A Thumping Good Day Out!

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alresford - Ex Southern Railway U class 31806A 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:

Not The Last Thump!

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alton - Class 205 DEMU Hampshire Unit Thumper 1125 Not the Last Thump

A Gronk (Class 08 diesel shunter)

2014 - Watercress Railway - Ropley - Class 08 - 08032

BR Standard Atlantic (7MT 7000 Britannia in the works)

2014 - Watercress Railway - Ropley - BR Standard 7MT class 70000 Britannia


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!

2014 - Watercress Railway - Ropley - Southern Railway 850 Lord Nelson locomotive“Nellie”, as 850 is affectionately nicknamed regularly features on this blog (click here to learn more about this machine).

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alton - Southern Railway 850 Lord Nelson locomotive numberplateOne 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!

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alton - Southern Railway 850 Lord Nelson locomotive cabAs 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.

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alresford - Class 37 D6836 37905The sight of this locomotive, built in 1963 rounded the day off nicely!

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alresford - Class 37 D6836 37905Thanks for reading!

7 thoughts on “A Thumping Good Day Out!

  1. Good grief, another post on the mid-hants!? How long are you stretching this visit out for, it can’t have been this weekend as the black five is now at Toddington ready for our gala (did I mention that!) I really ought to go there myself, on a normal running day I go for free as well with my volunteer’s pass. it’s just a bit out of the way for me I suppose, perhaps I need to suggest going on holiday there, then “discover” the close proximity to the railway…

    Interesting that you’re allowed to walk around the yard, that sounds interesting. At Toddington there’s a viewing area round the back of the sheds which allows you to see a fair amount of the yard and I think inside the sheds too. Yards are dangerous though, even if there’s nothing moving on the rails, there’ll be people carrying heavy things, heavy things on their own, things to trip over, machinery operating etc. it’s very good of them to do it.


    • It’s the last article on this visit, honest lol! A combination of work and purchasing/moving home are conspiring to delay things somewhat. It’s good to hear that 45379 has arrived, it’s a lovely locomotive. Looking forward to hearing about the GWSR gala, expect it’ll be quite an event!

      If you visit the Watercress Line, do drop me a note beforehand. Expect to go to the next gala, though may well squeeze in a visit before then.


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