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The Hastings Blue Belle

On 6th November 2010 Hastings Diesels Ltd operated the first passenger train from London onto Bluebell Railway metals since BR closed its branch to Horsted Keynes; a historic day. This charter service ran through to the Bluebell Railways’ northern extension across Imberhorne Viaduct thence ran a shuttle service throughout the day before returning to London.

Orpington and 1001 makes a brief stop on the
journey from Hastings to London Bridge.

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Arrival at London Bridge.

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The headboard was moved to ‘Mountfield
for the run south to Imberhorne.

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Headcode 77 and ‘The Hastings Blue Bell’ is ready to depart.

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At Southern’s East Grinstead station the train is halted whilst
the driver obtains the release from Oxted signal box.

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At the time of the trip Imberhorne was the southern end of the Bluebell Railway’s northern extension. The bridge carrying Imberhorne Lane over the new formation can just been seen.

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Following arrival at the Bluebell Railway’s East Grinstead station
1001 operated a series of shuttle services across to Imberhorne.

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1001 crossing Imberhorne Viaduct on a
shuttle service from East Grinstead.

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1001 sits alongside GBrf’s 73 141
and ‘Gordon’ the blue Vep.

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Driver Shonhard has readied 1001 for the
return to London Bridge via Imberhorne!

With only a short run south before reversal, the headboard
was already positioned on motor coach ‘Tunbridge Wells’.

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