SWANAGE Railway volunteers are set to stage a nostalgic 'Roads to Rail' mini-steam rally. The event, scheduled for a field next to Norden station, close to Corfe Castle, will be taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday, August 27 until Monday, August 30. It will feature up to 20 traction engines, steam rollers and showman’s engines – as well as fairground rides, trade stalls, food stalls, bar and live music. A special intensive steam train service between Norden, Corfe Castle and Swanage will be operating during the event – including a special evening heritage diesel rail bus service on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Camping pitches, which must be pre-booked via a special ‘Roads to Rail’ event page on the Swanage Railway website, will also be available during the event in a field close to Norden station. One of the event organisers, Nick Lloyd, said: “It is the first time that the public will have the chance to explore and enjoy steam on road and rail together on the Swanage Railway in an event that everyone involved in it is looking forward very much to staging. It is a chance for the public to step back in time for a long weekend of steam-powered demonstration and vintage fairground fun. Featuring traction engines, steam rollers, showman’s engines and more, our ‘Roads to Rail’ steam rally will be bringing the Isle of Purbeck to life with evocative re-creations of a bygone steam age. Our nostalgic and evocative ‘Roads to Rail’ event, next to Norden station, will be on a small scale with an intimate and friendly family feel to it – perfect for both enthusiasts and the general public." The steam rally is being sponsored by O.J. Fabrications, Swanage Holiday Properties, Travis Perkins, Miles and Sons as well as Andrews Plant Hire. Swanage Railway passenger services director Trevor Parsons said: “Our ‘Roads to Rail’ event is a first for the Swanage Railway and an ideal opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a super steam-filled day out. Visitors to our mini steam rally are welcome to attend in Victorian, Edwardian and pre-Second World War period dress – whether that’s in a showman’s outfit or a steam train driver’s ‘bib and brace’ – to delight in and soak up the period atmosphere during the long weekend. Any Government regulations in force will be followed to ensure that everyone can safely enjoy what is set to be a memorable and evocative August Bank Holiday event for all ages and interests – both enthusiast and the public,” added Trevor who is also a volunteer train guard and signalman on the heritage line. Visit swanagerailway.co.uk/roadstorail for information, including how to buy tickets.
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