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SWANAGE & HARMAN'S CROSS STATIONS TO CLOSE FOR FILMING WITH TRAINS RUNNING FROM CORFE CASTLE AND NORDEN TOWARDS WAREHAM

Published: July 4, 2016

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

Swanage and Harman's Cross stations are to be closed for two days while shooting takes place for a new feature film – with a special service of heritage diesel trains instead operating from Corfe Castle and Norden on to the newly completed four-mile extension towards Wareham.

No passenger trains will run between Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Swanage on Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 July, 2016, while scenes are filmed at Swanage station for a Second World War drama set in 1940.

The bus stops, Co-op supermarket, health centre, taxi office and taxi ranks in front of the Swanage station building will not be closed during the filming.

During the two days of filming at Swanage station, a frequent passenger diesel train service will be operating between Corfe Castle and Norden stations and beyond on to the Swanage Railway's newly completed four-mile extension to the River Frome – within sight of Wareham.

Composed of a 1960-built two-carriage heritage diesel multiple unit, there will be trains every 45 minutes between 10.23am and 5.43pm on Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 July, 2016.

Each round trip on the extension to the River Frome from Corfe Castle and Norden will take 35 minutes with the trains using the Swanage Railway's newly commissioned Norden Gates level crossing just west of Norden station.

Passengers cannot board or alight the special trains at the River Frome and there are no lavatory facilities on the diesel multiple unit.

Standard train fares will apply between Norden and Corfe Castle stations while special fares will apply for passengers travelling on the newly upgraded four-mile line between Norden and the River Frome.

Swanage Railway Company chairman Trevor Parsons said: "I hope the public will be excited and attracted by the chance to travel on our newly completed four-mile extension beyond Norden via Motala, Furzebrook, Creech and Holme Lane to the River Frome which is within sight of Wareham.

"It's a lovely piece of line that travels through countryside very different to that between Norden and Corfe Castle – and there are views of the Purbeck Hills, rare heathland and also Wareham across the River Frome water meadows.

"Our two-carriage 1960-built heritage diesel train is perfectly suited to enjoying the delights of  the countryside because it also has windows as each end of the train so you can see the line ahead and behind.

"We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment that may be caused to the public because of the filming which we are confident will benefit not just the Isle of Purbeck but also other parts of Dorset – attracting visitors to see the filming location and bringing more film and TV production to the area.

"The filming is good for Swanage and the Swanage Railway, it's good for the Isle of Purbeck and east Dorset – and it's also good for showing that the area is willing to work with business.

"We can't give further details of the filming for contractual reasons," added Mr Parsons, also a volunteer guard and signalman on the Swanage Railway.

Standard train fares between Norden and Corfe Castle stations are an adult return at £2.70 and a child return at £1.60. Special fares for passengers travelling on the four-mile extension between Norden and the River Frome will be an adult return at £8 and a child return at £6.

The two-day closure of Swanage station on Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 July, 2016, includes the station shop, Bird's Nest buffet and platform toilets.

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