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When the London and South Western Railway first built the line from Wareham to Swanage in 1885, Corfe Castle Station was the only intermediate station.

And so it remained, leading the quiet, uneventful life of a village branch line station until the line closed on 3 January 1972. The track bed was bought by Dorset County Council, who planed to turn it into a by-pass, demolishing the station in the process.

In 1986 these plans were abandoned: a bad thing if you are trying to cross the busy main road in the middle of Corfe Castle village, but a very good thing if you are a fan of heritage railways.

After many years of painstaking work the Swanage Railway restored the station to its former glory and re-opened it in 1995.

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Hiding in Corfe Castle Goods Shed, along with many other relics of the railways in the Isle of Purbeck, is Secundus.

Built by Bellis and Seeking in 1874, this is the last survivor of seven engines, named Primus through to Septimus, that used to work the 2ftin gauge Pike's Tramway from the clay mines around Furzebrook to the River Frome at Ridge Wharf.

After the railway closed in 1955, Secundus returned Birmingham where it was originally built, and was on display in the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry until that closed in 1997.

If all goes to plan, it will eventually be moved to the new Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum at Norden.

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John Rowley

Please note that we do not know when Secundus will move to Norden. It depends on many variables - volunteers, weather, funding, H&S, and other small problems. It will happen but when - we don't know. It is like Swanage Railway going to Wareham - who thought that the fuel prices would shoot through the roof, making BP change its mind about vacating Furzebrook and even thinking of reinstating Gas trains.

John Rowley

Forget my previous comment. A lot of water has flown under the Bridge and now the whole branch line is leased to Swanage Railway who hope to start running trains to Wareham towards the end of 2015.

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