Four New Directors Nominated for Board of Bluebell Railway PLC
At the Company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24 Aug., 2017, the support of the shareholders of Bluebell Railway PLC will be sought for the appointment of four new directors to the Board of the Company, following a number of retirements in 2016-2017.

To assist readers, particular those who are shareholders and who may wish to attend the AGM, I am pleased to introduce the four directors concerned.

Bob Pamment - Rolling Stock Director

Bob is a former British Rail mainline fleet engineer and he has been an advisor to the Bluebell Railway on technical rolling stock matters for many years. He has great experience in the planned preventative maintenance of railway rolling stock, the best way to ensure that the safety and reliability of the carriage and wagon fleet is maintained at all times. Bob is also an experienced steam locomotive driver on the Bluebell Railway.

Mike Ellis - Operations Director

Prior to his retirement, Mike enjoyed a 35-year career with London Underground, culminating in the position of duty operations manager on the Bakerloo Line, the post from which he retired in 2014. Since then he has become well known to many people in the Bluebell Railway as our Chief Guards Inspector. Mike will bring day to day practical railway operations experience to the Board of the Company, in support of our prime objective of offering safe and reliable heritage train services for our visitors.

Sara Hancock - Commercial Director

Sara comes to the Bluebell Railway as a marketing professional with particular experience in market research, business development, and online communications. Sara has recently taken a break from her full time professional career to prioritise her family commitments, and we are therefore fortunate to have the opportunity to benefit from the marketing experience that she will bring to the Board.

Kevin Beauchamp - Infrastructure Director

Kevin is a career railway civil engineer with experience on the mainline railways throughout the South of England. He brings to the Board a wealth of experience in the construction, maintenance, and renewal of railway infrastructure. Prior to his retirement from his mainline career, he was the Infrastructure Director for HS1, the high speed rail route between London and the Channel Tunnel. More recently, he has helped and advised the Bluebell Railway on the construction of new covered accommodation for our heritage carriages at Horsted Keynes.

Funding Director

Later this year, the Bluebell Railway's highly successful Funding Director, Roger Kelly, plans to retire from the Board. No appointment has yet been made to that post, and we are still actively searching for a suitable successor for Roger.

By Dick Fearn, Chairman, Bluebell Railway PLC
Bluebell Railway Among the Winners of Lewes District Business Awards 2017

Organised by Lewes District Council, the Lewes District Business Awards recognise and celebrate business excellence amongst the local business community.

The winners of the 2017 awards were announced at an event held at Lewes Town Hall on 13 July, 2017, which more than 220 people attended, including 46 finalists. In all 14 trophies were presented by BBC News correspondent Ben Brown.

Winning categories included Company of the Year, Best Place to Entertain Clients, Business Person of the Year, and Best Business Growth.

The Bluebell Railway was extremely proud to win the award for Culture, Leisure, and Tourism.

Now in their fourth year, the awards offer a fantastic opportunity for many different types of businesses to come together and celebrate the District's business talent and achievement, recognising success, innovation, and excellence amongst the business community.

The winners were chosen by a panel of well-respected judges from companies and firms operating in the area.

The team at the event representing the Railway included Graham Aitken, Chairman, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society and Dick Fearn, Chairman, Bluebell Railway PLC.

Accepting the award Dick Fearn said, "On behalf of all staff and volunteers at the Bluebell Railway who work so hard to ensure all our visitors enjoy a great day out on our historic steam railway, I am delighted to accept this award."

For almost 60 years, since the line was finally closed by British Railways in 1958, the Bluebell Railway has recreated the Golden Age of Steam. Each year the Railway brings pleasure to thousands of people of all ages as they journey through this beautiful corner of unspoilt Sussex countryside.

By Roger Garman, Communications Director

The Bluebell Railway has introduced a new online ticketing option. Currently, tickets for the Santa Specials and the Hallowe'en Scream Train are available, but more choices--including day tickets--will be added soon. 

Learn more at
End of Southern Steam: A Retrospect

A sound-and-vision re-cap of summer 2017 End of Southern Steam Gala, an event (8-9 July, 2017) that marked the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on the Southern Region, with No. 34092 "City of Wells" visiting from the KWVR , supports by nos. 30541 and 73082.


By Chris Ward.


By Gary Smith.

