with South Western Railway
Travelling to Dorset by Train
Dorset is served by an excellent rail network from many UK towns. You are never far from a railway station in Dorset, as there are 23 stations on the national network and an additional 5 stations on the Swanage Railway branch-line.
South Western Railway
There are two direct routes from London Waterloo station to Dorset operated by South Western Railway.
The first train service operates on a twice hourly basis (hourly on Sundays) between London Waterloo and Weymouth, stopping at 14 Dorset stations including Christchurch, Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham and Dorchester South.
The second operates on an hourly basis from London Waterloo to Exeter St Davids, stopping at Dorset stations Sherborne and Gillingham. Change to a frequent bus service at Axminster station for Lyme Regis (approximately 5 miles away).
From 4 April to 10 September 2023, visitors will be able to travel by train from London, Southampton and many other destinations to the beautiful village of Corfe Castle and seaside resort of Swanage. You will need to change trains at Wareham, switching onto a heritage diesel train run by Swanage Railway. You will be able to buy through tickets from South Western Railway and these services will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only.
South Western Railway offer great discounted fares when you buy your ticket in advance on many longer distance routes to and from London. Full conditions of advance tickets are available on the South Western Railway website. You can also buy your ticket at your nearest station or by calling 0345 6000 650.
Great Western Railway
Great Western Railways run train services across south west England and also connect with London and Oxford.
Their Heart of Wessex Line brings passengers from Bristol to Dorset via Trowbridge, Westbury, Castle Cary, Yeovil and other towns, arriving in Dorset at Dorchester West and Weymouth stations.
Why not take advantage of their advanced fares offers? You can also buy your ticket at your nearest station or by calling 0345 7000 125.
Cross Country Trains
If you are travelling from the north, Cross Country Trains connect Manchester to Bournemouth via Stoke-On-Trent, Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford, Reading, Southampton and many more towns.
Buy a Cross Country Advance ticket and you could save up to 70%. You can buy your tickets online, at your nearest station or by calling 0844 811 0124.
Combine train and bus travel
Need to get a bus from the railway station to your final destination? Purchase a PlusBus ticket and save money.
A Bournemouth and Poole PlusBus ticket gives you unlimited bus travel on participating operators’ services around the whole urban area of Bournemouth, Poole and Wimborne. Connecting railway stations include Bournemouth, Branksome, Christchurch and Poole.
BritRail for International Visitors
If you are planning to travel by train to Dorset and across the south west of England, book a BritRail Pass which can be used on both South Western Railway and Great Western Railway and offers some great reductions in ticket prices.
Further information and live travel information
If you need to buy a ticket for a journey travelling across 2 or more train routes, i.e. travelling with both South Western Railway and Great Western Railway, you can do this via the National Rail website without paying any additional fees or charges.
You can also visit the National Rail website for more information about train services across the whole of England and to get live departure and arrival times for trains.