Attempted arson attack on train carriage at Swanage Railway

Causing upset to workers and volunteers at Swanage Railway in Dorset, vandals have smashed windows and attempted to set light to a train carriage on the heritage railway line.

Dorset Police’s rural crime team are investigating the incident, which happened at some point between the late hours of Friday 24th February 2023 and the early hours of Saturday 25th February 2023.

Railway carriages in the sidings at Swanage Railway
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Train carriages in the sidings at Swanage Railway

Paraffin was poured throughout the carriage and a rag was set alight

The rural crime team say they are now in a position to make the matter public and are appealing for any information to assist them with their ongoing investigation.

During the attack several window panes were broken, paraffin was poured throughout the carriage and a rag was set alight in an attempt to set the carriage on fire.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said:

“This incident has deeply upset workers and volunteers at Swanage Railway Station who work extremely hard to maintain these carriages which bring so much joy to the public.

“This kind of reckless behaviour will not be tolerated, and any information could be of use to this investigation.”

Swanage railway spring gala 2023 (
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Swanage station during the Spring Steam Gala in March 2023

Restored by volunteers

Swanage Railway operates a heritage service between Swanage and Norden via Corfe Castle.

The branch line was closed in 1972 by British Rail and the track ripped up for scrap. Amidst the public outcry, over the last 51 years, volunteers have stepped in to restore the line, its stations and rolling stock.

In April 2023 after a lot of hard work and planning, a trial service started running along the full length of the branch line from Swanage, up to the main line at Wareham.

Contact Dorset Police

If anyone has any information that could help police in relation to this incident they are asked to report it via the phone line 101, quoting the incident number 55230030725.

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