Blue Bell Railway

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STEVIEBOY1

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How are things progressing now at the Bluebell railway with clearing the cutting and connecting back into East Grinstead?
 
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12CSVT

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I've seen mention of an open weekend next weekend (21st and 22nd April) at East Grinstead station. Apparantly a class 73 + EMU stock is running passenger shuttles over a newly laid stretch of line.
 

NSEFAN

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12CSVT said:
I've seen mention of an open weekend next weekend (21st and 22nd April) at East Grinstead station. Apparantly a class 73 + EMU stock is running passenger shuttles over a newly laid stretch of line.
Correct. 3417 is heading from Wimbledon to East Grinstead on Friday 20th. Not sure what the timings are for that, yet...
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Correct. 3417 is heading from Wimbledon to East Grinstead on Friday 20th. Not sure what the timings are for that, yet...
I Think I saw that EMU at Wimbledon depot a few days ago, I think it may be stored there or Clapham Jct and not at East Grinstead owing to vandal problems some months ago.
 

steamybrian

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I've seen mention of an open weekend next weekend (21st and 22nd April) at East Grinstead station. Apparantly a class 73 + EMU stock is running passenger shuttles over a newly laid stretch of line.
.

They have used a class 73 and the 4 VEP on previous open days there.
I presume they will be running over the section of track to Imberhorne North (which is the limit of track which was been laid during 2011.).
 

12CSVT

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I now notice on the Bluebell Railway website that they advise you to pre-book if you wish to travel on the shuttles
 

PUFFINGBILLY

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The cutting has been cleared of soil sufficient to avoid the landfill tax which would have been applicable as from 1st April this year.
Grading now has to take place requiring removal of slighly less soil than expected, then drains, trackbed, signalling etc to be installed. Passenger facilities at East Grinstead have to be completed and then of course the required testing and authorisations completed.
The existing 2012 timetable is actually an interim one, and an amended version may be published later which will indicate whatever ocasional limited and special services may be available through to EG. The 2013 timetable will show the new service to East Grinstaed from March.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Incidently - it's BLUEBELL as per the flower. It could just have been called 'THE PRIMROSE LINE' as staff and passengers in Lewes & East Grinstead days nicknamed the branch the Primrose & Bluebell.
 

fgwrich

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Whilst the Bluebells website is fine for giving you a description - this is probably a better website / blog to follow if you want to see whats been done up at Imberhonrne:

http://www.philpot.me/cutting5.html

It's quite interesting to see what's been done, and to see how steep the new gradient will up to and through the cutting will be.

Cheers to the Somerset & Dorset for showing me that link!
 

12CSVT

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For those interested 73204 is the loco doing the honours at East Grinstead this weekend, hauling the VEP unit as far as Imberhorne cutting.

Not too sure that I like the set up outside East Grinstead station where you have to step onto the road with poor visibility of oncoming traffic as there is only a pavement on one side.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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The cutting has been cleared of soil sufficient to avoid the landfill tax which would have been applicable as from 1st April this year.
Grading now has to take place requiring removal of slighly less soil than expected, then drains, trackbed, signalling etc to be installed. Passenger facilities at East Grinstead have to be completed and then of course the required testing and authorisations completed.
The existing 2012 timetable is actually an interim one, and an amended version may be published later which will indicate whatever ocasional limited and special services may be available through to EG. The 2013 timetable will show the new service to East Grinstaed from March.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Incidently - it's BLUEBELL as per the flower. It could just have been called 'THE PRIMROSE LINE' as staff and passengers in Lewes & East Grinstead days nicknamed the branch the Primrose & Bluebell.
Thanks for all the information, glad to hear the cutting has finally been cleared, hope the next stages all go well and I will look forward to travelling on the line right through from East Grinstead.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
For those interested 73204 is the loco doing the honours at East Grinstead this weekend, hauling the VEP unit as far as Imberhorne cutting.

Not too sure that I like the set up outside East Grinstead station where you have to step onto the road with poor visibility of oncoming traffic as there is only a pavement on one side.
Maybe when it's up and running they will be able to improve the set up at East Grinstead, although I do recall the road is rather narrow there.
 

gazthomas

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I popped there yesterday (okay, a 160 mile round trip!) and enjoyed the experience. Everyone is right about access being dangerous as across the road is a Sainsbury's. Made for free parking though as the station car park (almost empty) was £5.30!

At the rear of the car park was plenty of space, plus also a knackered old Land Rover full of rubbish. It was being worked on by an elderly guy who looks like he lives in it. Could this area be used for the Bluebell in the future?

Anyway, the staff where very friendly and the 4VEP was in its usual excellent condition. A credit. I took this photo from the car park:

http://railwayherald.com/imagingcentre/view/230488/PL

Sadly by the time I went over to the bridge overlooking Imberthorne North it was raining. Great potential almost realised. I just hope the Bluebell become more pro diesel - their older market is dying off after all.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I just hope the Bluebell become more pro diesel - their older market is dying off after all.[/QUOTE]

Not too sure about the last line here, I know quite alot of younger people who love steam.
 

