Monthly Archives: March 2015

A High Speed Train Going Slowly.

Well Saturday saw a bit of excitement on the railway. We had a rail tour spend some time with us and they arrived in an HST.

It’s the first HST to visit the railway. Here are a few pictures of it at the station.

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Not a good day for photography but that’s something we can’t control. The train appeared full and from what I have heard they had a good visit to the railway and a look round the main station at Wansford.

Also at the moment we have more works at the station with the installation of a new telephone cable and power being run from the station to the signal box. Due to a trench having to be dug between the station and the signal box the garden currently looks like a battlefield, but looking on the bright side Rosemary won’t have to worry about cutting the grass for a while!!

This means we currently have no gate access onto the platform, with passengers and customers having to come through the station building. This of course means we can mug them easier for money, but it does however mean that we also have to be open every running day as well, this will present a staffing challenge over Easter week. But the work needs to be done so best get it out of the way.

Sunday was an interesting day for a number of reasons I won’t go into here but the winds and the rain were the least of our problems. Still if we did not have difficult days we would not appreciate the easy ones.

On Sunday over on one of the lakes the powerboat club had a meeting on, so they had the pleasure at times of racing boats in driving rain, the term “Rather them than me” comes immediately to mind.

The non-spending enthusiast.

Now I must admit I was at a bit of a loss as to what I was going to write about for this entry, then it came to me just before last service yesterday.

After final service yesterday we had a class 31 come in off the main line to collect another locomotive. As always this kind of event seems to attract the enthusiast who come out like rabbits out of a hole to watch and take pictures.

Some will park themselves by a fence and others will wander onto the platform, get in the way and then babble on about what’s expected. But they all share one thing in common, and thats the desire to spend absolutely nothing. Their money says firmly out of sight. They also pop up at gala events taking pictures getting in the way and contributing nothing all to the railway.

So this message is aimed especially at them.. Please remember that heritage railways mainly survive on the money from paying passengers and visitors, they do not survive on non-paying so called enthusiasts who spend nothing.

Remember then that the next time you either come to watch an arrival or come to attend an event and you comment on the perceived lack of locomotives to photograph that if you and your fellow free loading photographers had just spent £1 each on all your previous visits then there may have been more money in the pot to pay for more visiting locomotives. The people you photograph on the trains are in effect subsidising your day of spending nothing.

Give it some thought…

I should point out of course that many enthusiasts who visit the railway buy tickets if they are travelling or if they don’t travel they still spend money in the shop and are great to natter to, many have become regulars over the years. But there are for want of a better term a hardcore who have never to my knowledge ever spent a penny.

 

My other life.

The keen amongst you will be aware that I actually have two blogs.

The second is Mid Life Tales which is written by a mid-life male who is no longer young enough to know everything.

You can find it at www.midlifetales.com

It’s about things that cross my mind and other irrelevant things I come across. Plus there is normally not one mention of a train on it.

Wandering about not doing a lot.

The title would describe most of the people passing the station yesterday.

It was one of those days where it was not nice enough to go far but not horrible enough to stay indoors. The wife was with me helping yesterday so I was on my best behaviour!!

The new ice cream marketing plan was put into action yesterday, and looks as though it will work quite well. I will explain… As you come through the doors off the platform into the station building directly ahead of you on the end wall is the ice cream freezer. Above it we have put a canvas of Thomas. The children see the picture, walk to have a look, see the ice cream and ask their parents for one. A simple plan but it worked several times yesterday. So we will see how it works as we get busier.

Steam service with Ring Haw yesterday, people were asking about where it came from etc. So nice to have people showing an interest.

Here is a picture of it taken last service to Wansford.

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The new counter continues to provoke interest, one visitor asked yesterday who built it, then when we told him he asked if we would be interested in building him a bar at his house… We declined the offer.

Rosemary managed to prune the roses yesterday which seemed to quite make her day. With the upcoming installation of new cables between the station building and the signal box there is not a lot she can otherwise do as there will be a trench dug the length of the garden.

So there you have it an exciting day at the station I just don’t know how we all cope with the excitement.

There’s a kind of a rush, well almost.

Today was not over busy, but for the time of year that’s to be expected. But one thing it was and that’s enjoyable.

Jason was with me today and he had a new steam magazine to read, so he was absorbed in that whenever he got any free time. So one bonus point for the day to start with. As always he was great with the visitors, perhaps we should get a cardboard cut out of him to put behind the counter when he is not available.

Customer wise we had a steady flow and I must say without exception they were really nice, we had some nice chats to them and it was also nice to see smiles on peoples faces, especially the youngsters.

No22 ran today for it’s last day in public service, and after is pulls a private school charter on Wednesday it’s off for some major work.

Here is a picture of it approaching from Wansford on second service.

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Not the best of pictures but at least there was some smoke and steam. All services were within a minute of time at my station, which was an added bonus. The locomotive has had it’s moments whilst with us, but it’s been very popular with both staff and visitors alike, and I am sure it will be missed.

So far this year things seem to be going well on the railway and personally I am enjoying the year, also we are seeing a lot of new people who are locals visiting the station, not to necessarily travel but to perhaps have a hot drink or something to munch. I hope that as many of them as possible will become regular visitors and spend a little money on each visit.

We need our regulars, they have always been the bread and butter of shop sales. A person who spends a little on a regular basis will always be better long term than somebody who spends just once.

Only running on Sunday’s during March so it’s important we drag as much money as we can out of those running days.

My plans this week are to finish writing an article on the work carried out at the station recently by the staff, so watch for that in a future issue of Nene Steam.