Children's Section

Bluebell Railway is a family friendly visitor attraction. Not only do we run special events across the year, but we also have plenty of activities and facilities for children to enjoy at our stations!

Sheffield Park 

SteamWorks!

Learn the science and stories behind steam in our interactive exhibition SteamWorks! on Platform 1. Set among some of our fabulous collection of locomotives in the running shed, you can gets hands-on with interactive displays and even have a go on our Stepney locomotive driving experience!

Bluebell Railway Museum

Head to Platform 2 and find our extensive museum. Here we tell the story of the railways, and the Bluebell Railway in particular, through a stunning collection of artefacts, display panels and videos. Visitors are invited to pull a signal lever in the Victorian signal box and children can do a quiz and win a badge.

Horsted Keynes

Elephant Van

Once upon a time there was a railway van which moved elephants belonging to Billy Smart’s Circus from town to town.Now, it provides undercover soft play for little ones and is full of wonderful activities.

Look out for it at Horsted Keynes Station, you won’t miss it – it’s bright red!

Kingscote

Playground

The only thing that interrupts the tranquil atmosphere of Kingscote Station is the laughter of children playing in the picnic area and playground.

A kiosk selling snacks, ice cream and drinks is open at weekends during high season, on special events and during the school holidays. So why not break your journey here?

Outside space

Aside from our river-side picnic area at Sheffield Park and generous outside space at Horsted Keynes, the railway is surrounded by a network of footpaths and situated on the edge of the Weald, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Enjoy view of the Ashdown Forest, home of Winnie the Pooh, as the train steams through the Sussex countryside.


We also run various clubs for young people with an interest in heritage railways.

Stepney Club

The aim is to foster an interest in the railway heritage; a sort of Thomas the Tank Engine for the discerning.

Stepney is the figurehead engine – he was the first engine to come to the railway in 1960 and featured in his own book (no.18), “Stepney the “Bluebell” Engine” by the Rev. W. Awdry.

Members of the Stepney Club will receive:

  • A badge, membership card and discounted travel on the Bluebell Railway at any time
  • A card from Stepney on their birthday
  • A magazine every four months containing stories, pictures, puzzles, information about upcoming events and letters and drawings from members
  • A Stepney Club carriage on one of our Santa trains at Christmas with reduced price tickets for members and the families”
  • A summer event – either a birthday party for Stepney on the railway or an outing to a railway-themed venue the cost is £8 for a year’s membership, £12 for two years and £16 for three years

If you would like to join, further information can be obtained by contacting the Membership Secretary using the contact form below.


9F Club

Bluebell Railway’s 9F Club supports the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society (BRPS) by channelling the enthusiasm of young people for steam engines and railways, from merely watching, to actually learning the reality of what it takes to run a preserved railway. The club allows young people between 9 and 16 years of age to undertake ‘hands on’ activities in small groups under experienced adult supervision.

The 9F Club meets once a month, from March to November, alternating between Saturdays and Sundays. Most of the time the members get very dirty while enjoying, what is often, a hard day of physical activity.

Many members, on leaving the 9F club when they are 16, commence working as volunteers in their preferred department(s) at the railway.

The 9F Club has a safeguarding policy, all adult supervisors are DBS checked and all members sign, and are required to abide by, an annual behaviour agreement.

On Health and Safety grounds this is not a suitable environment for children requiring special supervision.

Membership of the 9F Club is at the discretion of the Bluebell Railway, whose decision is final.

Membership fees

  • Joining fee – £15.00pp (this covers the cost of the 9F Cap and badges)
  • Annual subscription – £15.00pp (payable each year during membership)

Please Note – For insurance purposes, to be a member of the 9F Club, you will also need to be a member of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society. You can find details on how to join at the top of this page.

If you would like to join, further information can be obtained by contacting the Membership Secretary using the contact form below.


Refreshments

Our Stepney lunch boxes are available to purchase in the Bessemer Arms Restaurant. If in a larger party then please pre-order for collection on the day. The lunchboxes can be eaten in the restaurant, picnic areas or on the train.

Lunch Boxes include the following:

  • Filled Roll
  • Crisps
  • Piece of Fruit
  • Chocolate Treat
  • Juice Carton
  • Colouring booklet and crayons

The lunch boxes are priced at £5.50 each. If pre-ordering then payment would be required in advance.


Free Travel for Blue Peter Badge Holders!

The Bluebell Railway is one of over 200 attractions throughout the UK that Blue Peter badge holders can enter for free. At Bluebell Railway, Blue Peter badge holders with a valid badge card are eligible for free one day unlimited travel.

To take advantage of this offer badge holders must be accompanied by a full paying or concessionary adult and a valid badge holders card must be shown at the time of purchase. This can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.