It was good news for the Watercress Line when plans to rebuild the line another seven miles to Alton were announced.

The exciting revelation was delivered to Steam enthusiasts as they celebrated the 115th anniversary of the opening of the line on October 4, 1980.

Thousands flocked to Alresford and Ropley to travel on the trains, admire the locomotives and to see the progress made on restoring coaches and steam giants.

Also on show was the only operating steam-powered crane in the country, the new £35,000 engine shed and the West Country class loco “Swanage” which was in the middle of a four-year rebuilding programme.

There were also rides on a 100-year-old bus pulled by shire horses. Comedian Leslie Crowther travelled on the horse-drawn bus and on a steam lorry.

With the co-operation of British Rail, which closed the line between Winchester and Alton in 1973, track work was altered at Alton which gave the Mid-Hants Railway access to the station.

These pictures were taken on the Watercress Line in the 1980s.