Woman Proposes On Watercress Line.

A civil servant's taken advantage of the leap day tradition and asked her partner to marry her in a surprise proposal on board a steam train in Hampshire.

Fiona Boubert won a competition with Mills & Boon to create the perfect romantic moment for her to pop the question to her partner Neil Kennedy.

And the romance publisher set up the scene of a steam train at Alresford railway station on the Watercress Line near Winchester with the help of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust.

Miss Boubert, 45, from Edinburgh, said:

''It went very well, he said yes but I was fairly certain he would, he more than delivered on his answer.''

Explaining why she chose to propose, she said:

''I would say I am a bit of a romantic.

''I do believe in gentlemen doing certain things but us ladies only get a chance every four years so I thought why not.

''Obviously I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him but I was aware it was the 29th coming up and thought I would just do it.

''I only entered the competition last week so I only had a week to plot behind his back.

''I told him we were going on a mystery holiday that I had won and that we were flying to Heathrow and being picked up by car and that was all I knew - it all worked very well.

''I told Neil he has to plan an even bigger surprise for the wedding, something spectacular.''

Mr Kennedy, 46, who works for thetrainline.com, said:

''It felt different, very very surprising, I had absolutely no problem with saying yes to the question.

''I'm not one for knowing what date it is so it was only after I had been asked that it dawned on me what the date was, it was a complete shock.''

Miss Boubert said that she chose the steam railway because Mr Kennedy loves vintage trains as well as because of his job.

She explained that trains had also played an important part in their relationship as their first kiss was at a railway station and Mr Kennedy had travelled regularly from his previous home in Hartlepool by train to visit her before moving to be with her in Scotland.

Tara Benson, of Mills & Boon UK, said ''I'm chuffed that Mills & Boon made this modern marriage proposal so romantic for Fiona and Neil.

''Romance readers know that women are as responsible as men for creating and maintaining the romance in their relationships.

''At Mills & Boon we loved the super-contemporary leap day proposal combined with the classic romance of steam trains and champagne. We wish the couple a very romantic happy ever after.''