Talk:Bluebell Railway

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Bluebell West Hoathly Station[edit]

This station is actually located in the neighbouring (actually almost attached) village of Sharpthorne. Perhaps that warrants a mention, maybe someone knows why it's called 'West Hoathly Station' when it's not actually in West Hoathly? Tom1234 17:18, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

As stated in the historical commentary, stations were sited near to where the local sponsors resided, for which some examples are quoted. It is likely that a sponsor in West Hoathley village was responsible for the station being given that name. Although the station is sited in Sharpethorne as any map will show, this is due to the way the line was built in relation to the lie of the land. Basically there was no central planning done, in Victorian times with regards to the siting of lines and stations, unlike France and Germany where the local prefectures and the military had a major say in what was done. So lines in the UK were built on a whim basis. Now had there been greater planning done then the railway network throughout the whole country would be different to what it is today.(MPOV) Aquizard 11:30, 2 January 2007(UTC)

Rubbish-filled Cutting - How Big?[edit]

I've just tweaked the section that describes how the line is to be extended to East Grinstead. However, I find it hard to believe that there is a 50m deep cutting on the line. Also, the article does not mention how long the cutting is. 600 cubic metres of rubbish would correspond to a 50m length of cutting that was (eg) 3m x 4m in cross-section, which is rather more believable. Could this information be updated by someone 'in the know', please?

EdJogg 17:47, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Now fixed. Thanks User:Steamybrian. --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Picture here --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:12, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be a very good addition to the article. -- EdJogg (talk) 02:35, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
It has a free licence. I can see just the place for it, but it would mean displacing an existing, perhaps not so informative, picture of the tops of some carriages. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:59, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
If you mean the "view looking south", I think that can be safely replaced. It might be more informative to have a picture much closer to the actual end of the site. This one just looks like some carriage sidings. -- EdJogg (talk) 10:42, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I'll get on with it. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:20, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Two maps[edit]

Is there any particular reason why the article has two maps? They cover the same area, but one appears unfinished and includes tracks which were part of another line (the Croydon, Oxted and East Grinstead Railway). --Old Moonraker 13:51, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes I thought this, especially since the area talked about next to the second (smaller, incomplete) map is in the main map, maybe it should be moved to where the second map is and the second removed? Bluebellnutter 16:18, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

The Closed loop on the map just to the north of Lewes needs to be updated it was the Hamsey Loop, a line that was abandoned in 1868.Aquizard 21:12, 29 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aquizard (talkcontribs)

The line is still visible from the air: 50°53′48″N 0°00′37″E / 50.896711°N 0.010216°E / 50.896711; 0.010216, and on the modern 1:25000 Ordnance Survey: TQ 414 127. I haven't the skill to change the route diagram, sorry. --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:23, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Done: it wasn't as hard as I thought (but, as before, due acknowledgement to those who know how to do it properly!) --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:54, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Revised East Grinstead Idea[edit]

I've tweaked the East Grinstead area and put the new layout here for comment. The drawback is that it seems to show two stations there: the advantages are that both lines and stations can be labelled and the fact that the powers that be have inconsiderately closed the high level but left the low level open can be shown more clearly. Questions? Comments? Britmax (talk) 00:38, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

This is a very good attempt in trying to separate out the two lines and stations, and well done for trying. However, it is not an accurate reflection of the topography of what existed at East Grinstead. In reality, as we both know, one station existed on top of the other, so to speak. What your new diagram infers is that the two stations existed at separate locations. Basically what needs to be done is an accurate representation of the layout of the stations and is there a symbol in the database of maps that will achieve this? Also one of these days I will figure out how to draw these maps! Additionally I have been to the PRO at Kew and looked in the files that they have on the 3 Bridges to T/W/West line. An interesting read, particularly the letters and comments from East Grinstead UDC, as well as the East Grinstead Transport and Rail Users Society. Remember closure was authorised by Castle at a time after the 1966 General election Labour win, their second win inside of two years. Also, unlike Marples who was concerned over key marginal seats and potential railway closures that would affect those marginal votes, Castle was not. So a number of tory areas were affected more so by rail clousures under Labour. Also unlike Surrey and Cornwall, East Sussex CC did not put any monrey into railways at all, exacerbating the situation further. Aquizard (talk) 11:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Bluebell Railway
Oxted LineTo London (St Margret's Junction)
East Grinstead High Level
former Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line
East Grinstead Low Level
Line south is being reopened

