Latest News on the Blackmore Vale Line
Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership is delighted to inform you of the return of the South Downs Rambler Rail Bus link this Summer between Winchester and Petersfield rail stations.
The service will operate every Sunday and Bank Holiday between 7 July and 8 September, taking in breath-taking views of the South Downs and visiting most of the tourist attractions on route.
So, now there is really no excuse not to explore the South Downs Way and this beautiful part of Hampshire.
- Follows success of last summer when Corfe Castle was back on the rail network for the first time in 46 years.
- Corfe Castle will again be fully connected to the national network, providing almost 600 seats a day between Wareham and Corfe Castle.
£12 day return from Yeovil and £14 day return from Salisbury, Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe and Sherborne.
- Railcard discounts apply to all Corfe Castle fares and up to 2 children go free with each adult*
South Western Railway (SWR) and Swanage Railway (SR) are once again providing train services to historic Corfe Castle this summer after the huge success of last year’s trial (where over 4,000 tickets were snapped up).
The first summer service will run this Saturday (25 May) from London Waterloo (0635) to Corfe Castle via Salisbury, Yeovil and Weymouth.
The special summer service opens up the iconic Corfe Castle and beach at Swanage so that they are accessible by train from London and across the south west region.
SWR will be operating direct train services every Saturday during the summer from Salisbury, Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe, Sherborne, Yeovil, Maiden Newton, Weymouth, Dorchester, Moreton and Wool and Wareham to Corfe Castle.
Chris Loder, Head of New Trains for South Western Railway, said: “We’re delighted to be running the direct summer service again to Corfe Castle. We hope this will encourage visitors from across the UK to visit beautiful Corfe Castle and Swanage.”
David A Rawsthorn, Head of Sales and Marketing for Swanage Railway, said: “We are delighted that the ongoing partnership with South Western Railway will enable a regular train service to run again on summer Saturdays to Corfe Castle. This will give everyone the opportunity of visiting the historic Corfe Castle and join us on board our iconic steam trains to the Victorian seaside town of Swanage.”
Councillor Bill Trite, Chairman, Dorset Councillor and Chairman of the Purbeck Community Rail Partnership, said: “We look forward to the start of this service, which proved so popular last year. The trains brought much additional trade to the Swanage Railway, Corfe Castle and to Swanage itself. Many passengers also bought the add-on “Swanage by steam” fares between Corfe Castle and Swanage and their feedback was very favourable.”
Kelly Marshall, Community Rail Officer for the Purbeck Community Rail Partnership, said: “This is most welcome news for the Partnership and exciting for everyone in the local community.”
Trains depart Wareham at 11.17, 13.12 and 15.12 returning from Corfe Castle at 12.10, 14.45, and 15.45.
* Sample fares to Corfe Castle (return per adult):
- Wareham £5 (Family of 2 Adults & 2 Children £10)
- Weymouth £10 (Family of 2 Adults & 2 Children £20)
- Yeovil £12 (Family of 2 Adults & 2 Children £24)
- Salisbury £14 (Family of 2 Adults & 2 Children £28)
History of the Swanage Railway
- 1885 – Ten-mile branch line from Wareham to Swanage opens
- 1969 – End of through trains beyond Wareham
- 1972 – British Rail closes the line and rips it up
- 1976 – Volunteers start re-laying track at Swanage Station
- 1979 – Swanage Railway runs its first diesel train over a few hundred yards of track
- 1980 – First Swanage Railway steam train runs
- 1995 – Passenger trains run between Swanage and Norden, via Corfe Castle
- 2002 – Swanage Railway’s tracks meets the national railway system at Motala
- 2014 – New signalling system between Swanage Railway and Network Rail commissioned
- 2016 – Norden Gates level crossing officially opens
- 2017 – Reconnects to the mainline
- 2018 – SWR runs Saturday service to Corfe Castle
- 2019 – Direct trains to Corfe Castle return (until, and including, Saturday 7 September)
A Happy Easter from the Friends of Gillingham Station, Anne Tobin, Belinda Ridout, Rachel George and Andy Oliver gave out easter eggs and easter biscuits to rail-users on Easter Saturday.