Bluebell Railway sets reopening date

The Bluebell Railway has set out plans to reopen on Friday, August 7, and mark its 60th birthday.

The Bluebell Railway where plans are being made to reopen on the 60th anniversary in August. Photo: Peter Edwards

The heritage railway said the provisional date allowed time for some of its staff and volunteers to return to work in mid-July to carry out the necessary safety checks before running steam trains again.

Bluebell Railway chairman Chris Hunford said: “There will be a phased reopening starting on August 7 and what better way to celebrate the milestone of 60 years of operating than to reopen for business. The railway’s priority will be on providing everyone with a safe and enjoyable day out.”

Weekends

The railway says it will initially run trains at weekends and then increase its weekday services if there is sufficient demand.

All tickets will be pre-booked and the line will be using its historic carriages comprising compartments rather than open carriages to ensure groups of people can travel together while maintaining social distancing. It will also have dedicated entry and exit lanes at its Sheffield Park headquarters and enhanced train cleaning measures.

Small steps

Mr Hunford said: “As we take these small steps, our plans will remain under constant review. We would like to thank everyone for their support and patience during the lockdown and, in particular, all those who have given generously to our Emergency Appeal which has raised enough money for now to allow us to reopen.”

The Bluebell Railway has set out more details about its reopening plans on its website.

There are also answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the site.

The first public trains on the reopened Bluebell Railway operating as a heritage line were on August  7, 1960. The railway closed on March 20 this year because of the global pandemic.

• Contact details for the Bluebell Railway can be found 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Heritage Railways or Visitor Attractions.

See also:

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TR Fastenings reacts quickly to Government Coronavirus appeal

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