We are the Mid Hants Railway.
Affectionately known as the ‘Watercress Line’ due to the involvement of the railway in transporting watercress from the beds in Alresford up to London and the Midlands, between the 1890s and 1960s.
The railway line between Alton and Winchester was closed by British Railways in 1973, but part of it was saved from extinction by a band of enthusiastic volunteers. They initially raised enough money to re-open the line as a heritage railway from Alresford to Ropley in 1977 and continued to raise funds to relay the track to Medstead & Four Marks and then to join up with the main railway network at Alton in 1985.
Today the railway runs the full 10 miles between the market towns of Alresford and Alton, preserving an important piece of our 1940’s – 70’s railway heritage for this generation and many more to follow.
We operate a fleet of steam locomotives, most of them of the larger classes, as they are required to work hard to haul trains up and over the steeply graded line through the highest station on Southern England.
The railway is operated by The Mid Hants Railway Ltd, a not for profit organisation with shareholders. The profit generated from visitors and operations is re-invested to ensure that this piece of Britain's railway heritage will still be here for future generations to enjoy.
The Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society (MHRPS) is a registered charity with members, that has the major shareholding in The Mid Hants Railway Ltd. and owns several of the assets of the railway.