After a recommendation after my last trip on the Watercress Line way back in 2009 I finally made it on to the RAT! (And it was another birthday present… in fact it was a coordinated effort from the in-laws which included the ticket, beer, @mrsjtonline sitting and a lift back from Alton! Thank you!)
I suspect that there may have been a few regulars on the train who knew what they were doing and arrived earlier than we did. Fortunately there was still space right at the back/front of the train (it spends the evening going to Alresford and back):
It was a fantastic evening with a superb mix of beer, company, food, weather, views and the steam train of course. Best evening out for a long time and well worth the wait.
There was plenty of time to get off the train as well, with a chance to peek inside a signal box:
Or just spend time outside on the platform:
Definitely should have done this sooner! Maybe I’ll get a chance to try the dining train in another six years or so…