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Train Service Getting Back On Track

Heritage 1960s rail bus

3:01pm 11th February 2013

A train service that's off the tracks since the early 70's is being brought back on Purbeck.

The old line that runs from Swanage, through Corfe to Wareham is being restored thanks to a grant of 1.47 million pounds from the government's Coastal Communities fund.

It's hoped the 3 mile line will be up and running by 2015.

The grant has been awarded to the volunteer-run Swanage Railway Company - which is owned and controlled by the volunteer-run Swanage Railway Trust charity.

As well as improving access by train to the heart of Purbeck for tourists - and improving rail links out of Purbeck to Poole and Bournemouth for residents - it is estimated that a restored train service between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham will create 40 new jobs indirectly and ten new jobs directly.

The grant money will pay for the upgrading of track and bridges on the Network Rail three mile single line from Worgret Junction, on the London to Weymouth main line, to the Swanage Railway at Motala just east Furzebrook.

The money will also pay for the upgrading of two 1960s heritage diesel rail bus trains to main line running standards.

Chairman Peter Sells told Wessex FM they've already had enquiries from tourist operators; "We've had enquiries about regular chartered trains coming down from London on a regular basis, for day trips on summer Sunday's This is great for the local area and our local businesses, plus it won't add any congestion to the road."

A trial rail service between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham is planned for 50 days in 2015 and 90 days in 2016 with the eventual target being an all-year amenity train service after that.

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