To quote a rabbit That’s all folks!!! (For this year)

Today was the last public running day of the year and it was nice to see a few regulars pop in for a last chat this side of Christmas.

Got the station closed down for the winter and all the rubbish on the train, will be having a break now before going down to do some maintenance work and moving things round a bit.

All in all it’s been an enjoyable year and with some new helpers things have gone well.

I will continue to blog through the winter as I am sure things will happen railway wise and also that things from the year that I have forgotten will come back to me.

So my thanks to all who have helped at my stations this year your help is most appreciated and I look forward to working with you all next year.

One down one to go.

Not a bad day today, we had sunshine though a bit or warmth would not have gone amiss.

Sold quite a few tickets and nice to see people out and about.

Nathan with me today and the highlight of the lad’s day was getting beer cans out of the guttering, is there nothing he wont do for excitement.

Nice to finish early on a yellow service as well.

The clocks go back tonight so an extra hour in bed, and what’s the betting somebody comes for a train tomorrow not realising the clock change!!

Two days to go

Well tomorrow and Sunday are the final two public running days for 2010.

The Santa trains run from 28th November but they don’t stop at the intermediate stations.

It’s been a funny year and it’s gone quite quickly. No rest for the wicked though as I plan a bit of maintenance over the winter at the station. I will do that at weekends when the wife is at work so we can actually have weekends together when she is off.

I can’t remember the last time we sat down to a Sunday dinner at dinner time. It will be bliss.

I will continue to post during the winter as things will no doubt happen around the railway.

Nathan with me both days this weekend. He will be zooming round the place no doubt, but I must admit he is good with the passengers, he could talk the hind leg of a donkey and the little old biddies seem to like him.

Word gets about

In a quite lull I had a look at the stats for this blog, yes I know it’s a sad thing to do but there you go.

So far this month there have been 3690 unique visitors to the blog from places as far away as Ukraine, Israel, Brazil and Indonesia.

I am amazed and pleased at the numbers. Now back to work before the wife catches me wasting time.

Sunday: Sun, daft questions and trains

Today was sunny and a tad on the cold side with a cold wind chucked in for good measure

I had opened up just after 9am and fortified by a cup of coffee I awaited the arrival of the hordes, well actually one or two customers would have been enough.

Anyway the first of the day was a woman who asked what we would be running in 2 weeks time, the reply was of course nothing as we would not have a public service. She said that she was expecting visitors, and that if they arrived she would phone Wansford and see if they could send anything down the line for her visitors to look at! Off she then went. It looked like it could be a tricky day ahead.

Nathan arrived and commented that it was cold, I have to give it the lad he is as sharp as they come when it comes to spotting that it’s cold.

Between serving customers Nathan became attached to two things, the fan heater and his phone! I don’t know which he loved the most today.

Steady flow of passengers through the day and I am pleased to report that despite worries the first customer of the day did not start a trend.

Next weekend sees the last public services of the year from the station, then two months free to work hard on the new railway web site.

So more next Saturday, unless of course I get a flow of thoughts mid week.

Recipe of the day:- A magazine, cup of coffee and the odd interruption.

I think it is fair to say that today will not go down in the history of the station as a super busy one.

First thing we had the civils arrive for a day of action on the Fletton loop, here is a picture of one of the crack team awaiting the starters gun.

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As you can see he was like a coiled spring awaiting release, he staggered into action as the civils train arrived with the rest of the railways crack track team.

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As always they were using a class 14 diesel shown above about to do a bit of shunting prior to the start of the hard work. Once the excitement was over the station staff comprising of myself and Paddy, who was my side kick for the day awaited the first service.

Looking on the bright side at least it was steam and here it is arriving. The fact that this is a picture of it doing second service and not the first is neither here nor there.

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We had a slow stream of passengers, the fact that the first ones of the day had got lost looking for the city centre station mattered not a jot as we relieved them of ticket money.

I took a couple of magazines and Paddy a book so we had something to read in between the short bursts of excitement. Plus between us we came up with various theories as the road to the Mere now has double yellow lines along it. The way things are going what with the new double lines, the car park barrier and footpath bollard, not of course forgetting the shut toilets, the best way to get to the station will shortly be by bike towing a commode and a roll of bog paper. then doing a limbo dance under the barrier.

