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Observation Car Experiences

The Southern Railway appreciated the picturesque scenery of the South West of England and from 1947 operated special observation cars as part of their Pullman services in the heyday of steam in the South West.

Thanks to tireless efforts by our team, Swanage Railway are pleased to take you back to these halcyon days of steam and luxury on Dorest’s premier steam railway. Our Pullman Observation Car No 14 has not only been used on the Devon Belle trains in the South West, but around Scotland in the 1960’s and even been hauled by Flying Scotsman in the USA in the early 1970’s. Following fundraising it was saved and transported from the USA back to the UK in 2007 where it was restored to working order for you to enjoy.

Travel in the Observation Car during Your Visit

Our special Observation Car is available on specially selected normal train services, which are shown on our Timetables page. Please look for the O in the timetable heading. Travel in the Observation Car for only £2 supplement per person, with the monies helping towards its ongoing upkeep.

The Observation Car is available for Hire

We would be delighted to discuss the addition of our historic Observation Car to any charter train booking. Please speak to our friendly team for further details. There can be no better way to celebrate a special occasion, anniversary or wedding, than to sit back in this heritage coach watching the spectacular Purbeck scenery from this very special vehicle. Within the vehicle is a self contained bar which can be opened for special charter bookings to provide welcome drinks to your guests which can be included in the train arrangements, please ask for further details.

Afternoon Tea on the 'Devon Belle'

Make yourself feel really special by enjoying a refreshing afternoon tea in the rare 'Devon Belle' Pullman observation car as you steam through the spectacular Purbeck countryside.

Watch the fascinating steam locomotive at work through the glass windows of your carriage as your train is hauled from Swanage to Norden while you enjoy the comfort of your upholstered Pullman seat.

Your refreshing and tasty afternoon tea is served by our attentive and helpful attendants dressed in pristine Pullman uniforms.

Your train will pass through the village of Corfe Castle where you will delight in stunning views of the castle ruins.

On the return trip to Swanage, you will be treated to five and a half miles of unrivalled and breath-taking views of the Purbeck countryside.

An afternoon tea with a difference and a most memorable experience.

Details on 'Afternoon Tea' are available here

Christmas Belle

Join us during the festive season for a trip on the 'Christmas Belle' in our luxurious Pullman Observation Car.

During your one-hour return journey, you will travel through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck countryside while enjoying champagne and canapes, served at your seat. 

Soak up a traditional Christmas atmosphere in the specially decorated carriage with relaxing comfy chairs. You will also recieve a personalised Christmas card and gift.

Details on the 'Christmas Belle' are available here