Swanage Railway // Swanage

Swanage Railway
Photo: © Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway map
Swanage Railway - Corfe Castle
Photo: © Swanage Railway

Dorset's premier standard gauge preserved steam railway. Operates between Swanage and Norden, through the Isle of Purbeck.

Swanage Railway is a heritage steam and diesel railway that travels from Norden in the Isle of Purbeck through six miles of beautiful countryside to Swanage, a seaside resort with an award-winning sandy beach. Stations at Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Herston offer easy access to historic villages, country walks and the Jurassic Coast.

The line was once part of the British Rail network, although it fell into disrepair in the middle of the twentieth century and finally closed in 1972. After many disputes, Dorset County Council bought the tracks and the station at Swanage from British Rail. The restoration project eventually got charitable status and a heritage railway, managed by the Swanage Railway Trust, was born. The Swanage Railway Trust is currently working hard to re-open for daily use a neglected stretch of line between Swanage and Wareham so that the Swanage Railway connects with mainline trains and performs a useful service for the local community.

The Swanage Railway Museum at Corfe Castle is also managed by the Swanage Railway Trust and offers the opportunity to learn about historical feats of architecture and engineering connected to the rail system.

The Swanage Railway is open every weekend and bank holiday from mid-February to the end of the year and every day of the week from April to October. There are also a number of themed events, including steam and diesel galas, family events and Santa Special trains in the run-up to Christmas. There is easy car parking at Norden, the northern terminus.