By Gary Smith.
Education Volunteers Sought

The Railway's education department is expanding, and it needs you!

As an Education Volunteer, you will ...
  • Be part of our exciting new exhibition as an Explainer (opening Summer 2018).
  • Conduct fun science experiments.
  • Assist on family event days.
  • Guide school parties around our exhibits.
  • Facilitate outdoor education.
  • Escort school parties on the steam trains.
  • Get creative! Such as role playing in our WWII evacuation experience.
  • Gain valuable experience and build an attractive CV.
We are looking for people with an interest in heritage learning.  If you like working with people of all ages, are a good communicator, want to learn new skills, and share some of your own, then this could be the volunteering opportunity for you.  

Contact Ruth at or call 01825 720800 to find out more.

Ready(mix), Set, Go for OP3

Bruce Healey offers the following infrastructure update, with photos by Bruce and Barbara Watkins:

With work on the new points for the new carriage shed at Horsted Keynes (OP4) delayed waiting for parts, the opportunity has been taken to work on the carriage shed at Sheffield Park (the OP3 project).

The pathways between A/B and B/C roads are ballast and have proved awkward to walk on. We are replacing the ballast with concrete walkways. We are also putting in a conduit to allow a power point for each carriage. Steel reinforcing is used to guarantee the structural strength. 
With the volume of concrete required, we have to use a ready mix formula. As the ready mix truck cannot reach OP3, the concrete is loaded into the road railer box trailer and the concrete is distributed as in the top photo.
Christmas in July?!  It's never to early to book your place on our most popular Yuletide trains ...
  • Booking is now open for Christmas Dinner on the Golden Arrow Pullman train, on 2, 3, 8-10, 14-17, and 20-23 Dec., 2017.
  • This year you can choose to start your journey on our Santa Specials from either Sheffield Park or East Grinstead. They run on 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, and 22-24 Dec., 2017. Third class tickets can be purchased now. First Class tickets and phone booking will be available at a later date.
All Part of the Pullman Process

Bob Pamment submitted two photos taken in late June inside Pullman Car 54.

"We held the 'Critical Design Review' of the seating arrangement today," writes Bob. "John Knight produced a score sheet and persuaded 28 guinea pigs to try the seat and give a score rating for the various attributes. This will be fed into the final design solution."

A Window Into the CCT's Doors

Progress continues apace on the Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) S2531 during weekends and midweek as well.  

In the last few weeks, the large south end doors have been detached from the CCT and work has commenced on repairing the north end ones on trestles. The photos show a slight but noticeable curving profile to the long edges on the north doors! We're not sure how that occurred--maybe in BR days? 

Where the long hinges were attached to the external faces of the doors, new wood has been inserted, to replace the deteriorated original.

The interior ceiling has received further coats of undercoat, and the floorboards are ready for lifting. The metal bolts securing them in place had rusted away to such an extent that it was easy to remove them! Cleaning and painting of small metal items also continues.

The Camelot Society's thanks go to the keen and dedicated volunteers in the Carriage & Wagon Department at Horsted Keynes, for working on our van in the hot weather that we have been experiencing in the last few weeks.

By Julian Heinemann

Entries are now open for the easy-to-enter, no-expertise-required Football Competition, where you try to predict teams' positions in the Premier League and who might win the FA Cup next year--don't forget Brighton & Hove Albion will be one of the Premier League teams to choose from! The competition raises funds for the restoration of Maunsell Dining Saloon No.7864 .
Green Machine

Project 27 calls it a "small milestone," but we think the six wheels make a big impression now that they're painted with green undercoat! Photo taken on 10 July, 2017. More updates on this project can be found at this blog

Fire in the Hole!

On the Bulleid Society Facebook page, John Fry's photos from a visit to the South Devon Railway on the 26 June, 2017, document work on the construction of new fireboxes for No. 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" and "Blackmoor Vale". This photo shows the main boiler barrel for No. 34059 and the "remains" of the old firebox.

A 14 July, 2017, update on repairs to sections of the inner firebox, from the V Class No. 928 "Stowe" project Facebook page: "Inner firebox tubeplate with new lap seams left and right. Repair work has been undertaken around various stay holes."

