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Swanage Railway's new innovative £223k system

Constantly updated live train information has come to the Swanage Railway in a first for a preserved railway – thanks to a grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

Housed in traditional 1950s notice board-style frames, digital screens giving train times – as well as information about the locomotive hauling the train and the facilities in its carriages in an innovative visual ‘Know Your Train’ form – have been installed at Swanage and Corfe Castle stations, with more to follow at Norden and Harman’s Cross stations.

And, in another national first for a heritage line, the live Swanage Railway train information will also be available on the main Realtime Trains website at

The pioneering development has been possible thanks to a partnership between the Swanage Railway and the Realtime Trains company which provides three million passengers a year, across the national railway network, with continually updated train information via the Internet and mobile phones.

The new system works thanks to high-tech global positioning system (GPS) tracking equipment installed in the carriages which constantly relays the position of the trains thanks to a variety of mobile phone networks.

Swanage Railway passenger services director Trevor Parsons said: “We are very grateful for the innovative and imaginative technical expertise of Realtime Trains in producing such an attractive, clear, concise and engaging continually updated train information system for our passengers." He added: “The Swanage Railway is always looking for ways to further improve the information we give to our passengers to keep them informed and we are very grateful to the Government for its £223,200 Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grant – awarded to us in the Autumn of 2020 – part of which has been used to pay for this important improvement."

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