Some Leave at Christmas (2)?

Episode 27 – Life on the Watercress Line – Some Leave at Christmas (2)?

Listen to Some Leave at Christmas (2) to find out about a great way of spending  Boxing Day and the 27th December. If you’d like a break from the relatives, or just need some exercise and air, then go along to the Watercress Line and join in the fun.

Christmas Leave is where you have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families. Some are travelling back to base whilst others are going home for a few days.

There are many characters in Christmas Leave (2). I meet the military, the entertainer at Alresford, a black marketeer, the police and many others.

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. Some of the story takes place on the train and other parts at Ropley and Alresford stations.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast why not visit the Watercress Line on the  26th and 27th December 2019 and take part in Christmas Leave.  You could go through your wardrobe and find your 1940s gear – then you can dress in character! There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details are on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Look out for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Some Leave at Christmas (1)?

Episode 26 – Life on the Watercress Line – Some Leave at Christmas (1)?

Do you fancy some leave at Christmas? Would you like a break from the relatives? Need some air?

Then visit the Watercress Line for Christmas Leave, where you’ll have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families. With Christmas just over, those who had leave for Christmas are travelling back to base. Those who were on duty over Christmas are going home for a few days.

The Home Guard are very active during Christmas Leave checking the identity cards of all the passengers. In addition they’re on the lookout for suspicious people – spies, black marketeers and others. I’m a little worried though because they are helping people fill out and stamp their ID cards!

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. In this episode all the action takes place on the train as it is mid-Winter.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast why not visit the Watercress Line on the  26th and 27th December 2019 and take part in Christmas Leave.  You could go through your wardrobe and find your 1940s gear – then you can dress in character! There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details are on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in a few weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Canadian Pacific update part 2

Episode 24 – Canadian Pacific update part 2

Welcome to the Canadian Pacific update part 2, where I talk to Becky Peacock about the progress made to the boiler and Bulleid coaches over the past year.

The project is to restore the Merchant Navy class locomotive, number 35005, Canadian Pacific and two coaches.

Oliver Bulleid  designed the Merchant Navy class locomotives for the Southern Railway  early in the Second World War. They had many innovations – some worked well, others didn’t! He also designed the coaches.

Oliver Bulleid was a very persuasive person; this allowed him to produce such an innovative design.

Canadian Pacific was the fifth locomotive of the class built at the Eastleigh works in 1941. She entered service on 13 January 1942. Canadian Pacific  worked hard on passenger and freight trains during the war.

After the war the Merchant Navy class hauled the Southampton boat trains and ‘named’ expresses such as the Bournemouth Belle.

On 15th May 1965 Canadian Pacific, pulling a Bournemouth express, reached 105 m.p.h. She was travelling down the Winchester Bank.

Sadly Canadian Pacific was withdrawn from service later in 1965.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the Coach restoration picture gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Bring the family and join us on a Santa Special. They run from Saturday 30th November to Christmas Eve. Click here  to find out more.

Don’t forget Christmas Leave on the 26th and 27th of December. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Canadian Pacific update part 1

Episode 23 – Canadian Pacific update part 1

Welcome to the Canadian Pacific update part 1, where I talk to Becky Peacock about the progress made over the past year.

The project is mainly about the restoration of the Merchant Navy class locomotive, number 35005, Canadian Pacific.

Oliver Bulleid  designed the class  for the Southern Railway  early in the Second World War. These locomotives had many innovations – some worked well, others didn’t!

Oliver Bulleid was a very persuasive person; this allowed him to produce such an innovative design.

Canadian Pacific was the fifth locomotive of the class built at the Eastleigh works in 1941. She entered service on 13 January 1942. Canadian Pacific  worked hard on passenger and freight trains during the war.

After the war the Merchant Navy class hauled the Southampton boat trains and ‘named’ expresses such as the Bournemouth Belle.

On 15th May 1965 Canadian Pacific, pulling a Bournemouth express, reached 105 m.p.h. She was travelling down the Winchester Bank.

Sadly she was withdrawn from service later in 1965.

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join us on a Santa Special between Saturday 30th November and Christmas Eve. Click here  to find out more.

