Monthly Archives: June 2017

Half way there

Well here we are half way through the year, the first six months have gone very quickly, or at least I think so.

Some of the events have been a great success, some have been average and some should have been abandoned.

But sometimes you have to do something to find out if it works, and has often been the case over the years the most unlikely events have been amongst some of the best.

And through it all we plod on and do our best, acknowledging the fact that sometimes the best is not good enough for some people. But that’s life.

I have been in customer service industries long enough to know that some people just want to enjoy themselves and normally do, whilst others seem hell bent on being miserable and moaning about everything.

We even had one visitor some months ago moan because the train was on time!!

Reviews are often looked on as a sacred place to find out what somewhere is like. I often look at two peoples comments about the same event at whatever location I am looking at and wonder if they were actually both there at the same event on the same day, because their reviews are so dynamically opposed to each other.

This weekend sees our rural railway service, or in layman terms a small engine pulling 4 coaches as opposed to a large engine pulling 6 or 7. The locomotive in question has not visited us before so that will add interest especially to the none paying public who will be out to take pictures.

I am looking forward to it, but as with any running weekend it will be certainly from my stations perspective all down to the weather. We shall see how it goes.

At the Hot Spot

Last weekend was to put it mildly a bit hot.

It’s rare we say it’s too hot at Orton Mere, normally we comment on the cold! But on Saturday it was a shade under 30c and on Sunday it peaked at 31.5c.

Not many people about but those that were spent money on keeping cool. With the chairs in the codgers corner being quite popular as well.

Sunday was a strain with the heat, it was not a day for any strenuous work outside. I did not envy the steam crew on Sunday at all.

Not a lot to say otherwise, except that we were also competing with the heritage weekend in the city centre and it’s not easy to compete with free!

Hopefully a bit cooler this coming weekend.


Back in the quiet lane.

Well, after the previous weeks 40th anniversary weekend last weekend was bound to be quieter.

It was aThomas weekend so we had a fair number of people off to ride on the Thomas shuttle from Wansford to Yarwell.

One thing that special events always show is that people seem to not have either the desire or the ability to read information. Full details of what was happening was on the web site, but as always it was obvious from the start that the majority of people had selectively read the information provided.

If I had one pound for every person that though Thomas was coming the whole length of the line and pulling all services then I would be a very wealthy man.

The same goes for train times generally, we get a few a month who will look at the chalk board outside with the train times on and then come and ask when the next train is.

Last Sunday was a diesel service for the main train and that was clearly stated on the board outside, but I lost count of the number of people when muttered Oh it’s a diesel I thought it was steam today when each service arrived.

Having said that I did hear one visitor on Saturday mutter that he thought it was diesel when the steam hauled service arrived. Just goes to show whatever you do somebody will be disappointed. It is I suppose just a fact of life.

One thing I have noticed this year is that we have more families just wandering round, looking at what’s in the area and not spending a penny between them. The adults and their off springs just wander about for an hour or so and then disappear heaven knows where.

This coming weekend is forecast to be hot and sunny I gather, well based on previous experiences I had better prepare for rain.


Forty Years and Counting

On the 1st June 2017 Nene Valley Railway celebrated it’s 40th anniversary, and over the weekend of 3/4th we ran an enhanced service for the visitors to mark the occassion.

It was the most enjoyable weekend I have seen on the railway for a long time. The weather was just right, we had nine services each way on both days at Orton Mere including terminating services. We had Royal Scot, 92 Squadron and the Deltic spend time with us so that meant that people had plenty of time to take all the images they wanted.

From a money perspective I can say without doubt it will have been a very successful weekend for the railway, at Orton Mere on Saturday I had one of my days ever for sales in the 13+ years I have been running the station.

There were however a few shocks along the way, I had a couple of visitors describe the new look interior of Orton Mere station building as “Quaint.” Now I will be the first to admit I can think of many words over the time I have been at the station used to describe it and Quaint has never ever been amongst them.

The old codgers corner with the two armchairs is proving very successful with a couple of people dozing off over the weekend whilst sitting in the arm chairs!

Over the weekend we only had one miserable ungrateful and frankly rude visitor. Shame it was a member!!

I did not have time at the weekend to take pictures but here are a couple from Friday when Royal Scot was out on driver experience.

I would like to thank all those who helped at the station over the weekend, no matter how much or little time you were able to give your assistance was very much appreciated. My thanks also to any of the visitors who read this for supporting the railway. Without the paying visitors there would be no Railway.

However, if you are one of the people who came along, took pictures and bought or donated nothing then shame on you, all the people who did spend money subsidised your visit. Please remember that next time you visit the railway.

Back to normal next weekend, or as normal as we ever are at Orton Mere.