Nene Valley Railway-Buffer to Buffer

By Finlay Elliott.

On the 28th of April 2024 I decided to cycle the entire length of the Nene Valley Railway, it was quite a long bike ride, but I decided I was up for the challenge. 

Leaving the house at around 12:20 I made my way over to Peterborough Nene Valley station.

Just as I arrived the train was pulling in, I snapped a photo of the station and then I had a short chat with the platform staff told them what I was planning on doing, I left just before the train was set to leave and made my way over to Orton Mere station. 

As usual it was not very busy, just a couple of people in the signal box and someone doing some work on platform one, I said hello to the staff, snapped a quick shot of the station, and then went on my way to Overton. I arrived just as the train was pulling in. 

I stopped off and had a quick chat with the station staff about how there was a lack of milk in the station the previous day, and that I had to make an emergency run to the Tesco express, told them about where I was going and then went on my way to Wansford.

This was the trickiest part of the journey as due to the wet weather I couldn’t just travel alongside the railway line as I had done previously so had to use google maps to work out a route. I ended up going through Ferry Meadows, up Love Hill, through Castor and Ailsworth, even along the A47 for a mile until I finally reached Wansford! 

I was greeted by Thomas steaming away while the main service train went across the level crossing on its way back to Peterborough. I locked up my bike went onto the platform had a chat with the bar staff about how the day had been and how busy it was and then went on my way to the final station, Yarwell. 

I entered the station into google maps and followed the route it had sent me, it led me down a gravel road which I biked down, I then went past a car which rolled its window down which revealed a rather disgruntled older man who asked where I was off to, I told him I was off to Yarwell, and he then seemed much less annoyed and gave me directions to take the next turn and it will lead me right down there, although the story doesn’t end here as I misunderstood his directions and turned down a path instead of back onto the road. I realised my mistake and turned back, but by then the gates to the gravel road I was on had been closed and locked, and I could hear the train departing, I still carried on however hopping over the fence as it was the only way out (I had effectively been trapped on the road.) I then made my way to the next turning. I went down the other gravel road, went past another older man who gave me more directions and finally arrived at Yarwell. I was absolutely shattered.

I took my photos and had a well-deserved sit down, had a little nose around the station, and then went on my way home. It was an interesting experience, not sure I would fancy doing it again anytime soon – although I’m glad I did it!

Text and images are all © Finlay, My thanks to him for submitting the article.