Don’t forget Christmas Leave on the 26th and 27th of December. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Spring Steam Gala 2019

Episode 22 – Spring Steam Gala 2019

Welcome to Spring Steam Gala 2019, where we look at the attractions for this special weekend.

London Transport 0-6-0 Pannier Tank L92

This loco was originally a Great Western class 5700 tank engine. The GWR and BR built 863 of these locomotives between 1929 and 1950.

The class was designated as light goods and shunting engines. They were also used for passenger trains on branch, suburban and shorter mainline journeys.

British Railways withdrew them by 1966. London Underground  bought 13 of these locomotives following trials and modifications  and used them  for permanent way trains.

London Transport sold L92 to the Worcester Locomotive Society in 1969.

WD 300

WD 300 is an American built locomotive.  382 of the type were built and used in World War 2. They saw service in many countries during and after the war. The War Department borrowed 42 which were stored at Newbury Racecourse station.

The Southern Railway bought 15 for use in Southampton docks.

Two of the locomotives, including WD 300, are at the Kent and East Sussex Railway. They survived because they seized up on their journey to the scrapyard.

The Freight Train

The Gala was an opportunity for people to ride on the ‘Queen Mary’ guards van. This is an articulated guards van and is very rare. Listen to the engine, look at the photographs and find out more about this rare railway vehicle.

Interested in the pictures? Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join us for the Autumn Steam Gala 2019 from the Friday 18th to Sunday 20th October. Click here  to find out more.

Don’t forget the Wizard Weekend on the 26th and 27th October. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Joseph McDade has licensed Backplate for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Watercress People (3)

Episode 21 – Life on the Watercress Line – Watercress People (3)

Welcome to Watercress People (3), where I have the opportunity to interview some of the many people who make the Watercress Line the experience it is.

Jim Russell – The Early Years

Jim joined the Watercress Line on 25th August 1973, soon after he left school. He travelled around on his first moped.

Jim and the others had many dreams for the line. He never imagined that it would turn into the thriving, living, railway seen today. He said that although the line never get to Winchester it has reached Alton.

One of the early jobs that Jim did was to paint the bicycle sheds. He thinks he did a good job, as they were only repainted recently.

Jim has always enjoyed his time with the line and there has been the excitement of completing major projects.

Colin Marsh – Travelling Ticket Inspector

Colin is a Watercress stalwart. He is often at Medstead and Four Marks station.  His is also a Travelling Ticket Inspector.

Colin tells me that Revenue collection isn’t the major part of the role; there are relatively few fare dodgers! He says that most of the time he’s acting as an on-board host. He gives out lots of information to the travellers he meets on the trains.

David Mead – the Facebook Moderator

David tells me that there is a large Facebook community around the Watercress Line. He adds that many of the Mid-Hants members are part of it. Many of the members are good photographers and this provides an outlet.

There are no photographs to accompany this Podcast.

Find out more about the Watercress Line:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The Autumn Steam Gala 2019 will be held from the 18th to 20th October. Click here  to find out more. Scroll to the posts below to find out about last year’s Gala.

Don’t forget Wizard Weekend on the 26th and 27th October. Click here to find out more.

About ‘Life on the Watercress Line’

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher.

AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use as the theme and incidental music.

Joseph McDade has licensed Crossover – Lectro Tango for use as incidental music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Autumn Steam Gala (2)

Episode 20 – Life on the Watercress Line – Autumn Steam Gala (2)

Welcome to the Autumn Steam Gala (2). The Steam Gala features Guest locomotives as well as  Watercress Line regulars. There is a Steam Gala each Spring and Autumn.

This episode features Schools Class ‘Cheltenham’Class 9F No. 92212  and Class 2MT No. 41312.

4-4-0 Schools Class locomotive No. 925 Cheltenham

The Schools class were the most powerful 4-4-0 type locomotives to operate in Britain. They were a very successful design, used for passenger and freight duties. The first were named after the public schools within the area  served by the Southern Railway. This was a publicity masterstroke given the popularity of train spotting with schoolboys at the time.

The class was designed by Richard Maunsell, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway. The ‘Schools Class’ was the last 4-4-0 locomotive to be designed in Britain and was the most powerful ever produced in Europe. Cheltenham was built in 1934 at the Eastleigh works.

Cheltenham is owned by the NRM in York and had its last overhaul in 2012.

