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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I agree it's no use in trying to re-open old lines, but they do seem to succeed in keeping some lines still open operating: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_rail
     
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  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The irony of course being that Horsted Keynes station is a stiff twenty minutes walk from the nearest village! As far as I am aware, the primary reason for the service between Haywards Heath and Horsted Keynes in pre-preservation days (and why it was electrified) was to allow the trains on the useful Seaford - Haywards Heath service to clear Haywards Heath rather than layover at the station, thus avoiding platform occupancy at a busy location. There was never much actual passenger usage of the service.

    So the only conceivable reason to run a service would be to help members of the public get to the Bluebell and, well, with a mainline connection at East Grinstead; and Sheffield Park on a main road with a big car park, it's not as if opportunities to do so are currently limited or difficult. Community rail on that line is just a dead duck, IMHO.

    Tom
     
  3. I suppose it depends on one's definition of 'community railway'. As it is used in the key sentence on that Wikipedia page, viz: "Since 2005 the Department for Transport has formally designated a number of railway lines as community rail schemes in order to recognise the need for different, more appropriate standards than are applied to main line railway routes, and therefore make them more cost effective." then, yes, I can see that the idea has some merit, certainly with restoring a bit of pride in stations, etc, (although that's not to say that any of those lines would actually close without that initiative).

    However, that is a very different definition of 'community railway' than the many who seem to fall back on the older 'community railway' ideal regarding closed or mothballed routes, imagining that somehow a modern day Sam Weech and Gordon Chesterford will be able to magically make everyone in Much Grumbling-in-the-Vale and Lesser Titterington want to abandon their oversized 4x4 and walk or cycle to a station some distance away to jump on a periodic DMU to trundle off to Greater Throngington for the week's shopping, a night out or to catch the 6am to London. Which patently isn't going to happen. Ever.
     
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  4. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    "You mentioning Greater Throngington reminds me of that AWful bridge at Broadham Junction where you have to go ALL the way up one side, RIGHT over the top and ALLL the way down the other... Oh thank you, you are a dear! Is there any sugar?" " it's in the spoon":)
     
  5. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    To paraphrase an old saw used of a number of endeavours:

    Q: How do you make a small fortune running trains?

    A: Start with a large one!

    Noel
     
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  6. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    image.jpg Just Seeing how do able the Bluebell is from Cambridge! For the past 2 or 3 years I've been determined to pay a visit! I really want to make it happen this year!
     
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  7. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It'll be even easier after May when the new Thameslink timetables come in. Cambridge to East Croydon, change to East Grinstead service. Nice and simple! Living in Letchworth it'll be handy, an easy day out with the missus and baby to Sheffield Park Gardens.
     
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  8. fenman35

    fenman35 New Member

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    If you split your ticket at East Croydon it is much cheaper
     
  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Yeah I did think about splitting tickets wasn't sure where though.
     
  10. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  11. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    You got there before me! £30.70 if you split at East Croydon. Plus a small commission if you get a ticket splitting website to do the work for you.
     
  12. Zoomeg

    Zoomeg New Member

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    I found a greeting card with a painting by a local artist of the 4MT on a 4 coach train today; I think one of this class is really needed to recreate the Sulky Service (complete with floral V on the font)

    I appreciate that it's a lot of effort and money to bring one in for such a short event though, just saying pretty please!
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That website is an absolute lifesaver for me when it comes to booking trains home from uni, it takes a tiny commission but if you're splitting more than once (I tend to split three or four times) it makes it so much easier!
     
  14. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Looks like you could get the same fare by doing it yourself (i.e. CBG-EC & EC-EG) on the National Rail website, then you do not even have to pay the fee.
     
  15. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    Exactly. That's why I said *if* you get a ticket splitting website to do the work.
    There is something to be said for paying the small commission though - if everyone used these sites just to find the best split and then booked directly, these sites would probably cease to exist. Bunging them a quid or so for providing a useful service seems fair.
     
  16. glenng

    glenng New Member

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    Hi Matt37401 I am going to The Branch Line Weekend 19th May from Cambridge hope to see you there.
     
