Historic train steams through Sussex

The golden age of steam returned to Sussex briefly this week when an historic locomotive made a visit to the area.
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The Christmas Brighton Belle train ran from London Victoria to the Sussex coast on Wednesday crossing the North and South Downs and passing through the beautiful countryside of the Weald.

it was hauled by an LMS Black 5 locomotive.

The London, Midland and Scottish Railway Stanier Class 5 4-6-0, commonly known as the Black Five, is a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotives. It was introduced by William Stanier and built between 1934 and 1951, of which 842 were built. Of these only 18 are still in existence.

The Sussex Belle steam train at Hastings by Brian BaileyThe Sussex Belle steam train at Hastings by Brian Bailey
The Sussex Belle steam train at Hastings by Brian Bailey
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The train journey, on Wednesday, which offered a fine dining experience for passengers, was run by The Railway Touring Company.

It travelled south along the main line towards Brighton passing through East Croydon, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges and Haywards Heath. It left the Brighton line at Keymer Junction, just after Wivesfield, and headed south-eastwards through Cooksbridge to Lewes. Here it joined the East Coastway Line that runs from Brighton to Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford.

It stopped at Eastbourne to allow people to visit the town then passed through Normans Bay, Cooden Beach, and Bexhill to Hastings. it continued north through Crowhurst and Battle, and then passing through Mountfield Tunnel before returning to London.

Brian Bailey took this picture of the train at Hastings.