Tuesday, 29 January 2013

very hot bluebell!

This is Freshfield Halt on the Bluebell Railway on the VERY hot 30th June 1976. This is one of the very little used halts on the Bluebell Railway and this was of course back in the days when the Bluebell only ran between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes. This halt was to close a few years later, seeing hardly any use. In fact it is one of FOUR halts on the post-BR Bluebell line that have closed over the years!

It does look now like the Bluebell is morphing into something more than a sleepy heritage branch line, and becoming something of  a network of lines in the middle of Sussex, with East Grinstead now open and ownership of the branch from Horsted Keynes to Haywards Heath. It doesn't seem a very big step for the Bluebell to now look south to Lewes, completing the network and tapping the valuable south coast tourist traffic!

We are now seeing a steady flow of specials from off the Network run down the line to Sheffield Park, bringing in a wide variety of locomotives and getting the line even better known. Back in 1976 such an idea would have seemed to border on madness. You underestimate the Bluebell - and the whole heritage/community railway scene - at your peril!

Bluebell Railway website

Wikipedia Bluebell Railway


  1. I used this tiny halt on a number of occasions, including this memorable summer, when I was working at the railway. It had a genuine rustic charm all of its own, something the Bluebell seems to be unintentionally losing along its path to greater commercial success

  2. Fortunately there is always some small start up somewhere that still manages to capture the early days of the Bluebell Railway! I think we do have to accept that rail is getting more important as the years pass and that the business model is changing to reflect that. Just be glad we knew it as it was!