Watercress Line Urie S15 No. 506 relaunched into traffic!

There were scenes of elation at the Mid-Hants Railway’s Alresford station on Sunday, June 2, when the Urie Locomotive Society (ULS) relaunched one of its two Urie S15s, No. 506, following an 18-year overhaul.

The Eastleigh-built 4-6-0 looked stunning in its shiny Southern wartime black livery with sunshine lettering as it was formally returned to revenue-earning service at the Watercress Line. Heritage Railway magazine deputy editor Gareth Evans was there to witness the event.

Crowds cheered as the locomotive’s whistle sounded, before its cylinder drain cocks opened and the first barks of its exhaust resonated across the station – which brought tears of joy to some of those who’ve spent more years than they care to remember beavering away on one of their beloved locomotives.

As featured in issue 250 [click here to get yours], the ULS has literally worked miracles to overcome a host of engineering hurdles on its two locomotives – the other being No. 499. Currently under restoration, having never run in preservation, No. 499 is being returned to as near as possible its original as-built 1920 condition.

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