Statement from Christopher Hunford, Chairman, Bluebell Railway Plc, 27 November 2020
The Bluebell Railway will be reopening and running services again from Thursday 3 December in line with the Government’s lifting of the national lockdown in England and complying with the relevant tier restrictions.
The railway runs between Sheffield Park in East Sussex and East Grinstead in West Sussex. Both counties have been placed in Tier 2 (high alert) which allows businesses to operate in a Covid-secure manner.
We are looking forward to welcoming passengers for the festive season and, in particular, the formal start of our new SteamLights service which was postponed by the second national lockdown. Not forgetting our ever-popular Santa Specials trains which have been a feature of the festive season for generations of families. We have had to adapt our offering this year but it will nonetheless still be a memorable day out for thousands of people.
The Santa Specials services will also mark the reopening of our station at East Grinstead after being closed since March. We will be welcoming passengers once again at East Grinstead as they travel on the Santa Specials to the festivities at Horsted Keynes.
When the Railway reopens, our shop at Sheffield Park will be open and operating in a Covid-safe way while continuing to trade online.
We will still be operating with some restrictions in place after 2 December so we urge everyone to read and follow the Government guidance on the tier restrictions, especially people living in Tier 3 areas such as Kent who should avoid travelling to other parts of the UK.
Visitors to the Bluebell Railway should:
- Wear a face covering, especially in the shop and museum and other indoor spaces, unless exempt
- Comply with the ‘Rule of Six’ preventing socialising in larger groups unless part of a larger household or support bubble
- Observe social distancing by staying 2 metres apart from other people
- Follow the advice on washing hands regularly and for longer
- Stay away and inform the Railway if people show any Covid symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus.
Our full health and safety measures can be found here.
We will continue to review the situation and comply with Government regulations. If there are any changes, we will provide updated information about our services for customers on our website and official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
I look forward to seeing people back at the Bluebell Railway and providing a magical and memorable experience for the festive season.
We thank everyone for their patience, understanding and co-operation.