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News from the Bluebell Railway 26 January 2014    
Recreating the golden age of steam for passengers of all ages, the Bluebell Railway has a large collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, and equipment and holds many special events throughout the year.
Floreat Vapor: Let Steam Flourish! The Bluebell eNewsletter is sponsored by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
In This Issue
Unusual Bedfellows
Thank You: Your Ongoing Support Is Crucial
C&W Maintenance Update
Horsted Keynes to East Grinstead in Three Minutes
An Outstanding Recognition
AWF Update: Fit-Out Begins
Special Diesel Service & "Light Bites"
Celebrate Valentine's Day by Train
A Signal Achievement
A Trip Down Memory Line: Irish Rail Photos from the John J. Smith Collection, Part 2
Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club to Present "Wynns of Newport Heavy Hauliers"
"Find Out More" About Volunteering
Enjoy These Beautiful Photos
Want even more locos?! Don't forget to click on the hyperlinks in the blue or underlined text !

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Keep Up The Pressure Boiler Appeal focussing on No. 928
Keep Up The Pressure Boiler Appeal focussing on No. 928 "Stowe."

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The DMU on training turns, 11 Jan., 2014, by Martin Lawrence.
The DMU on training turns, 11 Jan., 2014, by Martin Lawrence.

Locomotive Roster  

 

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Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  

    

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Track Safety
 

 

 

The Railway on 12 Jan., 2014, featuring the H-Class and DMU.
The Railway on 12 Jan., 2014, featuring the H-Class and DMU.
Railway Roundabout 1958 Cavan and Leitrim Railway, gathered the locos from lines closed earlier, such as the Cork Blackrock and Passage and Tralee and Dingle lines.
Railway Roundabout: In 1958 Cavan and Leitrim Railway had gathered the locos from lines closed earlier, such as the Cork, Blackrock, and Passage and Tralee and Dingle lines.

Northern Extension Project Progress  

 

   Just Giving  

 

50th Anniversary Appeal  

 

Bluebell Railway Trust  


Easyfundraising  

 

Easysearch  

Lewisham Bill: British Railways Diesel and Electrics in the '50s & '60s.
Lewisham Bill: British Railways Diesel and Electrics in the '50s & '60s.

 

Lewisham Bill: British Rail in the 1960s.
Video by Lewisham Bill: British Rail Blue Part 1, 1966-1969.
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies


Push-Pull on the Bluebell Railway in 1963 by Paul Plowman.
Push-Pull on the Bluebell Railway in 1963 by Paul Plowman. (Editor's Note: See the arrival of the electric train from Haywards Heah to Horsted Keynes via Ardingly.)
Station Facilities


Freshfield Bank track renewel, by John Harwood.
Freshfield Bank track renewel, by John Harwood.
An interesting set of photos from the John J. Smith collection, of vintage diesel locos, chosen by Tony Hillman. (Photo 6 is by Colin Hogg.) Archive photos can be browsed
and purchased here .

Video by Tim Field: Class 101/108 hybrid at the Bluebell Railway, 18 Jan., 2014.
Video by Tim Field: Class 101/108 hybrid at the Bluebell Railway, 18 Jan., 2014.
 Unusual Bedfellows

Like a scene from the Railway Series stories, No. 323 "Bluebell" is squeezed into the last vacant space in the Horsted Keynes carriage shed, a chance to sit in the dry until called upon for duty, should planned motive power become unavailable. Photo by Andy Prime. 
 















 
Thank You: Your Ongoing Support Is Crucial

Do you remember this time last year? We were going hell-for-leather to complete the extension, thanks to all the volunteer and financial support we received from our Members and others.

A year later, and yet again, Members and other supporters of our Railway are stepping in to help us at a time when financial help is badly needed with the Keep Up the Pressure Appeal.

Today the amount stands at stands at £123,500. Learn more about KUTP here .

Your generosity enables us to expedite the return to steam of three very useful locomotives, and it is allowing us to forward-plan for the next locos in the restoration queue.

Running a railway is certainly not cheap, and we have to make sure we can cover all rolling stock eventualities.

The Board is so very grateful for your contributions, which prove that there is as much support today--if not more--for the Railway as there was almost 54 years ago when our enterprise began.

By Roy Watts, Chairman, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society

 
C&W Maintenance Update

Fingall's painting has been completed, and the carriage is now being commissioned so far as the mechanical side is concerned.

Fingall has been replaced in the paint shop by LB&SCR Milk/Fruit Van No. 270, which has had its doors hung and a final top coat applied. Lettering and lining should be going on next week. 

