Steam returns to Swanage

Regular steam services will return to Swanage this weekend after two of the line’s locomotives were withdrawn following a shunting accident.

‘M7’ No. 30053 triple-heads with now-withdrawn ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston and BR ‘4MT’ No. 80104 at the Swanage Railway’s ‘Southern Sunrise’ event on July 9. CALLUM WILLCOX

‘M7’ No. 30053 triple-heads with now-withdrawn ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston and BR ‘4MT’ No. 80104 at the Swanage Railway’s ‘Southern Sunrise’ event on July 9. CALLUM WILLCOX

Resident ex-LSWR ‘M7’ 0-4-4T No. 30053 will be helping haul the ‘Purbeck Line’s’ passenger services this weekend (August 5/6), after returning to service following a boiler washout exam.

The news comes just over a week after ‘Purbeck Line’ residents ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34070 Manston and BR Standard ‘4MT’ No. 80104 (currently running as No. 80146) were taken out of traffic after a low-speed head-on shunting collision on July 24.

The incident left the railway without a working steam locomotive at the start of its peak summer season, as the line’s other available steam engine, Maunsell ‘U’ class No. 31806, was still being fettled ahead of an anticipated imminent return to service.

The 2-6-0 hauled its first loaded passenger trains this year on August 1 as part of its running-in trials, with the railway saying: “We look forward to welcoming No. 31806 back to our regular serviceable fleet in the very near future, but only after our engineering staff are happy with her progress and everything is all bedded in.”

No. 30053 will be running weekends only, as the Drummond 0-4-4T is now in the final months of its boiler ticket

The railway has set up a dedicated web page to provide daily updates on steam services, which can be visited here: www.swanagerailway.co.uk/train-service-updates.