The Swanage Railway’s ‘Project Wareham’, Poole

17 November, 2016 | 18:00 - 20:00

Laying new cables along side the track.
Laying new cables along side the track.

About this event

The presentation will describe the Swanage Railway's long-term aspiration to link up with the National Railway Network at Wareham in order to operate regular timetabled passenger services between Swanage and Wareham, whilst maintaining our current core 'heritage' business between Swanage and Norden.

The 'Chance in a Lifetime' came in 2008 when Network Rail announced their Poole – Wool Re-Signalling Project. This provided the opportunity to upgrade the infrastructure between the Swanage Railway Company and Network Rail to enable trains between Norden and Wareham to be properly signalled from one company to the other.

There were several significant civil- and signal-engineering sub-projects within the ambit of the overall 'Project Wareham', as follows:

  • Embankment strengthening at Furzebrook.
  • Track re-lay at Furzebrook.
  • The new Road-Rail Interchange at Norden Gates.
  • The Token Block Signalling System between Norden Gates and Worgret Junction / Wareham.
  • The new Manually Controlled Barrier Crossing at Norden Gates.

The presentation will describe how these have been successfully delivered over a period of some 5 years by a mix of volunteer and contractor staff.


Mike Walshaw

Mike is a qualified electrical engineer who spent his whole career in the Ministries of: Supply, Aviation Supply, Technology and Defence (Procurement Executive) at Farnborough, London, Chessington and Glasgow, but apart from a Vacation Apprenticeship with the Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. at Chippenham he has never worked in the railway industry.

He moved to Swanage in 2001 and joined the volunteer staff of the Swanage Railway and is now a Signalman in Operations Department and a Signal Engineer in Signal & Telegraph Department. He is the Project Manager and Project Engineer for the Token Block Signalling System that has been installed between the Swanage Railway and Network Rail and has followed with interest the many engineering challenges facing Project Wareham. In this spare time, he is also a keen railway modeller.