VIDEO: Romantic charms of Swanage Railway praised by MP

Bournemouth Echo: Locomotive Eddystone with Richard Drax, Mayor of Swanage Ali Patrick and railway volunteers Locomotive Eddystone with Richard Drax, Mayor of Swanage Ali Patrick and railway volunteers

SOUTH Dorset MP Richard Drax has visited the Swanage Railway to see how the volunteer-led organisation contributes to the local economy.

The Conservative member, who even took to the coal shovel during his stay, was told the railway carries more than 210,000 passengers a year, taking an estimated 40,000 cars off the A351 Corfe Castle to Swanage road.

Mr Drax, who rode a recently-restored 1940s carriage into Swanage station, was met by town mayor Ali Patrick.

“The Swanage Railway plays a vital and integral part in promoting tourism in Purbeck,” said the MP.

“Those romantic days of steam are played out every day on this scenic stretch of line which is best loved and maintained by a band of railway enthusiasts who have Purbeck’s interests at heart.”

During the day, Mr Drax rode on the footplate of the 1940s steam locomotive ‘Eddystone’, and even shovelled coal into its firebox.

He also took a tour of the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum next to Norden station.

Mr Drax said: “The team has worked tirelessly to provide a service for residents and tourists alike and my visit to the Swanage Railway was a highly enjoyable, informative and action-packed afternoon.

“The Swanage Railway is right at the heart of life in Purbeck and offers an unforgettable experience to tourists who come to Dorset to savour our rural culture.”

Swanage Railway chairman Peter Sills said the railway contributes £14 million a year to the local economy.

He added: “The railway also helps bring more businesses to local hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfast establishments and campsites.”

Comments (3)

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7:03pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Yankee1 says...

Drax would have held Beeching as a hero.
Drax would have held Beeching as a hero. Yankee1
  • Score: -1

2:52pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Watchful_Eye says...

So, 14 million pound contribution pa to local economy divided by 210,000 tourist passengers equals each person contributing 66.67 pounds - that is a lot of ice creams!
If there were just two people in each car and they were just visiting the railway, that equates 105,000 extra car journeys on already congested roads.
So, 14 million pound contribution pa to local economy divided by 210,000 tourist passengers equals each person contributing 66.67 pounds - that is a lot of ice creams! If there were just two people in each car and they were just visiting the railway, that equates 105,000 extra car journeys on already congested roads. Watchful_Eye
  • Score: 5

6:39pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Yankee1 says...

Have you seen Draxo's gateway onto the A31?

The Queen is jealous.
Have you seen Draxo's gateway onto the A31? The Queen is jealous. Yankee1
  • Score: 1

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