PUFFINGBILLY

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I

I just hope the Bluebell become more pro diesel - their older market is dying off after all.
I couldn't agree more.
In 1958 the founders decided that GWR type railcars & DMU's would prove "impractical" and unpopular and that only southern steam engines and stock would feature. Quite how non-steam was considered 'impractical' escapes me.
Currently the first service is 11am partly governed I suspect by the need for several hours steam preparation, so how sensible would it be to use non-steam for some earlier services particularly with the increased timing of each trip come 2013. and a need to run more trains if income is to be maximised.

The BBR seems VERY anti-steam, with many dyed-in-the wool rose tinted spectacled long serving romantics who hate the idea of change and want time frozen in aspic. The fact remains, which must irritate, is that there is a decreasing number of those who remember steam, and many youngsters are quite happy for example to see the diesel shunter that bumbles about there from time to time.

Heritage railways secure much of their income from family groups and coach parties who just want a day out on an old train looking at the nice scenery.
It never ceases to amaze me how few bother to go to the front of the train to look at the engine, either before or after the journey. Those that do are mostly men of a certain age weighed down with cameras and lapel badges, and dads holding up kids so they can see the fire or have their photo taken on the footplate.
Passengers arrive and usually need Toilets and Teas before the Trains, then flop into the carriage and tuck into their packed lunches. And why not?
So it can matter little what's pulling the coach as long as it gets them there and back.
 

DavyCrocket

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I couldn't agree more.
In 1958 the founders decided that GWR type railcars & DMU's would prove "impractical" and unpopular and that only southern steam engines and stock would feature. Quite how non-steam was considered 'impractical' escapes me.
Currently the first service is 11am partly governed I suspect by the need for several hours steam preparation, so how sensible would it be to use non-steam for some earlier services particularly with the increased timing of each trip come 2013. and a need to run more trains if income is to be maximised.

The BBR seems VERY anti-steam, with many dyed-in-the wool rose tinted spectacled long serving romantics who hate the idea of change and want time frozen in aspic. The fact remains, which must irritate, is that there is a decreasing number of those who remember steam, and many youngsters are quite happy for example to see the diesel shunter that bumbles about there from time to time.

Heritage railways secure much of their income from family groups and coach parties who just want a day out on an old train looking at the nice scenery.
It never ceases to amaze me how few bother to go to the front of the train to look at the engine, either before or after the journey. Those that do are mostly men of a certain age weighed down with cameras and lapel badges, and dads holding up kids so they can see the fire or have their photo taken on the footplate.
Passengers arrive and usually need Toilets and Teas before the Trains, then flop into the carriage and tuck into their packed lunches. And why not?
So it can matter little what's pulling the coach as long as it gets them there and back.
I have to say that you are totally wrong! Especially regarding the demographic that visits the engine at a station.
 

47831

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I am sure the Bluebell will become increasingly pro-diesel in the very near future. The line when connected to East Grinstead will have all the ingredients required for a fantastic diesel gala - mainline connection, the gradient, the tunnel and not to mention the stunning sussex countryside.

I think it is a no brainer for the Bluebell to welcome diesels with open arms, especially in financial terms. As well as steam charters, there are many diesel operated charters that would be more than happy to pass onto the Bluebell metals providing lots of £££ for the BRPS in the process! Diesels have contributed in a big way to clearing the tip from both ends - also the visit of the Hastings Unit and the 73 hauling the 4VEP over the viaduct at the northern end. Something is going to have to power the 4VEP which the Bluebell have - a 33 in authentic push pull anyone?? Everyone is a winner!
 

DavyCrocket

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I am sure the Bluebell will become increasingly pro-diesel in the very near future. The line when connected to East Grinstead will have all the ingredients required for a fantastic diesel gala - mainline connection, the gradient, the tunnel and not to mention the stunning sussex countryside.

I think it is a no brainer for the Bluebell to welcome diesels with open arms, especially in financial terms. As well as steam charters, there are many diesel operated charters that would be more than happy to pass onto the Bluebell metals providing lots of £££ for the BRPS in the process! Diesels have contributed in a big way to clearing the tip from both ends - also the visit of the Hastings Unit and the 73 hauling the 4VEP over the viaduct at the northern end. Something is going to have to power the 4VEP which the Bluebell have - a 33 in authentic push pull anyone?? Everyone is a winner!
I don't believe they will. At Board and Trustee level there is not much enthusiasm and that filters down to a grass roots operational level too.

Though there is a diesel gala later in 2012!
 

12CSVT

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I don't believe they will. At Board and Trustee level there is not much enthusiasm and that filters down to a grass roots operational level too.

