I managed to escape the DIY work while the final coat of paint was drying and get to the shed before trains were run on Saturday 22 Oct. I hoped to capture some atmospheric shots of the preparations.
Ropley is where the engine shed is located which serves the Mid Hants (otherwise known as the Watercress Line) Railway. It has grown in facilities and undertakes all manner of refurbishment and repair work for this preserved railway. A great place to visit.
The two locomotives to be used on the service trains were on the wheel-drop/ashpit road. Both were in steam, building up to working pressure, and being cleaned. One was Tornado, built new in 2008 to the original drawings by Arthur Peppercorn. This is the sole example of his A1 class locomotive. The other loco was a SR Class U locomotive designed by Urie. This loco was originally built as a 2 6 4 Tank engine of the River Class. They were rebuilt due to the poor ride and an accident that occurred on poor track.
Whilst this was going on, the line's Class 33 Crompton Diesel arrived from Alton bringing with it Brittania's support coach. It was brought into the 'Down' platform loop as is normal for trains from the Alton direction.