If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    999
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E sussex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Some great news regarding OP4.
    As of yesterday, the total raised stands at £226,000, or 90% of the way to the £250,000 target, with a considerable time margin on DDD still remaining, any monies raised beyond the target will go towards the fit out of the Heritage Skills Centre.
    As someone who can remember trying to work inside the hopelessly cramped interior of the original carriage shed in the 1970s, this is a wonderful Christmas present for the C&W dept.
    Of the many centres of excellence within the heritage movement, this department must rank right at the top of the Premier League.
    Well done, and bloody well deserved too!
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    https://mydonate.bt.com/events/op4/

    Tom
     
    Mark Thompson likes this.
  3. Nimbus

    Nimbus New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    58
    Certainly the railway is far from quiet even if there are no timetabled trains running. On Wednesday, while working in one of the lineside clearance gangs at Three Arch Bridge, three different 'trains' passed us. First the 09 came up from the Park, probably in connection with the working you saw. Then one of the road-road-railers went south with a trailer loaded with drainage pipes. Finally the Wickham and trailer, picking up another gang. Meanwhile another clearance gang was working north of Horsted and there was activity in both the pw yard and the C&W shed.
     
    Jamessquared likes this.
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    Lots in the eNewsletter this week, so without further ado (see the newsletter itself for photos...)

    No. 5768 Update: Nearing Completion

    No. 5768 was built at Eastleigh Works in 1947 on an underframe constructed at Lancing Carriage Works. It was classed as a composite vehicle, since it contained four first class and three third class compartments. It spent much of its working life on the West of England and Weymouth routes out of Waterloo as part of a three-coach set, No. 787.

    The coach was withdrawn from traffic in 1968 and was purchased by The Bulleid Society. It was moved to the Railway in 1971, along with the Bulleid Society's West Country class loco No. 21C123 "Blackmoor Vale". After an overhaul, the coach entered traffic along with No. 21C123 in May 1976 and continued operating until 1993 until its condition resulted in its withdrawal from traffic.

    Among the Bulleid Society members, Roger Williams has become an expert on Bulleid coaches, both from the history point of view and the practicalities of their overhaul. Roger agreed to both oversee and participate in the overhaul of No. 5768, which commenced in November 2009. The restoration team also includes Simon Bass, John Coleman, Richard Phillips, Andrew Baker, Dave Clarke, Jennifer Wills, Tony Clements, Alex Morley, Ray and Pat Medhurst, Tim Preston, Jonathan Burley, as well as the late Chris Pyle.

    The coach is now in ex-Eastleigh condition after the first major overhaul since arriving at the Railway. The interior is virtually complete, with the coach's electrical system and wiring being completely overhauled by Tony Silcock, and the upholstery being re-covered by Paul Toomer at Eastleigh.

    The overhaul of the bogies and cross shafts continues, and the coach now resides in the OP4 shed after the completion of the repaint by Ollie Robbins. Passengers are reminded of the history of the coach thanks to a brief summary appearing as a carriage print in the compartments.

    The completion of the overhaul will result in a useful composite vehicle returning to traffic on the Railway, with a set of Bulleid coaches in traffic nearer to fruition.

    By John Fry, Chairman, Bulleid Society
     
    nine elms fan and Bluenosejohn like this.
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    Continuing the C&W theme from the e-Newsletter:

    Wheelchairs Get a Lift in C&W

    With the aim of making the carriage shed more accessible for wheelchair-using volunteers and visitors, a solution was sought to enable transfer from the dock area of the shed to the main work area.

    Traditionally any wheelchair user has had to negotiate an uneven route around the north end of the shed in all weathers when moving from the upper to lower levels.

    This problem has now been solved. Available lift solutions were researched and a portable platform lift was selected with the correct specifications for the location and task. A generous donation from a Horsted Keynes-based volunteer enabled the quick ordering of this lift, and a suitable sturdy "runway" to span A Road on which the lift would be positioned was designed and built by volunteer Ron Burrows. The lift was delivered and installed on 20 Nov., 2018.

    Our own volunteer Dave Deeks, who works two days a week in the Trimming Department, was the first to try out the new facility, and he has declared it a huge success--no more trips around the outside of the shed in the rain or in freezing conditions six times a day to access the mess room for lunch and tea breaks! The photos, taken by Paul Cripps, show Dave trying out the new lift.

