Directions:- Take the main road through Burley village and head towards Lymington. Sway is signposted off of the main forest road. Sway Railway Station is situated on the right as you enter the village.
Photo Interest:- Throughout the Summer months there are a number of steam hauled expresses using this line to reach Swanage and Weymouth and a few travelling in the other direction from Poole to Oxford and Bath. The line through the forest is difficult to photograph as it runs in cuttings or is well fenced. I have found that Sway Station is a good location and the road and foot bridges east of Sway on the Brockenhurst Road are good vantage points. There is usually ample parking at Sway Station and access to the platforms is via an unmanned gate. I try and shoot the morning down trains as the light is then in the right place. Evening sessions mean you are shooting into the sun and can be very contrasty. Running dates can be found on the web site shown below.
Drawbacks :- These steam trips can be cancelled at short notice owing to mechanical problems with the engine etc. It pays to check www.uksteam.info/tours on the morning of the trip for timings and confirmation that it is running. The trains normally stop at Brockenhurst and I add about ten minutes to the departure time from there to give me an approximate time for it to reach Sway. You are very much open to the elements on the road and footbridges plus parking can be a problem as the bridges can attract a number of train spotters as well as other photographers, plus the just plain curious. Sway Station has a lot of metal signs affixed to the road bridge which will need some ( a lot of) photo -shopping if you want the 'period' photograph.