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.


Well it's been a few weeks since the last report, with holidays and other things seemingly taking up rather a lot of time. But anyway, even though no one has actually mentioned any lack of Wagon Group missives... here's an update on recent activities. 

At Medstead work progresses on BY S 653.The external roof finishing off is pretty well completed. Internally the roof and sides are being cleaned down and painted, and the vac piping is being installed.

The welding on the gunpowder van sides and roof is, I believe, completed, and the underframe and exterior is being painted. There is some internal woodworking to do to to secure the roof, to enable the internal roof props to be removed.

The wood store plans have been drawn up, and a start made on the base. Lastly a start has been made on the repainting of the maroon CCT, starting on the underframes, which have not been painted since BR days it appears.

Up at Alton, we are of course still steam less, but we manage to get our steam fix with frequent testing of the kettle for tea and coffee!

LSWR bogie S 57849 is now pretty well completely in top coat (black underframes and grey raves), and we are glad to see the end of derusting on this 50 foot plus long wagon. Many thanks to Dave Sibley at Ropley for producing a vac pipe kit for us, and for Richard and Claire for transporting this up to Alton for us last week. All we have to do now is to put it together and attach it to the underframe of the wagon... once we have done that we can put the floor back down.

We are progressing well on Palvans B 782114 and B 776446, both of which needed scraping loose paint off, filling, sanding, priming, undercoating etc. The steel work is fine, it's just the 60 year old ply sheeting creating all the work. Hopefully we will start some topcoating here in the next week or two.

Finally The grounded van body mess room roof is being prepared for torch on roofing felt - this to replace the plastic sheeting over old corrugated steel sheeting.

Chris Le Corney

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