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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 07:46 GMT
Steam train to run during works
The 1960s steam-operated Swanage Railway
The steam-operated railway is a major tourism attraction in Dorset
The historic steam-powered Swanage Railway in Dorset has said it will continue running some of its services despite major maintenance on the line.

Annual signalling and track work usually means the closure of the six-mile Purbeck Line every January for five weeks.

But volunteers are running a special weekend service from Norden to Corfe Castle and Harman's Cross.

The 40-minute service uses a heritage diesel "railbus" dating from the 1960s.

It will run on Saturdays and Sundays, with eight trains a day running between Norden park-and-ride, Corfe Castle and Harman's Cross until 3 February.

Last year the railway carried more than 200,000 passengers.

First year-long service

"The Swanage Railway is not just a very successful tourist attraction - it's a major people mover too so it's important that we maintain as much of the weekend public train service as possible during our major engineering works at Swanage," said Mick Dean, Swanage Railway's general manager.

"This is the first time that we have run trains between Norden park and ride, Corfe Castle and Harman's Cross during the new year shut down at Swanage - meaning that for the first time we are running trains on every weekend throughout the year."

Last year, volunteers from Swanage Railway raised 30,000 in order to bring back to the UK a Pullman observation coach from California to be used on the line.

It had been used as a cafe, conference room and store for 35 years in the United States.

SEE ALSO
New railway link after 30 years
25 Nov 04 |  Dorset

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