Railway recreates the Victorian days of steam with locomotive

Dorset Echo: BACK IN TIME: Victorian loco M7 No.30053 at Swanage station BACK IN TIME: Victorian loco M7 No.30053 at Swanage station

 THE clock is being wound back a century at a heritage railway.

A unique Victorian steam engine is the star of Swanage Railway’s London and South Western Railway Weekend on March 15-16.

T9 steam locomotive No. 30120 is the only working engine of its type in the world.

Nicknamed ‘Greyhounds’ because of their turn of speed, T9s were first used on express trains between London and Plymouth. The one appearing at Swanage was built in 1899 by the London and South Western Railway.

It is now based on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway in Cornwall and on loan from the National Railway Museum’s National Collection.

Another Victorian-designed locomotive, a M7 tank, will also be hauling trains over the weekend.

Swanage Railway general manager Richard Jones said: “A special timetable is being introduced so the two Victorian locomotive-hauled trains pass each at Corfe Castle station to maximise the spectacle and photographic opportunities as the Victorian days of old are re-created.

“We are very grateful to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway – and the National Railway Museum – for allowing the T9 to visit the Swanage Railway, bringing part of our national heritage collection to Dorset.”

In a rare branch line re-creation, the Drummond Locomotive Society’s Swanage Railway-based M7 tank No. 30053 will be hauling a two-coach passenger train of two restored 1940s Southern Railway Bulleid carriages.

Mr Jones said: “Along with the Dugald Drummond-designed M7 tank No. 30053, No. 30120 is the archetypal Southern branch line steam locomotive with the T9s having hauled passenger and freight trains to Swanage for some 40 years from the 1920s.”

The weekend will see the shop and buffet coach open at Swanage station.

At Corfe Castle station, the exhibition and cinema coach next to the goods shed museum will be open.

For details call 01929 425800 or visit swanagerailway.co.uk

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