Swanage Autumn Steam Gala 2018

Here are my humble efforts from the Swanage Autumn Steam gala, one might almost say ‘yet another’. The gala was, as always, excellent and so dear reader if you find these words and images uninspiring the fault is entirely mine and not that of  ‘The Swanage’.

As often seems to be the case at the Swanage the first day started grey with a thin drizzle of rain but as the weekend went on the weather steadily improved, giving photographers the opportunity to work in varying weather conditions and light. The undoubted star of the show was the Duchess of Sutherland, a locomotive that I was so very much looking forward to seeing, with a splendid Black 5 following close behind in my own favourite loco list. Having said that all the locos in action were super machines and I perhaps do an injustice in highlighting personal favourites.

I always try to make my photographs interesting, rather than the same ‘ol same ‘ol traditional 3/4 cheese shot of a locomotive and train coming towards us. So with that in mind my selection of photos has the theme of Tender first with the locomotive running backwards towards us. Typically us photographers want to catch the loco coming toward us boiler first, but I hope that I have shown how attractive images can be had with the loco t’other way around.

I’ve also included a second theme, this being People and Trains showing folk trackside responding to the trains and the crew on the engines.

As usual captions are minimal listing just the locomotive name [or number where no name is present] and a location from where the photograph was taken.

The Locomotives
The locos in action were:

  • 6233   LMS Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 Duchess of Sutherland
  • 34072 Bulleid Light Pacific Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 257 Squadron
  • 34053 Bulleid Light Pacific (Rebuilt) Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 Sir Keith Park
  • 80104 BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4
  • 80078 BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4
  • 44871 Stannier Class 5 4-6-0
  • 30120 LSWR T9 Greyhound 4-4-0
  • 31806 SR U Class 2-6-0

Photographic Locations
I spent most of my time on or around the stations. The locations are listed in no particular order other than that in which they occur to me.  For those visiting the line I would recommend Ordnance Survey map 195 Bournemouth & Purbeck for locations away from the stations I have included approximate grid references (remember Eastings first!).

  • Location 1 – Platform 2, Corfe Castle Station (SY 029789).
  • Location 2 – Platform 1, Corfe Castle Station (SY 029789).
  • Location 3 – entrance to the car park of the Bankes Arms hotel, this is just outside of Corfe Station (SY 962822).
  • Location 4 – National Trust (NT) Visitor Centre car park (SY 959824).
  • Location 5 – large field adjacent to the NT Visitor Centre. There is a public footpath from the NT Visitor Centre car park that leads to the field and a public crossing over the railway. Ultimately the foot path leads to Norden Station, being just a short walk of ¼ mile or so. I have no knowledge of the status of the field with regards to public access, I.E I don’t know if the land is private or common (SY 953825).
  • Location 6 – from the castle at Corfe Castle, specifically the broken wall of the inner bailey on the eastern side (SY 956823).
  • Location 7 – the platform at Swanage Station.
  • Location 8 – Gilbert Road, Swanage looking down on the railway station.
  • Location 9 – from the bridge over the railway on Northbrook Road, Swanage.
  • Location 10 – public viewing area at Swanage MPD.
  • Location 11 – platform at Harmans Cross Station.

The above are just the locations that I used on this trip, of course there are many, many more good locations including at the other stations along the line.

The Images
So on to the images. Captions are minimal using just the name of the locomotive and the location, expressed as Location 1 through to Location 6.


Swanage Timetable

Recently re-opened for accommodation, I was able to stay at the Bankes Arms Hotel in Corfe Castle on the corner Station Road only a minute walk to from Corfe Station. It is a perfect location and base for a visit to the Swanage Railway.

The Bankes Arms is reasonably priced, en-suite and very comfortable. Those that like ‘good pub grub’ and a well kept pint, or two, of real ale would struggle to do better. From the beer garden great views can be had of the Castle and of the railway.

And finally….
So this was the end of  my the 2018 heritage railway season.


As usual with the Swanage a great show the highlight being for me, and I suspect many others, the Duchess.

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