The Swanage Railway Trust is a registered charity (number 1087318) and relies on donations and our fundraising activities in order to achieve our aims which include the preservation of the Swanage branch line and the heritage rolling stock. The Trust has a trading subsidiary, the Swanage Railway Company (SRC), that runs the trains and maintains the operational rolling stock and current facilities. Whilst any profits the SRC makes are reinvested in the Swanage Railway, the Company relies on the Trust to raise funds for significant improvements such as restoring more rolling stock, operating and extending museums, expanding maintenance facilities and so on.
The Trust is extremely grateful for all the financial support it has received over the years. This has enabled the Trust, through our volunteers, to restore the branch line to the state you see it to-day. Whilst some grants have helped progress this work, and especially the restoration of the main line connection at Wareham, we remain heavily dependent on the giving of our supporters and benefactors.
The Trust is grateful for all donations in any form. On this page we have provided details of the most common ways you can help the Trust as well as providing details of our current appeals. Whatever you can give will help ensure the future development of the Swanage Railway.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, which has resulted in the Railway loosing all its income for the foreseeable future, we have launched a major fundraising initiative titled 'Save Our Service' which is detailed above. To focus on the S.O.S. appeal we are curtailing donations to the major projects by removing the “Donations” buttons from the projects. However if you still wish to donate to a specific project you may do so by making an immediate or recurring donation via PayPal (you do not need to be registered with PayPal to use this facility and they will not charge you any additional fees). Please specify the project name in the 'notes' field on the second PayPal page. Alternatively, donations can be made by post. To use this method, please download, print and complete this form for a single donation or this standing order mandate for regular donations. Once completed, please return it to our Treasurer. The contact details are included on the forms.
Gift Aid: the forms linked above include provision to allow the Swanage Railway Trust to recover an additional 25p for every £1 donated by UK tax payers. The same Gift Aid scheme also applies to online donations. If you wish to make a Gift Aid declaration that applies to all donations made to the Swanage Railway Trust in the last four years plus any that are made in the future, then please complete the general Gift Aid Declaration form. Once completed, please return it to our Treasurer. The contact details are included on the form.
The Swanage Railway's carriage fleet - including the Trust’s 1930s Maunsell and 1940s Bulleid vintage carriages - are currently stored in open sidings when not in use. This new covered accommodation - the first built by the Swanage Railway Trust - is urgently required to protect these irreplaceable vehicles from the weather - and especially the strong sun and sea air that first attracted visitors to Swanage. In addition to better protection, the shed will help reduce the ongoing costs of the maintenance and overhaul of our carriages.
The Swanage Railway Trust owns, and is custodian to, one of the country's most important collections of former Southern Railway coaches. This collection represents the types of coaches that served the area and includes a number of vehicles that regularly visited the Swanage branch. We are working to restore these coaches to enable passengers to once again travel in the style of the 1930's and '40's. The button below takes you to a dedicated page and enables a donation to be made to help us with this work.
LSWR T3 Restoration
This loco was built for the London and South Western Railway in 1893 and donated to the Swanage Railway Trust by the National Railway Museum in 2017.
T3 number 563 last steamed 70 years ago after covering 1.5 million miles on the west of England main line through Dorset and down to Swanage. The Trust aims to restore 563 so that it can again haul trains on the Swanage branch.
Running the first trains from Swanage to Wareham is a major milestone but much remains to be done. Operating a regular Wareham service requires more rolling stock and enhanced servicing facilities as well as other investments. Grants from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and from BP has enabled a good start to be made but we need to secure more funds to put this on a sustainable footing.
Swanage Moguls Fund
The Swanage Railway now has the largest collection of Southern Railway Maunsell Mogul historic steam locomotives in the UK. Only one - U Class 31806 - is currently in traffic and we urgently need your help to restore 'N' class, no. 31874 built in 1925, and then 'U' class No. 31625, built in 1929, to fully operational condition.
All engines will be overhauled to mainline standards to enable them to operate to and from Wareham and beyond in future.
Swanage Water Tower
The Railway recently recovered a redundant stone built LSWR water tower from near Salisbury station. A project has been drawn up to rebuild this historic structure at Swanage and install a spring water extraction system. In the long term this will save the Railway a large amount of money as we will no longer be dependent on using treated water from the mains for our steam engines. The groundwork is underway but we still need funds to complete this work.
4TC Multiple Unit
The Swanage Railway Trust owns one of the two surviving 4TC units. These were derived from the trains that defined rail travel in southern Britain for fifty years.
The 4TC is an un-powered 'push pull' unit which works with a class 33 diesel loco. This combination formed the last through trains from Swanage to London under British Rail and many of the Waterloo-Weymouth services from 1967 to 1989.
Appeals are critical to progress major projects. However, the Trust's general funds pay for many equally important but less news worthy activities around the railway. There are many ways to give to these funds, ranging from an immediate donation via PayPal to making a tax efficient donation in your will. Details of easiest ways to give are shown below and we are grateful for all donations however or whenever they are made.
Simply nominate the Swanage Railway Trust as your preferred charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of all your eligible purchases to the Swanage Railway Trust.
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Support the Swanage Railway Trust by simply starting your shopping each time at smile.amazon.co.uk. You will be prompted to select the charity of your choice the first time you visit the page, simply search for Swanage Railway Trust.
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Give as you Live Online is a free and easy way to raise money for your favourite charity, just by shopping online.
Once you've signed up, you can browse our website for the store you want to shop with. Click 'shop & raise' to go to their website, then continue to shop as normal.
We'll then email you within 1-7 days to let you know how much you've raised. The donation amount varies from store to store. Most of the time you raise a percentage of what you spend - between 1% and 10% - whilst sometimes it's a fixed amount.
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When you shop the easyfundraising way with one of our 3,252 shops and sites they give us a commission for your purchase. We turn that into a donation and give it to your good cause. Easy!
Also, use easysearch and raise funds every time you search the web. Every search you make will generate a donation for your chosen good cause.
Our fundraising partners provide many ways to help the railway. However, we are especially grateful for donations sent directly to us!
The button below enables a donation to be made immediately. The service is provided by PayPal but no registration is required, simply enter your card details and the amount. This service also allows recurring donations to be made if you wish.
Legacies and Bequests
It is often said that there are only two certainties in this life – Death and Taxes. An overworked cliché admittedly but nevertheless so very true. There is nothing we can do about either but we can make sure that when we do die, leaving a legacy in favour of the Swanage Railway Trust will ensure that the railway that we have loved and supported will benefit and furthermore, that we have played an important part to help it remain in operation and to continue providing pleasure and education for future generations.