Swanage Railway Swanage Railway Swanage Railway

Wareham Project Update


Statement from Swanage Railway Company, 25th July 2019:

The Class 117/121 diesel multiple units (DMUs) to be used on our timetabled Swanage to Wareham services have been subject to an extensive overhaul and test programme by our contractors Arlington Fleet Services Ltd in Eastleigh in order to make sure that they meet all the requirements to safely and reliably operate on the mainline.  Senior members of Swanage Railway Company staff are in regular contact with Arlington staff and frequent site meetings and inspections are taking place.  The Class 121 (bubblecar) was returned to the Swanage Railway on 25th July.  It is now undergoing further testing and commissioning by our engineering staff before being passed to the Operations Department to enable crew training to commence.  We are awaiting a completion and delivery date for the three coach Class 117 DMU and will announce this as soon as we have received confirmation.

 An interim maintenance pit and other facilities to service the DMUs are in the process of being constructed in the sidings at Corfe Castle station.  These will remain in use until a long term lease of Furzebrook sidings is concluded with Perenco and Dorset Council, and funds become available for better facilities to be provided at that location.

Pending the granting of a mainline passenger licence to us by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), we have been holding discussions with a third party licensed train operating company on the possibility of operating the DMUs to Wareham on a limited number of days sometime later in 2019 using suitably qualified Swanage Railway drivers and guards.  Any service will obviously be dependent on financial viability.

 Agreement has been reached with South Western Railway on the operation of a summer Saturday service to Corfe Castle.  This will be operated by them between 25th May and 7th September.  On Sundays between 28th July and 18th August an excursion charter service will also be operated between London Waterloo and Swanage by UK Railtours in association with GB Railfreight. 

 The Swanage Railway Company remains fully committed to fulfilling its aims and commitments and to develop sustainable timetabled passenger train services between Swanage and Wareham.  We anticipate the second (90 day) element of the trial service commencing at Easter 2020.

Mark Woolley                                                                                                                                      Secretary Swanage Railway Trust                                                                                                          Director Swanage Railway Company                                                                                                   Project Wareham Director