2-10-0 Class 9F No: 92212

Robert Riddles designed Class 9F for British Railways. It was the last of the standardised locomotive classes designed for British Railways during the 1950s. It was intended for use on fast, long distance, heavy freight trains. The class was one of the most powerful steam locomotive types ever constructed in Britain, and successfully performed its intended duties. They were nicknamed ‘Spaceships’ due to their size and shape.

Although they were designed for heavy freight traffic they also successfully worked passenger trains. No. 92220 Evening Star was the last steam locomotive to be built  by BR in 1960. The locomotives were withdrawn from 1964 and the final locomotives retired 1968. A number are preserved, in varying states of repair, including Evening Star which is at the NRM.

2-6-2 Ivatt Class 2MT No. 41312

The Class 2MT was introduced between 1946 and 1952. The design was based on the LMS Stanier 2-6-2 T. The LMS built 10. BR built a further 120. Most were built at Crewe but the last ten were built at Derby.  Fifty of the engines were fitted with push-pull equipment.

In addition to the locomotives I travelled on the ‘light railway’ from Ropley ‘High Level’ station and I spoke with a member of the Canadian Pacific Restoration team.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

Backplate, licensed from Joseph McDade, is used for background music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Autumn Steam Gala (1)

Episode 19 – Life on the Watercress Line – Autumn Steam Gala (1)

Welcome to the Autumn Steam Gala (1). The Steam Gala is an opportunity to see Guest locomotives on the Watercress Line. There is one in the Spring and this one each Autumn.

This episode features Foxcote Manor and ‘Prairie’ tank locomotive 5199.

4-6-0 locomotive No. 7822 Foxcote Manor

This is one of a class of 30 engines. Charles Collett  designed the engines for the Great Western Railway and first were built in 1938. Foxcote Manor is on of 10 built by British Railways in the 1950s.

The locomotive spent its working life in an area roughly bounded by Chester, Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury. The Cambrian Coast Express was regularly hauled by 7822 and, on 10th August 1963, she ‘double headed’ the Royal Train.

There are 9 survivors from the class. They are an ideal size for heritage lines.

Click here to visit the Foxcote Manor Society web page.

2-6-2 Class 5101 ‘Prairie’ tank No: 5199

5199 is based at the Llangollen Railway. The class was first introduced in 1929 by Charles Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway. Designed for suburban and mainline stopping trains, they accelerated quickly between closely spaced stations. They were also used for ‘banking’, mainline ‘piloting’ and freight trains.

These, and sister classes 6100 and 8100, were amongst the most successful Great Western locomotives. Over 200 locomotives were built.

The name, ‘Prairie’, comes from the US where it was used for 4-6-2 locomotives.

Click here to visit the Llangollen Railway website.

I spoke with a member of the ‘Wagon Group’ about the work that they carry out on the Watercress Line.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

This podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

Backplate, licensed from Joseph McDade, is used for background music in this episode.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Watercress People (2)

Episode 18 – Life on the Watercress Line – Watercress People (2)

Welcome to Watercress People (2), where I have the opportunity to interview some of the people who make the Watercress Line happen – when you and visit.

My first interview in Watercress People (2) is with David Mead who has been  involved since the early days after British Rail closed the line in the 1970s.

I then talk to Steve Crowther, the Chair of the Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society about how she became involved. Steve is also the Station Master at Alresford Station and we discuss the professionalism of the team.

I then get to talk to Jim Russell in the signal box at Alresford about the two carriage Hampshire Unit. I learn that this unit was one of the last trains to run on the line before closure by British Rail.

The final interview in Watercress People (2) is with David Meade about his role in the Ticket Office and also how he manages ticket stocks.

There are no photographs to accompany this episode.

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music. Incidental music, Crossover – Lectro Tango, is by Joseph McDade.

The ‘Watercress Line’ logo is used with permission from the Mid-Hants Railway.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Christmas Leave (2)

Episode 17 – Life on the Watercress Line – Christmas Leave (2)

Welcome to Christmas Leave (2), where I have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families at Christmas. Some are travelling back to base and others are going home for a few days.

There are all types of people in Christmas Leave (2), in addition to the military I meet the entertainer at Alresford, a black marketeer, the police and many others.

