Today sees the official opening of the Bluebell Railway’s Northern Extension extending the line from Kingscote back into East Grinstead. This has been a mammoth undertaking both in terms of fundraising, obtaining the land from more than 30 different land owners who purchased the trackbed from British Railways after closure and the considerable effort involved in the removal the spoil and land fill from a long stretch of cutting that was infilled with refuse after the line closed, all of which has had to be carefully removed under current transfer of waste legislation.
A brand new station has been built at East Grinstead alongside the existing Southern station, and is even officially called platform 3! This also gives the Bluebell Railway a physical connection with Network Rail and will allow through excursion trains to be run on the Bluebell Railway, the first of which takes place on Thursday 28th March.
To mark this special occasion the Bluebell Railway are holding a two week opening festival with many different special events taking place from today until Sunday 7th April. The full diary of events over the next two weeks can be seen on the Bluebell Railway’s website here.
The Bluebell Railway and its team of many volunteers must be congratulated on the tremendous effort involved in this achievement.