After Ron’s epic travels, our holiday was less spectacular. However, a week in Swanage did include a very pleasant day on the Swanage Railway. The Swanage branch is the archtypal large branch line – a single track line that saw through trains from Waterloo in the summer holiday season. It’s been a long battle to preserve the line, but with a link to the national railway system at Wareham fully operational next year, it will be possible once again to take the train to one’s holiday in Swanage.
But I’ll start with pictures from 1973, to show how far the line has come. No track, no turntable, and threats of redevelopment for the Swanage station site show here. These photos were taken by my father, whilst I was preparing for university with a holiday on the Isle of Skye!
It looks very different today, and as we pulled out of the station, I spotted their T9 4-4-0 lurking at the back of the engine shed. Swanage had an interesting shed, as it was built at an angle to the entry track to the yard, and could only be accessed by the turntable.
Engine for the day was the rebuilt West Country class 4-6-2, 34028 ‘Eddystone’. Just magnificent….
Parked in the station was a Class 50 diesel and an old ‘Blue Spot’ fish van.
And on the way back into Swanage, I caught an unrebuilt Bulleid and an ‘N’ 2-6-0 parked outside the station itself. They were too close to our line for a full photo.
Next post, we’ll travel to Corfe Castle.