What to know for your visit?
The Watercress Line has a range of facilities and we try to make the railway as accessible as possible, given the nature of our heritage buildings, outdoor areas and rolling stock. However, accessibility is not always feasible and we offer a 'Free Carer' ticket* so that you effectively receive half price travel to compensate for the restricted access to our facilities.
*One FREE carer per registered disabled full fare paying visitor. Free Carer Tickets are NOT available on Real Ale Trains, Dining Trains or Santa Specials, as these are on board the train only and so every visitor receives the same offering and experience.
We have two wheelchair accessible carriages. Our new accessible Bulleid Brake S4211 carriage operates on the Alresford set and can accommodate 5-6 visitors in wheelchairs with room for carers and tables to eat at. Our other wheelchair accessible carriage can accommodate 2-3 visitors in wheelchairs along with their carers with two tables to eat at.
On standard travel days the adapted carriage is on the train departing Alresford at 10.30am and 2pm, and departing Alton at 10.20am and 1.50pm but please note this will differ on special event days. Please contact us or phone on 01962 733810 for up to date information about our accessible carriages.
All of our standard travel services are capable of carrying from 2 to 6 fixed wheelchairs in the brake compartment (via ramps at any of our stations).
There is also the option for those who are able, to travel in any part of the train with their wheelchair stored in the brake compartment.
Ramps are available at all stations to aid boarding. Please remember that our volunteers/staff are always more than happy to help, so do ask if you have the need!
Step-less access is available for entry to all platforms from the station building. Ramp access is in place to cross platforms at Alresford, Ropley and Medstead. Alton station has a new footbridge with lifts crossing platform 1 and 2 with platform 3 for the Watercress Line adjacent.
Disabled parking is available at Alresford and at Alton in the South Western Railway car park. For disabled parking at events please see specific event page.
Disabled toilets are available at Alresford station in the Old Goods Shed, Ropley Station and Alton station.
Ropley station is home to our engineering base. Follow the restoration route around Ropley to learn how we maintain and restore our locomotives. The restoration route is an accessible route around the site, however, in places such as our yard the surface is uneven and may not be accessible for all. Please note access to the loco yard is temporarily closed, ramp access to the Kings Cross Bridge is awaiting inspection and closed until further notice.
The railway has been a dementia friendly attraction since 2016 and we are proud to be making a positive difference to the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. A number of our staff and volunteers are dementia friends and have received dementia awareness training.
Our aim is to provide families, carers and people living with dementia a place where they can come and experience the joy of steam without the worry.
Here at the Watercress Line we want all visitors to enjoy their time at the railway and we do know that it can be an overwhelming experience for some. We have put together some leaflets to prepare visitors before they arrive at the railway which shows what you can see, hear, smell and do at the railway.
There are toilets on all of our trains and at each of our stations.
The Information Office on the platform at Alresford station will be happy to help with any enquiries during your visit. This is also where all lost property is taken.
The West Country Buffet can be found on the platform at Alresford serving delicious hot and cold food, snacks and drinks. Open from 9:30 Tuesday - Sunday. There are always Gluten-Free options available. Our main gift shop can also be found at Alresford station in the Old Goods Shed and it opens on running days 10am – 4pm.
Refreshments and gifts can also be obtained at Ropley and Alton on most operating days. Medstead offers a range of refreshments and local produce during selected special event days.
We have a beautiful south facing picnic area at Alresford and Ropley, both offering excellent views of the trains.
We are a dog friendly site and dogs travel FREE on the line.
Parking is available at Alresford and Alton stations, for more information and parking prices click here.
There is no charge to take bikes on our trains and they can be stored in the guard's compartment, but please be aware that during special events space may be limited and we may not be able to accommodate cycles on some services. We also have bike racks available at Alresford and Medstead stations. Folded buggies can also be taken on our trains but must also be stored in the guard's compartment.
Please contact a member of staff. There are first aid boxes on every train and in every Station Masters Office.