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.

Short Journeys.

People seem puzzled that visitors sometimes only go one station on the railway rather than further or perhaps the whole line.

This is not new, people may just want to experience the railway, they may not feel like walking or of course it could be all they can afford.

Here is a ticket from Wansford to Castor, not exactly a long journey, but it may have been made for one of the reasons above, who knows. 6d in old money is 2 ½ p in current money.


One thing that’s always popular when visiting somewhere is to buy a postcard, and the railway sells lots of them every year.

Well here are two that were available many years ago advertising Peterborough.

As can be seen from the second image postcards were often colourful or though perhaps basic in their content.

Some of these older cards are very collectable these days, I wonder how many that are now worth money have been thrown away or destroyed over the years?

Only in the summer, or is it?

Without doubt the biggest seller in the summer is ice cream.
Certainly when I ran Orton Mere we went through the stuff quick enough.
Ice cream generally is looked upon as something just for the summer. But is it?
In my experience the answer is no it’s not just for summer.

I rapidly learnt several things.

If you have too much choice your sales can go down!
Both children and adults like choice in the freezer, but not too much choice. They get to the stage where they can’t make up their mind and get nothing, children and pensioners are the worse for this.

If you don’t have what they want they will have what you’ve got.
This was noticeable and it was very rare if I did not have what they wanted that they went away with nothing.

I could have filled the freezer with twelve different varieties of Magnum and they would have been happy. They always sold first.

You don’t need heat to sell ice cream.
Now you might think this a strange one, but we proved time and time again the most important thing you needed to sell anything out of the freezer was sunshine. I have sold ice cream when there was snow on the ground and the sun was shining. I remember a couple with dogs sitting under the canopy one Sunday eating ice cream with the snow all around them and their dogs covered in the stuff. They had one each sat there and then came in for a second each.

The choice of little old ladies.
I lost count of the little old ladies who came in and the first thing thay asked was. “Do you have choc ices?” They were the thing they always wanted. One old lady once told me quite straight faced that having a choc ice took her back to when she was young on the back row of the pictures. She uttered the immortal words. “I remember it like yesterday, first the choc ice and then a good grope!” I was lost for words, which even I will admit is rare for me.

So there you have it it’s out in the open. Ice cream is not just for summer.

Going Green…

Here is City of Peterborough in green livery.

© Paddy Knight

Now personally I prefer this livery to black, but of course it all comes down to personal taste.

Which do you prefer I wonder?

Thomas’ weekend adventure

Last weekend saw Thomas in back in action as we recommenced services with trips to Yarwell.

Here are three pictures of Thomas on his way to Yarwell

© Don Osborn
© Don Osborn
© Don Osborn