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Bluebell Railway East Grinstead Opening Gala - SPring 2013

Discussion in 'Galas and Events' started by Jamessquared, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. A1X

    A1X Member

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    Would Clan Line fit into EG though? Personally I'd like to see Nelson on the line paired with the Southern stock before they commit an act of cultural vandalism on it with a tin of br*nswick green
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the Bluebell email newsletter, a new event for the opening fortnight. Still no official word on visiting engine though!

    Tom
     
  3. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    It seems possible now that 70000 will be visiting . UKSteam have a provisional LE movement from Southall to Sheffield Park on March 20th.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Wasn't she off to Bury though? So presumably any move would have to be Bury - SP, or else at least a Bury - Southall move before March 20th?

    Tom
     
  5. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    Not quite sure. I looked the Bluebell's Facebook page where someone had posted that the LE movement had been posted on UKSteam and the Bluebell's Facebook Moderator on the page commented that 70000 had gone to Crewe but others are suggesting Bury so I'm not sure which. The listing on UKSteam for the Southall to Sheffield Park LE appears to have been put up on the 8th March.

    It does only say Provisional though.
     
  6. Linesidephotos

    Linesidephotos New Member

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    If it were based on the Bluebell then it would be but as its a Mid Hants engine then its hardly "cultural vandalism" as its a BR Southern Region line.The sooner the better for most in Hampshire !

    For info 925 is not rostered at the Mid Hants on the weekend of the 23rd however Nelson and 31806 are.
     
  7. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    I'd have my money on 70000 and 925 being the visitors then. If the MHR was saying 925 was visiting the Bluebell in the spring in the MHR Spring Gala programme and as there are no other Galas planned on the Bluebell until October it seems it will be at the Opening Festival.

    35028 would be nice but just seems too improbable. After all its on a VSOE on the Friday and would then have to move to SP almost straight after and then be prepared for the Gala on the Saturday and she doesn't do preserved railway visits. I think sadly it was just a rumour spread around the railway. I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

    I'm going to try and be there on the Sunday as well as the Saturday. Mid week stuff I'm just going to have to listen hard at work.
     
  8. alts1985

    alts1985 Member

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    I am assuming there will be a nice book/programme to go with this Gala, does anyone know if it will be available in advance? I usually like to get one and do some planning before the event! Having said that I shall be there Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Easter Monday at the moment so I should have time to catch everything!
     
  9. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    ........And I'd be happy too. 35028 would be great - a real first to see Clan Line working on a heritage line. Seeing a "Merchant Navy" coupled up to Bulleid stock would look very 1960s. Still, we'll have to see. I just hope Britannia is fixed in time after the unfortunate prang with 78019 on the North Norfolk.

    Actually, the ideal engine for the gala came out of ticket a year too early - 80151. In view of the last train from East Grinstead to Lewes in March 1958 being worked by 80154, a Standard Tank would have been very appropriate, especially 80151 which was shedded at Brighton and worked over the line in the 1950s. Still, to repeat an earlier comment I made on this thread, quite honestly whatever turns up is secondary. The most important feature of this gala is that trains will be running to East Grinstead from the south again. I'm looking vorward to the ride. What is up front is secondary, well, as long as it chuffs.
     
  10. KentYeti

    KentYeti Guest

    As long as it chuffs eehh?

    Oh dear.

    My money is on a 47 class and a 37 class. To go with the 66, 73 and 33 that have got involved or been mentioned in conjunction with the Bluebell recently. Thereby allowing the opening event to be a "Giants of Diesel" gala. With the enormous advanage of everything being cab first in both directions! (I assume these box things have a cab at each end? I've never looked back over my shoulder after encountering one.)

    (Wink, humour, joke)
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Apart from a couple of 08s, several class 73s, a class 33, numerous class 66s, a Sentinel shunter, the Howard petrol loco, various tampers, several Wickham trolleys, a 4VEP, a Hastings Unit and a few road railers, we steadfastly stick to operation only by steam... :smile: <-- another joke.

    Tom

    (PS Bryan - good to see you back!)
     
  12. donbenn2000

    donbenn2000 New Member

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    Well Wedgie we will not risk it so are going to the SVR Gala instead on 23rd for guaranteed Bulleid haulage. Another reason is the poor info available from the Bluebell even to Members. Happy to take our money but not so good at involving us. No programme , no info on engines to be used etc.

    Brother Don (not the last post but last few days of Bluebell membership)
     
  13. green five

    green five Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with you there Don. My Father and I are attending on the 23rd but as you say the BB website doesn't tell you much at all about what is running or what other attractions there are going to be. For such a big occasion I thought they would have loads of info. well in advance of the event to entice visitors along.
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think what people are forgetting is that, unlike, say, the WSR and SVR galas, we have only known a confirmed date for about 6 weeks. That doesn't leave much time to organise visiting engines etc, especially given the well known general national shortage of medium to large engines. By contrast, I suspect the WSR and SVR have been organising for the last 12 months.