  17. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    @glenng Mays a funny month for me both my mums and girlfriends birthdays are during that month, as well as the Cambridge beer fest! Very doubtful I'll be paying a visit then as funds are usually a tad tight!
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the e-Newsletter - an update on the track renewal. From videos and comment elsewhere, I believe the distance being covered is slightly over 1/2 mile, starting at Monteswood Lane Bridge and running to some distance north of Trenains Crossing.

    Infrastructure Update: Trains, Drains, and Rain

    It was the famous Rev. William Spooner who referred to the "Town Drain" instead of the "Down Train", and while the London Brighton & South Coast Railway were pretty good at trains both up and down, they were generally less than enthusiastic about drains.

    Perhaps in their race to the coast, the LB&SCR didn't much consider the effect that the rain would have on the underlying clay and beach shingle they used for ballast if it was not properly drained.

    On our Railway, there are ditches at lineside in many places, but over the years they get silted, and of course they are only effective up to a point, so in many places mud pumps up through the ballast leaving voids where the track can move up and down.

    As well as putting down new track, the Infrastructure Team are improving this situation now that new materials are available. Whenever track is laid in a cutting, the now familiar sandwich of Terram and polythene is laid on top of the old ballast once it has been scraped and levelled. At the same time, whenever it is deemed necessary, new plastic drains are laid at the side of the formation so that water percolating through the ballast runs straight into the drain without ever reaching the clay underneath.

    The relaying at Rock Cutting is nearly complete, and it has been reported that we are not yet two thirds of the way through the timescale, despite several days of atrocious weather. Ballasting started on 25 Jan., 2018, with new stone, and the tamper is booked for 30 January.

    There is still plenty to do though with all the old panels that have been taken back to Horsted Keynes and that will need breaking down when there is time.

    By Mike Hopps
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Also from the eNewsletter:

    OP4 Update: Heritage Skills Centre Preparation & More

    The main focus of the OP4 project since the opening ceremony on 30 Nov., 2017, has been centred on earthworks. The major part of this work is the construction and stabilisation of the embankment on the east side of the shed. This will enable the spoil heap south of the shed to be removed, and it will facilitate excavation of the ground east of the Heritage Skills Centre (otherwise known as the HSC, the "lean-to" offices on the east side of the shed) so that the framework for this structure can be erected.

    The location of the HSC is shown in the first two photos. They show the location of the offices from inside and outside the shed. The offices will stretch the full length of the mid-height beams. The ground level outside the HSC needs to be reduced by approximately one metre.

    Work started in late November/early December at the southern end of so-called "Dingley Dell," as shown in the next photo, creating an access track down to stream level, as a precursor to the construction of the embankment. Good progress was made initially but very wet weather throughout the latter part of December prevented any further work.

    With the Infrastructure team now fully engaged on running line relays, work on the embankment cannot restart until the end of February, and it will be reliant on a period of dry weather.

    Since the first three carriages were shunted into the shed at the end of November, a further two have been added to F-road, as seen in the fourth photo. It was intended that G-road would be connected during December, allowing a second road to be filled. Two factors have prevented this: the first is that the ground immediately south of G-road is soft and unstable when wet and requires work to consolidate it before G-road can be used.

    The second is that the removal of the northern end of the spoil heap (which is partially obstructing access to road G, H, and J as shown in the fifth photo) also has been delayed by the wet weather.

    After the earthworks and the HSC framework, the next major element of work will be the erection of the eastern and northern walls (brickwork and cladding to match the existing shed).

    As a precursor to this job, detailed design of the Skills Centre and ancillary works has commenced; this will enable the east and north walls of the shed to be designed and specified.

    The erection of these walls is the subject of the next round of fund raising for "Cash for Cover". A MyDonate page has been set up with a target of £125k. Many thanks to all who have contributed to this worthy and necessary cause.

    By Barry Luck, Project Manager, OP4 Project
     
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  20. aron33

    aron33 Member

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    Nice!
     

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