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NEWS FROM THE BLUEBELL RAILWAY | 24 FEB., 2019
CCT Van No. S2531 Update: Rapid Progress

Rapid progress towards completion is being made by the team restoring the Camelot Locomotive Society's Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) at Horsted Keynes. The most noticeable external difference has been the re-fitting of the restored large north and south end opening doors. Almost all the new plywood side sheets have been trial-fitted, taken down for painting, and then re-attached permanently. As of 16 Feb., 2019, only the "bays" between the side doors and the corner posts were still to be tackled.

With the Society's desire to see this 1955-built van restored as authentically as possible, the interior is now painted in brown (bauxite). Consequently, it will be much gloomier inside, compared to the BR light grey painted walls that it had when we acquired it from British Railways!

New long interior wooden side rails, which protect the windows from being damaged, have been made up. Work also was progressing on new wooden bases for the externally mounted oval chalk boards. Simultaneously, a multitude of fittings from all around the van are starting to go back on. On the chassis three replacement step brackets and stepboards are now in place, BR having removed them at some point.

While work has been heavily focused on the body, one should not forget that there is still the need to deal with the mechanicals, which is usually done at the end of the restoration programme. This work will include lifting the CCT on the jacks to drop out the two wheelsets for attention, overhauling the axle boxes, brake-testing, checking the suspension/buffing gear, adjusting the ride height, and completing a fitness to run exam—so there's still a little way to go before it's a "runner"!

As ever, the 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society extends its grateful thanks to all those involved, for their dedication and skills.

By Julian Heinemann
2019 Event Dates

2019 brings some familiar and favourite Bluebell Railway events, as well as some new ones, including Road Meets Rail (traction engines!) in June. To view all event dates, click here .

  • 15-17 March Branch Line Weekend  
  • 18-22 April Easter Weekend/Easter Egg Hunt!
  • 11 May Toy & Rail Collectors Fair I
  • 15-16 June Road Meets Rail
  • 29-30 June Model Railway Weekend
  • 27 July Toy & Rail Collectors Fair II
  • 10-11 August Steam Through the Ages
  • 24-26 August Teddy Bears’ Picnic
  • 11-13 October Giants of Steam
  • 26 October - 3 November Witches & Wizards
The "Sussex Belle" Returns

The Railway is pleased to announce the return of the popular "Sussex Belle" dining train. Following the great success and high demand for our new dining service last year, there are eight new dates for 2019!

Enjoy a delicious two-course lunch travelling in one of three comfortable 1950/60s lounge and restaurant carriages. The meal includes a seasonal main course and a mouth-watering dessert. Coffee and tea will be served to round off your meal. Menus differ throughout the year and can be found here. A vegetarian option is also available.

The Sussex Belle departs at 12:45 p.m. from Sheffield Park station for a return journey through the beautiful Sussex countryside. The price is £50 pp.

Branch Line Weekend Timetable Published

The timetable is now available for the 15-17 March, 2019, Branch Line Weekend featuring visiting London & South Western Railway engines W24 "Calbourne" (below left) and Beattie Well Tank No. 30587 (below right). Brake van rides at Horsted Keynes will be held on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend showcase of BR-era southwest locos will be augmented by the Railway's own Adams Radial Tank No. 30583 and B4 No. 30096 "Normandy", both specially re-liveried for the event to match the two visitors.

There will be plenty of opportunities to hop on and off at different stations and watch the locomotives as they shunt up and down at Horsted Keynes to accommodate the mixed timetable. Come along and relive the days when the Bluebell Line was the epitome of a rural branch line running these "small but mighty" branch line locos.
VIDEO GALLERY
The Railway on 12 Feb., 2019, by "George's Railway Videos".
Class 08 shunter does shunting manoeuvres at Sheffield Park station, by "HSTFan43".
Have you ever wondered how to become a volunteer, what it entails, and who to contact? Find Out More Days are your chance to learn about the Railway's different departments and how to join the critical volunteer teams that do so much for the Railway. The next Find Out More Day is on 10 March. Other dates and more information can be found here .
The Locomotive Roster has been updated , now covering the remainder of February and March and including details of engines visiting during March.
East Grinstead-to-Lewes, Again

Roy Watts observes that, "After almost 61 years you can go direct from East Grinstead station to Lewes station! For first time, the two stations are 'directly' connected again. OK, there's just one subtle difference in transportation mode, as shown. This connection will last the duration of the major Brighton line closure, and it runs every 10 minutes!"
Project 27: Loads of Work!

