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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

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

  1. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Active Member

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    MMM strange, I wonder if it has anything to do with the vacant position at the Mid Hants, only speculation of coarse, ah well no doubt we will hear soon.
     
  2. jafcreasey

    jafcreasey New Member

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    With such an intense service prior to Christmas, it's entirely understandable that the railway wishes to take a step back and regroup for a few weeks ahead of another interesting year ahead. That being said, I think the nearest heritage line open in January is the GCR? A future opportunity perhaps?
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    There will be trains running at SheffieldPark during January as there are footplate taster courses. Meanwhile, there is a big track relaying project between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes while the rest of the line is closed. I'm not sure of the precise extent, but I think that it will probably start from the south end of the Lindfield Wood scheme that was done last winter and work south through Tremains Crossing to Rock Cutting. I heard a figure of 1/3 mile but I am not sure if that is accurate. (See http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/map_grad.html for locations).

    Tom
     
  4. jafcreasey

    jafcreasey New Member

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    Thanks, Tom; typically I've just found mention of the track relaying from the 'What's New' page (November, 22nd). Thought it likely with the introduction of the Footplate Tasters but appreciate the confirmation!

    Never a good time but a shame to miss out commercially when so few lines are operating.
     
  5. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    I think if I had access to a time machine I'd probably go 90 years the other way, but it's comforting to know that the end of the world is not nigh and that steam will see me out. ;-)
     
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  6. Zoomeg

    Zoomeg New Member

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    Am I right in thinking that Bluebell used to operate every weekend throughout the year? I do remember visiting the SVR and being surprised that they didn't open until March unlike Bluebell; is this just market forces or a recent backlog of track maintenance?
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Bit of both I guess. When I started volunteering we operated every weekend, but we haven't done so for the last two or three years. For doing big infrastructure jobs, they are increasingly difficult to do in an efficient way within the confines of a five day closure that would be available if you operated all weekends. (Think, for example, of the complete rebuild of Poleay bridge done during last November; or the substantial relaying and realignment at Leamland junction in November 2016 etc).

    Incidentally, Mods - why has the thread got renamed? :confused:

    Tom
     
  8. Jason Cottage

    Jason Cottage New Member

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    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156017021795967&id=37982240966&__tn__=*s*s-R

    NEWS RELEASE
    RETURN VISITOR
    We are pleased to confirm that plans are at an advanced stage for
    the Bluebell Railway to again host a visit by locomotive 60163
    Tornado.
    The locomotive will be with us for 5 days in 2018 to include the
    Spring Bank Holiday Monday on May 28th
    - days of operation will
    be: -
    Friday 25th to Tuesday 29th May inclusive.
    Events around the visit and rostering of duties are still being
    finalised – keep watching this space for more details.
    Roger Garman - Communications Director - Bluebell Railway Plc
    roger.garman@bluebell-railway.co.uk 12th January 2018
     
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    From the eNewsletter:

    60th Anniversary of Bluebell Line Closure Events Planned

    2018 marks 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.

    On 16 March, 2018, 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, email Interpretation and Education Development Manager Ruth Rowatt.

    On 17 and 18 March, 2018, the Railway will invite 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 are not required!)
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Also from the eNewsletter, a report on the track relaying around rock cutting. For those unaware, this should see 1/2 mile of track replaced, starting at Monteswood Lane Bridge and working north to a little beyond Tremains Crossing. Interesting to note the involvement of the 9F club (9 - 15 year old volunteers) on a variety of tasks on this project; in particular helping with clipping the track panels together.

    "Infrastructure Rocks the Cutting!

    Anyone who walked the recent Track Trek might be wondering how their efforts are being rewarded. In fact, donations have already been spent on new rail and sleepers for the track renewal that is currently taking place between Monteswood Bridge and a little bit beyond Rock Cutting between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park.

    The Infrastructure Team started work on the 3 Jan., 2018, after a welcome break following the big job at Poleay Bridge. The first job involved a little bit of work to a culvert, and then things really started when existing panels were removed one-by-one, moving north towards Rock Cutting.

