The Swanage Railway is a 6-mile (9.7 km) long heritage railway in the Purbeck district of Dorset, England. The railway line currently follows the route of the old Purbeck branch line from Nordon, via Corfe Castle, Harman's Cross and Herston Halt to Swanage.
The line was re−connected to the mainline at Wareham, Dorset along a stretch of the branch line that had previously only remained open to freight traffic until 2005. Trains operate on the Swanage Railway between Swanage and Norden Park & Ride every weekend and Bank Holiday from mid-February to the end of the year, and every day of the week from April to October; with Santa Special services in December. In April 2009 the line reopened to its first through traffic from London with occasional special services.
Improvements by Swanage Railway to the track between Norden and Wareham have continued, and together with the permanent ground frame arrangements at Motala have allowed the planning and operation of special railtour services for the first time since 1972.
The first public passenger service between Wareham and Swanage since 1972 was "The Purbeck Pioneer", a 12-coach diesel-hauled railtour from London Victoria to Swanage, via Wareham on 1 April 2009. Due to high demand for tickets, the diesel-hauled service was repeated on 2 April 2009.
Swanage Railway Santa Special Services:
Each year during December the Swanage Railway runs Santa Special services as a seasonal attraction. The revenues derived from Santa Special services make an important contribution to the finances of the Swanage Railway as the services attract large numbers of families during the off-peak winter period.