Hundreds 'Walk the Line' to Alresford to raise £15,000 for Mid Hants Railway
Walk the Line lets people walk along the track of the Watercress Line between Ropley and Alresford.
Over 950 walkers dusted off their boots to raise over £14,750 to preserve an important part of the steam railway.
Families took part in a three, six or ten-mile walk, each offering the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful stroll in the English countryside.
Organiser, David Brace, said: “Walk the Line is a fantastic opportunity for all the family to see the Watercress Line from a different view and play an important part in securing its future.”
“On behalf of all of the staff and volunteers at the Watercress Line, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s annual walk.”
The funds will be used to re-ballast the track between Medstead and Four Marks and Ropley and maintain the trackbed.
The Mid Hants Railway Ltd, nicknamed ‘The Watercress Line’ for its role in transporting the crop to London, is Hampshire’s only standard gauge heritage railway.
It runs along the border of the South Downs National Park, between Alton and Alresford. Opening on 2nd October 1865, it was part of British Railways until its closure in 1973 but was reinstated by a preservation group. Today the Watercress Line attracts 125,000 visitors annually with a turnover of over £2m.
The railway employs 50 staff, five engineering apprentices and is supported by over 450 volunteers and is committed to preserving Hampshire’s railway heritage
Running from February to October and throughout December, it offers standard running days and special events including ‘Day Out with Thomas’, Santa Specials, the Real Ale Train (RAT) and the Countryman Dining trains.