Lewes & East Grinstead Railway: The Bluebell Line

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A lively history of the Lewes & East Grinstead Railway, covering the whole story from start to finish, illustrated with a fantastic range of archive and contemporary photographs

The Lewes & East Grinstead Railway opened in 1882 to link the rural communities between these two Sussex towns. It was shortly afterwards taken over by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway then absorbed into the Southern Railway at the Grouping in 1923. BR submitted an application to close the line in 1954 due to declining passenger numbers but fierce local opposition brought the railway to national attention. BR briefly closed the line in 1955 but public pressure forced it to reopen the line the following year, but after a two year battle it closed in1958.

By the time of the closure, the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society had already been formed and took over the line. From 1960 it ran a preserved steam passenger service from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes - in effect, the first such standard gauge heritage railway in England. The extension to East Grinstead had been planned for many years, the first section north from Horsted Keynes opened in 1990, but the extension was not completed until 2013.

This book is an accessible history of the Lewes & East Grinstead railway from its 19th century origins to the present day when it now runs once again to East Grinstead. The book is illustrated throughout with historical photographs, many from the Bluebell Railway's archives, as well as stunning colour photographs of the Bluebell Railway in action up to the present day.

 

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