IN A year in which the heritage sector is commemorating 50 years since the end of steam on the Southern Region, the Swanage Railway has its own half centenary to mark.
While steam on the Southern ended on July 9, 1967, as highlighted in our free booklet with this issue – the final steam working to the Purbeck resort ran on Sunday, June 18, that year.
The train was a 12-coach Railway Correspondence & Travel Society special from London to Swanage, hauled by rebuilt Bulleid Battle of Britain Pacific No. 34089 602 Squadron, which in September 1966 was featured on BBC News as the last steam locomotive to be overhauled at Eastleigh Works, with BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80146 on the rear for the run down the branch.
With 602 Squadron standing at Swanage station’s stopblocks opposite the Railway Hotel, the train – run in aid of the Southern Railwaymen’s Home for Children at Woking – was so long that No. 80146 was well off the platform and under the Northbrook Road bridge.
Altogether, six steam locomotives were used on the 12 hour railtour from Waterloo via Clapham Junction, East Putney, Surbiton, Effingham Junction, Guildford, , Havant, Fareham, Netley, Southampton Central, Brockenhurst, Bournemouth and Wareham.
Read more in Issue 227 of HR – on sale now!