Important Dates

Here are a few important dates of the line when it was part of the big railway before part of it became The Nene Valley Railway.


2nd June 1845               Barnwell Station Opened
4th May 1964                 Closed to passengers & goods


January 1847                Elton Station Opened
7th December 1953     Station Closed


2nd June 1845               Oundle Station Opened
4th May 1964                 End of timetabled services
6th November 1972       Definitive closing of station


1st November 1879        Kings Cliffe Station Opened

6th June 1966                 Closed to passengers

3rd June 1968               Closed completely


1st November 1879       Nassington Station Opened

1st July 1957                 Closed to passengers

3rd August 1957             Closed to goods

26th February 1971        Closing of quarry siding and final closure.

The station opened with the Northampton and Peterborough Railway from Blisworth to Peterborough in 1845. Being located on the Great North Road, it was for a few years the railhead for GranthamLincoln, etc., which at this time were not served by any railway lines. The branch line to Stamford opened in 1867. The route to Rugby became available when the LNWR built a line from Yarwell Junction, west of Wansford tunnel, to their existing 1850 Rugby to Stamford line at Seaton. At the same time, the Great Northern began a service from Peterborough North to Leicester Belgrave Road via Wansford, Seaton and the newly opened Great Northern and London and North Western Joint Railway in east Leicestershire. The Leicester trains were stopped as a war economy in 1916. The Stamford branch closed in 1929, having never properly recovered from the 1926 general strike. The station closed for regular passenger services on 1 July 1957 but passenger services from Peterborough continued to use the line to Northampton until 1964, and to Rugby until 1966. The Rugby line remained open for freight as far as the sand and gravel quarries at Nassington. When these stopped, the line closed but the track remained in situ, and the line was later reopened as The Nene Valley Railway heritage railway.


1845                              Castor Station Opened

1957                             Castor Station Closed


2nd June 1845               Orton Waterville Station opened as Overton

1st August 1913             Renamed as Orton Waterville

5th October 1942           Closed to regular passenger trains


2nd June 1845               Peterborough East station opened and  just named Peterborough

1923                              Renamed Peterborough East

17th April 1966               Closed to Freight

6th June 1966                Closed to passengers

21st September 1970    Reopened as parcels depot

23rd December 1970    Closed

Recreating events.

One thing the railway often does is recreate events.

Here is a recreation of “The Pines Express” non-stop through Ferry Meadows station. This event is from April 2011.

The format of the video has been changed so hopefully more will be able to play it.

We have done both steam and diesel recreations.

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!!

Knowing the route.

One question we have been asked many times is why somebody coming off the main line needs a pilot.

One reason of course is their lack of knowledge about the line and where things like points, crossings and other restrictions are.

This is normally met with the comment the line is not that long how many can there be? The answer been more than you probably realise.

Here are a couple of excellent videos by John Wood which for want of a better description show what is where. The first is Yarwell to Peterborough Nene Valley and the second is that route in reverse. My thanks to John for allowing me to use them on the blog.

Yarwell to Peterborough Nene Valley © John Wood
Peterborough Nene Valley to Yarwell © John Wood

I hope you found the above useful and informative.

The Slip Coach

For some strange reason over the years I have been asked on a fairly regular basis if the railway ever used slip coaches.

Looking at this video I am sure you will realise that the answer is no!!

Mind you would perhaps be interesting on Castor Bank.

It’s been one year.

This weekend it is one year since the wife and I opened Orton Mere Station for the last time.

We decided that it was time for somebody else to have a go running the station, I ran it for fourteen years.

There were good times and there were bad times! But my one main memory is of the excellent people I worked with there over the years. I won’t attempt to name any names as I am bound to forget some.

The pandemic has for this year put the skids on somebody opening it, but I hope than next year somebody is enjoying running it as much as I did.

So if you’re a member of the railway and fancy having a go at running a station contact Kim at the office and I am sure she would love to hear from you.

As for me I will just sit and look back at the many pictures I have of my time there, and enjoy every one.

So if you’re one of the poor souls who drew the short straw and worked at Orton Mere while I ran it then my thanks to you I am grateful and, without exception enjoyed working with you..

Orton Mere Station.

Jason’s NVR Photo Guide.

Part OneYarwell to Wansford 

In the following chapters I will be showing you practically all the best and popular spots to see trains passing from public spots from a collection of photos spanning 10 years taken in all 4 seasons. We start at the west of the line at Yarwell Junction and head east to the other end at Peterborough Nene Valley. In this chapter will focus on Yarwell and Wansford.

One of my favourite spots to photograph trains the west portal of Yarwell Tunnel taken from the public viewing area which is reachable via a footpath from Yarwell station and beyond from Nassington village.

Visiting Peckett 1438 enters Yarwell Tunnel with a demonstration freight during the 2013 Autumn Gala.

Here we see visiting 56xx 5619 exiting Yarwell Tunnel July 2018.

With original station building, level crossing gates, superb signal gantry, old railway cottages and original signal box still on its original foundations plus river crossing Wansford station evokes the atmosphere from golden age of steam. Its amount of character makes a popular station for photographic charters.

A class of the loco that would of probably worked the line in steam days Ivatt 2MT 46521 adds to the atmosphere parked in front of the signal gantry with the old railway cottages to the left and signal box in the background during the 2016 Autumn Gala.

A4 60009 Union of South Africa stands in front of the original Wansford station building during a photo charter in September 2017.

N2 1744 departs Wansford with the early morning sun capturing its reflection nicely in the river during the Autumn Steam Gala 2015. 

Deltic 55022 Royal Scots Grey running as scrapped classmate 55007 Pinza crosses the Nene entering Wansford. 

Displaying and printing tickets.

Now the keen ones amongst you will have seen the tickets I have posted on here.

Well we also displayed them at Orton Mere each printed to A4 size.

Over the years we lost count of the number of people who would look at the ticket in A4 size and then mutter… The tickets were much bigger in those days!!!

Before you ask it was both men and women who commented.

92 Squadron

There is nothing better than a large steam engine to get visitors to the railway.

This weekend we ran 92 Squadron which is a great favourite.

Here are four pictures taken today.