17 July 2020

We're back and we're good to go!

That was the main message from the Railway this week as some staff and volunteers returned to work to begin the preparations for reopening.

Ticketswent on sale on Wednesday for the rebranded services to mark 60 years of operating as a heritage line. There are more details in this newsletter of the service trains and the dining specials which we'll be running.

And we published a wonderful promotional video to market our return to steam with commentary by actor Martin Clunes.

Therehas been a lot of activity at Sheffield Park this week and there is information about what's been happening in this newsletter.

And this edition marks a special moment in the history of our communications find out more at the end of this bulletin.

  • Paul Bromley, Communications Director, Bluebell Railway
It Ain't What You Do ...

... it's the way that you do it.

This special video shows visitors what to expect when the Railway reopens on Friday 7 August.

It highlights the compartments on trains, hand sanitisers across the railway, enhanced carriage cleaning, one-way routes, social distancing markers and other ways in which we have ensured people can continue to have a safe and enjoyable visit to the Bluebell Railway.
Covid-secure Measures

We know that what Bluebell Railway does best is provide an enjoyable and rewarding steam experience.

We want to reassure visitors that we have taken all necessary steps to make the Railway safe .

There is a special web page listing what we have done to prepare for reopening and how a visit willbe different as a result of the necessary measures for health protection and safety.
Rebranded services for reopening
The Pioneer
TheBluebell Railway was the first passenger-carrying standard gauge heritage railway in Britain and was therefore known as The Pioneer Line.

The pioneering spirit of theearly enthusiasts, members and volunteers will be recognised on the headboard of our service trains .

These trains will have compartments which carry up to ten people in 3rd Class or eight people in 1st Class. They are great value for large families.
Breakfast Belle
This is a chance to enjoy a continental breakfast in one of our four comfortable 1950/60s lounge or restaurant carriages.

The name is a nod to the famous 'Brighton Belle' service which ran from London Victoria to Brighton.
The Rocket
Our summer ploughman's service will be known as The Rocket — another acknowledgement of the history of the railways.

Theploughman’s lunch box includes a savoury roll, chutney, salad, butter and salad cream. Tea and coffee are also included in the price.

'Lettuce' take care of the food!
Cream Tea Riviera
The classic afternoon cream tea experience in the luxury of a plush vintage dining carriage.

The name is a variation of the classic train service known as the 'Cornish Riviera Express'.
The Blue Belle
The evening dining trains will also be a reminder of days gone by.

This named service remembers the rail tours of the 1960s when steam enthusiasts travelled between London and Brighton and took 'The Blue Belle' along the now disused Ardingly line to visit the newly preserved Bluebell Railway.

The onboard seating capacity has been reduced to allow for a comfortable socially distanced meal.
Back to work
Some of the museum volunteers were back at the museum on Platform 2 at Sheffield Park to carry out their delayed 'spring clean' ahead of reopening.

The museum will have a one-way system in place to allow visitors to see the exhibits while maintaining social distancing.
The interactive footplate experience is being installed in SteamWorks! between the tender and engine of C class No. 592.

It's the final part to complete the SteamWorks! exhibition and we hope to have it ready for an opening date in August.
A Caledonian Sleeper has been delivered to Sheffield Park to replace the current sleeping carriages.

Itwill eventually be used as overnight accommodation for volunteers. Watch out for further announcements about the terms of its use when it is fully operational.
The locoworks team has been preparing No. 541 and Camelot for the annual boiler exams.

Camelot's fire grate has been removed to allow for a thorough check of its condition.
Newsletter landmark
200 not out
This is eNewsletter number 200!

The first newsletter was published on 24 November 2011 and it has been a regular form of communication eversince.

The museum team has a complete archive of every issue if you ever want to check when something was published.
Emergency Appeal
The recovery appeal is continuing toraise money for the reopening of the Railway and to ensure key heritageskills remain in Sussex.

Thanks to the generosity of members,friends, supporters and the public, the appeal has raised nearly £390,000 — the more money that's raised, the greater the chances of the Bluebell continuing to flourish with steam.
Thankyou for reading our eNewsletter. It's because of 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 .

Paul Bromley
Communications Director
Bluebell Railway

© Bluebell Railway Preservation Society 2020