Here are some upcoming Bluebell Railway special events to fill out the rest of your summer calendar, including the Summer Fun happenings to help the little ones let off steam during the summer holidays ...
  • Summer Fun (sports, games, petting zoos, entertainers, and other events throughout August)
  • Seaside Weekend (19-20 Aug.)
  • Freshfields Cricket Test Match (See box at right)
Enjoy the Autumn Tints in Style

This autumn, take in the colours of the Sussex countryside in one of the Railway's 1950s cars "Ashdown", "Chelwood", or "Balcombe". These cars are usually used for the Afternoon Tea service, but in October they can be enjoyed for a 22-mile Autumn Tints service along the Railway.

Plus, we are offering travel in the Observation Car with its unparalleled panoramic views and in our restaurant car "The Sign of the White Horse"--during the 11:45 a.m. Tints service enjoy on board a bowl of "soup of the day" with a warm roll.

Normal fares apply to travel in the cars; however, there is a £1 per person supplement to travel in the Observation Car. Book early for this service due to limited space. Dates are 2-4, 10, 12, and 17-19 Oct., 2017. Prices and booking information can be found here.

Strawberry Hill Forever!

Paul Bigland visited the team restoring 4VEP No. 3417 at Strawberry Hill depot on 7 July, 2017. His Zenfolio gallery takes a look at progress so far.

Detailed updates from the "minions" of the Southern Electric Traction Group can be found here. And for those who have never read one of these colorful missives, just a taste:

"... Compressor MCBs reset and that familiar compressor thunka-thunka-thunka from below the motor coach started. Darren put a key on and the handbrake buzzer sounded ('That's not right', we thought. 'We'll come to that'.) and charged the brake pipe. Time to check for leaks! First Driving Trailer was great--not a hiss in sight. Trailer coach. Ah-ha! There's a leak. We found to be the seal on the back of the coupling on the main res pipe leaking. A bit of fettling later, and the leak is like Monty Python ('This hiss is an ex-hiss') ..."

From the Railway Archive
In this selection from the John J. Smith collection, curated by Tony Hillman, we're "still on the Isle of Man, but the electric railway this time."

Photo Gallery 
Keith Duke (15 July, 2017): A Sunbeam-Talbot gathering at the Railway.

See also Keith's photos from 22 July, 2017 ("An enjoyable morning at the Railway with the 01 and No. 34092 on the service trains and 'Camelot' raising steam for the Rambler in the afternoon.") 
Colin Turner: "City of Wells" at Horsted Keynes on 15 July, 2017. This wonderful loco is visiting until the end of July

Steve Lee (11 July, 2017) "I titled this 'Pure Southern'. The days when I was a young 'un, and I can recall the Light Pacifics working into Eastbourne with the newspaper train and then the early morning 'Hailsham Flyer'. I used to see it on the way to school. This is what the Bluebell Railway does so well. Happy memories."
Steve Lee (15 July, 2017): "Class 01 No. 65 arrives at Kingscote with its first revenue earning train following its eight year overhaul. A credit to all involved."
Martin Lawrence: Update to his June 2017 gallery.

John Sandys (5 July, 2017): A very hot day saw "Camelot" take over from the Q class which needed more work on its super heater. Plus, there was large turn-out of coach passengers, more work on the 01, and "City of Wells" making a test run.

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
this email address .

John Walls
Editor-in-Chief, eNewsletter
Bluebell Railway



David Allen and Alex Mansfield have published a short documentary about the legendary Freshfield Bank track re-laying, achieved in just one night, 5-6 June, 2017.

"Yes, in one night, so trains were not interrupted at any time! Never attempted on Bluebell before and probably never attempted on any heritage railway before!"

Read the whole story here.

New Museum Quiz Created for Children Up  to 7 Years Old

Pick up a copy of the Railway's new quiz for our youngest visitors when you next visit the Museum. 

It is double-sided and contains 10 questions. Visit this webpage to download a printable copy to give you a head start when you arrive.

New to this quiz is the hunt for two mice hidden in the display cases!

Breaking news ... due to player availability, this year's Freshfields Test Match will be delayed till later in the summer.

We are still looking for players. If you are interested in playing in this fundraising cricket match next to the Railway, against our neighbours Scaynes Hill, please contact eNewsletter editor John Walls.

All with a connection to the Railway are welcome to play.  
Railway & Heritage News Briefs

NYMR: Heartbreak after vandals attack heritage railway carriages ...

