Mid-Hants Line

('Watercress Line')

Gallery 12





'Watercress Line'

Visited 28 April 2013


The visit was made as part of the Stephenson Locomotive Society's AGM weekend,

and our hosts were kind enough to give us an escorted tour of the facilities at their Ropley base.


The visit just happened to coincide with the Mid-Hants Diesel Gala Weekend.



In between the Mid-Hants service trains, diesel shunter 08377 was giving free brake-van rides

up and down the yard and the first quarter mile of track towards Alresford.











Footplate staff on GBRf ‘shed' class 66, number 66738, exchange tokens with the Alton signalman

with an arrival from Alresford at 10:42 .


Class 47, D1501, was tucked in behind the ‘shed'.


This train should have been headed up by Deltic D9009 “ Alycidon ”,

but there had been some issues with the brakes keeping her off the passenger trains.

These 66s get everywhere!












Ropley shed yard, with Peak class 45132 (erstwhile D22) on the left,

and 'Growler' 37901', “ Mirrlees Pioneer ” (D6850) on the right,

the latter engine visiting from the East Lancs Railway.














The new boilershop, rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 2010.

In the foreground is the boiler for ex-LMS Ivatt Tank 41312,

to the rear of which is that from Bulleid Unrebuilt Light Pacific 34105 “ Swanage ”.


To the left can be glimpsed the boiler off BR Standard 76017,

and also in shops was that off ex-Southern S15 30506.















A busy moment at Ropley station. 37901 has come off the depot and buffered up to the rear of an Alresford-bound train.


In the right-hand platform, Brush Type 4 D1501, also visiting from the East Lancs Railway,

has dropped off an Alton-bound train and will shortly come on shed.














Southern DMU 1125 passes Ropley depot yard heading for the station.


To the left is ex-LMS shunter 12049, and spanning the whole site,

affording an excellent and previously unavailable view of the whole yard,

is the famous footbridge, formerly located at the throat of Kings Cross station.














The visit included a tour of the main workshop, inside which were several locos under repair.


The photograph features BR Standard 4 2-6-0, number 76017,

behind which can be glimpsed BR Standard 4 4-6-0, number 73096.














A closer view of BR Standard 4 number 73096,


with the parts store located behind the plastic curtains,

above which can just be glimpsed the retail shop and workshop viewing area.














That ‘Shed' again! This time, the class 66 arrives at Alresford station

with an afternoon train from Alton , due in at 13:40 , but actually arriving at 13:50 .


This wouldn't have happened with a steam engine on the front, would it?!

It is actually hauling the three-coach ex-Southern DMU 1125.














Back at Alton , at around 14:30, Brush Type 4 D1501 is running round the coaches after arrival from Alresford.


We finally spot the elusive Deltic D9009 “ Alycidon ” lurking in the sidings.

Both locos are visiting from the East Lancs Railway.


The ELR actually provided no less than 5 locos for the Mid-Hants event,

viz. the 3 mentioned in the text (D9009, D1501, & 37901),

together with BRCW Type 3 (class 33) number 33109,

and EE Type 2 (class 20) number 20087.


All of these were in evidence during our visit.



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