Past Meetup

Train spotting! - The Watercress Line and a Visit to Alresford

This Meetup is past

12 people went

Price: £1.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


Meetup at Alton Station at 11.15am. Cost £14 for all day ticket and £1 Meetup Fee.

Brush down

your anoraks

and bobble

hats as we're

going for a

trip on the Watercress Line!

'The soothing sounds of the steam engine and the beat of the exhaust can be heard over the clickety clack of the train passing over the rails; there really is nothing quite like the sight, sound and smell of a steam train!' - so says the blurb on the website.

The Mid Hants Railway (known as the Watercress Line since it was used to transport watercress from the beds in Alresford to London) is a renovated stretch of line on the old BR line which ran from Waterloo to Winchester. The stretch was closed in 1973 and reopened by enthusiasts in 1977 and now runs scheduled steam trains through some of the most stunning scenery in the south of England. It runs for 10 miles through 4 stations from Alton to Alresford, just east of Winchester. A visit not only gives an opportunity to brush off the anoraks and fill up the thermos flasks, but to get some amazing photos of steam engines, trains, old worlde stations and memorabilia.

We'll meet up at 11.15am and catch the 12.00 train from Alton to Ropley - the third station where we can enter the engine sheds to see more engines and work in progress. The next train leaves at 13.16 for Alresford.

Alresford is a pretty english village, nestling next to the river Alre. There are 3 pubs that do snacks and drinks and there are lots of things to photograph there - old buildings, new buildings, pretty streets and even an old mill alongside a river walk. The train back to Alton leaves at 15.00 (last one is 15.45 - don't miss it), arriving back at 15.40.

So there should be lots of photo opportunities in and around the village as well as pictures of steam trains and engines and the stations.

2 challenges then:

1) Capture the 'feel' of the steam age - the engine itself - its power, its living spirit, the engineering etc. The train as a whole and the stations - old posters and machines - very different from today's stations. Maybe a black and white picture or two. What about that 'Brief Encounter' shot?

2) The Ultimate Biscuit Tin Picture - the village street with pretty shops, flowers or a river scene.

Try to get shots that are different to what you mght see on a postcard. Different angles and viewpoints - try crouching down. Try using focus selectively to create more dramatic shots. Use the foreground to add depth to the picture and of course railway lines make really good lead ins for the eye.

Hopefully this will be a brilliant day with some excellent shots. We need to meet 11.15 so there is time to buy our tickets and get a few pics before our first train arrives. There is a car park at Alton station (payable) and Alton station is also the last stop on the Waterloo - Alton line so easy peasy to get to. I'll be driving from Guildford. Don't forget tickets are £14 (day pass all trains) and £1 meetup fee which will go to Mandy who has paid the fees to use the web site.

This is a link to the alresford recommended walks - thought we'd do the millenium walk - not too strenuous.....