Other Visitors

After the excitement of having S&T down working last Saturday we were visited briefly by three of the civils in their yellow go anywhere (As long as it’s on rails vehicle.)

They had been working down the Fletton branch and stopped with us awaiting the service from Wansford to Peterborough, so they could go back to Wansford whilst it was in the city centre.

Here are a couple of pictures of their transport.

There is I gather no truth to the rumour that it’s painted a bright colour so that they find it hard to hide away anywhere. As always click on the small image for a larger version.

The excitement is never ending at Orton Mere.

Sandwiches and Tea

On Saturday I had a distraught member in the station.

The previous Sunday Keith had come down with his crack(ed) S&T team and I had not made mention of it in my blog.

The poor chap was beside himself, and the sight of two Keith’s is a sight I never want to see again, so here is a mention of the crack(ed) S&T team

Now I must state at this stage that there is no truth in the rumour that they were in a sulk when they arrived on the train because the crew refused to put the royal head code on the front to mark their trip. They were actually in a sulk because there was a good chance at least one of them would have to spend money before they could leave again.

Once they had yawned, stretched and yawned again they were ready to face the day.

Here is a picture of Keith and one of his side kicks taking Rebecca a walk before putting her to work. The keen ones will note they went through platform 2 and were just out of range of Arkwright’s money radar.

You will also note that they even posed for the picture. Heaven knows why, they were not moving so fast as to give me the chance of an action shot anyway.

At lunch time Keith told his crack(ed) crew he was taking them to lunch, much to their disgust they got no further than the station building.

Here they are eating their gourmet sandwiches, and looking worried in case their wallets showed up on the stations money detector.

They made the place look like the  wheel tappers and shunters club.

So there you had it the crack(ed) S& T team at Orton Mere, apparently they will be back later in the year to do more work once they have crowd funded some money from the members of the railway for therapy after the visit.



A bit of sunshine followed by a Tornado.

We had sunshine today, the first for a few weeks.

Nice to feel the sun when out on the platform, but good things don’t last as we then had a Tornado!

Now let me explain for those who think that the station zoomed up in the air as though it was in the Wizard of Oz Film.

Down at Sandy in Bedfordshire the locomotive Tornado hauling a tour decided to fail, at the time of writing this I have seen no definitive reasons being posted.

Anyway, it was towed slowly to Peterborough station then onto our railway so that inspection and possibly repairs could be carried out.

It arrived at Orton Mere behind a class 66 and was complete with support coach. The class 66 dropped off the loco and one of our own diesels, a class 14 hauled it down to the main Wansford station. It provided something for passers by to watch and something for the non-paying public to come and photograph.

Here are four images, two of the class 66, one of the class 14 and one of Tornado as it left for Wansford.

Click on the images for larger versions.

It was an interesting Saturday, let’s see what tomorrow brings!!

A weekend of three halves.

Last weekend saw our diesel gala.

It was a mixed three days, interesting in some ways and disappointing in others.

Here are a few pictures.

As always click on an image for a full sized version.

You will see in the background to a few of the images the river was running nice and high all weekend, it was the subject of discussion with a number of visitors. It made a change from them trying to discuss if a locomotive was the right shade of blue our not!

The rain on Sunday did us no favours, and the Friday and Saturday were nothing special either.

Only one person asked us what steam trains were running, funny enough they did not seem too disappointed when I said none.

So there you have it a average gala I suppose, but who knows what it would have been like if we had managed sunshine all three days.

The Easter that Wasn’t

Last weekend was Easter and Orton Mere was shut, I had pulled some muscles in my leg and was hooping round like Long John Silver minus the parrot.

Having said that looking at the weather we did not miss much I don’t think, in typical Easter tradition it was cold and wet.

I can never work out why Easter weekend weather is more often than not poor, I mean Easter moves on the calendar so how does it know?

This coming weekend is the three day diesel gala and I am looking forward to it, they are a funny bunch the diesel fans but the do spend money and areaways keen. Hopefully the weather gods will look favourably upon us.

