Announcement: Lineside Photography

10 February 2020


Information for members of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society

Note: this does not apply to staff or working volunteers

A new system of lineside photographic permits is to be introduced on a one-year trial basis for BRPS members effective from 1 March 2020.

The previous system was put in abeyance last year while a full review of the arrangements was carried out. The safe operation of the railway was the paramount concern and discussions were held with the rail regulator as well as the railway’s insurers to ensure we could continue to allow safe access to the trackside.

We thank all photographers for their patience while this review took place. The lack of any public announcements up until now has not been because nothing has been happening or that the issue has been forgotten. On the contrary, we have been working hard to put in place a new system which will allow photographers to take pictures of our services and that everyone’s safety is assured.

We promised to provide an update in time for the 2020 season and can now provide the details of the system which will operate this year:

  • Lineside photography will be allowed to continue for a one-year trial period after which the arrangements will be reviewed.
  • The title of the photographer’s permit will be changed to “Lineside Photographic Permit”.
  • Training is to be strengthened with special attention given to crossing running lines.
  • A full list of areas where photographers will be allowed to go as well as restricted areas will be set out in the training material.
  • Lineside photography will be permitted only in daylight hours, when timetabled trains are running and with good visibility.
  • A “signing in” and “signing out” procedure is to be introduced. This is to ensure that all photographers are monitored both for their lineside presence and safety.
  • “Signing in” will be at the General Office at Sheffield Park to ensure Lineside Photographic Permits are valid. Accredited photographers will be issued with a numbered “Photographer” high visibility jacket.
  • The issue of a “Photographer” high visibility jacket will be subject to the payment of a returnable deposit by cash or cheque.
  • An option will be available for photographers to sign out the following day if there are no staff at a station or the General Office.
  • Numbered “Photographer” high visibility jackets can also be posted back through a Bluebell Railway station letter box, however the deposit paid will be surrendered.
  • An authorised walking route from Horsted Keynes station for photographers wishing to go south towards Sheffield Park has been included in the new permit scheme.
  • The revised fee for the permit and accreditation will be £100.
  • Renewal of permits will be on an annual basis with the same training course as for an initial application.
  • All photographers must be 16 years of age or older.

Training courses are scheduled to take place on Sunday 1 March, Saturday 11 April, Saturday 16 May and Sunday 26 July. They will be held at 2pm in the training room in the Above Workshop Facility at Sheffield Park.

Anyone interested in attending a training course and obtaining a new Lineside Photographic Permit should contact the General Office on 01825 720800 or info@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Applicants must be BRPS members and able to quote a valid membership number. There will be a maximum of 15 people on each course. A payment of £100 is required at the time of booking.

We look forward to working with all the photographers in the coming year on this new permit system. We hope photographers will be able to obtain high quality images of our own and visiting locomotives both for their own use and to support the publicity activity of the Bluebell Railway in its 60th year of operation.

Once again, thank you for your patience while these new arrangements were discussed and agreed.

  • Chris White, Assurance Director