More than 3,000 people were carried during the Swanage Railway’s second Spring Steam Gala which saw more than a hundred passenger trains operate over three days.
Starring British Railways Standard class locomotive No. 70000 ‘Britannia’ and Southern Railway No. 925 ‘Cheltenham’, the event took place between 17 and 19 April.
Swanage Railway Interim General Manager Matt Green said: “Everyone is delighted that 3,101 passengers were carried on 102 trains during what was only our second ever Spring Steam Gala and an excellent event that drew in the crowds.
“It was an extremely successful event enjoyed by thousands of enthusiasts and visitors who were delighted to welcome ‘Britannia’ to the Purbeck line – on her first visit operating scheduled services – and also ‘Cheltenham’ which was on her first ever visit to the Swanage Railway.
“I would like to thank everyone who made the Spring Steam Gala such a success for their meticulous planning, professionalism and very hard work across three very busy but highly enjoyable days. There was a very real buzz across the Swanage Railway,” he added.
The Spring Steam Gala saw not only five coach trains operate between Norden Park & Ride, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross, Herston Halt and Swanage but also a non-stop Norden and Corfe Castle to Swanage service formed of the Swanage Railway’s two 1940s Southern Railway Bulleid carriages.
The award-winning Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum next to Norden station was also open to the public during the three days of the gala with a special appearance by Victorian narrow gauge steam locomotive No 542 ‘Cloister’ which was named after a horse that won the Grand National during the 1890s.