At the same time, the paint shop has hosted the BGZ, the roof of which has been repainted so as to match the rest of the Golden Arrow set.

Also, our original wheelchair-accessible carriage--Mk. 1 No. 5034--has now gone into the paint shop for a much-needed re-paint. And as part of the winter maintenance of the Pullmans, the bogies from Car 64 ("Christine") have been sent to Ashford for tyre turning.

By Richard Salmon, Carriage & Wagon Volunteer

 
Raise money for the Bluebell Railway when you shop online. Register for EasyFundraising at easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/bluebellrailway . For more information, contact funding@bluebell-railway.co.uk .
Horsted Keynes to East Grinstead in Three Minutes 


A tribute to the famous London-to-Brighton films, John Harwood shot this video on board the Diesel Multiple Unit.

A visiting coach party from the DMU's home railway--the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth--were also on board.

 
An Outstanding Recognition

The Heritage Railway Association (HRA) recently recognised the Railway's progress with its HRA Annual Award (Large Groups), made to a HRA member organisation for an outstanding achievement in railway preservation.

The citation reads, "The Bluebell Railway in recognition of its completing the long-awaited physical link with the national rail network that enhances the profile and business opportunities both on the railway and in the local economy. This enormous task was made possible by the removal, mainly by rail, of a large quantity of landfill waste material."

To see other award winners, click here .











 
AWF Update: Fit-Out Begins

Work has commenced on the fit-out of the Above Workshop Facility (AWF). This work is being undertaken in two stages, the first to provide messing, toilet, and washing facilities in the south end.

Some limited office space to replace the existing Running Foreman's office and signing-on area also will be provided, so all footplate staff activities can be centered on one location. These new facilities are also for use by workshop staff, replacing their existing limited facilities.

Stage two--comprising the fit-out of offices, training facilities, and a locker room--will follow later. Work has been prioritised this way to get these much-needed staff facilities up-and-running.

The plan is to have the AWF operational by Easter, rendering the old footplate staff facilities redundant. These old facilities (kitchen, toilets, and seating) will remain for staff using the sleeping accommodation and van bodies.

By Chris White, Infrastructure Director, & Chris Hunford, Infrastructure Sub-Committee

 
Check out this webpage covering the visiting LT-liveried GWR Prairie Tank L. 150 (No. 5521), with work from Martin Skrzetuszewski, Martin Lawrence, Cameron Smith, John Sandys, and Nick Beck. The loco is on loan to the Railway courtesy of The Flour Mill Ltd. until July.
Special Diesel Service & "Light Bites"

Due to engineering work, an old-fashioned diesel service is operating between Horsted Keynes and East Grinstead on 1 and 2 and 8 and 9 February.

Also, a special bus service is operating between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park stations for those wishing to visit the Bessemer Arms restaurant, and the shop, museum, and engine sheds at Sheffield Park.

At Horsted Keynes station the first class restaurant car "The Sign of the White Horse" is serving a special "light bites" menu from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information and the menu, click here .

 
Celebrate Valentine's Day by Train 

This year, why not celebrate St Valentine's Day at the Bluebell Railway with the one you love, with either a relaxing Afternoon Tea on board the Wealden Rambler or a romantic dinner aboard the wonderful, atmospheric Golden Arrow.

Tea on the Wealden Rambler is an unforgettable experience and comprises a leisurely trip to East Grinstead and return together with tasty sandwiches and mouth-watering cakes and pastries all served to you by uniformed stewards who will attend to your every need to ensure you have a delightful afternoon.

The Golden Arrow departs at 7:30 p.m. from Sheffield Park and offers a three-course meal aboard the wonderful 1920s Pullman carriages, and the price includes a glass of bubbly on arrival. The journey lasts for about three and a half hours--perfect for a romantic evening for two.

The price for the Afternoon Tea is £43 per person and the Golden Arrow Pullman is £75 pp. Bookings can be made by calling 01825 720800 or by visiting the Sales and Information Office at Sheffield Park Station or the Travel Centre at East Grinstead. 

A Signal Achievement

On 11 Jan., 2014, the last signals (No. 26 Down Yard exit and No. 24A from No. 4 road to down-yard) were transferred back to the frame, which means all the panel switches in the box have now disappeared.

The first movement to be signalled using this dummy was for a trolley that needed to go down-yard (pictured below).

For more updates on the Horsted Keynes re-signalling project, click here .