The diagram for the stations and railways around East Grinstead is incorrect. The correct position is shown on the Oxted Line template. Mjroots (talk) 09:36, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I think the diagram is as correct (as technically possible in the absence of a double station symbol) in so far as it shows both High and Low level stations, whereas the Oxted Line template shows only the existing Low Level station plus the abandoned 1866 station. I really wonder what added value there is in showing the 1866 station, given its short lifespan and the greater importance of the High Level station. Perhaps the question should be whether all templates of this area should be harmonised with the Bluebell template and the East Grinstead station article be split into two (much like Crystal Palace), allowing both to be linked to in the template? Lamberhurst (talk) 11:26, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
The Oxted line temmplate correctly shows the two station as being on top of each other, which is how they were. The 1866 station served for many years as a goods station after passenger traffic tranferred to the other stations.
Yes and no - technically the high level platforms were just to the north of the low level at a right angle, rather than directly over it. The Oxted template's layout "hides" the disused high level behind the extant low level, hence the attempt to modify it in this template. Also, the Oxted template purports to put the low level on the disused Three Bridges - Tunbridge Wells line. The presence of the 1866 station, labelled as the "original station", only serves to complicate matters in my opinion. Lamberhurst (talk) 21:12, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd leave things as they are so you can see that one station is closed and th other open. Opinions on the value (or not) of the 1866 station are welcome and we may have to think of removing it if enough people think as Lamberhurst does. (thanks for the note re this discussion, by the way). Britmax (talk) 22:52, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm still not happy with the diagram, as it shows that you could come from Kingscote and head directly for Tunbridg Wells, which was not the case. That move required a fair bit of shunting to achieve. I've had a go at redrawing the diagram and come up with this:-
Bluebell Railway
Oxted LineTo London (St Margret's Junction)
East Grinstead High Level
former Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line
East Grinstead Low Level / Original station
Line south is being reopened
Any objections to tweaking the line diagram? Mjroots (talk)

Proposed split[edit]

I've proposed the split of the rolling stock because it is sufficiently large that it is starting to dominate the article. For an example of how such an article might look see Rolling Stock of the Kent & East Sussex Railway (heritage).

One major issue with the entries for the rolling stock is that they are all unreferenced. Online info about rolling stock may be found via this web page Mjroots (talk) 04:06, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I support the split. Polyamorph (talk) 09:28, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - seems a reasonable idea to split. MilborneOne (talk) 09:36, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - would help to reduce the size of this page while allowing expansion of stock description. Bluebellnutter (talk) 17:52, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - would be a great idea to reduce the size of the article and expand on information, and possibly allow more scope for better images of locomotives? Dgkent (talk)

Rolling stock has now been split. The referencing issue needs addressing if anyone's prepared to tackle it. Mjroots (talk) 06:33, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I am sure it shouldn't be too hard as links just need to be put by 'operational' and 'static display' e.t.c in terms of locomotives to the operational locomotives section of the Bluebell website, and static display section e.t.c. I would do it but don't currently have the time, and don't know how to do it yet either!--Dgkent (talk) 20:17, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

{{cite web}} is your friend for referencing websites. Generally you can get away with url, title, publisher and accessdate. The K&ESR rolling stock articl has a history of each vehicle, with each source referenced. If the Bluebell publish a stockbook that would be a good start, along with the websites linked for the website I posted a link to in my original post. Mjroots (talk) 20:23, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Bluebell Railway in Surrey?[edit]

The following query was originally posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Surrey:

Bluebell Railway
I see that this article is tagged with WP Surrey. I was going to remove the article from this WP but note that it is rated as High importance.

Should this article be part of this WP? I does not run at any point in Surrey, nor will it be once the extension to East Grinstead is completed.
— Mjroots (talk), 05:50, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I have briefly answered there, but felt a more comprehensive reply belonged here.

