News from the Trust

The Bluebell Railway Trust is a Registered Charity, No. 292497

October 2023 – Phase 1 of Jewel in the Crown: Platform 5 at Horsted Keynes re-opened

Horsted Keynes Platform 5 completed - Tom James - 14 October 2023The current phase of the “Jewel in the Crown” project is virtually complete, and Horsted Keynes Platform 5 re-opened for service during our Giants of Steam Gala in October. Tom James’ photo shows the magnificently overhauled canopy and station house, and the repaired platform 5, with the coping stones reset on a repaired wall below, and fit for the next 140 years!

We will now need to raise the money to do the same to the canopy and buildings on Platform 3-4, and further work on the coping stones and the wall beneath Platform 1.

Donate Online Donate monthlyTo donate towards the continuing the work at Horsted Keynes, please use the link buttons here, and choose “Jewel in the Crown” from the drop-down menu.

There are updates on work on Horsted Keynes station included within the Infrastructure News here.

The photos below provide a taste of what’s been going on at Horsted Keynes most recently, with the work on the Platform 5 wall and coping stones. Firstly, using bricks recovered from the wall, it has been substantially rebuilt over its northern part. The first photo shows the corbel layers finished, including the end ramp, back in May. (Jon Goff)
With the rebuilt brickwork backed up by reinforced concrete, one of the coping stones is seen being lowered into place. (Bruce Healey)
Bob and Steve are busy doing the pointing between the copings. (Jon Goff)


Horsted Keynes Platform 5 - rebuilt end ramp - Jon Goff - 30 May 2023 Horsted Keynes Platform 5 - Coping stones being re-bedded - Bruce Healey - Autumn 2023 Horsted Keynes Platform 5 - pointing - Jon Goff - 30 May 2023

21 February 2023 – Work under way on the Trust’s SECR H-class Locomotive.

H-class to the north of rock cutting - Steve Lee - 15 June 2019

The overhaul of SECR H-class No. 263 started late last year.  It is planned that it should receive a rapid turn-around in view of the generally good condition of the boiler, and recent significant mechanical work.  It does require new crown girders and tubes, new tyres and new springs. It is also expected that we will need to fit a new cylinder block.  The work is to be funded in part thanks to a bequest left by Ray Tanner specifically for work on this locomotive.

A new web page has been created to cover reports of the work on the locomotive as it progresses. 

Photograph by Steve Lee, 15 June 2019.

18 February 2023 – It’s now easier to donate to our BR Standard Class 2 tank 84030 project

Photograph by A.R.Carpenter. Used by courtesy of’s now easier to make donations via the Bluebell Railway Trust towards the BR Standard Class 2 tank 84030 locomotive project, thanks to the Trust’s online portals for one-off and monthly donations, with the ability to Gift Aid the donations also available. Full details here.

The 2MT locomotives were built for light branch-line work. The tender engines, as this loco was originally, were almost unknown even as visitors to the South, whereas the 2MT tanks were used extensively on the Southern Region. New right-hand side tank for 84030, constructed off-site - January 2023 Thus, when BR Class 2 tender engine No. 78059 was rescued from Barry Scrapyard in 1983 without a suitable tender being available, the decision was taken to restore the locomotive in the tank-engine form, of which there are no surviving examples. The last 2MT tank having been numbered 84029, this locomotive takes the next number in the sequence.

The loco will be very useful on the Bluebell, since it will be capable of hauling all but our very heaviest trains. The project is making good progress, and news reports are available here. This photo shows the newly built right-hand side tank.

Your help in completing this important and interesting project will be much appreciated – Please do donate.

14 February 2023 – Spread the love (and the cash)!

EasyFundraisingWe have just received the latest payment of £318.72 from EasyFundraising, taking the total raised so far through them to £30,325.78 – from just 447 supporters – just think what we could raise with more supporters.

If you’d like to sign up and help us raise far more, just in commission donations when you surf and shop, please take a look at this information.

Sadly, whilst on the topic of shopping charity programmes, we do have to report that Amazon are closing their SMILE Charity programme.

24 January 2023 – Fundraising launched to prepare the Railway’s new Oxted DEMU 1305 for service

1305 at Sheffield Park - James Cummins/Bluebell Railway - 19 January 20231305, which arrived at Sheffield Park on 19 January, is now owned by the Bluebell Railway, and is mechanically in operational condition. The interior and bodywork require attention, which the newly formed 1305 Oxted Thumper Gang, which includes people with experience of maintaining such units in their main-line days, plan to undertake over the next couple of years without calling on the services of the Bluebell’s C&W department. Further details of the units history are available via a new Multiple Unit stock list, covering the most important details and history of the two Bluebell-owned units. See also the Railway’s Press Release (16 January 2023) about the project.

Donate Online Donate monthly To donate towards the costs of getting this 1962-built unit up and running on the Bluebell, please use the link buttons here, and choose “Oxted DEMU 1305” from the drop-down menu.

1305 at Sheffield Park - Tony Sullivan - 19 January 2023

As a unit which was designed for and operated on the lines through Oxted from London to East Grinstead, it is local to our area and an important part of the historical story of the railways of Mid-Sussex.

The intention is that the unit will provide an economical means to provide earlier morning and later evening services than is possible using steam locomotives, to enable people arriving via East Grinstead to have a longer day at the Railway.

The photos, by James Cummings and Tony Sullivan, show the two parts of the unit re-connected at Sheffield Park. Once it’s been inspected and passed fit to travel on Bluebell metals, it will be transferred to Horsted Keynes up yard.

12 January 2023 – We’d like to talk about…

We’re pleased to present the new Bluebell Railway Trust web pages, to help keep Bluebell Members and supporters up to date with what’s going on, provide information about current fundraising, and useful resources such as the information about leaving Gifts in Wills to the Railway, via the Trust.LawEasier from Mayo Wynne Baxter

This initiative, launched in the Winter issue of Bluebell News and here on the web site, includes details of how, working with an online portal, LawEasier from local solicitors Mayo Wynne Baxter, Bluebell supporters can obtain a 25% discount on their online legal services.

To find out more, simply visit the new Gifts in Wills page.  

Last updated by Richard Salmon on 16 November 2023