Swanage diesel-only after engines collide

Trains at the Swanage Railway will be diesel-operated until further notice after two of the line’s steam locomotives collided in a low-speed shunting incident on July 24.

Out of action following a low-speed collision with Swanage stablemate BR ‘4MT’ No. 80104, ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston is pictured on March 31 during the railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

Out of action following a low-speed collision with Swanage stablemate BR ‘4MT’ No. 80104, ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston is pictured on March 31 during the railway’s ‘Strictly Bulleid’ gala. THOMAS BRIGHT/SR

The incident, which involved BR Standard ‘4MT’ No. 80104 and ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston, took place just after 9am during shunting operations between the locomotive shed and signal box.

No members of the public, nor any trains, were caught up in the collision, and the railway has reported the incident to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

Swanage Railway General Manager, Matt Green, said: “No-one on the footplates of the two steam locomotives involved in the collision was injured.

"The Swanage Railway would like to apologise to passengers for any disappointment caused by the need to run diesel-hauled trains instead of steam. We are working to resume a steam-hauled train service at the earliest opportunity.

"The two steam locomotives involved in the incident have been withdrawn from service by the Swanage Railway while the damage sustained by the two locomotives is examined and assessed.

"The Swanage Railway is investigating the cause of the incident," added Mr Green.

Until steam services can be resumed, the railway is running a two-train passenger service using its own Class 108 DMU and a five-carriage train hauled by the railway’s Class 33.