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The Bluebell Railway

- A Wonderful Smell !


The Bluebell are trying to pay for the removal of the last obstacle preventing Horsted Keynes railway station reconnecting to the railway network at East Grinstead. They have already managed to remove enough of a quarter mile of rubbish that was filling an old cutting north of the present Bluebell terminus at Kingscote to relay the track and now need to finish the task. About 250,000 more is needed to reopen the line by Easter 2013 and donations are still urgently needed.

A test extraction in the summer of 2010 when 10,000 tonnes of rubbish was removed in a single week.
Much progress has been made since then and there is now a path through the waste tip. Much more can be seen on the YouTube website.


with your
Costs 10 - valid for 1 year

Available to residents of

Burgess Hill
Crawley Down

East Grinstead
Forest Row
Haywards Heath
Horsted Keynes

Turners Hill
West Hoathly

Apply in person (at weekends) or by post to:
Booking Office, Horsted Keynes Station, RH17 7BB
With 10 and a S.A.E. - allow 14 days for card to be issued

Talking Timetable 01825 720 850 (24 hours)
Horsted Keynes: 01825 720 831 (weekends 10am-4pm)

Railcard discounts are not available on East Grinstead to
Kingscote bus service, Golden Arrow Puillman train, Santa Specials
services, Day Out With Thomas event days or other special events

Horsted Keynes Station. Click on the picture to view full size.
That looks familiar! Horsted Keynes Station as seen on TV screens all over the world. Often disguised as somewhere else but always recognisable. The entrance way has been changed since this photo.

Perhaps you have stumbled on this page by mistake, if that is the case then you might like to take a quick look at some of our OTHER PAGES ,
or go straight to


A Local takes exception to their mispronounciation! These two "nazis" pronounced Horsted Keynes as Horsted Keenes Don't worry, the land girls got him!

A shootout on Horsted Keynes station! Mock battle during a 1940's weekend which is a regular event held in May.

If you've heard of Horsted Keynes before then it's almost certainly because of "The Bluebell" Railway. Stand in the middle of the village and as long as the wind's in the right direction you can hear the toot and enjoy the smell of hot oil and steam, which even the internet can't convey - YET !

Getting on for 50 years ago the then British Railways decided to implement a report that recommended reducing their mounting losses by the simple expedient of closing down every line that didn't make a profit! A group of train enthusiasts managed after a long battle with officialdom and with the help of a little old lady called Miss. Bessimer to reopen 4 miles of the line that used to run from East Grinstead to Lewes in Sussex. Their line ran from the station of Sheffield Park to the edge of our local station Horsted Keynes. This was the first full scale railway line to be reopened by private enterprise and it has gone from strength to strength. Now The Bluebell Railway is 9 miles long and a Public Company. It is actively pushing back to its main line connection at East Grinstead.

Given good luck, they now hope to reconnect with the main line at East Grinstead by Easter 2013. We wish them the best of luck ! Perhaps then Horsted Keynes will return to its happy status as a quiet Sussex village with two Churches and two pubs but I expect that it will never be the same. "No bad thing" we hear you say !

Pop video filming at Horsted Keynes station October 2007

If you'd like to visit The Bluebell Web Site then please follow this link. It's a great day out with lots to see and do. If travelling by car then Horsted Keynes has easily the better parking facilities and a pleasant picnic spot. Metrobus route 270 busses connect with Horsted Keynes station at weekends. Until the through line reopens coming from the North get the train to East Grinstead station and a vintage bus will take you on the two mile trip around the rubbish tip to Kingscote Station. Please note that to placate the local residents you CANNOT park at Kingscote or even buy a ticket there (unless you arrive by bus or bike!). It is now 2012 and a path through the rubbish dump at Imberhorne has just been cleared. Passenger trains still haven't started to run along this track yet and much work still needs to be completed, but it seems that with enough money and fair weather you will only have to wait until next Easter to book your seat for the inaugural through journey!

Dogs are welcome on the existing line, and there is even a special ticket available for them. The upper part of the field at Horsted Keynes is a good place for them to let off steam. The only restrictions are entry to the buffet/restaurant building and Golden Arrow Pullman Dining Train, for obvious reasons. Guide and recognised assistance dogs are most certainly welcomed, and travel free

Local residents also get to travel on the Bluebell at a discounted fare, this concession is NOT well publicised but more details can be found here. This idea, of giving local residents, who inevitably have to put up with a certain amount of disruption and much extra traffic at weekends, cheaper admission to local attractions is one that other tourist sites might like to emulate. We think that it is fair to say that the Bluebell are generally regarded as good neighbours.

As we are dedicated to the village of Horsted Keynes rather than the railway itself we thought that you might be interested to see the station from a rather unusual angle looking South from the bridge over the line to East Grinstead. Here you can see that our very rural station is in fact huge with five platform faces and routes going off in three directions! Straight on leads South to Sheffield Park and to the right is the old track bed leading via Ardingly to Haywards Heath. The large roof just visible on the far left hand side and covering much of the former goods yard is for extensive modern buildings (camouflaged to look old from a distance) where the railways' carriages and wagons are repaired and some are stored. In fact with the covered area being further extended the whole area could easily be confused with a large factory site. The old railway cottages on the right, whilst being a wonderful place for retired train spotters to live, are in a very remote location. The next nearest house is at least half a mile away, a paved road some 500 metres away, and the closest that any vehicle can approach is the other side of the railway line two hundred metres from their front doors. This means a walk in all weathers along the path, over the railway bridge that this photo was taken from, and then down the hill on the other side just to reach the road to get a newspaper! The cottages are though just a "stagger" from the fully licensed Horsted Keynes station buffet which sometimes opens late into the evening! If any resident would like to lend us a view from their window overlooking the station we would be delighted to install an unofficial web cam! Recent improvements mean that high speed broadband comes in very well to these homes, so perhaps they aren't that remote from civilisation after all!


Some short videos showing action at the station, many more on YouTube .

 Garden centre East Grinstead

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