|Location|| Corfe Castle, Dorset |
|Original company||Swanage Railway|
|20 May 1885||Opened|
|3 January 1972||Closed|
|12 August 1995||Reopened|
|26 May 2018||National Rail services commence|
|6 July 2019||National Rail services suspended|
Corfe Castle railway station is a railway station located in the village of Corfe Castle, in the English county of Dorset. Originally an intermediate station on the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) branch line from Wareham to Swanage, the line and station were closed by British Rail in 1972. It has since reopened as a station on the Swanage Railway, a heritage railway that runs from Norden station just north of Corfe Castle to Swanage station.
Corfe Castle is on a railway line connecting Wareham and Norden.
Corfe Castle lies in the centre of the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula bordered by the English Channel to the south, and by the marshy lands of the River Frome and Poole Harbour to the north and east. At the beginning of the 19th century, the area around Corfe Castle was known for its supply of Purbeck Ball Clay, which at that time was shipped by a pair of horse-drawn tramways (the Middlebere Plateway and the Furzebrook Railway) to wharves on Poole Harbour. The port of Swanage at the tip of the Isle was equally well known for the Purbeck Marble that was mined locally and shipped out by sea.
The presence of these industries attracted railway promoters once the L&SWR main line reached Wareham in 1847. Several schemes were promoted and failed, but eventually the Swanage Railway received its Act in 1881 and opened on 20 May 1885. The position of Corfe Castle, commanding the only relatively low level route across the hilly spine of the Isle of Purbeck, meant that line passed close to the centre of the village, and Corfe Castle station was built for the opening of the line. From its opening, the line was operated by the L&SWR, and line was absorbed into that railway in 1886. Corfe Castle station was the only intermediate station on the Swanage branch, a status it retained until closure by British Rail, and possessed the only passing loop between the junction with the main line at Worgret Junction and Swanage.At least one camping coach was positioned here by the Southern Region from 1954 to 1967, and probably from 1948 to 1953. From 1960, the allocated coach was a camping coach converted from a Pullman car, which was fitted with a full kitchen, two sleeping compartments and a room with two single beds, from 1962 until 1967 there were two of these coaches here.
While the development of Swanage as a tourist resort brought additional passenger traffic to the line, the collapse of both the clay and marble industries, and the increase in private car ownership in the second half of the 20th century made the line unprofitable. Closure was first proposed in 1967, and despite local opposition the line finally closed on 3 January 1972.During the final few years of the line's operation under British Rail, passenger train services were operated by two-car Class 205 diesel electric multiple units (also known as type 2H).
From the time of the first proposal of closure, a campaign to reopen the railway as a steam locomotive operated heritage railway developed. Most of the track bed, including Corfe Castle station, was bought by Dorset County Council. Proposals to use the railway route through the Corfe Castle gap as a road bypass for the village were eventually rejected by the county council in 1986. In the meantime the Swanage Railway had started operating a steam service at the Swanage end of the line in 1982.
There were concerns that reopening Corfe Castle station as a northern terminus for the Swanage Railway would cause parking problems in the village. It was therefore decided to extend the line a further half a mile north to a new Park and Ride site built on the former location of the exchange sidings between the Swanage branch and the clay tramways. Here the new Norden station was built and most trains terminate here. Corfe Castle station reopened on 12 August 1995, although the official opening was not until February of the following year.
A 5-year project by Swanage Railway volunteers to install a footbridge across the running lines between the platforms at Corfe Castle was completed in April, 2007, when David Quarmby, CBE, carried out the official opening. The footbridge was originally built in 1893 by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. With cast-iron columns and a wrought iron span, the footbridge spent its life at Merton Park in London, near Wimbledon, on the West Croydon line until removed by Swanage Railway volunteers. The footbridge can accommodate the people who now use Corfe Castle station, and is safer and more convenient for the public than crossing over the track via the gated and locked foot crossing. The project won the National Railway Heritage Awards in December 2007, with a plaque presented to civil engineer Philip Wycliffe-Jones of the Swanage Railway and his team of volunteers by the late Gwyneth Dunwoody, Chairman of the House of Commons’ Transport Select Committee.
In summer 2018 and 2019 South Western Railway operated two trains per day to/from Wareham, one of which continued to Poole and the other to London Waterloo via Weymouth. There were also National Rail services on Saturdays and Sundays between Wareham and Swanage in summer 2018 and 2019 operated by West Coast Railway Company with three trains per day in each direction.However, in July 2019 these services were stopped and there are currently no National Rail services to Corfe Castle.
Services run every day from the beginning of April to late October, with weekend only operation in March, November and December. The level of service varies from 6 to 17 trains a day in each direction, depending the season and the day of the week. Southbound, trains operate to stations at Harman's Cross (10 mins), Herston (trains stop only on request), and Swanage (21 mins). Northbound, trains operate to Norden station (3 mins).
|Preceding station||Heritage railways||Following station|
|Norden||Swanage Railway||Harman's Cross|
Corfe Castle station is also the home of the Swanage Railway's Railway Museum, which is housed in the old goods shed and an adjacent rail van. The museum is open on most operating days.
The museum includes Secundus, a narrow gauge steam locomotive built by Bellis and Seeking in 1874 for the nearby Furzebrook Railway. This locomotive was in use until 1955, and then displayed in the now defunct Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry until 2000. It is planned that the locomotive will eventually be transferred to a new home at the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum, currently[ when? ] being developed adjacent to Norden railway station.
