Watercress Line

Relive yesteryear and get up close to an impressive array of heritage locomotives this Autumn

Confirmed for this year are three spectacular guest engines from across the United Kingdom, including Foxcote Manor No. 7822, ex-GWR Large Prairie 2-6-2T No. 5199 and BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80078.

Foxcote Manor No. 7822 will be joining the Watercress Line from the West Somerset Railway. The Manor class of two-cylinder 4-6-0 tender engines was designed by C.B.Collett, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway.

The 7822 was one of a post-war batch. It was allocated to Oswestry depot when new, and has spent its whole working life working in Shropshire, Cheshire and Mid Wales.

Making its first ever visit to the Watercress Line is ex-GWR Large Prairie 2-6-2T No. 5199, courtesy of Llangollen Railway. Built in 1934, eight of the class have been preserved. 

Great Western locomotives such as Foxcote Manor and 5199 are known for their loud bark. Come and hear their sharp exhaust beat for yourself as they climb our 1 in 60 gradients 'over the alps'

BR Standard ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80078 is returning to the Watercress Line, courtesy of Stewart Robinson, following a visit in July 2017 for the end of Southern Steam Gala.

The locomotive was built at Brighton Works and entered into service in February 1954. It originally worked on the London, Tilbury and Southend Line until it came under Western Region ownership in July 1962, and moved initially to Shrewsbury and then to Croes Newydd, Wrexham.

The Watercress Line’s home fleet will also be running, giving visitors the opportunity to travel behind 92212 - British Railways Standard Class 9F, 76017 - British Railways Standard Class 4MT, 41312 - LMS Ivatt Class 2MT and 925 - SR Schools Class ‘Cheltenham’.

There will also be behind the scene tours of the Ropley workshop and yard, giving visitors the chance to see the Watercress Line’s locomotives under restoration.

Other highlights of the 2018 Autumn steam gala include the Real Ale bar, which will be available on one of the trains each day, the Queen Mary brake van, which will be available for rides on the goods train, and ‘Delivering the Goods’, an exhibition showcasing goods handling on the railway.

There will also be a fantastic range of railway merchandise on sale, and Hampshire-based author Nigel Welbourn will be signing copies of the latest title in his popular ‘Lost Lines’ series, ‘Railway Treasures’