Yesterday, in glorious autumn sunshine, we visited The Bluebell Railway and experienced traveling on railways as it was many years ago (third class - we know our place). And you know what they say – nostalgia’s not what it used to be. I’m posting a little photo-essay of the visit.
The Bluebell Railway is a heritage line running for nine miles along the border between East Sussex and West Sussex, England. Steam trains are operated between Sheffield Park and Kingscote, with an intermediate station at Horsted Keynes.
The railway is managed and run largely by volunteers. It has the largest collection of steam locomotives (30+) in the UK after the National Railway Museum, and a collection of almost 150 carriages and wagons (most of them from before or between the world wars), unrivalled in the south of England.
The Bluebell Railway was the first preserved standard gauge steam-operated passenger railway in the world to operate a public service, running the first train on 7 August 1960, shortly after the line from East Grinstead to Lewes had been closed by British Railways. The Bluebell Railway also preserved a number of steam locomotives even before the cessation of steam service on British mainline railways in 1968.
2007 marked the railway's 125th anniversary. 2009 marked the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society's 50th anniversary. 2010 marks the Bluebell's 50th anniversary of running services.