Steam trains departed from Waterloo station on 9 and 10 July, 2017, to mark the 50th anniversary since they were permanently replaced with electric engines ...

A newly qualified Aberystwyth locomotive driver celebrated his 21st birthday last week by becoming one of the youngest steam train drivers in the UK ...

North Devon's biggest heritage railway has made a massive investment with a completely new build steam locomotive to replace the one lost in 1935 ...

A train has been named in honour of a long-serving Plymouth warship. The GB Railfreight engine was officially named "Argyll" during a ceremony at HM Naval Base Devonport on 11 July, 2017 ...

Cherished steam engine Loco #5 has returned to service with Snowdon Mountain Railway, carrying passengers to the mountain's summit for the first time in 17 years  ...

India launches first solar-panelled train in bid to cut down diesel use ...

Brakes slammed on bid to bring vintage Swiss locomotive to Snowdonia ...

Historic locos steam through Blackmore Vale to mark 50th anniversary ...

By John Harwood: This view through OP4 of Camelot with the 12 09 to Sheffield Park will soon be obscured by carriages.

By John Harwood: "This view through OP4 of 'Camelot' with the 12:09 to Sheffield Park will soon be obscured by carriages. 'Camelot' also on the 1:55 arrival at East Grinstead."

The webpage for the Railway's popular BR 350hp diesel-electric shunter D4106 has been updated to reflect its return to its original livery. (Thanks also to John Elphic.) 
Your Painting: No. 182

Full Name: Southern Railway Electric Locomotive No. 182
Artist: Unknown (poster art for SR)
Medium: Oil on canvas Size: 64 x 60 cm
Collection: National Railway Museum

From the British Council Archive: Power to Order

" Power to Order" follows the production of a steam locomotive at the renowned Doncaster works.

"Railways are the arteries of industrial Britain's trade. British engineering skill and British steel have made our engines famous all over the world. In this film an engine is built. The growing engine is followed through the boiler shop, the machine shop and the assembly shop."

Do you have a something to sell? We are looking for stall holders for our 1940s themed market on 23-24 Sept., 2017. Please contact for more information.

Craig Weatherley takes a ride on a locomotive at the Bluebell Railway.
From the Getty Archive: Trial Trip

Going way, way back for this one: 

Chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone with directors and engineers of the Metropolitan Railway Company on an inspection tour of the world's first underground line, 24 May 1862.

Built between Paddington and the City of London, it opened in January of the following year. Gladstone is seen in the front row, near right. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.)

July 7 * Ruby Tuesdays, #Croydon's own chapter of Red Hat Ladies, went on a fantastic journey on the @bluebellrailway today. #EndOfSouthernSteam

July 13 * Thank you to the @bluebellrailway for hosting our friends from Yuguan Primary sch, Beijing. Especially to David our v professional guide.
July 13 * Care for the Carers @Care4theCarers  A
great day was had by all  @bluebellrailway yesterday, made possible thanks to a  kind donation from East Sussex Women of the Year

July 15 * Paul Harper @HonorarySpock Having cream tea on @bluebellrailway. What a way to travel and have tea

July 16 * Riverside SchooPE @RiversidePEDept Thanks to @bluebellrailway for letting us see their locomotives. Another #first for most of our kids. Staff were just as excited! #BigKids


July 20 * Mike Burkitt  @mikeburkitt Old newsagent kiosk at Surbiton Station being disassembled prior to being sent to the @bluebellrailway

Bluebell at Bo'ness

Bluebell Railway Driver Bill White has been in charge of service trains at Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway, near Falkirk in Scotland, ably assisted by companions Tom and Laurie, as seen in this 19 July, 2107, photo. Learn more about this Scottish Railway Preservation Society line here.

Better Know a Heritage Railway: The Children's Railway, Hungary

The Gyermekvasút ("Children's Railway")--aka Line 7--is a narrow gauge railway line in Budapest, Hungary, which connects Széchényi-hegy and Hüvösvölgy. It is 11.2 kilometres long.

The former name of the line was "Pioneer Railway", in reference to communist scouts for whom it was built. In 1947, the Hungarian State Railways company decided that a railway operated by children would be built, and in 1948 the Hungarian Communist Party choose the Buda Hills for its location.

To this day, except for the train drivers, the railway is operated by children aged 10-14 under adult supervision.





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