The Bluebell Railway 06 June 2009

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On the day I first went to the Bluebell Railway, Sunday 7th June 2009 there were 3 engines carrying out train hauling duties.  Firstly the above clip shows former Southern Region 2-6-0 No 1638 arriving at Kingscote at 1.35 p.m.  This link to the Maunsell Society is where you can find out more information about the engine.  The BLuebell Railway is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary and is also planning to extend the line to East Grinstead.  It already is a very impressive 9 miles long and the extension will bring it up to 11 miles long.  Bluebell Railway FAQ Page for more information is on this link The above clip shows No 65 another former Southern Region 0-6-0, optimistically sporting a 'Golden Arrow' headboard, (OK! It is what they call their lunchtime train) and departing from Kingscote immediately after 1638's arrival at 1.35.  The train looked very inviting and the link here takes you to a superb menu of food served on the train.  Looked like and excellent opportunity for a leisurely relaxed lunch, and two trips to Kingscote and back.  A profile giving information relating to the engine is available on this link.  It's quite obvious No 65 is leading a well polished existence compared to it's last years work with BR!
 Owing to the fact that the run around train line, at Sheffield Park, was filled with the Pullman coaches for the dining train, 4-4-0 No 9017 backed off the train.  No 65 then pulled the coaches clear of the line.  When the train was up the siding No 9017 then went forward, and reversed back onto its train in siding.  In the above clip 9017 is leaving the siding with its train and approaching the platform for the 12.00 train to Kingscote.  The engine known as a 'Dukedog' or 'Earl' class locomotive.  Details of how the 'Dukedog' name came into being can be found on this Bluebell Railway web page. Sitting in the shed yard rebuilt Battle of Britain 4-6-2 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair rests in the afternoon sunshine  Although rostered for day it had been replaced by No 1638.  However I wasn't to be disappointed as I revisited the railway the next weekend as well when it was running.  It looked absolutely magnificent and as new as 'Tornado'!  However in terms of main line steam engines it is relatively new, being built in 1947 and rebuilt in 1960.  More information about the engine is on this link.  The railway also keeps the shed open for the general public to visit.  Needless to say a big plus for enthusiasts.
 No 9017 and 65 sitting together half way through the manoeuvres to get 9017 back to its position for the 12.00 departure to Kingscote. A photo of the extremely neat and tidy carriage restoration workshop, showing work in progress, as seen from the view point.
The British Rail standard class 4-6-0 was one of the Southern Region engines to be named.  It was named 'Camelot' and is  currently undergoing what is obviously a major overhaul.  For more information on the engine please visit the '73082 Camelot Locomotive Society's' web site on this link. The exterior view of Sheffield Park Station and the Bluebell Railway HQ.  It really is the original and one of the best preserved railways in the country.  A visit provides a great day out and the extension to East Grinstead will enhance the experience even more.  Wonderful!
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