Latest page update - Tuesday 21st February 2017

 

 

BLUEBELL RAILWAY NORTHERN EXTENSION REPORTS AND PICTURES INDEX

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 spring 2013 if they get enough money! They only need about 500,000 now, which is do-able, so if you can help please do consider making a donation. For details www.bluebell-railway.co.uk . 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oBp6g5fI04

THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED ON 12th NOVEMBER 2012 - ALL OUR PICTURES 2012

"Neither pro nor anti, I try my best to tell the story as I see it!"

TO MAKE IT EASIER TO SEE THE LATEST NEWS WITHOUT HAVING TO WADE THROUGH THE OLD WE HAVE SET UP A DEDICATED PAGE WITH THE LATEST BLUEBELL RAILWAY NORTHERN EXTENSION NEWS
 
PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR OUR VERY LATEST BLUEBELL RAILWAY NORTHERN EXTENSION CUTTING REPORT & PICTURES - SEE BELOW FOR LINKS TO EARLIER REPORTS

MORE THAN 130 EXTENSION VIDEOS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE.COM
LATEST VIDEO: http://youtu.be/sMdQIhuZO9c


The stats for this site for the past 7 days excluding search engines shows that we now get over 2,000 visitors each day from all over the world, the vast majority from the UK of course.  Many people visit more than once each day, and 20% of our visitors looked for the first time. Bounce Rate by the way shows that 60% just looked at the "latest" page, without going elsewhere. It is NOT a count of duff pages!
The above figures replace those shown earlier which were misinterpreted - as someone said you can prove anything with figures!
 

I do need to make it clear that these are my completely unofficial pages covering the Bluebell railway extension. I also hope to cover any future extension work on the Ardingly spur. My reason for starting this section was because I found the official Bluebell extension coverage totally inadequate and wanted to see what was happening for those who are unable to visit. I take pictures ONLY from public land and given my health even that access is limited so I am just photographing what any other interested person could easily see if they were in the area. My comments are mine alone, as are any predictions. They are often criticised, sometimes wrong yet often correct! Please read and and enjoy our pages with these thoughts in mind.

 With news of updates about the extension
THIS LINK WILL ALWAYS LEAD TO THE VERY LATEST PICTURES OF THE WORK
 
Clearing the cutting - Part One - Work up to May 2011
Clearing the cutting - Part Two - May to September 2011
Clearing the cutting - Part Three - From late September 2011
Clearing the cutting - Part Four - Final part 2011
Clearing the cutting - Part Five - First part 2012
Clearing the cutting - Part Six - From June 2012
Clearing the cutting - Part Seven - From September 2012
Finishing the cutting - Part One
Even Older Pictures of the tip extraction 2010/2011
Other Bluebell Railway pictures
In and around Horsted Keynes Station (last updated April 2012)
An illustrated journey along the Ouse Valley Railway
 

PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS OF THE IMBERHORNE TIP AREA

                             In all the following pictures south is to the left and north to the right to fit the captions neatly.
High quality compilation photo showing the tip near East Grinstead that stands in the way of the Bluebell Railway reconnecting with the main line. Before it started! Compilation Bing Maps photo showing the state of the cutting near East Grinstead as it was in 2009 standing in the way of the Bluebell Railway reconnecting with the main line. The "mole hills" are the positions of test drillings that were made by the railway some time earlier. As can be seen these seem to concentrate on one side of the tip, which is the area originally planned to be extracted. This is a pity as they are now digging a narrower cutting down the other side so what is there must come as something of a surprise!
A representation of the amount of spoil removed to date
Above is a rough representation of the state of spoil removal as it was on 12th November 2012, showing in particular where the cutting is still blocked with rubbish. This area is reducing in size rapidly! The grey area shows where the site has been cleared and rail laying is in progress. At both ends of the tip a new 1 in 55 and 1 in 60 gradient has been put in to raise line level up to a summit between the bridges and leaving a clearance of 6 metres at Imberhorne bridge. The red blob marks the position of a dust cart that I saw abandoned 40 years ago in the mud, It will now probably stay buried as that side of the tip is to stay in place. I have not marked the location of the Sherman tank, Lord Lucan or the missing racehorses, all of which are reputed to be buried in the waste! In fact close up the waste looks very inert and harmless having the feel and consistency of garden soil but with bits of rag and wood etc. mixed in. Far fewer plastic bags all those years ago of course. When wet it readily turns into a slurry so will need covering with something impervious like clay before services start.

Here, photographed from above well before work commenced is a picture from Google Earth showing the entire area of the work. The red dots show where rails have been re-laid and the blue dots where ballast is being laid now. The picture is correct up to 7th November 2012. Although laid and suitable for engineering purposes the new line will still need final ballasting and tamping before passenger trains can run. There is now a 1 in 55 slope from the south and 1 in 60 from the north up to the tip area. After such a wet summer can the Bluebell get the job completed ready for trains to run next spring? I'd have thought that with the recent progress it is still do-able. As I always say though please don't believe my or anyone else's pictures, come and have a look on the ground, visit the railway to donate a few pounds, and make up your own mind. I wonder how long it took them to lay 3/4 of a mile of line by hand in the 1880s?

Please note: I have done my very best to show the work as accurately as possible. If you think these pictures or plans are wrong do please let me know, but I have used my best endeavours to make them as accurate as possible.

A map showing the tip area before filling with rubbish began.

I am pleased to be able to add a large scale Ordinance Survey map showing the cutting before filling with rubbish began. As ever to see the map full size please click. This download will hopefully give an idea of the scale of work needed to complete the job once and for all and restore Bluebell connection with the main line.

It should be noted that the cutting was probably altered to make the tip area larger, this map is therefore a guide only. The cutting is almost certainly now much larger (perhaps up to 50%) than shown here 20 years before.

Work has now started recontouring the line beyond the bottom of this map where they are infilling the cutting to raise the entire line and it now appears the finished line will be at least two or three metres higher through much of the area.

1936 Ordinance Survey; this is an A4 size extract permitted by fair use.

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