Swanage Railway start their steam train service once more
PUBLISHED: 15:33 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:33 15 July 2020
Steam trains resume on the award-winning Swanage Railway for the first time since mid-March with Norden station re-opening to the public
It’s full steam ahead for the award-winning Swanage Railway with Norden and Swanage stations re-opening to the public from this Saturday, though Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Herston stations will remain closed.
The move comes as the Swanage Railway, in Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, continues its ‘Save Our Service’ (S.O.S.) appeal to raise £360,000 to help the popular heritage line – which has been rebuilt from nothing since 1976 – survive in the wake of the economic effects of coronavirus.
Steam trains will be operating a non-stop service between Swanage and Norden stations from Saturday, 18 July, though the trains are not stopping at Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Herston Halt.
Monday, 20 July, 2020, will see Norden station re-open to the public for passengers starting their journey from Norden station which is located next to Dorset Council’s Purbeck Park car park, off the A351 Wareham to Corfe Castle road.
The steam locomotive that will be hauling the trains will be late 1920s-built Southern Railway U class No. 31806 which used to haul trains to Corfe Castle and Swanage during the 1950s.
The resumption of steam trains and the opening of Norden station will see the health of passengers and railway staff still protected with socially distanced queueing at Swanage and Norden stations, socially distanced assigned seating on trains and the wearing of face coverings.
The non-stop train service departs Swanage station at 10.30am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 3pm for the return trip to Norden. Swanage station shop is open (with social distancing), subject to volunteer availability, when trains are running. Catering outlets at Swanage and Norden stations remain closed.
Passengers are being encouraged to book in advance for the trains via the Swanage Railway’s website and customers are expected to have face coverings unless there are health grounds not to do so.