The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society was founded in March 1959. It took occupation of Sheffield Park Station in May 1959 and ran its first train over the line in May 1960, leading up to the formal opening that August.
Therefore, over the coming year or so they are planning a series of 50th Anniversary events, which will be listed on www.bluebell-railway.co.uk as the details become known.
The first visiting guest locomotive they have secured to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations in August 2010 will be none other than Peppercorn "A1" Pacific 60163 Tornado.
This really is a unique visit. 60163 will visit the railway for the first two weeks in August 2010, possibly longer but that will be dependent on her main line commitments. The Trust is really honoured to be participating in this very special celebration.
To make this a landmark event and show Bluebell off at its very best, they are negotiating for other locomotives.
At the moment the plans are that Tornado will, very unusually, arrive by road, but how good would it be to have the loco arrive on the railway under her own steam through East Grinstead? If the Bluebell can raise the remaining money to complete their extension by then, it could happen!