Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Saturday, 2 May 2009 16:10 UK

Passenger steam train runs again

Advertisement

A steam-hauled train last made the trip in 1967

A steam train has taken passengers from London to Swanage in Dorset for the first time in over 40 years.

The last steam-hauled passenger train took enthusiasts on a rail tour of the Swanage Railway in 1967.

British Rail shut the Purbeck branch line, from Wareham to Swanage, in 1972 and lifted seven miles of track.

The line has since been restored by enthusiasts. The steam-hauled train left London Victoria in the morning and reached Swanage early in the afternoon.

'Against the odds'

Campaigners from the Swanage Railway Trust fought for the line to be rebuilt and watched it grow mile by mile over the years.

Mike Whitwam, Swanage Railway Trust chairman, said: "The first steam trains between London and Swanage is something that several generations of determined Swanage Railway volunteers have been working towards, against all the odds, for almost 40 years."

The first tracks being relaid at Swanage in 1977 (Andrew P M Wright collection)
Swanage Railway Trust has spent more than 30 years reviving the line

History was also made on 1 April when the first passenger through train since 1972, called the Purbeck Pioneer, went from London to Swanage.

Trains have been running on parts of the preserved line for some years but these are the first complete through services.

After Saturday's service arrived at Swanage, a diesel engine was set to take the train back to London Victoria.

On Bank Holiday Monday, a diesel engine will take the service from London Waterloo to Swanage, where the steam engine will then take the train back to Waterloo.

A 1940s-built Southern Railway Bulleid Pacific steam locomotive, named Tangmere after the West Sussex Battle of Britain airfield, was used to pull the 12-coach Dorset Coast Express train.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Historic passenger train returns
01 Apr 09 |  Dorset
Historic passenger train returns
28 Mar 09 |  Dorset
Offending youngsters face victims
17 Nov 08 |  Dorset
Steam train to run during works
11 Jan 08 |  Dorset
Historic train car returned to UK
25 Feb 07 |  Dorset
New railway link after 30 years
25 Nov 04 |  Dorset

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific