H Class no. 263 and O1 Class no. 65 Credit Martin Lawrence and Bluebell Railway website
H Class no. 263 and O1 Class no. 65 Credit Martin Lawrence and Bluebell Railway website

The Bluebell Railway has planned to put on a gala to celebrate the 60th since the closure of the line.

It was on the 17th of March, 1958, that the Bluebell Branch line was finally closed by the British Transport Commission. Thankfully, this wasn’t the end of train services on the line, when the Bluebell Railway we know today was starting to be rebuilt in the early 60s.

Horsted Keynes siding Credit Martin Lawrence and Bluebell Railway website
Horsted Keynes siding Credit Martin Lawrence and Bluebell Railway website

In the run-up to the gala, special services, called the “Sulky Service”, will run in February and Marchthen the gala itself will be held on the weekend of Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th.

The name Sulky Service dates back to 50s when the name was used on the last train services operated on the line.

The special train to mark the anniversary will take place on the 16th of March. This train will be for invited guests only.

The weekend days will be open to the public, with many activities featuring a 1958 twist to them. There will also be guided tours of areas usually off limits to the public. Tickets will be 20p for anyone born in 1958.

The Railway would love anyone with memories or stories of the line, shortly before its closure, to get in touch.

If you have information to share, please contact Interpretation and Education Development Manager Ruth Rowatt at [email protected]

Further news will be released in 2018. Here at RailAdvent, should cover updates when they come.

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