THE Swanage Railway (SR) has made history again by returning a Southern Railway ‘U’ 2-6-0 to the main line after an absence of 52 years.
This follows its efforts last year when the SR successfully restored passenger trains between Swanage and Wareham.
John Bunch’s No. 31806 took part in a seven-hour trial run from Swanage to Worgret Junction on April 13, where the five-coach train (plus Class 33) joined Network Rail metals, and then on to Wareham before a run to Dorchester and Weymouth.
The Maunsell Mogul then took on the challenging climb of Bincombe Bank from Weymouth back to Dorchester, followed by the five-mile slog between Maiden Newton to Evershot on the run to Yeovil.
Then it was back to Weymouth and up to Dorchester again before the train returned to Wareham and Worgret Junction and the Swanage Railway.
Read more in the May issue of The RM – on sale now!