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.

Class 66 running day

On the 27th September we have a Class 66 running day.

The Class 66 is always a popular visitor and hauls a good number of visitors when we have one running.

Here are a few images of Class 66 locomotives we have had in the past.

Blank Cheque!

Something a little different today, but still railway related.

Here we have a blank cheque from the Stamford & Essendine Railway Company. It’s from their Wansford & Sibson Branch.

An unusual and interesting bit of railway history. Far more fancy than modern cheques are.

Tickets!

One of the comments I often come across from visitors is the fact that we do the paper tickets and not the old style Edmondson tickets.

The main reason is of course cost, the old style tickets with serial numbers on are not cheap to produce.

So to hark back to the days when everything was rosy and the sun always shone in the summer here is a ticket from Wansford to Peterborough & return.

Peterborough to Wansford and return.

Sometimes amazing things happened, for example Peterborough Utd actually progressed in the FA cup. For the football fans amongst you here is a ticket from the 1960’s Peterborough to Sheffield for a football match. I wonder how many fans still have one of these tickets?

Peterborough to Sheffield and return

I will see what other ticket images I can dig out and will post here if I think they will be of interest. If you have any and would be happy to have them reproduced here then please contact me. The email address is in the right hand column .

Steam -v- Diesel

As long as I have been on the railway and I am sure long before that there has always been the ongoing saga of Steam v Diesel.

It can be quite amusing and it’s not unknown for people to come to a diesel gala weekend and still expect to see steam running as well.

The comment on a diesel weekend that we are a steam railway has often been pointed out to me by visitors, I always respond that we are not a steam railway we are a heritage railway and that all forms of traction are important in the history and development of railways. There then either follows a snort by the visitors or a quiet agreement.

It is I think, important to realise that the steam and diesel fans fall into two definite separate camps, with of course a group in between that like both forms of traction.

So who are these two groups and what are the differences between them. Now please bear in mind that the following are my own personal observations which you may either agree or disagree with.

Let us start with steam. The average steam enthusiast in my experience likes to take lots of pictures, sniff the steam and smoke and other than purchasing a ticket spends very little money. They carry a flask and sandwich box, with the obligatory bag of either ready salted or salt and vinegar crisps.

However, they do have one great redeeming quality and that is they love to chat about their love of steam to anybody in range. Should there be time to do so they can be really enjoyable to chat to. I just wish they would get into the fine upstanding habit of spending more money, but that is maybe just me being picky!

Then we have the diesel enthusiast. The big difference between the two groups is that diesel fans generally like to travel on the trains. They will sit on the platform with the timetable and work out how to travel on every service even if it’s just between two stations. To most of them it’s down to mileage.

They will pop into stations for drinks and snacks at a steady rate through the day. The one thing that makes a true diesel enthusiast stand out is that they always carry their money in little plastic cash bags. They huddle in groups and travel in packs, cameras at the ready for that special unique shot that twenty other people are also taking. Again like the steam enthusiast’s they love to chat about the locomotives.

So all in all which are then better visitors? The answer to that is it’s a dead heat. Both bring much needed revenue to the railway and with very few exceptions are really nice to chat to. They say please and thank you, gala and special weekends are always enjoyable if only because a busy weekend goes quicker than a quiet one.

Now no doubt you are itching to know which of the two camps I fall into? The answer is neither, I am not a great fan of trains, my interest lies in the local social history of the railway and how it affects the local area.

One thing I do recommend to those asking about visiting is that they might like to come on a quieter weekend if they have children for example. You have not lived until you have met a group of gala visitors coming down the platform anxious to get a picture of the service coming the other way from the end of the platform.

With the present problems there will be no big gala weekends and that’s a pity, and who knows when if ever there will be any more. We shall just have to wait and see.

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.