Latest page update - Tuesday 21st February 2017




With the main rubbish extraction phase concluded the Bluebell Railway can achieve its aim of reattaching itself to the main line at East Grinstead by 2013 if they get enough money! They need well under 1 million now so if you can help please do consider making a donation. For details . In the mean time I hope to continue to publish pictures of the work as it progresses. Please bookmark this page and look back frequently. There is now an appeal video here:

February 5th 2011
A rainy day at Horsted Keynes Station in mid winter! Even at this time of year there is much to see and do at the station. Here are just a few images taken today before the first train arrived promptly at 11.15.

We will cheat with this first picture as it shows the signal box on a beautiful June day. This simply shows how the railway can look, but do not despair even on wet Saturday in February there is still a lot to see and enjoy.
No you are not seeing things. This is a 15" loco visiting from the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. It's in the yard at Horsted Keynes.
Fiftieth anniversary triple line up.
One of the oldest working locomotives in the world visited Horsted Keynes last summer, the crew dressed accordingly.

How many fitters does it take to fix a loco?
Five of course, one to do the work and four to supervise!

April 2nd 2011, a warm early spring Saturday morning at Horsted Keynes Station. A Portrait of 473 which arrived early to perform shunting duties
The goods are parked in the Ardingly spur.
Then more excitement as the service train with 592 pulls into view.

An absolutely beautiful day at Horsted Keynes Bluebell station. Even though it's only the 10th of April 2011 it feels like high summer. As usual the station is looking excellent.

If you look at the lights you will see three bulbs. It's a hang over from when the station was electrified and they used the traction current for everything from boiling a kettle to lighting the platforms. Third rail traction current is just about three times the normal (then) 240 Volts, wire three bulbs in series and you don't need a transformer. However if the filament in one bulb blows all three go out!.

After the excitement, back to the track work!

Good Friday 2011 and Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes is unusually empty.
Our signalman awaits the arrival
The station can be a very quiet and peaceful place between trains. An ideal way to look at the wildlife. Rabbits, foxes, pheasants and deer are frequently seen in the area.

It's Wednesday 25th May 2011 and 80151 simmers in Horsted Keynes on a test run after a retube. It actually sat there for over an hour and the crew remarked how little coal was used.
A more formal view of the same loco from the other side of the tracks.
Then the service trains pulls in....
The service train pulls in right beside 80151 which allows the two crews stop for a chat - probably more about tea consumption than coal consumption!
Next a visit from the People's Millions coach on a test train from Sheffield Park hauled by Bluebell, pictures are the best that I could get from the platform. Certainly looks very nice indeed and the passengers remarked how good was the ride. The comment about the large compartment being suitable for film use is well taken. You could get a Cinerama camera in there!
Passing the as yet unused coal shovel on 80151.
Outside, I noticed that even in 1882 there were problems with petty pilfering so they marked everything. This is the back of a booking office chair!

On the same day we see a new walkway for the signalman in the course of construction.

On 23 June 2011 a special dining train was laid on for the opening of the new museum at Sheffield Park. I waited on the platform but nobody threw me a crust!
The steam was the active partner, of course, as the various shunting operations took place. Did anyone see the resultant southbound train? It would have made a very interesting picture!

Horsted Keynes on the 28th July 2011 and Bluebell arrives on the 14.15 on a double header. I was told this was for testing of some sort.

BBC filming Horrible Histories at Horsted Keynes Station 12th September 2011
Coffins everywhere!
After lunch filming continues in the waiting room on platform 3 where it pretends to be a "cafe" and being "Horrible Histories" the waiter spills the "soup" - made on the platform from flour and water - with some dried peas to give colour. The real buffet meanwhile was open but empty.
So the outside extras round the back on platform 4 have to reposition themselves - once again.

The 1st of October and it's far warmer than normal. The southbound train drops its token.
And the northbound is ready to depart.
Light is wonderful for photography.
Northbound swaps tokens later in the day.
Meanwhile work continues outside the carriage works.
For some reason (probably the lack of wind) it was very smoky on the platform. I must comment on the grass on the track which spoils an otherwise neat and tidy station. It looks tatty.
Even after moving away.
The Peoples Millions coach is stabled on Platform 1.
A shot of a disused siding? No one of the running lines at Horsted Keynes!
Finally, another "arty shot" of the smoke.
A couple of pictures of the first of today's Autumn Tints trains heading South at Horsted Keynes. Well occupied from what I could see.
Best that I could do from my camera position.

A quick visit to Horsted Keynes on Saturday
Some of the stored stock visible from Platform 5. It's usually well hidden behind other carriages.
Recent traffic movements have also revealed this gem. What is it, a snow plough? Perhaps needs a cover to keep the rain off. I'm now told it's for levelling the ballast around the track.
There are now trip hazards, sorry wires, all over the place where electrical control is being replaced by the older method. Personally I love to see them and used as a child wait to see if I could see the wires move.

Apparently the colour will fade with continued exposure to the weather.

What's this? A picture of the station master's lawn?
No it's one of the running lines! In my humble opinion the grass on the track looks awful.

Even when it's "closed" work goes on. Here on the 7th of November 2011 we see shunting operations leave a clear space where there used to be stock. In fact I believe it is many years since this view was possible.
And here is the culprit. 473 sorting out after the weekend event.
Close up as 473 takes some coaches south. It re-watered and then was to return to Horsted Keynes for more shunting work. Hope they get finished before dark!

Believe it or not there were two locos working today as the diesel was busy at the other end in the yard although it was too fast for me to catch it. To tell the truth I switched my camera off by mistake!

Finally a picture of things to come? While 473 shunts on the other track one of the locos that is being repainted looks as though it is awaiting the signal to set off light engine to East Grinstead!

A beautiful bright sunny day the 27th March 2012 and a couple of views from the Bluebell "Garden of Remembrance". A very quiet and moving place and a tribute to the railway and its supporters..
Slightly to the right of the above picture the steam crane slowly rusts, sorry simmers, in the spring sunshine. Let's hope it is restored to full working order soon.

On a beautiful sunny Thursday the 29th March we see 592 performing unscheduled steam hauled shunting at Horsted Keynes.

The warmth of the day mixed with the smell of smoke and oil were wonderful.

From one end of the station to the other!
92240 has been moved over.
As has its compatriot also awaiting a repaint 75027.
On the face of it a normal picture taken at Horsted Keynes on Maundy Thursday 5th April 2012. However the "sun" seems to be in a strange position...
That's because it is not the sun but a film light set up by Brazilian Television TV Lobo as they film for their market. All orders were in Spanish or Portuguese and translated for the British extras got up in First World War clothes.
The "sun" in close up. That chap spent hours up his ladder in a biting wind!
Filming work is boring, especially if your locomotive is not going anywhere!

February 24th 2013. The new defibrillator waiting to save the life of either a railway employee or visitor or indeed a local resident. Well done to those who organised the free supply and installation of this important life saver.


Swordfish at Horsted Keynes Diesel never do! - a quick snapshot of Swordfish as it travelled (slightly uphill) south back to Sheffield Park pulling a guards van. By the time my camera had recycled the combination was out of sight!

The diesel was on loan to help with the heavier work in connection with the northern extension.


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