Sunday, July 28, 2019

Bluebell Steam Train Ride ~ Sussex ~ England

The Bluebell Train is one of largest tourist attractions in Sussex.  The railway is operated by “Bluebell Railway PLC” and through the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, is majority owned by the volunteer membership, who also supply the labor necessary to keep the Bluebell running.  We may not have arrived early enough to see the beautiful fields of bluebells in the springtime in England but I can enjoy a ride on the Bluebell train.

Welcome to Sheffield Station
We chose to ride from Sheffield Park station for a return trip, which also offers adequate parking space, not always the case in other stations.  We parked and took the short walk to the rather grand looking entrance to the station, although the food adverts are slightly distracting! Lol

Stepney Special
Steamworks is the onsite museum that houses several steam engines and their history.  We had time before our train was to leave so we spent some time wandering about and learning some history.  I must admit that Stepney Special meant nothing to me, but lesson is coming. 

Tomas the Tank Engine
Now there is a familiar face.  So the story continues……Stepney was a real steam engine and became the cartoon train who befriended Thomas the Tank Engine who entertained our kids and grandkids on Saturday mornings for years!  It would have been great had his face been mounted on the front of the engine but this is real life and not cartoon world!  I am sure Thomas comes out on special occasions but here is the idea. 

Bluebell train arrives
Our train awaits us at the Sheffield Station so we get on board and get settled into our ‘compartment’.  There were four of us in a 6 seat until ‘Steve’ joined us at our stop in East Grinstead and entertained us with his stories for the rest of the ride! 
Students on travels
Out our window we see a class of students who are on an outing to honor D-Day and dress appropriately for the 75th anniversary of that special day.  They will be on the train for this ride today, although we won’t be hearing them while in our ‘compartment’.  I think the kind porter was well aware of that when he showed us to our non-reserved seats. 

Steam hangs over the view
We are enjoying the views and the ride on this old steam engine train.  The puffs of steam are visible out the window as we ride through the countryside of Sussex.  At one point this ride crossed the line between East and West Sussex.

Friendly waves
There was a lot of clearing being done along the rails and every group we passed took the time to wave to the passengers of the train.  It is likely these men are part of the volunteer team that so willingly give up their time to keep this Bluebell going. 

Here is Steve, an obvious regular on the train, who invited himself to join us and continued to tell stories until we finished our ride back.  He was very chatty, had quite a history to share and some of the stories seemed to be a possible ‘tale’; he must have told them before and he wasn’t going to stop now.  He was happy to pose for the photo. 

Pub lunch

What day would be right without stopping at the pub for a late lunch after that train ride.  Most pubs have been added on to since the original one was built but are still very old buildings.  They are so interesting, lots of ‘things’ to look at that can go back a long ways.

For more info on the Bluebell, click here to see their webpage. 


  1. Very train rides...If I remember correctly took one from London to Wales.....

  2. Me, too, Linda. We once took the train from London to Venice. Wonderful trip.



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