A train service could in the future be re-instated to link Swanage and Corfe Castle with the main line in Wareham.
Swanage Railway volunteers have won a Government grant of up to £50,000 to pay for an updated feasibility study and business case.
The regular train service between Swanage and Wareham was controversially axed by British Rail in January, 1972, with six and a half miles of the single track line from Furzebrook to Corfe Castle and Swanage being lifted in just seven weeks that summer.
The Swanage Railway has been rebuilt from nothing since 1976 and in 2014 the heritage line was connected with the national railway system – near Worgret Junction, south of Wareham, on the main London to Weymouth line – thanks to an innovative signalling system linking the heritage line with Network Rail.
South Dorset MP Richard Drax said, “More money will be needed before expansion plans can be executed but this is an important step to ensure our iconic railway sustains its place in our hearts and our livelihoods.”
Swanage Railway Project Wareham director Mark Woolley, who has been a dedicated Swanage Railway volunteer for more than 35 years, explained, “We hope that the new feasibility study and business case – last carried out 12 years ago in 2008 – will be wide-ranging and fully take into account our existing award-winning heritage railway.
“We are also hopeful that the work will also help us identify potential sources of further funding to provide the necessary train servicing and maintenance facilities to achieve this.”
During the summer of 2017, the Swanage Railway ran a 60 selected day trial diesel train service to Wareham which saw four trains a day operate from Swanage and Corfe Castle to the main line at Wareham.
The Swanage Railway always welcomes new volunteers so, for a chat, contact Swanage Railway volunteer co-ordinator Mike Whitwam on 01929 475212 or email email@example.com.
Please share post:
Follow us on