Over the next 3 years the Bluebell Railway will be hosting a series of events celebrating our Diamond Anniversary, 60 years of the Bluebell Railway. Our first main event on 16th March 2018 we commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the closure of the original ‘Bluebell Line’ by British Railway and the last train services from East Grinstead to Lewes.
‘Sulky Service’ timetable applies on weekends until March 18th
What is the ‘Sulky Service’?
As a start to our Diamond Anniversary celebrations, we will run to a timetable reflecting the one used by British Railways in 1958. It was known then as the ‘Sulky Service’; because it was the minimum number of trains that had to be operated to meet a statutory obligation and not for the convenience of the public, who had campaigned for the line to be reopened after it was first closed in 1955. This is a very significant occasion in the history of the Bluebell Line, marking the end of one era and the beginning of a new one which led to a rebirth as the Bluebell Railway. The first ex-mainline standard gauge railway to run passengers trains in the preservation era.
March 16th – Commemoration of the ‘last’ train
This train service is by formal invitation only.
The 60th Anniversary of last train service from East Grinstead to Lewes, We are recreating this service with the final stop being Sheffield Park Station.
We are encouraging anyone who travelled on the ‘original last train’ or knows of anyone who did to get in touch so that we can make them a part of this special event. email.
The station will be open for platform admission only.
March 17th and 18th – Commemoration of the line closure
Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the last train from East Grinstead to Lewes.
For this weekend we will be turning the clocks back to the 1950’s with various themed attractions and displays of interest to all ages.
If you were born in 1958 then you can travel at the 1958 price (20p).
Get your free souvenir ticket from any booking office.
At Sheffield Park Station the Birch Grove Suite will be open, offering cream tea, pastries, cakes and tea / coffee from 12pm until 4pm. (Tea Room Menu)
On Saturday there will be a particularly special event, for the first time since 1958 timetabled down trains will depart south of Sheffield Park and recreate up trains arriving as if from Lewes.
The 10:28, 12:28 and 2:28 departures from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park will be extended towards Newick, departing from Sheffield Park, Platform 1 at 11:13, 1:13 and 3:13. The 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30 from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead will start from Newick (Siding) at 11:23, 1:23 and 3:23 and arriving at Platform 1, two minutes later.
Please note that passengers will NOT be permitted to alight or join trains in the Newick Siding.
At Sheffield Park there will be brake van rides on Saturday, on a first come first serve basis.
Visit Horsted Keynes Station Cinema room for a special screening of ‘Titfield Thunderbolt’ at 12pm and 2pm, included in your travel ticket.
The Carriage & Wagon Department at Horsted Keynes will be open for guided tours of the workshop allowing an opportunity to see behind the scenes restoration work on the carriages.
Kingscote Signal Box will be open for visitors, limited spaces available on a first come first serve basis.
Future Diamond Anniversaries include;
2019 join us to celebrate the formation of the Bluebell Preservation Society
2020 a celebration of the opening of the Bluebell Railway, the first ex-mainline standard gauge railway to run passenger trains in the preservation era.