A trip to the Watercress Line is always well worth it and this visit was no exception! The railway has a large fleet of locomotives that is regularly supplemented by visitors. What made this visit particularly special was of course the Heritage DMU Thumper Unit 1125 (click here for more) celebrating ten years since withdrawal and ten years on the line. These unit’s worked the line regularly in the line’s last days of British Railways ownership, so it was fitting that the first of the “Not the last Thump” events being held around the country (click here to find out more about these events) in 2014.Blog Post’s published from this visit are listed below:
As well as the Thumper Unit in operation, two locomotives were in steam on the day. These were U class 31806 (see top of this post) and 850 Lord Nelson, a favourite of mine!
“Nellie”, as 850 is affectionately nicknamed regularly features on this blog (click here to learn more about this machine).
One of my most entertaining journey’s being pulled by this machine was when my wife and I traveled on the Real Ale Train (click here to read more). Note that I say “entertaining” rather than “memorable”! This is very good fun and highly recommended!
As well as the class 08 diesel shunter and 7000 Britannia, there were a number of locomotives to be found at Ropley. BR Standard 9F class 92212, ex-LMS Black 5 45379 and schools class V 925 Cheltenham were sitting in the loco yard (see gallery below). Providing there are no locomotive movements, the Watercress Line allows the public to explore the yard and get close to these magnificent beasts. This has to be commended and I hope it will continue. Unfortunately our health and safety/suing obsessed culture has led to many other heritage lines closing off access to their equivalent sites.
This visit was diesel heritage orientated so it was fitting that the last view from the train as it entered Alresford station was of a class 37 diesel in BR Green.