An event hoping to bring some much-needed festive cheer into the lives of Hampshire residents is set to take place just in time for Christmas.

Tickets have gone on sale for the 'world first' LED steam locomotive show, taking place on Hampshire's Watercress Line.

The one-of-a-kind show will see trains illuminated as passengers are taken on a special festive journey between Alton and Alresford.

The event, created by Mid Hants Railway Ltd, will run on various dates between November 14 and January 3 and is being billed as the "perfect Christmas experience for all the family".

Created in partnership with Purple Lighting Ltd, it is a light show, on and in a steam train, consisting of 13,174 fully controllable colour mixing LED lights and LED wristbands.

General manager Simon Baggott said, "We are delighted to be bringing this unique event to the Watercress Line. It's a wonderful experience the whole family can enjoy together and is sure to be an event to remember."

A spokesperson for Watercress Line, Mid Hants Railway Ltd, said: "Steam Illuminations is our brand new winter event, a stunningly lit steam train ride through the beautiful Hampshire countryside.

"Starting at either Alresford or Alton the train ride takes you on a round trip of our line.

"We are so excited to offer such a new experience to our visitors and hope we can provide some Christmas cheer for all the family especially during these unprecedented times."

The Mid Hants Railway Ltd, famously nicknamed ‘The Watercress Line’ in the early 20th century for its role in transporting the crop to London, is Hampshire’s only standard gauge heritage railway.

It runs for 10 miles through idyllic countryside along the border of the South Downs National Park, between the market towns of Alton and Alresford.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The railway employs 50 staff and five engineering apprentices, and is supported by 500 volunteers.

Prices for the experience are as followed:

Table for up to two - £45.00

Table for up to four adults - £85.00

Compartment for up to six - £140.00

Family of four (two adults and two children, one adult and three children, two adults and one child) - £75.00

Children under two years - free

On their website, the Watercress Line states the following information regarding tickets:


  • Entry is by travel ticket only. Site/platform tickets and discount vouchers are NOT VALID for this event.
  • Parents, grandparents or other responsible adults bringing children can take advantage of our family discount. Regrettably we cannot provide any other discounts for this event.
  • Regrettably dogs are not allowed at this event, unless they are assistance dogs.
  • Please note children under 2 will not receive a seat allocation so will not need a ticket.
  • There will be wheelchair provision at this event but passengers will need to start their journey at Alresford.
  • As per government guidelines for England, we will not accept bookings for groups of more than six people, including under 2s.
  • Anyone arriving on the day with symptoms of Covid-19 will be refused entry and not be eligible for a refund. Anyone developing symptoms prior to the event and notifying the railway will receive a full refund.
  • PLEASE NOTE: There is no Santa at this event. We have a separate Santa event. Details will be available on the website shortly.