    With the panels stacked ready for removal back to the Salt Yard at Horsted Keynes, the next job was to get the lazer dozer working to level the ballast on the existing formation. This levelling was followed by compacting to achieve the final level in order to match up with the existing trackwork. Finally, before any new sleepers can be laid, there's a job with a paint marker and a long piece of string to mark out the sleeper positions, measured from marker pins put down before the old track was lifted.

    The work is progressing well, with up to six panels being laid every working day and with the 9F Club helping as well on Saturdays, when they are fitting the rest of the Pandrol clips which attach the rail to the sleepers. As the new flat-bottomed rail is being laid initially, it is only necessary to fit clips to every fourth sleeper, as the weight of the rail holds everything in place, but of course before the job is completely finished, they all have to be done.

    At close of play on 10 January, 15 panels had been completed as well as a half panel of new bullhead rail that connects to the existing track south of Monteswood Bridge.

    In John Harwood's video at right, you can see the new track is already up to the whistle board in the cutting and the stacks of new sleepers are laid out and ready to be moved into place. Less easy to see is all the new rail, which, along with the sleepers, was brought down to the site before Christmas, a big job in itself!

    The volunteers assemble each day at the Salt Yard and are brought down to the work site safely enclosed in a cage on the road railer trailer, known affectionately as the "Rock Cutting Taxi". Other creature comforts are provided by the portable mess hut and bacon butties cooked up by Barbara at lunchtime, as well as a roaring fire nearby in an old oil drum.

    By Mike Hopps"

    The video referred to:

     
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  11. DisusedBranch

    DisusedBranch Active Member

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    Enthusiasts - including me, on occasion - may bemoan the fact that, nowadays, every preserved railway inevitably has an element of 'theme parkery' about it; with stock (ahemMk1ahem), sheds and sidings that were never present in times past and all the rest of it. But I think the fact that these vehicles arrived and were able to be immediately placed under cover is a fantastic thing.
     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thanks for that!

    For anyone interested in the two SER carriages, they now have their own web pages with details about them as currently known, drawings, and "as recovered" photos:

    http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pic2/secr/ser_brake3rd.html
    http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/pic2/secr/ser2159.html

    Tom
     
  13. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Well-Known Member

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    That explains why I've been seeing a light next to Monteswood Lane Bridge on the trackbed on the way to and from work
     
  14. SomewhereintheSouthEast

    SomewhereintheSouthEast New Member

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  15. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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  16. Leafent

    Leafent New Member

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    Has their been any recent news about an extension towards Ardingly?
     
  17. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    Not really. the general consensus is the railway has enough on its plate at the moment.
    However the latest BlueNews which came yesterday contained a letter from Roger Williams discussing the matter of the Ardingly extension. It's fairly obvious he's not a fan of the extension, and for that matter neither am I. I do wonder about the validity of this extension. It will cost a great deal of money to implement, and to be of any practical use will have to extend all the way into Haywards Heath, whether that is practical or not. The scenery the line passes through is hardly the most attractive in Sussex, in fact it's very nondescript.
    Although I can understand the attraction of making Horsted Keynes a junction again, now that the idea of a preserved third rail electrified line has been all but ruled out, the remaining validity, and the commitment necessary to implement this project just leaves me cold.
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    I agree with a lot of that: however much I dream about how interesting HK would be as a genuine junction, when I open my eyes I simply cannot see any feasible way that a Western extension to the middle of nowhere can be viable - even if it makes an end on connection to Network Rail via the Hanson site.

    Tom
     
  19. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    Any thoughts on a southern extension, Tom? Fraught with difficulties though it is, I cant help but think about a continuation of the original LEGR, perhaps in generations to come, interchanging with a reopened Uckfield- Lewes link at the point where Barcombe Junction was originally intended to be. At least there's plenty of space for that one, though a lot of obstacles in the way...
     
  20. jma1009

    jma1009 Active Member

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    I must admit that re-instating the railway bridge over the road south of Sheffield Park has far more attraction for me than the fanciful Ardingly extension. I am not suggesting a link up to Lewes or an extension to Newick and Chailey, merely a southern headshunt to relieve the cramped layout south of Sheffield Park due to the bridge removal.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
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