Steam into Christmas with a ‘pop-tastic’ light display

Hampshire is set to light up once more when a spectacular steam train experience returns in a blaze of multi coloured LEDs – and with a blast of festive musical merriment.

Heritage railway the Watercress Line’s Steam Illuminations features a dazzling light show on, and in, a steam train, consisting of thousands of LED lights and wristbands creating a kaleidoscope of different colours and flashing patterns.

And as well as those stunning displays, including a new festive canopy of lights, this year offers a choice of soundtracks – Christmas Chart Crackers or a Pop Anthems Journey.

Launching on 24 November, passengers joining in the on-board festive fun up until 23 December can enjoy a journey filled with big festive hits, while from 27 December until 6 January 2024, it will be dance floor singalong anthems from the 1960s to the present day.

Both journeys are filled with interactive sound-to-light fun, all hosted by the legendary ‘Voiceover Man’, as heard on Britain’s Got Talent and X-Factor.

Helping to create a light display in the train, as well as on it, every passenger will also get LED wristbands, included in the price of the ticket, to wear on the train and take home afterwards.

Known as the Watercress Line thanks to its history of transporting watercress to the UK’s fresh produce markets during the industry’s heyday in Victorian times, the Mid Hants Railway is one of the country’s most successful heritage railways.

Trains depart from either Alresford or Alton on a round trip through picturesque Hampshire countryside, before steaming back to the starting station.

Steam Illuminations tickets cost from £59 for two people, and £250 for a compartment of up to six people. Early booking is advised.

For more details and to book, visit

All tourist information for Hampshire can be found at

Photo, above: Steve Morley

Photo, below: Andy Goss