Nene Valley Railway

34081 The Ferryman, Battle of Britain Class arrives from Peterborough – our transport for the day.

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.

The Ferryman runs around the carriages at Yarwell for a pull back to Peterborough.

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 Station building, dating from 1845. belonging to the Nene Valley Railway.

View towards the relatively new booking hall and Turntable Cafe at Wansford

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).

Swedish Loco Class B Express No. 101 awaiting restoration.

Thomas the Tank Engine lives on and English Electric Deltic engines – no contest!

The engineering workshop with restoration work on BR Standard Class 73050

Wansford Signal Box

Wansford signal box controls the level crossing gates over what was the A1 or as it was then known as “The Great North Road”.

At Wansford NVR

… and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Cuckoo, Alwalton, see below.

The Cuckoo