Just a reminder.

Just a reminder.

I have not as yet switched on the post comment facility, and actually may never do so as I don’t want this blog a target for spam and the like.

However, if you have any comments or would like to send feedback you are welcome to do so, please send them in an email to comments@nenevalleyrailway.co.uk All emails will be answered, but please remember if asking a question that you may not always get the answer you want.

Old Arkwright.

It must be boring to work at a station.

Whilst I ran Orton Mere Station one of the most common comments was “It must be boring to work at a station.”

Actually that’s far from correct, there is always something to be done. From removing rubbish off the platform to clearing up the mess left on tables by visitors.

On a weekend day unless it’s tipping down with rain there will be a fairly steady stream of visitors. Most of them don’t want a train, they may want a timetable, a drink, a snack, water for their dog, or as is often the case just a chat. It’s amazing how long some of the visitors can go on about trains and railways in general. When a visitor starts with the words. When I worked on the railway…. You know it’s time to sit down. Some regulars will tell you the same things over and over again each visit.

On busy days you will get the platform warmer, who comes to take pictures, get in the way and spend nothing. The mere mention of platform ticket and they will be out of the gate quicker than a whippet on speed. I can recall regular platform warmers who have visited over a period of ten years and have yet to buy anything.

Then you will get the regulars, they will walk in and you know exactly what they will have, it never varies from week to week.

It must be remembered that the station is often where visitors get their first impression of the railway, and as they say you never have a second chance to make a first impression. The volunteers at the station always made all visitors welcome without exception. I have no doubt this is exactly the same at the other stations as well.

One tip by they way. The way a visitor is dressed has no connection to the amount of money they will spend. This is from experience. And remember the better they are dressed then more likely they will be to moan about the price.

Now as well as the sane and sensible questions you also get the odd ones, here are a few in no particular order.

How much are your £1.70p Magnums?
Are the trains running today, with City of Peterborough sitting outside the door.
Do you take Stagecoach Megarider tickets?
Do you sell ice cream? Whilst leaning on the freezer.
Do you sell daily papers?
Where are your Tampax? It was a man asking by the way.
I am off to North Norfolk Railway next week can I buy tickets from you? I was so tempted!!
What steam’s running today? It was a diesel gala.

My personal favourite is. “Is there another train after the last one?”

The list just goes on, but they liven the day.

Then of course the train arrives, and quite often somebody travelling will stand in front of a carriage door and expect it to open automatically. They always look surprised when it doesn’t.

I could rabbit on all day about working at a station, but then if I did there would be nothing for you to discover when you have a go. I do hope the working members amongst you will have a least one go, there is more to the railway then chugging up and down on trains!!

The Jolly Fisherman.

last night (Saturday) saw the return to the railway of the popular Jolly Fisherman event, or as some call it the chip train.

© Robin Neighbour
© Robin Neighbour

Shame the weather was not that nice, but a good evening had by all

Thursday Locomotive Test

Tomorrow (Thursday) sees 4612 on test prior to hopefully entering service.

Here it is sitting in the yard at Wansford today.

© Robin Neighbour

So if you hear a toot tomorrow you will know what it is!

Wednesday Service.

Today saw 92 Squadron hauling the services to and from Peterborough Nene Valley.

Here is a picture of it before first service.

© Robin Neighbour

This is always a popular locomotive with visitors, and has been well photographed.

The big blue steam machine

Over the years we have had many visits by Tornado, it spent a fair time with us a couple of years ago undergoing repairs.

Anyway, back in 2013 I think it was it visited us sporting a blue livery. The visit was memorable if only for the comments on the colour by many of the visitors.
You would have thought it was the end of steam as we know it to hear some people.

Well here it is in blue so you can make your own mind up about the colour.

Personally I quite liked it!
But for those who are in a state seeing it in blue here it is in green again from 2016.

The Old Station Building

One building that crops up more than any other in chat on the railway is the old station building at Wansford, now owned by the railway it’s in need of repair and restoration, and fund raising to pay for it.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of views you may not see again.

The first is the front of the building which faces into the yard next to the station, and the second is of the side that faces onto platform three. Both taken some time ago and the second of course was taken before the present buildings on platform two etc. were put in place.

Hopefully in the not too distant future this building will be fully restored. For further details on the restoration please contact Wansford office during office hours.

A local postcard

Here we have the two sides of a locally sent postcard.
This was sent in 1906 from Thrapston to a trooper stationed at Milton Park.
The sender informs the recipient he will be visiting on Wednesday and getting off at Overton station to walk up to the park.

Overton station is today of course a station on the Nene Valley Railway.

Peterborough Main Line to Orton Mere

Over the years one of the questions I am asked on a regular basis is why we don’t have a service to Peterborough main line station.

My answer to it is, we used to….

Before our city centre station opened there was for a time a Saturday service from the main line station to Orton Mere via the Fletton loop.

Here is a DMU at Orton Mere on that service.

I wonder if many people have a ticket from making that trip? Well if you don’t then here is one from Saturday 8th June 1985.

Who knows if such a service will run again? Personally I doubt it but then again you never know.