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Visit the Railway

Welcome to the Watercress Line!

Step back in time to the Golden Age of Steam at this living history railway running through ten miles of rolling Hampshire countryside, along the northern edge of the new South Downs National Park. 

You can join the Watercress Line at New Alresford, famous for its clear chalk streams and watercress farms, located just 7 miles from the ancient city of Winchester. Opened in 1865, the railway was well known for its early role transporting locally grown watercress to the markets in London and beyond, from which it takes its name today. Alresford is a picturesque Georgian town to explore, with boutique shops and cafes and nearby national Trust property Hinton Ampner.

Along the line at Ropley station you can enjoy a stroll on the elevated picnic area, from where you can cross the famous King's Cross footbridge, that featured in the Harry Potter films, to the Loco Yard. Here you can get up close to the locomotives and see preservation in action from the viewing galleries in our impressive engineering sheds. 

At the peaceful country station of Medstead and Four Marks, the highest station in Southern England, you can relax and watch the world go by. The steep gradient of the line to this station means we need a fleet of large, powerful steam locomotives capable of hauling heavy trains 'over the Alps'; a spectacular sight and sound any time of the year!

At the Alton end of the line you can also join us by car or mainline train; just an hour from London Waterloo the trains arrive at platforms 1 & 2 and we run from platform 3. This bustling market town has a delightful mix of historic buildings and modern shops, with its own Curtis Museum and Allen gallery and links to Jane Austen's House Museum just a mile away in nearby Chawton. 

Our tickets give you all day unlimited travel, enabling you to enjoy as many rides on the Watercress Line as you wish as you explore the four period stations and surrounding area and attractions. 

Use the Visit The Railway pages to plan your visit; here you will find our calendar showing the Opening Times and Prices with links to the relevant pages for train timetables, detals of our special events under Whats On and tickets for our dining and real ale trains and further information about our activities. The Planning Your Visit section has details on What To See and Do, our Facilities and Accessibility Information and of course How To Find Us and Where to Stay if you are planning an overnight trip to this lovely area of Hampshire. 

We look forward to seeing you, and if you have any queries about your visit please call us on 01962 733810. 


Let the train take the strain as you sit back, relax, and watch mile after mile of beautiful Hampshire countryside pass you by. The soothing sounds of the steam engine and the beat of the exhaust can be heard over the clickety clack of the train pa...Read more

Planning your visit

Information on what to see, facilities, accessibility, how to find us and where to stay - plus our customer comments! Read more

Groups & Schools

The Watercress Line makes an ideal day out for all ages and interests, whether it is a class of school children learning about the railway during World War II or an organised party wishing to reminisce during a heritage train ride. ...Read more

What's On

 Throughout the year we hold special events here at the Watercress Line. Please see below for details

Dining Trains

Silver service dining trains on select Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.

Real Ale Trains

A selection of local real ales onboard a steam train on select Saturdays throughout the year.

Railway Experiences

There is nothing quite like the sound, smell and power of a steam locomotive in full cry! Thanks to our steeply graded line, 1 in 60 at its steepest, you can work our steam engines in the manner t...

Educational Courses

Tickets for educational courses throughout the year. Currently nothing listed.