An exciting three-day event celebrating the pioneering era that built the Swanage Railway is set to take place in the town.

A Victorian weekend will see four steam locomotives in action along the Swanage Railway network from Friday, March 22 to Sunday, March 24, with an intensive steam train service operating.

The nostalgic event is open to everyone, and people are encouraged to attend in period costumes.

Robert Patterson, Volunteer Swanage Railway Company commercial director, said: “Our Victorian Weekend will be an evocative and enjoyable three-day celebration of the ambitious and pioneering era that built the Swanage Railway in the 1880s.

“It will be wonderful to see two charming Victorian steam locomotives hauling the trains through the Isle of Purbeck - between Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross, Herston and Swanage - along with steam locomotives dating from the 1920s and the 1940s.

Dorset Echo: LSWR T3 No. 563 Corfe CastleLSWR T3 No. 563 Corfe Castle (Image: Andrew PM Wright)

“It was the drive and enterprise of the dynamic and determined Victorians that gave us the railway system that we depend on, and enjoy, today – including the Swanage Railway.

“The ambitious Victorian builders of the Swanage Railway built an iron girder viaduct across the River Frome, as well as a beautifully proportioned Purbeck stone four-arched viaduct at Corfe Castle and a cutting that was blasted with dynamite through the chalk of the Purbeck Hills below the castle ruins.

“It took determined Purbeck businessmen almost 40 years of campaigning to eventually build a ten-mile branch line railway from a mile south of Wareham to Corfe Castle and Swanage in the mid-1880s – replacing the horse and cart with the faster, and cheaper, steam train.

“Work started on building the Swanage branch line during June, 1883 – starting at both ends of the line, at Swanage and at Worgret, a mile south of Wareham on the London to Dorchester main line – with the first train running from Swanage to Wareham in May, 1885.

“Watching, and riding behind, the LSWR T3 No. 563 and the SECR 01 class No. 65 from the Bluebell Railway will transport our visitors back to the Victorian period of enterprise, development and optimism as railways replaced the horse and cart as well as our waterways.”

Check out our interactive gallery at the top of the page for more photos.