    The lift has been initially positioned at the south end of Stroudley No. 328, but as it is portable, it is capable of being relocated depending on the vehicles occupying A road. The provision of the lift is a very welcome step forward in allowing access to wheelchair users to the works for tours and special events.

    Development of an accessible toilet facility is the next task that is now firmly on the agenda.

    By Sheina Foulkes, Carriage & Wagon Supervisor
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    And a p/way update - again, photos are in the eNewsletter. There's a clear photo on the Bluebell "What's new" page for 24/11/2018 (http://bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/whats_new.html) for those unsure of the location.

    Getting to the Point: Santa is Very Special

    With the trackwork for the OP4 project in the Salt Yard at Horsted Keynes put on hold for the time being, attention has now turned to other more urgent matters in the lead up to Christmas.

    For weeks now the Infrastructure Team has been getting ready for the next major relaying job that was planned. Inch-by-inch and chain-by-chain we are replacing the worn out track between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, much of which was inherited from British Rail all those years ago and which is pretty much life-expired.

    There are only so many times in the year that a major infrastructure job can be done without trains getting in the way, and November is one of those occasions. With the planning done and all the materials delivered to site over the past couple of months, the intention was to complete the section between the top of Freshfield Bank at Sloop Bridge to connect to the new section laid earlier this year between Montesford Bridge, Rock Cutting, and River Slip.

    However, things never quite go according to plan and a lot of concern has been expressed recently about point No. 7 south of Sheffield Park station which is crucial to the operation of the whole railway. It is the run round point for the platforms, and it leads to the loco yard--so any problems with that and the Bluebell World stops turning.

    It is not so much the rail that is causing problems this time, but the sleepers in this case, some of which are well past their sell-by date, so it was thought best to replace these while we had the opportunity. The ground beneath at that location is very wet, so the usual trick of laying a Terram/polythene sandwich will be used once the old ballast has been removed and the new track bed prepared.

    Sleepers that support pointwork, known as timbers, are much longer than normal sleepers and are cut to length to fit a particular location. They are often much better quality hardwood to cope with all the stresses and strains of what is going on above as trains impose greater than normal sideways stresses. Timbers are unfortunately very expensive. Fitting all the rail back in exactly the same position will require a lot of very accurate measuring, not to mention a number of holes to drill for track screws.

    Work is now well under way and on target to be finished by 28 November, so that any potential problems over the festive period are, hopefully, eliminated. Given that this is one of the most popular times for families to visit the Railway, it wouldn't do for Santa Specials to be operated by a replacement bus service!

    By Mike Hopps
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  7. toplight

    toplight Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    704
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Not been following the news on this line much so this might have been covered already. Is there still any plan to relay any of the Ardingly branch and use some of this and what would the plans be ? Also could they extend south of Sheffield Park or is that not feasible ?
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    Both are stated aims in the Long Term Plan (http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/soc/ltp.html - see section 5) and are discussed in more detail here: http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/extend.html (scroll down).

    Westwards to Ardingly - the Bluebell owns all the trackbed to the edge of the Ardingly station site with the exception of Lywood tunnel, over which it has a lease with option to purchase. The primary technical difficulty would be re-instating the demolished Sherriff Mill Viaduct, south of Horsted Keynes, for which girder sections for a girder bridge replacement exist. When Horsted Keynes was resignalled some years ago, the signalling was put in place (locking, token instruments etc) for the extension. There is also the legal requirement for a TWAO, which would be costly.

    Having said all that, I'd suggest that - to put it mildly - there are different opinions as to the viability once opened, and how you would use it.

    Southwards to ? Also a stated aim, but reckoned to be very long term. My reading is that keeping it in the LTP is primarily a means to give a mandate to the board to represent the railway's interest in any planning decision further south that further threatens the trackbed. Technically it is challenging: the railway doesn't own the land, for a start; there is a bridge to re-instate over the A275 which has had the levels and alignment changed since the railway's closure, which makes headroom problematic; there's a cutting near Newick that has been filled in with municipal waste (but now no tax relief on removal, so the costs would be huge even in comparison with Imberhorne cutting); Newick and Chailey station site has been built on. That's all in the first couple of miles...

    My personal view of the likelihood - given the technical constraints and appetite within the membership, I'd say extension west might happen, but south won't.

