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After a fish’n’chips lunch by the Swanage waterfront (see earlier post), we and V stumbled into this train station while strolling in town. There was a train on the platform for Corfe Castle. We bought tickets hurriedly as the train was very much ready to depart (judging by the puffs of steam pouring out of the locomotive). We did not even know the timetable.

According to Wikipedia, the Swanage Railway was opened in 1885. After more than 70 years of service, it was due for closure in the 60’s as the British railway infrastructure was being electrified. British Rail was proposing a bus service to connect Wareham and Swanage but it was deemed inadequate to handle the traffic in the summer months. Remember, Swanage  is a beach town.

The line was closed in January 1972. But 4 months later, the Swanage Railway Society was formed with the objective of restoring an all-the-year-round community railway service linking to the main line at Wareham and which would be ‘subsidised’ by the operation of steam-hauled heritage trains during the holidays.

The Swanage Railway was about 6 miles in total linking Swanage to Nordon via Corfe Castle and Wareham. It reopened in 1995.

I (Chris) vaguely remember the upholstered seats in this type of carriages – the doors cannot be opened easily from the inside – most people lean out and turn the door handle on the outside.

As I leaned out the window, some unknown fine particles were hitting my face. It did not look black so I was not sure if it was soot.

Later during the day, we saw another steam locomotive. It was pulling a Pullman first class carriage with big windows. The Pullman luxury train concept was pioneered by George Pullman, an American that developed the sleeping car. The Pullman mainline rail service that ran in these parts of the UK ended in the late 60’s, so these carriages are more than 50 years old.

Corfe Castle signal box(?) at the railway station.

Waiting room at the Corfe Castle railway station.

More about Corfe Castle in our next post.


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