Over the years I have lost count of the number of people who would comment every autumn that except for the Santa trains the railway was dead in late autumn & winter.
This of course is far from the truth. In both November and January we are running services, yes it’s just the railcar but it’s still a service and the Swedish railcar is popular with many visitors. Not to mention we have some steam driver experience days.
But that’s not all that will be going on. Remember that it’s a busy period in the office with plans for next year. As well as enquiries and the normal work that has to be done to keep the railway running through the year.
No doubt down in the shed people will be working away at both routine maintenance as well as rebuilds etc.
The cafe will be open at weekends and Wednesdays, which hopefully will encourage people to visit on non-running days and help with both turnover and profit for the railway in the process.
Around the railway there will be maintenance along the line, the civils will no doubt be out and about making sure that the line is clear and safe for the trains that will use it.
As usual the monthly electronic newsletter for working members will be prepared and sent out on the 1st of the month.
So next time somebody says that the railway is dead in the winter point out those working members and paid staff that will be working to make sure that we have a safe, busy and profitable railway in the coming year.
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.
Today is New Years day and the start of the new year.
Many will be wondering what it will hold for the railway.
The answer is of course, nobody knows. I mean who on this day in 2020 would have been able to forecast how the year would turn out?
It was a year like no other for the railway, and the staff and working members/volunteers came through it.
Our sympathies must go to those who had to be made redundant, it was necessary to enable the railway to survive a very difficult period, they will be missed.
History will no doubt show that we owe a debt of gratitude to those on the railway both paid and volunteer who time after time went far beyond what was required or even expected to ensure that the trains we were able to run were as safe as they could be for the visitors and that the site was as safe as possible.
So please remember when things become more normal and you visit railway that your visit is only possible because of those people. The people who remained pleasant and smiling wether face to face or answering the telephone.
If you are a member of the public who travelled on either the Santas or other trains we were able to run. Thank you for your support of the railway, it is without exception appreciated and we look forward to welcoming you back in better times.
Since we announced the closing of Nene Valley Railway with immediate effect, after the Government announced that Peterborough was moving into Tier 4 at midnight on Sat 19th Dec. Our dedicated team have been working tirelessly to answer all customer emails and messages. We thank all our customers for being patient with us. As you can image our inbox is very full. All requests for refunds will be honored and processed as quickly as we can do it. It is not an easy task to complete. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers old and new a Merry Christmas and we look forward to welcoming you all to Nene Valley Railway when it is safe to do so.