Choo Choo! Beer, Steam and Free Software

One of my actions from the recent Ubuntu UK team meeting was to organise a evening out on the Real Ale Train.

The Watercress Line is a small steam powered railway line in Hampshire. It runs from Alton Station to Alresford. Alton is the end of the line for scheduled services from Waterloo. Every few weeks or so they run an evening special, the Real Ale Train, or RAT.

Basically the train turns into a very very long bar for the evening. There are several converted bar carriages and plenty of seating (comfy old seating in groups of 4). Steam, Beer and Software Freedom seems an irresistible combination so it sounds like an ideal evening out for the Ubuntu UK community.

Firstly we need to decide on a date, we have created a poll to find the most popular date from the dates far enough ahead to be organised, and skipping the date when the next Ubuntu Developer Summit is likely to be happening. Please vote on the poll and we will announce the most popular date on IRC, the wiki page and on the Ubuntu UK mailing list on January 24th. When the date is announced you will need to book your ticket, tickets can be booked online and cost £10 each. This includes a voucher for your first pint. Beer is not “Free as in Beer”, but it is just £2/pint. Don’t hang about and try to book late, they sell out months in advance.

Beards are strictly optional – it may sound like a male dominated event (and to be fair, it is) but it has a very friendly atmosphere and all are welcome.

Other alcoholic and soft drinks as well as snacks are on sale at the on-board buffet. Hot food can be purchased on board the train with vegetarian alternatives available. You have to be 18+ to buy beer, but there is no age limit (at either end of the scale) for joining in.

The RAT starts from Alton at 19.20 and tootles gently up and down the line a couple of times, returning to Alton in time for the 22:44 train back to Waterloo. (This is a connecting service, if the RAT is late, the mainline train will wait for it)

Dress – something Ubuntu related.

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