Maunsell Lord Nelson and U Class on a very wet Watercress Line!

As well as being the date for Locoyardfest; Tuesday 5th June was also a good day as a steam enthusiast as I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Watercress Line.  The visit was  hampered by terrible weather, in fact it was pretty awful and if it wasn’t for the fact that my cameras are old and need replacing, I wouldn’t have taken any pictures at all.  Two Maunsell designed locomotives were running; U class 31806 and 850 Lord Nelson.

My first stop was Bowers Lane, a good place to watch trains running uphill from Ropley to Medstead and Four Marks stations.  I made a short video at Bowers Grove Lane as well as taking the above photograph of Nellie running tender-first.

Second stop was a new location of Boyneswood Road.  This is located a short way beyond Medstead and Four Marks station towards Alton.  The last time I’d waited here for a train, this section of line was temporarily closed due to a lineside fire.  This was during our sunny spell in March (aka the drought.)  That hot sunny day in March seemed a distant memory on this cold, wet June day!  Any chance of a lineside fire would have been a fine thing!

850 Lord Nelson was captured in the photograph above and in this video at Boyneswood Road heading away from Alton and into Medstead and Four Marks.  I then got a couple of nice photographs (below) of U class 31806 going the opposite direction, but unfortunately no video as that camera’s batteries had given up and I didn’t fancy swapping them in the wet conditions.  It proved to be a good location, if not quite as good as I hoped.  This is mainly due to all the leaves being on the trees, which doesn’t allow for a great angle, although this did result in a nice shot of the fireblox glowing!  I’ve made a mental note to return here in the winter once the leaves have dropped off the trees (and when, no doubt, it’ll be hot and sunny again!)

My final stop of the day was Alresford, to get a close look at the magnificent 850 Lord Nelson (below) and have a quick look in the line’s fantastic gift/model shop there.  I try to make a point of buying what I can there so that the proceeds go to the railway.  After taking a few pictures and watching Lord Nelson leave, I left to go home to put on some dry clothes and have a lovely big hot mug of tea!