STEAM trains are to resume on Swanage Railway for the first time since mid-March – with Norden station reopening to the public on Saturday.

This decison comes as the Swanage Railway, in Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, continues its ‘Save Our Service’ appeal to raise £360,000 to help the popular heritage line survive during the coronavirus pandemic. 

From Saturday, July 18 steam trains will be operating a non-stop service between Swanage and Norden stations. 

The trains will not be stopping at Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Herston stations as they remain closed.

Monday, July 20 will see Norden station reopen to the public for passengers starting their journey from Norden station. 

The resumption of steam trains and the opening of Norden station will see the health of passengers and railway staff still protected with socially distanced queuing at Swanage and Norden stations, socially distanced assigned seating on trains and the wearing of face coverings.

Swanage Railway chairman, Gavin Johns said: "I am delighted to see the return of steam locomotives on our trains and the re-opening of Norden station so that visitors can book a day out at the seaside confident in the knowledge that they will be safe. 

"We are gaining confidence in operating and helping our customers to remain safe so we are bringing back steam locomotives to haul our trains and re-opening Norden station for the first time since mid-March, 2020."

The steam locomotive that will be hauling the trains will be a late 1920s-built Southern Railway U class No. 31806 ,which was used in the 1950s. 

The non-stop train service departs Swanage station at 10.30am, 12.00 noon, 1.30pm and 3pm for the return trip to Norden.

Passengers are being encouraged to book in advance for the trains via the Swanage Railway’s website: