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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Masterbrew

    Masterbrew New Member

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    I have been trying to find out whether trains are running between Christmas & New Year but the website is a nightmare! Can anyone help with info or a link, please?
     
  2. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/whats_new.html

    The third item down, Masterbrew. Thank heavens for the .co.uk website- the "proper" .com site is an embarrassment.
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    According to what is rostered for loco crew, there are trains:

    December 26 - Service 1 (one train)
    Dec 27 to January 1st - Service 2 (two trains)

    But rosters are done a considerable way in advance and do sometimes get changed if the commercial department change their plans ...

    Tom
     
  5. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    26th -31st December service 1 timetable, 1st Jan service 2 timetable.
     
  6. Masterbrew

    Masterbrew New Member

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    Thanks! May be looking after grandchildren for a few days then, so this would be a good option.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    From the e-Newsletter:

    Closing the Gap

    The work at Poleay Bridge is all but complete after many days of intensive activity by the Infrastructure Team over the last three weeks.

    By close of play on 21 Nov., 2017, the last load of new ballast was laid around and under the new panels to establish the correct levels either side of the bridge. The tamper then made two passes across the new formation to correct the previous settlement and to adjust any small amount of misalignment.

    The final touches are now being put to the new decking and wooden handrails on the eastern side, and the metal handrails on the western side also are being renewed with new brackets fitted and the iron uprights getting a new coat of paint.

    All in all, it was a very successful job completed in time for trains to run again on the weekend. Full marks to Matt and the team for a job well done in time for trains to steam into the Santa Season.

    By Michael Hopps
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Also from the e-Newsletter:

    60th Anniversary of Bluebell Line Closure Events Planned

    2018 will mark the 60th anniversary of the closure of the Bluebell Line by British Railways and its eventual and glorious rebirth as the Bluebell Railway, the first ex-mainline standard gauge railway to run passenger trains.

    This is a very significant occasion in the history of the Bluebell Line, marking the end of one era and, significantly, the beginning of a new one. In recognition, a special "Sulky Service" timetable will be running for part of February and March, culminating in line closure-themed events over the weekend of 17 and 18 March.

    The name "Sulky Service" was given to the last train service operated by British Railways in 1958 between Lewes and East Grinstead. The trains ran at times that were inconvenient to those wishing to travel on the line or connect with onward services.

    On 16 March the Railway will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the last train service from East Grinstead to Lewes. We will be working with schools on a local history project and recreating the historic journey of that last train. This journey will be for invited guests only, and it will include people who travelled on that final train 60 years ago or were connected with the line during that period.

    Perhaps you have memories of the closure of the East Grinstead-to-Lewes line that you would like to share? We would love to hear from anyone who may have travelled on the last train back or who has a tale to tell relating to it. Please, do get in touch! If you have information to share, contact Interpretation and Education Development Manager Ruth Rowatt at ruth.rowatt@bluebell-railway.co.uk.

    On 17 and 18 March, we will be inviting the public to experience elements of 1958 and explore what that year means to the Railway. A visit to the Railway on that weekend will include opportunities to take tea in 50s style, take mini guided tours in areas not usually open to the public, and, if you were born in 1958, travel at 1958 prices--equivalent to 20p per ticket, but shillings not required!

    Further details of this event will appear on the Railway's website in the New Year, or look for updates in this eNewsletter or the Railway's social media sites.
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Busy week this week ...

    Two Arrows "Fly" to the Museum

    Tony Hillman informs us that the Railway has added two arrows to the Museum display ...

    The Silver Arrow

    In May 1963, British United Airways (BUA) began a twice-daily rail-air-rail service between London Victoria and Paris Gare du Nord. The service was a joint operation between BUA and the British and French railways which was marketed as the "Silver Arrow" in the UK and as "Flèche d'argent" in France.

    At Victoria Station, where BUA check-in facilities were available, passengers boarded a train to Gatwick Airport where they transferred to a BUA aircraft, which flew them to Le Touquet Airport. At Le Touquet a train was waiting to take them to Paris Gare du Nord station. The entire journey took five hours.

