Current Total: £349,781

This includes a donation of £17,000 from the SRT 200 Club.

We would like to thank everyone for their generous donations, although there is still a long way to go to ensure the financial stability of the railway, Information on how to donate and help 'Save Our Service' is below

Total updated on 5th February​

To donate by phone: text 'SOS' to 70470 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a standard rate message. Alternatively, you can choose to give any whole amount between £1 and £20. For example texting 'SOS 4' equals a £4 donation plus a standard rate message. 



The Swanage Railway is facing the most urgent and potentially devastating challenge in its history, thanks to extraordinary circumstances beyond its control: the COVID-19 virus. 


It is no exaggeration to say that the Swanage Railway, which contributes more than £15 million to the Purbeck economy every year, is fighting for its very existence.


And we need your help now - urgently!

The Swanage Railway is sending out an S.O.S. to all our members, supporters, passengers and the people of Purbeck. We are launching this S.O.S. appeal to you to ensure that the Swanage Railway is not put into financial jeopardy through no fault of its own.


With the Railway closed, on Government advice, it has no income for the duration of the current emergency. Without income in the coming months our heritage railway cannot survive.

Our insurance does not cover loss of earnings due to a pandemic and if we qualify for government loans they have to be repaid which would put yet another strain on our finances. Where appropriate the railway will take advantage of the Government’s financial assistance during the period of the virus. However, it will not cover all the financial loss of no income for an indefinite period.

We are retaining a small group of employees to ensure the safety of the Railway and undertake essential tasks. The majority of our paid staff are being asked to make a personal sacrifice for the Railway by taking furlough, which takes them out of work but allows the Government to pay 80% of their salary.

Please help now and support the Swanage Railway by giving generously to ensure that we survive. All funds will go to help the survival of the railway through these difficult times.


Gavin Johns - Chairman, Swanage Railway Trust
Liz Sellen - Chairman, Swanage Railway Company

Note: Funds will be applied by the Trust to support the Company. If this is not possible or there is a surplus these funds will be used by the Trust to continue with its charitable objectives.



The quickest way to donate is online using the button below

If you are a UK tax payer then the Trust can reclaim an additional 25% at no cost to you if you complete this Gift Aid form

You can also make a donation using these methods:


Internet banking or bank transfer:

  • Account: Swanage Railway Trust.

  • Sort code: 20-68-79.

  • Account number: 60539112.

  • Reference: 'S.O.S. Appeal'.


Please make cheques payable to the Swanage Railway Trust and send to:


  • Swanage Railway Trust,
    Station House,
    BH19 1HB.

SOS Appeal

In this video presentation by Andrew P.M. Wright, David Sheppard explains the importance of the Swanage Railway to life in the Isle of Purbeck as well as the line's heritage and the reasons behind the appeal.

Subtitles: this video is also available with subtitles. To see this version, simply click here.


The Swanage Railway has come a long way since 1976 and we cannot let COVID-19 stop us. We have a railway to be proud of and, as in 1976, the early volunteers started something wonderful we now need all of us volunteers, staff, passengers, supporters and the people of Purbeck to come to our aid and ensure our continued survival.


Below are a set of 'before and after' photographs illustrating what has been achieved on our journey since 1976.


By donating now you can ensure that the Swanage Railway is able to overcome these difficulties and continue that journey.

Photographs: Andrew P.M. Wright, George Moon and Andrew P.M. Wright Collection

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.

Carriage Shed

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.

Heritage Coaches

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.

Project Wareham

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.


This project has its own dedicated web site at: with more information along with facilities to make a donation and help this project

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 You will be prompted to select the charity of your choice the first time you visit the page, simply search for Swanage Railway Trust.

At Charities Aid Foundation we're committed to effective giving. We help you support the causes you care about, and help charities thrive.

We help people and businesses support the causes they care about, and for charities, we provide simple and straightforward day-to-day banking and fundraising services, freeing them up to concentrate on the real work of making a difference.

Make a donation using your credit or debit card, PayPal, your CAF charity account or CAF charitable trust

The Big Give enables you to discover charities and projects of interest, make donations, and offers the opportunity to double your donations through match funding campaigns run throughout the year.

We profile the work of thousands of charities and their projects. We are responsible for the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign, the Christmas Challenge. In addition to match funding campaigns, we also provide a number of other services to help charities, individuals and philanthropists to connect and raise more money online.

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.

The Weather Lottery is the UK’s leading fundraising Lottery. We give you the chance to support a good cause close to your heart, big or small, and give you the chance to win our huge £25,000 lottery jackpot in our weekly draw.

We have raised millions of pounds for hundreds of charities through The Weather Lottery. It's a great way to support something you care about while getting the chance to win big!

It doesn't cost you a penny extra!

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.

Donate Now

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.


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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