Corfe Castle is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It is the site of a ruined castle of the same name. The village and castle stand over a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The village lies in the gap below the castle and is around four miles (6.4 km) south-east of Wareham, and four miles (6.4 km) north-northwest of Swanage. Both the main A351 road from Lytchett Minster to Swanage and the Swanage Railway thread their way through the gap and the village.
The Studland and Godlingston Heaths NNR is located on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. It borders Studland Bay on the south side of Poole Harbour, between the settlements of Swanage and Sandbanks. Extending to 631ha, it is owned and managed by the National Trust following the Bankes bequest of the Kingston Lacy estate. Studland & Godlingston Heath is designated as one of only 35 "spotlight reserves" in England by Natural England in the list of national nature reserves in England and is listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Swanage is a coastal town and civil parish in the south east of Dorset, England. It is at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck and one of its two towns, approximately 6+1⁄4 miles (10 km) south of Poole and 25 miles (40 km) east of Dorchester. In the 2011 census the civil parish had a population of 9,601. Nearby are Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks, with Studland Bay and Poole Harbour to the north. Within the parish are Durlston Bay and Durlston Country Park to the south of the town. The parish also includes the areas of Herston, just to the west of the town, and Durlston, just to the south.
The Isle of Purbeck is a peninsula in Dorset, England. It is bordered by water on three sides: the English Channel to the south and east, where steep cliffs fall to the sea; and by the marshy lands of the River Frome and Poole Harbour to the north. Its western boundary is less well defined, with some medieval sources placing it at Flower's Barrow above Worbarrow Bay. John Hutchins, author of The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset, defined Purbeck's western boundary as the Luckford Lake steam, which runs south from the Frome. According to writer and broadcaster Ralph Wightman, Purbeck "is only an island if you accept the barren heaths between Arish Mell and Wareham as cutting off this corner of Dorset as effectively as the sea." The most southerly point is St Alban's Head.
Wareham is a historic market town and, under the name Wareham Town, a civil parish, in the English county of Dorset. The town is situated on the River Frome eight miles (13 km) southwest of Poole.
Purbeck was a local government district in Dorset, England. The district was named after the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula that forms a large proportion of the district's area. However, it extended significantly further north and west than the traditional boundary of the Isle of Purbeck which is the River Frome. The district council was based in the town of Wareham, which is itself north of the Frome.
The Swanage Railway is a railway branch line from near Wareham, Dorset to Swanage, Dorset, England, opened in 1885 and now operated as a heritage railway.
South Dorset is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Richard Drax, a Conservative. The constituency was created as a consequence of the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, although the area covered has changed since then.
Wool railway station serves the village of Wool in Dorset, England. It is on the South West Main Line, 125 miles 69 chains (202.6 km) down the line from London Waterloo. South Western Railway manages the station and operates all services.
Wareham railway station serves the town of Wareham in Dorset, England. It is situated about 0.6 miles (1 km) north of the town centre. It is 120 miles 70 chains (194.5 km) down the line from London Waterloo. On tickets it is printed "Wareham Dorset" to avoid confusion with Ware railway station.
Swanage railway station is a railway station located in Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Originally the terminus of a London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) branch line from Wareham, the line and station were closed by British Rail in 1972. It has since reopened as a station on the Swanage Railway, a heritage railway that currently runs from Norden station just north of Corfe Castle to Swanage station. It now also runs to Wareham on certain services, but not on regular services due to signalling problems.
Herston Halt railway station is a railway station located at Herston near Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. It is an intermediate station on the Swanage Railway, a heritage railway that currently operates from Swanage to Norden.
Harman's Cross railway station is a railway station located in the village of Harman's Cross, on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. It is an intermediate station on the Swanage Railway, a heritage railway that currently operates from Swanage to Norden.
Norden railway station is a railway station located one mile to the north of the village of Corfe Castle, on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. It is situated on the Swanage Railway, a heritage railway that operates over the former London and South Western Railway line from Wareham to Swanage. Norden is the northern terminus of the railway's steam service from Swanage, and an intermediate stop on the railway's diesel hauled service that connects Swanage with the national rail network at Wareham station.
Harman's Cross is a small village on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, England. It is situated on the A351 road between Swanage and Corfe Castle.
The Furzebrook Railway, also known as the Pike Brothers' Tramway, was a narrow gauge industrial railway on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. It was built by the Pike Brothers, to take Purbeck Ball Clay from their clay pits near Furzebrook and West Creech to a wharf at Ridge on the River Frome.
The Middlebere Plateway, or Middlebere Tramway, was a horse-drawn plateway on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. One of the first railways in southern England and the first in Dorset, the plateway was built by Benjamin Fayle, who was a wealthy Irish Merchant based in London and a friend of Thomas Byerley - Josiah Wedgwood's nephew. It was intended to take Purbeck Ball Clay from his pits near Corfe Castle to a wharf on Middlebere Creek in Poole Harbour, a distance of some 3.5 miles (5.6 km).
Purbeck Ball Clay is a concentration of ball clay found on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset.
Furzebrook is a small village on the Isle of Purbeck, in the county of Dorset in the south of England. It is about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Wareham and 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Corfe Castle, and is in the civil parish of Church Knowle.
The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum exists to preserve and interpret the historic extractive industries in ball clay mining in the Isle of Purbeck. The museum is located adjacent to Norden station on the Swanage Railway and is open from the end of March to the end of September on weekends, some weekdays and Bank Holidays.