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"GO WEST" AS THE SWANAGE RAILWAY RECREATES FORMER WESTERN REGION BRITISH RAILWAYS AS PRELUDE TO DIESEL GALA

Published: March 4, 2015

Story by Andrew P.M. Wright.
Swanage Railway official photographer & press officer.

Pictures by Mark V. Pike.

Diesel-hauled trains on British Rail's former Western Region will be re-created during an evocative 'Go West' preview day ahead of this year's exciting three-day Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival.

Thursday 7 May, 2015, will see Class 45 No. 45060 'Sherwood Forrester’ and Class 50 No. 50035 'Ark Royal' operating between Norden park & ride, Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Swanage alongside steam-hauled trains.

Swanage Railway acting General Manager Matt Green said: "The re-creation of British Rail Western region trains during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s will be an exciting opening to our tenth annual Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival."

The Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival runs from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 May, 2015, inclusive, and will see an intensive three-train service operate between Norden park & ride and Swanage from 8am to 12 midnight on the Friday and Saturday and from 8am to 7pm on the Sunday.

Subject to availability, the visiting diesel locomotives will be:
 Class 25 - No. D5185
 Class 37 - No. 37 057.
 Class 45 - No. 45 060 'Sherwood Forrester'.
 Class 50 - No. 50 035 'Ark Royal'.
 Class 56 - No. 56 006.
 Class 66 - courtesy of GB Railfreight.

Subject to availability, the Swanage Railway's Southern Region Class 33 diesel locomotives also will be appearing – No. 33111 and No. 33201 both in their 1970s British Rail blue liveries.

The action-packed weekend will also see the first Swanage Railway passenger trains operate over the newly-acquired three-mile section of track from Motala (a mile west of Norden station) to the Network Rail border near Worgret Junction.

The Beer Festival will take place at Corfe Castle station where popular Swanage Railway ales 'Old Pusher’, 'Regulator' and new brew 'Swanage Pride' will be on sale.

Other attractions include the fascinating goods shed museum, exhibition and coach as well as trade and enthusiast stands at Corfe Castle and Swanage stations.

'Beerex' and Wessex Belle 'Bistro’ dining train services will also be operating on the Friday and Saturday evenings. Advance booking for the Bistro trains is essential.

On the Friday, No. 37057 will be hauling the 'Beerex' train with No. 45060 working the Wessex Belle 'Bistro'.

On the Saturday evening No. D5185 and No. 33201 will haul the 'Beerex' while No. 50035 will be working the Wessex Belle 'Bistro'.

On the 'Go West' preview day on the Thursday, there will be Freedom of the Line fares for all-day travel available at £12.50 for adults, £7.50 for children and £35 for families (two adults and up to three children aged three to 15 inclusive).

Diesel gala Adult Rover fares for unlimited travel are £25 for a one day Rover, £38 for two days or £46 for three days. Discounted fares are available for children.

Adult Rover fares for 'Priv' card holders and CAMRA members are £18 for one day, £28 for two days and £36 for three days. Standard single and return fares are also available.

Swanage Railway train times – and special event details – are available online at www.swanagerailway.co.uk or by telephone on 01929 425800.