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The Watercress Line announces 2020 events - including two new events in the summer

The Watercress Line has announced its full calendar of events for 2020, featuring annual family favourites, behind the scenes tours, and a jam-packed steam gala for steam enthusiasts and visitors of all ages. 

The Watercress Line’s 2020 season will begin with a bang on 14th February as the reopening of Alton station is marked with the arrival of the most famous steam locomotive in the world, the record-breaking Flying Scotsman, for the first time.

The summer will see two brand new events, a VE Day 75th Anniversary celebration from 8th-10th May and a 50’s Weekend on 4th-5th July. The VE Day anniversary event will bring a Proms in the Park vibe to Ropley Station including live 1940s music and dancing plus a street party themed menu and food options.  The 50’s Weekend will offer a taste of 1950s glamour with live music, swing dancing, classic cars and more.

On 13th - 14th June, the hugely popular War on the Line event returns welcoming visitors to transport themselves back in time to the 1940s, against the backdrop of a Second World War railway, to experience the ‘Blitz Spirit’.

From 12th-13th September, the Watercress Line will throw open the doors to all of its stations as part of a two-day Open Weekend, offering visitors the chance to view the railway’s restoration projects, explore Ropley yard and investigate its engineering sheds. This event is free to members and stakeholders. 

Steam lovers can once again relive yesteryear on the Watercress Line when its annual Autumn Steam Gala returns on 16th-18th October. A three-day event giving enthusiasts the opportunity to see and ride behind guest engines as well as the home-fleet locomotives.  There will also be behind the scene tours throughout Ropley workshop and yard and the chance to explore the Watercress Line’s current restoration projects, plus rides on the ‘Queen Mary’ brake van. 

Jules Johns, marketing manager at the Watercress Line, said: “I am delighted to announce our calendar of events for 2020 which begins in wonderful style with Flying Scotsman.  There’s a number of opportunities for steam enthusiasts to explore the Watercress Line’s wonderful railway story as well as new and returning events.

“There really is something for everyone to enjoy at the Watercress Line in 2020.”

The Watercress Line has also announced a host of family favourites, including its hugely popular Day Out With Thomas, extended magical Wizard Weekend and joyful Santa Specials. 

For more information about the Watercress Line, including upcoming events, visit www.watercressline.co.uk

Photo: Flying Scotsman by Liam Barnes