The project tags were added in the order 'UK Rail' first, then England, then Sussex + Surrey (together 13 Sept 07, by user:Pickle UK) Initially all four projects rated it as 'low' importance.

On 25 April 2008, User:Jdrewitt changed all to High importance for the reason: since it meets the requirement: "The article covers a topic that is vital to understanding the history or technology of rail transport.", since it is a working historic railway

There is a simple reason why no-one has questioned this rating: the banner shell, when collapsed, only the shows the quality rating (which "must" be the same for all projects) -- the importance (which is project-specific) is hidden. (Maybe as an aside someone could bring this to the attention of those who look after article ratings -- it would make more sense if the banner shell template showed all the project importance ratings but only had ONE quality rating...)

I suggest that the 'Surrey' link be removed, as clearly inappropriate, and that the importance ratings be reduced to 'low' for England, and 'mid' for trains (as the first standard gauge preserved line) and for Sussex (as a major tourist attraction). (I'll do this next.)

EdJogg (talk) 09:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I still stand by my rating, an article should have a high importance rating if it meets the requirement "The article covers a topic that is vital to understanding the history or technology of rail transport." As a working historic railway and one of the best examples in the UK I felt that the article deserves a high importance and make no apologies for that. Polyamorph (talk) 12:25, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, EdJogg. I thought I'd ask as it was tagged as high importance. I'd say the importance rating is correct as it is, mid for TWP, and high for UKT. BTW, isn't WP Sussex a child of WPEngland? I tend to use WPEngland if there is no county specific WP, otherwise use the county WP if there is one, which in this case is Sussex. Mjroots (talk) 14:16, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I guess having WPEngland and WPSussex gives the article two goes at being noticed by project members!
As for the importance rating, I would agree that it is probably just about a 'high' for UKT, but only because it was the first (standard gauge) heritage railway, not simply because it is 'one of the best' (POV!!) nor simply 'working'. Whether this fact is sufficiently "...vital to understanding the history or technology of rail transport" (my emphasis) is open to debate. You have to measure its significance against all other railway/UK-railway topics and see where it likely fits -- hence my 'mid' rating. However, if consensus is for something different, change it. -- EdJogg (talk) 22:34, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
It is true that in terms of the quality and quantity of rolling stock and railway technology that is preserved then the Bluebell is 'one' of the best examples and therefore my comment was not POV, besides this is a talk page not the article itself so policies such as POV in do not apply to users comments here. I think that an article dealing with a railway in which obsolete technology is still being maintained and preserved is extremely important in understanding the history of railway technology and deserves at least a high rating. Polyamorph (talk) 10:28, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Surely the point is that the articles relating to the "obsolete technology" itself should have a high or mid-importance rating, and not the (numerous) heritage lines on which the technology is used? Take for example three of the largest heritage operations - the West Somerset Railway, Severn Valley Railway and Great Central Railway (preserved) - all substantial lines, yet correctly (in my view) rated as "low" importance. Furthermore, the Bluebell wasn't first standard gauge heritage railway, that honour belongs to the Middleton Railway (also rated "low"). Lamberhurst (talk) 12:35, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
You have made a good point but (in my view) the articles you cite, as the largest heritage railways, should not themselves have a low rating either. (There are some much much less notable railways in the mid imporatance category) Polyamorph (talk) 13:02, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
We need to remember that there are two importance ratings, TWP and UKT. The SVR is rated as low for TWP, and mid for UKT, which I'd say was about right. Mjroots (talk) 14:10, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Yep, Ok, I agree with you. Thanks Polyamorph (talk) 14:16, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but can you say that any of those lines or even the Bluebell "contributes a depth of knowledge" to any of the projects mentioned? At best, some heritage lines "fill in minor details" (mid), whilst the majority are of "specialist interest" (low). Lamberhurst (talk) 15:45, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I think it could yes if the article was written well, certainly. However, I have agreed with Mjroots which essentially means I agree with you. Polyamorph (talk) 16:05, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

