The Pioneer

*Special Offer*

Book a 3rd class compartment on our 1pm Pioneer service this Friday (7 August) and enjoy a 25% discount 😎
Compartments cost just £75 on this service (usually £99), and you can seat up to 10 people!

Britain’s Pioneering Heritage Railway – the first of it’s kind!

Recreate the early days of Bluebell Railway, the longest-running line of its kind, by riding on The Pioneer! 

Travel through beautiful Sussex countryside from Sheffield Park Station to Kingscote Station and back in the luxury bubble of your own compartment – which carries up to ten people in 3rd Class or eight people in 1st class. Great value for large families.

Travelling with a smaller group? You may like to travel on our dining trains from £25.00 per person

A steam train ride through Sussex countryside

Bluebell Railway was the first passenger carrying standard gauge heritage railway in Britain and was therefore known as The Pioneer Line.  We opened to the public on 7 August 1960!    In the early days, members of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society were only able to purchase a small piece of track between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, as mainline trains still used the Horsted Keynes to East Grinstead track. 

However, British Railways closed that section and over the years, The Pioneer Line grew to become the Bluebell Railway we love today.   All because of the pioneering spirit of our members and volunteers!


Pre-order food boxes

Why not add some of our delicious pre-packed food boxes to enjoy on your journey?

Food boxes are just £7.49 each and Stepney boxes are available for children at £5.95 each.

A selection of drinks is also available to pre-order (we are sorry but no food or drinks can be purchased whilst onboard).

Please select your food boxes and drinks during the booking process. 

Continental Breakfast for One Box

Croissant with butter & jam, breakfast roll with ham & cheese, breakfast pastry, a carton of juice.

  • 11am service only – £7.49

Ploughmans Lunch for One Box

Savoury roll, chutney, salad, butter and salad cream.

  • 1pm service only – £7.49

Cream Tea for One Box

Savoury roll, assortment of cakes & pastries, and scones with clotted cream and jam.

  • 3pm service only – £7.49

Stepney Box for one (for children)

(Soft filled roll filled with ham or cheese, crips, fruit snack. chocolate treat, juice carton, colouring booklet & crayons)

  • All services – £5.95

For your safety:

  • Face Coverings – must be worn in public places such as on the platforms, in the museum and SteamWorks! and when boarding or alighting from the trains in accordance to Government guidance. Removal is acceptable while seated onboard.
  • Socially distanced seating – Our onboard seating capacity has been reduced to allow for a comfortable, socially distanced journey.
  • Pre-packed food – All meals are hygienically pre-packed in covered boxes.

Please visit our Covid-19 Safety measures page to read  about all the measures we have put in place to ensure your visit is safe and enjoyable.


  • We regret that owing to the age and design of the carriages used for this service, we are unable to accommodate wheelchair-bound passengers.
  • If you or a member of your party have mobility issues and would like to travel on this service, please call our Customer Services Team on 01825 720800 who will be happy to discuss your requirements with you.

You can find out about all our services and FAQs here.

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