Swanage Railway Swanage Railway Swanage Railway

More events to be staged on the Swanage Railway during 2014 than ever before.

Published: February 21, 2014

More interesting special events - offering variety and value for money for children and adults alike - are being staged on the Swanage Railway during this year than ever before.

Twelve special events are taking place on the five and a half miles of Purbeck line between Norden Park & Ride, Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Swanage compared with six during 2013.

New for 2014 are a London and South Western Railway Weekend and a Fireman Sam Weekend during March, a Spring Steam Gala in April, a 'Swanage 35' Gala in July marking the first ever trains at Swanage in 1979, Classic Transport Rally and Paddington Bear weekends in September and an Autumn Steam Gala in October.

Previously staged in September, the annual Swanage Railway Steam Gala has been moved to mid-October.

And this year's Peppa Pig weekend in June will see George joining the loveable pink character.

Swanage Railway General Manager Richard Jones said: "Our events provide interest and variety for everyone - both visitors, our staff and members - and represent very good value for money.

"We have increased the range of events this year to appeal to as many people as possible - blending the traditional events, such as our steam and diesel galas, with some new initiatives designed to keep the overall special events programme fresh and appealing," he explained.

The full list of 2014 special events on the Swanage Railway - where special timetables and special fare structures, with restricted concessionary travel, will apply - is as follows:

L&SWR WEEKEND - 15 to 16 March:
An intensive two-train service worked by two steam locomotives originally built by the London & South Western Railway more than a century ago.

FIREMAN SAM - 22 to 23 March:
Come and meet Fireman Sam who is making his first visit to the Swanage Railway and will be appearing at intervals during the two days.

SPRING STEAM GALA - 5 to 6 April:
A fantastic two-day feast of Purbeck steam, including a special visit from the only surviving Victorian T9-class locomotive, No. 30120.

Impressive line-up of visiting main line diesel locomotives in action on all three days and working an intensive timetable, including evening specials on the Friday and Saturday. Dorset Beer Festival next to Corfe Castle station showcasing a wide variety of real ales.

PEPPA PIG & GEORGE - 7 to 8 June:
Join in the fun and excitement - and enjoy a steam train ride - as loveable larger than life characters Peppa and George make a special visit to the Swanage Railway and appear at intervals during the special weekend.

'SWANAGE 35' GALA - 12 to 13 July:
Help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Swanage Railway's first trains over a few hundred yards of hand-laid track back in 1979. Lots of steam and diesel action throughout both days ... with one of two surprises!

Avoid traffic congestion and take the train from Norden Park & Ride, Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Herston Halt to see the best carnival on the south coast. Intensive timetable throughout the week with additional services.

Travel by steam train to savour, and photograph, a superb display of classic road transport from yesteryear - with around 500 exhibits on display.

PADDINGTON BEAR - 20 to 21 September:
Lots of fun and excitement for children of all ages. Hop on the steam train to see the much-loved Paddington Bear who will be appearing at intervals during the weekend.

AUTUMN STEAM GALA - 17 to 19 October:
Delight in a superb and evocative line-up of iconic steam locomotives in action on all three days.

SANTA SPECIALS - 29 & 30 November, 6,7,13,14, 20 to 24 December:
Enjoy a steam train ride and meet Father Christmas on his special train. All inclusive tickets with a present for every child and seasonal refreshments for adults. Advanced booking essential.

WINTER WARM UP - 27 December:
The perfect tonic to end the year - and the perfect way to blow out the post-Christmas cobwebs.

Richard Jones explained: Our first ever Winter Warm Up event at the end of December last year was a great success, despite the wet weather.

"Two steam and two heritage diesel locomotives worked an intensive train service throughout the day.

"Fare income increased by more than 200% on the equivalent day in 2012. We will certainly be repeating the event which this year takes place on Saturday 27 December and just happens to be my birthday!

"Our first special event of the year is our LSWR Weekend on 15 and 16 March.

"This will feature two iconic steam locomotives built at Nine Elms in London by the London & South Western Railway around the turn of the 20th Century.

"The first is the only working M7 0-4-4T - No. 30053, based at Swanage - and the second is the only surviving T9 - No. 4-4-0 No. 30120 - which is visiting the Isle of Purbeck for around three weeks in the Spring, courtesy of the National Railway Museum and the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.

"Both locomotives will be operating an intensive train service on both days.

"M7s and T9s were a regular sight on the Swanage branch in days gone by, and the L&SWR Weekend will be the first time that a T9 has worked through Corfe Castle for more than 50 years," added Mr Jones.

Swanage Railway train times - and special event details - are available online at by following the menu links on the left of this page or by telephone on 01929 425800.