    The service ran until 1994 when it was withdrawn on the opening of the Channel Tunnel. The finger board on display would have been used at Victoria to show passengers the correct platform from which to depart.

    The Golden Arrow

    Engines hauling the Golden Arrow Pullman service carried arrows on their sides. The long arrow displayed would have been attached to the sides of an unmodified Bulleid Pacific class similar to the Railway's "Blackmore Vale".

    Shorter arrows were attached to the smoke deflectors of rebuilt Bulleid Pacifics similar to the Railway's "Sir Archibald Sinclair".
     
  10. Funnell

    Funnell New Member

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  11. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Well-Known Member

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    From a few updates from John Sandys on the Bluebell Facebook I see that the first stock was shunted into the the new carriage shed today and there was a stock shunt to do with the ASH project yesterday.
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    From video I saw, looks like the first three vehicles in were the LBSCR Director's coach; 6575 (the Maunsell BCK, which was the first carriage on the railway) and 4279, a Bulleid semi-open brake third.

    Tom
     
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  13. jma1009

    jma1009 Active Member

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    I had a look at John Sandy's pics and it was great to see the LBSCR Directors Saloon again 'unwrapped' and now safely undercover.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
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  14. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    OP4 opening- a view from the buffers of the Brighton Saloon ( video by Andy Palmer):



    Apart from the momentous occasion, this video shows the sheer scale of the project involved. So right and proper that Bernard's beloved Brighton Directors Saloon should be the first vehicle in and undercover. The other thing that really impressed me from this was the long line of pre-grouping four-wheelers on the maintenance road next door.
    One gets the feeling that over time, the newly revamped and covered "E" road and its Tramway is going to be worth its weight in gold
     
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  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    From the "What's new" page:

    "We are pleased to confirm that we already have a visitor booked for the Branch Line Gala on 18-20 May 2018: ex-Port Talbot Railway & Docks Company Hudswell Clarke Saddle Tank, GWR No.813"

    May not be the only visitor...

    Tom
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Three articles from the e-Newsletter concerning the movements of the first vehicles into the OP4 shed:

    'Going Undercover at Horsted Keynes

    A milestone event for Operation Undercover (OP4) occurred on 30 Nov., 2017, when the first carriages were moved into the new shed at Horsted Keynes.

    Conceived in 2008, a fundraising campaign for OP4 was launched in 2014 after the completion of the Northern Extension Project. In a matter of weeks, £350,000 was raised, and since then donations and grants from the Bluebell Railway Trust have generated a further £200,000.

    With initial funding in place, site clearance for OP4 was carried out in 2015 before construction work started in 2016. As of November 2017, the roof work was complete to cover not only four new storage roads but also the existing maintenance road, where previously all tasks had been undertaken in the open air. Track for two of the four storage roads has been laid and works undertaken also have included a revised lay out of the point and track work in the Horsted Keynes downyard.

    The project's objective is to provide covered accommodation for the array of historic carriages awaiting their turn in the restoration queue. At present their only protection from the elements have been tarpaulins. OP4 will provide cover for around 24 carriages in all, and the first three of these were shunted under cover at a ceremony attended by various Bluebell Railway officers and staff, as well as several financial sponsors of the project.

    The first carriages placed "undercover" were LB&SCR Director's Saloon No. 60; Maunsell corridor brake composite No. 6575; and Bulleid semi-open brake third No. 4279.

    In his remarks Bluebell Railway PLC Chairman Dick Fearn stated that this is a key event for the OP4 project, and it reflects an accomplishing of the will of the Railway, and those individuals who sponsored the project, to better preserve and protect these priceless assets that the Railway are very fortunate to possess.

    However, this milestone is not the end of the project, but it is "the end of the beginning". There are still further phases to complete, and these include external and internal walls and doors, plus further improvements to the maintenance area. The immediate focus is now on completing a Heritage Skills Centre as a key part of the project. This phase will include offices, workshops, and a training area to ensure the skills of carriage and wagon restoration are preserved for future generations.

