Ghost train: Northampton to Peterborough.

I received this from Mark Hernandez Deputy Editor of Nene Steam. My thanks to him for this contribution.

I’ve seen the video above shared on a few local railway groups I belong to on social media and by a lot of NVR volunteers so I got in contact with James, the young lad who created it . He kindly agreed to a short Q&A over email which I’ve included below.

Hi Marc. No problem. I am glad you like the vid it is probably the longest I have made in this format! (Ghost Train)I’ll try and answer as best I can.

Q – What made you decide to produce a then and now animated journey on the Northampton-Peterborough railway? I take it’s part of a series you’ve been doing of lost/closed railways

A –  I chose the Northampton – Peterborough line in part via a suggestion from one of my followers. Every now and then I will throw a poll or question as to where I should explore next with my various projects – after I had produced several “Ghost Train” films in this style it was recommended that I take a look at the Northampton to Peterborough line. On quick inspection I discovered some interesting changes to the local landscape. (A lot of the track seems to be cutting through water/ lakeland in many places.) I myself am not a local being based in North Norfolk.  However I am always interested in dramatic change from anywhere in the country and railways provide a striking albeit poignant one. 
Q – Have you got any local connections to the original railway or ‘Nene Valley’ area?

A – I have not been to the Nene Valley but no doubt its on the to do list after all these lockdowns!
Q – Can you briefily talk us through the process of how you created the video? Time it took etc
A – I split into phases with these films. First I research the stations along the route – what images are available to use etc then I plot the route out on both the old map and the modern day. I then synchronize the two so they work in tandem with one another. I can then animate the train and add in any extra “cutscenes” showing the on the ground locations as they are now. True trainiacs will note that the locomotive I have been using isn’t authentic to the line but that is more a limitation of my resources and should be taken as illustrative of the route rather than a reflection of the original railway. I can usually get one of these done in a matter of a few days – with the pandemic I have had more time than usual to devote to such projects!
If you could link to my youtube channel that would be a great help. https://www.youtube.com/c/JamesFoxTimeTravelArtist/  Let me know if there are any other questions and I will try  and answer as best I can!

Please visit the James Fox YouTube channel. The history of the railway and its social implications are my areas of interest, so I personally found this video very interesting.

What’s your most unusual memory?

The other day I received an email, now that in itself is not unusual, I receive many emails every day.

But this one, just out of interest was from a member of the public not a member of the railway and asked the following question.

What is your most unusual memory?

Now that’s not an easy question to answer as I have so many memories of the funny, the sad and the unusual at the station I ran for over 14 years.

But one incident springs to mind and it is from the first year I was on the railway.

Now my first year was spent split between working at Ferry Meadows station and working on the trains as a TTI, and it is doing the latter job that this incident comes from:-

Highlight of the year without doubt was opening the compartment on the Mk1’s with the blinds drawn. On opening it I was greeted with the sight of a young lady on her knees in front of her boyfriend. She was topless. I said “Tickets please” she did not flinch, he almost went through the roof in shock, I clipped their tickets and left with the comment that I would not charge for the two bald headed children and shut the compartment door behind me.

Never a dull moment!!

For the first five years I wrote a short article covering each year.
These can be read on my old blog site at www.arkwrightsoforton.co.uk Should you read them I hope you enjoy them. Some of the information in them is no longer relevant but they do show my first five years on The Nene Valley Railway.

A few more tickets

Previous posts showing old tickets have been popular with some site visitors asking if we have any more.

So here are a few more old tickets. I hope you enjoy them.

Wansford to Penrith
Castor to Northampton for a bicycle
Castor to Northampton 3rd class
Peterborough East to Wansford
Uppingham to Peterborough via Wansford.
Peterborough North Platform Ticket

Well here we go again……

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.

A few locomotives from better times.

This year has not been a year for loco spotting!!
So here are a few pics from recent years when the sun really did shine down on the railway.

© Robert Maskill
© Robert Maskill
© Robert Maskill
© Robert Maskill
© Robert Maskill
© Robert Maskill

I will post a few more over the festive period.

Nene Valley Railway Closed Until Further Notice.

Mon 21st Dec 2020

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.


Getting the best price.

Now it’s fair to say that the majority of the general public are a pleasure to deal with. But occasionally you will get some that defy all logic when it comes to prices.

Take this gentleman and his girlfriend for example.

Let’s set the scene, it’s a nice Wednesday morning, the trains are running and we are awaiting the first service of the day from Wansford.

Into the station wanders a pleasant man and his girlfriend. He asks how much it is for a single to Peterborough, and how much a return is.

He is given the prices and stands there puzzling you can almost hear the clicking of his brain.

Then he decides that a return ticket is too expensive, so can he have two single tickets Orton Mere to Peterborough Nene Valley and then two single tickets from Peterborough Nene Valley to Orton Mere for when they return later in the day as that he decides is the best option.

His girlfriend staggers out of the station onto the platform, sits on a bench and just cracks up. But by the time he wanders out to join her with four tickets in his top pocket she has calmed down.

Ten minutes later they get on the train with him telling her he got a good deal on the tickets. Actually he spent around £5 more than he needed to.

I have no idea what they did in the end because they did not return on any train.

It was just a normal Wednesday!!