Dorset

Dorset's Swanage Railway pioneer dies aged 92

Moyra Cross Image copyright Andrew PM Wright
Image caption Moyra Cross volunteered on Swanage Railway for more than 40 years

A pioneer of a Dorset heritage railway which was rebuilt by volunteers over three decades has died aged 92.

Moyra Cross campaigned for and volunteered on Swanage Railway for more than 40 years.

She was one of a small group of people who petitioned against British Rail's closure of the line from Swanage to Wareham in 1972.

She later became a founder member of the groups which were formed to rebuild it.

'Magnificent contribution'

Swanage Railway volunteer, Peter Frost, said: "Everyone owes a huge debt of thanks to Moyra, and her fellow campaigners, for volunteering to stand up in the community in the face of opposition during the early days."

He said her "magnificent contribution" to the railway would not be forgotten, and added she was "an inspiration to the generations of Swanage Railway volunteers who follow in her footsteps".

In 1969, she became a founder member of the Isle of Purbeck Preservation Group, which was formed to prevent the closure of the line.

She was also a member of Swanage Railway Society from 1972, as well as the Swanage to Wareham Railway Group, formed to rebuild the route.

Image copyright Andrew PM Wright
Image caption Swanage Railway was rebuilt by volunteers over three decades

A 5.5-mile (8.8km) stretch from Swanage to Norden was rebuilt by volunteers over a 30-year period.

Next year, a regular service on the 10-mile stretch between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham is set to run for the first time in four decades.

Trial services are planned for 50 days towards the end of 2015 and 90 days in 2016. It is hoped a year-round service will follow.

Image copyright Andrew PM Wright
Image caption Next year, a regular service on the 10-mile stretch between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Wareham is set to run for the first time in four decades

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