The train at Corfe Castle
Today South-West Trains ran one of their diesel multiple unit trains from Wareham to Swanage and back.
The train, which had started out from Salisbury depot and run via Southampton, Bournemouth and Poole, was testing platform clearances in readiness for when a regular train service is restored to Corfe Castle and Swanage.
The line closed as a through line to passengers in 1972 and the track was lifted soon after.
Volunteers have spent the last 40 years restoring the track and stations with the ultimate aim of running through trains from the mainline at Wareham to Corfe Castle and Swanage.
Their goal is getting nearer, and last weekend new points were laid by Network Rail at the mainline junction at Worgret, near Wareham.
At present, regular trains, many steam-hauled, run from Norden Park and Ride to Corfe Castle and Swanage, but there's about another 5 miles to the mainline that does not see a regular service.
The train leaving Swanage and passing the steam locomotives on Swanage shed.
Many travellers do not realize how simple it is nowadays to get RTPI on their computers or mobile phones. For many years the railways have led the way with Live Departure and Arrival Information for all stations in Britain. From the comfort of your home or car you can see whether, for example, the 10.59 from Bournemouth to London Waterloo is on time or running late.
Now the bus companies are slowly catching up, and in areas like the Bournemouth/Poole conurbation and also Weymouth/Dorchester, the necessary equipment is in place on most buses to track their position and report that to waiting passengers. That information is shown at bus stops but is also available on your computer or mobile phone.
For smartphones there are several apps available to provide that information, or you can simply type the following URL into your web browser on your PC or mobile: http://www.mytraveline.mobi/ Where an actual time is shown, RTPI is not available for that bus, but where the time of the next bus is shown in "minutes", that bus is being tracked by RTPI equipment and should arrive within the number of minutes shown.
If you need help accessing these services, post a COMMENT on this blog and we'll get in touch.
P&R buses at the Swannery Transport Hub in Weymouth
Spectator numbers for the Olympic sailing in Weymouth are much lower than forecast. Businesses in Weymouth have said their takings are lower than in a normal summer. It is thought that many regular visitors to Weymouth have been put off coming, due to the advance warnings of traffic jams and high parking charges at the Park and Ride sites.
The Olympic Delivery Authority, who are responsible for the Park and Ride sites, have therefore decided to offer totally FREE parking today and tomorrow at the Monkeys Jump P&R site near Poundbury, Dorchester. In addition parking will be free at that site from 2.30pm on all other days during the Olympics. Access to the site is off the roundabout where the A37 leaves the A35, near McDonalds. Postcode is DT2 9DL for SatNavs.
The Kingston Maurward P&R site east of Dorchester has now closed due to lack of demand.
A brand new fleet of shuttle buses operates from the Monkeys Jump Park and Ride site to the Swannery transport hub in Weymouth town centre, approximately ten minutes walk to the seafront.
The cost of the other Weymouth Olympic Park and Ride site at Mount Pleasant remains at £10 per car, as does the Preston Beach Park and Stride site. The Mount Pleasant site is intended mainly for those in possession of tickets for the Nothe sailing spectator area.
Angus Campbell, Chairman of Dorset's Olympic Board, said: "There have not been as many visitors to Weymouth as originally planned for and we are doing what we can to encourage people to come to the town.
"This reduction of prices for the park-and-ride facilities will, we hope, make it an even better value day out to an Olympic venue and boost numbers accordingly.
"Weymouth has a tremendous amount on offer for visitors and we have had rave reviews from those who have already come to soak up the Olympic atmosphere.
"We hope to see many more in the coming days as we approach the excitement of the medal races in the sailing events at the weekend."
One of Dorset's favourite ferries, MV Barfleur, owned by Brittany Ferries, will return to the Poole-Cherbourg route in 2013. The schedule starts on 18 March and will replace the high-speed catamaran which currently operates the route.
The Barfleur is currently on charter on the Dover-Calais route.
Many Dorset folk will be delighted to see the Barfleur return to operate a conventional ferry service to France. Many passengers do not like travelling on the high-speed catamarans which cannot operate in very rough seas.
The Barfleur will leave Poole each morning at 08.30 for the crossing to Cherbourg and will return from Cherbourg at 18.45, arriving in Poole at 22.00. This will enable passengers once again to enjoy a day trip to France from Dorset.
First buses based in Weymouth are sporting a new colour scheme and are being re-branded First Wessex.
More frequent services are being introduced on some routes for the summer, starting on 22 July. In addition a new faster service, numbered X10 will operate between Weymouth and Dorchester, and First promise refurbished interiors on that route, including leather seats!