The other route to Peterborough.

The large majority of people who have traveled on the railway will have gone between Orton Mere and Peterborough Nene Valley station.

However, I wonder how many people remember the old route at weekends before our Peterborough Nene Valley station was built.

A DMU used to travel between Peterborough main line station and Orton Mere. Here is a ticket from 1985 towards the end of the service running.

The fare was £1.20p these days it’s £5.00 return to our present station.

For a larger version please click on the ticket..

A number of people who visit the station ask why we don’t run into the city centre mainline station, and most seem surprised when I said we used to.

Did you ever travel the Fletton Branch to and from the City Centre? If so what do you remember of the journey, please leave your comments. Just click on the leave a reply button.

This is a picture of one of the DMU’s at Orton Mere.

It must be locals because it was not joined up writing.

Well on Saturday we we’re back at the station with the water reconnected.

On Sunday we arrived to be greeted by graffiti on three sides of the building with the east side the worse.

Now I have never got my head round why people put graffiti on buildings, some people call it art, I call it vandalism put and simple.

It’s more expense for the railway to get it cleaned off, and that expense comes from our income, you know that money that keeps the railway running and enables us to hire in nice locomotives for special events.

Now I could at this stage insert a few pictures of the material, but that would be showing off their work and I won’t do that.

So if you have worked out why people spray a wall with mis-spelt words that mean not a lot except to the idiots who put it on the walls then please let me know.

Water Water Everywhere, Just Not At The Station.

Well we were scuppered from opening today.

For those who know the station will be aware that the water supply to, and the sewage from the station run via the long closed toilet block in the car park.

Today when the wife and I arrived at the station we found when we tried to turn it on that we had no water.

Phil who does station maintenance turns up and after checking the normal suspects for frozen pipes etc. took a look at the toilet block.

Between Friday evening and Sunday morning (Today) somebody had obtained entry and stolen from the toilet block all the copper pipe.

So until that’s sorted with the council who own the toilet block then the station is closed.

I know there is a lot of what’s known as petty crime these days, but to go into a long closed toilet block and steal the piping is getting in my opinion a bit desperate.

I can open the station minus many things but water is not one of them, so here I am at home on a Sunday afternoon writing this Blog instead of awaiting final service.

Two things will appear on here, one will be updates and two will be me moaning about lack of progress. You are welcome to take bets on what will appear first.

Half a weekend.

This weekend we just opened Saturday.

The reason being that on Sunday morning I rapidly decided I was in official terms “Not fit for Duty.”

Just after Christmas as some of you will know I came down with a dose of something nasty, and to be honest I don’t think I am 100% recovered yet.

As on Saturday we had a dead day with about six people through the doors not counting the staff. I don’t think we missed much today, but having said that I would not have opened even if it had been a gala.

Lots of people I have known over the years have turned up for work when they shouldn’t have done so. It is foolish because in the long run you just feel worse for longer.

Take today for example at 9am I went back to bed and woke just after 1pm. I don’t normally do that just as normally I don’t do ill.

Hopefully I will be much better next weekend, we shall see.

One good thing from yesterday was that I got an excellent shot of the locomotive as it arrived at Orton Mere late. Actually it was the earliest it was late all day!

Here is the picture, taken on my iPhone X, and it shows I think why I don’t bother to carry a normal camera with me these days.

As always click on it for a bigger image.

If you look closely you will see the station mascot standing by the signal box waiting for the train to pass.

Now back to coughing and spluttering. It is not a pastime I really recommend.

Winter weekend.

We opened today and closed after the third of six services.

Darn cold would be an understatement, and we did not have a single customer to buy anything.

So knowing when to quit we called it a day, we will not be open tomorrow.

We should have terrible weather during the coming week, we are ordering the ice cream for the start of the year!!

Short blog because after all there are only so many ways you can describe rain and a biting cold wind.