Tuesday 13th June 2017 will go down in history, with the arrival at Wareham Railway Station of the first train from Swanage to Wareham in 45 years. The railway line linking the towns was ripped up in the summer of 1972, during the ‘Beeching Axe’.
Today’s train comprised one diesel and four carriages, all belonging to West Coast Railways, and marks the return of timetabled services between Swanage and the Wareham main line. Trains will now run regularly throughout the summer of 2017, on Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Today, the train left Swanage at 10:23, passing through Harman’s Cross, Corfe Castle and Norden before arriving at Wareham at 11:10. At 11:15 the train set off on the return journey (approximately 10 miles) back to Swanage.
This amazing achievement is down to more than 40 years’ hard work by dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers, in partnership with the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, Purbeck District and Dorset county councils, BP, Perenco, Network Rail and South West Trains.
The last train (British Rail) to travel the same route was in January 1972.