Yesterday the Swanage Railway reported that 2014 was a very successful year with the line carrying a remarkable 216,267 passengers. 2014 was the best for passenger numbers in the heritage line’s history to-date.Santa Specials accounted for 9,205, up by 574 on 2013’s figures. Whether you enjoy Christmas or not, this clearly demonstrates how important the Santa season is for heritage railways.
The press release from the Swanage Railway noted that numbers were up by 2.5% on 2013. The railway started from nothing in 1976 and it now contributes no less than £14 million to the Purbeck economy. It also took the opportunity to point out how important volunteers are to the railway. For those who would like to support this growing heritage line, the contact for the line is volunteer co-ordinator Mike Whitwam who can be contacted on 01929 475212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To read the full press release, please click here to be re-directed to the Dorset line’s website.
With their recent agreement to run John Bunch’s two Maunsell U class (31806 and 31625) and unique N class (31874) locomotives for 25 years and the railway’s lease agreement with Dorset County Council for the Wareham to Swanage line, 2014 was an incredible year for the Swanage line. How far they have come is a testament to all those who have campaigned and worked to re-build the line that was closed in 1972 by British Rail. The line has become a successful venture, with a highly regarded and appropriate heritage railway fleet, that is on track to achieve it’s long-term goal to reunite Swanage with Wareham.