During a visit to Sheffield Park on 9 Feb., 2019, I took a series of pictures illustrating the progress made during the cold and dark months since my last report. 

To the "untrained eye" there would appear to be not too much difference between the before and after scenes. However, to get to that stage many hours of work have been carried out. 

For example, the levelling and squaring of the frames has taken place, which doesn't sound much work, but it took three solid weekends working up to eight hours a day to get it right. This is just to the temporary bolting stage! 

Once the riveting commences, there will be a need for constant monitoring and checking before and after each riveting operation!


The photos by Clive Emsley show, left, the pair of rear cylinder covers thoroughly cleaned and painted, and, right, a pair of expansion links cleaned and burnished "to within an inch of their lives!"
THE SIDING
YOUR PAINTING: FOGGY DAY
Foggy Day in Glasgow (1991) by Thomas McGoran, from the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre.
FROM THE MOVIETONE ARCHIVE: HOW THE RAILWAYS RUN
Mr. Marples presents Dr. Beeching to the Queen, and other footage of a young Queen Elizabeth II inspecting the railways (1962).

FROM THE GEOGRAPH ARCHIVE:
Inside a roundhouse at Newport (Teesside) Locomotive Depot, 1954, by Walter Dendy.

Do you love someone who loves trains? Why not show them with a gift voucher for the Bluebell Railway.

Presented in an attractive card, the vouchers can be exchanged for a range of steam train travel, dining and driving experiences. Book online or pick up at Sheffield Park station today!
You can buy the world's best cheese scones from our beautiful vintage buffet carriage at Bluebell Railway's East Grinstead station! Teresa and Niki also serve tea and coffee, homemade cakes, and a range of delicious snacks in possibly the most atmospheric café in Sussex. The Grinsteade Buffet Car is open every day of the year including on non-train running days (except Christmas Day).
Taken on 29 Aug., 1959: No. 30583 pulling the 10:35 Axminster-to-Lyme Regis train on the Lyme Regis Branch.
From the Archive
Tony Hillman has chosen six John J. Smith images of black Adams tanks in anticipation of Branch Line Weekend.

One for the model railway enthusiasts: A small team of model rail experts took five years to recreate Alloa station and its surroundings circa 1960 in the finest detail. Since making its debut at a model rail exhibition in 2008, "Alloa" has picked up numerous awards around the country.
PHOTO GALLERY
John Sandys' photo shows S15 class No. 847 preparing to haul the first departure on 16 Feb., 2019.
Mike Anton notes that among Ian Nolan's photo archive on Flickr is "a number of 488 in her ‘original’ BR black days".
Jonathan Hughes (17 Feb., 2019): "Reuben Smith brings the Maunsell S15 No. 847 up Holywell Bank in the February morning sunshine, with Sunday's first train."
John Sandys took some photos inside the C&W Works on 20 Feb., 2019, and notes that it was a "lovely spring day [that] saw the S15 hauling the Service 2 midweek train with lots of happy faces from the holidaymakers."
Brian Lacey photographed the H class on 16 Feb., 2019, heading the Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train at Horsted Keynes.
Brian Lacey's 20 Feb., 2019, photo shows the S15 departing from Horsted Keynes with the 1:47 p.m. service to East Grinstead.
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Sincerely, 
 
John Walls
Editor-in-Chief, eNewsletter
Bluebell Railway

© Bluebell Railway Preservation Society 2019