BLUEBELL RAILWAY

 

PETER BLEASDALE

 

Updated 06 April 2013

 

 

 

BLUEBELL RAILWAY

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Kingscote to East Grinstead Extension

opened on 23 March 2013.

 

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Click below for

TIMETABLE & FARES

 

 

 

Visit the very interesting & informative

Bluebell Railway website

by clicking below

 

 

 

 

 

To view the

RVR Historical Rail Map

which includes the

Bluebell Railway

click here

 

   

 

 

 

Riddles Class 4 2-6-4 Tank, built at Brighton in 1957,

moves SECR nos.178 & 323 from the yard to the engine shed roads

at Sheffield Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.473 shunts the yard at Horsted Keynes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the 'down' platform at Kingscote Station

 

which has been completely rebuilt,

along with a full refurbishment of the 'up' platform and station building.

 

The previous owners of the site demolished the 'down' platform, buildings and subway

to install a swimming pool, which, thankfully, did not take place.

 


The whole site is magnificient,and a credit to the hard work of the many volunteers,

who had to dig out and rebuild the subway and replace the lost platform and canopy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture shows the subway on the 'down' platform at Kingscote,

 

which was dug out and completely rebuilt by volunteers,

before the platform, canopy and all the trackwork on this site were reinstated,

together with a full refurbishment of the 'up' station buildings and canopy supports.

 

It is a credit to all their hard work and perseverence

that this station has been returned to full operation once more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A traditional gas-lamp at Sheffield Park Station- memories!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The refurbished Canopy and new Museum Building

 

on the 'up' platform at Sheffield Park Station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the steam drifts around on this damp morning, B Class no.473

bustles around Sheffield Park Station

in preparation for taking a work's train to Horsted Keynes.

 

 

 

 

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The fireman prepares the fire on no.473 in preparation for the forthcoming journey.

 

It is just possible to see the boiler pressure gauge at working pressure

at the top centre of the picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No.473 coupled to the coaches prepares to leave for Horsted Keynes bunker first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having got 'the road', no.473 leaves the station at Sheffield Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The driver of BR Class 4 80151 concentrates on preventing the driving wheels from slipping on the wet rails

as he reverses into the station with the two SECR tank engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got the impression that this young driver really loves this job and the engine also.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, apart from maintaining the fire and steam pressure in the locomotive,

the fireman has other duties,

he also must keep the tea hot!

 

 

 

 

 

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The fireman couples the engine to the coaches

in preparation for my journey up the line to Kingscote, the present terminus.

(now extended to East Grinstead)

 

Note the maker's plate on the front boiler support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The driver has got the road,

so I had better hop over the footbridge before I get left behind.

 

Hopefully, he is still drinking his tea!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shot showing the very rural nature of the line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we draw into Horsted Keynes Station, we pass no. 473 on a works train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we pulled into Horsted Keynes I managed to snatch a photo of this heritage coach in passing,

which I believe is an LBSCR Stroudley all First from 1880,

originally 6-wheeled but is now 4- wheeled.

 

This appeared in the TV series 'Downton Abbey'.

 


It was my intention on my second trip up the line,

to alight at Horsted Keynes

and photograph this set of coaches in more detail,

but on my return, they had been moved into the carriage shed.

The best laid plans etc.,etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main semaphore signal on this magnificent bracket

gives the right of way for the train to leave for Kingscote Station.

Our train reaches its destination at Kingscote

and prepares to uncouple and run round for the return journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The engine prepares to take the crossover back to the head of the train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ex-BR Class 4 Tank reverses carefully up to the rake of ex-Southern coaches.

 

This is a wonderful country station of yesteryear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With steam escaping from the cylinder draincocks,

the train is about to return to Sheffield Park.

 

The 'Shed Plate' on the smokebox door proudly proclaims 75C SC,

which was probably her last home shed in steam days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we return to Horsted Keynes once more,

an ex-BR 9f and Standard Class 4 stand silently awaiting their next turn of duty.

 

Both of these locomotives carry Scottish 'Shed Plates',

which I think was one of the last regions to use steam engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, E4 Class B473 is seen on works maintenance duties.

For the technical minded people, this is a view of the steam pump

for the Westinghouse Brake System on B473.


The clunk,clunk sound, as it operates, can be heard from a long distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B473 was busy all afternoon on various shunting duties.

This refurbished-saloon was an LNWR Observation Saloon of 1913 vintage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a SR Utility Van,

being used for track maintenance purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Semi-Royal Saloon built for King Edward VII in 1903

for inclusion in the Royal Train.

 

This vehicle still carries authentic plaster ceilings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a rake of superbly refurbished SR goods vehicles.

 

This is a real working railway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This tiny locomotive is 'Sharpethorne'

used in the construction of the Bluebell Railway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This view shows the southern end of Horsted Keynes

with its magnificent signal box and semaphore gantries.

 

The branch to Ardingly & Haywards Heath

can be seen going off to the right behind the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my train returning from Kingscote,

on which my wife is still waiting for me, hopefully!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The return to Sheffield Park,

 

reminiscent of a 'Wakes-Week' trip to Blackpool Central !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This view of Sheffield Park Station,

taken from the footbridge,

shows the recently completed carriage shed,

 

which is the large new building behind the left hand canopy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the signal box from Withyham,

recently placed at the end of the 'up' platform at Sheffield Park.

 

The levers and instruments have yet to be installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The LSWR Adam's radial tank 4-4-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is SER Class O1 Stirling 0-6-0 No.65,

built 1896, rebuilt 1908

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This the tender from the O1 Class 0-6-0.

 

I love the ornate cut-out frames, and the exterior springs and hangers

mounted above the soleplate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GWR Earl/Dukedog, No.9017, "Earl of Berkeley" rebuilt 1938.


Nicknamed 'Dukedog' because they were an amalgamation of a

'Bulldog' and a 'Duke'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LBSCR Stroudley Terrier, No.55 "Stepney" Class A1X,

built 1875.



This engine was repainted into Stroudley's 'Improved Engine Green'

but has been repainted black with red lining,

the livery it carried on The Bluebell Railway 50 years ago

in its first season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECR Wainwright goods, No.592 Class C, built 1902



This locomotive features a steam reverser, a design, which could be found

on goods and shunting engines

built by the SECR and SR for more than 40 years afterwards.



I love this design of locomotive,

and it has similarities to our own L&Y 0-6-0 engines,

which I watched shunting Clitheroe goods yard

as a young boy in the early 1950's ( nos. 52524 & 52525 ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SR U-class, No.1638 built 1931



This locomotive is classed as being operational at the moment,

but it appears far from that!


The pistons and piston valves have been removed from the cylinders,

and the main piston rings are hanging on the buffers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the engineers in our midst, this view of the inside of the piston valve chamber

clearly shows the steam inlet and exhaust ports.


I also photographed the inside of the main cylinder,

but forgot about the restrictive chain swinging in front of the camera!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SR Maunsell S15-class No.847 4-6-0 built 1936.



This loco is under major overhaul, and is obviously in the midst of boiler repairs to name but a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SR Schools-class, "Stowe" Class V 4-4-0, 3 cylinders,

built 1934.



These were powerful locomotives, despite having only 4 driving wheels

and were found to be the equal, if not better sometimes,

than the 'King Arthur' 4-6-0's.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could not resist including this shot of us negotiating the crossover

on the northern entrance to Horsted Keynes

 

with its wonderful array of semaphore signal gantries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly, a couple of pictures for our friend(s)

from the aircraft industry.


Sheffield Park Station is on the flight path to Gatwick