The Times They Are a-Changin part 1

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alton - Ex-Southern Railway U class - 31806Last Sunday during a trip to Alton, I saw for what is probably the last time in Hampshire (for me at least), U class 31806.  This weekend is likely to be this locomotive’s last on the Watercress Line, so if you want to see it, this might be your last chance!  It is seen above in stark contrast to the modern South West Trains EMU.  What better way to symbolise change on our railways!The planned departure of this locomotive was reported here in April (click here to read more).  It illustrates how quickly things change, even in the world of heritage railways.

2014 - Watercress Railway - Alton - Ex-Southern Railway U class - 3180631806 is moving to the Swanage Railway with two other Southern Railway moguls – U class 31625 and the unique N class 31874, pictured doubleheading below.  Neither have run for some time, but rather excitingly the Swanage Railway has announced that they intend to overhaul the N class into running condition by the end of next year!

1997 - Ropley - N Class 31874 & U class 31625For more information on this news, please click here.

4 thoughts on “The Times They Are a-Changin part 1

    • Indeed, there is no shortage of motive power on the Watercress Line. As much as I’ll miss regularly seeing the U class in steam, it’s good news overall. Neither of the 2 non-runners would have been brought back to life on the Watercress line given the poor relationship between the loco’s owner. It will be great to see the N class in action again. Historically the N class is (in my opinion) more significant than the U, so the prospect of seeing it in action will likely send me Swanage bound in the future!


      • The move is in the best interest of all 3 parties. The Swanage railway will have more prototypical locomotives and give it some character. The Mid Hants will have more space and focus it efforts on its own locomotives. Was sad to see Bodmin leave yesterday especially being the lines former flagship but as your post says “times are a changing”


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