The Orton Mere Signal Box.

Some months ago the Orton Mere box was set on fire in an arson attack. With extensive damage being caused.

Her are three images showing some of the internal damage.

My thanks to Tim Hobman for all these images.

Since that time a lot of work has been put in to bring the box back into service. Here are three pictures of how work is progressing

As you can see the difference is remarkable.

Now work starts on reinstalling signalling etc.

We are lucky on the railway in that we have many skills and talents across the membership. With members who use them to enhance and improve the railway.

I look forward to posting more images when the box is fully completed.

The travelling post office

Last Sunday saw the first public running in a long time of the TPO.

It’s always been a popular attraction with visitors, and I remember when it used to start from Orton Mere and do a non-stop run to Yarwell doing two drops and pickups on the run.

© Chris Walker

Above is an excellent image from Chris Walker showing it arriving back at Wansford.

Hopefully the TPO will become a regular feature on the railway once again.

It’s a diesel weekend.

This weekend we are running a diesel service. Yesterday we had the class 14 and today we are running the Peak.

Ever since I joined the railway there have been two camps, one for and one against running diesels in the summer.

Personally I have always been of the opinion that we should, on a regular basis run all that we have available. We are not just a steam railway we are a heritage railway, a fact that many often forget about.

From when I ran Orton Mere I can count on one hand the number of times that a visitor decide not to travel because we were running diesel.

I would hazard a guess that most of our visitors have never travelled behind a steam train when they were in service on the network. but many have travelled behind diesels when they have needed to travel by rail.

So enjoy whatever we are running it is all part of our history!

Teddy Bears picnic

To start these 6 weeks of exciting events, on Wednesday 26th July, we have Reginald the bear hosting his ever-popular Teddy Bears Picnic!

Full details on our website at

If you’re visiting have a great day!!

The HST in service.

The 11.30 Wansford departure crossing the Nene by Lynch Farm looking resplendent.

My thanks to Peter Wickens for the above picture.

The services last Sunday were all run by the HST and with four services each way were very popular. Nice to see a service like this popular with the visitors.

HST in public service.

Sunday 9th July sees the first public services on the NVR of the HST.

This is sure to be popular. The timetable is below.

Orange Timetable. 
Wansford 10:0011:3013:0014:30
Yarwell arr 10:0511:3513:0514:35
Yarwell dep 10:1011:4013:1014:40
Wansford 10:1511:4513:1514:45
Overton (for Ferry Meadows) 10:2811:5813:2814:58
Orton Mere 10:3312:0313:3315:03
Peterborough arr 10:3812:0813:3815:08
Peterborough dep 10:5012:2013:5015:20
Orton Mere 10:5512:2513:5515:25
Overton (for Ferry Meadows) 11:0012:3014:0015:30
Wansford arr 11:1312:4314:1315:43

Hopefully the weather will be on our side.

If you do visit and travel then your pictures will be most welcome for the Blog.

GWR 2999 Lady of Legend to run at NVR in September

2023 sees 100 years since the forming of the big four railway companies – The GWR, LNER, LMS and Southern Railways. To celebrate the centenary, we are delighted to announce that the Nene Valley Railway will host GWR Saint Class no.2999 ‘Lady of Legend’ for a visit in September! This is the first time the loco or any of its class will have visited the NVR and the first time it has made a visit to the east of England – it may even be the first time any Saint has ever made it this far east! No.2999 is unique in being the only type of its class that is preserved as all the others were scrapped by the mid-50s, and no.2999 was painstakingly rebuilt and re-engineered from a later class of locomotive after steam was axed by preservationists at the Great Western Society.

The Saint class were introduced on the GWR from 1902, but by 1953 all were scrapped. Designed by G.J. Churchward, the Saint class proved to be a highly successful class of steam locomotive, which used innovative ideas picked up by Churchward while studying locomotive design practises in the USA. The class established the design principles for GWR 2-cylinder classes over the following fifty years. This was shown by Charles Collett, Churchward’s successor, who converted ‘Saint’ no.2925 ‘Saint Martin’ into the prototype Hall class of locomotives, as well as serving as a template for the other GWR 4-6-0s such as the Grange, Manor and County classes. Design aspects also influenced locomotives on other railways, such as the LMS Black 5, LNER B1 and even the BR Standard class 5.

