Dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers have staged a popular evocative Christmas carol steam train with passengers dressing in Victorian costume to make the festive atmosphere complete.
Featuring the Harmony Rocks ladies’ choir, there was half-hour carol singing sessions at festively decorated Harman’s Cross and Corfe Castle stations – as well as at Swanage on the train’s return – with carol sheets provided so passengers could sing along. Swanage Town Band also played in the brake coach of the train. Swanage Town Crier Andrew Fleming being a special guest and welcoming guests on to the train.
Swanage Railway General Manager Matt Green said: “There was a lovely atmosphere both on the train as well as at Harman’s Cross and Corfe Castle stations – you really felt the warm glow of Christmases from the past. It was really quite uplifting.”
The Christmas carol train was hauled by a Victorian-designed London and South Western Railway steam locomotive – M7 tank No. 30053 designed in 1897 and built at Nine Elms in London during 1905. it worked the Swanage branch during the 1930s before returning to the ten-mile line between Wareham, Corfe Castle and Swanage from late 1963 until being withdrawn by British Railways during May, 1964.
Photos by Andrew P.M. Wright