Well that was a nice weekend.

Some weekends can, shall we say be a little difficult. Due to things like breakdowns or the weather. But last weekend was not one of those

Saturday saw the main service diesel hauled by the Peak locomotive, which seems to be popular with both normal visitors and enthusiasts. Please note I am not saying that enthusiasts are not normal!!!

There were two cream tea runs as well using the Polish steam locomotive and the continental coaches. Nice to see people on there enjoying themselves. The day was topped off with a Gin evening on the train, again very popular and something we have not done before.

Sunday was tame by comparison with the Polish tank engine pulling the Mk1 coaches. It ran to time all day, which is always a bonus.

Weekends like this are important to the railway, it’s been a far from normal period that we are hopefully coming out of. But we need events that appeal to visitors and are also profitable.

Bahamas arrives on the 7th August and there are some great events planned with that and I look forward to observing them.

It promises to be a good summer and then we have the Santa trains, always popular with both the public and the volunteers alike.

Sitting typing this in the evening where it’s still a bit on the warm side perhaps the Santa trains in cooler weather can’t come quick enough.

Something to cool you down in the hot weather.

Tickets please!

A few people have asked me if I could post some pictures of tickets.

So here just or you are a few tickets.

All clear!! Or is it?

Well a lot of the restrictions are being lifted on Monday, the railway will not have a restriction on seating numbers and the rover ticket is being reintroduced.

The question is of course is for how long? The number of infections, especially amongst the young is skyrocketing.

So all the railway can do is as much as it can to make visitors enjoy a visit without being restricted or limited.

So we shall see how it goes, we can of course do nothing more, but personally at the moment I feel like I do on a bright summers day.

It won’t last!

Please note these views are mine and do not represent any policies of the railway now or in the future.

Thinking Inside The Box.

One part of the railway that’s only seen from afar by the majority of visitors is the signal box at Wansford.

There is no truth in the rumour that it is home to a group who chant, and dance around levers whilst clutching a mug of tea in one hand and a duster in the other. No, it is home to the Signalmen who work to keep the trains running and the passengers safe.

So let us take a look inside this building built upon bricks.

The Wansford Signal Box.

© Robert Maskill

Now lets have a look inside.

Here is a view looking towards the station of the frame of levers that control the signals.

© Zak Harding

The view of the big outdoors in front of the box

© Zak Harding

A view away from Wansford over the river towards Peterborough. Note at the end the comfortable seating and extensive catering facilities. Ideal for a leisurely drink or a read between trains.

© Zak Harding

Here on the right you can see the wheel that’s turned to open and close the crossing gates.

© Zak Harding

Here is the diagram of the signals, points etc. controlled from the box.

© Zak Harding

Zak proudly told me that he refurbished this instrument himself. It is impressive and a lovely piece of work

© Zak Harding

So there you have it, a view inside the Wansford Signal Box. Part of the railways history that was in use when trains ran on the line many years before the Nene Railway was even thought of.

If you ever get a chance to look round the box then please do so, it’s a part of railway history preserved and in use every running day.

Thomas’ 50th Birthday Bash.

The Author Rev. W. Awdry naming Thomas.

The Nene Valley Railway is home to a little blue engine named ‘Thomas’ by the Rev. W. Awdry author of the famous books about Thomas and Friends. On 26th June 2021 it will be 50 years since Rev. W. Awdry signed Thomas’ cab at The Nene Valley Railway & we at the railway want to celebrate this day with all of Thomas’ friends old & new.

The 0-6-0T engine No. 1800 was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1947 at about the time when Rev.W Awdry wrote his second book in which Thomas appeared. The little blue engine spent its entire working life at the British Sugar Corporation Peterborough factory pushing wagons of sugar beet up an incline until the day came when a diesel engine replaced the steam power of Thomas. The Peterborough Railway Society purchased this delightful little engine on 9th September 1973 and he was moved to the Nene Valley Railway, where he has since delighted his friends and children of all ages.

Thomas lives at Wansford and can been seen most of time in the yard when not in steam, on some occasions he is moved in the shed to let the engeineers work on him.