Few of us managed to get to the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough, but those who did had an excellent (very warm) day. The restored line runs along the attractive Nene Valley between Yarwell and Peterborough and forms part of of the original London and Birmingham Railway line which which was completed in 1847 from the Northampton area to Peterborough. Like so many east-west lines (eg Hatfield and St Albans), this one closed in 1972.
We started from Yarwell Station where most of the rolling stock and engineering facilities are kept. This being a ‘steam day’ the ‘The Ferryman’ first took us to the end of the line at Yarwell and back through Wansford again to Peterborough, not far from the main line station.
Wansford Station has an impressive limestone station building which opened in 1845, now awaiting restoration. It is a Grade 2 listed and is one of the oldest surviving externally original station buildings in the country. It closed to passengers in 1957.
Wansford has a large engineering workshop, a tracklaying machine, and a huge railway crane amongst an eclectic mix of railway engines. For example, you will have to be a Bond afficionado to remember the Octopussy scene in which the Swedish engine below, disguised as an East German loco, demolished a Mercedes saloon in a head on collision (near the end of this clip).
Wansford signal box controls the level crossing gates over what was the A1 or as it was then known as “The Great North Road”.
… and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Cuckoo, Alwalton, see below.