Swanage Railway Station is one of the town’s most-loved landmarks. Located close to the town centre and beach, it’s the start of a memorable journey through the picturesque landscape of the Isle of Purbeck.
Set in the heart of Swanage, the fully-restored station buildings and platform attract many thousands of visitors each year for a trip on, or glimpse of, the diesel and steam locomotive that run from here, through the Purbeck countryside, toward Corfe Castle and Norden.
Evoking bygone years, the railway adds to Swanage’s charm as a quintessential English seaside town – pack a picnic and board a heritage steam train from Swanage Station and chug through the countryside before disembarking at the historic Corfe Castle for an explore, and back again for an afternoon of fun and fish & chips on the beach.
Swanage Station’s restored buildings are complete with charming canopy and period trolleys, luggage and artwork for an authentic vintage experience.
Swanage Railway gift shop
Swanage Station is home to the Railway’s gift shop – pick up a souvenir of your visit to Swanage, or find railway-related presents and memorabilia, from jigsaw puzzles to Swanage Railway-branded mugs, clothing and even its own beer.
You’ll find something to suit every budget – children can pick up a Swanage Railway badge or small toy with their pocket money, and there’s an interesting range of informative books and DVDs that tell the captivating story of the Swanage branch here in Purbeck, as well as other historic Dorset railways.
And for model railway enthusiasts, there’s a great range of model items including tracks, figures, landscaping and trains – keep an eye-out for limited edition specials.
You can also purchase a railway-related gift for family or friends, such as vouchers for a meal on the railway’s dining cart or even a taster train-driving session (search online or call 01929 425800 to enquire).
The gift shop is open on all days that trains are operating.
A selection of products is also available to buy online on the Swanage Railway website: www.swanagerailway.co.uk/shop
You’ll find a well-stocked refreshments kiosk in the entranceway and booking hall of Swanage Station.
Serving hot and cold drinks, savoury and sweet snacks, it’s a great place to grab a bite for your onward journey. The takeaway facility stocks locally-produced coffee. cakes and hot pastries. You can also pick up a local beer or ice-cream to quench your thirst on a hot day.
There are also public toilets located at Swanage Station – just continue on through the door, past the kiosk, onto the platform and to your right are separate ladies and gents.
There is also a small kiosk at Norden Station at the other end of the line.
Swanage Station has a manned ticket office where you can purchase train tickets and check arrival and departure times, as well as find out about any upcoming railway events.
You can also buy tickets on-board (cash-only), or in advance online (make sure you do so an hour or more before your train’s departure time).
Visit the Swanage Railway website or ask at the ticket office about annual season tickets or a 12-month Swanage Railway Card, which gives you a 33% discount on regular train services.
Swanage Station on the big screen
Unsurprisingly, the picture-postcard period station has been used as a movie location, most recently in the filming of Hollywood blockbuster Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars actors Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy.
Swanage Station was renamed as Woking for the scene and during filming was partially closed and transformed with additional period props.
Many local people were chosen to be extras in the scenes shot both here and at Weymouth Harbour in West Dorset.
There’s also a webcam located at Swanage Station: click the following link to watch live stream of trains coming and going: https://maybach.railcam.co.uk/Swanage_43965/embed.html
Location & parking
If you’re based in Swanage you can easily walk to the station, or make use of one of the long-stay car parks in town, such as the nearby Main Beach car park.
Alternatively, you can catch a bus – just outside the front of Swanage Station is also the terminus of the two main local bus services – the MoreBus Number 40 and Number 50 (as well as seasonal No. 30 bus). There’s also a handy taxi rank here.