2009 Spy "shooting" controversy[edit]

Do we really need this in the article, it doesnt appear to be particularly notable to the railway even with a mention in the Sun. Furious members of the public doesnt make it a controversy, and if you consider the number of times "members of the public were furious" in the 125 year history of the line it would appear to carry undue WP:WEIGHT within the article. MilborneOne (talk) 17:54, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it ought to be mentioned as a point in the "claims to fame" area, but I certainly don't see it as warranting a section of it's own. Bluebellnutter (talk) 21:39, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Changing the section title to "Incidents" would reduce its significance. It wouldn't fit in the 'claims to fame' section. which is about film and TV appearances. EdJogg (talk) 00:06, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I would say remove it completely. Having seen the article in The Sun (online) it is quite obvious from the photos that there are inaccuracies - the "officer" for example, is wearing the uniform of a corporal in the Military Police - and it only warrants a small article in any case. Not notable in terms of the Bluebell Regards, Lynbarn (talk) 07:53, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with removing it, its not very notable and besides The Sun is most certainly NOT a reliable source - they simply make stuff up to sell papers - sentences like "members of the public were furious" might be suitable for a rag like The Sun but not wikipedia. Ultimately this is not sufficiently notable. Polyamorph (talk) 09:03, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
It is likely to be reported in more reliable sources than The Sun. The next issue of Steam Railway magazine is out tomorrow (29th). If it is reported there, I'll let you all know here and we can discuss it further. We are not here to only report good stuff. If it is bad, it needs to be referenced (akin to WP:BLP) but just because it is negative shouldn't prevent it from being included. Mjroots (talk) 20:41, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I just like to mention that the original point was notability re the railway nothing to do with negative or positive. MilborneOne (talk) 21:56, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Its inclusion is definitely WP:RECENTISM and from the long-term perspective it doesn't have a place. --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:17, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Going back to the Steam Railway comment, is that actually a reliable enough source given that it also eminates from within the environs of the enthusiast market, and perhaps it could only be said to be truly notable if (when?) another major national publication takes it up? I mean, not everything in Steam Railway is always (a.) entered on Wikipedia or (b.) 100% correct. They have a reputation for being somewhat tabloid-esque in their reporting. Also, it probably depends on the weight of coverage given. Anything more than a decent sized article with picture might count, but if it's just a small box with about 50 words in it, does that count as notable enough? Not saying we shouldn't include it, just establishing as to how much coverage it would need, as obviously if we were to print everything with even a smidgen of coverage we'd be here forever... Bluebellnutter (talk) 23:05, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Steam Railway is a WP:RS. It has to obey libel laws like all other newspapers and magazines so wouldn't report such a story if it wasn't true. It has reported controversy at wartime weekends before, notably the appearance of some actors in Nazi uniforms. Heritage Railway magazine isn't due out yet. Let's see what is published first and go from there. Mjroots (talk) 05:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
It really depends on how "furious" people got. The Sun has a way of exagerating things. I would imagine that most people would not really care less! It might however be worth having a section on the reinactments that take place at the Bluebell, if these are a regular event, and any controversies that they might have caused. Polyamorph (talk) 08:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) The issue is covered in Steam Railway magazine (issue 363, p19). It is given between ⅓ and ½ a page (11 paras, 2 photos). Among the critics is a quote from David Morgan (Heritage Railway Associaton Chairman) who said he was "most uncomfortable" with the event. The 2004 Nazi controversy at Peak Rail is also mentioned. The event happened on the Saturday, of the Sunday the actor was "arrested and marched off". OK, The Sun isn't the best of sources, but the report was true, and was the only one available at the time. So, how do we go from here? Should I propose a paragraph on this talk page so we can agree before it goes in the article? Mjroots (talk) 13:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I think, as I mentioned above, it would be best to add a section on the reinactments that take place at the bluebell, if this is the sort of thing they do regularly and are fairly well known. Then I think it would be notable to add the critisms including the spy shooting and the nazi uniform controversies, citing the Steam Railway magazine and other reliable sources if available. Polyamorph (talk) 16:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm wondering, is it worth having a general "criticisms" section? After all, there were also criticisms over the steam-only policy and the use of the class 73 on the Wealden Exclusive in March, so that's three before we even begin! Bluebellnutter (talk) 16:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, that sounds like a good idea. Mjroots (talk) 19:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
So, anyone else think it would work? Bluebellnutter (talk) 20:01, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Not against it in general but you have to be carefull about WP:WEIGHT as it sometimes attracts all criticism big and small and you have to make sure that a sense of balance is kept. Often one complaint is mentioned but not ten of thousands of other passengers who had a good time. MilborneOne (talk) 20:05, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Surely that's just a matter of policing it, though? If we restrict it to well aired grievances, over major issues such as the shooting, the Wealden exclusive and the steam-only policy, then it shouldn't be an issue. Individual grievances which don't hold so much weight can be easily removed, or even debate their merits on the Talk Page. Bluebellnutter (talk) 21:12, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes no problem I just wanted to make sure that it was clear that it just needs keeping an eye on. MilborneOne (talk) 21:15, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Northern extension vs other extensions[edit]