No.2999 ‘Lady of Legend’ was developed and built by reversing what Collett did to no.2925 to become the prototype Hall, by taking Hall class no.4942 ‘Maindy Hall’ which was purchased from Barry in the early 1970s, with the sole intention always being to recreate a Saint. The project didn’t fully get underway however until 1995, due to the costs involved and the amount of work which would be required to undertake the back conversion. Major new components were required, such as three new sets of 6’ 8 ½” driving wheels to replace 4942s 6’ ones, two sets of bogie wheels, two new identical half cylinder blocks were required to recreate the inside cylinders which are fed by a straight steam pipe that was an integral part of the Saint design, a complete new lever reverser was made from new, and the frames were heavily modified and straightened, as well as other major components were thoroughly overhauled and rebuilt, while others were sourced from other GWR locos, which proves how well the standardisation of Swindon’s locos worked. A connecting rod from 2906 ‘Lady of Lyn’ and the whistle from 2910 ‘Lady of Shalott’ have also been used on the rebuild of no.2999.

The loco was numbered no.2999 as this would have been the next production number for a Saint, the last, no.2998 ‘Ernest Cunard’ being outshopped from Swindon in 1913 -110 years ago this year, and 106 years between both locos being completed!

‘Lady of Legend’ has been built in a way that it can be converted back even further, to run as an Atlantic class 4-4-2 of which 13 Saints were built but were later converted to 4-6-0s. The project cost a total of £825,000 to complete, and in February 2020 the project won the inaugural Chairman’s Special Prize at the Annual Heritage Railway Association awards and was also highly commended at the National Museums and Heritage Awards in September 2020.

While at the NVR ‘Lady of Legend’ will undertake two weekends of running, an evening fish and chip train running as ‘The Cambrian Coast Express’, a pasty and pint train followed by live music running as ‘The Cornishman’, driving experience courses and a full line day time photographic charter with the freight train. Full details of all the above will be announced shortly!

We would like to thank Didcot Railway Centre and the GWS for allowing ‘Lady of Legend’ to visit the NVR!

Nice time of year for the weather!

Here I am sitting writing this entry with the temperature nudging 29c and fairly high humidity. I have a gloss finish on my face and I am doing nothing more active than typing.

Nice to have seen decent weather last weekend for the trains, makes a change from driving rain and howling winds.

Over the coming months we have some excellent events planned so all being well the weather will be on our side.

Of course this culminates at the end of the year with the Santa trains. Seems funny thinking about the Santas in this weather, but they are the most important services of the year. The profit from the Christmas services helps immensely during the quiet period at the start of 2024.

Mention must be made of both the Pacer and the Swedish railcar. They are running on some of the quieter days, and provide a variance to the normal diesel and steam services.

So let’s look forward to a busy summer, and welcome visitors with our normal enthusiasm, and make sure they go away after having a super visit.

Pictures of services and events always welcome for the blog, as are articles from events and happenings across the railway.

How the time flies.

Well the years seem to get shorter these days.

Today is June 1st and the Christmas Santa train tickets are on sale.

What’s the betting Easter eggs will be in the shops before Christmas.

45337 on Santa duty on a previous Christmas..

There we are a picture to get you in the mood to buy Santa tickets!

Deltic to visit NVR.

Nene Valley Railway in partnership with our long standing supporters The Deltic Preservation Society are pleased to announce the visit of Deltic 55009 ALYCIDON for a stay in October 2023.

Tickets and more information coming soon via our web page

6th October. Freight Train Driver Experience,

11th October. Driver Experience Day.

14th October. Gala with 55009 hauling the Evening Dining train.

15th October. Gala.

16th October. Driver Experience Day.

Please watch both the Nene Valley Railway and Deltic Preservation Society media pages for any updates. This is the second and last Heritage line visit for 55009 this year.