Look what’s rolled into town for Swanage Railway’s first big event of 2022

Arriving from the North York Moors Railway, a convoy of diesel locos has arrived in town, ahead of Swanage Railway’s Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival.

The four classic 1960s heritage diesel locomotives will star in the event which takes place from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th May 2022. Two other visiting locos will also be taking part.

Diesel loco at Swanage
Andrew PM Wright

The convoy of diesel locos arrived in Swanage on Tuesday 3rd May 2022

Trains will get within sight of Wareham

Now in its fifteenth year, the Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival offers the chance for passengers to travel along the entire length of the nine-mile Swanage Railway – past Norden station and beyond Furzebrook to the River Frome within sight of Wareham and half a mile short of the London to Weymouth main line.

While the track is already in place to connect to the mainline, there’s been a delay due to finances and the impact of the Covid pandemic to Swanage Railway’s trial train service between Swanage and Wareham.

This means that getting within sight of Wareham will be as close as any paying passenger will get by train in 2022.

Diesel loco at Swanage
Andrew PM Wright

It took two days for the diesel convoy to travel down from the North York Moors Railway in Yorkshire

Beer festival at Corfe Castle

Those disappointed by this news will be able to drown their sorrows at the beer festival which is being operated this year by Purbeck Kitchens at Corfe Castle station. Admission to the beer festival is free with a token system in operation for the purchase of drinks.

In total there will be eight diesel locos on display travelling along the line over the long weekend.

Diesel loco at Corfe Castle
Andrew PM Wright

The unusual sight of four heritage diesel locos in convoy passing Corfe Castle in the mist

Visiting diesel locos

  • Class 25 No. D7612 (British Rail No. 25 262) courtesy of South Devon Diesel Traction
  • Class 31 No. 31 128 courtesy of Nemesis Rail
  • Class 37 No. 37 703 courtesy of the Harry Needle Railroad Company
  • Class 44 No. D4 ‘Great Gable’ (British Rail No. 44 004) courtesy of the Peak Locomotive Company
  • Class 46 No. D182 (British Rail No. 46 045) courtesy of the Peak Locomotive Company
  • Class 50 No. 50 026 ‘Indomitable’ courtesy of PTG Tours

Swanage-based diesel locos

  • Class 33 No. D6515 ‘Lt Jenny Lewis RN’ (British Rail number 33 012)
  • Class 33 No. 33 111
Diesel loco at Wareham
Andrew PM Wright

As the 1960s locos travelled through Wareham, they caused a bit of a stir

Newly restored narrow gauge loco

In addition, there will be a newly restored narrow gauge diesel loco on display – the 1956 Ruston and Hornsby 48DL industrial diesel locomotive No. 283871.

It will be operating on the two feet gauge track at the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum next to Norden station, demonstrating how ball clay, which was extracted locally from the ground, was transported along the line.

Diesel loco at Wareham
Andrew PM Wright

The view from Wareham Station’s railway footbridge

Preview day of diesel and stream

Ahead of the diesel festival on Thursday 5th May 2022, there will be a special preview event with a day of diesel and steam trains running between Norden, Corfe Castle and Swanage.

Diesel loco at Swanage
Andrew PM Wright

Diesel, Steam and a Purbeck Breezer!

Further information

  • Reduced price fares apply if tickets are purchased on-line in advance of the event.
  • Full details of the Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival, including timetables and fares, are available from the Swanage Railway’s website

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