Given the continued progress of the extension northward, and the relative inactivity on the potential Ardingly extension or any fanciful notion of a southern extension, might it be worth creating a seperate section covering the extension toward East Grinstead, especially given the amount of material and news out there which isn't currently on this site? Perhaps even creating a seperate section for the entire northern extension since Horsted Keynes, giving a more detailed account of the work involved moving from Horsted to West Hoathly, then there to Kingscote.

This could perhaps be linked in with a more detailed description of the line, with each section described in detail, including such things as gradients, landmarks, disused stations, bridges, tunnels, possibly signals etc? I just feel that there is actually very little on the current state of the railway, or detail on the route other than the stations on their own pages. Perhaps this could give a fuller description of what the line is like? As it seems that there is actually very little about the line, other than mention of the extensions, most of it is about the history of the society.

It would probably take some time, but I think would be ultimately worth it. Bluebellnutter (talk) 23:13, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps this particular page should concentrate on the activities of the Preservation Society from 1960 onwards, and everything else before then to do with the history of the line and its closure should be on a separate page entitled the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway. This page can then describe the route as it has been restored today by the Bluebell. Any thoughts? Lamberhurst (talk) 07:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that could work, focus this more on the society and create a page for the route. Any other opinions on this? Bluebellnutter (talk) 20:03, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a reasonable idea to divide the preservation and operation from the permanent way/track etc. MilborneOne (talk) 21:18, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok, if there's general agreement, I can put together an article. I think it would be a good idea if the routemap used on this article (showing the whole line as built) should go in the Lewes & East Grinstead article and a new one put together for the Bluebell article, showing the line only as far as Sheffield Park, with more detail including e.g. overbridges and Hill Place viaduct. Lamberhurst (talk) 11:45, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a better idea I think, perhaps the Bluebell one could also cover (in addition to SP - EG) the line to Ardingly, given it's now owned by the society in full, incorporating Sheriff Mill viaduct et al? Bluebellnutter (talk) 12:09, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Accidents section[edit]

Interesting though it is, the new 'Accidents' section highlights the need to separate the historical from the preserved. I think it is a little unfair on the Bluebell to lump this section in, as it will draw the attention of readers away from the preserved railway. -- EdJogg (talk) 07:52, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I've moved the Accidents section into History and dropped heading level. That should help. David Bailey (talk) 08:13, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Must admit that the same thought had occurred to me... -- EdJogg (talk) 11:00, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
It's completely uncited anyway, unless a reliable source can be found to confirm the information then it should be removed anyway. Regards Polyamorph (talk) 12:16, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Seeing as I added the section somewhile ago, I thought I'd better provide the link to prove it happened. This link was directly off the Bluebell Railway website:

Contains the story, as well as many other interesting articles. Many thanks, TPEditor (talk) 21:58, 1 January 2013 (UTC)


"Any extension would therefore mean a termination and a new station at Ardingly outside the National Rail boundary, or to build or tunnel at the roadstone terminal and join the branch to the west." I don't see why this is necessarily the case. I have seen written on railway blogs that the line could be routed round the roadstone terminal. It could certainly be shared into Haywards Heath - I believe that there is at most one train operating daily between Ardingly and Westbury. The difficulty comes with the politics of providing a platform at Haywards Heath as this would take car parking space. Crooked cottage (talk) 16:02, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

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