This film is part of Free

Operation Bluebell

Enjoy this charming film from Trevor White which charts the birth of the Bluebell Railway - from the germ of an idea into a fully functioning steam railway

Amateur film 1960 7 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This enjoyable film from Trevor White shows the birth of the one of the UK's largest heritage railways - now a significant feature of the region's leisure industry. We see various personalities associated with the line's formation as well as many of the volunteers, whose efforts to restore the railway's derelict infrastructure back to a fully operational line are rewarded with the inaugural train, hauled by Brighton Terrier 'Stepney', which ran on the 17th May 1960.

The little locomotive featured in this film, made by Trevor White and which comes courtesy of Mr Barry Coward, is an example of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway's Stroudley A1X 'Terrier' tank engines. At the time this film was made it was one of the two oldest locomotives to be found working anywhere on British Railways and was numbered 32655. Surplus to requirements, it was sold, along with two coaches, to the Bluebell Railway for £750. The Bluebell Railway Society restored the locomotive's original number, 55, and original name, 'Stepney', soon after her acquisition.