Swanage Railway - 35th Anniversary Gala - 12th July 2014
The Swanage Railway held a mixed traffic gala to celebrate their 35th Anniversary of preserved operation. The line from Wareham to Swanage was closed by British Rail in January 1972 and the track had all been lifted by September of the same year. After much support from the residents of Swanage, where 83% of the town voted rebuild the railway in a referendum, access to the station buildings in Swanage was granted by 1976. By August 1979 the track had been relaid and the first heritage passenger trains were running again. Since 1979 the line has continued on its journey to recovery and expansion, by September 2014 its hoped passenger services will again be running to Wareham Station providing the people of Swanage and Corfe with a connection to the mainline network. Swanage continues to be one of the premier preserved lines in the UK, with a positive volunteer force and a good management team who all seem to have the railways best interests at heart. The 35th Anniversary Gala provided four steam locomotives, one Class 33 (D6515, 33012) and Class 121 Bubble Car (W55028) for passengers to enjoy. There was also the chance to traverse the additional length of track beyond Nordon as far as Motala.