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NOSTALGIC CLASSIC TRANSPORT RALLY TAKES SWANAGE RAILWAY PASSENGERS BACK TO HALCYON DAYS OF ROAD VEHICLES

Published: September 13, 2016

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

An evocative and nostalgic classic transport rally has taken Swanage Railway passengers back in time to the halcyon days of diesel, petrol and steam-powered road vehicles.

More than 300 exhibits were featured in the annual Purbeck event – with Swanage Railway passengers purchasing Rover train tickets being given free admission to the nostalgic event.

The annual yesteryear gathering took place next to Harman's Cross station in Haycraft's Lane – between Corfe Castle and Swanage – from Friday, 9 September, to Sunday, 11 September, 2016, inclusive, between 10am and 5pm daily.

Featuring vintage and classic vehicles, motorcycles, tractors, commercial vehicles, stationary engines, stalls and refreshments, the event was staged by dedicated volunteers from the Bournemouth and Poole Preservation Club.

Steam and heritage diesel rail bus trains an intensive service between Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Swanage from 10am to 5.50pm on all three days – with evening heritage diesel rail bus trains running on the Friday and Saturday from 6.15pm to 10.35pm.

Swanage Railway General Manager Matt Green said: "It was a chance for the public to experience and enjoy the best of transport history on both rail and road.

"I would like to thank everyone on the Swanage Railway – and in the Bournemouth and Poole Preservation Club – who worked so hard in planning and delivering a most enjoyable event.

"The annual transport rally was a really great day out for the family and the enthusiast alike – there was something to interest everyone and a lovely family atmosphere at the event.

"There were more than 300 fascinating exhibits on show – from classic cars, lorries and motorcycles through to traction engines, tractors, stationary engines, stalls and refreshments.

"Passengers buying Rover tickets for unlimited train travel on the day of purchase also gained free entry to the transport rally.

"We operated an intensive timetable of steam and heritage diesel rail bus trains on all three days with the diesel trains also running on the Friday and Saturday evenings.

"There was also the award-winning ball clay mining museum next to Norden station as well as a free admission museum, exhibition coach and cinema coach at Corfe Castle station, not to mention the station shop and buffet at Swanage station.

"Some of our trains included a classic Southern Railway 1940s Bulleid carriage which transports you back in time to the heyday of steam train travel with its rich wooden panelling, shiny chrome handles and luggage racks as well as luxurious moquette upholstery on the seats," explained Mr Green.

The Swanage Railway's next special event is its annual three-day Autumn Steam Gala which takes to the rails from 14 to 16 October, 2016, inclusive.

Two guest steam locomotives will be joining the Purbeck line's own fleet to work a varied and intensive train service.

Swanage Railway train times, fares and special event details are available at www.swanagerailway.co.uk or by calling 01929 425800.