Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The railway returns to Swanage

This week's Lib Dem Voice Golden Dozen has my post about the Bluebell Railway in fourth place. As videos of preserved railway lines are clearly what the punters want, here is another.

But there is a political point to this video, which is a trailer for a longer DVD. (There are others about the line on sale on the Swanage Railway site.)

As BBC News reported a few days ago:
A modern passenger train has travelled on a Dorset heritage railway line for the first time in more than 40 years. 
The SouthWest Trains diesel train travelled on the Swanage Railway to highlight work to reinstate the Swanage to Wareham passenger service. 
The volunteer-run line recently won a £1.47m government Coastal Communities Fund grant to upgrade the track. 
It closed in 1972 after the Beeching Report. Chairman Peter Sills described the new work as "Beeching in reverse"
A regular passenger service from Wareham to Swanage is expected to begin in the spring of 2015.

That is how progress is made out here in the provinces.

David Cameron's 'Big Society', where voluntary groups take over the running of public services, was always a bit of a fantasy. But nor is the Labour idea of 'voluntary groups' with 100 per cent state funding (and Labour politicos on their boards) attractive or efficient.

What really work is a partnership between the public and voluntary sectors. The former provide the serious money, insurance and legal expertise. The latter provide the enthusiasm and fresh ideas.

And it is a thoroughly Liberal way of doing things.


Unknown said...

Before I saw the introduction, I thought this was a blatant attempt to break the Dozen with Trainspotter Porn:-).

Jonathan Calder said...

It's only me and my steam trains standing between Simon Titley and world domination.

Unknown said...

This is very true:-). And that Richard Morris character, too.

Tom Barney said...

The first "modern" passenger train in 40+ years? It depends what you mean by modern. Two or three years ago I travelled on a special called the Purbeck Conqueror right through from Waterloo to Swanage. This was hauled by a class 66 which is surely modern enough, although admittedly the carriages were Mk 1s.