    Further donations are very welcome and can be made to the Bluebell Railway Trust.'

    'Hail to the Pioneers

    This photo [n.b. - read the newsletter to see the photo! - TJ] by Mike Hopps shows the "OP4 Pioneers" at the ceremony marking the first carriages moved into the shed: from left, Steve Bigg, Peter Chaston, Dave Deeks (in front), Larry Lamb, Pam Baisden, Alan Baisden, Paul Cripps, and John Knight.

    Writes Steve Bigg: "The original idea for the covered maintenance road and carriage storage shed we see today has its origins over the winter of 2007-2008, when Larry Lamb and Dave Deeks came up with an embryonic idea, and subsequently encouraged the other individuals seen in the photo to join them to form the 'pioneering' project group. This group spent many hours identifying potential options, and Larry as a professional surveyor did all the initial surveying work as a volunteer.

    "The group drew up draft plans based on the best apparent option, and through a formal presentation sought permission from the Society Trustees and PLC Board to take the idea forward. With the support and guidance of Roy Watts and Lewis Nodes, the group was subsequently given authority to develop the proposal through to planning application stage, with the proviso that all costs incurred would have to be met from fundraising activity at the Horsted Keynes site only, so as not to conflict with the Northern Extension Project fundraising campaign which was then in full swing.

    "The group spent the next three-and-a-half years developing the plans with invaluable professional input from BRPS Member Jim Hatfield, as well as fundraising at Horsted Keynes. With the invaluable assistance from the Trust, in the form of match-funding for a significant proportion of the target, a total of just less than £40,000 was raised to cover the progressive costs.

    "In the autumn of 2011, planning permission was received, and at that stage the project was handed over to the PLC with no residual costs for subsequent development to the next stage."'

    'Infrastructure Update: Continuing the OP4 Project, or "Digging at Dingley Dell"

    Now that the Poleay Bridge work has been finished, attention has turned to other matters that need to be put in hand to continue work on the OP4 project.

    The Infrastructure Team is literally digging in to some necessary work in preparation for the new roadway up from the Salt Yard to what will be an area designated for the Carriage & Wagon Department offices, Trim Shop, and Heritage Skills Centre, which will be adjacent to the new shed.

    OP4's footprint extends almost to the edge of the valley area that bounds the Salt Yard, so the ground will have to be made up to provide access and a firm foundation for the new building. Before that work can happen there is a lot of work to be done stabilising the embankment and building up the ground in layers to support the new roadway.

    There is a stream running into a culvert at the bottom of the valley, and in addition to repairs to the existing headwall, a short length of the stream will be protected by a new culvert as the work proceeds.

    A number of trees already have been removed, allowing access to plant, and the existing large stockpile of soil on site is being used for infill. The ground is being made up with dry soil, hardcore, and plastic mesh, with each layer compacted.

    The existing wet clay at the bottom has been removed and spread to dry out, reducing the possibility of later settlement. Piling will be required nearer to OP4, and this will be incorporated with a purpose-built retaining wall to support the new roadway.

    By Mike Hopps'
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  17. Grashopper

    Grashopper Member

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    Accordingly I have an 0400 alarm call on 26th December - family not best pleased!
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    A nice pre-Christmas present: the railway has acquired two SER grounded carriage bodies - a 6-compartment third, built 1887, and a 4-compartment brake with central birdcage lookout, built 1877. These are significant as, while LCDR carriages are comparatively common in preservation (we have three in service, and there are others elsewhere), surviving SER vehicles are extremely rare.

    More information, and photos of the recovery, here: http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/whats_new.html#20dec17

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  19. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    As rare as hens teeth!
    I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the VCR database carried pictures of these, plus that they'd been acquired by the railway, and then the update disappeared almost immediately, presumably at the railways request to avoid unwanted attention, so I've been waiting for this! As you say, a couple of very nice Christmas prezzies.
     
  20. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Seems you will have to get to grips with wooden underframes!

    Paul H
     
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