    Tom
     
  9. Zoomeg

    Zoomeg New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    18
    I watched the 1520 down Santa near Kingscote yesterday; most coaches including the obo seemed empty with only the back 2 being full; I thought all the trains were fully booked.

    Excellent Carol service by the way; the vicar of West Hoathly giving her address from the buffer beam of the H class was a nice touch

    as an aside; how is West Hoathly pronounced? I think most people would say lee rather than lye although apparently the locals always pronounced it Hoalye
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  10. Zoomeg

    Zoomeg New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    18
    re Ardingly I walked the part of the trackbed that's now a permissive path last week. Ardingly station has to be the most inaccessible place in the area there are not even any footpaths to it that do not involve walking along the road; no local business or even buses. At best it would serve as a run round loop like New Combe Bridge. To carry on through Hanson's depot would be very difficult and of course there would be main line certification required to reach Haywards Heath (which cannot accommodate any extra train, the main reason the HK branch was electrified in order to stable the Seaford shuttles)

    Not even much value for incoming railtours either now there is a connection at EG. If they could find away around the live rail problem it could be used for an EMU shuttle service although nostalgia for old SR electric trains will not last for ever IMO. It's also no longer a very scenic line.
     
  11. 73082

    73082 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    252
    My video of the Santa Specials on Sunday, lots of early morning shunting if anyone's interested...hope you enjoy!

     
  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    That’s me that is ... (driving Camelot).

    Tom
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  13. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    674
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I especially like the part with the three totally disinterested sheep on the approach to Horsted Keynes. (Maybe they are woolly bouncers!)
     
  14. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    413
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    34040
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Loved the H tank & the O1 coupled together.
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    A few dates for the diary next year:

    March 15 - 17: Branch line gala. A couple of visiting locos planned, with a pre-grouping SR theme. Note that this is earlier than in recent years.

    May 17 - 18: "The stations and museum will be open late into the night with trains after dark".

    May 25 - 27: A STEM event with activities for children

    June 14 - 16: Steam and Beer festival

    August 10 - 11: Steam through the ages

    October 11 - 13: Giants of Steam. It is planned to have an LMS theme this year with a couple of visitors.

    Tom
     
    glen77, Dan Hill and green five like this.
  16. 73082

    73082 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    252
    Ah, didn't realise, will say hello next time I'm down!

    Thanks, I was trying to get a still shot of a sheep facing into the camera with the train in the background - alas, they didn't so much as look round!

    I agree, better in my view than 263 and 592 that we saw a few years ago.
     
  17. dan.lank

    dan.lank Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    239
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Seeing this made me wonder something... When there’s a double header at BB, on some occasions I’ve seen the locos split to run round the train, and sometimes (like on this vid) they stay coupled. I wondered if it’s just length of headshunt, but I’m sure I’ve seen it at KC, and in any case it’s often been smaller locos like a pair of Ps which would fit handsomely! Is there an obvious reason I’m missing?

    (I’m sure it’s not just a BB thing, but I can’t remember seeing it elsewhere...)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,992
    Likes Received:
    22,694
    Location:
    21C102
    It's covered in our rule book. Essentially, when you are double heading with one of the locos class 0, 1 or 2 and the train is more than twice the weight of the smaller engine, the smaller engine should lead, and must lead if the second engine is over a certain size. (Effectively applies to a class 0 working with a class 3 or bigger; a class 1 or 2 working with a loco bigger than a class 6 or bigger - in those circumstances the smaller engine must lead).

    When the H (class 1) and O1 (class 1) work together, that doesn't apply, so the order will be determined by operational needs. For example, on the current Santa workings, when the double-headed O1 / H gets back to Sheffield Park for the last time, the O1 goes straight on shed and the H shunts the stock. So it makes sense for the O1 to lead for at least that last trip back from HK, which is then taken into consideration in whether they run round together or separately at Horsted Keynes.

    At East Grinstead, I believe the headshunt is long enough to allow the Q and S15 to run round together, though they would probably run round separately to keep the Q (as the smaller loco) on the front. Any combination shorter than that fits easily; anything longer would have to run round separately.

    Tom
     
    glen77 and dan.lank like this.
  19. dan.lank

    dan.lank Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    239
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Thanks Tom!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,987
    Likes Received:
    1,377
    Occupation:
    Ex a lot of things.
    Location:
    Near where the 3 Ridings meet
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

Share This Page