Wareham project wins civil engineering award

SWANAGE Railway volunteers are celebrating after winning a major civil engineering award for the restoration and upgrade of a three-mile section of railway enabling a trial passenger train service to run from Swanage to Wareham for the first time in 45 years.

Volunteers carrying out the Furzebrook embankment upgrade in 2015. The three-mile extension’s restoration and upgrade work between Motala and near Worgret Junction was completed in April 2016, with train speeds raised to 25mph. ANDREW PM WRIGHT

The Purbeck line has won the annual Institution of Civil Engineers’ South West Engineering Award 2017 in the projects costing less than £1 million category.

The £950,000 work is part of the Swanage Railway’s Project Wareham and took place over two years between Norden station and half a mile short of Worgret Junction, on the main London to Weymouth line west of Wareham, from 2014.

The transformation saw three miles of little used former Network Rail line restored to a passenger-carrying standard, overgrown embankments and drains cleared, a quarter-mile long embankment upgraded, while half a mile of new track was also laid.

Visiting Bulleid West Country light Pacific No. 34092 City of Wells crosses the new Norden level crossing, a key component in the award-winning Project Wareham scheme, on April 1. ANDREW PM WRIGHT

The project also involved the installation of a state-of-the-art level crossing, aimed at protecting Perenco’s Wytch Farm oilfield access road near Norden station, and the creation of a nearby road-rail interchange for locomotives and carriages.

Quarter-mile long embankment

The interchange construction involved the excavation of 2500 cubic metres of earth that was recycled and used to extend a quarter-mile long embankment near Furzebrook. A diesel-hauled,
two-year trial train service to Wareham was launched on June 13, operated by West Coast Railways.,

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