Monthly Archives: July 2010

What an excellent day

Today was one of those days where everything just fell into place.

We were busy, we had nice customers and it did not rain, what more could you ask for.

Had a really good day ticket wise and the shop performed as expected.

If the second day of the Thomas big weekend goes as well tomorrow I will be a happy chappie.

Nothing really outstanding and not one daft question it was bliss.

A day out

The wife and I ran Ferry meadows station today, I had almost forgotten when it was like to run a station with passengers in the week!

Nice day overall with mainly passengers who were staying on the local caravan site. Really nice people, chatty and nice to have a natter with.

Super weather first thing as well.

IMG00010-20100728-0945 This shot was taken first thing before first service, apart from some short periods of cloud it was a really nice day.

Back to Orton Mere on Saturday for a busy weekend.

Rain, trying not to get excited and Ice cream

Well today was amazing, we saw less than 6 customers all day and the highlight was the ice cream delivery.

Rain showers did not help but the Mere was like a grave.

Paddy with me today so time did not drag, but we really need to get some business generated down at the station, trouble is there is no passing trade to generate it from!!

Oh well Ferry meadows tomorrow.

Visitors, diesel sniffers and late arrivals

Well there we were today at the station nice and early for the arrival of a Class 66 for the day, but we got an added bonus in the shape of two class 73’s as well. Here are a few pictures of them at OM on arrival.

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They duly went on their way to Wansford.

But before this at the early hour of 9am I had the first idiot of the day. Couple arrived on the platform and the chap asked me the time of the first train to Peterborough, 11.10 was the answer. Is there nothing before that asked the man, no I replied if there was then the 11.10 would not be the first one. His wife giggled and he looked confused and they went on their merry way never to be seen again.

Day started quiet with no tickets for the first service sold, the more we went through the day the more it improved with all things considered good figures for the shop and ticket sales.

Now the second service was pulled by the double headed combination of the two Class 73 locos, here they are arriving at Orton Mere.


The third service was pulled by the Class 66.

But between the second and third services we had one of the breed of diesel sniffers arrive at the station, moaning that Wansford were unable to tell him that the 73’s were running hauling a service train and therefore he had not been able to travel behind them. Blimey you thought his world had ended. Now two things irritate me more than anything and that’s loud and rude and he was both, he was an excellent example of why some staff flatly refuse to do diesel galas he deserved to have the rough end of a pineapple shoved where the sun fails to shine. Heaven knows how he thought moaning at me would help, perhaps he thought that if pressed I could magic a couple of class 73 locos complete with coaches out of my rear end so he could have a trip. He could not have been more unhappy if his arse had caught fire in the middle of a drought. I gather he had also been to PNV for a moan as well. If he had bleated on anymore he could have been a woman!!  He reminded me of the pleasures that lie ahead on our diesel galas this year.

A few were about to see them taken off the back end of the last service to town and go back down the Fletton loop.

Special mention must be given to Sue from PNV who helped me for the day, she is a good worker and helped greatly in the day passing on the whole very well. If she could only master Arkwrights till then she would be away, but a female volunteer and a male till is always going to be a tricky combination to crack!!

Now looking forward to the joys of Tuesday when the little ankle snappers are on the first week of the summer holiday, should be interesting as the Valium supplies have yet to arrive.

Back to talking about toilets and possession of two deadly weapons.

Well this morning something unexpected happened. The barrier to the car park was opened for the day, this meant of course that the customers had no need to comment about the barrier and discussion reverted back to the subject of toilets!

Sally & Nigel with me today for what can best be described a quiet but steady day. Nigel nipped into town to pick up a new mobile phone, and was like a dog with two trees when he got it charged still kept him quiet!

Had a photographer taking pictures of a group of chaps and a young lady, all bought ice creams so that was some much needed money in the till and took a few pictures on the platform, she was certainly a well built young lady and the first instinct when she turned round quickly was to duck!!

Nice to see quite a few regulars in as well, if only we could train a few to be more regular and spend a bit more I would be a happy man.

Customers and passengers reacted well to the diesel service and nobody who planned to travel decided not to when it was explained why we had diesel running.

Having a run on Peterborough returns at the moment, I believe it’s due to a shortage of money, as it give an option to take a child for a journey on the train, admittedly a small one but to do so at a low cost. I think we shall see more of this happening in the near future.

Tomorrow is more of the same so lets hope for some more nice weather.

Well we got there in the end

The day started off very quietly and we thought it would be a slow day then whilst the 4th service was in Peterborough it went a bit mad. Between it going to Peterborough and it coming back we took more money in the shop that we had taken prior to that time. Then it went quiet again.

Had a few of the regulars in and some were noticeable by their absence. Because of the locked car park our ticket sales have dropped and one group today who eventually found us commented that they saw the barrier and thought we were closed, which bears out my theory that that’s what’s happening.

We will see how business develops over the next few weeks.

Paddy was with me today which means a lively day and I was not disappointed, he is always active, an expert at multi tasking, he wears me out.

Next day of excitement will be next Saturday so we will see what that day brings.

A bit of an adventure

Well today was a bit of an adventure, Sue and I ran Ferry Meadows.

Nothing exciting to report I am sorry to say, quite average really but some really nice customers and overall a very enjoyable day.

Back to Orton Mere tomorrow and back to chasing barrier keys and dealing with enquiries about lack of toilets etc….

Today spoilt me!!

The Royal Scotsman

This train graced the NVR overnight, here if your interested is the web link to their site.

It arrived about 2.30am this morning and left around 10am.

No chance of internal pictures I am sorry to say but here are a few of it at Orton Mere awaiting departure.

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Oh to have money, it was to put it mildly a long train. Just the kind of holiday I would enjoy, shame it’s a bit out of my range.

The normal service train was quite tame compared with this.

It makes a change not to be talking about toilets

Regulars to this blog and the station will know of the saga of the closing council toilets at Orton Mere, if you now need the loo you need to use either a cork or an elastic band and walk a mile to the next nearest toilet.

This has provoked so many moans from passers by and customers that I was forced to put up a message saying the toilets were nothing to do with the railway and not to moan at the staff.

Well a miracle has happened!!! No the toilets have not opened again, instead we have a new subject to moan, whoops sorry talk about and that’s the locked off car park.

People have come into the station today and moaned about the car park being closed off by a locked barrier and for once they are not blaming the railway. Even cyclists are commenting about it and they can now ride round the empty car park to their hearts content!

I have to speak to the park office tomorrow to see about getting a key, and it will be interesting to actually find out the reasoning behind the move. But it’s nice not to be talking about locked toilets for a change!!!

Watch this space as they say for updates.

Start one way finish another

A super day weather wise with wall to wall sunshine, but a bit too hot.

First visitor of the day was “City of Peterborough” with the travelling post office or “TPO” for short. Here it is awaiting departure from my platform 2.

cityofpeterborough01The main passenger service was the Polish tank engine pulling the DSB Danish coaches, but at the end of the day that changed, and we are now running a diesel only service due to the danger of line side fires in this hot weather, not ideal but better safe than sorry as they say.

But the big highlight of the day was the fitting of hand made notice boards and timing board, really nicely made. Here is the timing board.


The notice boards will have current notices and timetables etc on them which will provide better information when we are closed.

Had numerous comments today reference the closing of the car park and I am sure it affected business as ticket sales did not set the world on fire. Still time will tell if I am correct.

Nice to see some of the regulars today braving the heat, but many stayed at home.

Tomorrow we are running the class31 diesel so see if that brings out a few of the diesel fans!!