Bluebell Railway

From Academic Kids

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.

It was the first preserved standard gauge railway in the world - it opened in 1960, shortly after the line from East Grinstead to Lewes was closed by British Railways. This makes rather unique, as it preserved steam locomotives prior to the cessation of steam use on British mainline railways in 1968.

The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society is working to reinstate the remaining two miles of line from Kingscote to East Grinstead, having completed the initial extension from Horsted Keynes to Kingscote in 1994.

The railway is managed and run largely by volunteers, and has the second largest collection of steam locomotives after the National Railway Museum (NRM) and a collection of carriages and wagons which is unrivalled in the south of England. In addition to the 30 locomotives resident on the line, one more is on loan from the NRM (another has recently returned there), and a project to recreate a long lost type of locomotive (A London, Brighton and South Coast Railway H2 Class Atlantic) from a few surviving parts is well under way.

The station at Sheffield Park has been restored to a generally Victorian ambience, as close as possible to how it would have appeared during the time of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (up to 1922). Horsted Keynes tries to emulate the style of the Southern Railway (19221948), and Kingscote echoes the early British Railways period (1950s).

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