The Branch Line Society


Nene Valley Railway
Saturday 8th March 2014

45 members (most having joined earlier at Wansford for a bonus run down the line) set off from Peterborough NVR station in Swedish built railcar No.1212. We traversed Peterborough headshunt and runround loop before entering the Bay Platform as far as stabled stock permitted. Then the tour ran to Orton Mere through Platform 2, reversing to Platform 1 having collected the Fletton Branch staff to the NVR/NR boundary for a photo stop. It had not been certain how far we would get due to tight clearance at Celta Road Bridge, but it was cleared with several inches to spare. The tour then ran to Ferry Meadows Yard and siding as far as we could. We walked from the station to the 700yd 10¼” gauge Ferry Meadows Railway in the park for a pleasant and very eventful comprehensive tour involving two separate trains with steam and diesel traction covering the main run outer terminus, main station area and loco shed respectively. Rejoining the railcar we travelled via Wansford Platform 3 to Yarwell Mill reaching the end of line just on the former Seaton Jct. line then the loop and as a bonus the middle crossover used by locomotives running round. We returned to Wansford taking the C&W siding as far as possible, then into bay Platform 1 for lunch at the Station Buffet. Our group was treated to a choice of two homemade soups, bread roll and hot drink; the loco shed and yard were open for spotting and photographs.

Departing at 14.40 we covered all the roads in Wansford Yard, even onto the turntable and Platform 5 (participants had wondered where this mysterious platform was it not being shown on Quail; it turned out to be adjacent to the buffet, we had been looking at it during lunch!) The headshunt was covered to the entrance gate. Next the Civil Engineers siding on the other side of the river was covered as far as possible. Returning to Wansford platform 2 some participants were set down before the railcar ran to Peterborough stopping at Ferry Meadows for a KEG visit to the 5” gauge TPO Museum railway. This 85yd circuit (with an extra 10yd loop, yet to be connected) was only laid six months earlier in the station yard and it was the first time passengers had been carried. A few enjoyed the ‘ECS’ run in the lovely restored railcar (back to Wansford) with excellent visibility and perfect for a classic BLS tour like this.

A massive vote of thanks to the NVR’s Operating Manager, our driver on the day David Jackson and all his team both on and off our train for making our visit so memorable, interesting, and enjoyable. Some of the lines we used are normally blocked with stock and this was shunted out of the way. Also thanks to Charlotte Freeman and her Buffet team for the splendid Lunch and members, Bert Ellery (souvenir tickets), Peter Scott and Martyn Brailsford (track plans), Gary Lonsdale (stocklist) and Jim Sellens (recording the 33m and 59ch we traversed). A special thank you to organiser Glenn Wells, supported by Kev Adlam, for all the arrangements for such a great day out. (We cannot wait for your next one!)