Real Ale Train (R.A.T.)

Join us on-board the RAT for real ale on tap

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2019 RAT Services From January to July will start and finish at Alresford*

Our famous Real Ale Train, or RAT as it is affectionately known, continues its tradition of serving real ale from a restored bar carriage pulled by a steam locomotive.  We select up to 2 local breweries from Hampshire and the surrounding counties for each train, including Bowmans, Itchen Valley, Triple fff, Longdog, Red Cat and more! Your on-board experience is approximately three and a half hours long.

Check out this review from The Kiwi Has Landed

Pub Busting Prices
Train fares are only £16 per person and just £3 per pint!
FREE Pint voucher when booking more than 3 days in advance.  

*Whilst the line is out of use from Medstead to Alton during the major engineering works at Butts Bridge, we have needed to implement changes which will affect our Real Ale Train Service (RAT).  All RAT's will depart from Alresford Station and will return there at the end of the evening.  To assist passengers to get to and from Alresford, we have arranged free buses from both Alton and Winchester Railway Stations which can be booked up until 2 weeks before the night.

The courtesy bus times are as follows:

From Alton Train Station
Alton dep:

Aims to connect to 22.44 train from Alton to Waterloo but there is a 23.15 with a change at Woking

From Winchester Train Station

Winchester dep 17:15
Alresford arr 18:00

Alresford dep 22:10
Winchester arr 22:40

At the time of booking tickets, you will be asked to select whether you require places on one of the buses or whether no bus service is required. We will still be running trains from Alresford to Medstead. More information here...

Once you have selected a date and purchased your RAT tickets, for an extra £55 why not reserve a compartment? Compartments can hold up to 8 people and would be exclusively yours for the evening. Limited availability so first come, first served. Available to book online.

Why Not Fill Your Glass? Purchase an exclusive RAT pint glass as a perfect memento of your great night out - these glasses are only available to purchase on the RAT at £6 per pint glass.

Full Bar It's not just about ale - we also sell wine, cider, spirits, mixers and soft drinks. 

Hot Food Curry, chilli, burgers and hot dogs as well as a vegetarian option will be available from the West Country Buffet at Alresford Station.
Food Service will be from 17:30 – 18:30 and again from 19:30 – 20:10


Booking Information

  • Due to the popularity of our RATs, these trains are advance booking only.

  • Unfortunately our RAT does not have the capacity to hold wheelchairs, but you are welcome to leave these at the station. Ramps are available for use and staff can help visitors board the train when needed. If you have any questions regarding accessibility on the RAT please call us on 01962 733810. 
  • To drink alcohol on our RAT you must be 18+ years

  • Please note that Credit and Debit Cards cannot be used on the Real Ale Trains. Cash only. 
  • Cancellations: We regret that there can be no refund for ‘no show’ customers. Cancellations notified in writing, at least four weeks before the booked date will be refunded less a £10 admin fee; shorter notice cancellations are not entitled to a refund but the company will try to re-sell the tickets. If a purchaser is found then the cost, less an administration charge of £10, will be refunded.

 The company does not guarantee that the trains will arrive or depart at the times stated and reserves the right to cancel, alter or suspend any train without notice, or to substitute a different train should this be necessary, for whatever reason.

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