Swanage Railway Special: New Year travel for just 50p to mark 50th anniversary since closure
A special three-day New Year heritage diesel service will operate on the Swanage Heritage Railway to mark the 50th anniversary of the last British Rail train from Wareham to Corfe Castle and Swanage in January 1972.
To mark the last British Rail train and closure 50th anniversary, the first 50 people purchasing tickets on-line for each of the three days – from the Swanage Railway’s website www.swanagerailway.co.uk – will pay the January 1972 train fare of just 50 pence per person.
Operated by a heritage British Railways 1960-built three-carriage Class 117 diesel multiple unit railbus, the five trains a day service will be operating between Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Swanage from 10.30am to 4pm daily on Saturday 1st January, Sunday 2nd January, and Monday 3rd January 2022.
On the front of the special trains will be a commemorative wooden headboard made by dedicated Swanage Railway volunteer signalman Malcolm Munro who travelled on the last train as a 16-year old when he was living with his family in Bere Regis.
Opened in May 1885, the ten-mile branch line from Wareham to Swanage was controversially closed by British Rail – after five years of trying against the opposition of local people and councils – on the morning of Monday 3rd January 1972.
Because there was no winter Sunday train service, the last British Rail trains ran between Wareham and Swanage on Saturday 1st January 1972 – New Year’s Day.
Tickets will be available on-line from Sunday 5th December 2021, with a special commemorative heritage Edmondson card ticket being produced for all ticket holders travelling between 1st and 3rd January 2022 inclusive.
More info: Swanage Railway
Photographs by Andrew P.M. Wright