A bit of a damp weekend….

At the railway both days this weekend, Saturday for engineering work and Sunday for services.

Saturday was enjoyable I took the laptop with me and got more work done than if I had been at home. It was not too cold either which was a bonus.

Then it all happened, S&T had just finished for the day and we were all standing at the door of the station admiring a storm in the distance complete with some lovely flashes of lightening. Then somebody tempted fate and uttered the immortal words “We will be OK it will pass to the north, nowhere near us.”

We locked the station just as some small drops of rain started to fall, then as I walked to Keith’s car as he was kindly giving me a lift as normal which I very much appreciate the heavens opened with the mother of all storms, the hail was painful as it hit my head, the sky was black, and I was half way between the station and the car. I got soaked, my head had a gloss finish, the car park and footpaths were white with the sheer amount of hail that had and was continuing to fall.

As Keith and I opened the front doors of his car the hail went straight through. As I say I have never seen anything like it before, it was horrible to be out in but would have been great to watch and photograph from somewhere in the dry. Looking on the bright side I know my backpack keeps my laptop dry now!!!

Sunday was wet almost all day, we had constant rain all day from just as we got to the station until just before we left. Again we ran the Swedish railcar and it was nice to see it was over half full on all it’s runs, of course if we had been running a normal service with six coaches we would have commented on how empty it was. But people were smiling and waving, I would like to think it was because they were enjoying themselves, but I suspect it was due to the fact we were out in the wet and they were in the dry!!

The score for the station was four tickets and two cups of tea, but that was to be expected, I knew it would not be a record breaking day, but it was enjoyable. Sue my wife was with me and she comendeered what Rosemary has christened “The Peter Heater” and for once did not moan it was cold all day, that must be some sort of record.

So there you have it a fun filled weekend with more water than you could catch in a bucket. Next week a normal steam service on the Sunday and Jason is with me. I must get my earplugs serviced sometime in the week.

Arrivals, departures, donations & corrections.

Today was a good day, I throughly enjoyed it. Paddy was with me which meant I was sure not to doze off at any stage.

As I mentioned in my previous post we ran the Swedish Railcar today, here is a picture of it arriving from Peterborough first service.

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I am really pleased to report that it was popular, we sold a few tickets and the people we spoke to afterwards all said they throughly enjoyed it.

It also set a new record in that it ran within 2 minutes of time on EVERY trip both ways, I reckon that record will be hard to beat this year by anything else.

Peter & Susan popped in today as well and Peter has donated a brand new ceramic heater for the station. So Peter thanks very much I really appreciate your gesture, I even remembered to switch it off tonight as well!! Please note those with the money this does not absolve the railway from fitting proper heating!!

Now finally I have been asked by Keith to stop calling S&T the Civil’s, he insists they are nothing alike, with this in mind I thought I would compare the two groups and see how different they are…

Activity                                                      Civil’s                                            S&T

Time Keeping                                            Erratic                                         Erratic

Tea Drinking                                             Like filling buckets                    Like filling buckets

Coffee drinking                                         Like filling buckets                    Like filling buckets

Tidiness                                                      Could do better                          Could do better

Speed                                                           Just one and it’s not fast         Just one and it’s not fast

Ability to moan                                          Legendary                                  Legendary

Depth of knowledge                                  Experts on most things           Experts on most things

Ability to whinge                                        Whinge about S&T                   Whinge about the civil’s

As you can see on these few comparisons they are nothing alike!!!!!!!

Now where is my tin hat and flak jacket?

 

Swedish Railcar

This coming Sunday sees the Swedish Railcar operating services.

There will be four services each way with a new timetable, at the time of writing this the timetable is not on the NVR web site, so here it is :-

Railcar Service Timetable

Just click on it for the times at all stations.

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Above is a picture of the Railcar at Orton Mere Station.

Should you fancy a trip then we look forward to seeing you at Orton Mere on Sunday.

 

 

Things that go bump in the day.

Today was the first running day of 2014, and it turned out to be quiet but enjoyable.

Jason was with me today, it’s a bit of time since he worked at the station but it was nice to have him back, he is always enjoyable to work with. We could do with a few more people as keen as Jason is on the railway.

Anyway services are still going through platform two due to the ongoing works on the crossover at the east end of the station. But the end seems to be in sight so I am told, then again come to think of it they told me that at the start of December.

First couple of services were late due to various circumstances, but the third and the added fourth service were as near to time as makes no difference.

Nice to see people out and about and spending money, it always warms my heart to handle a customers money, just a shame the rest of me was a tad on the cool side. Customer wise what we lacked on quantity we made up for on quality, we had some really nice visitors today and had some good chats. That’s the advantage I suppose to being quiet we have the chance to spend more time chatting to visitors and of course selling the railway to them.

A few photographers about as well today though with thick cloud and fairly low light it was not an ideal day for photography.

The excitement of the day came as the third service to Peterborough was in the platform, one of the hoses from between two of the coaches for the steam heating decided to separate from it’s coupling. There was a sound best described as a Whoomph followed by masses of steam that hid the track, platform 1 and  the front of the train from view.  The guard soon had it sorted and the train was on it’s way to the city with half of the carriages lacking steam heating. With normal efficiency it was sorted when the train got back to Wansford and the last service had full heating restored.

Personally I always find it nice when problems that occur are sorted by the staff with the minimum of fuss and inconvenience to the paying passengers, it’s something I think the railway is very good at. I think we should be proud of that ability. There are a few on the railway as in most organisations that always look at our weaknesses and in doing so ignore our strengths. I have been with the railway over ten years now and the vast majority of the volunteers never cease to amaze me with their commitment to the railway in all weathers, rarely moaning and always having a smile and a wave for the visitors.

Next at the railway on Saturday for more maintenance and engineering work, just just watch it will be dull and cold!!!