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. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    Several levels beyond my p/way knowledge base I'm afraid!

    Tom
     
  2. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,982
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    Occupation:
    Ex a lot of things.
    Location:
    Near where the 3 Ridings meet
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It would not surprise me if they were not refitted as the first maintenance tamping pass through the site would probably move the sleepers and dislodge the boards.
    One of the reasons why they are so rare.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    Announced officially on Facebook - visitors for BranchLine weekend (15 - 17 March) are Adams O2 “Calbourne” from the IoWSR and Beattie Well Tank 30587 from the NRM. Plus home fleet locos.

    Tom
     
  4. malc

    malc New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,282
    Likes Received:
    141
    Isn't Calbourne air braked only? If so , will it be able to work passenger trains? Does the Bluebell have any serviceable dual brake locos at the moment?
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    I’ll await seeing the timetable to see how Calbourne is used, but there are some dual-brakes carriages - definitely one of the Mark 1 brakes is dual braked, I’m not sure if there are sufficient others to form a viable train (i.e. three or four needed I’d have thought) or whether some other operating procedure will be used.

    Tom
     
  6. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,110
    Likes Received:
    158
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Looking forward to this. Been behind Calbourne at the MHR and on the IWSR but not had the experience of eith Beattie Well Tank yet.
     
  7. 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
    Strong little buggers with a good turn of speed. :)
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    From the e-Newsletter:

    OP4 Progress: DDD Surpasses Goal!

    Not a lot has happened on the ground during the past few weeks, for two reasons. Firstly, the Infrastructure Team has been working on other projects around the Railway, and secondly, I have been waiting to see the outcome of the fundraising effort during November and December.

    The response to the Double Donations Dash has been fantastic. We had hoped to raise £225,000, but we have in fact raised more than £260,000. Thank you to all who have contributed most generously.

    The next stage of the work will be to erect walls, doors, and windows around the eastern and northern faces of the shed and Skills Centre. To this end, our contractor (Robin Stevenson LLP) is preparing a tender for this work. This represents the main element of expenditure for the forthcoming year, and this quotation will enable me to plan in more detail what other work can be undertaken within the finances available.

    We propose starting work during the second half of February, once the current programme of work on the running line is complete. The first elements will be to complete the ground floor slab of the Skills Centre, followed by the dwarf brick wall which forms the base for the cladding. Once this work is complete, the cladding can be erected, and this is currently programmed for April/May.

    During the same period, work will continue to complete the trackwork in the shed (road J) and the connections in the yard to roads H and J.

    By Barry Luck, OP4 Project Manager (Infrastructure)
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    Also from the eNewsletter - outcome of the Santa season. Very successful, despite the odd hiccup - such as the family who arrived a week late, having put the wrong date in their diaries (they were nonetheless accommodated when they came); and another family who had tickets for a K&ESR Santa train, but turned up at the Bluebell...

    A Successful Santa Season

    The Railway enjoyed another very successful Santa Season last month. Although in terms of passenger numbers, 2017 had seen a record 14,414 travel on 53 Santa Trains, 2018 beat that figure with 15,473 (10,867 adults and 4,606 children) travelling on 53 trains over 9 days (1,654 toddlers can also be added to the number).

    Following its introduction in 2017, all Santa bookings are handled online, and 2018 saw customers booking not only in greater numbers but also earlier.

    Visitor numbers over the Christmas period were boosted by 654 customers attending the Horsted Christmas event on 21 December, 12 Pullman dining trains, and 612 from six Festive Feast trains, all of which were sold out .

    Communications Director Roger Garman explains that this year saw even more services delivery directed to customers wishing to start at East Grinstead. Nearly one-third of all Santa trains, all of the six Festive Feast trains, and half of the trains operated as part of the Horsted Keynes Christmas started at the northern end of the line.

    Although customers book in advance, the weather can still be a key factor, not only in terms of family enjoyment but also operational delivery. In the main, give or take some rainy Saturdays, the Railway was very fortunate: Christmas Eve being a perfect blue-sky day.

    Overall revenue for the Christmas Season will be in excess of £500,000. But delivering the Railway's festive experience to more than 18,000 customers is not without cost, and once these costs are finalised, the Railway will learn how solid the overall contribution that Santa brought will make to 2018 numbers.

