Stenlake Publishing - Swanage – 125 Years of Railways

Swanage - 125 Years of Railways

Author : B. L. Jackson
ISBN : 9780853616962
Cover : paperback
Price : £24.95

The opening of the railway in May 1885 transformed Swanage into a respectable seaside resort with through coaches from Waterloo, it also saw the seaborne trade in Purbeck stone transferred to rail as was a large quantity of the clay traffic. Many military specials serving the summer camps in the area ensured that the Swanage branch was busy during the golden age of railways. This was to change during the 1920s and 1930s with the increase in motor transport and the opening of the Sandbanks chain ferry. The Second World War and the years of austerity that followed allowed the branch to retain much traffic including through trains from Waterloo until the proliferation in road transport saw a decline.

Although not included in the Beeching Report, British Railways were determined to close the branch and after much resistance from the local community it closed to passenger traffic in 1972 and the track was lifted except for the section to Furzebrook, which was retained for clay and later oil and gas traffic.

Following closure enthusiasts rebuilt the dismantled section over a 30 year period adding three additional stations and today the Swanage Railway is a much acclaimed heritage line.

This work is the first to cover the complete history of the branch from the first scheme in 1847 through the failed schemes of the 1860s, its rise and decline in a changing world and its subsequent preservation.

A5 format, 288 pages, more than 240 illustrations.

Swanage - 125 Years of Railways

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