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Horsted Keynes Rail Station

Cover photo for the Tumbleweed Connection album

<i>Tumbleweed Connection</i> album cover
Tumbleweed Connection album cover
Click to enlarge. Copyright 1970 This Record Co.

Horsted Keynes Station today
Horsted Keynes Station today
Click to enlarge. Copyright 2002

Station Approach Road
Horsted Keynes RH17 7BB

On This Very Spot was shot the cover photo of the 1971 Elton John album Tumbleweed Connection. Under the direction of album designer David Larkham, photographer Ian Digby-Ovens took Elton (sitting right in the photo) and lyricist Bernie Taupin (standing left) to the historic Bluebell Rail Station in Horsted Keynes, 30 miles south of London. They then rode up and down the rail line taking the photos used on the inside of the album cover, as well as some of the photos in the lyric booklet.

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The Bluebell Railway was an abandoned rail line that is now owned and operated by rail enthusiasts. Vintage trains take passengers up and down the line, recapturing the feel of the 1930s. For complete visitor's information, including hours of operation, admission fees, and maps & directions, visit the official website at

Condition: This spot looks essentially as it did in 1971.

Parking: Free parking is provided at the station entrance.

Amenities: Snack bar, gift shop, restrooms.

Location: This spot is located about 30 miles south of London and directly east of London Gatwick.

Nearest Major Airport: London Gatwick

Directions: Take the A22 south out of London. At Wych Cross, take the A275. At Danehill, turn right toward Horsted Keynes, then follow the signs to the station.

Latitude: 51.046500; Longitude: -0.044000

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posted on June 25th, 2017
Tumbleweed said ...

A slight correction to the location.

The photo-short for the Tumbleweed Connection album was done at Sheffield Park station, the next station south of Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, England [I visited there yesterday].

The album cover photo was taken facing the up (London bound) waiting room. The giveaway confirming it was at Sheffield Park are the fluted platform canopy supports. Horsted Keynes canopy is held up by bracket from platform building. The canopy and up platform buildings at Sheffield Park station have be extended in a northerly direction in recent years, the extension housing toilets and a small museum. (

Inside the album cover there is a picture of Bernie Taupin sitting in a railway coach marked "Southern"The coach, number 1098, was built in 1922 by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, which became part of Southern Railway from 1 January 1923.

Elton John is also pictured inside the album cover, facing the camera. He was sitting in a 1913 built London and North Western Railway observation car, number 1503.

Visitors to the line can travel in either coach when they are in service (A premium is charged for the observation car - a first class ticket is required).

posted on June 25th, 2017

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