If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Bluebell Railway- Branch Line Gala- 10th-12th May 2024

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Ben Jenden, Dec 24, 2023.

  1. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,651
    Likes Received:
    5,427
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I guess it is good for various HR's we all have different things that please us. I read this and thought, that good, whereas I read the GOS announcement about SNG and thought maybe I will not bother this year.
    Although the timetable link seems to have disappeared on my copy for the Sunday the 4 only goes up and back to HK with Fenchurch, which just looks like normal path saving.
    Having said that the 4 appears to go to HK to do nothing other than be on display for most of the day.
     
  2. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    704
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Croydon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    7812 has arrived at Sheffield Park today
     
  3. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,651
    Likes Received:
    5,427
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Everything beyond the railway's control seems to be working against them for the weekend.
    I see no parking at HK due to recent rain, someone posted on Facebook the overflow car park at SP is a lake, and of course the M25 closed all weekend. Maybe also minor impact from ASLEF overtime ban.
    Who would organise a gala?
     
  4. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,641
    Likes Received:
    674
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    7714 and 1369 have both arrived and will be facing South, going by the pictures posted on Facebook. For those who want know what way everything will be facing, it should be:

    North (facing East Grinstead): 7812, 6989, 65.

    South (facing Sheffield Park): 7714, 1369, 72 and 80151 (as 80100)
     
  5. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    704
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Croydon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Loco directions are also in the timetables which has been slightly updated mostly for Sunday. 80100/151 runs one trip in the evening. And 65 runs to Horsted Keynes for brake van rides instead of the ED
     
  6. TheModster

    TheModster Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Action from the lineside yesterday, looking excellent in the sunshine:
     
    6026 King John and Steve B like this.
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Good to see the Mets back in service, albeit as a two coach set.

    Steve B
     
    Jamessquared likes this.
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    26,517
    Likes Received:
    59,083
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Just noticed on the shunt notes for tomorrow:

    11:05: 80100 to take water in Platform 2 and shunt to Platform 2 Dock and allow Footplate visits. Between 12:15pm and 3.00pm offer Footplate rides between Platform 2 Dock and Pumphouse siding.
    No idea of the organisational details, but interesting if anyone wants a short trip. (I'll be up the line on No. 65, which appears to have a bit of bridesmaid role for this gala).

    Tom
     
  9. 6026 King John

    6026 King John Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,552
    Likes Received:
    839
    Location:
    Hampton Court, Surrey
    What a lovely day for a gala! I remember when they used to have the Branch Line Gala in February. This was much better. I was really looking forward to the GWR invasion of the Bluebell and was not disappointed. I think it was really one of the best galas I have been to for a long time. Great mix of locos, a rather complicated timetable but it worked! Some interesting moves - for example I can't remember seeing a train terminating at Kingscote and being shunted into the siding before. Trains seemed well loaded but not uncomfortably so and everyone appeared to be having a good time. Many thanks to everyone at the Bluebell for laying on a top class event!
    P1020721.JPG P1020727.JPG P1020740.JPG P1020730.JPG P1020716.JPG P1020719.JPG P1020737.JPG
     
  10. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1,176
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Occupation:
    Insurance
    Location:
    Good Old Sussex by the Sea
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  11. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,641
    Likes Received:
    674
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Brick Machine Operator
    Location:
    Haywards Heath
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Very warm day down the railway, but a great one as usual, managed trips behind all the visitors, my run from HK to SP behind 1369 was rather juddery, but still sounded good. Rounded the day off watching the double header with 7812 and 6989 depart Sheffield Park. Here's a few mobile pictures for those interested.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1,176
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Occupation:
    Insurance
    Location:
    Good Old Sussex by the Sea
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Video now online

     
  13. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    Messages:
    959
    Likes Received:
    704
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Croydon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Missed out on 7812 last weekend? Or want more of it? 7812 is out on set A this weekend 18th and 19th May for Road Meets Rail.

    80151, 65 and 72 is in service over the weekend.
     
  14. alts1985

    alts1985 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Store Manager for the Co-operative Group
    Location:
    Stevenage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    My video from Saturday & Sunday. Lovely weekend, last of three galas in three weekends for us! Thanks as always to everyone involved!
     
