Bluebell Railway reopens to public on 60th birthday

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The heritage Bluebell Railway in Sussex is reopening today (7 August) to coincide with its 60th anniversary.

The railway had to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but following Government guidelines, can now begin to welcome back passengers.

The Bluebell Railway started services this time back in 1960, and now runs steam trains between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, stopping at Horster Keynes and Kingscote.

During lockdown, railway staff launched an appeal to raise £300,000 to recover from the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fortunately through donations, the public appeal managed to raise the funds needed to sustain the service.

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Owners say it will initially run trains at weekends and then increase its weekday services if there is sufficient demand.

Bluebell Railway chairman Chris Hunford said: "There will be a phased reopening starting on 7 August and what better way to celebrate the milestone of 60 years of operating than to reopen for business. The railway's priority will be on providing everyone with a safe and enjoyable day out."

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All tickets will be pre-booked and the line will be using its historic carriages comprising compartments rather than open carriages to ensure groups of people can travel together while maintaining social distancing.

Staff have put in extra cleaning measures, while there is a dedicated one way system at it's Sheffield Park headquarters.