Swanage Railway’s Winter Warm Up weekend returns

Generating a bit of heat at the start of 2024, steam and diesel trains will be back in action at Swanage Railway for its first main event of the year.

The Winter Warm Up takes place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th January 2024, with the star of the show, the newly restored Victorian T3 steam locomotive from the 1890s.

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Nathan Au gives the locomotive a final polish before its first steaming in 75 years
Andrew PM Wright

Nathan Au, who led the restoration project, gives the T3 locomotive a polish

Eye-catching green T3 steam locomotive

Not only will it be a chance to spot the eye-catching green T3 steam locomotive – one of the last of its era to still be in action – but also an opportunity to see the nostalgic re-creation of freight trains travelling through the Purbeck countryside.

Once a common sight in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, the freight wagons will be hauled by both diesel and steam locomotives over the weekend, creating a photo op for enthusiasts.

Eddystone at Swanage Railway
Andrew PM Wright

1940s Bulleid Pacific No. 34028 Eddystone will be hauling passenger trains

Eddystone at Swanage railway station
Andrew PM Wright

Train driver Alexander Atkins (left) with fireman James Forster inspect Eddystone at Swanage station

Eddystone and two Class 33 diesel heritage locos

Travelling between Swanage and Norden, as well as the T3 loco, will be steam locomotive Eddystone, a Bulleid Pacific from the 1940s.

The diesel locomotives operating over the weekend will be two Class 33 heritage locos from the early 1960s, including Lt Jenny Lewis RN which hauled London to Swanage trains during the summer of 1966.

Class 33 D6515 freight train at Corfe Castle
Andrew PM Wright

1960 ex-British Railways Class 33 diesel-electric locomotive No. D6515 Lt Jenny Lewis RN hauling freight near Corfe Castle

Swanage Railway's Class 33 diesel train
Andrew PM wright

Also operational over the Winter Warm Up weekend will be the 1960 ex-British Railways Class 33 diesel-electric No. 33 111

“Celebrating the best of steam and diesel”

Chair of Swanage Railway Company Gavin Johns said:

“The Winter Warm Up will be a wonderful and nostalgic weekend, celebrating the best of steam and diesel trains with the star being the Swanage Railway Trust’s unique and newly restored Victorian T3 class London and South Western Railway steam locomotive No. 563 built in 1893.

“Freight trains, like the one we will be re-creating during our weekend Winter Warm Up event, used to run across the south of England for decades delivering goods and farm produce.

“British Railways stopped running freight trains to Corfe Castle and Swanage in 1965, a year before steam trains were replaced by diesel trains on the Swanage branch and six years before the line was controversially closed and demolished.”

heritage freight train at Corfe Castle
Andrew PM Wright

The nostalgic sight of a freight train in the Purbeck countryside

Freight train at Corfe Castle on Swanage Railway

Heritage goods trucks trundle through Corfe Castle station

Corfe Castle museum open

Swanage station shop – and the station’s booking hall refreshment kiosk – are expected to be open during the Winter Warm Up weekend.

While at Corfe Castle station, it’s planned to have the goods shed museum open, along with the station’s ‘have a go’ signal box museum.

Watch Winter Warm Up trains in January 2023

Further information

  • More about the Winter Warm Up weekend is on the Swanage Railway’s website

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