A group of UK businessmen reopened - with a swing of a champagne bottle across the buffers of a picture postcard locomotive - the old Bluebell rail service, noted in days of yore by railway enthusiasts and tourists for the for the aura it inspired of the age of the steam Iron Horse.
OPENING THE BLUE BELL RAILWAY, SPEECH BY CAPT ANTHONY KIMMINS R.N.
MRS.KIMMINS MAKES SHORT SPEECH THEN BREAKS BOTTLE ON FRONT OF LOCO.
FIRST TRAIN (BLUEBELL LINE) LEAVES SHEFFIELD PARK STN FOR HORSTRO KEYNES.
A.V. CROWD ARRIVE IN PERIOD COSTUME (1882) AT STATION.
VARIOUS CUTAWAYS OF LARGE CROWD ONLOOKERS ALL AGES TO SEE FIRST RUN.
CUTAWAYS ENGINE DRIVER JACK RONALD/FIREMAN BILL INTERESTED CROWD HAD TO BE PUSHED AWAY FROM LOCO B??? IT COULD START ITS RUN
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Background: A group of UK businessmen reopened - with a swing of a champagne bottle across the buffers of a picture postcard locomotive - the old Bluebell rail service, noted in days of yore by railway enthusiasts and tourists for the for the aura it inspired of the age of the steam Iron Horse.
Some many well-wishers - in period costumes (of the 1880s) crowded the track at the ceremonial rebirth of the train Aug 7 Driver Jack Ronald and Fireman Bill Brophy had to call for aides to clear the track.
The Bluebell Line, running along a trim four and half mile stretch of track near Lewes in Sussex, Southern England, now becomes a private line. Last month the British Transport Ministry inspected it and gave the new group of enthusiasts approval to re-open the service.
Bluebell now runs regularly Saturdays and Sundays - a new draw to many holidaymakers a few miles from the South Coast resorts of Brighton and Eastbourne.
The Bluebell service first ran 1882, forming part of the labrynth of privately-run lines built from the mid 1880s to the 1900s. They were amalgamated into the Southern Railway - one of the nation's "Big Six" railway companies - in the 1920s. Nationalisation came in 1948. The line kept open for a time then closed in the face of bus transport and rail electrification. It opened for a spell 1956 when a group of train enthusiasts discovered an error of legality in the Transport Ministry's order to close it but after a public inquiry, the Ministry finally decreed its closure.
Now bought by the enthusiasts, with the track freshly weeded, the booking office repainted and the boiler stoked, Bluebell puffs into service again.