins St. Giles, Bluebell Railway

The Rev. David Murdoch has joined St. Giles Church in Horsted Keynes as the new Priest in Charge and Chaplain to the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society.

Father David's first duties for the Railway will be to lead the annual Horsted Keynes Station Carol Service on 7 Dec., 2019, at 7:30 p.m.

As is often the way, Father David is a true railway enthusiast, and he says he is the envy of many colleagues to have this position at Horsted Keynes with its railway connection!

The photo by Tim Baker shows David and Christine Murdoch at their local train station.
Coffee's On!

The Macmillan Coffee Train went down a treat“not to mention the delicious cakes and beverages“on 27 Sept., 2019. Thank you to everyone who supported Macmillan Cancer Support and the "World's Biggest Coffee Morning"!

Did you spot Bluebell Railway on ITV on 28 Sept., 2019? The Railway was featured during Ben Hart’s intro video to Britain's Got Talent: The Champions !

We regret to report the passingof Neil Cameron. For many years, Neil was the driving force behind the Railway's steam crane, and he was a valuable and knowledgeable AssistantEditor and contributor to this eNewsletter. Read Neil's obituary here.
Ready to Dream

Julian Clark's first photo below sees No. 61306 "Mayflower" at KingscoteStation, preparing for its 5 October 2019, Steam Dreams charter from Bluebell Railway to Bath Spa, via Clapham Junction, Oxford, and Cheltenham. The second photo is of No. 47237 arriving at Kingscote with stock for the main line special.

Jonathan Hughes provides a short video clip of "Mayflower" climbing Freshfield Bank with its excursion train on 5 October 2019.
Photo 1
Photo 2
Home Improvements
Car Park Resurfaced

Potholes have been repaired at the main car park at Sheffield Park. New parking bays also have been clearly marked on the surface. This improvement will help visitors and volunteers to find parking spaces easily.
"Suite" New Carpet

New carpet has been laid in the Birch Grove suite above the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park. The makeover continues in November with repainting and new pictures for the walls of the room.
Brian Lacey nicely captured No. 80151 on 21 Sept., 2019, with the LSWR brake at West Hoathly.
John Sandys (19 Sept., 2019): In addition to shooting in the Loco Works, John notesthat it was "another beautiful day with a beautiful engine on Service One!"
Derek Hayward's photo shows the 09 during the weekly shunt, drawing the stored rolling stock out of the Ardingly spur on 19 Sept., 2019.
Ben Scott caught up with the Q class No. 30541 at Bewdley Station siding during the Severn Valley Railway's Autumn Steam Gala on 21 Sept., 2019. There are more SVR gala photos and video to be found on the Bluebell Railway Blog .
Brian Lacey's photo shows P class No. 178 on 14 Sept., 2019, as it sets off southbound withthe SR "Queen Mary" Brake Van, giving the first ride of the day.
Peter Edwards took this photo of the Standard 4 tank with its train at a location that is not often photographed, passing Sloop Bridge at the summit of Freshfield Bank withthe 2:55 p.m. train from Horsted Keynes on 19 Sept., 2019.
Thankyou for reading our eNewsletter. It's because of you“our members, volunteers, visitors, and supporters“that the Railway continues its success.

Pleasecontinue to support us by passing this issue on to your friends, family, and/or colleagues by forwarding using the social media links above, or encourage others to sign up for the 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

© Bluebell Railway Preservation Society 2019

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