Historic opening paves the way for Wareham services

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.

Class 33 D6515 Lt Jenny Lewis RM crosses the Norden Gates level crossing on October 6. ANDREW P M WRIGHT.
Class 33 D6515 Lt Jenny Lewis RM crosses the Norden Gates level crossing on October 6. ANDREW P M WRIGHT.

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.

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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