The Watercress Line

Overview

The ‘Watercress Line’ originally called ‘The Mid Hants Line’ was opened in 1865 with routes to Winchester, Eastleigh & Southampton. Then came the Beeching axe. Goods service closed in 1968 and in 1973 the last passenger trains ran on the line.

With volunteer effort, in 1977 trains ran again between Alresford and Ropley and in 1983 tracks were laid to Medstead and on to Alton. The line is connected at Alton to the main London Waterloo line.

The award winning layout was donated to the NDMRS by Bruce Armstrong and can be set up for home use at 10’6” X 8’ or for exhibitions at 18’6” X 5’. Buildings are by Metcalfe and scratch built.

Track

Trackwork is finescale code 55 for the scenic section and code 80 in the fiddle yards. A working turntable gives access to a two road engine shed.

Motive Power

Motive power is provided by a classes 08, 31, 33, 57/3 and 60. An Intercity 125 is also seen.

Operation

The layout is operated by both DC & DCC and points are controlled by stud & probe and seep solenoid point motors with LEDs to indicate the direction of travel. The control panels can be used at the front or rear of the layout.

Image of The Watercress Line