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Press release: Intensive train services for 60th anniversary celebrations

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2 March 2020

We are promising a train every 40 minutes from every station on the line during our August weekend of celebrations to mark 60 years of operation.

The provisional timetable offers the most intensive service we have ever run.

Our Steaming Through 60 event which will be held from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 August along the line from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead. There will be activities and displays at all four of our stations.

Robert Hayward, chairman of Bluebell Railway’s Diamond Anniversary steering group, said: “There will be six trains operating on each of the three days so that during the middle of the day, three services will run between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes and three services will take passengers between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes.

“There will be a train every 40 minutes from every station on the line. Now that’s something the founders of the Bluebell Railway could only ever have dreamed about when the first trains ran on the re-opened line in 1960 and it’s certainly far more than before the line was closed by British Railways in 1958.”

The draft timetable has the first train to leave Sheffield Park at 08:10 each day and the first train from East Grinstead at 09:10. The timetables will be slightly different on each of the three days but there will be at least 12 hours of operation on the Friday and Saturday.

All trains will stop at Horsted Keynes on Sunday afternoon for the spectacle of a cavalcade of all Bluebell Railway’s operational steam locomotives as the climax of the weekend of celebrations. Further services will then run to the stations to allow people to depart.

Mr Hayward has also announced the railway is ordering special commemorative headboards to go on the front of its trains. There will be one headboard on the front of each of the steam locomotives in use over the “Steaming Through 60” weekend.

The final versions and colours are still being sorted but the railway has released an initial design for the headboards which will start to be seen on its regular services in the next few months.

Further details of the ‘Steaming Through 60’ event will be announced here.