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. Some of the story takes place on the train and other parts at Ropley and Alresford stations.

If you enjoy this podcast please visit the Watercress Line on the weekend of 15th/16th June 2019 for War on the Line. This year commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings. There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Christmas Leave (part 1)

Episode 16 – Life on the Watercress Line – Christmas Leave (1)

Welcome to Christmas Leave (part 1), where I have the opportunity to travel with servicemen and their families. With Christmas just over those who had leave for Christmas are travelling back to base. Those who were on duty over Christmas are going home for a few days.

The Home Guard are very active in Christmas Leave (1) checking the identity cards of all the passengers. In addition they’re on the lookout for suspicious people – spies, black marketeers and others. I’m a little worried that they are helping people fill out and stamp their ID cards!

I get the opportunity to talk to some of the passengers who are out for the day. In this episode all the action takes place on the train as it is mid-Winter.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast why not visit the Watercress Line on the weekend of 15th/16th June 2019 for War on the Line. This year commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings. There will be lots to see at the stations and a regular train service. Full details on the Watercress Line website – click here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music, Steam Railway, used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Watercress People (1)

Episode 15

Welcome to Watercress People (1), where I have the opportunity to interview some of the people who make the Watercress Line happen – for you and me.

My first interview in Watercress People (1) is with Colin Fuller who was one of the original people involved when British Rail closed the line in the 1970s.

I then talk to Steve Crowther, the Chair of the Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society. We discuss the roles of the Society and the Mid-Hants Railway Limited in creating the Watercress Line experience. Steve is also the Station Master at Alresford Station.

The final interview in Watercress People (1) is with Colin Marsh who is a Porter at Medstead & Four Marks station. We discuss life at this quiet country station.

There are no photographs to accompany this episode.

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

A Day Out With Thomas (B)

Episode 14

Welcome to A Day Out With Thomas (B),  a favourite event for visitors, of all ages, to the Watercress Line. I join Thomas and his friends who are out in the summer weather to entertain everybody!

Rusty and I talk about his role and later I catch part of his magic show. I visit the swing seat roundabouts, a very popular attraction at Ropley. After that I take the first train to Alresford. At Alresford I speak to a family who are out for the day.

In A Day Out With Thomas (B) I talk to Richard who is on Thomas’ footplate staff and then talk with Karen who is doing the commentary.

It is a lovely day with lots of really happy people. You can do the same at the next A Day Out With Thomas event.It runs from the 13th to 22nd April and details are here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

A Day Out With Thomas (A)

Episode 13

Welcome to A Day Out With Thomas,  a favourite event for visitors, of all ages, to the Watercress Line. I join Thomas and his friends who are out in the summer weather to entertain everybody!

I talk to the Fat Controller who is here to ensure that the event runs smoothly. He has come all the way from the Island of Sodor for the week. I also speak to Rusty who gives magic shows each day.

In A Day Out With Thomas (A) I get to talk with footplate staff and listen to Thomas driving the commentator to distraction. Such a naughty engine!

I also talk to the Vicar of Sodor who rescued Trevor the Traction engine and the local policeman.

Listen to part B of A Day Out With Thomas in two weeks time.

I had a really enjoyable day out and you can do the same at the next A Day Out With Thomas event.It runs from the 13th to 22nd April and details are here.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

The next episode of Life on the Watercress Line is in two weeks.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Walk the Line – Life on the Watercress Line

Episode 12

Welcome to Walk the Line where members of the public raise money for the Watercress Line. It is an opportunity to see the railway from ground level and at walking pace!

950 walkers, with many assorted dogs, took up the challenge to Walk the Line on a Sunday last November. It was a beautiful autumnal morning when the walkers set off but torrential rain arrived during the walk.

Many of the walkers ‘signed on’ in Alresford and took the vintage ‘rail replacement buses’ to Alton so that they could walk the whole length of the railway. The walk from Alton is uphill all the way to just before Medstead & Four Marks station and then downhill for the rest of the way.

The money raised by the walkers is being used to replace 1,000 yards of ballast between Medstead and Ropley.

Walk the Line 2019 is on the 9th November – follow the link to the events page and scroll down to the bottom for the details.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 3 – WC Ep. 11

Welcome to part 3 of the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. The afternoon was my opportunity to drive a steam engine  – something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Three of us were trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. This podcast starts as leave Alresford, for the second time, for the uphill climb to Ropley.