    Society Chairman Graham Aitken and PLC Chairman Dick Fearn express their "thanks to all involved for again making the Bluebell Railway the preferred venue to see Santa for literally thousands of families in the South East. To delight our visitors in this way requires a tremendous team effort, and the contribution made by all was sincerely appreciated."​
     
    Matt37401 and Bluenosejohn like this.
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    And this, about the Camelot Loco Society CCT van overhaul:

    CCT Van Update: Getting Closer

    Excellent progress is being made with the restoration of the Camelot CCT. All new plywood is being fitted to the sides, rather than re-using just the better bits of wood that were on it previously. This process will not only ensure that all the materials are of a consistent quality but also will save the hassle that would have been involved cutting out the damaged edges, just to get to the salvageable middle sections of plywood sheet. The heavy longitudinal locking bars/beams that were used to secure vehicles at floor level inside also have been re-instated.

    All four sets of side doors are now on the van, and I'm told that the large end doors will be going on soon as well. The replacement sheets of safety glass for the side windows are on order. This purchase is anticipated to be the last expenditure on items needed to complete the restoration.

    The brake cylinder has been overhauled and re-attached. On the suspension, the springs have had been checked and found to be satisfactory. New solid rubber suspension pads were needed to replace the corroded originals, and these have been fitted.

    As ever, the Camelot Locomotive Society thanks all those involved with the project for their amazing skills and continued dedication.

    By Julian Heinemann
     
  11. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,110
    Likes Received:
    158
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    To go with the news of 30587 and W24 Calbourne visiting for the Branch Line Weekend in March, the latest issue of Bluebell News came today with news on this year Giants of Steam event in October.

    46100 Royal Scot and another named LMS loco are due to be the visiting locomotives for the event (I can take a good guess at what the other LMS loco could be, as one is currently due to haul a Cathedrals Express from Sheffield Park to Worcester on October 5th, which me and my Grandad are booked on).
     
  12. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,281
    Likes Received:
    818
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Grinstead
    6233 is not confirmed as hauling the Cath Ex, and there is another possible named LMS loco that could be the other visitor - Bahamas.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    A detailed report with photos here: https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/ext/2019_winter_track_replacement.pdf of the beginning of this winter's track relaying, which covers 1/2 mile between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes. The precise location starts near the top of Freshfield Bank, joining up with the north end what was relaid in 2011, and continues to Monteswood Lane bridge, joining up with the south end of what was relaid in 2018.

    There has been an interesting discussion elsewhere, the outcome of which is that, once this work is complete, I believe the following sections of the line have been relaid since about 2011. (This is my compilation from a long discussion, so may not be 100% right).

    - The platform roads at Sheffield Park, out as far as the point that joins to the single line, and the first five or six panels of track beyond that over Poleay Bridge, which has also been rebuilt
    - All but 1/4mile of a continuous section of line starting round about the Sheffield Park down distant signal on Freshfield Bank (ca. 7m 30ch) and continuing north to Caseford Bridge (9m73ch).
    - The furthest south point at Horsted Keynes and through platforms 2 and 3 to the intermediate crossover.
    - The section of line from roughly Leamland Bridge, through the point at Leamland junction and for a few panels north towards the Horsted Keynes up advanced starter
    - The half mile or so of track in the tunnel
    - Everything north of Kingscote, starting I think from just north of the platforms.

    Notable that that list includes all the points at the critical locations at the beginning and end of each station, which are crossed by every train. In addition, away from the running lines there has been some work within the yard at Sheffield Park around the washout pit; the crossing timbers (but not rail) of the run round point at the south end of Sheffield Park; the track in the carriage shed there; and extensive relaying of the down yard and new carriage shed at Horsted Keynes.

    The remaining line between SP and HK is old; that between HK and Kingscote as well as the bits of running lines withins station limits at HK not covered by the above dates from the 1990s.

    (Location map here: https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/map_grad.html)

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    jnc, Kempenfelt 82e and Bluenosejohn like this.
  14. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Bristol / Priddy
    Many thanks for the updates Tom.

    Sounds like a significant part of the running line has now been renewed then since 2011 and will hopefully stand the railway in good stead for the long term now. Pressures on the loco department seem to be easing too with the availability of mid-large locomotives increasing, Std 4 and Archie on their way back too. OP4 progress is really ramping up too, so all together it's hopefully looking like a happy 2019 for the Bluebell! :)

    Will be interesting seeing what the railway's next area's of investment are to be. I fully understand that continual maintenance and upgrades to the running line will always be on the agenda. I suspect with the recent ASH project now open, increased loco undercover storage would now feature high on the agenda. Perhaps development of the station facilities at East Grinstead and dedicated undercover storage and restoration facilities for wagons too.

