Swanage Railway Community Open Weekend

🗓️ Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th February 2024

Explore behind the scenes of a working heritage railway at Swanage Railway’s Community Open Weekend.

It’s a chance to have a tour of the signal boxes at Harman’s Cross or Corfe Castle Station – find out how the Signalling and Telecoms Department controls the signals on the railway and keeps passengers safe.

And you can try your hand at being a train guard or ticket inspector for the special price of £5.

Free activities over the weekend include visiting the footplate of a steam locomotive at Swanage Station, viewing demonstration narrow gauge diesel trains (Purbeck Mining Museum), chatting to restorers of heritage coaches and wagons (Corfe Castle Station) and watching railway crane demonstrations (Norden).

There will also be discounted train tickets for residents with Dorset postcodes across the weekend.

Signal Box Experience

The signal boxes at both Corfe Castle and Harman’s Cross Stations will be open to the public to view.

Tours last around 20 minutes and must be booked in advance online.

  • Cost – £5 per person
  • Maximum of four people per visit, one of whom must be over 18

Ticket Inspector Experience

Try your hand at being a travelling ticket inspector on board a train.

Wear the inspector’s hat as you’re accompanied through the train to check passengers’ tickets using old fashioned ticket clippers and more modern equipment.

  • Cost – £5 plus valid travel ticket

Guard Experience

Shadow an experienced guard as they wave the green flag and blow the whistle to start a steam train off on its journey.

You’ll learn all about this important role on the Swanage Railway as your tour guide runs you through the guard’s duties and equipment during this on-board experience.

  • Cost – £5, plus travel ticket

Class 08 Shunter Experience

Enjoy the opportunity to drive the railway’s 08 diesel shunter 08436.

The experience will allow you to drive the 1950s shunter from Platform 1 at Swanage Station to the siding and back.

  • Cost – £20

“Our Community Weekend is a different and interesting day out for all the family.

“It’s a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of a working heritage railway and explore some of the many different roles required to operate the Swanage Railway, and find out about varied volunteering opportunities.”

CLARE COLLINS – Event organiser and volunteer guard

Find full information on each activity over the weekend and how to book on the Swanage Railway website: www.swanagerailway.co.uk/events

And if your experience inspires you to join the team of volunteers at the railway, visit their dedicated volunteering page to find out more: www.swanagerailwaytrust.org/volunteering