Monday, October 14, 2019

The Real Ale Train at The Watercress Line

Alresford, Hampshire. Saturday 21-September-2019.

The birthday treats continued with a journey aboard the RAT: the Real Ale Train on the Watercress Line. The journey begins at Alresford and shuttles back and forth to Medstead and Four Marks several times with the train swapping ends each trip.

All the stations and rolling stock are done in original, period style as are the staff (volunteers) who are clearly having a good time.

First order of the day, get a round in with our friends Gavin and Tania.

The platform at Alresford; all very "Brief Encounter".

The locomotive coming in for the first leg.

Medstead at the end of the first leg. The station master doing his best skinny "Fat Controller" impression.

Swapping ends at Medstead.

The loco in motion.

Reattaching at the other end for the first return leg.

The bar: four barrels of cask-conditioned ale. Alas I cannot tell you their names but I do remember they were all modest strength, around 3.8 ABV, suitable for full evening's drinking.

Supper was a basic selection at the station buffet back at Alresford: chicken jalfrezi, cheeseburger, chilli con carne and a couple of other choices. All clearly, freshly home made and tasty but they were ultra-restrained on the chilli powder and could have easily upped the heat to some advantage.

 An interior of one of the open carriages.

After several hours and several pints we staggered off home having had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

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