    Johnme101 likes this.
  15. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,651
    Likes Received:
    5,427
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yes a very good event and a thoroughly enjoyable day on Sunday. Having ridden the trains until about 15:00 a few photographs on the approach to HK. Photographed the double header and thought that as normal I could get to the tunnel well before it did. I guess as it was late leaving SP they skipped the 5 minutes at HK. As I pulled up at the tunnel there was a loud roar as the two locos passed the foot crossing. If only that was the least of my problems over the next 27 hours.
    Having booked my usual Premier In at Burgh Heath I found it was on the M25 closure diversion route, so a long journey. Next day only driven about a mile and a brake issue, that the AA man could not fix (even though he had called and driven to Redhill to collect the parts after Eurocarparts said they had "lots in stock" and when he got there they changed it to "we have not got any"). So the next 10 hours was taken up getting back to Swanage in two AA vans with my car hung on the back.

    Will post some images when I get time.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2024
    OldSchoolTrains2 likes this.
  16. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,651
    Likes Received:
    5,427
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A few images from one of my cameras. Maybe more to come. DSC_0380r.jpg DSC_0386r.jpg DSC_0391r.jpg DSC_0397r.jpg DSC_0403r.jpg DSC_0407r.jpg
     
  17. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6,651
    Likes Received:
    5,427
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A few more of this WR event, even including a couple of Southern loco's!
    I assume the E.G. water column doubles up for crew cooling;)
     

    Attached Files:

    Johnme101 and Steve B like this.
  18. OldSchoolTrains2

    OldSchoolTrains2 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    109
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The West
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Cannot praise this event enough. I assumed with such a complex timetable, so many loco switches and services terminating at/starting from Horsted, there would be late running and had kind of priced that into my day and plans, but the timekeeping was absolutely impeccable from start to finish when I was there on Sunday.

    That was obviously due to very slick work by the crews and signalling teams, plus a well written timetable that made something that looked on paper like it was ambitious to the point of borderline lunacy actually completely practical to operate. I felt the teams at the stations played a big role in the timekeeping and slickness of the day too. The announcements were always so clear, prompt and information, so everyone knew exactly where they had to head for each train and what their options were. They were also quick to reassure people when not to hurry, especially during the token exchanges at Kingscote. So professional and smoothly executed.

    As well as it all running so smoothly, it was also superbly entertaining. I hadn't been to the Bluebell since 2017 and I'd forgotten that the southbound journey includes a few very decent noise opportunities too - it's not just coasting from Imberhorne cutting downwards like I thought it was.

    But the northbound journey... so much fun. I was able to get a front coach window out of Horsted with each of the four GWR locos plus the end of day combined set trains with 80151 then the Hall/Manor double-header and the experience on the climb through the tunnel was brilliant every single time. The Manor and 7714 were the most entertaining to me when solo, but the Hall and Manor double-heading on 8 coaches as the day's finale... honestly not sure I've enjoyed a steam run on a preserved line that much before. The noise was remarkable.

    And that Bluebell habit of ending a gala by lashing up a 'mega-train' of two sets combined is just wonderful. 50049 on I think 12 coaches + 2 dead 20s at the 2017 diesel gala is my all-time favourite cl.50 trip on a preserved line. I love that the Bluebell are embracing diesels so much now too, I'll certainly be making more visits each year once that DEMU's in regular service.

    But yes, the branch line gala was absolutely worth every penny and the four-hours-each-way trip to get there. Hopefully I will be back for the diesel gala and giants, and not intending to miss another branch line weekend either. Superb. Thank you so much to everyone who made it happen.
     
    Gladiator 5076 and Jamessquared like this.
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    26,517
    Likes Received:
    59,083
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks for those kind comments.

    On operating: there is a lot of planning, and then everyone needs to read the traffic notes! As a small example, I was on No. 65 on Sunday. We had a note to take water in the yard at Horsted Keynes before heading south at the end of the day, because on arrival at Sheffield Park we had to go straight on shed rather than the normal taking of water first. Without the instruction, that would be just the kind of place where you could kill the timetable by 15 minutes due to not having planned a required water stop. Likewise ensuring that the smaller engines have a point in the day when they can come in to the yard for more coal.

    As a little aside, the goods train going to East Grinstead on Saturday evening appears to be the first time an unfitted train has gone there on a public operating day since the late 1950s. There's a bit of debate online about whet bit was the first - it seems Fenchurch took an unfitted train there during its running in, but this was the first time on a public operating day (unless anyone knows differently). Normally we terminate goods trains at Kingscote because it gives more time to swap ends with the brake van within the confines of the normal timetable.

    Tom
     
    The Gricing Owl likes this.
  20. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2021
    Messages:
    1,119
    Likes Received:
    203
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Certainly regret missing this one.
    Never mind, there's always next years. :)
     

Share This Page