(All copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing 4.2.1973)
A few more shots from my trip to Itchen Abbas on the last day of the Mid Hants Watercress line.
I still feel guilty to this day that I never actually paid for this journey! I had a ticket to Eastleigh but tight connections meant I couldn't get to the ticket office there to pay for the onward journey! Of course from that point the train was so packed that there was no chance of buying a ticket on board.
It was one of those dull February days which, back in 1973, pretty much guaranteed that your photos would come out overexposed or hazy or generally flat. For some reason these seem to have captured the sombre atmosphere of the day and didn't come out too bad either, so 42 years on I'm still quite proud of them as I'd only been taking pics for about 18 months and was just 16.
Itchen Abbas must miss its railway, and look jealously at Ropley and Medstead and Alresford that still have trains, albeit steam ones. I do think this piece of the route will eventually reopen, it's far too valuable a route to lose and it certainly would never have closed had it lasted a few years longer. But for now it's a backwater, stuck in a sort of transport limbo for a while longer.
A few years later - 24.6.1976 (copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)