Though there is a diesel gala later in 2012!
They announced a diesel gala on their website a few years ago, except that it was posted on the morning of April 1st (I think the rest of the story should be self explainatory !!! )
 

DavyCrocket

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They announced a diesel gala on their website a few years ago, except that it was posted on the morning of April 1st (I think the rest of the story should be self explainatory !!! )
20 & 21 October: Sussex Branch Line Weekend - a special weekend of branch-line trains from 1880 right through to dieselisation
 

PUFFINGBILLY

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I don't believe they will. At Board and Trustee level there is not much enthusiasm and that filters down to a grass roots operational level too.

That's the problem, a managing team too long entrenched and entranced by a 1960's romantic notion of holding back the years and not adaping to the tastes of latter generations.
Many at operational level mutter mumble and whinge at anything that smacks of change that might actually encourage more visitors including those of the iPod age who heavens forbid might actually find diesel and electric more interesting than fuddy duddy steam. After all the technology is nearer to that that they can identify with.
We have all encountered those old men in sheds who would like time to have stood still, and to be able to close the doors on the world. Many can do this when working in museums, heritage railways, restoring ships, old aircraft, cars etc etc, they just close the engine shed or hanger doors and pretend today don't exist. Well tough for in the real world there has to be a profit, vulgar I know, or at least break even.
Even fusty dusty museums have woken up to reality and the needs of modern visitors by being more pro-active and interactive, adapting to the expectations of a 21st centruy public. Check out the Science Museum for example.
 

Cyberbeagle

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On their Facebook page it claims they're not going to keep the class 423 "Gordon Petit"

So why get it in the first place??
 

DavyCrocket

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On their Facebook page it claims they're not going to keep the class 423 "Gordon Petit"

So why get it in the first place??
It was part of the arrangement for the NR interface installation which BR did not cover the costs of.

There are no plans at present to dispose of the 4 VEP
 

Cyberbeagle

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It was part of the arrangement for the NR interface installation which BR did not cover the costs of.

There are no plans at present to dispose of the 4 VEP
Well, that's good to hear, but this is what was posted on the Bluebell's facebook page:

Matthew Nunn are the railway going to keep the class 423 vep unit gordon pettit

Bluebell Railway
Unlikely, since it doesn't meet requirements of our rolling stock collections policy (and we have no spare space anyway.) Past discussions have focussed on ensuring that it is well cared for in the future.
Personally I think it would be great to run on the Ardingly branch long term, since the mood-music for this extension post-East Grinstead is pretty positive, it'd be something different to the Mk1 and vintage sets for the branch and might allow running into Haywards Heath easier.

But that's just my humble opinion! ;)
 

NightStar

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Personally I am of the younger generation who can only identify with diesels, but I prefer steam locomotives any day over more modern diesels and electrics. Now thats not to say that I would not like to ride a Class 37 once and awhile. This class of diesel happens to be my all time favorite of British railways.

Robert
 

PUFFINGBILLY

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Briefly - wet weather delayed profiling cutting and removal of clay for embankment at Horsted Keynes ( re. triangle ).
Now all is on schedule.
Re-alignment of track and points at Kingscote complete, engines can now run round trains again.
As reported before March 2013 will see timetabled service to East Grinstead, some test trains later this year.
I suspect Bluebell website has more detail and current info.
 

fgwrich

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Briefly - wet weather delayed profiling cutting and removal of clay for embankment at Horsted Keynes ( re. triangle ).
Now all is on schedule.
Re-alignment of track and points at Kingscote complete, engines can now run round trains again.
As reported before March 2013 will see timetabled service to East Grinstead, some test trains later this year.
I suspect Bluebell website has more detail and current info.
I wouldn't say all seems to be on schedule just yet, considering the bluebell are supposed to have a line through imberhorne by the start of summer.

http://www.philpot.me/latest.html

Although progress seems to have resumed this week, it seems to have taken them nearly a month before restarting work again. I have to admit that im even more confused about what theyre doing now, as they spent all this time at the southern end of Imberhorne digging deep (depth, not length) into the cutting and raising the trackbed, whilst at the over end, they seem to be almost terracing out the spoil to create a ramp going upwards in height - which make me wonder, if its going to end up with one set of work completed but to a lower level, with this second lot at a higher level (if this makes sense).

_
 

DavyCrocket

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The past few months have been spent at Kingscote. It has run behind a bit owing to the wet weather.

The work at Kingscote has been track layout modifications and signalling enabling works.

I wouldn't say all seems to be on schedule just yet, considering the bluebell are supposed to have a line through imberhorne by the start of summer.

http://www.philpot.me/latest.html

Although progress seems to have resumed this week, it seems to have taken them nearly a month before restarting work again. I have to admit that im even more confused about what theyre doing now, as they spent all this time at the southern end of Imberhorne digging deep (depth, not length) into the cutting and raising the trackbed, whilst at the over end, they seem to be almost terracing out the spoil to create a ramp going upwards in height - which make me wonder, if its going to end up with one set of work completed but to a lower level, with this second lot at a higher level (if this makes sense).

_
 
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