After reaching Ropley we went on a tour of the engineering sheds. The sheds enable the line to carry out work on the locomotives and carriages.

We then returned to Cheltenham for the final section, downhill, to Alresford. I was the driver for this last section but, as you will hear, I forgot about the ‘handbrake’. Silly of me as I’d spent ages putting it on!

You can learn from the driving instructions and from the informal conversations during the afternoon.

It was an amazing experience on a warm and sunny early autumn afternoon.

If you’d like to try the Firing and Driving Experience, or know someone who would, click here. It is a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for Walk the Line in the series Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 2 – WC Ep. 10

Welcome to part 2 of the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. My opportunity to do something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Drive a steam engine!!

There were three trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. The podcast starts as we reach Ropley after an uphill climb from Alresford.

This episode takes you from our arrival into Ropley, on to Medstead and then all the way back down the hill, through Ropley and on to Alresford.

You can learn, as we did, from the driving instructions and also from the informal conversation as we move between the stations.

It was a lovely early autumn afternoon – lots of sunshine.

If you’d like to try the Firing and Driving Experience, or love someone who would, click here. It is a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for part 3 of the Driving and Firing experience in the series Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Driving and Firing Experience pt. 1 – WC Ep. 9

Welcome to this podcast about the Driving and Firing Experience offered by  the Watercress Line. This was my opportunity to do something that I’d wanted to do since I was a child!

Drive a steam engine!!

There were three trainees that afternoon, guided by an excellent Watercress Line driver and fireman. I drew the short straw and had to ‘fire’ the loco in preparation for our uphill journey to Ropley and Medstead/Four Marks. The others seemed to have a much easier job!

This episode takes you from our arrival at Alresford to starting off, up the hill towards Ropley.

It was a lovely early autumn afternoon – lots of sunshine. Maybe too warm for shovelling coal ….

If you’d like to do the Firing and Driving Experience click here. Its a wonderful three hour experience.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Open Weekend on the Watercress Line – WC Ep. 8

Welcome to this podcast about the Open Weekend on the Watercress Line. The weekend enables you to go behind the scenes at this heritage railway and see what makes it steam. The weekend coincides with the Heritage Open Days programme and MHRPS members can come along for free.

There is an enhanced train service for the weekend with steam trains, the Hampshire diesel set and also freight train operations.

Becky Peacock, the project manager for the Canadian Pacific project, gave guided tours of the engineering works and the restoration projects.  There was a very interesting display about the role of women on the railways during the two World Wars.

I had the opportunity to visit the signal box at Ropley. Whilst I was there a non-stop freight train came through whilst a passenger train waited at the other platform.

Everyone who visited had a very interesting day out in beautiful weather. The dates of the Open Weekend on the Watercress Line for 2019 are the 14th and 15th September. For more details click this link.

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The theme and incidental music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019

Santa’s Christmas Message

Welcome to this podcast of Santa’s Christmas Message. Today I’ve braved the snowstorms of the North Pole to get a few words with Santa. He is just about to set out. In just 24 hours Santa travels the world giving out the presents made the Elves.

Remember to leave a mince pie out for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. Don’t forget that Santa only delivers your presents once you’re deeply asleep …….

My thanks to Santa, his team of on train ‘helpers’, the Elves that he left at the North Pole and all the passengers on the trains. My thanks also go to the members of the team at the Watercress Line who make these podcasts possible.

For over 60 years NORAD has tracked Santa’s progress around the globe every Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is one of the few organisations that has equipment capable of tracking a sleigh moving as fast as Santa’s. Every year they track his progress so that you can see when he is likely to arrive. To follow Santa’s progress click here.

To visit the Watercress Line website please follow this link Watercress Line.

Join me in two weeks for the next episode of Life on the Watercress Line.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

The music Steam Railway used in this podcast is licensed from AKM Music.

Sound effects supplied courtesy of freeSFX (their web page ).

It Came upon the Midnight Clear in the Public domain (Mark 1.0) and Ding Dong Merrily on High (for mixed chorus, Harp and Cello-Salamon) by Ping is used under the licence CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 – both pieces supplied through Musopen.org

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2018