M7 Class Nº30036 has arrived at Wareham with the Swanage branch service on 18th April 1963.

photograph by Alan Robinson

The first station serving Wareham opened in 1847 on the Southampton to Dorchester line (which at that time was only via Wimborne). The brick goods shed, which is still standing, was part of the original station site and owes its odd alignment to the main line tracks to the prevailing design at the time. The branch to Swanage opened on 2nd May 1885 and the current station was constructed on a new site to the west of the original within a year. The junction to the Swanage branch is actually at Worgret just over one mile west of the station. The original station then closed in 1887. The new station building on the down side was built in brick to a stylish design with a Dutch gable and weather vane tower. The building and canopy on the up platform were constructed with wood. There were western facing bays to serve the Swanage branch services on both the down and up sides. A feature of both station sites was the level crossing (to the west of the original and east of the last one that was provided here) over which the road from Poole to Wareham travelled and for which two crossing keeper cottages were provided.

The current signal box was built on the eastern up side of the level crossing in 1928 and controlled three amongst other functions the level crossing gates and three trailing crossovers within station limits. Swanage trains normally arrived in platform 4 (up bay) to connect with an up service from Weymouth and then departed platform 1 (down bay) having connected with the next down service. To achieve this between the main line arrivals the branch train was shunted between the bay platforms using the western crossover. The crossover between the main platforms was lifted in 1967 after steam hauled services had ceased though the other two crossovers remained. Having initially been reduced to a "one engine in steam" basic railway, services on the Swanage branch continued to be operated by a DEMU until the branch was closed on 3rd January 1972 with the last passenger service on the branch actually running on New Year's Day 1972. The track in both bay platforms as lifted and on the down side the station car park has been extended up to the former bay platform face.

Wareham Wareham Station from the forecourt on 16th September 2000 illustrating the Dutch gable design - and also that there was at least one sunny day in the otherwise wet year of 2000!

photograph by Colin Duff

The LSWR coat of arms set in stone on the tall gable at the front of the station building.

photograph by Chris Osment

Wareham The station buildings from the platform side - note the weather vane tower.

photograph by Colin Duff

This picture taken several days earlier in weather more typical of 2000 of the up side platform buildings and canopy.

photograph by Graeme Pettit


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