    All sounds very positive for the continual development of the railway!

    Paul
     
    jnc, Jamessquared and Paul42 like this.
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    By my reckoning (so not official) somewhere close to 2.5 miles (a little under) of plain line has been replaced between SP and HK, and about 1.75 miles still needs to be done, made up as follows:

    - about 7/8 mile from Sheffield Park to a point on Freshfield Bank
    - about 1/4 mile from milepost 9 towards River Slip
    - about 7/8 mile from Caseford Bridge to Horsted Keynes.

    I’m reminded by p/w colleagues that you can’t compile a yearly “batting average” to work out a target end date, because different sections have greater or lesser complexity and cost, particularly with regard associated drainage work and local ground conditions. For example, the work at River Slip (2017 I think) was a short length but required a huge amount of embankment stabilisation; whereas a section of a similar length on Freshfield Bank was relaid in two nights later the same year.

    As for what is next - more loco storage is high on the list, and momentum is building for an “OP5” though I doubt there will be any kind of appeal until OP4 is signed off - a lesson we’ve learnt is that it is difficult to run parallel appeals for related, but different projects. The other development, noted in Bluebell News, is for permanent (rather than carriage-based) volunteer accommodation. The intention is to use some of the proceeds from Flying Scotsman to part fund that.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    Kempenfelt 82e, jnc and Bluenosejohn like this.
  16. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,110
    Likes Received:
    158
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    It could well be 45596, I was mainly going with 6233 as it is currently listed as hauling the charter on SD website and it would seem strange to list that loco for the tour this far out (though it can be amended anytime if needs be) rather than a more obvious choice like 61306 which was originally down to haul the train the same time last year until it was cancelled.

    Whatever the other visitor I'm sure it'll be another great event. Bluebell News has me intrigued at what's planned for the 60th Anniversary celebrations next year given how great the 50th Anniversary event was in 2010 (I went all 3 days and still didn't quite see everything) and that they're very keen on topping it.
     
  17. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,401
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Researcher/writer and composer of classical music
    Location:
    Between LBSCR 221 and LBSCR 227
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Looking ahead on the loco front after reading the latest Bluebell News, am I right in thinking that four of the next five locos to enter/re-enter service will be class 4 or more? 80151 will hopefully be back soon, but after that (not necessarily in his order) come 34059, 928, 32424 and 27. Perhaps Tom can confirm this. If so, it does leave the Bluebell a bit thin on the ground for class 2/3 power. Has a start been made to any loco in this category? I did hear talk of the Dukedog but there was no mention of it in the Loco Department report in BN.
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    I believe the Dukedog will be next, but the desire is to finish probably 80151 and 34059 first, before it goes into the works - it's a question of space and focusing resources on a small number of things rather than spreading them too thinly, particularly within the workshop, which in any case can only really give space to one loco and one boiler inside under overhaul at any one time (the other road being used for intermediate repairs, subject to fairly frequent shunting, meaning it is not suitable for long-term overhauls). It will be interesting to see whether that changes with the provision of the under cover maintenance shed that is part of the ASH project. Certainly gives more space.

    928 will be a few years away; by time 928 enters service, 847 will be close to the end of its time in traffic. (Hopefully they will overlap, but it won't be by much, probably only a year or two at most I suspect).

    There is also 72 in the mix somewhere, one hopes.

    The number of large engines coming to fruition now can probably be traced back in part to the loco crisis and "keep up the pressure" appeal four or five years ago; essentially 80151 and 34059 are the last two locos that were covered by that appeal working their way through the system. 32424 was always going to be "ready when it is ready" and 928 reflects the MLS who tend to be working on one loco at a time, rotating through their fleet. 1618 will be their next project when 928 is finished.

    Tom
     
    Kempenfelt 82e and Bluenosejohn like this.
  19. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,110
    Likes Received:
    158
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Speaking of the ASH project maintenance shed I noticed that in pictures I saw from during the Santa's that there seems to be work going on in the yard and wondered of that part of the project was now underway.
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    22,645
    Location:
    21C102
    Yes, there is ground work underway - the maintenance building should appear over the next few months.

    Tom
     
    Dan Hill likes this.

Share This Page