The sun shone and they all stayed at home.

Well we knew that Saturday would be quiet, after all we had two cup finals and the royal wedding.

Actually it was dead, all we were missing was tumbleweed rolling down the platform.

The railway chose to run a diesel service on Saturday and that was a wise decision.

Here are a couple of shots of the class 31 that hauled all the services.

As you can see from the images it was a lovely day weather wise, but most people seemed glued to their televisions.

So that brings us to Sunday, another super day weather wise with wall to wall sunshine. So what could possibly go wrong..

Ah well, the first service ran OK with steam, here is a picture of the loco arriving at my station from City Centre.

It must be said at this point that Sunday was not that busy, it was not dead but certainly it was not as busy as I would have expected.

After first service arrived at Wansford we were told that it had failed, and the hunt was on for a diesel driver. The hunt and subsequent trek in for the driver meant that second service was cancelled and the last two services were hauled by a class 14. Here it is arriving hauling third service from the City Centre.

So ended an eventful but quiet weekend.

It has been said many times that there should always be a standby crew and locomotive available on all running days, there arguments for and against this.

But my thoughts are that we would have had a few unhappy visitors if it had been a busy weekend. having said that of course hindsight is a tremendous facility.

This coming weekend is yet another of our British bank holidays, so three days of services. We are prepared, the ice cream is in and so are the cold drinks. Who will take a bet on it being wet and cold?

See I told you so!!

See I told you so!!  I said last posting it would rain on the steam punk weekend, and I was correct when it tipped it down on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Overall the weekend itself was very pleasant, some nice visitors in and the train was busy.

No real highlights that stand out except for a certain member of the civils who popped in for a natter on Sunday and when he left he got as far as the gate off the platform before he remembered he had got his bike with him, he looked slightly sheepish as he returned for it. But don’t worry Trevor your secret embarrassing moment is safe with us we won’t let on who it was Honest!

We are now heading towards the middle part of the year and the busiest period for the railway, so let’s hope we have no rain on running days, no failures amongst the locomotives, but perhaps that’s hoping for just a little too much.


Another Bank Holiday

Now when you think of a bank holiday weekend you think of cold winds and driving rain. In other words dismal conditions.

Well the bank holiday we have just had bucked the expected trend and gave us three days of wall to wall sunshine.

On the Saturday & Monday we ran scheduled services up the Fletton Branch and on Sunday we had a Paddington Bear day at Wansford.

Considering when the weekend was originally planned we were going to have Tornado & Mayflower hauling services, and we actually had neither and instead ran 92 Squadron & the Swedish railcar, plus for one trip on Monday a class 14 diesel we had a really busy holiday weekend.

Here are a few pictures of the services showing the locomotives that ran over the three days, please don’t go into too much of a shock with the clear blue skies, they are not normal!!

Rosemary got two days working on the garden as well, so that was a bonus for her. The shop was busy and we sold tickets.

A few hiccups over the weekend, but nothing that’s not solvable by better communication across the railway. But we  only learn from mistakes and problems we don’t learn from a smooth successful hassle free weekend.

This coming weekend is a Steam Punk Weekend, you watch it rain!!!

Not the best of weekends.

Last weekend can best be described as wet, cold and quiet. At least at Orton Mere

I was down at the station on Thursday for an ice cream delivery and the weather was lovely.

As you can see nice wall to wall sunshine. Really nice.

Now compare this with Saturday morning, what a difference two days can make.

Miserable sky and rain pouring down.

Both days were cold and on both days I closed after third train, on the Sunday we did not see a customer after about midday, there was nobody even walking past,

I gather bit was cold on the Travelling Post Office which was running demonstrations on both days.

The first three services both days were steam with 92 Squadron. Here it is on Sunday, when the rain had actually stopped for a period.

At least it should have been warm on the train with the steam heating.

Next weekend is a bank holiday, and notoriously famous for being cold. We shall see…..

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.