Norden Railway Train Graveyard, nr Corfe Castle, Dorset

It had always been a dream of mine to photograph a train graveyard, and while Norden railway wasn’t quite epic, it didn’t disappoint at all.

We were actually looking for Norden’s disused Clay Mine when we stumbled across the trains parked up beside the Norden Railway Station which is a huge hit with holiday-makers in the Summer months taking the steam train to Swanage via Corfe Castle.

So, after conceding that we weren’t going to find anything of interest regarding the Clay Mine, we walked along the Norden railway tracks towards the abandoned carriages. Unfortunately 90% of them were fire damaged, completely rotten or vandalised.

Towards the end of approximately 25 carriages there stood an old engine, one I remember from my childhood. I have no train knowledge at all, but it’s the Yellow/Blue one! Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

IMPORTANT: As of 2016, this is now a live section of track with running trains. You can be fined up to £1000 for trespassing on the railway. Most, if not all of the carriages in the photos below have been moved and there’s nothing to see here anymore.

The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer The Urban Explorer


Important, noteworthy & interesting comments are highlighted below

  1. Lucy says:

    The blue/yellow train is a BR Bo-Bo Class 33, nicknamed Cromptons. Built in April 1961, worked most of it’s life at Hither Green or Eastliegh depot. Withdrawn from service in 1988 and has been at Swanage since January 2001.

  2. Jim White says:

    Does anyone know what animal that is?

    1. Jim White says:

      nevermind, it’s a cow guys

    2. Neilsimmonds says:

      Hey Jim would you do haunted houses too? If you say yes, would you be open to another joining you. I’m going to learn lock picking.

      1. martin says:

        This not me I would not use my real name anyway but if you want to know more find me on fb messenger

        Team up if interested.

  3. AWK says:

    Visited recently and had a good look around and got some great photos.

  4. The stock held to the north of Norden is a store of vehicles awaiting restoration or to act as a source of spare parts for others. Vehicles are moved around from time to time to provide access.

    However, all those thinking of visiting should now be aware that the line IS an operational railway and should be aware that trains do move between Norden and Wareham. At the present time (July 2015) a great deal of civil engineering work is being undertaken and this does require the movement of trains, often a diesel locomotive and rake of wagons. Departmental movements are not in the published public service timetable and can take place at any time.

    The line IS used for charter movements and there are a number of trains coming in from the main line to Swanage.

    Essential message for all is that the whole railway from Swanage to Wareham must be regarded as an operational railway where trains can and do move at any time.

    Anyone who does want to visit MUST obtain permission from the Swanage Railway and MUST be escorted and MUST wear full railway personal protective equipment. Anyone else will be regarded as trespassers and will be removed.

    The Swanage Railway is changing – it is a community railway and is about to launch passenger services between Swanage and Wareham.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Thank you for the update, Peter.

      1. Jordan says:

        Would this place be good to metal detect

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          Not at all. The place has changed dramatically, and the line is periodically in use. I doubt it would have been any good for detecting anyway, I reckon you’d be digging up nuts & bolts all day.

  5. Ben Clark says:

    Hey there,
    I am particularly interested in doing a photoshoot here and I am in love with derelict locations. Also being local to Corfe and Swanage I know the area well.
    I wanted to ask what sort of permission and how you went about it to get to the graveyard? I really want to get some photos taken here. Thanks!

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi Ben, I just went there and took photos! That’s all I can say really!?

      1. Ben Clark says:

        Is this publicly accessible? You can simply walk to this via a beaten track or pathway or do you have to willingly walk down the train lines to get there?

        Thank you for all your help!

        1. The Urban Explorer says:

          You say you’re local? If you know where it is, have a look at Google Streetview and check it out, or honestly, just go and look yourself mate! I haven’t been there in years, it could have all changed!

          1. Ben says:

            Do you have StreetView coordinates for it? Also really keen to go and have a look.

            1. The Urban Explorer says:

              Ben, it’s as easy as typing Norden Railway in to Google mate.

            2. The Urban Exporter says:

              Wow. that is some hilariously lazy shit right there, Ben.

  6. peter morris says:

    I am trying to trace anything about my great grandfather RICHARD MORRIS who was a clay miner here

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Have you tried contacting the people who run this website?

    2. Kim Aldred (nee Morris) says:

      Hi, I was reading your request in finding out about your Great Grandfather and may be able to help you. My Great Uncle is Richard Morris from Swanage, his Brother was my Great Grandfather, Herbert Montaque Morris. Richard had a son or perhaps several but Cecil Morris is buried with his mother, Charlotte in Northbrook cemetery as he has a war grave I’ve visited this but I’m only a novice. You may have more info, Herbert Morris is my Grandfather. Hopefully hear back soon x

    3. Kim Aldred re kim morris daughter of len morris says:

      Hi, can you contact me regarding Richard Morris. Thank you

    4. Kim Aldred says:

      Dear Peter,
      I’ve tried contacting you before concerning Richard Morris my Dad was Leonard Morris this was his Great Grandfather as well please reply it would be good to hear from you.