    The current loco situation is that Britannia was mentioned as "hopefully" pulling the first northbound train (and by implication, being the visiting engine) in the latest issue of Bluebell News. However, that is subject to availability, and right now, we don't know its availability: it was involved in an accident on another railway at the weekend and until the extent of the damage is known, and whether it is possible for it to be repaired in time, the Bluebell can't confirm its availability. When it is definitively known what locos will be running, I am sure they will be communicated via the normal channels (Bluebell websites, both .com and .co.uk; FaceBook, Yahoo etc). When I know for certain, I'll update here, assuming I am not 35,000 feet up over the Pacific Ocean, which is a reasonable likelihood. If I don't, I am sure that one of the other NatPres posters who are also active on Yahoo / FaceBook will do so.

    If we don't get a visitor, I'd assume the loco situation will be:

    9F (which is back in steam having had firebox repairs)
    U
    E4
    H
    2 * P
    with Baxter and Stepney handling brake van rides at Horsted Keynes. Add a potential visitor if one is available.

    That's 8 locos at least, 3 of which are unique survivors of their type that can't be seen anywhere else in the country.

    There is a full programme of events which has been available on the .com website for some weeks, and which I posted in this thread at the time. However, it is worth remembering that the feel of those events is more a celebration of being in East Grinstead with a lot of joint events with various groups in the town and local community. Understandable in the circumstances (after all, it is not every year that you get to open an extension to a whole new town) but inevitably that means perhaps not your typical "gricer" type gala. But there will be a four train service with departures each way every 45 minutes from 9.30am ex SP / 9.45am ex EG; brake van rides at HK and I'm sure there will be the normal workshop tours of the C&W etc. Plus I'd imagine pretty much the full range of rolling stock from Mark 1s and Bulleids, through the Maunsells to the Edwardian compartment stock and the Victorian 4 wheelers / Mets - plus the GN saloon and Pullmans. More than enough choice I would have thought, especially given that naturally enough, the focus should be on the extension itself, not the motive power - in my opinion.

    Anyway, enjoy the gala for all who go - I'll be 12,000 miles away :)

    Tom
     
  15. green five

    green five Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info James. Still looking forward to the event. Haven't visited the line for a while (last came when 1450 was visiting) so it will be good to see the other developments around the railway.
     
  16. KentYeti

    KentYeti Guest

    As I've said elsewhere, this extension and the resulting gala are part of a multi million pound project and needed/needs the full range of 21st Century professional communication to back up the obvious professional approach taken with the project work. Targets may have been reached this time but the Bluebell will bo doubt go to the market again at some time in the future and I feel they would do well to build in that full range of professional communication costs into such projects.

    Thankfully, at least here on NP, Tom has stood up to be counted and has done quite superb work in keeping us informed as much as he is able. Received with very grateful thanks Tom. Plus RPs efforts of course.

    I may go to the Gala. Despite certain communication shortfalls I regard it as the greatest standard gauge achievement in Heritage Railway history to which I made a good number of contributions via the excellent Tenner for the Tip scheme. My car was littered with the certificates at one point! The project work showed a doggedness and determination unequalled over that length of time and with such obstacles to overcome. IMHO.

    But my work on my Short-Eared Owl book is all consuming at close to 12 hours a day some days, (writing and research at present), and if this cursed bad weather lifts I will be out doing field work somewhere visibilty etc allows me to actually see the Owls! LOL!

    Unless of course certain locomotives with numbers 5 digits long and starting with a 3 are going to be visitors to the Gala..............................
     
  17. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I think that, to be fair to the Bluebell, they have had their fair share of challenges simply to complete the extension on time. There was still a bit of an element of risk when Chris White decided to "go for it" on 23rd March. They have publicised the dates and a list of events for the opening gala on their website well in advance, although I agree that some sort of hard copy programme would have been helpful, even if it obviously could not have specified which visiting locos were to be in attandance, given the need to print such a programme in advance.

    The powers that be were also in a rather unique situation - when negotiations started for a main line-registered loco to run light engine to Sheffield Park for the first time, the rails to enable it to get there weren't even laid! I doubt if this has ever happened before.

    Also, this openng celebration isn't a typical enthusiasts' gala. There may be a visiting engine if Britannia can be fixed in time or a substitute arranged, but people will be visiting the Bluebell to travel on a new section of track. It's not really about visiting engines. The percentage of enthusiasts on the trains will probably be lower than for a "normal" gala (I would guess that a good few residents of East Grinstead will want to make the journey, for instance) If Britannia or whatever does turn up over the NR connection and hauls trains, that will be the icing on an already rather exciting cake, whereas at the SVR gala (for the sake of argument, as it's on at the same time), the engines, particularly the visitors, are for many people the principal reason for paying a visit.
     
  18. tobes3803

    tobes3803 New Member

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    How much are tickets for the gala?
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    For March 23 and March 24:

    Special event fares:

    Adult Member - £16.50
    Child Member - £8.25
    Family Member - £37.00

    Adult Third Class - £22.50
    Child Third Class - £11.20
    Family Third Class - £59.50

    Adult First Class - £33.50
    Child First Class - £16.75

    Life Members travel free.

    The first trains in each direction on the Saturday had reserved seats but are now all sold out. There are also brake van rides at HK with Stepney for £2.

    From 25 March

    From 25 March, normal fares apply, which can be found here: Fares 2013

    But in summary, the all day rover fare is £8.50 for adult members, £16.00 for non members or £13.50 if booked at least 8 days in advance.

    As usual, life members travel free 1st class.

    Tom
     
  20. tobes3803

    tobes3803 New Member

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    Do priv rates for TOC cards count?
     

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