Just looked at the forecast for tomorrow, it will be cold and bright, lets hope it brings a few people out to discover how darn hard it is now to park and that then come and spend money.

Nathan is with me tomorrow and no doubt he will be zooming round like a terrier on steroids!!!

Fan mail

To the regular readers of this blog, and you both know who you are!! You must cast your minds back to my Saturday posting reference the deep pockets and sneaky tactics of the civils.

Well the following has been received….

Robert:

Relevant extract to which I refer………

On a brighter note we had the civils working just of the end of the platform on the Fletton loop, They are staring to worry me as they are becoming sneaky and not coming down to use the loo and therefore submitting themselves to my tactics at getting them to spend money, I am going to have to refine my methods I think!   “

If Mohammed (Manns) won’t come to the mountain, then the mountain must go to Mohammed (Manns). I recommend a meals on wheels trolley, and Nathan or who-ever your beautiful assistant is for the day propels said loaded trolley to the east end of plat 1 and engages aforementioned Civils in polite and engaging sales patter-style conversation.

Please note that most tactfully and respectfully, I am not referring to your good self as the mountain!   Nor am I expecting a polite and sincere response!  🙂

Cheers

Keith

Never being one to ignore advice from a greater being or in this case one of the tribe known as S&T a uniform is on order for Nathan or his understudy together with some thermals as it’s starting to get a bit Parkie (Hint as to the Fan) down at Orton Mere.

As for the trolley to be used, I have consulted with the financial powers at the railway and have been promised a pair of second hand roller skates from the chap who looks after the accounts and a reject tea try from the cafe. Still as anybody knows on the railway we make do with what we have, even if that is nothing!!!!

Pictures of Nathan or his understudy will appear in the caption competition shortly.

Not a bad day overall

Well not a bad day overall today, still on the cold side like yesterday but in the afternoon we had a steady but slow flow of customers to produce a respectable total with both tickets and shop.

Young Nathan with me today and he worked well, let him sell a few tickets and next week will show him how to cash up the tickets as well, it’s all part of the learning process.

Some regulars as well today though not as many as we would have liked, and with just two weekends to go they will soon be in hibernation.

Next running day is next Saturday and with a Yellow service we should have a nice early finish.

Almost lost for words!!!

Well had Susan with me today from City Centre, and we had a quiet day, first day that’s felt cold as well and with a clear night ahead it could be more of the same tomorrow.

Anyway the day kicked off with a woman coming through the open gate onto the platform and slamming it shut and pushing the latch across with some force. I greeted her as I walked past her and opened the gate again, pointing out we were open and we did not have the gate shut. She muttered something about not wanting her dog on the platform (It was nowhere to be seen) walked past me and slammed the gate shut again. Rudeness like this is something I will not stand for so I opened the gate again, she stormed out shutting the gate yet again, still no sign of the alleged dog. I once again opened the gate and put it in it’s normal position. Then a chap who I presume was her husband appeared on a bike. If I am correct and the poor sod is her husband then he has my deepest sympathy. They exchanged a few words, he rode over shut the gate and they rode off on their bikes. Now I can understand somebody being worried about their dog, which I hasten to add was not seen by me during this exchange, but to do what she did and in the way she did it is nothing but rude, and the action by the man at the end is nothing short of childish. I am sorry to say the above was the highlight of the day.

On a brighter note we had the civils working just of the end of the platform on the Fletton loop, They are staring to worry me as they are becoming sneaky and not coming down to use the loo and therefore submitting themselves to my tactics at getting them to spend money, I am going to have to refine my methods I think!

So there you have it a cold sunny quiet day, with more of the same promised for tomorrow, oh the excitement we go through.

Bring on the sunshine

Lovely day today weather wise, wall to all sunshine.

Had Stephen and Nathan with me today, rather like buy one get one free!!

Steady through the day but not over busy. It got quite warm just after 3pm as we were closing and I am sure if we had been running services a bit later we would have taken some money. But you can’t guarantee the weather and we had just three services running each way.

Some really nice people in today, despite the city having it’s half marathon on today people were still about when we left for home.

We did have one gentleman comment that it got dark in the evening which livened up the conversation as he got award of the day for stating the obvious.

Next weekend sees a green service with four each way plus the TPO in action, you just watch it rain!!!