THREE steam locomotives that worked on the Somerset and Dorset line that was axed more than 50 years ago visit Purbeck this weekend.

The 1945 ‘Black 5’ No. 44871, 1948 Battle of Britain class Bulleid Pacific and 1955 British Railways Standard Class 4 Tank No. 80104 will be hauling trains between Swanage and Norden.

Appearing at the two-day Somerset and Dorset Weekend, the three classes worked on the former main line that linked Bournemouth and Poole with Blandford Forum, Templecombe and Bath.

The 102-mile line was closed in March 1966, with the tracks being lifted between 1967 and 1970.

Trevor Parsons, Swanage Railway company executive chairman, said: “The controversial closure of the Somerset and Dorset main line 52 years ago was probably the most contentious action recommended by Dr Richard Beeching in his infamous ‘The Reshaping of British Railways’ report.”

The Somerset and Dorset Weekend will see 12 passenger trains a day operate in each direction between Swanage, Harman’s Cross, Corfe Castle and Norden.