2011-08-14 Blue Bell Railway

My first visit to this railway was in 2009 and I remember it fondly.
When my wife wanted to visit Sheffield Park in 2011 I couldn't resist revisiting the railway
DSC06243  First thing you get to see is this nice access road with old ads. You really get the feel as if you're entering the thirties. DSC06244  I need not add anything to that DSC06250b 00 Sheffield Park   Via Google Maps I can show you around (I can't stop to marvel about the wonders of the internet, who would have thought this possible 20 years ago?).  A. The access road you saw on the first  photo  B. Station Building  C. Administration and Book shop  D. Locomotive shed and workshop  E. Locomotives on the workshop spurs  While making this areal I discovered this new building that wasn't there during my visit. I suspect it to be a   F. Carriage shed (?)
DSC06245  This building houses a very well stocked book store. DSC06246  Just breathe the atmosphere!! South Eastern & Chatham Railway C-class No.592 (1902) is running a around its train DSC06247  SECR Wainwright P-class, No.178 (1910) taking water. DSC06248  Isn't she cute?
DSC06249  Exquisite lettering, a nightmare for modellers! DSC06251 DSC06253  Every time I see this photo I can't help wondering what this man is thinking.  "Boy, am I proud of this railway!" DSC06254
DSC06257 DSC06261 DSC06262  Just an atmoshperic impression DSC06265  I took the ride to Horsted Keynes
DSC06279 DSC06285  Horsted Keynes proved to be bustling with life. There was a book market and all kinds of visitors in a very joyous atmosphere DSC06308 DSC06288
DSC06292 DSC06293 DSC06300  The basic setting of this station, the timbre and pace of its time are well preserved. DSC06309  The carriage workshop was open to visitors
DSC06311 DSC06325  Railways served every kind of purpose. DSC06328  Class E4 No 473 has a typical UK, and in continental eyes peculiar looking, 0-6-2 arrangement.   It is a so called "radial tank" designed by Stroudley and built in 1912. DSC06301  No 323 is a member of the  South Eastern & Chatham Railway  P-class and basically a 1910 update of the more known Terrier class.
DSC06330 DSC06331 DSC06307 DSC06333  I am inclined to give all my attention to the locomotives. This does injustice to the many many volunteer hours invested in the rolling stock. Let's be fair, this carriage simply looks stunning!
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DSC06339  A British Railways Standard Class 4MT. It was built in 1951 as part of a nationwide effort of standardizing and modernizing the wildly varying fleet of locomotives the newly formed British Railways inherited in 1948. This programme of standard locomotives comprised 12 standard classes and envisioned replacing older types  inherited from its four constituent companies, the "Big Four". It was the last major effort on steam traction in the so called "western world".  BR built 2537 steam locomotives in the period 1948–1960, 1538 to pre-nationalisation designs and 999 to its own standard designs. These locomotives had short working lives, some as little as five years, because of the decision to end the use of steam traction by 1968, against a design life of over 30 years and a theoretical final withdrawal date of between 1990 and 2000. DSC06340 DSC06341 DSC06343
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DSC06353 DSC06355  Whatever you may think of the belated effort gambling on the survival of steam, this standard class has a sleek and impressive yet typically British appearance. DSC06361  After some enjoyable hours in Horsted Keynes I took the train back to Sheffield Park DSC06362  In Sheffield park the engines of my train had to run round. In order to keep the tiny 0-6-0 in front of the train, the locomotives ran round individually. By the time I got on the footbridge crossing the rails no 178 had already uncoupled and was making its way through over the points.
DSC06364  There it is! DSC06365 DSC06374 DSC06375
DSC06378  Time for 592 to follow. DSC06387 DSC06390 DSC06397
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DSC06438b DSC06466  To conclude the day I spent the little time I had left to pay a flash visit to the workshops DSC06467  Southern Railway rebuilt Bulleid "Battle of Britain" Pacific No.34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" - built in 1947, rebuilt 1960. DSC06469  Some work remains... or is it  some remains work?
DSC06473  SR Bulleid Light Pacific, "Blackmoor Vale" standing in the shed awaiting boiler-work DSC06475