By Peter Richards

 











Congratulations to Keith Porter and Peter Richards, both top of the table in the Railway's fundraising football competition .
A Trip Down Memory Line: Irish Rail Photos from the John J. Smith Collection, Part 2

Below is another example gleaned from the 1,100 photos of Irish rail in the John J. Smith Collection. ( Click here to see a larger version.) You can browse and purchase prints at this link .













The loco featured in this photograph is the GNRI U class 4-4-0 No. 203  "Armagh" built by Beyer Peacock, withdrawn 1962, as seen on 1 July, 1957, south of Bundoran Juction enroute Bundoran.

JJ Smith made the Bundoran line his priority on this 1957 Ireland trip , for almost 200 GNRI route miles closed in 1957, and the SLNCR Sligo-Enniskillen would be closed before the year was out,  a shocking event recorded in Irish Railfan News at the time. (Scroll down the page and click on the October 1957 issue for the closure details.)

Ireland's celebrated country singer Big Tom (and the Mainliners) recorded " GNR Steam Train ," for his home station--Castleblaney--had closed.

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year (as seen in the latest Steam Railway magazine article) and has run steam-hauled excursions all over Ireland. It continues to do so, with an impressive selection of locos and vehicles preserved and a new station building at its Whitehead base north of Belfast.

No less than three different classes of GNRI 4-4-0 tender locos of classes V, S, and Q will be lined up in the next year or two, a truly remarkable feat of survival and preservation, once restoration is complete.

The azure blue and signal red loco livery is particularly attractive, as seen in artist Debra Wenlock's evocative painting of the Bundoran Express running in to Enniskillen.

By Neil Cameron


Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club to Present "Wynns of Newport Heavy Hauliers"

Following the success of the April 2013 film presentation by retired director John Wynn at the Hailsham Pavilion, he has agreed to present a "Part 2" evening of historic films, featuring many of the company's spectacular continental operations.

The showing will take place on 23 April, 2014 at the Hailsham Pavilion, George Street, Hailsham. Doors open at 7 p.m. More details will be available soon, but pricing likely will be £5. Bookings can be made online at  hailshampavilion.co.uk or at 01323 841414. Seating is limited to 200.

A slideshow of Wynns delivering to the Bluebell Railway can be found here .

A Centenary parade of Wynns Transport through Newport in 1963. After 1964, all the locos, carriages, wagons, vans and cranes joining the Railway's collection had to arrive by road. Wynns of Newport (and other firms) delivered locos, the steam crane, and more.
A Centenary parade of Wynns Transport through Newport in 1963. After 1964, all the locos, carriages, wagons, vans and cranes joining the Railway's collection had to arrive by road. Wynns of Newport (and other firms) delivered locos, the steam crane, and more.


A quick note for photographers. The Bluebell Railway Photographer's Personal Track Safety (PTS) certificate price will be held at £30. More information can be found here .
"Find Out More" About Volunteering

Have you ever wondered how to become a volunteer, what it entails, and whom to contact?

Men or women, those with skills or no previous experience, younger than 16 (ask about the 9F Club) or perhaps newly retired, who can offer at least a day a month are invited to " find out more " about volunteering in the various departments on our Railway.

To help you narrow your choice of departments to volunteer for, ask for our newly revised recruitment pack, or join one of the "find out more" tours that operate on the dates below. Book your place by calling 01825 720800 or by e-mailing Volunteer Recruitment leader Clive Soper .

2014 Dates

(First Sunday of every month until November; the meeting time is 10:30 a.m. at the "classroom" at Sheffield Park Station. The day should end around 4:20 p.m.)  
  • 02/02/2014
  • 02/03/2014
  • 06/04/2014
  • 04/05/2014
  • 01/06/2014
  • 06/07/2014
  • 03/08/2014
  • 07/09/2014
  • 05/10/2014
  • 02/11/2014  


Enjoy These Beautiful Photos
of Our Railway













In John Sandys' set , see some of the recent flooding near the station in East Grinstead. And John's foggy photos from 21 Jan. put the Railway in a new, if subdued, light.

Paul Pettitt's Bluebell Railway photos, collected on a new website .

Steve Lee's photos (including the above) show the DMU working hard on the line.

John Bowers' "Hi-Res" picture library is an excellent reference resource.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our ever-growing Railway. Don't forget to share this eNewsletter with friends, colleagues, and family, through social media and e-mail. See you trackside in the heart of beautiful Sussex!
Warmly,

John Walls
eNewsletter Editor-in-Chief, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society