Second Set Sundays.

On the following Sundays we will be running as well as the main service the Swedish Railcar.
The dates are:- 31st July, 14th August & 21st August.

Both the main service and the railcar will be doing three runs each , but the railcar will not be servingYarwell Junction. If you have a Rover ticket it will cover both trains.

Below is the timetable for the three Sundays.

The Wansford Level Crossing Gates. Update.

By Tony Dwight

Following my last post about the gates I thought that maybe some of you may be wondering why the gates need replacing so here are a few pictures that highlight the extremely poor state that the existing gates are in.  

This is the centre section of gate A with the temporary bracing holding the cross members together.
This is the top centre of gate D with the timber strengthening fitted and the steel rods holding the joint together. This gate has continually been drooping and has been height adjusted numerous times
The rotten bottom joint of gate B

On a more positive note, progress on the gates is coming on well  the fourth frame B has been made and gate D has progressed to having the cross bracing fitted and the five long steel rods installed. With the routering of the chamfers to the timber edges and the metal strengthening plates being fitted will release the gate for decoration.

Gate D with the cross bracing and the steel rods installed.

I will report further progress on this most interesting project in due course.

Maintenance like this is just a small part of the constant ongoing work to maintain and operate a heritage railway. Donations towards the rising costs are always most welcome irrespective of the amount.

The next project the team are taking on is making replacement stairs and handrails for the signal box

If you would like to donate then please contact the Wansford office on 01780-784444 between 10am and 3pm seven days a week.

Summer Holiday Fun.

As you can see from the previous post we have Wednesday activities again during the school summer holidays.

The rover ticket will give you the chance to explore and enjoy the scenery and changing landscape along the line, which passes over the River Nene twice and follows it for the latter part of the journey to Peterborough.

Please bring your children and have a great mid-week day out, details from the office on the number shown.

It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum

To put it mildly the last two days have been a bit hot!

Monday got up to38c and Tuesday got to 40.8c here at blog HQ!

Far too hot for me a mere retired delicate flower.

Because of fire risk and crew safety last weekend saw the railway run a diesel service with the Peak on Saturday and the Swedish railcar on Sunday. Most people chose to stay at home and try and keep cool as much as possible.

This weekend will again be diesel only with the Class 14 out on Saturday and The Peak out on Sunday.

Looking at the television there are many discussions on global warming etc and the effect on future weather. Personally I think it’s beyond dispute that things are getting warmer. How this will affect peoples leisure and work activities is open to debate. This will also have an effect on tourist attractions amongst them heritage railways. What that effect will be is of course unknown at the moment. Without doubt interesting years ahead.

I am sure that those running the national train network will be having many thoughts on the subject as well.

Trying to plan for the mainly unknown will not be easy.

Locomotives at The Nene Valley Railway.

One of the most asked questions is what locomotives are there at the railway.

Well here is a selection, and my thanks to Chris Walker for the images

92 Squadron
The Class 14
The Green Sentinel
The Maroon Sentinel
The Polish Tank Engine
The Swedish Railcar
The Blue Circle
The Pacer
The Peak 45041

When you visit the railway if you do not see a specific locomotive then feel free to ask the staff as to its current status.

Stamford East to Wansford.

There was once a line between Stamford and Wansford.

The station at Stamford was called Stamford East. The station opened in 1856 and closed to passengers in 1957.

The line between the two stations opened in 1867 and closed in 1929.

Here is what remains of Stamford East, today it is a private residence.

© Thomas Woolley.

Peterborough Nene Valley Station.

After being unstaffed for a considerable period of time. Peterborough Nene Valley has been brought back to life over the last few years by a small team of volunteers led by Tony King formed  from the Platform Staff and assisted by other departments at the Railway.

The Station plays an important role at the Railway as the entrance point and first impression for the majority of our passengers  who use public transport to visit the Railway as well as many city based visiting passengers, especially with its location within the city and next door to our friends at Railworld. The Wagon Group can often be seen at weekends working on various items of Freight Rolling Stock as well.

As you can see from the pictures, a lot of work has gone on to develop the appearance of the site and the Station is manned on running days now which enhances the visitor and volunteer experience. Inside the building we have developed information boards about the railways history both as part of the network and the preservation movement, the railway history of what the site used to be, (it was a loco shed and yard and not a station), we’ve also got may little artefacts of various sorts of heritage and railway history

We fundraise to develop the site ourselves, largely through the sale of books, dvd’s and jigsaws and have been very successful so far, the next job will be to replace the daggerboards outside the building to enhance it even further. We don’t charge for Platform Tickets so come along and have a look on a running day and chat with the volunteers and all donations in terms of things to sell or financial in person  are always most welcome as we work to make PNV even better for all and demonstrate our pride in the NVR!

Thomas Woolley.

The Wansford Level Crossing Gates

By Tony Dwight

  On  April 20th we took delivery of a large consignment of timber for the construction of the bespoke workbench, which is needed for the assembly of the 4.5m wide gates. A prearranged area within the depths of the running shed was to be used as our manufacturing facility.

The workbench was not a simple construction as it needed to be perfectly flat (to prevent any warping of the frames) but also to be very robust as the completed individual gates will be very heavy.

We also took delivery of two new machines that were required to ensure the precision of the joints within the frames. These were a morticing machine and a bed planner both of which have been installed into the designated work area and coupled to the new power supplies that we installed along with the temporary overhead lighting.

By the 4th of May the workbench was almost complete but was ready to except the arrival of the Iroko hardwood gate timbers that had been machined by the supplier (Glendale Joinery of Woodston) to the required dimensions we provided.

Photo from the 4th May 2022 showing the workbench construction and the new gate timbers stored within its framework.
Dave and Alan surveying their handiwork.

Alan Scott and Dave Read were now set up for the manufacture of the first gate (D). Each gate is slightly different in widths, so they have been designated A-D with corresponding positions on the existing gates. The progress of the first gate was taken steadily as we couldn’t afford mistakes because the hardwood is not cheap, but by 23rd of May the first frame was complete with the tenon joints fixed by the use of dowels and wedges.

On the 1st of June the cross bracings for the first gate had been made and temporarily fitted as they will need to be removed to have the holes for the steel rods drilled in them.

The steel rods were also delivered on the 1st of June all twenty of them at 6m long, the first five of these rods have been cut to length and threaded at both ends by our colleagues in the main workshop, an example of inter department collaboration at its best.

The dowels fitted and sanded down smooth, and the darker looking wedges fitted to the tenon ends,
Gate D with the cross bracing temporarily fitted on the 1st June 2022.

Alan and Dave have spent a lot of time trying to devise a jig to facilitate the drilling of the cross braces at the angle, required for the insertion of the steel rods, but this has not been successful and after many attempts and various jigs it has been decided that drilling the cross bracings without any jig actually gives more precise results.

With both operatives having a week’s holiday within June, work has concentrated on the manufacture of the other gate frames and as of the 2nd July they have machined and dry fitted the frames for gates A & C which are ready for the drilling and fitting of the dowels and the end wedges.

I will report further progress on this most interesting project in due course.