Dorset train regular service is going to be restored after 41 years after government provided £1.47m grant and a long term campaign.
The volunteer-run Swanage Railway Company will receive the funding from Coastal Community Fund set by the government, to re-introduce a regular three-mile rail service between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham by Spring 2015.
Peter Sills, Swanage Railway Company Chairman, defined the news “historic”, since he personally rode the last British Rail Train from Swanage to Wareham in January 1972. He said: “We are elated at this tremendous and very historic news because the Swanage Railway has been campaigning to bring back regular trains from From Swanage and Corfe castle to Wareham since 1972 when British Rail controversially axed the service.”
We are elated at this tremendous and very historic news
This operation is going to provide 40 indirect new jobs and 10 jobs directly in the area, and it will improve transport both for tourists and residents, developing rail links out of Purbeck to Poole and Bournemouth.
The first trains will be running by the Spring 2015 and a trial rail service has been planned for 50 days in 2015 and 90 days in 2016 with the goal of an all-year service afterwards. The grant will also pay for the upgrading of two 1960s heritage diesel rail bus trains and for the achievement of legal permission to allow trains to run regularly into Wareham from Corfe Castle and Swanage.
Mr Sills said: “We are working closely with Network Rail and Dorset County Council to ensure that the land access and and lease arrangements on the three-mile line are put in place as soon as possible .”
Main Picture: Dr Neil Clifton