The roots of the Swanage Railway as we know it now can be traced back to the years after the Beeching cuts of the 1960's.  Whilst the branch line from Wareham to Swanage in Dorset survived these closures, a cycle of falling traffic and progressive withdrawal of services eventually led to closure in 1972. Momentum was quickly established to try and take over the branch and press for the return of a mainline connection. Despite local and national attempts to first prevent closure and then lobby for re-opening, this was not enough to prevent much of the track being lifted. As a result to-day's Swanage Railway is really a railway built from scratch.

The early days of the project saw several groups springing up with similar aims. These quickly came together and ultimately the Swanage Railway Trust was formed as a charity with the aims of preserving the heritage of the local railway and re-establishing a link to the national rail network. A trading subsidiary - the Swanage Railway Company - operates the trains and is responsible for day to day management of the Railway. Details of train times, special events and other information for the visitor can be found on the Swanage Railway Company web site.

The Swanage Railway Trust, a registered charity, exists to preserve the heritage of the railways of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset and re-establishing a rail link between the town of Swanage and the national rail network at Wareham. The Trust focuses on furthering the development of the Swanage Railway by recruiting the members and volunteers on which progress depends as well as the appeals and fundraising needed to support the Trust's activities. This web site provides a range of information for members and supporters, updates on appeals and major projects, details of the Trust's aims and other background information.


The Swanage Railway Trust is pleased to welcome three patrons who by virtue of their standing in the community or the industry help us raise the profile of the project and act as ambassadors for it. All our patrons have been heavily involved with the Swanage Railway and to the wider heritage movement for many years.

Lord Montagu is perhaps best known at Swanage for his interest in signalling and his indefinite loan of the former Brockenhurst ‘B’ lever frame that now resides in Swanage box.  His family’s long term interest in trains, while not as well-known as the world-famous veteran and vintage car collection, is appreciated by enthusiasts who remember the home afforded at Beaulieu for many years of Southern Railway ‘Schools’ class ‘Stowe’, now resident on the Bluebell Railway.

Alan Moore CBE has been a long standing supporter and benefactor of the Swanage Railway and indeed of many heritage railway projects around the country. A number of Swanage appeals have gained his support, but none more so than his role with the repatriation of Car 14 from the USA. This and its subsequent restoration which would not have been possible without his generosity.  Alan is also Chairman of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, with whom we enjoy a close working relationship.

Sir Philip Williams is a former High Sheriff of Dorset – whose Victorian ancestors helped to bring and build the first railway line into the county from Hampshire during the 1840s. His great-grandfather was the longest-serving director of the London and South Western Railway Company until the company was merged into the new Southern Railway Company in 1923. Currently a Deputy Lieutenant for Dorset, Sir Philip was the High Sheriff of Dorset for a year from March, 2016, in a post created during the 16th century.

Legal Notices

All material on this web site is copyright Swanage Railway Trust, its subsidiaries or contributors. All rights reserved. Photographs are copyright Andrew PM Wright, Swanage Railway official photographer, unless otherwise indicated. The Swanage Railway Trust is a Registered Charity (1087318) and registered at Companies House as a Company Limited By Guarantee (Company no.: 4115126). The registered office is at Station House, Swanage, Dorset. BH19 1HB. Telephone: 01929 425800. Email:

Disclaimer: Information on this Web site is believed to be correct but neither the Swanage Railway Trust (SRT) nor the Swanage Railway Company (SRC) can be held responsible for any errors. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the SRT or SRC.


All material on this web site is copyright Swanage Railway Trust (SRT), its subsidiaries or contributors. All rights reserved.
Station House, Swanage, Dorset. BH19 1HB. Telephone: 01929 425800. Email:

Photographs are by and copyright Andrew P.M. Wright unless otherwise indicated

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