SWANAGE Railway volunteers are running a special week-long spring half-term evening community train on the branch – using a 1960s ‘Bubble Car’ heritage diesel rail bus.
The special evening trains – enabling the public to leave their cars at home and let the train take the strain – run every day until May 31.
The service gives visitors the chance to take the train to quaint pubs in the picture postcard village of Corfe Castle and to restaurants and other attractions in the seaside resort of Swanage.
Known as a ‘Bubble Car’ because of its picture windows all the way round the unit, the former British Railways one-coach diesel rail bus is the same type of train that ran on two West Dorset branch lines during their final years – the line to Lyme Regis in the mid-1960s and the line to Bridport during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Swanage Railway General Manager Richard Jones said: “The Isle of Purbeck attracts large numbers of tourists and this influx of people dictates the need for an enhanced spring half-term week evening train service which is run by a dedicated band of volunteers.
“This service is provided for the benefit of the large numbers of visitors staying at camping and caravan sites between Swanage and Corfe Castle – enabling them to conveniently travel to the delights of pubs and restaurants, as well as other venues, in Corfe Castle and Swanage.”
Class 121 ‘Bubble Car’ diesel multiple unit No 55028 was built for British Railways during 1960.