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  • Andrew P.M. Wright

Swanage Railway gets on board national ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign to raise heritage line awareness

Photograph: Andrew P.M. Wright

Swanage Railway volunteers are joining organisations across the United Kingdom in a new ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign to raise awareness of the important contribution heritage railways make – the work they do as well as how they have been affected by the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, ‘Love Your Railway’ is a national six-week summer campaign running between 26 July and 5 September, 2021.

The campaign aims to shine a spotlight on the important work that heritage railways do – with regards to conservation, education and research – and highlight how they have all been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of reduced capacities and income.

The Swanage Railway is collaborating with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and more than 35 other well known heritage railways, including the Bluebell Railway, the Crich Tramway Village, the Severn Valley Railway and the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Over the coming weeks, the Swanage Railway’s volunteer social media team will be sharing content about the Dorset heritage line’s history, education, volunteers, family, sustainability on Facebook (@swanagerailway), Twitter (@swanrailway) and Instagram (@swanagerailwayofficial).

Swanage Railway Trust chairman Gavin Johns said: “The Swanage Railway is delighted to join this important national campaign to raise awareness among the public about the important contribution that heritage railways make to tourism, education and conservation as well as the challenges they have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I would like to say a big thank you to our volunteer social media team for all the work they do in promoting the Swanage Railway and enabling the public to gain a fascinating insight into the varied work that goes into running, maintaining and developing a heritage line,” added Mr Johns who is a volunteer signalman on the Swanage Railway.

Swanage Railway Company communications director and social media team co-ordinator Nathan Au said: “The #LoveYourRailway campaign is an excellent new initiative by our friends at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

“Each heritage line has its own unique charm and history to preserve and, individually, we've each had our own respective challenges to overcome with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As we head into the summer, we are hoping for a busy and prosperous season to help the Swanage Railway recover so it makes perfect sense to collaborate with fellow heritage railways to promote what we do – giving the public a really good day out as well as undertaking conservation, education and research.

“Whether you're at your local heritage railway or visiting one further afield, you'll have a wonderful day out and enjoy different experiences wherever you go,” added Nathan who is a volunteer driver on the Dorset heritage line.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway general manager Chris Price said: “We’re optimistic and excited about the summer ahead but the last 12 months have been like no other year, with lockdowns, reduced capacities due to social distancing as well as staff and volunteers falling victim to the virus.

“There are more than 150 operational heritage railways, running trains over nearly 600 miles of track, which protect, conserve and bring to life part of the nation’s rich cultural heritage – giving enjoyment and learning to thousands of people every year.

“We want to do all we can to raise awareness of every heritage railway across the country and the challenges that they face. All the participating railways will be posting their own social content across the six themed weeks but we also want to encourage the public to get involved by sharing their favourite memories and inspiring imagery from their visits using the hashtag #LoveYourRailway,” added Chris Price.

The six themed weeks on the Swanage Railway’s social media channels are heritage, education, volunteers, family, sustainability and the future.

The Swanage Railway welcomes new volunteers and anyone interested in finding out more should contact Swanage Railway volunteer recruitment and retention officer Jonathan Evans on 01929 408466 or email

Story and photograph by Andrew P.M. Wright,

Swanage Railway official photographer and press officer.


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