Runaway success means new trips added for Swanage Railway’s ‘Steam and Lights’

Due to “unprecedented” demand, Swanage Railway is adding an extra date for more people to experience its magical lights train journey by opening up bookings for New Year’s Eve.

Brightening up the dark winter nights, Swanage Railway will run another two more trips on Thursday 31st December 2020.


The two rides are available at 5.15 pm and 7.15 pm, and will take passengers on a one hour round trip from Swanage Railway Station, taking in the sight of the festive lights on Harmans Cross and Corfe Castle stations.

Swanage sign at Swanage station with festive lights

“Helping the heritage railway survive”

The Swanage Railway’s volunteer commercial director, Steve Williams said: 

“The demand from the public for tickets for our new colourful, evocative and dramatic ‘Steam and Lights’ train service continues to be unprecedented which is very gratifying.

“The special trains are very important to the Swanage Railway because the profits from their operation go towards helping the heritage railway survive the potentially devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are delighted to be able to run an extra day of two ‘Steam and Lights’ trains because the feedback from passengers has been very encouraging and a lovely thank you to our volunteers who put in such a lot of hard work into making the magic happen.”

Swanage Railway Steam and Lights at Swanage Station

A magical ride

Passengers get to enjoy a lights display before they board their train – and one child is chosen to flick the switch to illuminate the carriages.

Inside, families are treated to warm, festively decorated carriages as they settle in for the journey.

Steve Williams said:

“One passenger loved their trip so much that he emailed me to say well done, adding that it had been ‘a magical experience’ and that ‘the production was absolutely amazing’.

“He went on to say that ‘the warm welcome everyone received from your staff made it a night to remember’ which makes all the hours of preparation, and all the hard work on the evening, worthwhile.”

Swanage Railway Station lit up for Steam and Lights trips

COVID rules

Dorset remains in a Tier 2 area at present – meaning that gatherings indoors can only be between members of the same household and support bubbles.

As a result, Swanage Railway will only take bookings from households of up to six people and will not accept anyone who lives in a Tier 3 area.

Steve added:

“The Swanage Railway uses a long-life anti-bacterial spray on its trains and stations, to keep passengers and staff safe, while the trains are cleaned, and the tables wiped, after every round trip.

“Detailed Covid-19 passenger information is available from the Swanage Railway website at under the Visit category on the Home Page.”

The Steam and Lights train

Booking the ride

The train trip costs £20 per person aged 15 and over and £15 for children aged between 3 and 15. Unders 3s ride free if they sit on an adult’s lap.

To book, visit the Swanage Railway website.

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