Chairman’s Message about the second lockdown

Statement from Christopher Hunford, Chairman, Bluebell Railway Plc, 3 November 2020

The Bluebell Railway has cancelled all planned services from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December in line with the new national lockdown restrictions.

I know this will be disappointing news for everyone – our staff, volunteers, members, supporters and customers. The safety and wellbeing of everyone remains of paramount importance.

It is all the more disappointing because this month would have been the start of our new exciting illuminated train service SteamLights and the first of this season’s Santa Specials. Thank you to everyone who has put in so much work to prepare for these events.

We had also planned to run trains in this period for Pie and Mash Lunch, The Blue Belle Luncheon, The Blue Belle Evening Dining and Wealden Rambler Festive Afternoon Tea.

Our customer services team will be contacting all of our affected customers about their bookings. We ask everyone to be patient because they have a large number of customers to contact and are working very hard to achieve this as quickly as possible.

All our catering outlets at our stations will be closed during the lockdown and we won’t be offering a takeaway service.

The well-stocked shop at Sheffield Park station will be shut but it will still be operating online with a range of books, gifts, souvenirs and model railway items.

The Government has said it will look to return to a regional approach at the end of the four-week period depending on the health data. This means we currently plan to run our scheduled services from 3 December onward but this will be kept under review. We will make further announcements to keep staff, volunteers and customers informed when the situation is clearer.

In the meantime, please check our website and official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for updated information.

Also please follow the Government guidance on staying safe.

Although this second lockdown is undoubtedly a setback, I am sure the same spirit and determination which saw us through the first lockdown will prevail once again. We look forward to working together to see the Railway through this period and reopening as soon as we possibly can.

Thank you for your help, support and continued co-operation.

  • Please find information regarding all our affected services here.

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