1. An evening photographing the elegant lines of Adams Radial Tank No.30583 in BR lined black livery, Sunday 24th March 2019
Bluebell Railway

An evening photographing the elegant lines of Adams Radial Tank No.30583 in BR lined black livery, Sunday 24th March 2019

Join us for an evening of night photography at Horsted Keynes Station featuring Adams Radial Tank No.30583, which has recently been painted into BR lined black livery, plus smoke machines, crew and re-enactors


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About this event

Join us for an evening of nocturnal railway photography at the Bluebell Railway’s Horsted Keynes Station. This is one of the most atmospheric preserved stations of all to host night photography and has appeared in countless film and television productions representing scenes from the 1890s to the present day. Added to this will be a stunning locomotive in newly-applied British Railways lined black livery with steam effects provided by smoke machines, appropriately dressed crew and station staff, and period-dressed passengers, all of which should combine to provide all the ingredients for an extra special night shoot. 

The Adams Radial Tank No.488 has been repainted and renumbered into its 1950s-1960s guise as 30583 and will be paired with the Bluebell Railway’s excellent Bulleid green coaching stock, and positioned using the Class 09 diesel shunter to provide more than one cameo during the evening. No.488 was one of 71 members of the ‘415’ Class 4-4-2 tank engines, designed for London & South Western Railway suburban services, built between 1882 and 1885 (488’s year of building by Neilson & Company is 1885) and designed by William Adams. Due to electrification, the locos’ use for their originally intended duties were relatively short-lived. Their service life was partially extended by the First World War, though by the time of Grouping in 1923, only thirty passed into Southern Railway ownership. By 1929, only two remained in service and these – 0125 and 0520 – were pressed into service on the Lyme Regis branch in the West Country. Possible replacements proved unsuitable, so the Southern Railway determined to keep the two 4-4-2Ts in service and overhauled them at Eastleigh Works, when they were outshopped as Nos.3125 and 3520.

Back in 1917, another member of the class, No.0488, had been sold out of main line service to the Ministry of Munitions and by 1923 it had passed to one of Colonel Stephens’ light railway enterprises, the East Kent Railway at Shepherdswell. This ensured that the locomotive hung on through the Second World War though seeing relatively light use. In 1946, the Southern Railway needed a third engine as cover for the other survivors of the class which were still working the Lyme Regis branch, and thus No.0488 (EKR No.5) was resurrected and, together with its classmates, worked on until 1961.

As the most original of the three surviving 415 Class locos, 488 (now BR 30583) was chosen for preservation at the Bluebell Railway, arriving on 12th July 1961, where it saw intensive use over three decades, receiving an overhaul at Swindon Works in 1971. The loco has not steamed since 1990, with much costly work required before a return to traffic. However, this is nothing that cannot be put right aesthetically using smoke machines for an evening and we are grateful to the Bluebell Railway for allowing us the opportunity to photograph the loco in a livery it has not carried since the mid-1980s, some thirty years ago.

Our session will run from 18.30 until 21.30 hours and is bound to be popular, so please book early to avoid disappointment!

Event cost £60.00 per person. 




Lenses- suggest bringing lens lengths between 16-300mm

Spare batteries

Memory cards

Photography Knowledge:

Basic to Advanced 

Fitness Level


Appropriate outdoor clothing and walking footwear

Images are for illustration purposes only.

Event requirements

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