Watercress Line

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update

Our priority during the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, and the railway's closure, is on meeting our running costs. We need around £75,000 per month. Without this income, within a relatively short period we will exhaust our reserves which are so important us for our long term plans.

Although these are difficult times for all of us, we are asking you to consider providing financial support to the railway. With your support, ideally through a monthly standing order, the railway can be in a safe and good position to move forward rapidly when circumstances allow.

The amount is up to you as everyone’s circumstances are different, but please give as generously as you can. One-off donations would also be welcomed.

Thank you.

Visit our donation page to make a monthly gift or donate a single amount.

You can also text WATERCRESS to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

The Front Fell Off!!

Urie Blog


Well, we’ve been threatening for some time now that this was going to happen, but last weekend it finally did... the front fell off 506! To be more precise, the front 9’ of wasted frame section on the R/H side of the loco was removed. For the past few months the replacement frame sections have been stored at Medstead but they were brought back to Ropley 2 weeks ago and last Sunday were offloaded from their storage wagon. 24 hours earlier, after a lot of measuring, levelling and yet more measuring, the wasted right hand section was cut from the loco. We believe the frame plates to be original and, as such, have seen almost 60 years’ service in both LSWR/SR/BR days and the preservation era. All the resultant rough shunts and other mishaps will almost certainly have knocked them slightly out of line meaning any attempt to cut accurately first time was far too risky. Instead, the cut was made deliberately short of the mark by ½" – ¾"; tidying up to a more precise measure can be done at a later date.

Whilst we’ve been waiting to get on with the frames, work has been progressing on a number of other fronts on both 499 and 506. I’m currently putting together an update on progress since my last post and this will be released next month.

The first new frame section is now on trestles in the shed with the old section sat on top. Once correctly aligned it will be used as a drilling guide. We really are now in to heavy engineering; do this right and we get to do it all again on 499!! To be continued...


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