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BNPS.co.uk (01202)558833<br />
Pic: PhilYeomans/BNPS<br />
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Young blood - The Swanage Railway in Dorset is desperate to recruit young people into various heritage railway profession's.<br />
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Growth Industry - Britain's enduring love affair with steam trains has led to a critical shortage of drivers, 56 years after the infamous Beeching Axe was supposed to have fallen.<br />
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More steam train's are running today than at anytime since Dr Beechings drastic cut in 1963 - with over 150 steam heritage railways and museums attracting 13 million visitors a year.<br />
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One of the most popular heritage railways in the country has put out an SOS for steam drivers - as so many of its stalwarts are retiring.<br />
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Swanage Railway in Dorset has 42 steam drivers on their books, but the majority are in their 60s or older and likely to step down in the coming years.<br />
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They need to train up to 40 drivers over the next five years to replace them and meet their expanding service, which attracts over 200,000 visitors each year.<br />
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To fill the void, a group of enthuisastic young volunteers are being taught the skill, a process which can take up to a decade.<br />
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The Heritage Railway Association, which oversees them, says some of their railways have a 'more pressing need for new blood'.