CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENT ON FOUR LONDON - SWANAGE EXCURSIONS
The Purbeck Pioneer - Wednesday 1st April 2009 (Diesel)
The Purbeck Pioneer - Thursday 2nd April 2009 (Diesel)
The Dorset Coast Express - Saturday 2nd May 2009 (Steam)
The Royal Wessex - Monday 4th May 2009 (Steam)
News Item from Mike Whitwam - dated 9th Feb 2009
Chairman, Swanage Railway Trust
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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIRMAN!
History in the making!
- The first passenger train from London to Swanage since January 1st 1972!
- The first steam passenger train from London to Swanage since June 18th 1967!
- The first train to be signalled out of Swanage Bay Platform since September 4th 1966!
Swanage Railway Trust's Chairman Mike Whitwam
is pleased to announce a series of four excursions from London to Swanage via Wareham in April and May 2009
At 8.55am on Wednesday April 1st 2009, a twelve-car special - 'The Purbeck Pioneer' hauled by a
DB Schenker Class 66 locomotive - will depart from London Victoria and travel via Leatherhead, Effingham,
the Pompey Direct line, Southampton, Bournemouth, Wareham, Worgret Junction and down to
Corfe Castle and Swanage! Due to demand this trip will be repeated on April 2nd 2009.
Fully illustrated news items on the first of the excursions are now available
here and here.
The last passenger train from London to Corfe Castle and Swanage was the 'Purbeck Piper', a six-car Hastings DEMU, which ran on January 1st 1972 from Blackfriars in London, also visiting the Hamworthy branch and the 'Old Road' as far as West Moors via Broadstone and Wimborne. This was also the final day of British Rail passenger operation on the Swanage Branch.
At 08.00 on Saturday May 2nd 2009, 'The Dorset Coast Express', a ten-car special hauled by Battle of Britain 34067 'Tangmere', will depart London Victoria to travel to Swanage via Woking, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Bournemouth and Worgret Junction, returning to London diesel-hauled. On Monday 4th May 2009, a second special, 'The Royal Wessex', will run diesel-hauled from London via the same route and return to London Waterloo hauled by 34067 Tangmere.
The last steam passenger train from London to Swanage ran from Waterloo on Sunday June 18th 1967. This was an RCTS twelve-car special hauled by rebuilt Battle of Britain 34089 '602 Squadron' and tailed by a Standard Class 4 tank, 80146.
Battle of Britain Class 34067 Tangmere at Waterloo after hauling The Royal Wessex from Wareham on 6th December 2003 - Photo Keith Morgan
On Monday February 9th 2009, a Swanage Railway two-car DMU was signalled out of the Bay Platform at Swanage so that Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate could inspect the new Phase Two signalling at Swanage which has subsequently been commissioned. A similar movement last took place on Sunday September 4th 1966, the original Swanage signal box being demolished in 1967.
These are fantastic achievements which have resulted from the enormous and tireless effort made by our Members, Volunteers and Staff over many years. The original pioneers started work as early as 1969 forming the 'Isle of Purbeck Preservation Group' which attempted to prevent the demise of the Branch in the wake of several closure proposals. They were followed by the 'Swanage Railway Society' which attempted unsuccessfully to prevent the track being lifted in 1972. Then, in 1974 the 'Southern Steam Group' aimed to rebuild the line to recreate a 1950s Southern Branch, followed by the 'Southern Steam Trust' and the 'Swanage Railway Trust'.
I am honoured to be your Chairman in this very special year, one which will see the Swanage Railway achieve another step towards its published aims. The next phase is to facilitate the daily service between Swanage and Wareham, hopefully by 2013 with Network Rail's re-signalling!
MIKE WHITWAM, Chairman, Swanage Railway Trust.
February 9th 2009
Details of the special charters can be found on www.past-timerail.co.uk
or telephone 01543 411971.
To download the Past-Time Rail schedule with timing schedules for the
The Dorset Coast Express and The Royal Wessex, please
If SRT members wish to receive official interim mailings from the Swanage Railway Trust
via email, please send your email address to: email@example.com
The Swanage Railway is pleased to work with the
Tourism Department of Purbeck District Council to promote the
attractions that Swanage has to offer. You can visit their official website here.
All photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright unless otherwise noted.
Photos on these pages are low resolution versions.
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