Narrated: Colin Skerington
Format: PAL, 65 minutes
Status: In Stock
The Swanage branch meandered gently from the main line at Worgret Junction to the terminus at the pleasant seaside resort some ten miles distant. The traveller was entertained with views of water meadows fed by the rivers Piddle and Frome before crossing the heath land made famous by its deposits of china clay and the narrow gauge railway system that was built to serve the pits.
But it was the gap in the Purbeck Hills that forced the line so close to Corfe Castle that made the journey so much more enjoyable.
We start with a brief history of the branch and the varied motive power that was associated with it during its lifetime before we turn to the familiar camera of Stan Peerless for a trip down the branch in 1965.
Over fifteen minutes of superb archive cine film starts at Wareham with steam locomotives working on the main line as well as providing the motive power for the branch. At both Worgret Junction and Furzebrook we catch Standard Tanks on china clay trains before we reach the intermediate station at Corfe Castle.
Numerous scenes show this most photogenic of locations before the cine film concludes with scenes taken at Swanage. The second part of the programme examines what remains of the branch today and we start with a look at the preserved railway.
Filmed during the latter part of 1995 it includes the new section from Harmans Cross through to Corfe Castle and on to the new station at Norden. Appropriately we have both the M7 30053 and Bullied Pacific 34072, ‘257 Squadron’ working the service trains.
We carry on travelling north to take a look at the Network Rail section from Furzebrook through to Wareham and the BP gas trains that operate daily to Avonmouth Docks. As well as looking at Wareham Station we take a look inside the signal box which has seen little change since the days of steam.
As usual a wealth of archive photographs provide some fascinating then and now views and this coupled with the memories from the men who worked the line make this a truly memorable record of a much loved branch.