‘Over the Alps’ – The Story of the Mid-Hants Railway




‘Over the Alps’ – The Story of the Mid-Hants Railway
Today, the Mid-Hants Railway Watercressline is one of Hampshire’s premier tourist attractions. Originally opened in 1865 as a route between Alton and
Winchester, the line was also used as an alternative through route between London and Southampton – the main line
being via Basingstoke. This programme looks at the very beginnings of the line and its construction
through the picturesque Hampshire countryside at the western edge of the South Downs. Although the line had continued
service for over 100 years, it was always under threat due to poor passenger numbers and this eventually caused its closure in 1973.
Following one of the most vigorous campaigns to save a secondary route, many supporters decided to try and re-open the line as a steam railway and so from 1977 the line from Alresford towards Alton was gradually opened as a tourist railway. We see sequences of archive films of the period showing the last steam and diesel services prior to closure and also footage of the beginnings of preservation.
Rare archive films show the track relaying of the mid 1980s as the line was extended to Medstead and Four Marks and
then eventually Alton in May 1985. The DVD includes an edited cab ride along the whole line in the early 1970s from
Winchester Junction to Alton on board a ‘Hampshire’ DEMU. A survey of locomotives currently operating on the line
and the many facilities at all the stations. Visiting locomotives are featured as they operated at special gala weekends over
the past few years. Altogether, the complete story of this railway in the heart of Hampshire with plenty of steam action!

Approximately 80 minutes duration £12.95