61 years of Bluebell Railway celebrated with belated diamond anniversary event

Bluebell Railway celebrated its 61st birthday by holding a belated diamond anniversary event.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 7:55 pm

Held between Friday, August 6, and Sunday, August 8, the occasion showcased the railway’s achievements over the past six decades with a packed weekend of displays, activities, music, festivities and, of course, steam engines.

The Sussex heritage railway turned 60-years-old on August 7, 2020, but the celebrations were postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Ruth Rowatt, marketing and communications manager, said: “We were disappointed not to be able to celebrate properly in 2020 due to Covid-19, but very glad at the time to reopen.

Steam engines were in attendance at Bluebell Railway's 61st anniversary party SUS-210818-101316001

“However, this year we were able to celebrate our achievements of the last 61 years properly and share all the wonderful things our railway has to offer with our visitors.”

Visitors enjoyed a weekend of live music from local bands at Horsted Keynes Station, as well as vintage vehicle displays and exhibitions.

There were also opportunities to drive a diesel engine, ride in a brake van and of course, travel up and down the line behind steam locomotives between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.

The event took place as Bluebell Railway participates in the national campaign #loveyourrailway alongside other heritage railways. The campaign promotes heritage, education, sustainability, and the value of volunteers.

Ruth Rowatt added: “At 61, Bluebell Railway is the oldest standard gauge passenger-carrying preserved railway, and it is important that it flourishes for the next 60 years for future generations to experience and enjoy their heritage.”