Watercress Line

Due to the COVID-19 emergency the Watercress Line Mid Hants Railway is temporarily closed to the public. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our most important consideration. You will know that the Watercress Line relies on ticket revenue to cover its operational costs, which currently work out more than £75,000 a month. Without money coming in from running services, the railway is eating into its financial reserves to survive. If you can help, please click on the Virgin Money Giving link below which allows you to donate a single amount or pay monthly if you're able to. You can also text WATERCRESS to 70085 to donate £10, texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message. Thank you for continuing to support us during this unprecedented situation. We hope to be able to welcome you back to the Watercress Line soon.

Update of activity happening at Alton and request for volunteers

We're just over half way through the period of line closure between Alton and Medstead and you may have been wondering what, if anything, has been going on at Alton?

You'll be aware that the Wagon Group continue to beaver away in the sidings at the station through their blog on here and the Operating Department have been equally busy too.

Operational Colleague Training - Alton has been used as a base for many of our classroom and on the ground training sessions since January and so far 49 colleagues from across the Traffic and Locomotive Divisions of the Operating Department have attended training on:

Manual operation of motorised points
Safe working around electrified lines
Auto-Pilotman working requirements for the Alton to Medstead section
Hand signalling in a colour light area
Station and Site Maintenance

The closed period presents us with a great opportunity to undertake some much needed maintenance around the station and more importantly for those volunteers who travel to our railway via the mainline an opportunity to stay connected with us and continue to be involved in railway activities until we reopen.

Attached are a few pictures to show some of the work which has been undertaken so far:

Embankment clearing has commenced opposite the signal box to improve the fabulous views for our customers across to Kings Pond. We've also made a great start tidying the headshunt end of the station which is the first view our customers arriving by mainline train get of our railway and so it's vitally important that we improve this area visually.

Station painting - there's much to do on and around the station and during the winter the focus has been on the platform benches with six completed and a further two well under way.

In addition to this we've been repainting notice boards, doors and the country end of the toilet block.

Our big job, which is just commencing, is the repainting of the water tower which has not seen a fresh coat of paint since it was erected at the end of the eighties. The Building department have already made a start inside the tank and now that scaffolding has been erected, the outside will be progressed too.

Station maintenance team - a small group has started to meet at Alton each week who are making a huge difference with the appearance of the station, through painting and undergrowth clearance.

We're looking for a few more volunteers to join this small but very merry group and so if you're interested, or know someone who is, then please contact Dave Josey at djosey@hotmail.co.uk.

Kind regards, 

Mark White, Station Master

Photo gallery