THE landmark reopening of the entire Swanage branch moved a step closer with the official opening of the new £500,000 Norden Gates level crossing by the High Sheriff of Dorset.
During Victorian times, the family of Sir Philip Williams were among the promoters who brought the 1847-opened railway from Southampton to Dorchester via Wareham – and his great-grandfather was a director of the LSWR until the company’s end in 1922.
The High Sheriff cut a ceremonial ribbon at Norden Gates level crossing, which has taken dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers four years and more than 3000 hours of design, building and testing work.
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Also marking the completion of the 18-month restoration and upgrade of three miles of former Network Rail line to within a quarter of a mile of Worgret Junction and the main line to Wareham, Sir Philip unveiled a brass plaque on Norden station.
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