It's full steam ahead as famous Sussex heritage railway prepares for 60th anniversary

The Bluebell Railway will mark its 60th anniversary this summer with a special weekend celebration

Thursday, 5th March 2020, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 1:41 pm
Bluebell Railway will reach its 60th year in August

The popular attaction will make the occasion with its ‘Steaming Through 60’ weekend from August 7-9.

The event will see a train run every 40 minutes from every station on the line which which runs between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.

And organisers say the provisional timetable offers the most intensive service the Bluebell Railway has ever run. There will be activities and displays at all four of the Bluebell Railway’s stations.

Robert Hayward, chairman of the Bluebell Railway’s Diamond Anniversary steering group, said: “There will be six trains operating on each of the three days so that during the middle of the day, three services will run between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes and three services will take passengers between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes.

“There will be a train every 40 minutes from every station on the line. Now that’s something the founders of the Bluebell Railway could only ever have dreamed about when the first trains ran on the re-opened line in 1960. And it’s certainly far more than before the line was closed by British Railways in 1958.”

The draft timetable has the first train to leave Sheffield Park at 08:10 each day and the first train from East Grinstead at 09:10. The timetables will be slightly different on each of the three days but there will be at least 12 hours of operation on the Friday and Saturday.

All trains will stop at Horsted Keynes on Sunday afternoon for the spectacle of a cavalcade of all the Bluebell Railway’s operational steam locomotives as the climax of the weekend of celebrations. Further services will then run to the stations to allow people to depart.

Bluebell Railway began in August 1960. It was one of the first preserved heritage lines in the country resulting in one of the finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages many of which were preserved straight out of service from British Railways.

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