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Going back in time to the days of the original Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway .

The miniature railway was named the "Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway" between 2000 - 2012. Then a new name was adopted "ThornePark Railway" with a new website with that name and a new Domain name. The link is provided above. A new page has been added to the From the Digital Archives in addition to the original page. Already the extra new page is nearly full so a further archives page will be added next time.

After the recent heat wave I thought it might be interesting not only to turn the clock back in time but go back to the 17th February 2002 when work was being carried out to construct the inner circuit.  One of challenges was to take the inner circuit around the leaning tree that is still there in 2017. The electric locomotive "Mufuta" in the meantime is carrying passengers around the original outer circuit.       

With funding work started on laying the track for  inner circuit during 2003. By the 2004 Summer Festival event the track was connected to the original outer circuit with new point work. During 2005 work will start on relaying the outer circuit and completing another two sets of points and a diamond crossing.

History is made on the Swanage Railway

The Swanage Railway is a railway branch line from near Wareham, Dorset to Swanage, Dorset, England, opened in 1885 and now operated as a heritage railway. The independent company which built it was amalgamated with the larger London and South Western Railway in 1886. The passenger service was withdrawn in 1972, leaving a residual freight service over part of the line handling mineral traffic.
After the passenger closure, a heritage railway group revived part of the line; it too used the name Swanage Railway and now operates a 9.5-mile (15.3 km) line which follows the route of the former line from Wareham to Swanage with stops at Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Herston Halt. The section between Norden and Wareham remained their ultimate challenge to reopen this section by reconnecting to the maim line

Having openedon the  20 May 1885 The last railway closed 1 January 1972. To the right is the scene at Corfe Castle in 1985 all  tracks having been removed but work had been started to re-instate the tracks and in 1985 the first train reaches Corfe Castle station. With this happening it was not too long before the line was operating between Norden and Swanage. The challenge was to put the tracks back towards the main line and start operating services as far as Wareham again. 

Work to restore the overgrown line between Norden and Wareham began in 2014 following a government grant A new level crossing has been created at Norden as part of the reconnection works. Work on the new line has included the replacement of about 1,500 wooden sleepers

A new level crossing has been created at Norden as part of the reconnection works. A special main line train made history in 2016 being the first to run on the Swanage Railway's newly completed three-mile extension towards Wareham. Pictured at Norden Gates. The SouthWest Trains diesel train travelled on the Swanage Railway to highlight work to reinstate the Swanage to Wareham passenger service. It was to be a while longer before the start of the train service carrying passengers.

The photographers line up on Platform 2 for the first diesel-hauled passenger train into Wareham station on 13 June 2017, to mark the start of a two-year trial public service using diesel trains operating on 60 days during this summer. Above right photograph Pat Ashton

A busy scene on Platform 2 as the train is prepared for its return journey back to Swanage with the town Crier about to make the announcement.

A busy scene on Platform 2 as the train is prepared for its return journey back to Swanage with the town Crier about to make the announcement.

The class 37 locomotive departs from Wareham for its journey to Swanage for the first time.  For further information about the railway and train times

Coming up shortly a look at the remains of the Swanage Harbour Tramway

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Friday, 30 June 2017