Full steam ahead – the Watercress Line welcomes back its four-day Spring Steam Gala

April 19, 2021

  • The Watercress Line has announced the return of its much-loved Spring Steam Gala – Friday 30th April 2021 – Monday 3rd May 2021.
  • Step back in time to a bygone era of rural branch line train travel.

The Spring Steam Gala will feature chances to explore the heritage stations along the picturesque 10-mile line, as well as the chance to enjoy open-air talks and exhibits and find out more about Watercress Line’s restoration projects. There will also be an enhanced timetable of steam locomotives to transport guests to each station.

Visitors can step back in time and enjoy the roaring twenties with the GWR 5526 tank engine built in 1928, courtesy of the South Devon Railway. Then taste the golden age of the 1930s with the GWR 6435 tank engine built in 1937, courtesy of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

These two beautiful locomotives will join Watercress Line’s home fleet engines operating an intensive regular service, so visitors can travel to any of the stations to enjoy open-air facilities and our exhibits along the line.

Passenger trains will be operating over the length of the line during the Gala, providing guests with a historic mode of transport to visit all the attractions at the Gala. This includes a mixed passenger and goods train that will be running between Ropley and Alresford.

There will be a shunting demonstration at Ropley as well as open-air talks on the history of the line at both Ropley and Medstead, with Society stands and displays featured at Ropley station. Visitors can explore every station and hop on and off any train they wish.

Simon Baggott, General Manager at the Watercress Line, said: “We can’t wait to welcome visitors and train-lovers back to Spring Steam Gala again. We are sure visitors will enjoy immersing themselves in the feel of a rural, bygone, golden age of train travel while learning their history, hearing a talk or simply having a cup of tea with friends and family in a most picturesque setting.”

For more information and to book tickets, please visit www.watercressline.co.uk