Dream of train service linking Swanage and Wareham again a step closer with two-year trial

LINKS: Frank Roberts, Swanage Railway Project Wareham project manager

LINKS: Frank Roberts, Swanage Railway Project Wareham project manager

First published in News by

PREPARATIONS for reintroducing a regular train service linking Swanage to the mainline at Wareham have notched up a gear.

The Swanage Railway has announced the appointment of project manager Frank Roberts to ensure the service, that will operate on a trial basis for 140 selected days over two years, becomes a reality.

It is hoped the first diesel trains will start running in September 2015, following a £1.47 million Coastal Communities Government Grant awarded in February last year.

The last regular British Rail trains ran on the Swanage branch line in 1972.

Mr Roberts, who holds a degree in railway operational management from Glasgow University, has been a volunteer manager on the Swanage Railway for 31 years.

The 52-year-old former Royal Corps of Signals veteran, who after army life worked with South West Trains, said: “I am immensely proud that I have the opportunity to build a team to deliver an historic and pioneering two-year trial train service from Swanage and Corfe castle to the mainline at Wareham.

“I hope that I can use three decades of experience to ensure that the dream of rebuilding the Swanage Railway to Wareham that will make those two generations of people who have gone before us very proud indeed.”

Mr Roberts says there is a very heavy workload to get through – including some three miles of substantial track upgrade work, the construction of a level crossing at Norden and the refurbishment of two diesel multiple unit trains to mainline standards.

But he insists: “The historic project to re-instate a train service to Wareham is really accelerating and while there is a lot of work to do, the implementation of many years of challenging planning is about to pay dividends.”

Swanage Railway chairman Peter Sills says that by connecting with the South West Trains service between London and Weymouth, tourist numbers and employment opportunities will increase.

Comments (5)

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6:47pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Domingo De Santa Clara says...

Great idea!
It would be nice to see a scheduled steam train on the line,surely it would attract more people and give a boost to the Swanage Railway.
Great idea! It would be nice to see a scheduled steam train on the line,surely it would attract more people and give a boost to the Swanage Railway. Domingo De Santa Clara
  • Score: 4

6:47pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Yankee1 says...

This is vital for Swanage.

A commuter link to Poole and beyond will make or break Swanage as a town for others than retirees. Swanage needs to be young - as well as old.

It should be on everyone's wish list. Swanage is paradise.

SWANAGE STRONG!
This is vital for Swanage. A commuter link to Poole and beyond will make or break Swanage as a town for others than retirees. Swanage needs to be young - as well as old. It should be on everyone's wish list. Swanage is paradise. SWANAGE STRONG! Yankee1
  • Score: 5

11:45am Sat 26 Apr 14

Watchful_Eye says...

To be a commuter link a transport service has to run when people are travelling to work and not between 10:00 and 16:00 and the fares charged have to be realistic.
However, there is a much bigger debate. Should Purbeck be turned into a new attempt at Disneyland or be a living community? We all can see what encouraging tourism has done; losing local services; losing communities and so on.
Let's have real jobs and real wages and not just seasonal jobs for part of the year!
To be a commuter link a transport service has to run when people are travelling to work and not between 10:00 and 16:00 and the fares charged have to be realistic. However, there is a much bigger debate. Should Purbeck be turned into a new attempt at Disneyland or be a living community? We all can see what encouraging tourism has done; losing local services; losing communities and so on. Let's have real jobs and real wages and not just seasonal jobs for part of the year! Watchful_Eye
  • Score: 11

6:20pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Yankee1 says...

Watchful_Eye wrote:
To be a commuter link a transport service has to run when people are travelling to work and not between 10:00 and 16:00 and the fares charged have to be realistic.
However, there is a much bigger debate. Should Purbeck be turned into a new attempt at Disneyland or be a living community? We all can see what encouraging tourism has done; losing local services; losing communities and so on.
Let's have real jobs and real wages and not just seasonal jobs for part of the year!
Why disparage Disney?

It provides living jobs to thousands. Perhaps Swanage should aim so high.
[quote][p][bold]Watchful_Eye[/bold] wrote: To be a commuter link a transport service has to run when people are travelling to work and not between 10:00 and 16:00 and the fares charged have to be realistic. However, there is a much bigger debate. Should Purbeck be turned into a new attempt at Disneyland or be a living community? We all can see what encouraging tourism has done; losing local services; losing communities and so on. Let's have real jobs and real wages and not just seasonal jobs for part of the year![/p][/quote]Why disparage Disney? It provides living jobs to thousands. Perhaps Swanage should aim so high. Yankee1
  • Score: 1

10:54pm Sat 26 Apr 14

guisselle says...

Watchful_Eye wrote:
To be a commuter link a transport service has to run when people are travelling to work and not between 10:00 and 16:00 and the fares charged have to be realistic.
However, there is a much bigger debate. Should Purbeck be turned into a new attempt at Disneyland or be a living community? We all can see what encouraging tourism has done; losing local services; losing communities and so on.
Let's have real jobs and real wages and not just seasonal jobs for part of the year!
I agree the link needs to flexible to all.
[quote][p][bold]Watchful_Eye[/bold] wrote: To be a commuter link a transport service has to run when people are travelling to work and not between 10:00 and 16:00 and the fares charged have to be realistic. However, there is a much bigger debate. Should Purbeck be turned into a new attempt at Disneyland or be a living community? We all can see what encouraging tourism has done; losing local services; losing communities and so on. Let's have real jobs and real wages and not just seasonal jobs for part of the year![/p][/quote]I agree the link needs to flexible to all. guisselle
  • Score: 9

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