Thursday, 30 July 2015

Medstead and Four Marks 39 years apart

(All copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing B&W - 24.6.1976, Colour - 18.7.2015)

One of the biggest transformations - and a good one - is the Mid Hants restoration of Medstead and Four Marks station. When I visited back in 1976 it was at its lowest ebb, with the track recently lifted and the building starting to fall apart.

In fact without knowing the station's history it would be difficult to believe that the top two pictures were real!

The station has been lovingly restored and now also has a shelter on the down platform and a classic LSWR signalbox on the up platform.

This shows what can be done with determination and a long term plan and the Mid Hants is a superb example of a line that has been through the process of run down and closure, slow revival starting with industrial locos and an eventual recreation of what inspired the original preservationists. The line is also an excellent tourist attraction in itself as well as a way of reaching a number of other tourist attractions en route. The line now employs people as well, further regenerating the local rural economy.