The Mid Hants Railway Ltd (MHR), Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society (MHRPS) and Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust (S&DRT) are pleased to announce they are in detailed discussions regarding the relocation of rolling stock and artefacts belonging to the S&DRT from Washford on the West Somerset Railway to the Watercress Line in Hampshire.
The Watercress Line is, and the S&DJR was, a steeply graded, single track main line both of which had operational links to the London and South Western Railway. As a result, a S&DRT presence at the Watercress Line would be appropriate to the history of both the Somerset and Dorset and the original Mid Hants Railway.
Richard Lacey, chairman of Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’ said: “The Watercress Line is excited to be working on detailed arrangements for displaying the S&D Railway Trust’s collection, which we believe will provide a significant enhancement to the experience for all our visitors. We are delighted to welcome the Trust as a member of the Watercress Line family.”
The S&DRT, MHRPS and MHR Ltd are discussing arrangements for each element of the move, with an objective, if agreed by all parties, to complete the transportation of rolling stock and artefacts by the end of February 2021.
Stephen Evans, Chairman of the Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society said: “This will enable the Watercress Line to reveal more about the history of railways in Southern England by displaying an enhanced collection of important Nineteenth and Twentieth Century items.”
Ian Young of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust said: “The trust is very excited about the future possibilities of bringing its collection of historic railway artefacts to a wider audience that this move brings. The display will also fit well with the presence of our S&DJR locomotive, 53808, on the Watercress Line.”