  7. Angus Bradley says:

    Sorry may seem a stupid question.. are the tracks still live? And did you ever manage to find the mine?


    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      I wouldn’t like to say either way Angus. Although, I’m still here to tell the tale!

      Didn’t find the mine, although we did find plenty of remnants and a couple of buildings linked to it.

  8. Priscilla says:

    Hi Adam,
    I love this website and your photos and finds. I really want to visit some of these places for some shoots and drawings. Would you be able to tell me how to get here from Corfe Castle? I would really appreciate it thanks!

  9. skinny fox. says:

    Wow, love the pics. I remember that blue engine (not that specific one lol) running past my grannies house in the 70’s She lived in the station house as my grandad was a retired engine driver. Oh the memories. Also, just googled the station, looks like a bit of a maintenance yard there. Some nice big sleepers for my allotment, oops, did I just say that out loud :-)

  10. Langdon Tomkins says:

    To bring you up to date. The rolling stock that is at Norden is stored away from the prying eyes of vandals and railway thieves who like nothing better than either wrecking or stealing memorabilia.

    The line here is connected to the main line and trains from there do run along it down to Swanage. To put things into perspective, everything that currently runs at Swanage probably looked as derelict as some of the stock in these pictures. They are just waiting their turn to be restored. They are not dumped but privately owned so most definitely not forgotten.

    I speak as a long standing member and former signalman on the Swanage Railway now living abroad.

  11. oliver says:


    I know the locations of the old clay mine tunnels. It was one of Benjamin Fayles old quarries – later merged with Pike brothers quarry (Blue Pool today) to form English china clays (now Imerys). There are two tunnels that pass under the A351 near Norden. One has a keystone reading “BF1807” which is intact but bricked up, and another hardly readable reading I believe “BF1849”. Both tunnels carry water now as the old horse drawn railway to Middlebere has silted up. The disused quarry is still reachable by following the new road from Norden to Wareham and taking the first turning on the left after Norden Farm. You can still see the kerbstones of the old road if you clear the brambles to see the width of the original road before it goes over the old railway near New Line Farm (named after the branch line from Wareham to Swanage). You can still follow the line to Middlebere quay with the stone sleepers and the holes in the stones for later rails as opposed the the original “L” shaped rails.

    1. lawrence says:

      I would be interested in finding these mines any still accessible ? I think there were 7 workings in total ?

      1. John Rowley says:

        Clay Mines are dangerous and ALL the mines have been filled in. Many of the quarries are still visible as they have flooded like the Blue Pool. A couple are still being worked, but once again (Like the railway) they are dangerous places and must only be visited with permision and accompanied with an official. If you wish to find out more about the industry visit the Mining Museum in the Summer – see attached website for opening times.

  12. Paul Harley says:

    33034 was scrapped at Norden in January 2013. See


    1. Ah that is a shame! Thanks for the update though Paul, I appreciate it.

  13. Steve says:

    Yes, the loco is indeed a 33 ‘Crompton’, they were the regular diesel for this areas passenger services many moons ago. Im 99.9% sure its not here anymore. At the diesel gala in May I got a lift on a brake van ride along here and it was nowhere to be seen. Really nice photos, love the old signwriting, I might have to have a nosy round here on foot.

    1. Hi Steve, thanks for the comment.

      Indeed I was around here a few months ago too and it was gone! Hopefully to a better place, or perhaps it has been restored already.

  14. Nick Booth says:

    The loco is a class 33 diesel loco it’s number is on the side 33304
    It is in British Rail blue colour

  15. Geoff says:

    Indeed, the line between Norden and Wareham is currently being upgraded to allow passenger services to recommence in 2015. For more details:

  16. Sian says:

    WOW, this place looks amazing, can you tell me if this place is open to the public as I would love to do a urban shoot with of kids here.

    1. Hi Sian,

      I’m pretty sure it’s not ‘open’ to the public, but it’s as easy as walking through a gate to access these old carriages.

      There was talk of them reopening the line to Swanage so I’d do your research and make sure it’s still a dead line before heading there!

    2. purbeckboy says:

      The branch line is fully operational and although not quite in use every day, the number of trains using it will increase to several everyday. The rolling stock that is stored in derilect condition are due for removal very soon.

  17. Andrea Todd says:

    Hello Adam,

    I think I can enlighten you a little on the engine. I have a distinct memory of us having a train set back in the 70s that smelled of sparks and looked just like this . . .

    If this link doesn’t work, do a search for 70 Hornby train set on


    1. Brilliant! I remember seeing these trains all the time when I was a kid!

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