Bluebell Railway races to clear rubbish from cutting

Bluebell railway The Bluebell Railway hopes to extend services to East Grinstead next year

Related Stories

Volunteers rebuilding a historic stretch of steam railway in Sussex are racing against time to finish clearing thousands of tons of household waste.

The Bluebell Railway needs to raise nearly £1m to clear Imberhorne cutting by next April so the service can be extended two miles to East Grinstead.

Clearing the waste currently costs £25 per ton, but tax changes mean the cost will go up to about £90.

Chairman Roy Watts said the deadline had provided a focus for fundraising.

The Bluebell Railway currently runs for nine miles from Sheffield Park to Kingscote but the extension will join it up with the national railway network and potentially attract more visitors.

The 546yd (500m) Imberhorne cutting was filled with domestic waste from East Grinstead after the British Rail line closed in the 1950s.

Waste filling Imberhorne cutting Tons of waste were dumped in Imberhorne cutting after the line closed

It is being removed to a landfill site in Bedfordshire but landfill tax increases announced in 2008 will take effect next year.

"We were aware that this was going to be on the cards and since then we have worked really hard to try and raise the funds to complete the project in time," said Mr Watts.

Digging began in 2008. The next seven weeks' work has been paid for, at a cost of £125,000 per week, and there is about six weeks' digging left after that.

The project has been funded in part by selling "tenner for the tip" certificates on the trains.

"If we can break through and lay the track, all being well we can start running trains this time next year," said Mr Watts.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Sussex



8 °C 7 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A robotClick Watch

    The latest in robotics including software that can design electronics to solve problems

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.