41 years after being axed, a regular service connecting Swanage and Wareham is set to resume in two years time thanks to a £1.47m grant.
Government funding will pay to upgrade track and bridges and two 1960s heritage diesel bus trains to mainline running standards. The Swanage Railway Company says the service will be on the metals by 2015.
Says Peter Sills, chairman of Swanage Railway, ‘We are elated at this tremendous and very historic news because the Swanage Railway has been campaigning to bring back regular trains from Swanage and Corfe Castle to Wareham since 1972 when British Rail controversially axed the service.’
Local councils allocated £3.2m for new track and points at Worgret Junction. This was installed by Network Rail in December and will enable passenger trains to use the route. A £500,000 level crossing across the Wytch Farm oil field and a park and ride access road near Corfe Castle are being funded by BP and Perenco.