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Purbeck Adventurer makes historic trip from London Waterloo to Swanage
SOUTHWEST Trains have made history by running a special London Waterloo to Swanage day excursion.
It was the first time the rail company has supplied a train and crew for a service linking the capital to the seaside town.
Aptly named the 'Purbeck Adventurer' the day excursion used two three-coach class 159 diesel trains coupled together, which normally run on the London to Exeter mainline.
The June 29 special excursion train also become the first passenger train travelling via Wareham to use the newly-restored bay platform 1 at Swanage railway station since 1966.
Swanage Railway Company chairman Peter Sills said: “Everyone was delighted and very excited about this excursion train from London.
“Such trains were regular visitors to Corfe Castle and Swanage, from the opening of the branch line in 1885 through to 1969, when British Rail stopped running such trains.
“We are very pleased to have been working very closely with SouthWest Trains and UK Railtours to bring about another step forward and make this a success by using our mainline connection near Wareham to bring 300 people from London.”
It is hoped Network Rail's Poole to Wool re-signalling work will be completed by the end of the year, making it easier to run trains from the national network into Swanage.
“The Purbeck Adventurer excursion train was an example of our mainline link,” said Mr Sills.
A SouthWest Trains spokesman said the company was “delighted” to have played its part in the historic trip.
He added: “The reconnection of the line to our network can deliver many environmental, economic and employment opportunities for the area, as well as benefiting passengers.”
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